The creeping dictatorship of the Left... 

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

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


30 November, 2013

Boris Johnson: some people are too stupid to get on in life

What Boris says below is fully supported by modern psychometrics but is in any case broadly obvious.  Even Jesus Christ knew those basics 2,000 years ago:  "The poor you will always have with you" -- Matt. 26:11 (NIV)

Economic equality will never be possible because some people are too stupid to get ahead, Boris Johnson said on Wednesday night.

Natural differences between human beings will always mean that some will succeed and others will fail, the Mayor of London said in a speech.

Despite calling for more to be done to help talented people from poor backgrounds to advance - including state-funded places at private schools - Mr Johnson said some people would always find it easier to get ahead than others. "Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130," he said.

Addressing the Centre for Policy Studies in London, Mr Johnson suggested that economic inequality was useful because it encouraged people to work harder.

He said: "I don't believe that economic equality is possible; indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses and so on that it is a valuable spur to economic activity."

He added that free markets involved competition between "human beings who are far from equal in raw ability".

Mr Johnson also repeated warnings against persecuting the rich, saying that wealth and success should be celebrated. He also recounted how after making that argument in a recent Telegraph column, he said he was subject to "frenzied and hate-filled" criticism.

None the less, he suggested that the gap between rich and poor had grown too wide and more must be done to ensure that talented people from less wealthy backgrounds can "rise to the top".

Poor children should get state-funded places at private schools - a scheme abolished by Labour in 1997 - and competition between pupils should be restored, he said. His call for academic selection once again put him at odds with David Cameron, who has rejected Tory calls for the return of grammar schools.

Mr Johnson is the latest senior Tory to express fears that social mobility has declined. Sir John Major warned recently that public life had become dominated by the privately-educated and the wealthy middle classes. In his lecture devoted to the memory of Margaret Thatcher, Mr Johnson said: "I worry that there are too many cornflakes who aren't being given a good enough chance to rustle and hustle their way to the top.

"We gave the packet a good shake in the 1960s, and Mrs Thatcher gave it another good shake in the 1980s with the sale of the council houses. Since then there has been a lot of evidence of a decline in social mobility."

He also said it was time to end the "madness" of the immigration system.


"Guardian" dishonesty about IQ

The Left are ever-ready to lie and deceive in defence of their secular "equality" religion.  And nothing enlivens their defensiveness  more that the truth about IQ. Below is an excerpt from an unsigned article in the Leftist "Guardian" in response to the Boris Johnson story above.  The author is not ignorant.  He knows something about his subject.  So his deceptions are deliberate.  I include some limited fisking of the article as you read through it.  I could say much more but I think that what I do say is enough to display the dishonesty in the article

An intelligence quotient (IQ) score below 85 doesn't mean much unless you know which measure of intelligence is being used. Dozens of different IQ tests, each with their own scoring systems have been developed over the years and there is no single definitive go-to measure.

For example, Mensa (the high IQ society) will accept the following scores on each of these exams to become a member.

Cattell III B - 148
Culture Fair - 132
Ravens Advanced Matrices - 135
Ravens Standard Matrices - 131
Wechsler Scales - 132

The author here is being particularly crooked.  He is conflating raw scores with scaled scores.  The convention is that raw scores are not meaningful until they are converted into scale scores with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. So all that the examples above show is that the raw scores used by Mensa are equivalent once conventional norming and scaling is done. Mensa gets it right. The Cattell test looks particularly deviant only because is uses an SD of 20 instead of 15 but that is known and confuses nobody except Guardian journalists

Mensa claims that their members have IQs that put them in the top 2% of the population. So, if Johnson was talking about the Cattell IIIB exam when he referred to the 2% with an IQ over 130, it's already clear that he got his numbers wrong.

This isn't the first time that the London mayor has come under fire about IQ scores. While he was editor of the Spectator magazine, one columnist wrote: "Orientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole". Johnson subsequently apologised for the publication.

Johnson had no need to apologize.  That polarity has repeatedly been demonstrated in the research.  East Africans  in particular are remarkably pin-headed.  Many of the ones I see about the place in Brisbane would be suspected of microcephaly if they were white

IQ studies

Why stop there though when it comes to making rash IQ claims? Once you start to dig into the raft of studies, most of which point in opposite directions, the findings are quite remarkable. Here are just a few we've come across. Do let us know in the comments below which ones you're particularly interested in:

A review of 63 scientific studies concluded that religious people are less intelligent than atheists.

But the differences were minute and probably artifactual.  See here and here

IQ tests measure motivation as well as intelligence - those who are less motivated to get a high score will not perform as well.

The effect of motivation is minimal.  See here


Masking Totalitarianism

Walter E. Williams

One of the oldest notions in the history of mankind is that some people are to give orders and others are to obey. The powerful elite believe that they have wisdom superior to the masses and that they've been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Their agenda calls for an attack on the free market and what it implies -- voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. Therefore, free markets are replaced with economic planning and regulation that is nothing less than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite.

Because Americans still retain a large measure of liberty, tyrants must mask their agenda. At the university level, some professors give tyranny an intellectual quality by preaching that negative freedom is not enough. There must be positive liberty or freedoms. This idea is widespread in academia, but its most recent incarnation was a discussion by Wake Forest University professor David Coates in a Huffington Post article, titled "Negative Freedom or Positive Freedom: Time to Choose?" (11/13/2013) (http://tinyurl.com/oemfzy6). Let's examine negative versus positive freedom.

Negative freedom or rights refers to the absence of constraint or coercion when people engage in peaceable, voluntary exchange. Some of these negative freedoms are enumerated in our Constitution's Bill of Rights. More generally, at least in its standard historical usage, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Likewise, my right to travel imposes no obligation upon another.

Positive rights is a view that people should have certain material things -- such as medical care, decent housing and food -- whether they can pay for them or not. Seeing as there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy, those "rights" do impose obligations upon others. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something he did earn.

If we were to apply this bogus concept of positive rights to free speech and the right to travel freely, my free speech rights would impose financial obligations on others to supply me with an auditorium, microphone and audience. My right to travel would burden others with the obligation to purchase airplane tickets and hotel accommodations for me. Most Americans, I would imagine, would tell me, "Williams, yes, you have the right to free speech and travel rights, but I'm not obligated to pay for them!"

What the positive rights tyrants want but won't articulate is the power to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another. After all, if one person does not have the money to purchase food, housing or medicine and if Congress provides the money, where does it get the money? It takes it from some other American, forcibly using that person to serve the purposes of another. Such a practice differs only in degree, but not kind, from slavery.

Under natural law, we all have certain unalienable rights. The rights we possess we have authority to delegate. For example, we all have a right to defend ourselves against predators. Because we possess that right, we can delegate it to government, in effect saying, "We have the right to defend ourselves, but for a more orderly society, we delegate to you the authority to defend us." By contrast, I don't possess the right to take your earnings to give to another. Seeing as I have no such right, I cannot delegate it.

The idea that one person should be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another has served as the foundation of mankind's ugliest and most brutal regimes. Do we want that for America?


Australian PM quietly shifts UN position to support Israeli settlements, upsetting Palestinians

The Abbott government has swung its support further behind Israel at the expense of Palestine, giving tacit approval to controversial activities including the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

Acting on instructions from Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, government representatives at the United Nations have withdrawn Australia's support for an order to stop "all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories".

While 158 countries supported the UN in calling for an end to Israeli settlements, Australia joined eight other countries, including South Sudan and Papua New Guinea, in abstaining from voting. Labor governments under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard condemned the settlements.

Many within the international community regard the expansion of Israeli settlements as an act of hostility towards Palestinians, hampering the likelihood of peace.

The UN resolution calls for "prevention of all acts of violence, destruction, harassment and provocation by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and their properties".

The Abbott government has also indicated it no longer believes Israel, as an "occupying power", should be forced to comply with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

At the UN meeting, 160 countries supported ordering Israel to "comply scrupulously" with the conventions. Australia was one of five countries to abstain. Six countries voted against the resolution, including Israel, the US and Canada.

A section of the Geneva Conventions, which Australia no longer supports in regard to Israel and Palestine, states "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".

The UN votes have largely gone unnoticed during the past fortnight as the Australian media has fixated on the Indonesian spying crisis.
Bob Carr.

"A shame, in the deepest sense": Bob Carr comments on Australia's decision to vote against the resolution. Photo: Marco Del Grande

In keeping with the Abbott government's tight hold on information, there have been no news conferences about these changes in Middle East policy.

Nor did the Abbott government consult the Palestinian community before making the changes, according to the head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi.

"It is very regrettable," Dr Abdulhadi said. "There was no transparency in their approach."

Former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr described Australia's withdrawal of support for Palestine as "a shame, in the deepest sense".

The executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Colin Rubenstein, said he "emphatically [welcomed] the government's principled leadership in changing these votes, reverting to the Howard/Downer position".

Ms Bishop's spokeswoman said the minister was on a plane and could not respond to questions.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said she was surprised to hear about the changes to Middle East policy through the media with no formal confirmation from the government.

"It's quite extraordinary that [the government] would make such a large change without reporting back to Australians," Ms Plibersek said on the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.



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

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

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


28 November, 2013

Multicultural medicine in Britain

A neurosurgeon who lied repeatedly to a patient, falsely telling her he had removed her brain tumour, has been struck off for 'reckless and deplorable misconduct'.

Emmanuel Kingsley Labram convinced his patient and her husband that she did not need further treatment by insisting she was cured for two years after the failed operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in September 2008.

He then lied to colleagues and forged documents to keep up the deception, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has heard.

When Labram told her the lesion had ‘recurred’ in 2010 she then decided to seek private treatment, which was partially successful, but the tumour was inoperable.

Labram did not attend the professional disciplinary hearing in Manchester, which resumed today after a three month delay.

The fitness to practise panel, chaired by Dr Howard Freeman, ruled the doctor may have genuinely believed he had removed the lesion.

But he was found guilty of misleading and dishonest conduct for trying to cover his tracks when he realised this was not the case.

The panel today found him guilty of serious misconduct and ruled his fitness to practise medicine was impaired as a result.

Labram’s name will be erased from the General Medical Council’s register of doctors in 28 days, subject to his legal right of appeal, although the panel decided to impose an immediate order of suspension so he can’t work during that time.

The case had heard that after developing double vision on holiday in November 2007, the woman - known as Patient A  - consulted her optician and was referred to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

An MRI scan revealed a tumour about one inch in diameter in an area in her brain known as the cavernous sinus and she saw Labram to discuss her options in June 2008.

She decided to go ahead with an operation and underwent surgery at the hands of Labram on September 2, 2008.

Giving evidence earlier, Patient A said: ‘There was something going on inside my head and I really needed to find out what it is so Mr Labram offered me that.

‘If there was a good chance of removing the tumour that’s fantastic. That’s how I felt.

‘He explained how he would open up my head and try to remove the tumour and obviously the biopsy would be taken and sent to the pathologist and we would find out what type of tumour it is.’

After the operation Mr Labram told her it had been a success and explained to her husband that he had removed ‘100 per cent’ of the tumour.

But he only removed four tiny hard pale fragments, which could not even be used to determine what the tumour was as they were ‘non-diagnostic samples’.

Patient A said: ‘He said it’s all gone. He said it was just calcium deposits. That’s how he described it.’ Labram then sent letters to the patient’s GP telling him that no further treatment was necessary.

In January 2009, the surgeon altered a pathology report and sent a forged copy to his patient in order to conceal the fact she might need further treatment.

In May 2010 he told her he did not know the tumour was present when he operated on her and gave her another doctored pathology report with the author’s signature ‘cut and pasted’ in.

Opening the case Craig Sephton QC, had earlier told the hearing: ‘This is a case where it is difficult to understand why Mr Labram initially told the patient and her husband that he had completely removed the lesion when he must have known that no such thing had happened.

‘He then lied and lied and lied in order to cover up his initial failure and the GMC will therefore invite you to conclude that is what has happened.’

Patient A made a complaint, and the hospital’s medical director ordered an investigation - but the doctor was able to continue working until October last year, when he took early retirement.

When quizzed about his actions during an internal disciplinary meeting in January 2011, Labram admitted his deception but said ‘he did not want to cause further stress to the patient,’ the tribunal heard.

Panel chairman Dr Howard Freeman said: ‘The panel considers that Mr Labram’s misconduct put Patient A at serious risk of harm, he abused his position of trust and he violated Patient A’s rights.

‘The panel is satisfied that Mr Labram’s conduct constitutes a very serious departure from the fundamental tenets of good medical practice.

‘Whilst the panel accepts that Mr Labram’s misconduct relates to a single episode it is concerned that his dishonest behaviour was persistent and covered up.

Dr Freeman said: ‘The panel considers that Mr Labram has displayed a reckless disregard for the principles set out in good medical practice.

‘The panel is of the view that patients and the public are entitled to expect medical practitioners to act with integrity.

‘It considers that Mr Labram has abused the position of trust which the public are entitled to place int he medical profession and that his behavior is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with his continued registration.’

Dr Freeman explained that the panel had taken into account Labram’s ‘long and distinguished career’ into account, including a period where he was the only surgeon involved in spinal intra-medullary lesions in the North East of Scotland.

But his misconduct was so serious, the chairman said, that it was fundamentally incompatible with him continuing to work as a doctor.

‘The panel is of the view that Mr Labram’s behaviour would be regarded as deplorable by fellow practitioners and by the public.’


Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to HHS Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court agreed on noon Tuesday to hear a challenge to the controversial HHS contraception mandate. The mandate requires businesses to provide contraception to employees, even if their religious beliefs disagreed with contraception.

From the Associated Press:

The key issue is whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate "personhood," saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do.

The administration wants the court to hear its appeal of the Denver-based federal appeals court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain that calls itself a "biblically founded business" and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance. The Green family, Hobby Lobby's owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and "that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel's rights under" the law.

On November 1, a court ruled that requiring craft store chain Hobby Lobby to provide contraception violated the religious freedom of the owners.

The decision on this case is expected in June.


Left-Wing Hate

Dennis Prager

There are individual haters on the right and individual haters on the left. But there is no large-scale hatred in the United States of America today that compares with the hatred of the left for the right.

Whereas the right regards the left as wrong -- even destructively wrong -- the left regards all those on the right as evil. Sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted -- these are typical descriptions of the right made by the most respected names on the left. This hatred is what enabled MSNBC's Martin Bashir to broadcast -- reading from a teleprompter, meaning that it was not spontaneous -- that Sarah Palin deserves to have someone defecate into her mouth. (He later offered a serious apology.)

But among all of the left's hatreds, none compares with its hatred of anyone who believes that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and a woman. The left believes anyone, or any business, that supports the only gender-based definition of marriage that had ever existed should be politically, personally and economically destroyed. Recall, for example, the left's attempt to drive out of business a restaurant in Los Angeles because one of its employees donated one hundred dollars to California's Proposition 8, the left's boycott of Chick-fil-A and the left's vicious attacks on the Mormon Church.

This greatest of contemporary American hatreds expressed itself again in the last two weeks after Liz Cheney, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator from Wyoming, said that she believes in the traditional definition of marriage.

The comment would have probably gone almost universally unreported were it not for a Facebook post written by Heather Poe, the woman who is married to Liz's lesbian sister, Mary Cheney:

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 -- she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

Mary Cheney shared the message on her own Facebook page, adding, "Liz -- this isn't just an issue on which we disagree --you're just wrong -- and on the wrong side of history."

This triggered a tsunami of left-wing hate against Liz. 

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni:

"Isn't there a tradition of close-knit family members' taking care not to wound one another? ... Liz and Mary aren't speaking to each other now, and there's a long shadow over the Cheneys' holiday get-togethers. Is any political office worth that? ... I'm imagining her awkwardness the next time that she goes to hug or kiss them (and I'm assuming that she's a hugger or kisser, which may be a leap)."

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd:

" ... the spectacle of Liz, Dick and Lynne throwing Mary Cheney and her wife, Heather Poe, and their two children under the campaign bus. ... Dick's Secret Service code name was once 'Backseat.' Liz's should be 'Backstab.'"

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson:

"Liz Cheney is also the sort of person who would not only throw her sister under the bus but also effectively do the same to her sister's young son and daughter. ... The Cheney sisters, once extremely close, reportedly haven't spoken since the summer. What price political ambition?"

Blogger Andrew Sullivan:

"I would like to respond on behalf of Mary and Heather and the rest of us: f--k [Sullivan, of course, spelled out the word] your compassion. ... You cannot publicly attack your own sister's family and say you love her as well. It does not compute."

On Anderson Cooper's CNN program, Sullivan repeated these themes, and was echoed by fellow left-wing panelists Peter Beinart and Jeffrey Toobin.

The hatred of the left on this issue is matched only by the superficiality of their arguments.

Let's get this straight: it is not throwing people under the bus to disagree with a relative -- even if the relative lives out something you oppose.

Some questions for Bruni, Robinson, Dowd, Sullivan, Beinart and Toobin:

1. Imagine a person who opposes unwed motherhood (that is, single women voluntarily getting pregnant). Further imagine that this person has an unwed sister who did get pregnant and is now an unwed mother. Do you deny that such a person can love their sister even while opposing unwed motherhood? Or do you believe that if one loves a family member, one must cease holding any conviction that runs against that family member's behavior? That continuing to hold that conviction means throwing the family member under the bus?

2. Do you believe that it is morally acceptable for all gays to stop speaking to their siblings -- one of the worst things a person can do to a sibling and to one's parents -- solely because the sibling believes in the man-woman definition of marriage? Or do you only defend Mary Cheney's decision to cut off relations with her sister because you hate the Cheneys?

3. When a Jewish or Catholic parent or sibling speaks out against interfaith marriage, should the intermarried member of the family stop speaking to that parent or sibling?

I have received numerous emails from parents and siblings of gays who have completely cut off communications with their parents and siblings solely because those parents and siblings oppose same-sex marriage. In my view, this decision to shatter one's family over this issue is the real immorality here.

The support of Bruni, Robinson, Dowd, Sullivan, Beinart and Toobin for this shattering of families by gay family members is not only morally wrong. It is frightening. Clearly, for them it is not enough for parents and siblings to show their gay family member love -- and even celebrate their gay relative's family -- they must also permanently shut their mouths.

This is not only left-wing hatred. It is left-wing totalitarianism: Your good and kind behavior is completely insufficient. You must also speak and think as we do.  Or we will destroy you.


Sydney conference hears Australian Muslims experience higher rates of racism

And that will continue while senior Muslim clerics preach hatred of Australian society. It is the Mullahs who make it hard for other Muslims -- JR

An international conference on what it means to be an Australian Muslim has heard that most Muslims experience much higher rates of racism than the average Australian.

The two day conference has been organised by Charles Sturt University's Centre for Islamic studies and Civilisation, along with the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia.

The Centre's director, Mehmet Ozalp says the inaugural conference is needed to examine what it means to be an Australian Muslim in the 21st century.

He says there is a focus on young people, including the impact of the internet and radical forces.

"There is an identity crisis that always comes with being young but also being a young Muslim makes it even deeper and more profound", he said.

"There are people pulling in different directions but what we found in our research is that by and large Muslims want to integrate into Australia."

One of the speakers, Professor Kevin Dunn from the University of Western Sydney says while most Australian Muslims have the same issues as everyone else in Sydney about housing, jobs and education, there is one difference.

"In one important respect Muslims are extraordinary or the Muslim experience is extraordinary in Sydney and that is their rates of experience of racism," he said.

"So for instance we know from the "challenging racism" national surveys that about 17 per cent of people will have experienced racism in the workplace, but for Muslims our surveys are showing that's as high as 60 per cent."

He says it is important Australia's political, social and religious leaders acknowledge the damage such racism can do to social cohesion.

"It's why it's very important for our leaders, for our public documents and proclamations that this is a multicultural and multifaith nation."

Sarah El-Assaad, 24, who is a student of Islamic Studies and NSW lawyer, says she never questioned her identity as an Australian until comments were made to her, especially when she decided to wear the Muslim headscarf or hijab.

She said some of the comments involved a client, as well as colleagues.

"I've had a few confrontational moments in my life where it has sort of shocked me to feel that I wasn't a part of what I thought I was a part of," she said.

Mr Ozalp says while there a small minority of Australian Muslims become radicalised because of overseas events and other issues, generally such events actually bring the broader Muslim community together and help them find their place in Australia.

"It pushes other Muslims to define who they are as Australian Muslims - it has ironically a galvanising effect," he said.

Roy Morgan poll

Meanwhile, the anti-islamist group the Q Society has published the results of its commissioned survey done by Roy Morgan research.

The Q Society was responsible for bringing right wing anti-islamist Dutch MP Geert Wilders to Australia earlier this year.

The poll found 70 per cent of those questioned believe Australia is not a better place because of Islam.

The survey, completed in late October, found 50 per cent of those questioned also wanted full face coverings banned from public spaces.

A spokesman for the Q Society says around 600 people were questioned nationally in the poll.

The poll included questions asking participants' opinion about statements such as: "Australia is becoming a better place as a result of islam" to which 70 per cent responded "no".

Other questions included: "As you may be aware, some countries' governments have implemented bans on wearing clothing in public that fully covers the face, like the islamic burqa. In your opinion, should Australia introduce similar laws?"

53 per cent responded "yes".



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

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

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


26 November, 2013


From the Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser, Australia, Friday 16 October 1908

A former resident of Nowra writes: — I am still in the 'black north,' as some call it, I can hardly find words to express the pleasure I had in travelling in these regions.

My journey ended at the Barron Falls, where I made a turn for home. Such a pleasant  Sunday, amongst old cannibals [Pacific Islanders; Melanesians] in the coffee plantation, climbing the cliffs at the Falls, pulling bananas and paw paws, and oranges — all this was a new life to me.

You know nothing of paw paws. Well they are a fruit as large as a rock melon and somewhat similar in flavor. You can eat them all day. The grenadillo [granadilla, a tropical vine in the passionfruit family: Passiflora quadrangularis] (a fruit much nicer than passionfruit, but much after the same style, and as large as a small rock melon), is simply delicious. Then there are the mangoes and custard apples, pineapples and other fruit unknown to southern soils.

They get the heat here it is true, but they have many compensating advantages in tropical fruit. There is also the cotton (I am bringing some back in its native state) and cocoa, and indiarubber. All these are exceptionally interesting.

The creeks around here swarm with alligators but I am sorry I cannot afford time to go out. They are in the pools below the Barron Falls, and many a Chow has been swallowed holus bolus.

It is this way. The Chow goes down to the creek to wash his clothes. He goes down often. The 'gator, no doubt, saw him when he went down first. But he doesn't act then. He allows the Chow to come down often, and when the yellow-skin feels that everything is safe there at the particular spot the 'gator steals silently from the water, and there is one chow less in Redlynch — that is the name of the creek. 

There is a great hullabaloo in Redlynch that night among the Chinamen. Next day, or the day after, or a week after, that alligator comes looking for more Chow, but instead of that he gets a dog! (poisoned with strychnine). Then the hilarious Chows shout with joy as the 'gator jumps frantically out of the water in the middle of the stream, in his endeavor to form the letter G. All is soon over. The 'gator is cut open, and a few brass buttons are found, but no bones to send home to China.

The alligator is now and again seen in the ocean, but very seldom, as the shark beats him every time. If a 'gator wants co go from one creek to another he crawls along the beach inside the surf so that the shark can't get at him. The 'gator as a rule, but not always, immediately feeds off his catch, and then buries it for a week or more. He will bury a dog for that time, and then go up and devour him.

He will drag a horse or a bullock into the water and hold him under till he is drowned. A favorite, method is to rush anything into the water with its tail, then all is Over. He doesn't always grab with his claws.

Hundreds of cattle and horses here show marks of struggles with alligators. If an alligator grabs a horse which is out of the water, the horse runs away with him, the 'gator holding till the horse's flesh gives way. You next find the horse with a great piece taken out of him, but he usually recovers.

Alligator shooting with a dog tied on the water's edge as a bait, is common sport, The 'gator likes a dog better than anything else, except a Chow. It is cruel sport, but as it is somebody else's dog, Queenslanders don't mind.

There is a black' mission station at Cairns, where the blacks print a newspaper, maintain a band, have water and gas works, and grow everything known to a tropical country. They marry and bring up children, and generally spend a useful life.

The Chinaman is everywhere. Whole streets, like Junction street, with every shop Chinese, are common. In Geraldton [Innisfail] they own the sugar and banana plantation. Their joss-houses face the street. Chinese women and their families are in the streets just like white people.

All the pictures you see of Chinese in China are reproduced here. The big-rimmed hat and the umbrella — they are common. In going to Cairns, we had a special carriage on for them. Even the railway stations and villages bear Chinese names.

I only heard of one Chinese publican who refused to employ a Chinese cook 'What do you chink?' he used to say, 'that chow wants me to give him a job as cook. No fear, me keepee white cook!

Nearly everybody in Geraldton carries a blue umbrella.- When I inquired the reason, they told me the white ants eat up all the black ones. Geraldton is the wettest place in Australia; if not the world. Tney measure the rain by yards,' said a prominent townsman ; 240 inches a year — that is a record— 20 feet. What do you think of it?' 150 inches have already fallen this year. lt was raining all. the time I was there...

Well, I am leaving the north with very great regret. Although I travelled right through inland Queensland— 400 and 500 miles from the coast, there is still much I would like to see. It is all so very, very interesting. I have never enjoyed a trip better.

And it was a revelation. There are cities up here and thousands of people, white, black, yellow, and copper. Every town of any size has its two daily papers. All is reported here in the telegrams in the daily papers of the northern towns.

Every place is a centre, depending on itself. They don't send to Brisbane if they want anything — at least not necessarily. Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns, Maryborough, Buudaberg-they are all centres.

They think more of Sydney than any other place outside their own towns. . .. The fact that I am from Sydney helps me in business, because they know Sydney can beat Brisbane. Of course, Brisbane is necessarily their political centre hut but necessarily their trading centre.

I have met no one up here from Illawarra, but my word, if a man liked to brave the heat, this is the place. Cairns, has Atherton behind it, 3000ft  up on the hills, a place like the scrub country of the Richmond River.

It is still in the primitive state, and likely to undergo a boom like the Richmond River. The climate is beautiful and land cheap. Atherton has railway communication and is about 60 miles from the sea. You mark my words; there will be a big rush as the land is thrown open There is plenty of timber on it and an inexhaustible supply — an Illawarra really in a tropical country.

I forgot to tell you the Barrier Reef is 30 miles from here and runs along the coast for over 1000 miles, consequently there are  no breakers of any size along the shores. The water is nearly always smooth.

Picnic parties go out and camp on it for a week or a fortnight. Plenty of fishing, and thousands of turtles. The Japanese fish all along it for beche-de-mer — something that resembles a sausage in appearance, and is dried and eaten — by Chinamen principally 


I have posted the old newspaper article above to show what the world was like before political correctness.  You will see that minorities were identified by mildly derogatory nicknames but the attitude towards them was amused rather than hostile.  What would now be identified as "hate speech" was in fact innocuous.  The Anglos and the Chinese just lived their own lives and did so in peace.  The area described is the Cairns/Innisfail area of Far North Queensland, Australia, where I was born. 

As I was born only 35 years after the above was written, I can recognize the accuracy of most of what is written there.  I even remember the Chinese joss-house that he describes in "Geraldton" (now known as Innisfail).  When I was a little boy, I occasionally went in there and banged the drum.  One day an old Chinese man who was a custodisan of the temple caught me doing it.  Did he abuse me, chase me or attack me?  No.  He gave me a mango.  Pretty relaxed race relations I think -- JR

Swedish Left Party moves to ban men urinating while standing

I would like to think this is a spoof but I fear it is not

The local chapter of the Left Party, a socialist and feminist political party, in Sormland County Council, Sweden, is pushing to make standing while peeing illegal for men using the county council's public restrooms.  Party officials are pushing to make public restrooms in the county council "sitting only."

According to the Local, supporters of the proposal say sitting while urinating is more hygienic and promotes sanitary restroom habit for male users. It will help to eliminate the problem of puddles on the floor and spray stains on toilet seats. They also argue that urinating while sitting will help to promote male health because it allows men to empty their bladder more effectively. Sitting while urinating according to advocates will reduce prostate problems among men.

The Local reports that as a compromise, the party has proposed that some toilets could, in the interim, be designated exclusively for men who must remain standing while peeing.

The Left Party's Viggo Hansen, who made the proposal, said that ultimately he wants office toilets in the council to be genderless and would thus like to see only "sit-down" toilets in county council offices.

He said that the move should not be seen as meddling in the bathroom habits of people. He told Sveriges Television (SVT): "That's not what we're doing. We want to give men the option of going into a clean toilet."

But proposals across Europe to enforce "sitting only" regulation in public toilets have been criticized. Dr. John Gamel of Louisville University, writing in the Naked Scientists, noted that the push to enact legislation banning men from standing while peeing in restrooms is spreading in Europe with feminists pushing similar legislation in Germany, France and Holland.

According to Gamel, "The liberated women of France and Germany and Holland have vowed to put their men down – on the toilet. They carry placards showing a huge red X scrawled across a man standing to urinate. They shout: 'Laissez tomber votre pantalon, et asseyez vous! (Drop your trousers and sit)!' 'Behalte deine Tropfen fuer dich (Keep your drips to yourself)!' 'Toch niet weer een vieze plas op MIJN badkamer vloer (Not another filthy puddle on MY bathroom floor)!'"

Gamel argues that legislation cannot force men to adopt more supposedly sanitary habits while peeing. He told The Huffington Post that the spray and spatter during "shake off" will not be prevented because "no man will want to shake off" while sitting on the toilet to avoid sticking the hand inside the toilet.

Gamel writes in the Naked Scientists : "...most of the stray 'sprinkles' that so enrage European women occur not during the act of urination itself, but immediately afterward, during a ritual men learn as part of their potty training... the various maneuvers required to discharge the urine remaining in the urethra... A man who tucks away his penis without performing these maneuvers will dribble half an ounce of urine into his underwear, causing an embarrassing stain in the crotch of his trousers, or an even more embarrassing streak down his trouser leg. To avoid this debacle, every sentient male, after every urination, carefully squeezes or 'milks' his member to assure that no stray drops remain within the urethra.

"Unfortunately, some men pursue this goal with excessive vigor, indulging in what can only be described as 'shaking off the last drop.' It is precisely these movements – and not the free-falling stream itself – that deposit most of the unwanted urine on lavatory floors throughout the world."

The Huffington Post reports Gamel concluded: "As a result, forcing men to sit while emptying their bladders will serve little purpose, since no man wants to shake himself off while remaining seated on the toilet."


Texas pro-abortion politician can't take criticism

The Texas Tribune recently noted that Wendy Davis sued the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997 for publishing an editorial critical of Davis’ negative campaign tactics.

Wendy Davis’ libel lawsuit in the 116th District Court in Dallas (Case #DC-97-03532, Wendy Davis vs. Star-Telegram Operating, Inc., et al) could literally be used as a case study in over-litigation – the case was filed by a failed political candidate seeking damages for psychological pain caused by negative news coverage of her own campaign tactics and was thrown out in a summary judgment.

Thin skin much?


During her failed 1996 City Council campaign bid, Davis was the subject of negative news coverage in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, including an editorial which criticized her negative campaign tactics. Subsequent to her electoral loss, Davis filed a libel lawsuit against the paper, and parent companies The Walt Disney Co. and ABC Inc., to attempt to obtain an award for damages.

In her suit, Davis claimed that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s editorial had damaged her mental health and infringed upon her “right to pursue public office.”

Wendy Davis lost that race, and a few months later, she sued the Star-Telegram.

Just a few months after her suit was first filed, Davis’ libel claim against the newspaper was unceremoniously thrown out by the Court – as Judge Martin Richter granted a summary judgment against Davis without hearing any testimony. Rather than moving on, Wendy Davis appealed the case to a higher court.

In 2000, nearly four years after her loss, Texas’ 5th Court of Appeals rejected Davis’ claim that she was libeled by the Star-Telegram during her 1996 campaign for city council. Rubbing salt in the wound, the court wrote in its 3-0 decision that they “cannot conclude a person of ordinary intelligence would perceive the statements as defamatory.”

Wendy Davis pressed forward ever still with her libel case, appealing to the Texas Supreme Court, which declined to hear her case.

“It was a remarkable theory that Ms. Davis was advancing – that this newspaper could not comment on the various issues of her campaign, and that it could not express its opinion as to which candidate it preferred,” said Charles Babcock, the newspaper’s attorney. “If Ms. Davis’s theories had been correct, there would have been a serious chill on the media to report on campaigns.”

Indeed. Wendy Davis’ anti-1st Amendment libel lawsuit helped to clog up the Texas court system for more than four years and demonstrated that she is severely out of touch with not only Texans but the U.S. Constitution itself. Texas doesn’t need a thin-skinned, liberal trial lawyer who is antagonistic toward freedom of speech. Wendy Davis is wrong for Texas.


The New York Times And Racism - Peas In A Hateful Pod

The New York Times is known as the paper of record. At some time in history, having a paper that practiced actual journalism was important. Almost, valuable, one could say. But now, journalism is left for the bloggers, and the bravest of souls in the MSM (that's a Sheryl Attkisson/Mark Knoller/Jake Tapper shout out right there!) These days, the Times isn't interested in journalism, but sheer propaganda and name calling, and promoting the meme of racism in the name of their elitist beliefs

The latest missive of disinformation comes from the paper's op-ed pages. (One could argue that an op-ed is not journalism. But this is the same paper that referred to President Obama's repeated lies of, "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" as an "incorrect promise," which came just after the editorial board stated that President simply "misspoke." Op-eds ARE journalism to them. Also, to misspeak is to tell your wife you were at the store when you were really at a strip club. Nope, that's a lie, too....but a lie that saves a lot more people than Obamacare ever will!)

In this op-ed Thomas Edsall, a professor of "journalism" at Columbia University, takes his swipe at Obamacare - where swipe means defense based on elitist desire. He writes of the difficulties to create a site like HealthCare.gov; the work and cooperation between multiple government agencies that were never designed to work together. He speaks of how the failure of the Obamacare roll out might affect, as Charles Krauthammer said (with much more clarity and efficacy,) the future of liberalism. If the idea (as bad as it is) of Obamacare can not be implemented, how, then, can a world dedicated to the concept of big government come to pass? Yes, Obamacare's failure is blow for liberalism, now and in the future.

Then, he goes where all the lesser minds of Progressivism/Liberalism go - to racism. Edsall opines:
In addition, the Affordable Care Act can be construed as a transfer of benefits from Medicare, which serves an overwhelmingly white population of the elderly – 77 percent of recipients are white — to Obamacare, which will serve a population that is 54.7 percent minority. Over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act cuts $455 billion from the Medicare budget in order to help pay for Obamacare.

Those who think that a critical mass of white voters has moved past its resistance to programs shifting tax dollars and other resources from the middle class to poorer minorities merely need to look at the election of 2010, which demonstrated how readily this resistance can be used politically. The passage of the A.C.A. that year forced such issues to the fore, and Republicans swept the House and state houses across the country. The program’s current difficulties have the clear potential to replay events of 2010 in 2014 and possibly 2016.

The problem isn't the inoperable, overbudget, poorly coded website, nor the inoperable, nonsensical, poorly planned law. The problem is white people who don't want to share with black people. How convenient for Edsall and the Times!

Edsall should have waited a day to consult the recent CBS poll, which shows only 7% of Americans think Obamacare is working fine. 93% want to change it, or get rid of it all together. (Elitists never check the facts, because its not about facts. It's about how they feel, and believing that their feelings - and you accepting their feelings - is the only thing that matters.)

Is Edsall claiming that more than nine out of every 10 Americans is racist? If so, 10 out of 10 Americans would have to agree that Edsall is a boob.

The New York Times has taken to promoting racism like a sale at Macy's; utilizing it as a cudgel against all those who may oppose the president's policies or the fanatical and fantasy desires of today's Progressives who parade around as the party of Kennedy (or worse, of decency and fairness.) They do so to protect their investments; the President and Liberalism being those investments. To end conversation, and to silence opposition. They promote racism because they believe in feelings, not facts; In good intentions, not real life consequences.

Without any evidence or facts, Edsall decided that the reason Obamacare doesn't work is because white people don't want to shift their money to black people. The New York Times supports and promotes this position. That is not a newspaper of record steeped in the proud tradition of The Fourth Estate. That is the work of propagandists unfit to be the official record of anything.

For Edsall, the New York Times and all elitists, Obamacare doesn't work because of white people, and Republicans. Certainly not because the idea is awful, and those tasked with passing and implementing the law incompetent. No....certainly not.



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

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

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


25 November, 2013

How conservatives were made responsible for the deeds of a Communist

In a brilliant 2006 analysis, "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" (Encounter), James Piereson showed how liberals turned the communist murder of John F. Kennedy, a liberal politician, into a stain on conservatives, and how this distortion then caused liberalism to evolve into the sickly phenomenon it is today.

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, liberals are still at it, pinning responsibility for the murder on the far-right culture of Dallas in 1963 and downplaying the ineluctable fact that the communist Lee Harvey Oswald in no way reflected that culture. They just do not give up. Here is an example from today's New York Times, "Changed Dallas Grapples With Its Darkest Day." First, Manny Fernandez sets up the right-wing culture of the supposed City of Hate:

In the early 1960s, a small but vocal subset of the Dallas power structure turned the political climate toxic, inciting a right-wing hysteria that led to attacks on visiting public figures. In the years and months before Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson, his wife, Lady Bird, and Adlai E. Stevenson, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, were jostled and spat upon in Dallas by angry mobs. In sermons, rallies, newspapers and radio broadcasts, the city's richest oil baron, a Republican congressman, a Baptist pastor and others, including the local John Birch Society, filled Dallas with an angry McCarthy-esque paranoia.

The immediate reaction of many in Dallas to the news that Kennedy had been shot was not only shock but also a sickening sense of recognition. Moments after hearing about the shooting, the wife of the Methodist bishop told Tom J. Simmons, an editor at The Dallas Morning News, "You might have known it would be Dallas."

While Fernandez gives the current Dallas a break (glorying especially in its lesbian sheriff), he finds continuity in Texas as a whole:
This past February, in West Texas, the sheriff in Midland County, Gary Painter, said at a John Birch Society luncheon that he would refuse to confiscate people's guns from their homes if ordered by the Obama administration and referred to the president's State of the Union address as "propaganda." Other Texas politicians in recent years have embraced or suggested support for increasingly radical views, including Texas secession, Mr. Obama's impeachment and claims that the sovereignty of the United States will be handed over to the United Nations.

It's not just Texas, either: Fernandez notes that the extreme right culture of Dallas has suffused the entire land, quoting a former Dallas reporter, Bill Minutaglio, saying that "modern demonizing politics in America" in some ways took shape in Dallas in the 1960s.

Okay, got that? Dallas was a bastion of right-wing kooks with a vast legacy. Now, watch how this bastion gets blamed for the communist Oswald:
Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marxist and not a product of right-wing Dallas. But because the anti-Kennedy tenor came not so much from radical outcasts but from parts of mainstream Dallas, some say the anger seemed to come with the city's informal blessing. "It was, I think, a city that was tolerant of hate and hate language," said John A. Hill, 71, who in 1963 was student-body president of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "There were people who spoke out against that, but in general city leaders were indifferent to that toxic atmosphere."

Q.E.D. Magically, the hard right takes the fall for a communist operative. The New York Times can take pride in consistency, however distorted, over a half century.


Female RAF recruits get £100,000 compensation each... because they were made to march like men

Females should not be in the armed forces if they cannot live up to armed forces standards

Three female RAF recruits have each been awarded £100,000 by the Ministry of Defence after suffering injuries caused by marching in step with their male colleagues.

The women claimed that parading alongside taller male recruits caused them to over-stride, a repetitive motion which, when repeated over several weeks, led them to develop spinal and pelvic injuries.

Now, after a five-year bitter legal battle, which saw the MoD accuse the women of exaggerating their symptoms, they have been awarded more compensation than soldiers who suffered serious gunshot wounds in Afghanistan.

According to RAF official policy, female recruits should not be expected to extend the length of their strides beyond 27in. They should also be placed at the front of any mixed squad to dictate the pace.

But while undergoing basic training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, the claimants were forced to extend their strides to 30in – the standard stride length for men on parades and marches.

Despite the fact that the women – aged 17, 22 and 23 at the time – were injured in the first nine weeks of their RAF training, they have been compensated for nine years of lost earnings and pension perks.

All have recovered and have successful careers outside the military.

The payouts come as the Armed Forces’ compensation bill for 2012/13 topped £108.9million – up £21million on the previous financial year.

Last night, former Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: ‘This case is completely and utterly ridiculous – it belongs in the land of the absurd.

'The defence budget is strapped and  we’re making 20,000 troops redundant, yet these former recruits are being paid six-figure sums.

‘The MoD must stand up to the compensation culture and get the wider public on its side. If the RAF has erred in its training procedures it is because of society’s obsession with gender equality.

'Every pound they’ve been awarded should be clawed back by offsetting their compensation against future earnings.’

This newspaper understands that at least five cases of female RAF recruits bringing claims against the MOD due to pelvic injuries suffered on marches are being litigated.

The action brought by Miss Davies and the two recruits will cost the taxpayer £600,000 because the legal costs are estimated to be as high as the compensation payments.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the MoD has a legal liability to pay compensation.

‘Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so. The RAF takes the welfare of it recruits very seriously and has reviewed its recruit training practices to mitigate against this risk.’


Pakistanis in UK fuelling corruption, says law chief: Attorney General warns politicians to 'wake up' to the threat posed by minority communities

Corruption is rife in  Britain’s Pakistani community, the country’s most senior law officer has warned.

Dominic Grieve said politicians needed to ‘wake up’ to the threat of corruption posed by minority communities using a ‘favour culture’.

In remarks that will inflame already sensitive diplomatic relations with Pakistan, the attorney general said he was referring to ‘mainly the Pakistani community’.

David Cameron sparked outrage earlier in his premiership when he accused Pakistan of ‘exporting terrorism’ while on a visit to India.

Mr Grieve told the Daily Telegraph that corruption could also be found in the ‘white Anglo-Saxon community’ as well as among other groups.

But he said the rise of corruption was ‘because we have minority communities in this country which come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. It is something we as politicians have to wake to up to’.

He said electoral corruption was a problem in constituencies such as Slough in Berkshire. Tory councillor Eshaq Khan was found guilty of fraud involving postal ballots in 2008.

The Electoral Commission is planning to introduce tougher identity checks at the ballot box in Tower Hamlets in East London, another area that has suffered from electoral fraud.

Baroness Warsi, the Foreign Office minister, has previously said the Conservatives lost three seats at the general election because of voter fraud in the Asian community.

Mr Grieve, whose Beaconsfield constituency in Buckinghamshire has a sizeable Asian community, said: ‘I can see many of them have come because of the opportunities that they get.

‘But they also come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture.

‘One of the things you have to make absolutely clear is that that is not the case and it’s not acceptable.’

Asked if he was referring to the Pakistani community, Mr Grieve said: ‘Yes, it’s mainly the Pakistani community, not the Indian community. I wouldn’t draw it down to one. I’d be wary of saying it’s just a Pakistani problem.’

He added: ‘I happen to be very optimistic about the future of the UK. We have managed integration of minority communities better than most countries in Europe.’

Mr Grieve also admitted that the ‘volume’ of potential immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria next year when movement controls were lifted ‘may pose serious infrastructure problems’.


Review of Federal Australian hate speech law

Critical comments below by Mark Dreyfus.  Mr Dreyfus is the federal opposition spokesman on legal affairs. He is Jewish. 

His article below is a typical bit of Leftist cherrypicking.  He quotes a couple of instances where the hate speech laws were arguably used to proper effect and completely ignores the Bolt case  -- the case which has motivated the intended change in the law.  And it was a Jewish judge who made the immoderate judgment that led to Andrew Bolt's conviction. 

Judge Bromberg had plenty of room within the act to find Bolt not guilty but he chose to go for the jugular -- possibly because of his Jewishness.  Jews have good historical reasons for a horror of defamation.  Bromberg should really have recused himself from the case.

So Dreyfus would have been much more persuasive if he had deplored the misapplication of the law by Mordechai Bromberg but he totally ignores that.  Is he endeavouring to add substance to the old accusations of Jewish "clannishness"?  He is a disgrace.  Even some Leftists found Bromberg's verdict "profoundly disturbing"

If Dreyfus had been arguing responsibly, he might have said that the provision of an appeals court to review judgments such as Bromberg's would be more appropriate than watering down the act.  In the case of another Leftist-inspired  kangaroo court  -- the Fair Work tribunal --  the present government is doing exactly that.

But what Dreyfus will not admit is that there is just one man responsible for the review of the law being presently undertaken:  Mordechai Bromberg.  Bromberg's zeal to persecute any suspicion of defamation will soon be seen to have facilitated defamation

FOR almost 20 years, since the Racial Discrimination Act was enacted by the Keating government in 1994, section 18C has embodied Australia's condemnation of racial vilification, and protected our society from the poisonous effects of hate speech.

Labor strongly believes in the continued need for laws that prohibit racial hatred in Australia.

The new Attorney-General and his Prime Minister have made clear their intention to repeal section 18C in its current form, which makes it illegal to vilify people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

The Attorney-General claims that the prohibitions in section 18C are a threat to "intellectual freedom" and "freedom of speech" in Australia.

One can only assume that he has an extremely poor grasp of history, of the appropriate limits imposed on free speech in all Western democracies, and of the dangers of giving a green light to hate speech under the preposterous claim that racially vilifying individuals in public is necessary to support intellectual freedom in our nation.

Section 18C has functioned well for 18 years in our community, without being criticised as some kind of affront to freedom of speech.

Rather, the provision has been used to respond to egregious examples of hate speech, such as the publication of false statements by infamous Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben, who wrote, among other offensive lies, that there was serious doubt the Holocaust occurred and that Jewish people who were offended by the denial of the state-sponsored murder of their families and communities were of limited intelligence.

Using section 18C, the Federal Court ordered these deeply offensive public statements be removed from the relevant website.

The Coalition's policy would allow Toben to publish material of this kind, and would take away the power of our courts to stop such racist hate speech being disseminated.

In another infamous case, an indigenous woman used section 18C to defend herself against a neighbour who had waged a campaign of intimidation against her family by attacking them with offensive racist insults such as "nigger" and "black bastard".

It is disingenuous to attack section 18C as a threat to freedom of speech by presenting it in isolation from the linked provision, section 18D.

Following extensive public consultations at the time the provisions were crafted, the drafters were well aware of the need to appropriately protect freedom of speech.

That is why section 18D provides extensive protection for free speech and political communication in our society.

Section 18C is also entirely consistent with the objectives of the London Declaration on Combatting Anti-Semitism, which was signed on behalf of Australia by former prime minister Julia Gillard in April, and was subsequently signed by Coalition MPs including Tony Abbott and George Brandis.

In May this year, I wrote to Mr Abbott calling on the Coalition to respect the pledges in the London Declaration, and to reverse the Liberals' plan to repeal section 18C.

I pointed out that section 18C is precisely the kind of legislated protection against anti-Semitism and racial discrimination that the London Declaration calls on its signatories to enact, and that repealing it would unequivocally contradict the spirit and the terms of that important declaration.

In an interview two weeks ago, the Attorney-General made clear that he intends to persist with the repeal of section 18C regardless of deep community concerns.

However, in senate estimates this week, he at least withdrew from arguments earlier suggesting that the protections provided by section 18C were somehow covered by the Criminal Code Act.

Sections 80.2A and B of the Criminal Code Act create serious criminal offences for individuals that urge the use of force or violence against a group or a member of a group distinguished by race, religion, nationality, national or ethnic origin or political opinion.

These provisions prohibit criminal incitement to violence and do not operate to prohibit the civil wrong of racist hate speech as section 18C does.

In response to questions at senate estimates, Senator Brandis revealed that his "engaging in community consultations" would be limited to "private conversations" with "community leaders" to be selected by him.

He then refused to elaborate on which community leaders he was speaking to or the nature of those discussions.

There is an unpleasant irony in the spectacle of an Attorney-General who claims to champion free speech refusing to answer questions regarding secret consultations he is conducting in a bid to remove legislative protections of great importance to communities across our nation.

It is essential that the communities affected by any potential change in this area of the law have the opportunity to put their views to Senator Brandis, not just the private group of unidentified individuals that he deigns to have a conversation with.

Public discussions regarding proposed legislative changes on matters of concern to the community such as this are essential for any government that claims to value freedom of speech.

This is a further example of how, in the short time since the election, this government is prepared to shamelessly hide their actions from the scrutiny of both the people who elected them and from the media.

Mr Abbott and Senator Brandis have refused to back down on their proposed watering down of hate speech laws in our nation, reflecting their ignorance of history and the dangers of permitting racially motivated hate speech.

In contrast, Labor is committed to supporting the rights of all Australians to dignity and protection from racially motivated hate speech ahead of enabling bigots and extremists to say in public whatever they want.



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

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

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


24 November, 2013

More multiculturalism

A 14-YEAR-old Massachusetts boy has been indicted for the brutal rape and murder of his high-school maths teacher.

Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, was found dead outside the high school last month - killed after what a court prosecutor said was a series of "unspeakable acts".

Philip Chism, one of her students, has today been charged with murder as an adult, along with aggravated rape and armed robbery.

Court documents allege that Chism, armed with a box cutter, robbed Ritzer of credit cards, an iPhone and her underwear before sexually assaulting her with an object and then murdering her.

"The indictments returned today detail horrific and unspeakable acts," Essex County District Attorney Jonathon Blodgett said. "This is the first step in a long process to secure justice for Ms. Ritzer and her family."

Her throat had been slashed with a boxcutter.  She had also been punched in the face.

The school's security camera recorded Chism pulling on a pair of gloves.  According to court documents, Chism then allegedly followed Ritzer into a bathroom.

He then dragged her body out of the bathroom in a wheeled recycling bin.

After going home to change his bloody clothes, he went to a Wendy's outlet for lunch and then went to watch a Woody Allen movie at a nearby theatre.  He did not return home.

That night, both Ritzer and Chism were reported as missing.


Feminists insist that only a feminist view of the world should be shown on TV

Furious parents have blasted the BBC’s new children’s series Topsy and Tim, branding it 'flabbergastingly sexist'.

The new version of Topsy and Tim, which hit screens earlier this month on CBeebies, was supposed to have been updated for the 21st century.  But despite dad using a tablet computer and mum spending time on her laptop, the series - inspired by the hugely popular books and animated TV show of the same name - appears to be stuck in the past.

Since the first of 60 episodes aired on November 10, thousands of parents have flocked to internet forum Mumsnet to express their opposition to the show.

Most of the outrage is over the way the characters conform to gender stereotypes.

One parent, who called themselves MadBannersAndCopPorn posted: 'I caught it for the first time tonight and thought it was a load of rubbish.  'I hated the boys playing on quads and girls decorating princess cupcakes too - Tim’s friend a boy, Topsy’s a girl etc

Another parent, called DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts added: 'It’s flabbergastingly sexist - I was so disappointed.  'Mummy and Topsy do the washing while Tim helps daddy with the man’s work.  'Topsy is inside making cakes and Tim gets told they’re not for him and he must go outside and play with the quad bike.

'I can’t let my three-and-a-half-year-old watch it, he already thinks girls can’t do stuff that boys can.'

Meanwhile some mums have revealed actress Anna Acton, who plays the children’s mother, has a large following of husbands.

Mumsnet user, who calls themselves nomeansno20 said: 'I want to thank CBEEBIES for topsy and tim series. Its the only time my hubby sits down with the kids.

'I’m sure its cos yummy mummy Anna Acton is so lush. I’m not jealous tho, its funny to see him perk up whenever she comes on screen.  'Anyone else becoming a Topsy and Tim widow?'


Oprah, Obama and the Racism Dodge

Jonah Goldberg

In Britain to promote her film "The Butler," Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC last week. Not surprisingly, she promoted her movie about race relations in the White House with comments about race relations and the White House.

The BBC's Will Gompertz asked: "Has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he's faced and some of the reporting he's received is because he's an African-American?"

Now there's a fresh take.

Either Gompertz has been handcuffed to a radiator in someone's windowless basement for the last five years or, more likely, he was riffing off the suggested questions Winfrey's PR team handed out to interviewers. Neither explanation would lift the stench of staleness from the question -- or the answer.

Winfrey responded: "Has it ever crossed my mind? ... Probably it's crossed my mind more times than it's crossed your mind. Just the level of disrespect. When the senator yelled out, 'You're a liar' -- remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he's African-American."

Now it's true that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) should not have shouted "You lie!" (whether or not it was a lie) at the president during his health-care address to Congress. But the evidence that Wilson was motivated by racism is simply nonexistent.

However, a lack of evidence hasn't stopped countless liberals, editorial boards, pundits and stand-up comics, not to mention administration officials, from propagating the idea that Obama's problems boil down to the irrational bigotry of his opponents.

Looking for examples of this relentless smear is like hunting for sand at the beach. In July, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the NAACP that the same people who opposed the Civil Rights Act and anti-lynching laws were opposing Obamacare. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) made similar arguments. And from what I can tell, so has virtually every host on MSNBC (except for Joe Scarborough). In one way or another they subscribe to Chris Matthews' view that opposition to Obama and Obamacare is driven by faith in white supremacy.

It's all very stupid and lazy. When President Clinton tried to transform health care in the 1990s, conservatives opposed the effort hammer and tongs. But when they mount the same battle with an even more liberal president who happens to be black, the only logical conclusion is that racism is afoot. George W. Bush is pretty white, and he was shown ample disrespect. You can look it up.

This is not to say there aren't racists -- even in the GOP -- who don't like the president and his agenda. It's just that you don't need to leap to racism to understand the criticisms of Obama and his agenda. If the man were white, the argument about Obamacare wouldn't change one iota, at least not for conservatives.

For liberals, it's not so clear. Since Democrats steamrolled the Affordable Care Act into law, its defenders have acted as if any opposition to the law is irrational, extremist, absurd and, of course, racist. They gave themselves license to dismiss all inconvenient facts simply by impugning the motives of those who point them out.

Just days before HealthCare.gov crashed on takeoff, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has often suggested that the president's opponents are bigots, railed on the Senate floor: "Obamacare has been the law for four years. Why don't they get a life and talk about something else?"

"We are going to accept nothing that relates to Obamacare," he added. "Let them find something else to be weird about."

In recent polls, 58 percent of Americans have a negative view of the health-care law, 54 percent disapprove of Obama and 50 percent think he isn't honest or trustworthy. Are they all racists and weirdos?

Winfrey, a billionaire twice over thanks in no small part to her popularity among whites, told the BBC that the older generation of bigots may "just have to die" before America can get past racism. In 2012, 60 percent of voters under 30 voted for Obama. Now more than half view him negatively. I hope Winfrey doesn't think they need to die too.


Arrogant Swedish social services

Swedish police used stun grenades to subdue a mother who refused to hand over her five-month-old son.

The 30-year-old woman had armed herself with a knife when police entered her flat in Helsingborg, southern Sweden to aid social services with taking the child into care.

She locked herself in a room with the baby boy and, after several hours of negotiation police judged her a threat to the child and called for backup.

The incident took place earlier this month when social services in Helsingborg requested police presence when removing the child from the woman’s care.

The five-month-old boy is the third child to be taken from the woman, who has been in and out of employment for several years.

When social services ruled that her baby should also be taken into care she made serious threats to staff and refused to cooperate, and as a result, police were called in to help remove the child from her.

The initial police force had kicked a hole through the door to communicate with the distressed mother, but she refused to let go of her son.

When a squad team arrived at the scene, they decided to use stun grenades to subdue the woman.

The grenades, also known as flash grenades, go off at up to 180 decibels temporarily paralysing the person they are fired at.

The child was hospitalised and the woman was taken to a psychiatric clinic.

Her legal representative claims police used unnecessary force.  'It is very strange that police use stun grenades on a petite woman who just tried to defend her child.

'She judged the actions of the police to be unfair and feels she was facing an impossible power,’ lawyer Charlotte Lagersten told Dagens Nyheter.

When her two older children were taken from her, a psychiatrist noted that they both ‘seemed safe and well cared for’ and had a ‘warm and caring relationship’ with their mother.

When it was ruled that her new-born should also be removed from her care, a psychologist who met with them wrote that the boy showed ‘an attachment to his mother which is rare to see today.’

‘I am extremely critical to how the woman and her children have been treated,’ Ms Lagersten adds.

‘Social Services have chosen not to divulge any of the investigation or papers which have proven the woman’s ability to care for her children.

‘They have also completely disregarded the fact that the children at the time of going into care were physicially and mentally well.

‘In short, there are no legal grounds for taking them into care.’

The woman, who left psychiatric care on Thursda, has previously applied to have her other two children returned from foster care, but she has not been allowed to see them for 18 months.



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

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

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


22 November, 2013

Major retailer ditches political correctness, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ this year

The American Family Association has made it its mission for nearly eight years to coordinate a major grassroots email campaign targeting retailers that replaced “Merry Christmas” messages with the politically correct “Happy Holidays.” But this year, the group is claiming a major victory.

Bill Chandler, Gap Inc.’s vice-president for global corporate affairs, sent a personal letter to the association announcing its policy has changed this year for Gap and Old Navy stores:

As we near the holiday season I want to update you on how Gap, Inc.’s family of brands will celebrate the Christmas season. As a global retailer, we embrace the diversity of our customers and respect a variety of traditions and faith during the holidays, including Christmas.

Starting today, every Gap Outlet window will have signs that say “Merry Christmas” along with Christmas trees and wreaths throughout their stores.

Chandler said in the letter that a “special Christmas-themed event” was being planned for all of its Old Navy stores in mid-December, adding that the stores’ websites will also include “Christmas-related products.”

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon said in an email to supporters that:

"eight years ago, nearly 80 percent of retailers abandoned Christmas for a non-offensive, generic holiday approach. The group attributes some retailers’ turnaround to the grassroots pressure the assocation’s supports have put on companies waging a “war on Christmas.”

“AFA began working with GAP Inc. about five years ago when it adamantly refused to use the term ‘Christmas’ in any of its seasonal advertising,” Wildmon said in the email. “For that reason, AFA asked you to boycott Gap stores during the Christmas shopping season last year. Your efforts have paid off.”


A Very Dangerous Game

Thomas Sowell

New York City police authorities are investigating a series of unprovoked physical attacks in public places on people who are Jewish, in the form of what is called "the knockout game."

The way the game is played, one of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by. Often some other member of the group records the event, so that a video of that "achievement" is put on the Internet, to be celebrated.

The New York authorities describe a recent series of such attacks and, because Jews have been singled out in these attacks, are considering prosecuting these assaults as "hate crimes."

Many aspects of these crimes are extremely painful to think about, including the fact that responsible authorities in New York seem to have been caught by surprise, even though this "knockout game" has been played for years by young black gangs in other cities and other states, against people besides Jews -- the victims being either whites in general or people of Asian ancestry.

Attacks of this sort have been rampant in St. Louis. But they have also occurred in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and elsewhere. In Illinois the game has often been called "Polar Bear Hunting" by the young thugs, presumably because the targets are white.

The main reason for many people's surprise is that the mainstream media have usually suppressed news about the "knockout game" or about other and larger forms of similar orchestrated racial violence in dozens of cities in every region of the country. Sometimes the attacks are reported, but only as isolated attacks by unspecified "teens" or "young people" against unspecified victims, without any reference to the racial makeup of the attackers or the victims -- and with no mention of racial epithets by the young hoodlums exulting in their own "achievement."

Despite such pious phrases as "troubled youths," the attackers are often in a merry, festive mood. In a sustained mass attack in Milwaukee, going far beyond the dimensions of a passing "knockout game," the attackers were laughing and eating chips, as if it were a picnic. One of them observed casually, "white girl bleed a lot."

That phrase -- "White Girl Bleed A Lot" -- is also the title of a book by Colin Flaherty, which documents both the racial attacks across the nation and the media attempts to cover them up, as well as the local political and police officials who try to say that race had nothing to do with these attacks.

Chapter 2 of the 2013 edition is titled, "The Knockout Game, St. Louis Style." So this is nothing new, however new it may be to some in New York, thanks to the media's political correctness.

Nor is this game just a passing prank. People have been beaten unconscious, both in this game and in the wider orchestrated racial attacks. Some of these victims have been permanently disabled and some have died from their injuries.

But most of the media see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. In such an atmosphere, the evil not only persists but grows.

Some in the media, as well as in politics, may think that they are trying to avoid provoking a race war by ignoring or playing down these attacks. But the way to prevent a race war is by stopping these attacks, not trying to sanitize them.

If these attacks continue, and continue to grow, more and more people are going to know about them, regardless of the media or the politicians. Responsible people of all races need to support a crackdown on these attacks, which can provoke a white backlash that can escalate into a race war. But political expediency leads in the opposite direction.

What is politically expedient is to do what Attorney General Eric Holder is doing -- launch campaigns against schools that discipline a "disproportionate" number of black male students. New York City's newly elected liberal mayor is expected to put a stop to police "stop and frisk" policies that have reduced the murder rate to one-fourth of what it was under liberal mayors of the past.

Apparently political correctness trumps human lives.

Providing cover for hoodlums is a disservice to everybody, including members of every race, and even the hoodlums themselves. Better that they should be suppressed and punished now, rather than continue on a path that is likely to lead to prison, or even to the execution chamber.


Revisiting American and Global Culture Wars

George Will recently wrote a column about "When liberals became scolds." He was certainly right about that, when considering such liberals as Amy Goodman and Media Benjamin (the notorious Code Pink). I have never heard either of these women say anything positive about our country. If one were to ask them, I am certain that they would say that they love this country so much that they want it to be better than it is.  They seem to think of all their carping as loyal opposition.

Will was actually tracing the origin of this carping to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Nobody wanted to think that a stupid sad sack such as Oswald could have single-handedly changed the course of history. It just didn't feel right. To the Liberals, it seemed unlikely that any true liberal would want to kill this popular president. It had to be a much larger conspiracy, one in which the evil right-wingers in Texas had detested this president and publicly said so were behind this assassination. And these right-wingers could not believe that Oswald was not an agent of the Soviet Union itself. Because of the incredibility of this assassination, conspiracy theories were much easier to swallow.

With this assassination, any pretense of a consensus society largely bit the dust. Replacing consensus was a culture of resentment. Young people resented their elders ("trust nobody over 30").  Women resented their second-class status (Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex). Black and Brown citizens resented their second class status also, especially since they had fought so bravely in World War II and believed that their standing as citizens should be a given. Homosexuals resented the closet they were living in because of laws that put them there. This was the cultural revolt of the left.

The assassination also pushed conservatives into a defensive mode. They believed that American values were under threat by some very foreign ideas. For women to be first class citizens, they needed control over their fertility and access to all careers and administrative positions. However, the former values of women as wives, mothers, and nurturers were being threatened by this sort of feminist equality. The conservatives were right that the older values were threatened, but like King Canute, they tried to hold back the tide. Diehards, moreover, were prepared to resort to violence to prevent abortion and in some cases birth control (clasp a quarter with your knees instead).

The youth revolt that seemed so sweet and charming at first (look what the young people are doing!) soon became more sinister. Out of it came terrorism in the name of ideology (Black Panthers) and an irresponsible sexuality along with drug use that gave medics the nightmare of diseases that had not been seen since Chaucer's time. Sexual license, it seems, neither makes young men nor young women happy. And the vulgarization of language and public behavior in our society is their contribution too.

Behind most of the societal conflicts, not only in the US but also around the world, has to do with social values, especially the value of tolerance. Tolerance is not the same thing as endorsement, which neither side understands today. We see these struggles primarily in the Muslim world, centered around the status of women and family. Militant Muslims are willing to kill rather than permit women equality.

This is why a militant thug saw fit to try to assassinate a teen-age girl who spoke up about wanting to go to school.  The cultural attitude toward women as property rather than human beings is behind the rampant crime of honor killing "disobedient" girls, happening wherever Muslims are living around the world today. Muslim-majority governments say nothing, but we must care and prosecute these killers.

The culture wars will continue because these values are so important to the participants. The only thing that will end culture wars is genuine, common-core education. Freedom requires responsibility and a certain level of tolerance. This is the opposite of ideological (or religious) certainty that only one way, their way, is right.


Why Did Costco Label Bible as Fiction?

What do the Bible, "The Hunger Games" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" have in common? All three are works of fiction, according to the booksellers at Costco.

Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach made that shocking discovery last Friday as he was shopping for a present for his wife at a Costco in Simi Valley, Calif.

“All the Bibles were labeled as fiction,” the pastor told me. “It seemed bizarre to me.”

Kaltenbach is the lead pastor at Discovery Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in southern California.

He thought there must be some sort of mistake so he scoured the shelf for other Bibles. Every copy was plastered with a sticker that read, “$14.99 Fiction.”

The pastor knew something must be amiss so he set off in search of a Costco employee hoping for an answer. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find anyone willing to answer his question (which is not all that surprising if you’ve shopped at Costco).

Since no one in the store was willing to offer assistance, the good shepherd of Discovery Church snapped a photograph of the Bible and tweeted it to his flock.

“People are pretty shocked and upset,” he told me. “We are supposed to be living in an era of tolerance, but what Costco did doesn’t seem too tolerant.”

I doubt they would label the Koran as fiction, Pastor Kaltenbach said. Heaven help us if they did.

“If they don’t believe in the Bible, that’s fine – but at least label it as ‘religion’ as some bookstores do, or ‘inspiration’,” he said.

So does the warehouse store that sells laundry detergent by the gallon have a problem with the Word of God?

I called Costco headquarters in Issaquah, Wash. hoping to get answers. The nice lady who answered the phone told me she was aware of the issue and chalked it up to a “human error at a warehouse.”

“It’s all fixed,” she said.

But actually, it’s not fixed – because there’s a boatload of Bibles in the Simi Valley store still marked as fiction.

At that point, the nice lady on the phone became not-so-nice and promptly informed me that Costco doesn’t talk to the press.

“Nothing to report,” she said curtly.

With all due respect, perhaps they should leave the reporting to the professionals and we’ll leave the bulk purchases of toilet paper to Costco.

Pastor Kaltenbach said he’s not one to speak out on such slights, but seeing the Good Book labeled as fiction was bit too much to take.

“On the one hand Christians should not yell out ‘persecution’,” he said. “We aren’t living in Iraq or Iran. But on the other hand, I believe that we do need to stand up for our faith and we need to be vocal about our concerns.”
That’s a message that resonates with pastor and author Robert Jeffress.

“Let’s hope Costco’s explanation is true and not the result of having been caught attempting to marginalize the very foundation of Christian beliefs, the Bible,” Pastor Jeffress told me. “Christians need to call out organizations like Costco whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”

Steven Smith, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the fiction label identifies the thinking of the labeler more than the content of the book.

“To label the Bible fiction is a practical front for an ideological foundation that assumes things spiritual are unreal,” he told me. “What is odd about this choice is the glut of books in the "religion and spirituality" sections in mainstream book stores. However, as large as "spirituality" sections are, there must not be any room for Christianity. Modern thinking on spirituality is too exclusive to allow for the Bible.”

Of course, this entire episode could have been cleared up had a Costco employee simply answered Pastor Kaltenbach’s question.

And that’s the Gospel Truth.



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

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

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


21 November, 2013

How violent crimes 'are made to vanish like a puff of smoke': Police chiefs tell MPs that stats are routinely fiddled

British crime statistics have long rivalled Stalin's production statistics for mendacity but we are beginning to get admissions of it

Crime figures are routinely massaged by police desperate to show that they are making the streets safer, it was claimed yesterday.

Serious offences including rape, child sex abuse, robberies and burglary are disappearing in a ‘puff of smoke’, MPs were told.

Police are accused of downgrading crimes to less serious offences and even erasing them altogether by labelling them as accidents or errors.

One police analyst claimed that hundreds of burglaries ‘disappeared’ in a matter of weeks at the Met after managers intervened.

The claims were made at a hearing of Parliament’s Public Administration Committee.

Chairman Bernard Jenkin said he was ‘shocked’ by the evidence. ‘What we have heard is how there is a system of incentives in the police that has become inherently corrupting,’ he said.

Officers claim they are under pressure to record crimes as less controversial offences or even no crime at all.

Pc James Patrick, who analyses crime figures for the Met, said he found robberies being logged as ‘theft snatch’ in order to get them ‘off the books’.

The officer, who faces disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct after writing a blog about the impact of police reform, said burglary figures were also changed.  ‘Burglary is an area where crimes are downgraded or moved into other brackets, such as criminal damage for attempted burglaries,’ he said.

Pc Patrick said an internal audit found that ‘as many as 300 burglaries’ vanished from official figures in just a few weeks.

‘Things were being reported as burglaries and you would then re-run the same report after there had been a human intervention, a management intervention, and these burglaries effectively disappeared in a puff of smoke,’ he said.

He claimed that in 80 per cent  of cases where an allegation of a serious sexual offence had been recorded as ‘no crime’, the label was incorrect.

Pc Patrick also said numerous other cases were incorrectly recorded as ‘crime-related incidents’, a category covering allegations made by third parties but not directly confirmed by the supposed victims.

He said pressure was put on victims to drop crimes by ‘attacking the allegation’ instead of investigating the crime.

He was supported by Peter Barron, a former Detective Chief Superintendent at the Met, who said victims are ‘harassed’ into scaling down the seriousness of incidents.

They would be telephoned and repeatedly questioned on the circumstances of the crime.  ‘Victims were putting the phone down in disgust, harassed by another call from someone trying to persuade them that they were mistaken about the level of force used,’ he added.

Mr Barron said the Met had been set a target of reducing crimes in several priority areas by 20 per cent. ‘That translates into “record 20 per cent fewer crimes” as far as senior officers are concerned,’ he said.

The Met said it has appointed a ‘force crime registrar’ to rule on disputed crimes and to ensure the correct policies are followed.


Labour and its 'ethical' bank are as morally bankrupt as each other

The praise could hardly have been more lavish, the tribute more generous.

In an address to the Co-operative Bank in July 2012, the Labour leader Ed Miliband hailed the organisation as a shining example to the rest of the financial sector because it had ‘always understood that the ethics of responsibility, co-operation and stewardship must be at the heart of what you do’.

How laughable those words sound today, as the Co-op finds itself embroiled in scandal and crisis.

Already weighed down by a £1.5?billion black hole in its finances, the bank is struggling to cope with revelations that its former chairman, Methodist minister Paul Flowers, is a serial drug user.

His depraved behaviour makes a mockery of the Co-op’s self-righteous cant about its high moral standards.

Having allowed someone so plainly unbalanced and incompetent to take the helm, the bank is exposed as just as big a hypocrite as the cocaine-snorting reverend himself.

But this latest episode is not just a disaster for the Co-operative Bank. It is also a massive blow to the Labour Party, which for decades has had an intensely symbiotic relationship with the Co-op movement.

The link is one of mutual dependency, and is reflected in Labour’s finances, structure and ideology. The truth is Miliband’s party is effectively bank-rolled by the Co-op on an epic scale, while the Co-op movement gains political influence at the heart of Westminster.

This relationship explains why Paul Flowers was able to become the bank’s chairman.

Here was a man with absolutely no financial experience — beyond working at NatWest for four years in his late teens and early 20s in the Sixties — and, we now learn, a prodigious appetite for drugs.

Yet he was also a well-connected, long-serving Labour councillor, having been elected first in Rochdale and then sitting for ten years on Bradford City Council.

In the Co-operative movement, Flowers’ political affiliations counted for more than any banking expertise.

Miliband appointed him to Labour’s finance and industry group in 2010. Last year, the Labour leader even held private talks with Flowers at his office in the Commons.

It is the same flawed politics and association with Labour that has landed the bank in its current mess.

A major part of the Co-op’s vast indebtedness has been caused by its merger in 2009 with the ailing Britannia Building Society, a move that was strongly pushed by Labour Cabinet minister Ed Balls, who just happens to be a leading figure in the Co-operative movement.

His role in the catastrophic Britannia deal was outlined by Flowers, who said Balls was ‘particularly supportive of us, talking to us and encouraging us’. In fact, before the current crisis, Balls liked to boast he had helped to create ‘Britain’s first ever super-mutual’.

But Balls can hardly be considered an impartial figure where the Co-op’s activities are concerned, given that he receives no less than £50,000 a year from the Co-operative Group to run his office as Shadow Chancellor.

In evidence to MPs earlier this month, Flowers said he had helped oversee a £100,000 donation to Balls, who he described as a ‘political friend’.

Balls, who has always delighted in bashing greedy bankers, has been conspicuously quiet over the Co-op’s crisis. He is one of 32 Labour MPs who are members of the Co-operative Party, which is effectively the political arm of the Co-operative retail, financial and wholesale movement.

Other senior Labour MPs in the Co-op Party include former education spokesman Stephen Twigg, Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie, Shadow Public Health minister Luciana Berger and former energy spokesman Meg Hillier, while the umbrella Co-operative Group donated £800,000 to the party in 2012.

Labour’s very existence is yet another indicator of the umbilical link it has with the Co-operative movement. The Co-op Party was founded in 1917 to promote the progressive ideals of co-operation and mutual responsibility, which had famously been set out in 1844 by pioneers in Rochdale when they created the world’s first co-operative shop.

But the Co-op party soon felt it was counterproductive to run against Labour, given their shared outlook, so in 1928 the two entities formed an official alliance, whereby Co-operative candidates would run under the Labour banner and any Co-operative Party member seeking office was obliged to join Labour.

Today, in addition to the Labour phalanx in the Commons, the Co-operative Party has 18 peers, five members of the Scottish Parliament, nine members of the London Assembly and more than 350 local councillors.

There are also 16 Labour-dominated local authorities that form the Co-operative Councils network, while the current head of the International Co-operative Alliance is Dame Pauline Green, a former leader of the Labour Party in the European Parliament at Brussels.

Little wonder that Pete Jeffreys, the campaigns officer for the Co-op Party, declared recently: ‘It is Labour that has consistently stood behind the Co-operative movement.’

It is no exaggeration to say that Labour would have had to declare for bankruptcy without the unending generosity of the Co-op. Over the past two decades it is estimated to have given Labour loans worth no less than £34 million, while a generous overdraft facility has been eagerly exploited.

In 2006, it was reported that Labour’s overdraft had reached an astonishing £11 million, and the party’s chronic indebtedness to the Co-operative lingers to this day.

In 1999, Labour took out two loans from the Co-op worth £3.86 million, secured on its party headquarters, yet 14 years later only £189,000 of this has been repaid. Throughout these years of improvidence, what has also kept Labour afloat has been the exceptionally generous interest rates charged by the Co-operative to the party, often just 2 per cent over the bank’s base rate.

As one insider put it: ‘We know the deals in the late Nineties were not normal. The party and the bank appeared extremely close and there seemed to be an understanding that the Co-op would underwrite the 2001 election at almost any cost.’

The financial backing works in other ways, too.

Every time a Labour member takes out a new Co-operative credit card, the party receives £15 for its campaign funds. More than £2 million has been raised for Labour in this way.

The Co-operative Bank also has a 26.66 per cent stake in the Unity Trust bank, which organises the finances of many leading trades unions.  Founded in 1984, the Unity Trust had as its first chairman Lewis Lee, the general manager of the Co-operative Bank.

Until recently, the Co-operative Bank was just as big in local government, with Labour councils heavily dependent on its services.

In fact, the Co-op had 35 per cent of the municipal market, running accounts for around 160 local authorities. But thanks to its current crisis, it has been forced to announce it is pulling out of this sector to concentrate on wealth-generating businesses.

The hollowness of Labour’s principles was exposed in office, and the same absence of morality envelopes its sister organisation, the Co-operative movement.

All the fashionable progressive gloss about fair trade, equality and social responsibility cannot disguise how badly the bank has let down customers and staff as a result of its appalling management. This not only exposes its so-called ethical standards as a sham, but is expected to lead to the closure of around 50 branches and the loss of up to 1,000 jobs.

The Labour Party and the Co-op waxed lyrical about their commitment to prosperity and stability, but through their spectacular mismanagement, they have left only a trail of disillusion and debt.


Marketplace Changes Have Made ENDA Superfluous

Jeff Jacoby

APPLE CEO Tim Cook, writing recently in The Wall Street Journal, urged Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would make it illegal under federal law for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Prejudice, Cook insisted, is bad for business. Indeed it is — as defenders of free markets have pointed out for years, irrational discrimination tends to reduce an employer's profits. Far from strengthening the case for a new federal law, however, it seems to me that Cook's observation cuts the other way.

Thanks to the changes already produced by the marketplace, a significant addition to the Civil Rights Act is superfluous. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the influential gay-rights organization and a prominent supporter of ENDA, nearly 90 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have explicitly banned employment discrimination against gays and lesbians. As of April, only about 60 companies on Fortune's list had not yet formally adopted such policies, and very few have actually voted against doing so.

Whether motivated by ethical conviction, an unwillingness to alienate customers, or simply a decision to formalize workplace norms they were already adhering to anyway, American businesses have overwhelmingly integrated nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation into the way they do business. When it released its Corporate Equality Index for 2013, the Human Rights Campaign proudly noted that many companies, "ready and eager to do the right thing," hadn't waited for lawmakers or politicians to lead the way. "Businesses have laid a foundation of workplace equality the likes of which no previous generation of employees and job-seekers has ever seen." In fact, it exulted, the number of firms achieving a 100 percent rating on its "LGBT equality" scorecard had soared — despite the fact that the criteria were the most stringent in the group's history.

Clearly there has been a sea change in the way Americans have come to think about employment discrimination against gays and lesbians. It would be surprising if that change weren't reflected on payday — and sure enough, that's what the data show. Economists Geoffrey Clarke and Purvi Sevak, in a study just published in the journal Economic Letters, note that gay men in the 1980s and early 1990s had less earning power than straight men of comparable age, race, and education. By the mid-1990s that "gay wage penalty" had disappeared; in the years since 2000 it has turned into a wage premium. As far back as 2002, for example, gay men were outearning their non-gay peers by 2.45 percent.

Is it logical to conclude from all this that the American workplace is so poisoned with bigotry against gays and lesbians that only a drastic change in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can end the oppression? Or would it be fairer to say that the vast majority of American workers have no desire to see colleagues hired or fired because of their sexual orientation — and that the vast majority of US companies have no interest in letting sexual orientation become an issue? For years opinion surveys have documented near-universal support for gay rights in the workplace. The market is doing what markets have always sought to do: break down unreasonable discrimination by making it unhealthy for a business's bottom line.

New federal laws should be a last resort, when there is no other means of solving an urgent national problem. In a country of 300 million people, there will always be occasional incidents of bigotry and unfairness directed at people where they work, but plainly there is no urgent crisis in the treatment of gay and lesbian employees that Congress alone can fix. As it is, 21 states and nearly 200 cities and counties have followed the market's lead and enacted legislation barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Washington has more than enough on its plate. It doesn't need to add yet another protected category to the list of groups legally protected from private discrimination. That will only make federal cases out of even more disputes.

ENDA's supporters, such as Apple's Tim Cook, can't point to a worsening nightmare of anti-gay employment discrimination. There is no such nightmare, and there is not the least desire to impose one. Passing a federal law would be a powerful symbol, no question — but there are better places for symbolism than the statute books. Especially when it was markets, not statutes, that took care of this problem.


Some sustained feminist arrogance from Australia

The sustained feminist diatribe by  Clem Bastow below purports to review a piece of market reseach.  What one looks for in such a review is at least a summary of what the research says.  But we don't get that here.  All we get is a few sentences held up here and there for ridicule.  No attempt to bring evidence to bear on anything the author disagrees with is made.  The proposition that men watch what they say in front of women is such a tradition that I would have thought it unquestionable but our femiminst writer simply dismisses it as absurd.  That rather shows how little she knows about men  -- not surprising, I guess.  The article amounts to nothing much more than a torrent of sneering denigration of men.  The degree of insecurity that makes such defensivenes necessary can only be imagined.  The lady is sick with hate. Too much feminist writing is of that ilk and that does tend to explain why many capable women refuse to call themselves feminists

If you’ve spent much time online or in the public sphere - or, for that matter, simply existing in the world in general - you might have been under the impression that men don’t feel particularly hobbled when it comes to speaking their minds.

Not so, if the release of The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper is any indication. It has been prepared by advertising/marketing behemoth M&C Saatchi Australia’s senior strategist Carolyn Managh, who apparently lives in an alternate universe, if her quotes in the press release are to be believed: “The White Paper steps around the female minefield that stops academics, politicians and everyday men from saying what they really think, this research says what every man is thinking.”

(At the risk of sounding like a Carry On film, I don’t think my female minefield has ever stopped everyday men from saying what they really think, at least if you take the comments section on any Daily Life piece as evidence.)

The paper - written after eight months of interviews with 140 Australian men aged 27 to 55, which is, despite the paper’s “unprecedented” and “landmark” claims, not really an immense sample group - trumpets that Australian men are “so conditioned to being told they’re wrong, they’ve developed gender issue laryngitis”.

The irony of the phrase “gender issue laryngitis” being raised at the 10th annual Men’s & Father’s Roundtable, on International Men’s Day (funny, I thought that was the other 364 days of the year aside from March 8th, a ho ho ho), is not lost on me. Nonetheless, I persevered and read The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper.

By the time I reached the page - and all of them are impeccably designed - featuring a pull-quote from Richard Wilkins that bellows, in huge type, “Women fall in love with the way you are, then try to change you”, followed on the next page by an inexplicable photo of G.I. Joe dolls, I had a pretty good idea of what I was dealing with. To wit: absolute twaddle.

The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper comes off like an effort from The Gruen Transfer’s ‘The Pitch’ segment, however unlike ads convincing Australians to invade New Zealand, it does not appear to be a joke.

I was not alone in this reaction. “I initially thought it might have been written by the Chaser team. Or Alan Jones,” Men’s Referral Service and No To Violence CEO Danny Blay told me. “It attempts to describe all men as a singular type, [but] ignores the impact of traditional masculinity on violence against women, violent crime, criminal activity, sexual harassment, sexual assault, porn, child protection notifications, the prison population, road trauma…”

Indeed, the terrible irony of tone-deaf stunts like The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper - announced as it was with an email blast bearing the subject header “Not All Men Are Bastards” - is that they cloak what is essentially market research in a flimsy patina of social science, attempting to fool the reader into thinking they are dealing with a serious research paper and/or genuine concern about the emotional status of Australian men.

That seems to be what has happened to Julia Keady, who writes, inspired by the white paper, “What I won't stand for is the advancement of one gender at the sacrifice of another”, and it’s that misguided stance (to say nothing of “gender issue laryngitis”, a phrase that made me hoot with laughter) that has, presumably, fuelled the paper’s creation, or at least its cod-scientific tone.

Keady also reckons “men's wellbeing and safety is not part of this nation's gender conversation” (I guess the roaring success of Movember is just a blip on the gender conversation radar), a claim that might hold some weight in the context of the white paper were it not for the fact that the study’s “key findings” include pressing issues like “[Australian men are] traumatised about buying women presents”.

Makes you think of the old Margaret Atwood line about men being “afraid women will laugh at them [...] We're afraid of being killed”, doesn’t it? But, you know, NOT ALL MEN ARE BASTARDS!

“Complaining that not all men are bastards is a blatant attempt to tell women to shut up; ‘it’s not all bad, deal with it’,” Blay says. “The white paper makes no mention of the physical, historical or social context of men’s power over women (and children – see recent investigations of institutional sexual abuse of children – not a lot of women implicated there) and negates the reality of the inherent unequal power imbalance based solely on gender.”

The paper’s conclusion bleats (in a font size that Superman would struggle to leap in a single bound), “The results of The Modern (Aussie) Man study were ASTOUNDING [...] Men miss being treated like men. Real manly men.” Really? “Astounding”? You interviewed 140 men and collated their responses in a “paper” that is essentially a 61-page version of such storied bits of wisdom as “you have to eat meat to feed meat” and “I’m not a poof or nothing”?

When the presser includes gems like “The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper goes where few have dared to go; opening the gender conversation from men’s perspective, at a deeply personal level”, I can only think about how great a slice of the last, say, two thousand years worth of conversation has been from men’s perspective.

Nobody is here to deny the very real trauma of male suicide rates, depression, rape within the prison system (not to mention the prison industrial complex), workplace safety, alcohol-fuelled violence or war - issues that all but the most radical throwback feminists would agree are pressing.

Suggesting that there’s a “female minefield” that prevents men from speaking their minds, on the other hand, makes me wonder if whoever prints the calendars accidentally switched International Men’s Day with April 1st for 2013.

The Modern (Aussie) Man crew have really saved the best ‘til last, however. Despite great fanfare accompanying the release of the white paper, there’s nothing remotely scientific about it. And that’s because (if the presence of M&C Saatchi didn’t clue you in from the very beginning) you have to read all 61 pages to get to the truth: the final line, “M&C Saatchi hopes this study is the first step to bringing brands and men closer together.”

Who knew? “Opening the gender conversation from men’s perspective, at a deeply personal level” was just another way to say “Buy more Lynx and sick V8s.”



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

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

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


20 November, 2013

Anti-Semitism Now Mainstream in France

Was it ever otherwise in France?

A few weeks ago, when French Jewish actor Elie Semoun was a prime-time guest on one of the main French television channels, Canal Plus, the words of Sebastian Thoen, a standup comedian who introduced him may have been meant to be to be laudatory, but took quite a different turn: "You never plunged into communitarianism [Jewish activism] ... You could have posted yourself in the street selling jeans and diamonds from the back of a minivan, saying 'Israel is always right, f*** Palestine, wallala.' You show that it is possible to be of the Jewish faith without being completely disgusting."

Semoun was obviously ill-at-ease, but did not react. A couple hours after the show, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) issued a statement denouncing a "dangerous trivialization of anti-Semitism." The President of the TV channel responded by saying that the Jewish community had "no sense of humor." The incident occurred, however, in a context where the French Jewish community has no reason to have a sense of humor.

At the end of 2012, Jewish France was republished. The book is a tirade of extreme anti-Semitism, originally published in 1886 by the author Edouard Drumont, and reprinted repeatedly until after World War II and the fall of the Vichy regime.

The publishing company sent a press release for the latest book launch: "A classic of French literature is finally available again." When Jewish organizations protested, articles in Le Monde and Le Figaro (the two leading French daily newspapers) said that Jewish organizations had "overreacted." The publishing company that reprinted Jewish France issued or reissued other books at the same time, such as The International Jew by Henry Ford; The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed, the first anti-Semitic writer to deny Hitler's extermination of the Jews, and an Anthology of Writings Against Jews, Judaism and Zionism, including excerpts from the most libelous anti-Semitic writings of the last two centuries. These books are now available at all the most popular French bookstores. Thousands of copies of each have been sold. The CEO of the publishing company Kontre Kulture [Counterculture, with a play on words] is a famous French anti-Semitic writer, Alain Soral; his last book, Understanding Empire, purports to explain the "Jewish hold" on the world; it has been on French bestsellers lists for more than two years.

In recent months, an openly anti-Semitic black comedian, Dieudonné, presented a series of shows in the main cities of France and Belgium before large and enthusiastic audiences. One of his greatest hits is a song ridiculing the Holocaust and the "chosen people" : Shoah-Ananas (Holocaust-Pineapple). He popularized a gesture of greeting which he dubbed "quenelle" (a French dumpling), which echoes the Nazi salute. The "quenelle" salute consists of extending the right arm and straightening the hand, but the arm is lowered, and not raised at eye level. "Quenelle" is now used by many young people all over the country when they want to show what they think of Jews and Israel. Recently, pictures of French soldiers stationed outside a Paris synagogue and welcoming visitors with "quenelles" were published on several websites: a military investigation is now under way. The French Minister of Defense said that one should not attach "great importance" to what happened.

At the end of June, a documentary film, Oligarchy and Zionism, was supposed to be released nationwide. The movie poster, with a likeness to editorial cartoons from Nazi magazines at the time of the Third Reich, should have aroused suspicion: it showed a Jew turned into a spider crushing the planet with his crooked legs. The Jew wore a black jacket with the Star of David and the initials of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] on his shoulders.

The film itself uses all the themes of "classical" anti-Semitism, with a modern twist. It is based on interviews with Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People, and Thierry Meyssan, who wrote 9/11: The Big Lie, a book explaining that the September 11 terrorist attacks were organized by the CIA and Israel's Mossad. The film's director, Beatrice Pignede, had previously made ??the film Snapping up the Memory, glorifying the Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and she participated in the Fars film festival in Tehran in 2012.

The film was announced in various mainstream magazines as an "important event." It was not released because Jewish organizations threatened to picket movie theaters. It is available, however, on many websites, and has been widely circulated. Beatrice Pignede said she was a "victim of the Jewish lobby" and that the "fate" of her film is "proof" of what she wants to denounce.

To say that the majority of the French population is anti-Semitic would be going too far. Polls show that a favorite public figure this year is popular Jewish singer Jean-Jacques Goldman. But it is clear that anti-Semitism is rapidly gaining ground in France. It is clear there is a real trivialization of anti-Semitism that goes way beyond some ugly sentences uttered by a standup comedian during a prime time TV talk show.

A few years ago, anti-Semitism in France was still hiding behind the mask of "anti-Zionism" and hostility to Israel. It is still true, but more often now, the targets are the Jews themselves, and the mask of "anti-Zionism" has fallen away.

In a recently published book, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, Manfred Gerstenfeld explains that what happens in France is happening all over Europe. "Polls show," he wrote," that well over 100 million Europeans embrace a satanic view of the State of Israel (...) This current widespread...view is obviously a new mutation of the diabolical beliefs about Jews which many held in the Middle Ages, and those more recently promoted by the Nazis and their allies."

Seven decades after Auschwitz, the oldest hatred is slowly regaining its place on the continent, and it is no laughing matter.


More Scenes from the Tolerance Brigade

Most of those pushing the hardest for homosexual marriage don’t even really want it. In fact, wherever it is legalised around the world there isn’t exactly a stampede down the aisle. It is really all about symbolism and social acceptance. All this I carefully document in my recent book, with numerous quotes from homosexual activists themselves saying just these things:

But another reason why this is being pushed so doggedly is because it is a tremendous means by which the activists can silence any and all critics. By pulling these special rights out of a hat, they can impose all sorts of obligations on the rest of society, whether they like it or not. And I have already documented hundreds of recent cases of this happening.

All over the place people who dare to resist the radical social engineers are losing their jobs, being fined, and even jailed for their recalcitrance. Let me here offer just a few more examples of this, and then cite yet another homosexual who admits that marriage is a dumb idea anyway. Check out these recent cases of the tolerance brigade in action:

“A U.S. judge is allowing a lawsuit by a Ugandan homosexual group charging an Evangelical pastor with a ‘crime against humanity.’ The American pastor is accused of violating international law for speaking against homosexuality and discussing legislation with Ugandan leaders. Scott Lively, an attorney and author, runs the Holy Grounds coffee house in Massachusetts where coffee and Bibles are free and Sunday church services minister to homeless people, drug addicts and others. In 2009, he was invited to speak at a conference in Uganda where he said the goal of the homosexual movement is ‘to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity’.”

“A husband-and-wife bakery shop team in Oregon were forced to close their shop doors and move to cheaper digs — their home — after gay-rights activists hounded them and drove away contract business because they refused for Christian reasons to bake for a same-sex wedding. Aaron and Melissa Klein own and operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa. In the past few months, they’ve faced heated scrutiny — some in the form of physical threats — from those in the gay-rights crowd who decried their May refusal to bake for a lesbian couple who wanted to marry. The Kleins cited their Christian beliefs of traditional marriage when they turned down that business gig, The Blaze reported. But the lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state, accusing the shop owners of discrimination. Since, they’ve been hounded by vicious telephone calls and emails.”

“A restaurant owner in the Eastern Ontario town of Bancroft has been forced to remove a newspaper clipping that had been on a bulletin board for over ten years because of one complaint that resulted in a Facebook campaign to organize a protest at the privately owned business. The old Toronto Star clipping featuring the words ‘God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ has been pinned to the bulletin board of the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant and Bakery for a decade, according to owners Sadie and Doug Creighton. The clipping stirred no controversy until a lesbian couple new to the community complained that they were offended by it.”

“Thou shalt not refer to homosexuality as ‘a choice’ – at least not if you ever want to work for Fox Sports. That’s the lesson announcer Craig James learned this week when he was fired from his job covering college football after just one appearance, because of remarks he made on the campaign trail during his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate back in 2011.”

“An Air Force sergeant who filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. military claiming he was fired by his lesbian commander for refusing to make a statement of support for same-sex ‘marriage’ may now face prosecution for taking his accusations public. Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk was relieved of his duties as first sergeant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in August after two separate confrontations with an openly homosexual superior officer, Major Elisa Valenzeula.”

“The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission announced that a mediated settlement has been reached between the owner of a Saskatoon bridal shop and a man who presents himself as a woman. Rohit Singh, a student from India who came to Canada in 2010, filed a complaint against Jenny’s Bridal Boutique after the owner of the shop refused to allow him access to the women’s changing room. When Singh selected a dress and wanted to try it on, shop owner Jenny Correia refused him, saying “I don’t allow men to wear dresses in my store.’ Singh retorted, ‘I’m not a man, I’m a transgender and my sex-change procedure is going on,’ according to media reports of the incident that happened on April 21. The owner believed allowing a man to try on dresses would make female customers in the shop uncomfortable.”

“Days after the Italian lower house passed the country’s ‘anti-homophobia’ law, the country’s leading homosexualist lobby group, Arcigay, appears to be testing the legal waters. Together with The Omphalos Association and Arcilesbica Perugia, Arcigay has launched a complaint, called a ‘denunzia,’ of ‘homophobia’ that they allege was committed during a religious education class at the Liceo Classico Mariotti, a university preparatory high school, in the Umbrian town of Perugia.”

“A Washington state judge has been officially reprimanded by the Judicial Conduct Commission after refusing to officiate same-sex weddings for what he said were ‘philosophical and religious reasons.’ Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor first came under scrutiny by the Commission after Washington voters approved a measure late last year authorizing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state. Immediately prior to the law’s taking effect, in a private meeting between judges and court personnel, Tabor had expressed discomfort with the idea of officiating gay nuptials. One of the attendees later leaked his comments to the press, which reported them widely.”

So, all these folks are getting into trouble for resisting the homosexual tsunami, especially the push for marriage and adoption rights. Yet as I said, most homosexuals don’t even want marriage. And every once in a while some rather honest homosexual will come out and say so. I quote many of these folks in my book, but here is another one.

This in part is how one report discusses this: “An openly homosexual columnist in Ireland has written a piece blasting his country for considering same-sex marriage, warning the state has no business reinventing the family and undermining children’s ‘right’ to a mother and father.

“Paddy Manning, writing in the Irish Daily Mirror, tells of being arrested for hitting on a male police officer, but warns the solution to persecution of homosexuals isn’t to have government carve up traditional marriage. ‘Same-sex marriage is not some warm, fluffy equality bunny; it’s a bare-faced state power grab,’ Manning writes. ‘The state gets to entirely remake marriage, not as the man/woman/child model we’ve inherited from 10,000 years of history and across all cultures, but as an anything-goes irrelevant partnership agreement between adults.’

“Manning explains same-sex unions will render marriage ‘irrelevant’ because ‘for the first time, children and parenthood [will have] no place in marriage.’ ‘Only a man and a woman have children, despite every fantasy the gender-busters want us to believe,’ Manning writes. ‘Every child has a right to that natural life. Same-sex marriage asks us to ignore reality and children’s rights to a mother and father’….

“‘People get married for their own reasons, but we have marriage because marriage has a meaning and does a vital job – not just for individuals, but for society,’ Manning writes. ‘Claiming that equality demands that men and women be as interchangeable as Lego blocks shows you don’t understand men and women, marriage or much else.’

“Manning insists marriage isn’t just about two people who ‘love’ each other, but about ‘a man and a woman committing to making and raising children.’ When the government steps in and changes that, he reasons, the children will suffer.’ ‘We can ignore reality all we want, but the outcomes for children are not the same across all family models,’ Manning insists. ‘Marriage of a man and a woman gives children the best chance. That doesn’t mean there are not great parents in other circumstances, just that the weight of evidence is stacked against them’….

“Dr John Murray of The Iona Institute added, ‘This debate is really about the value we attach to a child having a mother and a father as distinct from two fathers or two mothers. … If we redefine marriage, we will be saying as a society that these things don’t matter. We will also be saying that the sexual union of a man and a woman isn’t different in any socially significant way from that of two men or two women. Given that only the former can result in children, this is plainly untrue. Different things should be treated in different ways. This does not violate the principle of equality’.”

It sure is nice when the occasional homosexual activist comes along and spills the beans. And I am more than happy to share their words far and wide. As I say, most homosexuals do not want marriage, but many are happy to push it knowing that the heavy hand of the law can then be used against all naysayers.


A Review of 'The Diversity Illusion' by Ed West

Peter Hitchens

A number of leftist liberals have recently won quite lot of credit by noticing that mass immigration into this country has not necessarily been a good thing for everyone, especially for the poor. I think particularly of David Goodhart.  Well, all right, I’m inclined to be sarcastic about the praise they receive, but I suppose one must welcome any shift away from the ‘All critics of immigration are evil Nazis’ position. It makes it easier for us tolerant, civilised critics of immigration to distinguish ourselves from the  genuine Nazi sympathisers and apologists who unscrupulously involve themselves in these matters, and who might have been created by establishment liberals to discredit a perfectly reasonable case.

And I think we’ll find, as the election approaches, that various Labour Party figures will also begin to suggest that they, too, have begun to wonder if they did the right thing about immigration in the Blair years.  Maybe they have, maybe they just need the votes.

This has eclipsed what I regard as a valuable book by Ed West. Now, I must say here that Ed has been friendly to me, has publicly written obliging things about me and is the son of Mary Kenny, an old friend and ally of mine from many years back. No doubt I’m influenced by these things in what I’m about to say. But I do think that ‘The Diversity Illusion’ (Gibson Square £14-99 2013) is a much-neglected work, scarcely mentioned in the book review columns of Fleet Street.

My copy is scored with notes, and if I mentioned every passage in it that I thought striking or well-put,. I would end up reproducing much of the work. I would mention some quibbles, to underline the fact that I don’t endorse everything he says. He really should know that Sparkbrook is not called ‘Sparsbrook’.  And I have certain disagreements with his position. For instance, I deeply disagree with one assertion, on page 60, that ‘racism, or what anti-racists understand as racism, is a universal part of human nature’.

I simply don’t accept this. I think racial harmony is completely attainable, through the unifying force of a shared culture. The utter predominance of culture over ‘race’ is interestingly illustrated in reverse by this episode in Japan, about which I wrote  in June 2009:

‘Japan has unintentionally conducted an astonishing experiment that establishes once and for all that culture and upbringing, not blood and genes, determine where and how you fit in and who and what you are.

‘Back in 1990, Japan's rulers began to wonder how to cope with an ageing population and a falling birthrate, without destroying the country's unique culture. They needed workers to do the jobs known as the Three Ks - kitsui, kitanai, kiken, or hard, dirty and dangerous. The authorities decided to encourage immigration from Brazil, where many Japanese families had emigrated about a century before and where there are now more than a million ethnic Japanese. The idea was that, being basically Japanese, the Brazilians would fit in. IT WAS not to be. More than 300,000 came from Brazil and Peru. Many of them ended up in Hamamatsu, a neat if dreary industrial city, making TV sets and cars, two hours south of Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train.

‘There, all too many of them did not, would not, or perhaps could not, fit in. Coming from a chaotic, loud land of carnivals and exuberance, they found it difficult to belong in a place where failing to sort your rubbish into burnable and non-burnable items is a major affront to public morals, and modesty is very highly valued. Having been raised in Brazil's outgoing sunshine culture, with perhaps a few words of old-fashioned Japanese learned from grandparents with vague memories of the homeland long ago, they swiftly encountered problems over their graffiti, loud music, unruly children and generally non- Japanese behaviour. Shops, claiming that the migrants stole from them, began to sprout signs saying 'No Brazilians', which were eventually taken down after protests. But the sentiment lingers on and the experiment is coming to a sad end.

‘To me, these rather tragic people look completely Japanese. But my Japanese guide could immediately tell they were different. Even the set of their faces, formed by speaking Portuguese rather than Japanese, marked them out. So did their very different diet. Even when they spoke good Japanese, their accents instantly gave them away. Now many are on the dole, which, in Japan, means relatively generous unemployment benefit for a few months, followed by severely means-tested and regulated minimal benefits reserved for those who really cannot work - in practice, for many, nothing at all. Late in the evening in a bare and harshly lit café, in the corner of a Brazilian supermarket selling specialities from Rio and Saõ Paolo, I met Shuichi Shimomoto, who has lost his job in a TV plant and hopes to find new work before his benefits run out.

‘But what if he doesn't get another job? He wants to stay, but knows it will be difficult. 'A lot of my friends have already gone back to Brazil,' he admits. The authorities are offering £2,300 to anyone who goes back to South America, provided they stay away for three years (to begin with, the money came on condition you never came back at all but the terms have now been softened). Like all the Brazilian-Japanese I meet, he is confused by the 'soccer test', and doesn't want to say if he supports Brazil or Japan. Many also have Portuguese names as well as their Japanese ones, and are delighted when I thank them by using the Portuguese 'obrigado' instead of the Japanese 'arigato'.

‘Early the following morning, I see an even starker illustration of Japan's unembarrassed belief that to be Japanese is to have won first prize in the lottery of life, while others just have to cope as best they can. The Hamamatsu labour exchange, like all such offices in Japan, bears the jaunty name of Hello Work. But it might equally well be called Goodbye Foreigners. It has two queues - one for Japanese citizens and one for the rest. Both are alarmingly long but the non-Japanese line looks somehow more dispirited. It contains a few Koreans (another awkward minority here) but is mostly made up of Brazilians, who say their circumstances are much worse than those of Japanese citizens. After a few minutes, an official emerges from Hello Work and instructs me to stop asking questions.

‘Even the children of the Brazilians, many of them raised and educated in Japan, will find it very hard to be naturalised. They gain no rights from having been born here. Koreans who have lived here for five generations were only recently spared from forcible fingerprinting. An earlier experiment in allowing mainland Chinese to work in Japan on 'apprentice visas' resulted in unpleasant friction, with Chinese workers complaining of being singled out by the police as crime suspects. Many of the leaders of a recent anti-Japanese campaign in China were former residents in Japan. With the Japanese birth rate well behind the death rate, and a recent TV projection suggesting that in a few hundred years there will be only two people left in the country, the pressure is on to go multicultural. Or it would be if the economy had not shrivelled. As it is, there are more Japanese than jobs, and it grows worse every day.’

However, a few pages before thus, Ed West says something absolutely correct, and provides an interesting quotation to back it up.

This occurs on page 58, where West says ‘The New Left movement that emerged in the 1960s shifted the aims of Marxism from the economic to the social sphere. While European socialists were traditionally concerned with the plight of the workers, following the increased prosperity of the 1960sthe emphasis moved towards the ‘New Social Movements’, feminism, gay rights, third-world liberation struggles and the light of minorities and immigrants in the West. The African-American Civil Rights movement caused a major shift in the left, with non-whites in and outside the West replacing the workers as the agents of social revolution’.

This is dead right, and I remember, as an Oxford Townie, witnessing the transition as the university revolutionary Left , while still seeking vainly to gain support among largely apolitical industrial workers, and even more vainly to galvanise contented, dope-addled and pampered undergraduates into revolt against their conditions, began to engage in what is now called political correctness. I remember especially how they trooped up the Cowley Road to picket a small hairdressing shop which had been accused of discriminating against black women, an event which escalated rapidly into a major event, nearly rivalling the Vietnam war as an issue. 

West (who has read very widely for this book) then quotes Chris Dillow, author of ‘The End of Politics’:

‘Inspired in part by Hobsbawm’s essay ‘The Forward March of Labour Halted’ many on the Left gave up the idea of the working class as a revolutionary force, and looked instead to what they called “new social movements”, women ,blacks and gays. Allied to this was a growing lack of interest in economics, and a rise in interest in cultural theory’.

Cultural revolution, West writes,  ‘was a far more attractive idea for the middle-class radicals who comprised the bulk of the New Left. Economic radicalism is not just evidently unsuccessful, but involves financial sacrifice, and shunning wealth is often necessary for personal credibility. Political radicalism costs nothing; the benefits are to middle-class cultural revolutionaries, while the risks and costs are usually borne by people far away’.

The ‘people far away’ could be Latin American guerrillas, or American black activists, or, in these modern times, the remnant of the British working class among whom the new migrants tend to settle. Leftist radicals experience the migrants as cheap nannies and cheap waiters, not as competitors for work, housing, transport, school places,  and social services. 

If you ever wonder why old-fashioned Labour radicals, such as Tony Benn, seem to have so much more integrity and appeal than their modern successors, this may provide a clue. Benn, though far from poor, really does live a rather austere and unluxurious life, content with his pipe and his teabags. The same was true of Jack Jones who to my personal knowledge lived in a glorified council flat,  and took his holidays in a caravan in the West Country (this is why I’ve always scorned suggestions that he took Soviet money. What would he have spent it on?  If Jack was an agent of Moscow, and I strongly suspect he was an agent of influence - his wife Evelyn was undoubtedly a Comintern courier in the Stalin years - he did it because he was a revolutionary, not for pay).  Blair, by contrast, no doubt harbours every fashionable thought about every fashionable cause, but has no love for dogged old trade union leftism, and  has become a very rich man indeed through his political engagement.

There’s also this very important point(p.158) ‘The universalist idea of the nation being a collection of people with ‘similar value’ or interests is itself less liberal than the traditional nation state . Clubs made up of people sharing similar interests are voluntary associations where membership depend on like-minded views.

‘But most people do not choose their nations, any more than they choose their families, and where they do, as in the United States, the society has to exert strong pressure to integrate. England’s self-image as a land of eccentrics may be rather exaggerated, but not entirely so; that being English meant not having to conform along political, cultural and religious lines was a strength derived from its traditional homogeneity. The bond of the nation, irrational though it was, was strong enough to make people submit to the will of the common good without the need for authoritarianism.

‘Vastly diverse countries, in contrast, must force that submission on the people, whether through legislation, illiberal policing or other areas of greater state intervention’.

And of course, who better-placed to construct a ‘benevolent’ new authoritarianism than the new Left, whose belief in their own goodness authorises them to do things which they would fight if others did them?

The connection between open borders and authoritarianism is a fascinating one, which I had until recently seen as a simple practical connection. West explains why it is so much more than that, and why an increasingly diverse society is likely also to be a narrower and more repressive one.

West has a good section on the Andrew Neather affair, often mentioned here (rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity’), the one occasion on which a New Labour insider has ever lifted a tiny corner of the curtain which hides the real, revolutionary  nature of the New Labour project. He records MigrationWatch UK’s discovery of an unedited policy paper, in which it was clear that Blairite immigration policy had economic and social objectives, and that ministers knew of possible disadvantages that might arise out of immigration.

I’ll mention( leaving much undiscussed) two other small points worth considering .This first one confirmed by recent studies by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which found as many as 40% of voters considering abstention at the next election:

‘As diversity increases, democracy weakens. Faith in democracy declines when people see they cannot make a difference., and mass immigration, a policy clearly and consistently opposed by most people and yet which no mainstream politician will speak against, has shaken the public’s trust in politics. Since politicians will not listen to people’s concerns, they come to the conclusion that politics is pointless’.

As someone with serious doubts about the virtues of democracy, I might be thought to be indifferent to this. But most people believe that democracy, rather than inheritance, tradition or religion, legitimates our state. If democracy becomes obsolete too, then there will be nothing left to legitimate our state, except force.

Then there’s this sad footnote, another episode in the slow, silent disappearance of Christian Britain. The Charities Act 2006, West writes, removed from various Christian institutions (mainly but not wholly the Church of England) the presumption that they were acting charitably,  which had previously been assumed by a Christian government of a Christian country. As of that moment, 13,000 Parochial Church Councils, many of the 43 Anglican dioceses, and countless other Church-linked bodies now need to satisfy the Charity Commissioners that they are of public benefit. The purpose of this change was of course to modify the law to suit a multi-faith nation.

The book is often mordant,   (for instance , on p.149) ‘All the arguments for multiculturalism- that people feel safer, more comfortable among people of the same group, and that they need their own cultural identity – are arguments against immigration, since English people must also feel the same. If people categorised as “White Britons” are not afforded that indulgence because they are a majority, do they attain it when they become a minority?’.

It is unusual in understanding the nature of the modern left, as so very few conservatives even begin to do. Because it is written  by a child of the modern anti-racist age who has no colonial guilt, and was rightly brought up to believe that racial prejudice was a grave wickedness, is far less coy about the subject that the various liberal epiphanies on the same topic. 

Please read it. It will, at the very least, help you to think about this important subject. 


Australian Federal Government has welfare abuses in sights as eligibility tightened

HANDOUTS will be slashed and eligibility tightened as the Abbott Government eyes off welfare wastelands draining the budget of billions of dollars.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has given his strongest indication that a crackdown on welfare is coming - and in his crosshairs are the 822,000 Australians receiving the disability support pension.

Mr Andrews has begun a review of the system with government agencies and the not-for-profit sector in a bid to curb a welfare blowout. The review will help guide the extensive reforms, which could be rolled out as a matter of urgency.

Those on a disability pension - now one in 20 working-aged Australians - face being booted off the entitlement and moved on to Newstart, which is less money and requires people to more actively look for employment.

Some doctors could also be stripped of their ability to assess patients as concerns grow about some overworked or lazy medicos not properly scrutinising claims.

It comes as the Government and the Human Services Department have been tipped off about people claiming the disability pension while being involved in physical criminal activity.

Key details of the Government's 2013 disability support pension report, exclusively obtained by The Sunday Mail, shows that just in the past financial year alone, $15 billion was paid out to almost 821,738 recipients - a 22 per cent increase in 10 years (673,334).

One-third of the disability pensioners claim they cannot work full time because they severely depressed, anxious or a debilitating mental illness. While having a "bad back" was often cited as the reason for not being able to work, the greatest category of people now claim to have a psychological illness.

Fears are growing that too many recipients are getting too much money because they are on the wrong type welfare benefit because they have been able to game the system. A single disability pensioner gets a maximum of $751 plus a $61 supplement a fortnight. A single person on Newstart gets $500.

Mr Andrews told The Sunday Mail the safety net would be there for people who had a genuine a disability.

"The Coalition Government is committed to improving opportunities for Australians with a disability participate in work," Mr Andrews said.

"We are consulting with stakeholders including employers to seek their ideas on ways to improve opportunities for Australians with a disability to participate in work. "

It is likely reforms will go beyond disability payments and include a broadening of quarantined payments for areas outside indigenous Australia.

Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said doctors knew their patients well. "Doctors have got no reason to second guess their patients," Dr Hambleton said.  "Doctors aren't the policeman of the department; they are the advocate of the patient.  "GPs don't have private investigators ."

About 270,000 people are on disability pension in NSW, 200,000 in Victoria, 163,000 in Queensland, 76,000 in South Australia and 64,000 in Western Australia.

Human Services Minister Marise Payne said the Coalition is serious about tackling welfare fraud, including people wrongly claiming the Disability Support Pension (DSP) or any other payment.

"My department has sophisticated data-matching and fraud-detection systems, so if you cheat the system, chances are we will catch you," Senator Payne said.

"The DSP is only available for people with a permanent, fully diagnosed medical condition likely to last more than two years."

The former Gillard government introduced policies to get more people on the disability pension to work more hours.

The Department of Human Services received more than 55,000 tip-offs through the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line in 2012-13.

Ms Payne urged anyone who was aware of others cheating the system to call the anonymous Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 131 524.  "This information helps to make the system fairer for everyone," she said.

Fast facts about DSP

 * To be eligible for a DSP you must have a permanent, fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised medical condition likely to last more than two years without any significant improvement.

 * You also must have participated in a Program of Support (unless exempt), where trained allied health professionals tailor a program to help you find and maintain work.

 * Claimants must have a minimum score on the Impairment Tables. These tables are designed to assess impairment in relation to work. They consist of a set of tables that assign ratings in proportion to the severity or impact of the impairment on function as it relates to work performance.

Medical eligibility for DSP is assessed by experienced allied health professionals using clear guidelines to assess DSP claimants' work capacity.

 * A doctor's certificate advising the medical condition of an applicant for Disability Support Pension is just one piece of evidence that is assessed by the Department of Human Services in regards to a person's eligibility for DSP.



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

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

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


19 November, 2013

We should be humbly thanking the super-rich, not bashing them

As well as creating jobs and giving to charity, the wealthy should be hailed as Tax Heroes

By Boris Johnson

The great thing about being Mayor of London is you get to meet all sorts. It is my duty to stick up for every put-upon minority in the city – from the homeless to Irish travellers to ex-gang members to disgraced former MPs. After five years of slog, I have a fair idea where everyone is coming from.

But there is one minority that I still behold with a benign bewilderment, and that is the very, very rich. I mean people who have so much money they can fly by private jet, and who have gin palaces moored in Puerto Banus, and who give their kids McLaren supercars for their 18th birthdays and scour the pages of the FT’s “How to Spend It” magazine for jewel-encrusted Cartier collars for their dogs.

I am thinking of the type of people who never wear the same shirt twice, even though they shop in Jermyn Street, and who have other people almost everywhere to do their bidding: people to drive their cars and people to pick up their socks and people to rub their temples with eau de cologne and people to bid for the Munch etching at Christie’s.

Please don’t get me wrong. I neither resent nor disapprove of such zillionaires; quite the reverse. I just wonder, a bit, what it is like to be so stonkingly rich, and I wonder – as the rest of us have wondered down the ages – whether you can really expect to be any happier for having so much dosh.

I suspect that the answer, as Solon pointed out to Croesus, is not really, frankly; or no happier than the man with just enough to live on. If that is the case, and it really is true that having stupendous sums of money is very far from the same as being happy, then surely we should stop bashing the rich.

On the contrary, the latest data suggest that we should be offering them humble and hearty thanks. It is through their restless concupiscent energy and sheer wealth-creating dynamism that we pay for an ever-growing proportion of public services. The top one per cent of earners now pay 29.8 per cent of all the income tax and National Insurance received by the Treasury. In 1979 – when Labour had a top marginal rate of 83 per cent tax after Denis Healey had earlier vowed to squeeze the rich until the pips squeaked – the top one per cent paid only 11 per cent of income tax. Now, the top 0.1 per cent – about 29,000 people – pay an amazing 14.1 per cent of all taxes.

Nor, of course, is that the end of their contribution to the wider good. These types of people are always the first target of the charity fund-raisers, whether they are looking for a new church roof or a children’s cancer ward. These are the people who put bread on the tables of families who – if the rich didn’t invest in supercars and employ eau de cologne-dabbers – might otherwise find themselves without a breadwinner. And yet they are brow-beaten and bullied and threatened with new taxes, by everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Nick Clegg.

The rich are resented, not so much for being rich, but for getting ever richer than the middle classes – and the trouble is that the gap is growing the whole time, and especially has done over the past 20 years. It is hard to say exactly why this is, but I will hazard a guess. Of all the self-made super-rich tycoons I have met, most belong to the following three fairly exclusive categories of human being:

(1) They tend to be well above average, if not outstanding, in their powers of mathematical, scientific or at least logical reasoning. (2) They have a great deal of energy, confidence, risk-taking instinct and a desire to make money. (3) They have had the good fortune – by luck or birth – to be able to exploit these talents.

So we are talking about the intersecting set in what are already three small-ish sets of people. It is easy to see how, in an ever more efficient and globalised economy, they are able to amass ever greater fortunes.

The answer is surely not to try to stop them or curb them or punish them – but to widen those intersecting circles that they inhabit. There are kids everywhere who have a natural, if undiscovered, flair for mathematics and the mental arithmetic that business needs. They just don’t have the education to bring out that talent – which is why Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is so right to be conducting his revolution in schools.

There are loads of kids with the chutzpah to be kings of the deal, and there are plenty of businesses that could be the billion-pound companies of the future but are currently being held back – either by the weediness of the venture capital industry in this country, or else by something as simple as excessive business rates – the single biggest issue that is raised with me by London businesses.

There is no point in wasting any more moral or mental energy in being jealous of the very rich. They are no happier than anyone else; they just have more money. We shouldn’t bother ourselves about why they want all this money, or why it is nicer to have a bath with gold taps. How does it hurt me, with my 20-year-old Toyota, if somebody else has a swish Mercedes? We both get stuck in the same traffic.

We should be helping all those who can to join the ranks of the super-rich, and we should stop any bashing or moaning or preaching or bitching and simply give thanks for the prodigious sums of money that they are contributing to the tax revenues of this country, and that enable us to look after our sick and our elderly and to build roads, railways and schools.

Indeed, it is possible, as the American economist Art Laffer pointed out, that they might contribute even more if we cut their rates of tax; but it is time we recognised the heroic contribution they already make. In fact, we should stop publishing rich lists in favour of an annual list of the top 100 Tax Heroes, with automatic knighthoods for the top 10.


Why dads matter

IT may seem a little creepy but the old adage holds true: a father should be his son's first hero and his daughter's first love. In fact, the relationship with her father is the most important of her life, according to the experts. The connection with a mother's womb is clear and enduring while the father's influence is more abstract and fragile, yet crucial.

For men, playing the hero comes naturally because a father was once a boy, but the relationship with a daughter is less straightforward. Men live their whole lives never grasping the infinite mysteries of women yet here we are responsible for creating the attitudes of our daughters.

This is a cause of alarm in men, expressed mainly through intimations of hostility and violence towards young men who show interest in their daughters. But put away that shotgun, because the terrified boy standing on the doorstep will be nothing more than an avatar of yourself.

A man's best and worst traits will be represented in his daughter's taste in men. It seems unfair the unwitting male can have such a lasting, even generational, effect on his daughter. I admit, as the father of a 17-year-old girl, to no little angst on the topic myself.

Counselling psychologist Annie Gurton says women receive a powerful boost to their lifelong self-esteem from their fathers.

"Women whose fathers have told them that they love them, that they are beautiful and wonderful, will have stronger, more robust self-esteem than those whose fathers did not, or criticised them," says Gurton.

"For most fathers, their daughters are the apple of their eye and it's easy to do this.

"I quickly know which clients had fathers who were mean-spirited, critical or abusive for they are the ones who value themselves lowly."

There's a tendency in men to over-complicate the issue, but it all comes back to love, says Gurton.

"My main message is that women whose fathers treated them badly will seek men who behave in the same way, for that behaviour is what they recognise as love," says Gurton, who acknowledges that this fate won't befall all those who had poor paternal influence. Many overcome this setback by seeking other positive male role models such as uncles or stepfathers, or by learning how to recalibrate their taste in men once they are adults.

A research project at New Jersey's Rider University examined the role of the father-daughter bond in the development of positive romantic relationships.

Researchers studied 78 teens and young adults (average age 19), who reported on the quality of their relationship with their fathers and boyfriends.

Girls with good communication with their fathers also had significantly better communication with their boyfriends compared with girls who said their communication with their fathers was poor. A sense of trust with fathers led daughters to better levels of trust with boyfriends.

It was posited by the researchers that these girls learn to create secure attachments with their dads, which enable them to create relationships based on trust and clear communication.

Some researchers argue this also reflects the individual characteristics of the girls themselves and is not solely linked to the father-daughter bond. But if your daughter turns up with an outlaw biker with a face tattoo, you can rest assured that you had something to do with it. A hell-brew of individual characteristics and child-parent relationships has driven her to this.

My teenage daughter is going through a phase of claiming that I am simply the man who pays her gym membership, a life support system for a wallet. If only our relationship were so simple. I took her out to the movies the other night and I can strongly recommend Tom Hanks's star turn in Captain Phillips. This, my daughter would say, is evidence that I am a bad parent who has scarred her for life. Halfway through the film, the low-fat, high-protein, chia-seed and quinoa-infused meal she had scoffed began a violent disagreement with her. She demanded to go home but with Hanks in the grip of Somali pirates on the high seas there was no turning back for me.

I suggested it was perhaps sea sickness from watching Hanks and the pirates bobbing around in a lifeboat for most of the movie. Unamused, she stalked off to the bathroom and did not return. She was waiting at the back of the cinema for me at the end with a face like thunder. She could have died, she told me stonily. My suggestion that we could pop into the hospital on the way home for tests did not lighten her mood.

If that was a test, I failed. I realise now that these innocent outings are, in fact, proto-dates that will set the pattern of her life. When her future husband proves to be an unreliable, uncaring cad I'm going to blame Tom Hanks. Other dads also complain of being played like a Stradivarius by their daughters. My mate Jez Privitelli says nothing works on his daughters, ages 12 and seven.

"I confiscate iPhones only to give them back the next day," he says. "I put chores in place for them to do, only to end up doing them myself, and I say no regularly - which lasts for all of 20 minutes until the next time they ask. No matter how much I try to dig in I can't resist them. My wife thinks I'm too soft."

My advice to Jez is simply to give in. If the experts are right, his daughters' future boyfriends will be generous, forgiving and merciful, like him. These are not battles a father can or should win. Don't forget a daughter's tears will always trump reason and principle.

Another mate, Lyle Turner, confesses he has no idea. "I can't do or say anything that doesn't offend my daughters, aged nearly 14 and 18," he says.

But the late English poet Philip Larkin should have the last word: They f . . k you up, your Mum and Dad. / They may not mean to but they do. / They fill you with the faults they had / And add some extra, just for you.


Black antisemitism in NYC

The NYPD is looking into a series of attacks on Jews in Brooklyn. At least one attack was caught on surveillance tape.

Some of the assaults may be part of a disturbing game, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported on Tuesday.

Police have yet to connect all the incidents, but released surveillance video that shows one group attacking a Jewish man.

The video shows from a few different angles the victim, a man in a hooded jacket, getting punched.

One man who didn’t want to be identified told Slattery his 12-year-old son was attacked in the same way.

“It’s clearly anti-Semitism,” the man said.

The 64-year-old said his son, who was dressed in traditional Jewish clothing, was attacked last Wednesday afternoon on President Street.

“One, full strength with his fist, whacked him, punched him, on the side of the face, full force,” the man said.

The child went to the ground as he heard the group of five to six teens yell out.

“A hysterical, happy shout, ‘We got him,’” the man said.

Video also shows a 19-year-old Jewish man being sucker-punched.

“He was actually holding an expensive camera. And they punched him and nothing was stolen,” Rabbi Yaacov Behrman said.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the attacks are not muggings. It’s not about money. He said the victims are being attacked because they are Jews.

Behrman said he believes the assaults are part of a disturbing game by some African-American teens.

“And they’re playing a game: ‘knockout.’ ‘Knock out the Jew,’ maybe. And they’re going around the neighborhood punching Jews,” Behrman said.

He said that in the last two months there have been assaults and three incidents of graffiti, incidents the police have confirmed, Slattery reported.

“I think there have been a total of eight since September, middle of September,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, referring to the total number of incidents.

The attacks and vandalism are being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. The hope is that the suspects in the pictures will be identified.


London’s Islamic Vigilantes Plead Guilty

A band of Islamic vigilantes has admitted to roaming the streets of East London, confronting and threatening to kill non-believers in an effort to enforce Sharia law. Three men have pleaded guilty to related charges after self-proclaimed "Muslim Patrols" attacked, intimidated and threatened to stab members of the public in an area of London that hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.

Muslim convert Jamal Uddin (aka Jordan Horner) stands next to Anjem Choudary Muslims Against Crusaders march through Waltham Forest, East London, Britain. (London News Pictures/Rex)

Ricardo McFarlane, 26, a Muslim convert, pleaded guilty to affray-fighting in a public place-on Monday, while a 23-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, entered a guilty plea for two public order offenses. They refused instructions to stand in court as the indictments were read out. Last month, Jordan Horner, a red-headed, white 19-year-old, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault and the use of threatening words and behavior.

McFarlane and Horner admitted taking part in an attack on January 6 this year when a group of five men were approached at around 4 am while enjoying a night out in the East End of London. They had cans of beer snatched from their hands and poured out. A previous hearing was told that Horner said: "Why are you poisoning your body? It is against Islam. This is Muslim Patrol. Kill the non-believers."

He then allegedly told someone to "go get the shank [knife]," according to prosecutors. Horner has admitted to throwing punches at the men as they attempted to flee the scene.

The 23-year-old man admitted to taking part in two further vigilante confrontations along with Horner. One incident took place on December 19 last year while Claire Coyle and Robert Gray were threatened on January 13 this year.

East London's "Muslim Patrols" first came to attention when a a series of videos were posted on YouTube  including one called The Truth About Saturday Night, in which a group of men threatened and berated members of the public for being gay, dressing inappropriately and drinking alcohol. Hooded men derided women as "naked animals with no self-respect;" claimed alcohol was evil; and said to one man "you're walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag, mate."

An American student who was drinking alcohol in public was confronted and beaten by a gang of Asian men in a nearby area this summer, although there is no suggestion that the attack was carried out by the men who pleaded guilty in this case.



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

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

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


18 November, 2013

Eton to the rescue

Britain's old Etonian PM, David Cameron, was invited to bat at a game of cricket during downtime at the GHOGM conference in Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka happens to be the home of one of the world's greatest bowlers (Muralitharan) so the Sri Lankans got him to send down some balls to Cameron.  But Cameron's Eton background served him well (Eton has 25 cricket teams) and he sent back the ball every time.  Cricket is very important in Sri Lanka so Cameron would have gained kudos for his batting skills

It's normally him who's doing the spinning - but this time David Cameron was on the receiving end.

The PM was at Sri Lanka's National Cricket Academy where he faced up to one of the sport's greatest ever bowlers from 22 yards.

Sri Lanka's spin king Muttiah Muralitharan, or Murali, as he is affectionately known, is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket - but he didn't have it all his own way.

According to onlookers, Mr Cameron acquitted himself well when he pitted his batting skills against Muralitharan, although he later admitted the retired star may have gone a little easy on him.

Mr Cameron is in Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and was also given a working over on politics by the sportsman.

Muralitharan suggested the Prime Minister had been 'misled' about the latest situation in the war-scarred north of the island.

Mr Cameron is pressing the Sri Lankan regime to do more to improve conditions for the minority Tamil population still suffering the effects of a 26-year civil war which ended in 2009.

Yesterday he visited families still unable to return to their homes after spending 20 years in refugee camps, in the first visit by a foreign leader to the region since 1948.

In what he described as 'frank' talks with president Mahinda Rajapaksa the PM said he would press for an international investigation of alleged war crimes if the regime failed to hold a credible one by March.

But asked about the politician's calls for more action from the government of Mr Rajapaksa - which has been criticised internationally over human rights abuses - Muralitharan, a Tamil, said Mr Cameron was underestimating the improvements already made.

'I'm a sportsman and we don't think about politics,' he told reporters. 'My opinion is, there were problems in the last 30 years in those areas.

'Nobody could move there. In wartime I went with the UN, I saw the place, how it was. Now I regularly go and I see the place and it is about a 1,000 per cent improvement in facilities.

'Cricket is the main game to narrow the bridge between the people. But facilities-wise, schools are built, roads are built. Businesses are started. So many things have happened. It is improving.

'Thanks to the Sri Lankan army, they are putting a lot of effort there. This country is 20-odd million people. In the north there are only one million people. They are getting more attention than the south at the moment.'


Peaceful protests that disturb residents 'may be outlawed' under new powers given to British local authorities

Peaceful protests that disturb residents 'may be outlawed' under new powers given to local authorities

The orders are intended to give local authorities the power to deter drinking, aggressive begging and dog-fouling from nuisance hotspots.

But civil rights campaigners fear they could be misused to crack-down on lawful demonstrators trying to make their point.

They could even be used to ban youngsters from skateboarding and teenagers from gathering in public parks.

The contentious new powers are contained within a little-noticed section of the Government’s Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, currently going through Parliament.

The new public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) aim to give councils the authority to tackle low-level problems.

The Home Office said the legislation could help stop valuable public spaces being turned into ‘no-go zones’.

But critics claim the ‘shockingly open-ended powers’ could be used to stifle legitimate demonstrations and criminalise young people.

They said small community groups could find themselves subjected to the bans if they demonstrate outside a council office.

Isabella Sankey, of Liberty, said: ‘These next-generation antisocial-behaviour powers are bigger and badder than ever.

‘Dangerously broad powers granted to regulate the ‘quality of life’ of the community will allow local authorities effectively to shut down activity in public places.

‘Just like stop-and-search without suspicion, the collateral damage will be peaceful protest and other basic rights and freedoms.’

The PSPOs will be used to replace alcohol-control zones, dog-control orders, gating orders and other local bylaws.

Council officials will be able to work with police to restrict any activity deemed to have a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’.

The orders, which could last for up to three years, would be directed at ‘all persons or only to persons in specified categories.’

The scheme is part of the Coalition’s commitment to handing powers to local authorities and reducing bureaucracy.

A risk assessment found it could increase pressure on police, courts and prisons, but said on-the-spot fines would reduce this.

Among the protests that could have been targeted are the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral.  Brian Haw, the anti-war protester who spent years outside the Houses of Parliament, could have been forced to move.

Environmental campaigners demonstrating against airport expansion, new roads and power stations could also be forced to move on.

Janet Davis, of the Ramblers Association, said: ‘They could be used on wide-open areas, they could be used on commons, any land to which the public has access.’

Minister Norman Baker, who is responsible for crime prevention, said: ‘The Coalition Government is simplifying the complex array of antisocial powers introduced by the last government.

‘This power will make it easier to stop the behaviour of those who act antisocially, turning our public spaces into no-go zones.’


British council orders couple to tear up flowers outside their home 'because people might miss the kerb while looking at the floral display and trip over'

A council has ordered a couple to rip up flowers outside their home over health and safety fears.

Mary and William Geidt planted the roses, irises and other flowers ten years ago to brighten up a patch of grass outside their home.

The couple, who live in the village of Great Cransley, Northamptonshire, claim a highways officer advised them to plant shrubs and flowers to reduce further damage to their property following two devastating floods.

Over the past decade the beauty of the flower bed has become renowned in the area with people stopping to take pictures of the displays.

But Mrs Geidt, 62, and Mr Geidt, 69, were stunned when they received a letter from Northamptonshire County Council ordering them to dig up the flowers or face legal action.

The couple believe it was reported after a council officer went to a neighbouring property in connection with a planning application and noticed the flower bed.

Council bosses claim the flowers obstruct pedestrians view of the kerb which could cause them to stumble into the road.

But Mr and Mrs Geidt say they have not received a single complaint in a decade and only receive compliments that the flowers brighten up the quiet road.

Mrs Gedit, who is a full-time carer for her 91-year-old mother Margaret, said: 'It does not make any sense, because there is a perfectly good footpath on the opposite side of the road.  'It seems petty and heavy handed and we feel like we're being singled out.'

Mrs Geidt said she wanted to come to a compromise.  'Our cottage is set below the road, so our ground floor windows are at the same level as the road.  'The verge is steeply sloped. The lane is not cleared of snow or gritted and there were two minor accidents last winter.

'From our own experience we know it is difficult to see the edge of the road in snow and there is a real possibility of a serious accident if drivers skid down the bank into our cottage.

'The flower bed helps to make it very obvious were the edge of the road is.' she continued, 'We spend hours tending to the border and planting it each year, we spend money on buying the plants as well.  'It is tragic to think we might have to pull it all up, we are willing to compromise but a sensible compromise.'

In a letter to the couple last month, the council said: 'It is occasionally possible to grant a licence to cultivate the public highway.  'It is unlikely a licence would be granted for the shrubs in situ, as some species are not encouraged because of their growth nature and form.'

Mr Geidt, who runs his own utilities consultancy, added; 'The border is very narrow, probably only 18 inches and there is footpath just the other side of the road where there is street lighting.

'There are only a few houses and a footpath at the end of the cul-de-sac so there usually more walkers along here than cars.

'To me, this decision is quite literally blooming petty. There is no other way to describe it.'

The council stood by their ruling.  A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: 'Regrettably, highways law, which the county council has to comply with, is very strict when it comes to safety regulations regarding roads.

'In this instance the flower beds and shrubs interfere with visibility and so we have asked for the vegetation to be removed.'


Huntress sparks outrage after posting picture of herself with male lion she shot dead

One of the most ancient of human activities is no longer politically correct

TV presenter Melissa Bachman raised ire when she posted a photo of a mature male lion she allegedly shot and killed on Twitter and Facebook.

Within hours of the post, an online petition by Cape Town resident Elan Burman asking the South African government to ban Bachman from ever returning to the country was launched.

The picture depicts Bachman crouching over the carcass of a male lion with its eyes closed, paws either side of its head, as she holds her gun and smiles.

'An incredible say hunting in South Africa!' she tweeted. 'Stalked inside 60 yards on the this beautiful male lion... what a hunt!'

The post provoked a furious response from many Twitter users, who called her 'disgusting' and 'vile.'

At the time of writing, Burman's petition had 5,435 signatures.  'She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on,' wrote Burman.

Signatory Richard Robinson wrote, 'You didn't kill a lion, you stood behind a machine and pulled a little trigger, you pathetic, sad excuse of a human.'

The African lion is considered a vulnerable species. Numbers are rapidly declining due to loss of habitat and conflict with humans.

However, hunting lions is legal in several countries, including South Africa where Bachman bagged her big male.

Bachman's social media pages and website reveal an array of huge beasts that have died after coming in contact with her. The 'Trophy Room' section of her website features a grinning Bachman with dead deer, antelope, alligators, turkeys and hogs.

This latest furor is not the first time Bachman has run afoul of anti-hunting groups.

Last year, she was slated to appear on the National Geographic Channel's Ultimate Survivor Alaska but was dropped after a Change.org petition that called Bachman a 'contracted trophy killer' was signed more than 13,000 times in less than 24 hours.

Minnesota-based Bachman, whose blog includes posts such as 'Why every girl should try bowhunting' and 'Stupid hunting regulations I just can't stand,' is the host of a television series called Winchester Deadly Passion.

In each episode, she travels to a locale and hunts its native animals with a variety of weapons including her beloved bow and arrow.

Lourens Mostert, a manager at the Maroi conservancy where Bachman shot the lion said the hunt was legal.  'If it isn't right to hunt these lions, why does our government legally give us permission?' he told the Daily Telegraph.  'This is not the only lion that has been hunted in South Africa this year.'



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

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

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


17 November, 2013

'Stop-and-Frisk does work': Over half of the 150,000 arrests that came from searches ended in conviction or guilty plea, say NY police

Police in New York have claimed that controversial ‘stop and search’ tactics are effective at tackling crime, after a report found that half the arrests from the measure lead to a conviction.

The first ever analysis of stop and search, it also found that a quarter of cases resulted in prison sentences.

In Britain, similar tactics have provoked fury over racial profiling.

A study published earlier this year found police were up to 28 per cent more likely to use stop-and-search powers against black people than white.

New York police’s use of stop-and-frisk has been a hallmark of outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg’s battle against crime – which has fallen more than 30 per cent during his three terms in office – but has led to lawsuits and growing anger among minorities.

The report by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman analysed 150,000 arrests resulting from 2.4million stops between 2009 and 2012, and found 51 per cent of the arrests led to convictions or guilty pleas.

However, earlier this year a US judge appointed a federal monitor to oversee reforms aimed at curbing the practice.

The analysis was billed by Schneiderman's office as the first of its kind.  'Until now, no known study has sought to assess what happens following (stop-and-frisk) arrests,' the report said.

The other half were never prosecuted, dismissed or resulted in adjournments in contemplation of dismissal - a legal term for cases in which a judge allows a case to be dismissed after a probationary period of usually six months to a year.

The report also said the stop-and-frisk arrests resulted in a 24 per cent incarceration rate.

The chief spokesman for the police, John McCarthy, called the analysis 'flawed' and said it underestimated the value of the tactic.

He said it fails to account for situations in which police action such as stop and frisk deter or prevent a crime, which does not result in arrests.

The report results appear to show that the outcomes of stop and frisk arrests are no more or less effective in nabbing criminals than are other NYPD arrests.

The conviction and incarceration rates in the Schneiderman report are nearly identical to the rates for overall city arrests last year, according to statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said the report did not compare the conviction and incarceration rates resulting from police stops with overall citywide rates.  She declined to elaborate on the similarity of the figures.

The NYPD's use of stop and frisk has been at the center of a contentious debate since May 2012 when the New York Civil Liberties Union released a report showing use of the tactic skyrocketed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The total number of police stops rose from 160,851 in 2003 - a year after Bloomberg took office - to 685,724 in 2011.
Mayor elect Bill De Blasio made reforming police use of the stop and frisk policy a key component in his campaign

Mayor elect Bill De Blasio made reforming police use of the stop and frisk policy a key component in his campaign

Bloomberg and police Commissioner Ray Kelly have staunchly defended the tactic as the centerpiece of a crime-fighting strategy that has driven overall crime down more than 30 percent during Bloomberg's three terms in office.

In August, a federal judge ruled that the police use of stop and frisk led to 'indirect racial profiling' of mostly young, minority residents - who comprised 87 percent of all police stops last year.

The judge, U.S. District Court judge Shira Scheindlin, appointed a federal monitor to oversee a broad spectrum of reforms aimed at curbing the practice.

Last week, Scheindlin's ruling was put on hold and she was removed from the case by a three-judge appellate panel which said she 'ran afoul' of the judicial code of conduct by granting media interviews and appearing to steer the lawsuit to her courtroom.

The case has been re-assigned to another judge but is expected to be withdrawn after Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio takes office on Jan. 1.  De Blasio, a Democrat, made reforming police use of the stop and frisk policy a key component in his mayoral campaign.

He won a landslide victory over Republican Joseph Lhota, who supported the stop-and-frisk tactic.


British Liberal leader: 'intimidating' and 'offensive' Gypsy  migrants must be sensitive to British way of life

The deputy Prime Minisiter responds to reports of tensions between Roma migrants and other communities near his constituency in Sheffield

Roma communities must avoid “intimidating” local residents and be “sensitive to the way that life is lived in this country,” Nick Clegg has said.

The deputy Prime Minister described tensions between Roma immigrants and established communities in Slough and Sheffield as a “real dilemma” adding that people find some of their behaviour “offensive” and “difficult to accept.”

This week David Blunkett, who is the MP for the neighbouring constituency to Nick Clegg in Sheffield, warned that tensions between local people in the Page Hill area and Roma migrants to escalate into rioting unless action was taken to improve integration.

The former home secretary said he fears a repeat of race riots that hit northern cities in 2001.

Nick Clegg also raised Mr Blunkett’s concerns about “large numbers of people hanging around outside in streets” in areas of Sheffield. Adding that those Roma “intimidating” local residents “listen to what to the people in the community have to say.”

Speaking on LBC Radio’s regular Call Clegg slot he said: “There is a real dilemma… when you get communities coming into a part of our country and they behave in a way that people find quite difficult to accept, and they behave in a way that people find sometimes intimidating, sometimes offensive I think its quite right that we should say… if you are going to come and live here and you are bringing up a family here you’ve got to be sensitive to the way that life is lived in this country.”

In an interview with BBC on Monday David Blunkett said: "We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there's going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that."

"If everything exploded, if things went really wrong, the community would obviously be devastated. We saw this in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham all those years ago when I first became home secretary. We saw that the community itself were the losers."


British police arrest the victim  -- yet again

They are firmly on the side of the crooks

A businessman sold a lump of clay instead of an iPad by Tesco was arrested on suspicion of fraud when he complained to the supermarket giant.

Colin Marsh, 47, paid £470 for the Apple tablet computer in Whitstable, Kent, as a Christmas present last year for his young daughters - but he opened the box to find it contained three lumps of clay.

The father, who runs two bakeries, immediately took it back to the store for a refund - but instead of reimbursing him, Tesco staff became suspicious and reported him to Kent Police.

Two days later Mr Marsh, father to Maddie, 11, and Daisy, eight - got a call asking him to report to his local police station where he was held for three hours, and accused of trying to scam Tesco.

He spent two months on bail before being told he faced no further action. The iPad that should have been in the box was tracked down to Wales, more than 200 miles from where he had bought it.

Mr Marsh, who has since got his money back, said: ‘You just can’t treat people like that. It’s absolutely disgusting. I couldn’t believe it when I saw what was inside the box.

'Maddie was devastated. I took it back to Tesco, but they said they couldn’t give me a refund and would need to carry out an investigation.

‘Two days later, I got a call at about 8pm from the police asking if I could come down to the station to answer some questions. I just thought they wanted to know what had happened.

‘But the next thing I know I’m being bundled into a cell. I was in there for three hours. It was then they told me the iPad had been activated in my name. I just thought “how can that possibly be?”

‘It didn’t make any sense. I’ve run my own successful businesses for 22 years, and I own my own house. Why would I want to scam Tesco out of a £470 iPad? I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what my family and I have.’

Mr Marsh, who is married to hairdresser Sam, 45, bought the iPad just before Christmas last year. He went back to complain on Boxing Day but was told staff needed to ‘investigate’.

Police then called him and he voluntarily attended Whitstable police station on December 28 where officers claimed the iPad had been registered to him.

Mr Marsh remained on bail until February 14 when the missing tablet was found registered in Wales.

A Tesco spokesman said: ‘We were very disappointed to learn that the product we sold to Mr Marsh had been tampered with.

'We would of course never knowingly have sold it to Mr Marsh and we apologise sincerely for the problems this has caused him.

‘We immediately launched an internal investigation into how this happened and shared the information we gathered with the police, which we believe was the right thing to do.

A Kent Police spokesman said: ‘Mr Marsh was arrested on suspicion of fraud following information that the iPad in question had apparently been registered in his name at some time between 21 and 24 December 2012.

‘This was investigated and as soon as it became clear that Mr Marsh had not committed any offences, his bail was cancelled and he was informed police would not be taking any further action against him.’


Christians 'face extinction' amid Muslim terror, minister warns

Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in its ancient homelands because of a rising tide of sectarian attacks, a senior minister will warn on Friday.

Violence against Christian worshippers and other religious minorities by fanatics has become a “global crisis” and is the gravest challenge facing the world this century, Baroness Warsi will say.

“A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct,” she will say at a speech at Georgetown University in Washington.

In the new year, Lady Warsi, the Minister for Faith who sits in the Cabinet, will host an international summit to draw up a plan to end the violence against Christians - particularly in the countries where the faith was born.

Writing for Telegraph.co.uk, Lady Warsi highlights the bombing of All Saints Church in Pakistan, killing 85 congregants, in September and the gun attack on a Coptic wedding party in Egypt as the latest outrages by militants who have turned “religion upon religion, sect upon sect”.

“There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger,” she writes. “From continent to continent, Christians are facing discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow.

“Christian populations are plummeting and the religion is being driven out of some of its historic heartlands. In Iraq, the Christian community has fallen from 1.2m in 1990 to 200,000 today. In Syria, the horrific bloodshed has masked the haemorrhaging of its Christian population,” she says.

Terrorists are subjecting Christians in the Middle East to “collective punishment” for American foreign policy. Worshippers are now regarded as newcomers and agents of the West, despite having lived there for centuries.

The attacks come against a diverse background of political upheaval, local turf wars and social unrest – but they share the common trait of Christians becoming a “scapegoat” for extremists who are insecure in their own religious identity, she will say.

It is the same mindset that motivated the Nazis to persecute the Jews and the Communists to suppress the Russian church, she says.

Lady Warsi is the first senior British politician to draw attention to the plight of Christians in the Arab world, and will call on other Muslims to defend Christians, citing the example of Christians who defended praying Muslims in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian uprising.

“A bomb going off in a Pakistani church shouldn’t just reverberate through Christian communities; it should stir the world,” she says.

The response must be a co-ordinated international effort similar to the campaign against Apartheid and for Civil Rights in the United States, Lady Warsi will argue. Extremists must be prevented from “twisting history” by claiming co-existence is not possible. She will hold up the example of her daughter, a Muslim who attends a convent school.

Her intervention comes as church leaders become increasingly alarmed at the rising numbers of sectarian attacks on churches in the Islamic world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the victims of bombings in Pakistan as “martyrs”. “They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church,” he said. Lord Sacks, the former chief rabbi, has described the continuous wave of attacks on Iraqi Christians by Al-Qaeda as “the religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing”.

Around a third of Syria’s Christian population are believed to have fled during the civil war, after being lumped together as “pro-Assad” by Islamist rebels. Earlier this month 45 Christian civilians were reported to have been killed and their churches desecrated in a massacre in Sadad, near Damascus, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is the oldest in the world and was founded in 50AD, has come under attack from suicide bombers and arsonists since the Arab Spring.

In Kenya, the Al Shebaab gunmen who attacked a shopping mall in September, killing 61 civilians, asked Muslim hostages to leave before shooting their victims



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

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

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


15 November, 2013

And some multiculturalism in British airspace

Passengers watched in "fear and panic" as two RAF jets escorted their Boeing 777 to Stansted Airport after two men threatened to blow up the plane, a court has heard.

Two men from Nelson in Lancashire have appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court which was told that the Pakistan International Airlines plane was travelling from Lahore to Manchester on May 24.
It was carrying 308 passengers and 14 crew but was diverted to Stanstead Airport ten minutes before landing.

Tayyab Subhani, 30 of Brierfield, Townley Street, and Mohammed Safdar, 42, of Hallam Street, both Nelson, near Burnley, deny endangering the safety of the Boeing 777 by communicating intentionally that some passengers and some crew would be killed and the aircraft blown up.

Describing the scene on the plane, prosecutor Brian O'Neill, QC, told jurors they would hear from witnesses "the fear and panic caused for passengers from the threats to kill and blow up the plane."

"As a result of the behaviour of these two defendants, especially Safdar the aeroplane had to be diverted to Stansted accompanied by two RAF Typhoon fighter jets.  "Their behaviour included threats to kill members of the cabin crew, threats to kill fellow passengers and blow up the plane while in flight.

"The crew had no option but to inform Pakistan Airlines what was happening in the skies above and two RAF fighter jets were scrambled to accompany the plane.

"At Stansted, the plane taxied to a remote area and was surrounded by armed police and the accused were arrested.

"When it was established they did not have the capability of carrying out the threats, the other passengers were allowed off."


Nigel Farage: 'Blunkett right to warn Roma migrants could trigger riots'

David Blunkett's warning that an influx of Roma migrants could lead to riots in Britain should be taken very seriously, according to Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

The comments follow the former home secretary's suggestion that an influx of Roma migrants could create “frictions” with local people and lead to race riots.

"Mr. Blunkett should be admired for the courage he has shown by speaking so plainly on this issue. Of course the type of language he has used I would have been utterly condemned for using," Farage said.

"The fact that he is talking of the significant difficulties with the Roma population already in his constituency should be taken seriously by the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

"My question is if they won't listen to the dangers of opening the door to Romania and Bulgaria next year when UKIP speak out on it, will they listen to David Blunkett? I certainly hope so.

“I would also challenge Mr. Blunkett to support UKIP in explicitly opposing the opening of the doors next year to Romania and Bulgaria.

“The political class are trying to sweep this issue under the carpet but they should listen, act and stop the relaxing of border controls with Romania and Bulgaria next year."

Backing from Ukip came as a leading Roma support group condemned Blunkett's intervention as "extremely dangerous" and warned his comments could themselves trigger unrest by fuelling "more hatred".

Dezideriu Gergely, executive director of the European Roma Rights Commission, said: "It is extremely dangerous in a way because you can have ... far-right groups all over Europe using this type of rhetoric.

"What is concerning is that [while] in the past it is only far-right movements using this type of rhetoric it is now more and more mainstream. Politicians and public figures are using this type of discourse"

He added: "If Roma are only blamed and pointed out without finding proper solutions for the situation it doesn't help at all. It only fuels more hatred against Roma."

Mr Gergely said Blunkett's intervention was in line with rhetoric on the rise throughout Europe based on "misconceptions, misperceptions or stereotyping" of Roma communities, especially by linking them to criminality.

A spokesman for the Roma Support Group expressed disappointment that Blunkett had added to the "fanfare" of fears about Roma migration and pointed out that his Sheffield constituency has benefited from migration funding in the past.

David Blunkett warned on Monday that British cities could face race riots as an influx of Roma migrants creates “frictions” with local people.

Anti-social behaviour by Roma people in his Sheffield constituency has resulted in “understandable tensions” among the indigenous community that must be addressed to avert disorder, Mr Blunkett said.

Roma migrants from Slovakia must “change their culture” and send their children to school, stop dumping rubbish and loitering in the streets in order to soothe tensions, Mr Blunkett said.

Otherwise, the community could “explode” in the same way northern towns were rocked by disorder between Asian and white neighbourhoods in the summer of 2001, Mr Blunkett said.


Abortion Activists Characterize Pregnancy as "Inescapable Curse," "Death Sentence"

A new campaign conflates wildly different realities, putting restrictions on all birth control (Philippines) and the criminalization of miscarriages (El Salvador) on the same level as abortion clinic regulations (North Dakota, USA) and the presence of pro-life demonstrators (Texas, USA).

The descriptions of pregnancy as an "inescapable curse" and "death sentence" do not come from the makers of the video, but from liberal promotion site Upworthy, which encourages women to "enjoy the miracle of life on their terms."

The video begins with a legitimately distressing look at the trials women have to face in other countries. Specifically, a woman in the Philippines tells a story about how birth control is completely restricted yet her husband forces her to have sex when they cannot afford to support another child. A woman in El Salvador shared her harrowing experience of miscarriage that resulted in her arrest and accusation of murder. These two cases would appall any reasonable American.

Nevertheless, the video was not meant to remain sane for too long. The stories move from El Salvador to... North Dakota. The message that Draw the Line sends is that the strict requirements for abortion clinics that have left only one remaining fall under the same category as criminalized miscarriage. An abortion supporter laments how someone once called her a member of the "Satanic Nazi Abortion Death Squad." She thereby further degrades the intense and unimaginable struggles of the women interviewed just minutes before by complaining about name-calling.

Another activist characterizes the pro-life movement as one whose goal it is to "stigmatize" and "shame" women - not to save a human being. A third woman says she "doesn't feel it's fair for me to be influenced and persuaded" by pro-life demonstrators. She never takes a moment to consider why is it that women heading into the abortion clinic might be influenced and persuaded in the first place. She does not admit that if they were certain in their hearts that abortion was the right thing to do, then they wouldn't have to worry so much about pro-life influences.

One of the most difficult and emotional parts of the video is filmed in Texas, where an abortion doctor describes how a 16-year-old crossed the border to Mexico to receive an unsafe abortion that left her so badly infected that he had to give her a hysterectomy to save her life. Nobody would deny that that story is an unforgivable tragedy. But it is chilling that abortion activists believe that the only problem with that story was that abortions were too hard to get in Texas.

So many factors have contributed to this crisis on a societal scale, including a decline in sexual morality, aversion to the child-centered traditional family, ignorance about birth control, lack of parental support, and absence of community acceptance in the face of widespread stigma. The reality is that progressive activists haven't presented any other solution than "abortion on demand and without apology."

The women in the beginning of the video face immense difficulties, and it is a fact that women's rights have not yet been realized in many places around the world. However, the women in North Dakota and Texas are suffering less from injustice than from their own victim complexes.

The Center for Reproductive Rights should not bite off more than it can chew. It will have a hard time making a difference in the lives of women abroad if it continues to fabricate oppressions in America.


Saudi migrant crackdown closes shops, raises fears

Garbage is piling up on streets around the mosque housing the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad. Grocery stores have shut their doors and almost half of Saudi Arabia's small construction firms have stopped working on projects.

The mess is because foreign workers on which many businesses rely are fleeing, have gone into hiding or are under arrest amid a crackdown launched Nov. 4 targeting the kingdom's 9 million migrant laborers. Decades of lax immigration enforcement allowed migrants to take low-wage manual, clerical and service jobs that the kingdom's own citizens shunned for better paying, more comfortable work.

Now, authorities say booting out migrant workers will open more jobs for citizens, at a time when unemployment among Saudis is running at 12.1 percent as of the end of last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. But the nationalist fervor driving the crackdown risks making migrant workers vulnerable to vigilante attacks by Saudis fed up with the seemingly endless stream of foreigners in their country.

Since the Saudi government began issuing warnings earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of foreign workers have been deported, though some were able to avoid arrest by getting proper visas in an amnesty program. That amnesty ended last week, and some 33,000 people have since been placed behind bars. Others have gone into hiding.

With fewer people to do the job, the state-backed Saudi Gazette reported that 20,000 schools are without janitors. Others are without school bus drivers. Garbage became so noticeable around the mosque housing the Prophet Muhammad's tomb that a top city official in Medina helped sweep the streets, the state-backed Arab News website reported.

About 40 percent of small construction firms in the kingdom also have stopped work because their foreign workers couldn't get proper visas in time, Khalaf al-Otaibi, president of the World Federation of Trade, Industry and Economics in the Middle East, told Arab News.

Saudis say dozens of businesses like bakeries, supermarkets, gas stations and cafes are now closed. They say prices have also soared for services from mechanics, plumbers and electricians.

Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press that if the kingdom wants to be serious about the problem, authorities should look at the labor laws and not at the workers. Saudi Arabia's sponsorship system, under which foreign laborers work in the kingdom, gives employers say over whether or not a foreigner can leave the country or change jobs, forcing many into illegal employment.

"The entire system by which Saudi Arabia regulates foreign labor is failing," he said.

The owner of a multi-million dollar construction company in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, said he had to halt all of his projects. He told the AP he was not the legal sponsor of most of his laborers but that they made more money working as freelance hires.

"These people have worked in this country and their blood is in the stones and buildings," he said, speaking anonymously for fear of government reprisal. "You cannot just, like that, force them out."

Despite feeling the loss of the everyday work the foreign laborers provided, Saudis largely have cheered on the police. Residents have taken matters into their own hands on several occasions, despite police calling on the public not to make citizen arrests.

Over the weekend, Saudi residents of Riyadh's poor Manfouha neighborhood fought with Ethiopians, detaining some, until police arrived more than two hours later. Video emerged of a crowd of Saudis knocking on the door of an Ethiopian man's house, then dragging him out and beating him in the street. A Saudi and a migrant were killed and dozens wounded in the clashes.

The violence began when east Africans protesting the crackdown barricaded themselves in the narrow streets of Manfouha, throwing stones, threatening people with knives and damaging cars. Days earlier, an Ethiopian man was killed by police chasing down migrants.

Violence broke out again days later in the same neighborhood, and a Sudanese man was killed in clashes Wednesday. In the Red Sea coastal city of Jiddah in the poor al-Azaziya neighborhood, clashes also broke out when police combed the area for migrants.

"This is not racism or a lack of respect for diversity, but you cannot imagine how much negative comes from these groups instead of positive. These people, every day, cause problems," said Jiddah resident Abdulaziz al-Qahtani, who posted online video from the Riyadh clashes that he said a friend took.

Since the weekend clashes, Saudi officials say 23,000 Ethiopians, including women and children, have turned themselves in to the police. Authorities are now holding them in temporary housing ahead of deportation, saying many have no documentation at all, having made their way into the kingdom with the help of smugglers by way of Yemen.

Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that officials in Addis Ababa sought an explanation from Saudi Arabia's envoy over the "mistreatment" of Ethiopians in the kingdom.

Workers from neighboring Yemen also face harassment. Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman posted a picture last week on her Facebook page of what appeared to be a Saudi man in his car grabbing hold of a Yemeni man for a police officer.

Saudi columnist Abdul-Rahman al-Rashed cautioned Saudis to remember that without "a strong state and oil revenues" they too may have emigrated in search of work.

"Those deprived of the chance of a proper life can understand the feeling of those wanting to seek a better life," he wrote in the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.



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

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

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


14 November, 2013

Gun bans don't bother multiculturalists in Britain

A drug dealer has been jailed after police raided his flat and found a loaded gun hidden in a box of breakfast cereal.  Damion Murray, 27, concealed the revolver inside a box of Nestle Cheerios which he hid on the top of his fridge.

Officers stormed the ground floor flat in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, following a tip-off that drugs were being dealt from the property.  They found a loaded handgun wrapped in a green bandana and placed inside the box of £3.19p multigrain hoops.

Sixteen wraps of heroin and cocaine were also found in his bedroom along with £2,500 in cash.

A court was told Murray was overheard bragging to friends at a party that he was recruited to be a drug runner.

West Midlands Police uncovered phone records linking the painter and decorator to drug dealing activity across the city.

Murray was found guilty of supplying Class A drugs with intent to supply following a two day trial last week.  At Birmingham Crown Court, Murray was jailed for seven years.

After the case, Detective Constable Darren English, from Birmingham CID, said: 'The court saw through his lies and convicted him and we are pleased with the sentencing outcome.

'The evidence supplied to the court was overwhelming and proved that Murray was connected to drug dealing and had links to a local gang.  'Getting guns and gangs off our streets is a priority for West Midlands police and this gun has now been destroyed.

'I would appeal to anyone affected drug crime to have confidence and report criminality to the police where we can act upon your concerns.'


Unions urged to use Press law to silence newspapers: Threat of mass legal action to end critical media coverage

A Labour candidate has urged union bosses to use new Press regulations to launch class action complaints against newspapers who criticise them.

Clive Lewis – who is a member of three unions – criticised the Daily Mail’s exposure of bullying by Unite thugs.

In a chilling insight into the way Left-wingers plan to use the Royal Charter, the would-be MP said unions should get together to file complaints to combat ‘scurrilous’ reporting.

He told a new trade union think tank that in the past, only people specifically affected by a news story have been able to launch a grievance against a newspaper.

But under the terms of the Royal Charter – approved by the Privy Council last month to the delight of the Hacked Off pressure group – third party groups will be able to complain en masse in so-called class action cases.

The measure has been opposed by newspaper industry groups, who say it is likely to be used by activists to deter legitimate investigative journalism.

The Mail revealed how Unite thugs targeted the families and neighbours of staff at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant in Scotland during strike action last month

The paper has also led the way in covering the scandal in Falkirk, where Unite was accused of seeking to rig a Labour candidate selection.

Stephen Deans, the Unite boss in Scotland who was also chairman of Falkirk West Labour Party, has now lost his job at Grangemouth and the local party has been taken into special measures.

However, Labour candidate Mr Lewis has sought to paint Mr Deans – whose fight with the owners of Grangemouth nearly led to the plant closing – as a wronged man.

In a speech to the Unite-sponsored Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class), he said: ‘Let’s take for example the case of the chap who has had his life ruined by scurrilous accusations and innuendo in the Daily Mail.

'Under the new Royal Charter, his trade union, as an interested third party, could say actually, “We now have an interest in this.

'We think this generalisation affects not just him but all the trade union movement and its members and we are going to put in an official complaint and take this through the process”.’

Mr Lewis, the candidate for  Norwich South, describes himself on his Twitter account as a ‘proud socialist’ and former BBC reporter.

He is a member of three unions – Unite, the GMB and the National Union of Journalists.

Shipley MP Philip Davies, one of 15 Conservatives who voted against the Charter earlier this year, said the unions will use their financial muscle to ‘bully hard-pressed newspapers’.  ‘All that will happen is that newspapers will be afraid to publish things that are in the public interest,’ he said.

Mr Davies also praised the Mail’s reporting of Unite’s activities, adding: ‘Not only are they intimidating people in industrial disputes they’re now trying to intimidate people who write about it.’

Kent MP Tracey Crouch, another Charter Tory rebel, said: ‘It is just the sort of behaviour that newspapers have warned about.’

Yesterday Ed Miliband again refused to re-open his party’s inquiry into Falkirk, calling for people to ‘move on’ – despite the evidence that his officials never got to the bottom of what happened.


Throw Whitey Under the Trolley

If a runaway trolley were about to smash into a bus containing 100 trapped members of the Harlem Jazz Orchestra, would you push a wholly innocent man named Chip Ellsworth III onto the tracks to stop the accident? What if the bus held 100 members of the New York Philharmonic and the guilt-free man's name is Tyrone Payton?

Would your politics have any relevance to whether you’d prefer to kill the white man to save the black musicians or to kill the black man to save the white musicians?

In a fascinating 2009 academic paper by four social psychologists, The Motivated Use of Moral Principles, UC Irvine students who identified as politically conservative were found to be racially evenhanded. When given the scenario about killing Chip to save 100 Harlemites, conservatives were no more or less likely to agree it’s the right thing to do than when told to ponder killing the man with the cornerback’s name to save 100 classical musicians.

In striking contrast, liberal students displayed greater bloodthirstiness when presented with the scenario that gave them an opportunity to kill the WASP to help the blacks.


The Psychology of Islamic Culture

It is commendable that someone should address the psychological profile of Muslims - that is, of individuals born into the culture of Islam - and Nicolai Sennels does that in his Jihad Watch article of October 30th, "Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years."  I began reading it with some eagerness. Over the years I have had nothing good to say about the psychology or mindset of anyone who was either born into the religion/ideology and never challenged it or attempted to escape it, or who had been converted to it.

Sennels has studied Muslims prisoners in Denmark and has a wealth of insights to offer, one of which is that, from my perspective, at least, Islam provides a purported "moral" base which especially Muslim criminals justify or rationalize their criminal actions. The New English Review published his May 2010 study, "Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differences."

Under the subheading of "Religion," Sennels writes:

    "One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations."

Centuries of religious warfare in the West passed before Christian religions were diluted by Enlightenment ideas and subsequently leashed by secular law and forbidden to wage intramural jihad against members of opposing sects. Islam, however, as Sennels points out, cannot be leashed or similarly contained because its fundamental doctrine is one of conquest and submission.

Sennels under this same subheading reveals one contributing factor to the demonstrable irrationality of Islam and Muslims:

    "Together with massive inbreeding - 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) - this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year."

The inbreeding factor can account for the epistemological myopia of Muslims, particularly Muslim criminals. An inability to think, to project, to employ common syllogisms, to formulate one's own personal values (and not submit to those of the Ummah or the tribe) are all direct results of inbreeding.

Sennels published a revealing article on Muslim inbreeding in May 2013 on Islam vs. Europe, "Serious consequences of Muslim inbreeding." Among those consequences are lower average intelligence and impaired health.

    "A rough estimate shows that close to half of the world's Muslims are inbred as a result of consanguineous marriages. In Pakistan, 70 percent of all marriages are between first cousins - children of siblings - and in Turkey the share is 25-30 percent.

    Statistical research on Arabic countries indicates that up to 34 percent of all marriages in Algeria are blood-related as are 46 percent in Bahrain, 33 percent in Egypt, 80 percent in Nubia (the southern part of Egypt), 60 percent in Iraq, 64 percent in Jordan, 64 percent in Kuwait, 42 percent in Lebanon, 48 percent in Libya, 47 percent in Mauritania, 54 percent in Qatar, 67 percent in Saudi Arabia, 63 percent in Sudan, 40 percent in Syria, 39 percent in Tunisia, 54 percent in the United Arabic Emirates and 45 percent in Yemen. According to Dr. Nadia Sakati of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, 45 percent of married Arab couples are blood-related.  The fact that many of these couples are themselves children of blood-related parents increases the risk of negative consequences."

Sennels reaches some disturbing conclusions that connect Muslims with terrorism.

    "The consequences of consanguineous marriages may also bring us closer to an understanding Islamic terrorism. One study suggests that many suicide bombers are suffering from depression. Among some Muslims their actions are considered a socially acceptable way of committing suicide in order to end mental torment.

    Being physically handicapped or mentally retarded often leads to exclusion. Becoming a martyr may be the only chance of achieving social recognition and honor. Some cases of Down's syndrome may be another unpleasant effect of inbreeding and al-Qaeda has been known to use people afflicted with it. People with low intelligence may also be more easily convinced that Islam, with its promise of 72 virgins to Muslims who die fighting for their religion, is true."

Under the subheading of "Child rearing" in his Jihad Watch article, Sennels describes the method by which Muslim children are browbeaten into obeying and following the rituals and "truths" of Islam, a scare tactic no so dissimilar from what I experienced growing up in a strict Catholic household. He writes:

    "Together with the wide use of violence and even torture within Muslim families, the horrific amount of daily family executions of Muslim youth, this is enough to keep the vast majority from even considering escaping the way of the Sharia. The Qur'an's and the Hadiths' many promises of hellfire to those who go against Muhammad's orders and example scares many from leavin the culture that bring them so much suffering."

Precisely. My own childhood thoughts on the matter were: If you need to frighten me into being a "good" Catholic, where is the moral argument? For example, watching on TV the various productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in my formative years, when I witnessed Scrooge being terrorized into becoming a "virtuous" man, simply buttressed my conclusion that there was no moral argument other than "we say so, and take it on faith." So I can imagine how fearful a Muslim would be to question the "say so's" of his imam, mullah, or the Qur'an.

Fear of retribution may be one factor contributing to a rank-and-file Muslim's reluctance to question his "faith." Delving a little more deeply into that psychology, I would think that it is more a matter of being comfortable with an ideology/religion that makes no demands on one's mind. All one need do is conform to the rituals and strictures and one is left alone.

Under the subheading "Ethnic pride," Sennels drops the ball and does not elaborate on the fact that Islam is not a "race," but an ideology. I'm sure he realizes this, but it would have helped if he had mentioned it in passing. There are Arabic, Asian, black, Caucasian (converts), Chinese, and Indian and Pakistani Muslims, to name but a few ethnic or national groups.

    "Another cultural psychological factor enabling Islamic culture to remain unchanged in a globalised world with all its possibilities concerns Muslims' ethnic pride. No matter how ridiculous or embarrassing it may seem to the outsider, most Muslims are proud of being Muslim and a follower of Islam. According to Islam they are destined to dominate the rest of us, and we are so bad that we deserve the eternal fire."

Muslim spokesmen charging critics of Islam with "Islamophobia" imply or state directly that such a phobia is "racist." Too many Westerners fall for the fallacy and join in the wolf-pack howling to punish "Islamophobes," whether they write cogent books critical of Islam or leave a pig's head on the doorstep of a mosque. It makes no difference to the pitchfork-and-torch mobs.

Without quibbling about when the Dark Ages ended and the Medieval and Enlightenment eras began, Islam is product of the Dark Ages, of the 7th century, an enemy of knowledge, enlightenment, and freedom - if the Dark Ages can be described as a period in human history when superstition, ignorance, and slavery governed human existence.

Also, I don't know if many Muslims can say that they are "proud" of being Muslim. If there is any emotion at all, one can't imagine that it is anything other than a seething, repressed resentment of anyone who is not a Muslim, that is, of anyone who is not committed to a set of primitive rules that govern his existence and prohibit any kind of meaningful happiness. Pride, after all, implies a self that can take stock of one's virtues and one's relationship with existence and with other men. Islam, however, does its best to erase the notion of "self" from one's existence.

Islam is anti-life, anti-mind, anti-value, and anti-man. That is why it has been able to remain unchanged for 1,400 years. Its chief "strength" is its nihilistic nature, proof against all thought and life-affirming values. And there are just too many people - namely, Muslims - willing to surrender their minds to the suffocating comfort zone of "authority." Muslims don't have a corner on that "original sin" - the refusal to think - but their totalitarian ideology is an immediate peril to those who do choose to think.

I can't say I'm the first to say it: Islam is a mental illness. That's its fundamental psychology, the debilitating and crippling legacy of its founder transmitted through fourteen centuries of Muslim madness to its contemporary spokesmen, leaders, and rank-and-file.

The illness, however, is no defense against Islam's essential criminal character.



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

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

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


13 November, 2013

Multicultural midwives in Britain too

As is usual with African defendants, the defendants admit nothing

Two midwives responsible for a sick woman's four-day-old baby lay the child on its stomach and left it in a stationery cupboard, a tribunal has heard.

Yvonne Musonda-Malata and Christine Onade are accused of failing to provide appropriate clinical care to a baby while working on a night shift at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, north east London.

Ms Malata, 35, who has worked as a nurse since 2004, was responsible for looking after the baby while its mother caught up on sleep, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told. It is alleged that she tended to the baby, known as Baby A, in a cot by the midwives station before moving it into a large stationery cupboard after it became unsettled.

She and Ms Onade, 46, are also accused of failing to record any feeds given to Baby A. Both midwives deny all allegations.

The alleged incident, which occurred on 18 April, 2011, was reported by Alex Curtis, a nursery nurse at the hospital who found the baby alone in the cupboard at about 6:30am.

She told the tribunal: 'I went to the post-natal ward to get an envelope from the stationery cupboard and found a baby lying on its tummy on its own.  'The baby was in the cot just behind the door. I cannot remember whether the light was off or on, but I saw baby on its front and went to check if it was breathing.

'This was an unusual occurrence. We always lie a baby on its back as there is a risk of cot death.

'If, as a nursery nurse, I took responsibility for a parent’s baby, I would never leave it alone. If I needed to go off and do something, I would ask another nurse to look after the baby.'

Derek Zeitlin, the case presenter at the NMC, said: 'The baby’s mother has a health condition and it is vitally important for her to get a good night’s sleep.  'Her husband therefore invited the midwives to take the baby away so that his wife could get a good night’s sleep.  'That decision was not taken lightly. The nurse looking after Baby A’s mother was involved in that decision. It was the right thing to do.'

Mr Zeitlin explained that the baby became unsettled at 'various points' throughout the night, adding that there was 'no specific place to put a baby' while it was looked after in the post-natal ward.

He said that Ms Malata and Ms Onade had both confirmed that Ms Malata had placed Baby A in a cot in the doorway of the cupboard, but claim that the door was kept open.

Mr Zeitlin said: 'There came a stage where Ms Malata was called away to another patient and was away for about 20 minutes.

'The next thing that happened was a member of the nursing staff went to the cupboard and was shocked to find Baby A inside.

'The door was closed. The baby was found on its stomach, but babies are always placed on their back to avoid cot death.'
He added: 'There were no feeding charts for Baby A. The reality of that was that entries that were made about feeds didn’t coincide with what the registrants record about the feeds.

A further investigation was carried out which led to both nurses being suspended.

Claire O'Toole, associate human resources director at Queen's Hospital, said: 'I was asked to investigate a complaint on April 20 in 2011, raised by Alex Curtis.

'Miss Musonda-Malata was the named midwife and was unable to provide satisfactory care explanation for the duration of the shift.

'There was a lack of clarity for who was caring for Baby A.  'Miss Onade did have a significant level of involvement in the care of Baby A, she couldn't clearly outline the care when she had actually taken part in it.

'Miss Musonda-Malata engaged with the process well and was consistent but Miss Onoade was unresponsive and unwilling to engage.

'Miss Onade was reluctant to accept responsibility for Baby A.
'The incident brought the hospital into disrepute due to the publicity in The Sun.


The fight for freedom of speech in Britain

Were you outraged when a couple of London coppers suggested to a newspaper vendor that he should stop selling Private Eye magazine on the basis that its cover image might prejudice the trial of former News International boss Rebekah Brooks? Good. You should have been. No one with any sense - not to mention a love for liberty - should want to live in a country where policemen get to say what sort of material people can print, hawk and read. That way tyranny lies.

But wait - were you equally outraged when, last year, police in Manchester confiscated hundreds of copies of Red Issue, the Man Utd fanzine, on the basis that a cartoon it contained could have angered Liverpool FC fans? If you were, then, again, good. To have a situation where the boys in blue can forcibly impound printed material that they’ve unilaterally decreed to be ‘offensive’ - as happened in Manchester - runs counter to every principle of liberty. It turns the clock back to that black period when the authorities got to say what the rest of us could say, depict and declare, when the right to speak was a gift of officialdom handed only to those whose ideas pleased the powers-that-be.

If you weren’t as outraged by the massive police op against Red Issue as you were by the comparatively small-scale harassment of that Private Eye vendor, if you didn’t tweet and rail against that Stasi-like squishing of an ‘offensive’ football mag in the same way you did over the Private Eye fiasco… well, why not? Do you think freedom of speech is less important for football fans than for people interested in political and media gossip? Do you think footie fanzines are fair game for state obliteration, and it’s only clever political material we should worry about protecting from the long arm of the law?

Were you disturbed when David Cameron made a veiled threat to the Guardian recently, telling it in relation to its revelations about the National Security Agency’s spying antics that it must exercise more ‘social responsibility’ in what it reports or otherwise officialdom might have to ‘use injunctions or D notices’? I hope you were. For a prime minister to use weasel lingo about ‘social responsibility’ and dark whispers about D notices to try to stop a newspaper from publishing politically embarrassing things is deeply worrying. It speaks to the political class’s illiberal instinct to muzzle its critics, to tame papers that reveal things that politicians would rather keep hidden.

But wait – were you equally disturbed when Cameron made not-so-veiled threats against the tabloid press in 2011, when, announcing the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture and ethics of the press, he said that where for years the press had spoken truth to power, now it was time for ‘those in power [to] tell truth to the press’? If you weren’t, why not? Why is it bad for Cameron to insist that the Guardian behave in a ‘socially responsible’ way, but okay for him to demand – and to seek to enforce – ‘ethical responsibility’ among the tabloid press? How is his hint of using a D notice against anti-NSA reporting worse than his non-hint, very real-world use of lords, inquiries, modern-day Star Chambers and huge political pressure to try to bring to heel the raucous tabloids?

That’s a question that should certainly be asked of the 70-odd human rights groups who last week wrote an open letter to Cameron accusing him of imperilling Britain’s traditions of press freedom through his response to the NSA stuff, yet who raised not a peep – not a single peep - about his government’s war on the tabloids’ right to publish and be damned, on their right to not be ‘socially responsible’, or ‘ethically responsible’. In fact, the head of one of those Cameron-criticising human rights groups – Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty – actually sat on the panel of the Leveson Inquiry that dragged every tabloid editor in the land before it to give him a censorious grilling. From partaking in Cameron’s drive to force the tabloids to be ethically responsible to lambasting Cameron for suggesting that the Guardian be socially responsible… in the words of the wicked tabloids, you couldn’t make it up.

Have you been perturbed by reports in recent years about theatres, including London’s Royal Court, refusing to stage plays critical of Islam in case a few hotheads armed with Korans kick up a fuss? I hope you have been. Such self-gagging shows that when a climate of political correctness takes hold, when inoffensiveness is made into a public virtue, then we don’t even need states to censor our sentiments, criticism or art – we do it to ourselves, for fear of upsetting those who arrogantly presume to have a licence to silence and demolish any word, picture or artwork that offends their sensibilities. But wait – were you also perturbed by officialdom’s ban on certain Islamist preachers from coming to Britain, most notably Dr Zakir Naik, on the basis that their praising of the 9/11 hijackers and their justification of domestic violence and other nutty utterances are ‘not conducive to the public good’? If not, why not? Do you think freedom of speech somehow covers criticism of Islamism but not expressions of Islamism? How does that work then?

Were you disturbed by London mayor Boris Johnson’s floating of the idea of banning political protests in London’s West End? Good. I presume, then, that you were equally disturbed by his unilateral banning of a poster on London buses which suggested homosexuals could be ‘cured’? Were you alarmed by the police’s arrest and trial of a tweeter who made a joke about blowing up Robin Hood Airport in Nottingham? I hope you were. And I hope you were equally – in fact more – alarmed by the actual imprisonment for 56 days of a drunken tweeter who spouted online racial abuse about the then very ill footballer Fabrice Muamba? Were you disturbed by the British Chiropractic Association’s suing of the science writer Simon Singh? Good. It was a very clear example of how Britain’s archaic, reputation-worshipping libel laws can be used to silence dissent and ridicule. I presume, then, that you were equally disturbed by ITN’s use of the libel laws in the late 1990s to punish and ultimately shut down LM magazine after it dared to ask searing questions about ITN’s coverage of the Bosnian War?* Yes? Surely? Come on.

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above – if you can say you opposed the censoring or threatened censoring of both the respectable Guardian and the naughty tabloids; of both Islam-criticising playwrights and Islamist preachers of nonsense; of both jokey tweeters and racist tweeters; of both lefty protesters and homophobic adverts – then congratulations are due: you understand what freedom of speech means, which is quite simply that speech – all of it, with absolutely no exceptions – ought to be free. Free from the blue pen and eraser and modesty bags of the state, its offshoots, the police, the moral majority, moral minorities, easily offended cliques or anyone else who imagines he has the right to stop us, the public, from seeing or hearing certain things.

If you cannot answer ‘yes’ to all of the above – if you supported the freedom of speech of some of those folks but not of others – then I am afraid I have some bad news for you: you don’t know what freedom of speech is. Indeed, it is a profound contradiction in terms to defend freedom of speech for some people but not for others. It is technically and morally impossible to have ‘freedom of speech for some’. If you criticise restrictions on the speech of people you like but ignore, or even worse cheer, restrictions on the speech of people you don’t like, then what you are doing has nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of speech; instead, you are helping to turn speech into a privilege, to be enjoyed by some but denied to others.

When Shami Chakrabarti, fresh from spending the best part of two years sitting in judgement on the tabloid press, says the Guardian should be allowed to publish NSA revelations, she isn’t defending press freedom – she’s defending the privilege of the Guardian to enjoy less state scrutiny than the tabloids, presumably on the basis that it is a more upstanding, politically decent publication. When commentators defend with one breath the right of playwrights to criticise Islam, but then cheer with their next breath the banning of Islamist preachers from Britain, they aren’t defending freedom of speech – they’re defending the privileges of artists to enjoy a greater scope to speak their minds than their intellectual and moral inferiors. When campaigners defend the right of leftists to wave placards on London streets, yet turn a blind eye to the mayor’s banning of homophobic ads or the home secretary’s banning of far-right marches, they aren’t defending political freedom; they’re demanding political privilege, the right to enjoy something that they would deny to others: a platform from which to announce their ideas and intentions.

There is no true, full-on, consistent fight for freedom of speech in Britain today. Instead there are individuals and groups effectively demanding a special privilege to speak, on the grounds that what they have to say – about the NSA, about Islam, about the ‘ConDem’ government – is important and worthy. And those whose utterances are presumed to be unimportant or unworthy, whether they’re daft tweeters, anti-immigrant rabble-rousers, or claptrap-spouting Islamists? Screw them. Ban them. Keep them offline, off the airwaves, off the streets, out of Britain. Today’s privilege demanders disguised as free speech warriors have forgotten the key word in the phrase freedom of speech – which is freedom, exemption from control, a universal value which, unless it is enjoyed by every single free citizen, has absolutely no meaning.

spiked is on a mission to defend proper, all-encompassing freedom of speech – not only for ourselves and those we like (which would be a massive contradiction in terms), but also for the right, the left, the annoying, the batty, the wicked, the racist, the religious, the pornographic, the offensive, the hateful and the downright dumb. Not because we like all, or even any, of those people, but because we like – very much – the key idea behind freedom of speech: which is that it is only by having the fullest, freest, frankest and utterly unpoliced exchange of ideas and information that the people, using their moral and mental muscles, can decipher truth from codswallop and be properly autonomous, destiny-determining creatures. Freedom of speech makes us free; it makes us moral; it makes us human. It is enjoyed by all, or it is enjoyed by none.


Eva Longoria's Sexist New Show

Eva Longoria, former star of Desperate Housewives and ardent Obama supporter, is starring in a new animated show called “Mother Up” on Hulu. In the 13-episode online program, Longoria plays Rudi Wilson, a mom trying to start a new life in suburbia after getting fired from her job. She explained the premise behind the show, which seemed to reveal the actress is more interested in bashing men than empowering women.

"I'm a fan of animation and I watch 'Family Guy' and I watch 'American Dad!' and you always see these really flawed fathers and the really perfect mom who is trying to hold the family together because the dads, they're just idiots," said Longoria.

Based on Longoria’s offensive comments, it was no surprise that her husband on the animated show is portrayed as a cruel womanizer. Our first introduction to him in the pilot is him badmouthing his wife while talking to his mistress on the phone. As Rudi walks in, he exclaims, “Oh, it’s my stupid wife.”

That is the one scene in which we see the father. The only other reference to him is after Rudi gets fired from her job and moves to suburbia and she tells her two children, “Your loser father has left us forever.”

After watching the first episode, I gathered that the gist of the show is to try and prove that women don’t need men to raise their kids. Longoria (who is not a mother), probably did not mention that without these “losers,” statistics show children often grow up with a host of problems.

Here were just a couple statistics missing from the “Mother Up” plotline: Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. What’s more, a charity report found that fatherless young people were found to be almost 70 percent more likely to take drugs and 76 percent more likely to turn to crime.

But, by all means Eva Longoria, teach women that men are “idiots.”


Second Amendment: Are Gun Owners Racist?

There's just something about foreign academics and their lack of understanding of the American system that makes their research questionable at best. Further evidence of that can be found in a recent study by Australian and British researchers, which concludes, "Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in U.S. whites." They continue by asserting, "The findings help explain U.S. whites' paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control," before whining that "[s]uch attitudes may adversely influence U.S. gun control policy debates and decisions."

In essence, what these academics are arguing is that those who legally own firearms automatically assume a racist attitude toward blacks, generally with the belief that their self-protection is required because blacks are a threat. The study authors leap to this conclusion by noting, among other statistics, that "[b]lacks are disproportionately represented in U.S. firearm homicides ... and would benefit most from improved gun control." Yet, in the next breath they concede, "[R]esearch on the reasons for opposition to gun control is sparse."

Much of their database comes from a single survey called the American National Election Study, with the researchers using data collected between 2008 and 2009 to test their hypothesis. Nowhere in the study, though, are other theories on attitudes toward gun control brought up, but without a great deal of effort we can conclude that our objection to gun control is based on a document drawn up two centuries ago. A plain reading of the Second Amendment is far from racist. Parting question: Where is the study about racist attitudes and the general disregard for life and property exhibited by baggy pants, backward cap gun-toters?



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

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

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


12 November, 2013

You don't want this firefighter to save you

SHE'S the Teflon firie.  Despite failing a required New York Fire Department (FDNY) running test five times, Wendy Tapia was allowed to graduate from the Fire Academy and become a firefighter. On December 2, she is taking the test for an unprecedented sixth time.

Tapia was one of only five women among 285 new firefighters who graduated from the FDNY’s Randall’s Island training academy on May 17.

The class was hailed as the most diverse group of rookies ever, all of them EMTs or paramedics seeking promotion to firefighter. She joined a group of just 35 women among the 11,000 Bravest.

But Tapia, 31, has yet to work a shift at her firehouse, ­Engine No.?316 in East Elmhurst, Queens, where she was assigned May 18.

At the end of 18 weeks of probationary training, Tapia failed to run 2.4km in 12 minutes without gear, as required by the academy. She blamed a foot injury.

The FDNY let her graduate anyway - and gave her five more deadlines over the past six months to pass the running test. She failed all five times, insiders said.

Normally, probationary firefighters who fail the running test at the end of academy training don’t graduate — period. They flunk out but can join the next academy class, start over and get another chance to pass the course.

Tapia's treatment has inflamed male and female colleagues alike.

"I don't know how she got to graduate. It never should have happened," a female firefighter told The New York Post. "You should not graduate if you can’t meet all the requirements — male, female, black or white."

After graduation, instead of joining fellow firefighters in the field, Tapia went on medical leave from May 20 to June 10 to recover from her foot injury. She then went on light duty until July?2, reporting to FDNY headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

She "reports to work .?.?. wearing our uniform? F-?-KING JOKE!" one firefighter fumed on an online rant site.

Tapia returned to full duty — but was sent back to Randall's ­Island for extra help.

"They put so many resources into training just her," an insider said. "Every time she fails, she has a different excuse."

Tapia failed the running test once in August, once in September and three times in October, said sources familiar with her situation.

In her last try, on Halloween, she clocked a 12:23, still too slow.

But FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano gave Tapia another break after United Women Firefighters (UWF), a fraternal group of active and retired FDNY women, intervened to block her potential firing. They said she had an ­upper respiratory infection.

But suffering a cold is no excuse, the female firefighter said.

"We have to do our job in all types of situations," she said. "If I go to a fire, what am going to do — tell the guys I’m staying out by the ­engine because I’m not feeling so good? It’s 100 percent unheard of."

She said FDNY brass, under pressure from a court order to hire more minorities, "want their numbers — that's all it is."

But that does female firefighters no favors, she added.

"It's making us look bad. It's undermining ­everything we’ve strived for and achieved of our own accord," she said.

Another insider said it also ­undermines confidence in the Fire Department.

"If someone’s life is hanging on the line, you only get one try. There's no ­do-overs when it’s for real," the insider said.

Tapia was "unavailable for an interview," the FDNY said.

A spokesman said Tapia "successfully completed every requirement to graduate from the academy except the run — which she was unable to do after sustaining a work-related injury. We have provided her time to recover from her injury and will test her again on December 2."

He did not address Tapia's five failed attempts since graduation.

Officials from UWF did not return calls or e-mails.


Does the First Amendment stop at 35 feet?

by Jeff Jacoby

EARLY NEXT YEAR, the Supreme Court will take up McCullen v. Coakley, a case challenging the Massachusetts statute that requires anti-abortion protesters and "sidewalk counselors" to stay at least 35 feet away from abortion-clinic entrances. Signed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007, it is the strictest such "buffer zone" law in the nation; violators can be punished with up to 30 months in prison and fines as high as $5,000.

Eleanor McCullen, a 76-year-old mother and grandmother, stands near a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Boston, peacefully offering pregnant women alternatives to abortion.

But McCullen v. Coakley isn't about abortion. It's about freedom of speech. Can Massachusetts make it a crime for private citizens to stand on a public sidewalk and peacefully express their view?

It's easy to defend free speech when you agree with the speaker's message. The challenge is to do so when the message is one you despise. "If liberty means anything at all," George Orwell wrote, "it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." A lot of people don't want to hear that abortion is wrong, or to be confronted with images of babies in the womb, or to be reminded that "choice" is a euphemism for the destruction of human life. Many Americans may find such messages alarming, outrageous, or upsetting, especially when they are directed at girls or women going to get an abortion. But the First Amendment wasn't written to shield citizens in public spaces from unpopular or distressing speech. It was written to shield unpopular or distressing speech from being suppressed in public spaces.

There have always been messages that some Americans despise, and there have usually been government officials prepared to stifle the messenger.

At the State Capitol in South Carolina in 1961, the sight of black students carrying signs reading "Down with segregation" was one that white onlookers may have found genuinely offensive. But that didn't entitle police to arrest the students for breach of the peace and throw them in jail, as the Supreme Court ruled in Edwards v. South Carolina two years later.

In the 1930s, Jersey City's notorious mayor, Frank "Boss" Hague, denied permits to union organizers, preventing them from holding meetings or distributing literature in streets and city parks. Hague blasted labor activists as unpatriotic Communists, and many residents — 15,000 of whom attended a "Reds Keep Out!" rally headlined by the mayor — no doubt agreed. But the Supreme Court shot Hague down, pointedly reminding him that he had no right to silence controversial opinions in the kind of public spaces that, "time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions."

And just as the First Amendment protects the speech of civil-rights marchers and labor organizers, it protects the speech of Holocaust deniers and antiwar demonstrators, of same-sex marriage advocates and flag-burners. It protects the odious Westboro Baptist Church fanatics who mock the dead at military funerals. It protects the Lyndon LaRouche cultists with their disgusting Obama-as-Hitler posters.

And with equal vigor it protects both pro-life and pro-choice speech.

Which is why the Massachusetts zone of exclusion is such an affront to the Bill of Rights.

To be sure, no constitutional liberty is absolute. It is well-established that impartial "time, place, and manner" restrictions may lawfully curb speech in a public forum. But such restrictions must be scrupulously content-neutral and the Massachusetts law plainly is not. It applies only to abortion clinics — not to all medical facilities — so the only kind of speech it effectively restricts is speech related to abortion.

Public spaces such as sidewalks have been used "time out of mind … for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions."

Even more egregious is the law's explicit exception for all "employees or agents" of the abortion clinic while "acting within the scope of their employment." It's hard to imagine a less impartial rule. Someone wishing to talk to a pregnant woman about alternatives to abortion is forced to shout from 35 feet away; someone on the abortion-clinic's payroll can move at will within the buffer zone, with no speech restriction at all. Like any private business, abortion facilities are perfectly free to exclude protesters, critics, or anyone else from their own premises. But Massachusetts in effect has extended abortion clinics' proprietary rights over everything within a 35-foot radius, including public sidewalks and streets.

Worse yet, the law doesn't let pro-life speakers approach even pregnant women who want to hear their message.

McCullen v. Coakley isn't about abortion. It is about the denial of free speech rights for one side — and only one side — of one the most unsettled controversies in American life.

Even in Massachusetts, that's unconstitutional


Confused Atheists Argue Gov't Is Forcing Them to Compromise Their 'Religious Scruples'

Atheism is a religion?  I suspect it is for some

 Atheists told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the town of Greece, N.Y. has no business opening its public meetings with Christian or other sectarian prayers.

"We hope the Supreme Court will agree that civic participation should not be conditioned on compromising one's religious scruples," said Americans United Legal Director Ayesha Khan.

"It's important to understand that we are not asking the board to discontinue its practice of presenting prayers," she told reporters outside the court. "We are asking that citizens not be pressured to participate in those prayers and that the prayers be nondenominational and inclusive."

"I do not support the right to use the power of government to impose on religious minorities, and that's what's going on here," said Douglas Laycock, who argued the case for the plaintiffs.

He called the town's prayer practices "highly coercive" as well as a sectarian endorsement, both of which "violate all the principles of the Establishment Clause."

According to Laycock, "Both sides of the (Supreme) Court, both the liberals and the conservatives, have agreed sectarian endorsements are prohibited and coercion is prohibited, and we have both those things in this case."

Religious coercion -- being forced to compromise one's "religious scruples" --  is at the heart of another issue that is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.

If government can't trample atheists' "religious scruples," and if "coercion is prohibited," can the Obama administration force Roman Catholics to buy health insurance that covers services, which violate church teachings?

Forcing Catholics, under penalty of a fine, to pay for birth control, abortifacients, and sterilization, for example -- all of which violate Catholics' deeply held religious beliefs -- is an unconstitutional infringement of religious liberty, they argue.

It should be noted that the The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which led the charge against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, sided with the town of Greece, against the atheists, in Wednesday's arguments.

"The Founders knew what it meant to have a state church and legislative prayer doesn't come close," said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund.

"This case is about whether the professionally offended will be able to strong-arm cities into banning anything that could be remotely interpreted as religious."


Backlash against British Prosecution Service’s ‘homophobic witch-hunt’

Obscenity law expert fears CPS using porn laws to persecute gay men

The CPS is targeting gay men for looking at legal adult pornography, an experienced defence solicitor warns. The Crown Prosecution Service pursued a gay man for possession of alleged indecent pornographic images over a 580-day ordeal. They continued long after the man’s defence produced conclusive evidence that all participants in the pornographic images were of legal age of consent.

The charges were finally dismissed when solicitor advocate Myles Jackman,Backlash legal adviser and expert in obscenity law, proved to prosecutors there was no case to answer. Wrongfully accused of viewing images of child abuse, the defendant suffered severe psychological harm and disruption to his life. This could have been avoided had the CPS taken a more common-sense approach to what was easy to establish as legitimate adult gay pornography.

Innocent viewing

The false charges related to an incident in September 2011, when the defendant stayed overnight for a conference and used a computer provided in his bedroom to browse gay pornography. These images, of young-looking adult men, often known as ‘twink porn’ within the gay community, were discovered by a subsequent guest using the same room and reported.

Myles Jackman, Backlash legal advisor and advocate at Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors, used forensic experts to establish the age of all actors in the images. However, this was not sufficient to bring the prosecution to a halt. The CPS continued to pursue the case long after receiving conclusive evidence that all the images were legitimate gay adult pornography, and not of child abuse. In Jackman’s opinion, these actions could amount to a ‘homophobic witch-hunt’.

Badly written anti-sex laws encourage discrimination

Jackman has defended several gay men on allegations relating to their sexual identity. Charges have been made under the Obscene Publications Act, possession of so-called ‘extreme pornography’, and alleged indecent images.

In each case, the prosecution has either been thrown out before trial, or rejected by the jury on hearing the evidence. This suggests that the CPS’s charging decisions regarding possession and distribution of pornography are significantly out of step with what the general public consider to be criminal acts.

The minority status of the defendants suggests that the CPS is targeting gay men for disproportionate scrutiny of their private sex lives. Even defendants eventually found innocent face having their most intimate sexual interests revealed and shamed in a public court.

Urgent action is necessary to prevent badly written legislation and poor charging procedures from discriminating against gay people and offering a state-sanction to hatred of sexual minorities.

The CPS’s pattern of victimisation:

Michael Peacock (#ObscenityTrial) – sex worker, prosecuted for distributing gay fisting pornography. Found not guilty by jury in Southwark Crown Court in January 2012.

Simon Walsh (#Porntrial) – former aide to Mayor Boris Johnson and barrister specialising in police misconduct. Prosecuted for possession of images of a private adult sex party, in which he was a participant. Found not guilty by jury in Kingston Crown Court in August 2012.

#TwinkTrial – A gay man of high professional standing, charged by CPS in November 2012 with possessing pornographic images of alleged underage participants. Case dismissed months after evidence of no underage participants shown, 1 November 2013.



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

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

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


11 November, 2013

A face of Africa in Britain

A DJ who murdered his girlfriend's 'outgoing, chatty' three-year-old daughter when he was supposed to be looking after her was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years today.

Delroy Catwell attacked Lylah Aaron because he was jealous of the attention she was receiving from her mother.

When Lylah died she was found to have bruises on her body from being punched, kicked and slapped, and had three broken ribs.

Catwell, 31 was told by Mrs Justice Nicola Davies: 'It is difficult to conceive of a greater abuse of trust than that which you perpetrated in killing this vulnerable and defenceless young girl.'

He had denied murdering Lylah, but was found guilty by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday.

Ms Chibanda, who found it too upsetting to attend much of the trial, broke down in tears as the verdict was read out.

The court had heard from medical experts that the force used to break Lylah's ribs was similar to that seen in a car crash or a fall from a tall building.

As well as a 'sustained and forceful attack' on Lylah hours before she died, the jury was told that Catwell also slammed the tot’s head against a bedroom wall damaging the plaster three weeks previously - claiming he hit the wall because he was trying to kill a spider.

Seven months before she died, Lylah was found with a bruised neck which Catwell said was caused when she banged her head on a sink.

Paramedics were called on February 8 when Ms Chibanda found Lylah was not breathing when she returned from work at Derby Royal Infirmary.

She asked Catwell to help but he did not respond. She said: 'He looked like he was in shock. He was just frozen.'

Paramedics discovered Lylah’s body was rigid and attempted resuscitation. She was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hosptal but later died.
Poignant: Tributes are left outside Lylah Aaron's family home after she died from head injuries earlier this year

Public shock: Floral tributes were left outside the toddler's Sheffield home after the murder in February

Prosecutor Bryan Cox QC said: 'There were numerous bruises over her body.

'There was substantial bruising to her head and fractures to her ribs.  'The injuries indicated she had been subject to a sustained and forceful assault that had occurred within hours of her admission to hospital.'

Mr Cox had told the court: 'The couple’s relationship was generally good but sometimes he would complain he felt sidelined and she gave too much to Lylah.'

Catwell, an unemployed DJ, told police the girl was full of energy and he found it hard to deal with her demands while trainee nurse Miss Chibanda said 'he at times mentioned that I perhaps smothered her.'

Lylah’s mother had gone to work on the day her daughter died but Catwell failed to take Lylah to nursery where staff described her as 'bright' and a 'confident, bubbly little girl'.

He claimed the girl was tired and had been ill for a few days so after watching cartoons he put her to bed that afternoon. He told police: 'I have never hit Lylah. I didn’t cause any injuries whatsoever.'

Experts said he must have inflicted the fatal injuries before Miss Chibanda returned from work at about 4.30pm.

A pathologist reported that the bruises to Lylah’s head were 'typical of non-accidental injuries' and bruising in and behind the left ear 'suggested impact from a hard object with a straight linear surface.'

He went on: 'Other bruises could have been caused by kicks, slaps or punches.'  All the bruises had been caused within 24 hours of her death.

Medical experts found scar tissue on the brain indicating a three-week-old injury and four rib fractures, one of which was about three weeks old.

The other three fresh breaks had been caused by 'squeezing or compression'.

The medics concluded Lylah died from repeated impacts causing fatal bleeding to the brain.

The court was told that Catwell had a previous conviction for sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl in August, 2005

Andrew Robertson QC, defending, said the attack on Lylah was not pre-meditated and although he admitted there were as number of impacts the court could 'never be sure in this case that there was an intention to kill.'

Judge Justice Nicola Davies, heard pre-sentence submissions from both barristers who agreed that Catwell will receive a life sentence with a minimum term to be fixed by the judge.

Both lawyers also agreed the judge's starting point for fixing the minimum term was 15 years but she could increase this by taking into account aggravating factors.

Mr Cox said these factors should include the vulnerability of the victim, the abuse of a position of trust, the previous violence towards Lylah, the fact he tried to blame his partner for the murder and his previous conviction.

After the verdict investigating officer Det Supt David Barraclough said: 'This murder was a forceful and sustained attack on a defenceless three-year-old girl.

'It was both deliberate and violent and perpetrated by Catwell the man who should have been caring for her.  'It is clear his vicious acts left Lylah with injuries that later were to prove fatal.'


Scandal of prisoners who strike again: How hundreds of victims are suffering serious violence and sex attacks within a year of criminals leaving British prisons

Hundred of innocent victims are suffering serious violence and sex attacks at the hands of criminals who have just walked out of prison, a Minister will warn today.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling vowed ‘enough is enough’ as Ministry of Justice figures showed the scale of reoffending by those given short jail terms.

In 2011, 356 adult offenders committed serious violent or sexual offences after release from a sentence of less than a year, while a further 2,482 committed serious ‘acquisitive’  crimes such as robbery within 12 months of being released.

There were also 37,804 thefts and 15,355 lower-level violent assaults by reoffenders.

Mr Grayling wants all those given short prison sentences to have a year’s supervision after they are set free – but much of the work will be done by charities and private firms. That has sparked protests from probation officers.

The Justice Secretary said: ‘We currently have a situation where each year thousands of crimes are being committed by offenders who have already broken the law.

‘It is little surprise when those on short sentences  walk out the prison gates  with little or no support. Enough is enough.’


The Kids Are "Amazing"

For many American children, the floor has become their closet. This drives me crazy. I walk into a room where an urchin resides, and there are clothes scattered everywhere. Believe me, I know the passive-aggressive tactics that kids use to torture their parents, but something else is going on here.

More than a few times, I've heard parents describe their offspring as "amazing." If you look up that word, you will see this meaning: "To cause great wonder or astonishment." That's what "amazing" means. So occasionally, I will ask the parent of an "amazing" child to tell me exactly why that word applies to their tyke. What is the "great wonder" associated with him or her?

"He just is" comes the usual reply, along with a look that could kill a cactus.

Many children fully realize their parents see them as astonishing creatures and incorporate that into their daily presentations. That is, they throw their stuff on the floor because if you are truly amazing you can pretty much do what you want. Right?

When I confront the urchins about strewn clothing, I sometimes get a blank look. So I read their minds. And the brain waves come back this way: "Why are you bothering me? This is interfering with my texting. Someone will pick up my clothes. And if they don't, so what?"

American children are being done a great disservice by adult society. For reasons only Dr. Phil understands, many parents have decided to attach their own self-image to their children. So if the kid is amazing, that means the father or mother is amazing, as well. That's what's going on.

The huge downside is that it takes a lot of work and perseverance to become amazing, and most human beings never reach that status. But children are generally not told that. They are rarely confronted with the fact that life is tough and that to succeed you have be honest, industrious and disciplined. The discipline part kicks in when you hang up your clothing.

The disturbing thing about childhood these days is that some parents and grandparents excuse a lot of questionable behavior because they want their kids to approve of them. It all goes back to "amazing" again. If your extra-special kid doesn't like you at the moment, maybe you aren't topnotch.

Americans whose parents were raised during the Great Depression or World War II understand how drastically things have changed on the home front. My father did not care a whit whether I liked him, and it would have been unthinkable for him to pick up my stuff. There were rules in the house, and they were enforced.

So today, as an adult, I still pick up my stuff and recycle and keep a neat house. That is routine and not at all amazing. But I'm not sure that tradition will survive the next generation.


NY Town Enters Debate on Public Prayer

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about prayers in public life, this latest deliberation revolving around a case from Greece, N.Y., and the recitation of prayers during town board meetings. The board used to begin each of its meetings with a moment of silence. When that moment of silence was replaced by spoken prayers, they turned out to be overwhelmingly Christian, and a suit was filed. Last year a federal appeals court ruled, according to The Washington Post, "...that such a 'steady drumbeat' of Christian invocations violates the Constitution's prohibition against government endorsement of religion."

The Court, not to mention the country, has long struggled with the First Amendment, which simultaneously prohibits Congress from establishing an official state religion, while protecting its "free exercise."

In one of its more precise cases about government and religion, a majority ruled in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) that any government connection to religion must have a "secular legislative purpose," must not have the "primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion" and must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

In Greece, N.Y., in response to the court ruling, the town board made an attempt to solicit other faiths for invocations -- the local chairman of the Baha'i congregation concluded his prayer with "Allah-u-Abha," a Jewish prayer ended with "the songs of David, your servant" and a Wiccan priestess prayed to Athena and Apollo. Still, the prayers were mostly Christian.

The two women who filed suit, Susan Galloway (described by the Post as "uncomfortable with the sectarian prayers") and Linda Stephens, "an atheist," objected to sitting through the faith-based invocations. The women, represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, claim in their legal brief that prayers before legislative bodies are required to be nonsectarian, which those in Greece, N.Y., clearly were not.

According to the Post, Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit conceded that the town board had made an effort to diversify their invocations, but that "By not reaching out to a more diverse group of prayer-givers or making clear that the prayers did not represent the town's beliefs, the judges found, 'the town's prayer practice must be viewed as an endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint.'"

The desire by the faithful, especially Christians, to see their faith expressed in the public square has been a part of America's "civil religion" since the founding of the country. The idea that America is especially chosen by God for some purpose greater than those of any other nation is a type of idolatry that violates the very Scripture in which Christians claim to believe. Isaiah puts it succinctly as to how God views nations: "Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing (Isaiah 40:17)." One must conclude from this passage that "all" includes the United States.

During the recent partial government shutdown, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black received national attention when he used his opening prayer to chastise lawmakers, saying, "Enough is enough." Black asked God to "Cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness." It was fine oratory, but the political devils triumphed, and the shutdown continued until the president and congressional Democrats used their secular powers to prevail.

That is the point, isn't it? What do these public prayers accomplish? How does tossing in minority faiths advance a kingdom Christians believe their Leader taught is "not of this world"?

If individual members of the Greece, N.Y. town board, or any other legislative body, wish to pray silently to their God before their meetings, no law or court decision prohibits them from doing so. Why would God be more impressed and more likely to respond to a public prayer than to a private one? Indeed, Jesus commanded His followers: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6).

That seems more definitive than any ruling by the Supreme Court.



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

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

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


10 November, 2013

Multicultural knife crime in London

A boy who stabbed a teenager to death on a bus on his 16th birthday has today been jailed for at least 12 years.

Shawn Green, 16, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey for a 'senseless act of violence' after he attacked Derek Boateng in broad daylight.

Derek, who was on his way home Hackney, died after being stabbed in the heart on the 393 bus in Highbury New Park at around 3pm on April 23.

The incident happened as Green was coming home from Highbury Grove School and saw Derek, a former pupil at the same school, sitting at the back of the bus.

Green, from Romford, Essex, admitted stabbing Mr Boateng but denied murder on the grounds that he had acted in self defence.

Prosecutor Tom Kark QC said there appeared to have been some 'previous dispute' between the boys. 'The specific circumstances of that may not be very clear and may not matter very much.  'Whatever had gone on before, we say this act was a senseless act of violence. It resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.

'Furthermore is the sad fact that both the defendant and the victim Derek Boateng were carrying knives and both produced them.

'But the prosecution suggest that it’s clear who was the aggressor in this incident, and that was the defendant.'

The jury were shown CCTV footage of the moment Green pulled a knife from his waistband before attacking Derek.

After being stabbed Derek remained standing for a few moments before collapsing from massive internal bleeding. He was airlifted to hospital but died the next day.

After the clip was shown the trail had to be halted for 10 minutes as one juror burst into tears.

Mr Kark told jurors that Green, who has no previous convictions, 'aggressively' moved past other passengers towards the teenager and asked 'something of the nature of ‘do you remember me’?'

He said the defendant then produced what was described by witnesses as a six to eight inch kitchen knife from his clothes and was seen to push it towards Derek 'two or three times'.

'There was panic, there was shouting and screaming on the bus as the passengers started to realise what was happening,' he said.
The fatal stabbing happened at around 3pm as Green boarded the 393 bus outside his school. He saw Derek, a former pupil of the school, sitting at the back and attacked him in front of other passengers

The fatal stabbing happened at around 3pm as Green boarded the 393 bus outside his school. He saw Derek, a former pupil of the school, sitting at the back and attacked him in front of other passengers

The barrister said Derek was 'very much hemmed in' where he was sitting, but witnesses told of how he tried to move back towards the window in an attempt to get away from his attacker.

Judge Peter Thornton QC sentenced Green to detention during Her Majesty’s Pleasure with a minimum of 12 years before parole.

The judge said: ‘You were just 15 years old, a schoolboy in uniform, when you stabbed another boy to death on his 16th birthday.

‘With that single blow you took the life of Derek Boateng on his 16th birthday. He had his whole life to look forward to.  ‘I have seen no remorse, no expression of regret on your part for the loss of Derek’s life.’

Judge Thornton also lifted a reporting restriction on naming Green, saying that it was in the public interest to know, given that it was a knife crime in a public place.

In an impact statement, Derek’s parents Davis and Comfort, who are originally from Ghana, said: ‘The death of Derek has left our whole family devastated completely. Our world has collapsed right in front of us.’

Following the verdict, detective chief inspector Chris Jones, from Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crime command, said: 'It is dreadful to think that Derek, who was celebrating his 16th birthday, lost his life over nothing more than a brief clash with another teenager.

'This dreadful tragedy has left a family grieving for a much-loved son, brother and friend who had everything to live for.  'The incident has also wrecked another teenager’s life and Derek’s 16-year-old attacker will now spend many years behind bars. 

'It demonstrates the devastating consequences of carrying knives and the serious harm it has on our communities.'


Words to patriotic hymn I Vow To Thee My Country are ‘almost obscene’ and not fit for Christians, claims Leftist vicar

One of  England's most wonderful hymns,  with music by a brilliant composer.  You would have  to have no heart and no soul to be unmoved by it.  But all that Leftists have in their hearts is hate, of course

A leading Church of England vicar yesterday condemned the words of one of the country’s best-loved hymns as obscene, offensive and unfit to be sung by Christians.

The Reverend Gordon Giles, one of the Anglicans’ leading authorities on hymns, declared that I Vow to Thee My Country should be rewritten if it is to be sung by modern congregations.

His verdict was delivered in advance of the remembrance weekend when the hymn, which is especially valued by military families, will feature in thousands of services across the country and the Commonwealth.

Its patriotic words, written in the final year of the First World War, speak of the ‘final sacrifice’ made by those that love their country, and end with a promise of peace in heaven.

The hymn has been among the most popular since the 1920s. It was a favourite of both Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, and was sung at Lady Thatcher’s funeral at St Paul’s in April.

But Mr Giles - a former succentor responsible for hymns at St Paul’s - called I Vow to Thee My Country ‘dated’ and ‘unjust’.

He said in an article in the Church Times: ‘Many would question whether we can sing of a love that “asks no question”, that “lays on the altar the dearest and the best” and that juxtaposes the service of country and that “other country” of faith.

‘Should we, undaunted, make the sacrifice of our sons and daughters, laying their lives on the altar in wars that we might struggle to call holy or just?”

‘The notion of vowing everything to a country, including the sacrifice of one’s life for the glorification of nationhood, challenges sensibilities today.’

Mr Giles said that the hymn had a ‘dated military concept of fighting for King and country.

This, he said, ‘gives offence, as it is based on the idea of a king as head of an empire, whose bounds need to be preserved for the benefit of subjects at home and abroad.

‘In post-colonial Britain this comes across as patronising and unjust. Associating duty to King and Empire with a divine call to kill people and surrender one’s own life is a theologically inept reading of Jesus’ teaching.’

Mr Giles, who is vicar of St Mary Magdalene in Enfield in North London, added: ‘Furthermore, if the cause is wealth, power, influence, national pride, then the sacrifice is diminished and its connection to the pride of suffering is, for me, almost obscene.’


I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;

The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;

The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;

We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;

And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

The hymn is based on a poem written by British diplomat Sir Cecil Spring-Rice in 1908. Sir Cecil became ambassador in Washington charged with persuading America to enter the war against Germany, and heavily re-wrote his poem in January 1918, shortly before he died.

The new emphasis on sacrifice came in the final months of a war which saw more than three million British Empire casualties, including over 900,000 deaths.

Composer Gustav Holst, who was director of music at St Paul’s Girls School, where Spring-Rice’s daughter was a pupil, set the words to a slightly altered version of the Jupiter theme from his Planets suite in 1921.

With its stirring new tune, called Thaxted, it rapidly became a staple of Anglican worship.

However left-wing and liberal teachers turned against it after the Second World War, and nine years ago a Church of England bishop, the then Bishop of Hulme, the Right Reverend Stephen Lowe, described it as ‘heretical’ and accused it of having ‘echoes of 1930s nationalism in Germany and some of the nastier aspects of right-wing republicanism in the United States.’

Its unpopularity with some Church of England clergy mirrors the fate of another hymn that dates from World War One. Blake’s Jerusalem, set to music in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry, is now often regarded by Anglican leaders as unsuitable for Church use.

While frowned on by some clerics, both songs remain treasured by millions.

I Vow to Thee My Country has been used as an anthem by England sports teams and featured in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics last year.

Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth said that churchmen who dislike the hymn are out of touch with their congregations.

Sir Gerald, Tory MP for Aldershot, said: ‘Any Church of England vicar should know that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the Queen. I am not sure a Church of England cleric should be taking this view of Her Majesty.

‘He is completely out of touch with the spirit of the times. There are more poppies being worn this year than ever and the armed forces have never been held in higher regard.

‘A vicar of all people should not be so insensitive at a time of remembrance of those who have made the final sacrifice, for the freedom of vicars to say insulting things.’


With Britain's population set to grow by 10 million... The dangerous liberal myth that it's racist to want to curb immigration

A photo of my grandfather sits in front of me: he came here from Germany in search of a better life, married an English girl, had six young children and yet still faced anti-immigrant racism during World War??I as a ‘Hun’.

His name was included on a trumped-up list of enemy agents. A mob attacked his shop and tried to strangle his wife. He was interned as an enemy alien.

As a result, his son changed his name from Karl Hellenschmidt to Charles Collier.

I am Charles’s son — so a descendant of immigrants, and horribly aware of how natural sentiments about one’s country can easily be tipped into the visceral cruelty of which my family were victims.

My grandfather was an economic migrant. He left a poverty-stricken village in Germany for what was then the most prosperous city in Europe: Bradford. He went straight to a district already so packed with other German immigrants that it was known as Little Germany.

A century on, Bradford is still a city of migrants and still a city of tensions, except that now some of the immigrants really are — unlike my grand-father — enemy agents. Four of them committed the terrorist suicide bombings that killed 52 people in London. Immigrants can be perpetrators of cruelty as well as its victims.

So I know from personal family history both sides of the immigrant issue.

That’s why I can face up to two of the key questions of our times. Is this seemingly unstoppable exodus from some of the world’s poorest nations to this country beneficial or harmful? And, should a country like ours open its doors to all and sundry, or should it  impose restrictions?

Even to pose these questions requires a degree of courage because the issue of migration is a hornet’s nest.

But I want there to be popular discussion of migration  policy beyond views that are too often theatrically polarised and stridently expressed. The issue is too important to stay that way.

To me, there is a clear moral obligation to help very poor people who live in other countries. The persistence of mass poverty alongside the technology that can make ordinary people prosperous is the challenge of our age. Yet this does not imply an obligation to permit free movement of people across borders.

There is a prevailing opinion among liberal thinkers — a group of which I am a member — that societies like Britain should embrace a global future. In view of my own family circumstances, you might expect me to go along with that orthodoxy.

At borders, we present three different passports. I am English, my wife is Dutch but brought up in Italy, while our son, born in the United States, proudly sports his American passport. My nephews are Egyptian, their mother is Irish. If ever there was a post-national family, mine is surely it.

But what if everyone did that? Suppose international migration were to become sufficiently common as to dissolve the meaning of national identity. Would this matter?

I think it would matter a great deal. Shared identity is the foundation of trust, co-operation and generosity. In other words, it is the very fabric of a successful modern society.

Yet in liberal circles, the whole subject has become a taboo in which the only permissible opinion has been to bemoan popular antipathy to immigration and denounce those who dare to question it as racists, nationalists and Little Englanders.
A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist

A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist

But that slur is unwarranted. National identity is not of itself toxic. Its potential for abuse should not be forgotten, but if a shared sense of national identity enhances cohesion, it is doing something truly important.

A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist.

To question open access for immigrants does not automatically make someone a racist.

One of the dangerous mistakes of the liberal aversion to national identity has been to allow racist groups to hijack nationalist sentiment. When, by default, other politicians underplay a sense of national identity, it hands a potent political tool to evil; as does the embarrassed silence when it comes to discussing the rights and wrongs of immigration.

Yet what we need in this country is a proper debate — based on facts, not prejudices — about designing a properly thought-through policy on immigration, rather than the dithering of politicians who often talk tough and act soft, and appear to be embarrassed by their citizens’ preferences.

The story this week that official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain’s population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73??million surely makes this debate more important than ever.

Astonishingly, as migration policy has soared up the rankings of the policy priorities of voters, mainstream political parties have dodged the issue.

We need to find a balance — and soon.    Because what we are now observing are the beginnings of an imbalance between immigration and emigration of epic proportions.

The global stock of immigrants from poor countries living in rich ones tripled from under 20 million in 1960 to more than 60 million in 2000. Further, the increase accelerated decade by decade.

Left to itself, migration will keep accelerating.  Existing immigrants make it easier for future immigrants to come: they provide the tickets, the welcome and the contacts without which migration is daunting.

Migration in itself need not necessarily be a bad thing. The key issue on which Britain must reach consensus is how much diversity we want in our society. Some diversity is likely to be better than none. But too much diversity would threaten cohesion and the vital things that cohesion sustains.

Because migration tends to accelerate, without controls we would almost inevitably end up with more diversity than we wanted. But how much migration is compatible with our chosen level of diversity depends upon how rapidly immigrants are integrated into mainstream society. The problem is that there are powerful forces preventing that from happening.

Here, the concept of multiculturalism framed by liberal elites has proved massively counter-productive.

It is often forgotten by those who pursue such policies that most migrants are escaping countries that are dysfunctional. One reason they are dysfunctional is because people are not used to trusting, co-operating with, and helping those who are different. We should be wary, then, of the mantra to have ‘respect for other cultures’.

So how far should we expect those who come to our country to take on the norms of the society they’ve chosen to join?

At one extreme is assimilation and integration, whereby migrants intermarry with the indigenous population and adopt the ways of that population. I am the product of this assimilative migration. So is Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, whose grandfather was a Turkish immigrant.

Then, at the other extreme, there is permanent cultural isolation of migrants in a hermetic community where schooling and language are separate, and marriage outside the group is punished  by expulsion.

Multiculturalism began primarily because many migrants preferred to congregate together in clusters that protected their culture of origin. But to criticise them for this was thought to border on racism, forgetting that anyone of any race can absorb any culture.

Hence multiculturalism was projected as desirable in itself.
The official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain's population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73 million

The official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain's population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73 million

That would have been fine if the outcome was ‘fusion’ — a middle ground in which everyone brings something distinctive to the common table from which all eat, exemplified by the popularity of chicken tikka, an innovation by an immigrant who rose to the challenge of fusing his own cultural expertise with an indigenous demand for fast food.

Fusion places demands upon both migrants and indigenous Britons to be curious about other cultures and to adapt to them. But the dominant tendency so far has been to interpret multiculturalism as the right to persistent cultural separatism.

Long-term assimilation as a goal for immigrant populations has, sadly, pretty well fallen out of fashion. I say ‘sadly’ because it has some major advantages not just for the indigenous, but for everyone.

To my mind, there is no ethical reason why — as part of the deal in being admitted to this country — a migrant should not be expected to absorb the indigenous culture, not least its language.

Assimilation also breaks down distrust and replaces it with mutual regard.

Instead, we have a situation where immigrants have become steadily more concentrated in a few cities, and especially in London. The 2011 census revealed that the indigenous British had become a minority in their own capital.

Separatism also shows up in cultural practices resulting from Islamic fundamentalism. Single-ethnicity immigrant schools are encouraged. British Bangladeshi women are increasingly adopting the full veil, whereas in Bangladesh itself the veil is not worn.

Research also shows that another barrier to greater integration is an easy-access welfare system, which tempts migrants into remaining at the bottom of the social ladder.

Of course, it also tempts the indigenous population but it appears to be more tempting for migrants because they are accustomed to radically lower living standards. Even the modest income provided by welfare systems seems attractive, and so the incentive to get a higher income by getting a job is weaker.

Thus, between them, multiculturalism and generous welfare systems hamper integration at home and at work.

This failure to assimilate quickly enough has two crucial effects. First, the data shows that the bigger and more separatist an immigrant community is, the more it supports further immigrants to join it. Thus the influx will not stop, but speed up.

Second, and more surprisingly, social bonds within the indigenous population can be weakened. As their locality becomes more culturally fragmented, people tend to withdraw from taking part in group activities and retreat into isolation. They opt out and hunker down — so society as a whole loses some of its cohesion.

Feeling English should be open to everybody. Everyone permanently living here should pitch in to forge a common cultural identity of which we are all proud.

Yet under multiculturalism, being English is in danger of being relegated to the status of just one racial-cum-cultural community among several others: ‘the English community’ alongside the ‘Bangladeshi community’ or ‘Somali community’.

The English community has to be integrationist: anything less would breach anti-discrimination laws. Yet the English cannot be expected to be integrationist if that same expectation is not placed on immigrants.

In setting migration policy, governments need to balance fairly the interests of the indigenous poor, in particular, against the interests of migrants.

As we have seen, integration of migrants into British society has proved more difficult than anticipated. Newcomers are not being assimilated. If a balance is to be achieved, we need to make some fundamental choices.

First, we must decide whether it is morally right or wrong to restrict immigration. If, as some people believe, all restrictions are wrong by definition, then we need to face up to the fact that migration will build to rates far in excess of those in recent decades.

But if restrictions are legitimate — as I believe they are — then migration controls, far from being an embarrassing vestige of nationalism and racism, are going to be increasingly important.

A Gallup poll indicated that around 40 per cent of the population of poor countries would choose to migrate to rich ones if they could. That is the extent of the demand out there. To permit it would drain the poorest countries of their most useful people, and place impossible strains on the rich societies.

All the evidence that I have compiled leads to the conclusion that moderate immigration can bring gains to society as whole, but with the massive levels that would be implied by open borders, everyone would lose out.


Plans to regulate the Press 'belong in the privy', says Boris Johnson as he urges editors not to adopt new system

The London Mayor urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator

Outspoken: Boris Johnson urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator

Publishers should stick the Government’s plans for a Royal Charter on Press regulation ‘in the privy’, Boris Johnson said yesterday.

The London Mayor urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator.

Mr Johnson said he was pleased the magazine ‘has told the Privy Council to stick its charter in the privy’, and he urged ‘all other editors to follow suit’.

Last month, politicians agreed the detail of a charter enshrining a system of newspaper regulation in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

An alternative proposal put forward by the Press, which would have meant a new independent regulator having strong investigative powers and the right to impose fines of up to £1million for wrongdoing, up-front corrections, with inaccuracies corrected fully and prominently, and independence from the industry and politicians, was rejected.

The Spectator has already announced that it will refuse to take part in the Government’s new system of regulation.

The Government has passed legislation meaning that newspapers that refuse to join a regulator approved under its charter will be hit with ‘exemplary’ damages in libel cases.

However, senior figures including Lord Lester, an eminent QC who is the architect of reforms to Britain’s notorious libel laws, have suggested that will violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of expression.

Critics warn the new regime means an end to 300 years of Press freedom.

Mr Johnson was presenting awards at The Spectator’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year ceremony in London.

The Parliamentarian of the Year award, normally given to a single MP, was given to the 15 MPs who voted against Government plans for exemplary damages.

Home Secretary Theresa May was named Politician of the Year.



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

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

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


8 November, 2013

Some great multiculturalism in Britain today

A paramedic was hurled against the window of an ambulance and punched repeatedly in the head until he lost consciousness by the drunken thug he had been trying to treat.

In a depressing indictment of modern Britain, Akinwunmi Akinyuwa attacked Qasam Pervez as they were travelling to hospital in the early hours of the morning.

The 29-year-old student, who had been found slumped and intoxicated in a communal stairwell at his home, began shouting ‘angel of death’ before unstrapping himself from the stretcher.

He then threw Mr Pervez against the window so he hit his head on the glass before reigning blows on the back of his head as he lay defenceless on the floor.

Akinyuwa, of Blackfriars in Salford, fled the ambulance when it came to a halt. He was arrested the next day.  He pleaded guilty to assault when he appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Barry Cuttle, defending, said the Nigerian-born defendant, was ‘deeply ashamed and deeply sorry’ for his actions.  He said: 'This man has made the first mistake of his life and is deeply upset.'

Akinyuwa, who is studying a management course at college, cannot remember anything about the October 22 attack after getting drunk while celebrating his birthday with friends.

Akinyuwa’s victim Mr Pervez has suffered blurred vision and headaches since the attack. He has also struggled with anxiety and fears he will be assaulted again.

The paramedic had initially been laughing and joking with his attacker and had been filling in paperwork when he was assaulted.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Pervez said: 'I feel angry because I am there to help people. I feel anxious about returning to work.

'Every patient could be a potential suspect or attacker. This assault has definitely knocked my confidence. The assault was totally unprovoked.'

The paramedic, who has worked as an emergency medical technician with North West Ambulance Service for four years, said he was determined to return to work.

Akinyuwa is due to be sentenced on November 27 after the case was adjourned for reports.



Cinemas in Sweden introduce ratings that indicate if a movie features SEXISM (and every Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings film would need one)

Cinema goers are used to looking out for warnings of nudity and violence in films. Now another category has been added to the list of movie dangers – male chauvinism.

Cinemas in Sweden have introduced an ‘A’ rating to highlight films that have a shortage of ‘female perspectives’.

The guidance system – named the Bechdel test after US feminist Alison Bechdel – will monitor whether at least two female characters talk to each other about subjects other than men.

‘The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test,’ said Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, an art-house movie theatre in Stockholm's trendy Sodermalm district.

Bio Rio is one of four Swedish movie theatres that launched the new rating last month to draw attention to how few movies pass. Most visitors have reacted positively to the initiative ‘and for some people it has been an eye-opener,’ said Tejle, reclining in one of Bio Rio's cushy red seats.

Beliefs about women's roles in society are influenced by the fact that movie watchers rarely see ‘a female superhero or a female professor or person who makes it through exciting challenges and masters them,’ Tejle said, noting that the rating doesn't say anything about the quality of the film. ‘The goal is to see more female stories and perspectives on cinema screens.’

The state-funded Swedish Film Institute supports the initiative, which is starting to catch on.

Scandinavian cable TV channel Viasat Film says it will start using the ratings in its film reviews and has scheduled an ‘A’ rated ‘Super Sunday’ on Nov. 17, when it will show only films that pass the test, such as The Hunger Games, The Iron Lady and Savages.

The Bechdel test got its name from American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who introduced the concept in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It has been discussed among feminists and film critics since then, but Tejle hopes the ‘A’ rating system will help spread awareness among moviegoers about how women are portrayed in films.

In Bio Rio's wood-panelled lobby, students Nikolaj Gula and Vincent Fremont acknowledged that most of their favourite films probably wouldn't get an ‘A’ rating.

‘I guess it does make sense, but to me it would not influence the way I watch films because I'm not so aware about these questions,’ said Fremont, 29.

At least one Hollywood star sounded excited by the idea when asked about it by The Associated Press.  ‘A feminist ratings system? That's so interesting!’ actress-producer Jada Pinkett Smith said in Beverly Hills, California, where she was attending a benefit dinner for gender equality. ‘I say, hey, let's see if it works!’

The ‘A’ rating is the latest Swedish move to promote gender equality by addressing how women are portrayed in the public sphere.

Sweden's advertising ombudsman watches out for sexism in that industry and reprimands companies seen as reinforcing gender stereotypes, for example by including skimpily clad women in their ads for no apparent reason other than to draw eyeballs.

Since 2010, the Equalisters project has been trying to boost the number of women appearing as expert commentators in Swedish media through a Facebook page with 44,000 followers. The project has recently expanded to Finland, Norway and Italy.

For some, though, Sweden's focus on gender equality has gone too far.  ‘If they want different kind of movies they should produce some themselves and not just point fingers at other people,’ said Tanja Bergkvist, a physicist who writes a blog about Sweden's ‘gender madness.’

The ‘A’ rating also has been criticized as a blunt tool that doesn't actually reveal whether a movie is gender-balanced.

‘There are far too many films that pass the Bechdel test that don't help at all in making society more equal or better, and lots of films that don't pass the test but are fantastic at those things,’ said Swedish film critic Hynek Pallas.

Pallas, who moved from communist Czechoslovakia to Sweden in the 1970s, also criticized the state-funded Swedish Film Institute - the biggest financier of Swedish film - for vocally supporting the project, saying a state institution should not ‘send out signals about what one should or shouldn't include in a movie.’

Research in the U.S. supports the notion that women are underrepresented on the screen and that little has changed in the past 60 years.

Of the U.S. top 100 films in 2011, women accounted for 33 per cent of all characters and only 11 per cent of the protagonists, according to a study by the San Diego-based Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

Another study, by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, showed the ratio of male to female characters in movies has remained at about two to one for at least six decades. That study, which examined 855 top box-office films from 1950-2006, showed female characters were twice as likely to be seen in explicit sexual scenes as males, while male characters were more likely to be seen as violent.

‘Apparently Hollywood thinks that films with male characters will do better at the box office. It is also the case that most of the aspects of movie-making - writing, production, direction, and so on - are dominated by men, and so it is not a surprise that the stories we see are those that tend to revolve around men,’ Amy Bleakley, the study's lead author, said in an email.

In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. That movie - a war film about a bomb disposal team in Iraq - doesn't pass the Bechdel test


Shock: Military Manual Says White Men Have Unfair Advantages

A controversial 600-plus page manual used by the military to train its Equal Opportunity officers teaches that "healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian" men hold an unfair advantage over other races, and warns in great detail about a so-called "White Male Club."

“Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege,” reads a statement in the manual created by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).

The manual, which was obtained by Fox News, also instructs troops to “support the leadership of people of color. Do this consistently, but not uncritically,” the manual states.

The Equal Opportunity Advisor Student Guide is the textbook used during a three month DEOMI course taught at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. Individuals who attend the training lead Equal Opportunity briefings on military installations around the nation.

The 637-page manual covers a wide range of issues from racism and religious diversity to cultural awareness, extremism and white privilege.

I obtained a copy of the manual from an Equal Opportunity officer who was disturbed by the course content and furious over the DEOMI’s reliance on the Southern Poverty Law Center for information on “extremist” groups.

“I’m participating in teaching things that are not true,” the instructor told me. He asked not to be identified because he feared reprisals.

“I should not be in a position to do that,” he said. “It violates Constitutional principles, but it also violates my conscience. And I’m not going to do it – not going to do it.”

DEOMI instructors were also responsible for briefings at bases around the country that falsely labeled evangelical Christians, Catholics and a number of high-profile Christian ministries as domestic hate groups.

I contacted the Pentagon as well as the DEOMI multiple times for comment on this story, but so far they have not responded to my requests.

DEOMI opened in 1971 in response to the civil rights movement. It’s responsible for Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity education and training for military active duty and reservists, according to its website.

The subject of white privilege emerged in a 20-page section titled, “Power and Privilege.”

“Whites are the empowered group,” the manual declares. “White males represent the haves as compared to the have-nots.”

The military document advises personnel to “assume racism is everywhere, every day” and “notice code words for race.” They are also instructed to “understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism.”

“Assume racism is everywhere, everyday,” read a statement in a section titled, ‘How to be a strong 'white ally.'"

“One of the privileges of being white is not having to see or deal with racism all the time,” the manual states. “We have to learn to see the effect that racism has.”

On page 181 of the manual, the military points out that status and wealth are typically passed from generation to generation and “represent classic examples of the unearned advantages of social privilege.”

“As such, the unfair economic advantages and disadvantages created long ago by institutions for whites, males, Christians, etc. still affect socioeconomic privilege today,” the manual states.

The guide also points out that whites are over-represented and blacks are underrepresented in positive news stories, that middle class blacks live in poorer neighborhoods than middle class whites and that even though there are more white criminals than any other race, the news coverage of black criminals is about equal to the news coverage of white criminals.

The military manual goes into great detail about a so-called “White Male Club.”

“In spite of slave insurrections, civil war, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, the women’s suffrage movement leading to the 19th amendment, the civil rights movement, urban rebellions and the contemporary feminist movement, the club persists,” the document states.

DEOMI states that “full access to the resources of the club still escape the vision of equitable distribution.”

The military also implies that white Americans may be in denial about racism.

In a section titled, “Rationalizations for Retaining Privilege and Avoiding Responsibilities,” the military lays out excuses white people use.

“Today some white people may use the tactic of denial when they say, ‘It’s a level playing field; this is a land of equal opportunity,’” the manual reads. “Some white people may be counterattacking today by saying political correctness rules the universities or they want special status.”

DEOMI points out that if “white people are unable to maintain that the atrocities are all in the past, they may switch to tactics to make a current situation seem isolated.”

They said some of the ways whites may claim to be victims include saying things like, “I have it just as bad as anyone else,” “They’re taking away our jobs,” or “White people are under attack.”
The military concludes the section by urging students to “understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism” and “support the leadership of people of color.”

I called former Congressman and Lt. Col. Allen West (ret.) to get his take on the manual. In a nutshell – he wants a congressional investigation.

“This is the Obama administration’s outreach of social justice into the United States military,” he told me. “Equal Opportunity in the Army that I grew up in did not have anything to do with white privilege.”

West said he is very concerned about the training guide.

“When the president talked about fundamentally transforming the United States of America, I believe he also had a dedicated agenda of going after the United States military,” he said. “The priorities of this administration are totally whacked.”

West said the DEOMI manual reminded him of a similar program inflicted on the military by President Clinton.

“They came down with a new training requirement called, ‘Consideration of Others Training,’” he said. “The soldiers were supposed to sit around and go through vignettes and talk about their feelings.”

I truly wish the Pentagon and the DEOMI would return my telephone calls. I’d like to know how teaching soldiers, airmen and sailors about white privilege and fomenting racial division helps them protect our nation from the enemy.


Jews and Christians Play the Interfaith Kumbaya

The first chapter of the Koran, Al Fatiha, is recited at the start of Muslim prayer rituals at five different times of the day for a total of 17 recitations daily.  The Al Fatiha entreats Muslims to follow the straight path - obedience to Allah and his messenger Mohammed - and not the path of those who have angered Allah or gone astray.  For centuries, revered Islamic scholars have interpreted this foundational surah of Islamic doctrine as referring to Jews and Christians: Jews as those angering Allah because they know the "truth" about Islam and knowingly reject it, and Christians as those gone astray because they are ignorant of Islam and therefore misguided.  Thus, the idea of both Jews and Christians as having strayed from the "straight path" is reinforced daily and also in later verses of the Koran.

The significance Al Fatiha can't be underestimated.  According to Robert Spencer, an expert on Islam and author of 13 books on the subject, "Mohammed said that the Fatiha surpasses anything revealed by Allah."

Given the damning inherent in this compulsory prayer and the active and historical enmity of Muslims toward them both, it is puzzling and even dangerous that both Jews and Christians today engage in many interfaith activities and forums with committed Muslims.  Indeed, they often reject alliances with each other, even to the point of occasionally working at cross-purposes.  In the face of the serious worldwide threat Islam poses to both religions, their failure to work together could eventually prove to be a fatal mistake.

Christian Anti-Semitism Motivates Jews

For Jews, the idea of forming alliances with Christians and Christian organizations seems risky, given the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. That history includes blame and damnation for the death of Jesus, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Jewish ghettos, the forced conversions and kidnapping of Jewish children, the pogroms, and unrelenting proselytizing efforts, just to name a few examples.  Equally seared in Jewish consciousness are myriad and fairly recent, 20th century examples of prejudice against employing Jews, admitting Jews to private clubs, accepting Jews at elite prep schools and colleges, and welcoming Jews in certain neighborhoods.

More recently, Jewish fears of aligning with Christians to counter the mutual threat posed by Islam have not been calmed by the ongoing assault from certain segments of the Christian community that demonize and delegitimize Israel by labeling as "apartheid" efforts by Israel to build security fences to prevent Islamic suicide attacks on its civilians.  The boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movements against the Jewish state by many mainline Protestant churches, plus their alliances with Palestinian groups with ties to terrorism, have also understandably done little to abate Jewish fears of joining forces with Christians.

Given centuries of persecution and discrimination by Christians, a significant percentage of the American Jewish population is wary even of pro-Israel Christians, suspicious of their motivations, and reject expectations of Jewish gratitude.  Another concern is the underlying fear that Christians want to establish a toehold in the Holy Land and await mass conversions by Jews for a "second coming."

By contrast, many American Jews have little or no direct experience with Islamic anti-Semitism.  They may be unaware of centuries of Jewish massacres - beginning with Mohammed's siege against the Qurayza Jews in 627 A.D. - and the historical subjugation and persecution of Jews by Muslims, as well as the more recent purging of Jews, 1947 to 1974, from the Middle East and North Africa.  They may know that Muslim anti-Semitism exists, particularly in the Muslim world, but may attribute acts of terrorism against Jews and Jewish establishments as the work of a minority of otherwise "peaceful" Muslims.  Generally, most American Jews, not unlike their Christian counterparts, are relatively unaware of virulent Islamic doctrine that rails against them.

Dangerous Liaisons - Jews & Muslims

Thus, Jews who reach out to Muslims often hold the view that Christianity represents the greater threat.  This perspective has led to some alarming and potentially threatening affiliations and collaborations.

For example, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, founded in 1862 and the oldest synagogue in Los Angeles, has fostered an interfaith program with Muslims for nearly ten years.  This includes an annual Passover Seder, which (ironically given the damning inherent in the Al Fatiha) includes a break for the Islamic call to prayer, and an Iftar breakfast in celebration of the end of Ramadan.  For their recent rededication ceremony following a multi-million dollar renovation, the temple invited Imam Asim Buyuksoy from the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) to give a benediction during which he chanted Arabic verses from the Koran.

The ICSC background illustrates the folly of these interfaith efforts. According to a report issued by Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), which researches radical Islamic terrorist groups, the ICSC was incorporated as a nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) in 1953.  It is an umbrella organization with over 1,000 members and collaborates with over 30 local mosques.  ICC leaders have been tied to Yasser Arafat, the late chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and leader of the Fatah terrorist group, who is commonly referred to as "the father of modern terrorism."

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an ICSC offshoot which retains close ties with ICSC and supports BDS efforts, was listed in a recent Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report as one of the top 10 anti-Israel Groups in America.  ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement that these groups "are fixated on delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain that deserves to be ostracized and isolated."

As part of that effort to vilify Israel, Maher Hathout, ICSC spokesman and MPAC founder, has accused Israel of being behind the 9/11 attacks and of pushing the United States into Middle East wars.  He has referred to Israelis as "butchers" guilty of "racial apartheid," has praised the terrorist group Hezbollah as "freedom fighters," and condemned U.S. and Israeli counterterrorism policies.

Another Jewish-Muslim interfaith venture, NewGround, described as a "Muslim-Jewish partnership for change," was established in 2006 as an alliance between MPAC and the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA).  Housed at the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, NewGround's teen leadership program earned it recognition as "California's 2013 Faith-Based Organization of the Year" by the California governor's office.  The idea behind this coalition is that outreach and fellowship - knowing people on a personal level - will "bridge the faith boundary."

NewGround has created programs, partnerships and consulting relationships with a number of organizations including American Jewish University, Birthright Israel NEXT, the Jewish Home for the Aging, Jewish Family Services, the Museum of Tolerance, UCLA Department of Jewish Studies, and Hebrew Union College, as well as several area temples and the Islamic Center of Southern California.  In addition to the problems previously mentioned about MPAC's ties and the nefarious statements of its leadership, another questionable MPAC official, Edina Lekovic, serves as NewGround's chairman of the board.

Lekovic accused "Zionists" in "Palestine" of "massacring" Muslims, according to an IPT report detailing her activities. The report states that in the late 1990s, while a UCLA student and editor of Al-Talib, UCLA's Muslim news magazine, Lekovic identified Osama bin Laden as a "freedom fighter and philanthropist" and urged Muslims to strictly follow Islamic doctrine.  Following bin Laden's declaration of war on the West, Al-Talib continued to represent him as a "freedom fighter" fighting in "Allah's cause," according to the report.   The report continues that Lekovic, still as the Al-Talib editor, published articles claiming that the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdal Rahman, convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind, was falsely accused and tortured in his North Carolina prison cell.  Another article claimed that accounts of the Holocaust were exaggerated and should be subject to scrutiny and possible revision.

Of course, similar examples across the country abound and it is indeed shocking and disconcerting that prominent Jewish organizations and their members would fail to conduct due diligence and seek alliances with such obviously anti-Semitic, anti-Israel entities such as MPAC, the ICSC, and other Muslim Brotherhood groups when a cursory review of readily available sources exposes their true agenda.  Sadly, Jews who participate in these so-called interfaith forums are operating under the misguided belief that coming to the table in the spirit of peace and reconciliation will motivate Muslims to abandon their 1,400-year- old anti-Semitic doctrine, to forego the Islamic requirement of jihad, to condemn acts of Islamic terrorism on the West, and to join them in fellowship. 

Jews, referred to in Islamic scripture as "the worst of creatures" (Koran 98:6), "transformed by Allah into apes and pigs" (Koran 5:60) and even rats (Bukhari 54:524), are gravely mistaken if they believe they can change an ingrained mindset of such historic proportions and intensity, especially given the background of the  groups referred to above. 

Demonizing Israel

As far as Christian-Muslim interfaith endeavors are concerned, they generally involve joint Christian-Muslim efforts of demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state in support of Arab-Palestinians using the reasoning that "authentic" Christianity requires Christians to embrace the "Palestinian" narrative.

Churches within the Christian faiths including Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and others have allied with Muslims to vilify Israel.  They conveniently ignore Israel's legitimate security concerns following scores of suicide bombings and attacks on Israeli civilians, as well as the constant barrage of thousands of rockets.  Instead, they focus on Israel's supposed wrongs, raising false claims of brutality by Israeli police and military and decrying "apartheid walls," "war crimes," and "oppression of Palestinians."  As part of this subterfuge, Israel is held to an impossible standard and the brutal acts of its enemies are ignored or excused.

These mainline Protestant churches engage in boycotts, divestment and economic sanctions against the Jewish state.  More dangerously they incorporate a codified anti-Zionist liturgy equating so-called Arab-Palestinian suffering to the crucifixion of Christ, evoking the imagery of Israel as a nation of Christ killers.  Of note is that few of these groups have conducted similar extensive campaigns against Turkey's annexation of northern Cyprus, its oppression and violation of the rights of its native Kurdish population, China's occupation of Tibet, the Muslim takeover of the Indian state of Kashmir and many other conflicts of truly oppressed and occupied populations.

For some Christians, fear of Muslims - despite centuries of Muslim conquest of Christian land that led to massacres and extensive periods of Christian subjugation - is superseded by deep-rooted anti-Semitism stemming from such beliefs as "Jews control the world," "Jews killed Christ," and "Jews are damned for not accepting Jesus as a messiah." Replacement theology, in which the Church replaces Israel, also feeds anti-Semitism.

These Christians remain silent about Islamic terrorism against Christians and Jews and the current cleansing of Christians from the Middle East, despite wholesale Palestinian-Muslim persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank, where Hamas has bombed churches, used Christian homes for sniper attacks on Israel, and forced Christians to abide by the tenets of shariah.  Given the Koranic-sanctioned Muslim persecution of Christians throughout the Muslim world, it is hard to fathom that many Christians willingly seek alliances with Muslims, condemn Jews and Israel, and ignore the reality that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

In his recent book, Crucified Again:  Exposing Islam's New War on Christians, author Raymond Ibrahim cites the long history and theological underpinnings for Muslim persecution of Christians and how they are unwelcome in Islamic states.  In actuality, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where freedom of religion exists and where Christian populations have increased.

As non-Muslims continue to be persecuted and murdered in the name of Islam, which literally means "submission to Allah," and Muslims proceed with their encroachment on Western democracies with creeping Islamization and shariah, these feeble attempts by Jews and Christians for interfaith solidarity with a prevailing threat are foolhardy.  It is high time that Jews and Christians became aware of the reality of the situation they jointly confront, put aside differences -

Including long-held anger over past discrimination and atrocities - and stand together against a medieval doctrine that threatens adherents of both faiths.  Rather than apocryphal alliances with false friends who bear ulterior motives, Jews and Christians must unify and fight the onslaught and destruction of the Judeo-Christian culture, values and traditions, as well as fight to preserve their freedom. 



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

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

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


7 November, 2013

Today's episode of British multiculturalism

A senior doctor at a private hospital has been convicted of killing a patient.  Surgeon David Sellu, 66, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the death of father of six James Hughes, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Mr Hughes, 66, died at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, north-west London, on February 14, 2010.

Sellu, of Hillingdon, west London, was found not guilty of perjury after he was accused of lying to the victim’s inquest under oath.
Dr David Sellu knew his patient had a perforated bowel, he failed to operate for 40 hours

Mr Hughes suffered an unexplained tear to his bowel after a routine knee operation at the privately-run Churchill Clementine Hospital in Harrow, northwest London.

Sellu ignored concerns that Mr Hughes was in excruciating pain and failed to operate for at least 24 hours.

Mr Hughes’ suffered blood poisoning as a result of the ‘exceptionally bad care’ and died of a heart attack on February 14, 2010.

Sellu was convicted after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey. Following the verdict, prosecutor Bobbie Cheema QC read an impact statement from Mr Hughes’ wife Ann about the effect on her family.

Mrs Hughes said: ‘Jim was much loved and cared for by his family. His extended family phoned and visited him while he was in hospital.

‘The pathetic reassurances that everything was in hand were categorically wrong and left Jim totally victim to an inhumane environment.  ‘Jim would have been better cared for if he had collapsed in a back alley.’

Miss Cheema said: ‘They weren’t given the full information they should have been and didn’t realise quite how difficult the situation had become.

‘They feel they were denied the opportunity to help Jim in any way. Their trust in the authorities has been shaken.’

Mr Hughes, a retired builder from County Armagh, Northern Ireland, was admitted to the BMI Healthcare-run hospital for a simple procedure to replace the knee joint.

Miss Cheema said that Sellu should have prepared for the operation to repair the tear in the bowel as soon as possible.

‘Sellu took on the responsibility to care for Mr Hughes and the failure to arrange an operation as soon as possible was the first failing of that care,' she said.

‘The second is the failure by the defendant to ask for a CT scan urgently.

‘The third breach is the failure to prescribe antibiotics which every medical expert and the defendant now agrees were vital to fight the infection and should have been prescribed that night.

‘These areas demonstrate that the defendant was negligent - all the information was there for him to take the necessary steps.’

Although Sellu knew his patient had a perforated bowel, he failed to operate for 40 hours and did not go to see his patient.

‘The defendant failed to treat Mr Hughes’ condition even at that stage. He didn’t go in to see his patient’, Miss Cheema said.  ‘He didn’t clear his list of non-urgent operations, nor did he arrange for another surgeon.  ‘He didn’t ask the hospital to break into any other surgery list.

‘He did not ask the hospital to provide a suitable anaesthetist and he did not send Mr Hughes to another hospital by ambulance to be operated on urgently.’

By the time Mr Hughes was brought into theatre, he had been in pain for over 40 hours and was in a critical condition.

Mr Hughes even had to call a doctor friend from his hospital bed because he could not explain to the Hungarian doctor on duty the agony he was in.  He died the following day.

‘Had Mr Sellu simply operated the night before, or even early during the day of the February 12, Mr Hughes would have had a very good chance of survival.

‘There was a series of missed opportunities and serious errors of judgment in his care of this patient and they combined to cause Mr Hughes’ premature death and the standard of care was exceptionally bad,’ Miss Cheema said.

Elizabeth Joslin, a specialist lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'James Joseph Hughes was in hospital for knee surgery when he, by chance, suffered a perforated bowel

'David Sellu's lack of care fell far below the expected standard, with terrible consequences.

'Prosecution of doctors for gross negligence manslaughter is rare and the threshold for criminal prosecution is high, but this doctor's actions were not mistakes or errors of judgment, but negligence so serious that he has now been convicted of a criminal offence.

'Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Hughes.'

During the inquest into Mr Hughes’ death Sellu was called to give evidence and written statements and lied about when he had first seen the results of the CT scan, which he had delayed.

When his evidence on that point was examined against electronic hospital records they showed that he had first looked at the records no earlier than 9pm, not lunchtime as he had said.

The inquest was adjourned without reaching any verdict.

Sellu insisted he was not told Mr Hughes’ condition had rapidly deteriorated overnight two days before he died, but ordered emergency surgery as soon as critical results of a CT scan had arrived.

He was a senior lecturer in surgery at Imperial College from 1993 to 2000 and is an associate professor at a Florida University. He denied manslaughter and perjury.


How a Nazi word ended my career before it began

By David Oldroyd-Bolt

I too know the word but did not remember it's use as a euphemism by the Nazis.   I did however once have a book published with a large swastika on its cover.  Being a clever clogs, however, I made sure it was an Indian swastika and not a Nazi one. Few people know the difference so when I got criticized I fired back at their cross-cultural ignorance.  So it was my critics who ended up embarrassed, not I  -- JR

How can one word ruin a career before it has even begun? Very easily, as I found out all too well aged 20.

I was then an undergraduate activist in Conservative Future (CF). Having plenty of the two essential traits for success in this – time and enthusiasm – in short order I became a Branch Chairman then the Area Chairman for West Yorkshire. Though the obligations could hardly be considered onerous, there were nevertheless certain things which had to be done as a matter of form. A short monthly internal report to the Regional Chairman and regional party directorate was perhaps the most important.

So it came to pass that one fine evening in January 2010 I sat down to write said report, just four months from the General Election. The pressure of campaigning, of canvassing, leafleting and persuading was intense. I needed to write something to motivate my fellow students, something that would give them the impetus to drag their weary bodies out of bed on cold, miserable Saturday mornings and walk the unforgiving lanes of West Yorkshire.

At which point I did something extremely stupid, something I will regret to the end of my days and of which I am deeply ashamed.

I deployed a German term I’d heard used in passing (and in the company of a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) by a man I respect and admire for his vast experience as a soldier, diplomat and Nato translator; a term I, as a relatively fluent German-speaker did not suspect to have any negative connotations; indeed, a term that is still in such common use throughout the entire German-speaking world that the Austrian Government of the day was using it as the name of an official investigation into fraud at Hypo Bank at that very time. But I deployed this term without doing the one thing everyone nowadays should do without thinking.

I didn’t Google it.

I had written, “in effect, we will form a CF Sonderkommando”. Anyone with basic German could tell you that Sonderkommando means, literally, special task force. However, it was also a term used by the Nazis to refer to groups of concentration camp prisoners, mostly Jewish, who were forced to aid in the disposal of gas chamber victims. Taking five seconds longer to write the report by doing a quick search would have told me as much, but through sheer intellectual arrogance I assumed that if the word had dreadful connotations I would have known about it. After all, GCSE history being almost entirely focused on the Nazis, I knew all about the Schutzstaffel (SS) and Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), even the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and Sturmabteilung (SA). So why wouldn’t I know if this term was equally reprehensible?

Such crashing foolishness, such staggering hubris, was to be my downfall and my shame.

I stuck in a quote from Sun Tzu for good measure, submitted the report and thought I’d made rather a good fist of writing something that would energize my fellow CF activists. The Regional Chairman raised no complaints and the unedited report was included in the monthly email to activists.

Then a day later I received a call from a Party panjandrum informing me that someone thought there might be something a bit dodgy about the term, and could I please clarify my use of it. This I did, to their apparent satisfaction. Hours later I answered the phone to be screamed at by the then-Party Chairman’s Chief of Staff, accusing me of everything from latent Nazism to wilful sabotage. Having learnt the ghastly connotation of the word, I immediately apologised profusely and admitted a gross lapse in judgment. This done, it seemed that the matter would be left there – it was an internal party memo and no offence had been caused, so far as we knew, to anyone.

Of course, the memo was leaked to the press. I was summarily suspended from the Party for three months and thrown to the wolves. The Yorkshire Evening Post ran first then the Daily Mirror went in for the kill (“Fury over young Conservative’s sickening Nazi language”), both carrying a quote from Fabian Hamilton MP, who is Jewish. People I’d considered friends cut me off without so much as a by-your-leave, never seeking to discover whether I was in fact a raving Nazi or whether there might perhaps be something a little deeper to it. I was denied use of university facilities until I had explained to their satisfaction that I was not, in fact, a vicious Fascist.

The shame and embarrassment were total, not least for my father, a prominent local politician. He was forced to mount a defence of me, a task he pursued with unbending stoicism and unceasing vigour. My granny had the horrid experience of going to buy the paper and seeing her eldest grandson splashed across the front page next to that poisonous word, "Nazi". The Yorkshire Evening Post did later carry my apology and explanation of the original circumstances and a dear British-Israeli friend wrote in my defence to every single paper that smeared me, but by that time the damage was done. In the eyes of the world I was a Nazi and deserved every ounce of calumny and scorn heaped upon me. No amount of apology or explanation could make the slightest difference, no matter how sincere or oft-expressed.

So that was that. One idiotic moment of youthful conceit, of clever-cleverness, of my inability to be satisfied by simply writing a boring report and doing the job perfunctorily, and the career I’d imagined for myself went up in flames, an inextinguishable conflagration that scorched everything in my path and left an indelible stain on my public character.

What’s in a word? Most often it’s nothing at all, a remark dropped in passing like a spent match. But sometimes it’s absolutely everything and it’s for that one instance I will be ashamed until my dying day.


NSW bill is about marriage, just not equality

By Waleed Aly.  Aly  is a very bright boy so that helps explain why he often makes sense, despite being Left-leaning.  He is pretty right below in his comments about the homosexual marriage debate in Australia

Amid all the pyrotechnics surrounding same-sex marriage this week, it's important to remember that this is overwhelmingly a symbolic debate. That doesn't mean it's unimportant. Symbolism matters to us in a visceral way, sometimes even more than substance. That is why flag-burning is such a provocative act. But it's important to know when something is symbolic so we can assess what has or hasn't been achieved.

It's true there are real, substantive issues of discrimination at play. Same-sex couples don't have the same rights and entitlements as married heterosexual ones do on a range of things: workers' compensation death benefits, pensions for the partners of Defence Force veterans, access to carer's leave for example. It's true same-sex marriage would quickly remedy this. But it's also true that you could remove that discrimination by amending the way those entitlements work without even thinking about same-sex marriage. And if you did that, marriage equality activists would still want to change the definition of marriage, and their opponents would still resist them. In fact, their opponents would probably be happy to give same-sex couples all those rights if they'd just leave marriage alone.

That's why the ACT government found itself in court this week, defending its marriage equality legislation from the federal government's legal attack, why a same-sex marriage bill was debated in NSW Parliament on Thursday (though Premier Barry O'Farrell has indicated he will not support a state same-sex marriage bill, only a federal one), and why the Tasmanian upper house ultimately decided not to proceed with similar legislation of its own. None of these laws, which could operate only at state and territory levels, remedy same-sex discrimination in a stroke. They are political acts designed to make symbolic, political statements.

This is clearest in the case of the ACT legislation which, one way or another, is doomed to failure. Even if it wins in the High Court, the federal government can - and almost certainly will - override the legislation because it has the power to do that to a territory. The ACT will have opened the way for states, but territorians must surely know that every marriage they contract under this legislation will one day be annulled. The ACT government surely knows this, too. It isn't looking for a substantive result; it's trying to apply pressure to the federal government.

But something strange has arisen this week in the attempt to do that. So strong is the sense that marriage equality's moment is approaching, and so frenzied is the race to get there, that marriage equality advocates have begun, in a remarkable way, to argue against their own position.

The ACT's present fight with the federal government comes down to whether or not the Federal Marriage Act is intended to be a comprehensive statement on the definition of marriage, which precludes the states having anything to say on the matter. If so, the laws are inconsistent and the federal law prevails. This is for the High Court to decide, and while the ACT certainly has a chance of winning, there's no doubt it's vulnerable. At least, that is the view of Bret Walker, SC, one of the country's best constitutional lawyers, who has been advising Australian Marriage Equality. But, he says, the NSW bill and its (now defunct) Tasmanian counterpart are on stronger ground.

The key difference is that those bills don't attempt to redefine marriage. In fact, they avoid legislating on marriage at all. Instead they create a new species of legal relationship that happens to be called "same-sex marriage". Since this is not the same thing as "marriage" in the meaning of federal law, it can't be treading on federal toes.

It's a neat legal technique. It's a strong legal argument. The only problem for marriage equality activists is that it completely undermines the cause. This is not simply a small matter of language. It's about changing the whole concept of the legislation.

The very purpose of marriage equality is to extend the definition of marriage so it is blind to gender. That's what the ACT bill is attempting to do. And that's exactly what you don't do by sidestepping this process and creating an entirely new social construct that just happens to have "marriage" in its name. A "same-sex marriage" is just a civil union by a more political name.

Really, you can call it what you like - a "consolation marriage" might be most honest - you've done nothing to change the legal definition of marriage. A legally rigorous man still couldn't turn to his boyfriend and ask: "Will you marry me?" It would have to be: "Will you same-sex marry me?" In that way, the NSW bill might offer same-sex marriage, but it's not offering marriage equality. It's a bit like republicans finally replacing the monarch with a system of hereditary, foreign-born presidents.

As symbolic achievements go, that would be relatively anaemic. But now you have marriage equality activists, who are typically uninspired by the prospect of civil unions, pleading with the ACT government to enact precisely that, and reacting angrily when it refuses to do so.

Take independent NSW MP Alex Greenwich's warning that "it is not going to be Tony Abbott, it is not going to be the High Court that will be blamed for the invalidation of these marriages, it will be the ACT government that will be blamed". Perhaps. But the ACT's response would surely be that at least they had marriages to annul.

Meanwhile, opponents of marriage equality, who frequently offer civil unions as some kind of compromise, seem not to have seen the opportunity. They're delighting in their victory in Tasmania, but the onward march of same-sex marriage - which transcends traditional partisan or conservative/progressive lines - suggests that victory can only be pyrrhic.

Perhaps their best strategy would be to limit same-sex marriage to consolation, state-level status, especially if their opponents seem happy with that. One look at the NSW and Tasmanian bills and they should be should be leaping on them, screaming: "Deal! Are we done now?"


Why the 'experts' are wrong about immigration

For years, the debate about immigration has been dominated by “experts”.

Complex and inaccessible data was used by remote academics. They crunched the numbers and were left to draw the conclusions. The rest of us had to take it on trust that the facts sustained what they told us.

Take the recent report by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (Cream). The data, declares their report, shows migrants are “less likely to receive benefits … than UK natives”. And they “made a considerable net positive contribution to the UK’s fiscal system”.

End of conversation. The people with the PhDs agree. It must be so.

But hang on. Does this report sustain these conclusions? Let’s use this internet thingy to deconstruct what the “experts” declare.

1. How does the report work out what migrants contribute?

Take one example, business rates. They generate something like £10 billion a year for the Exchequer – and as everyone ought to know, that £10 billion of tax revenue comes largely from big business.

But as Michael O’Connor points out, the report appears to credit this predominantly big business contribution to the Treasury as a fiscal contribution – worth what appears to amount to £2,500 each – from every self-employed individual in the country.

Of course, doing so massively distorts the fiscal balance sheet, since we know that EU migrants are far more likely to declare themselves as self-employed. (Indeed, if you come from Romania or Bulgaria, you often have to call yourself self-employed to be allowed in).  But it is not self-employed people who are paying the lion's share of this £10 billion!

2. What about the contribution of migrants in terms of company and capital taxes, which represent about 9 per cent of the UK tax base?

To work out what share comes from migrants, the report allocates a share to migrants on the “implicit assumption that company ownership (i.e. share ownership) is similarly distributed between the native and immigrant population”.

Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is not. But to me that sounds like guessing.

3. The Cream report uses Labour Force Survey data. That means the information folk give about what they are claiming. It is not cross checked with what they might actually be claiming.

While Labour Force Survey data suggests migrants are less likely to claim out of work benefits, HMRC data shows they are significantly more likely to claim working tax and child tax credit.

4. The Cream paper seems to conflate benefits and tax credit – and assumes everyone gets the same amount. If, for example, a Brit get £20 a week child benefit, and a migrant gets £80 a week tax credit, the report treats them as together getting £100, which it nets out as £50 each.

Why does this matter?

5. We know that different migrant groups have very different claiming patterns. Michael O’Connor highlights work by Drinkwater and Robinson in 2013.

Migrants from Poland, Estonia, Latvia or Hungary, for example, are less likely to claim (relatively low) unemployment benefits – but significantly more likely to claim (relatively high) tax credits or housing benefit.

In other words, this is not simply methodological nit picking. It could undermine the claim that European Economic Area migrants contribute 34 percent more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Not for the first time, I suspect a report written by “experts” tell us more about what “experts” think than it does about the way things actually are.

No doubt I will get the usual stream of angry tweets from angry Lefties, demanding that I defer to the “experts” and the academics. But I have read what they wrote, and indeed read some of what they themselves read. Which is precisely why I do not defer to them.  Thanks to the internet, we do not need "experts" to tell us what to think anymore.



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

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

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


5 November, 2013

Convert to Islam or else. Life in British prisons for some inmates

British prisoners in British jails being forced to convert to Islam

Muslim gangs in British jails are forcing ethnic British prisoners to convert to the Islamic religion with threats of violence if they do not, Prison officers have warned. Muslim gangs are growing in power and influence it is alleged and there is growing fear that they target new arrivals whilst many of new these prisoners are vulnerable.

Such tactics are making British jails a breeding ground for extremism. Just days ago the Head of MI5 stated that there was several thousand Muslims in Britain who see the British as a legitimate target for attack.

The Prison officers association told Sky News recently that: “It is a concern, and there’s been clear evidence from a variety of different incidents.  Young men are being targeted and then coerced into converting to Islam.” 

A woman, whose brother is being bullied by an Islamism gang in a British prison to convert to the Muslim religion said “He just looks like a broken man, he’s tearful on visits. I am just really scared for him. He has been physically assaulted. He had black eyes. In the showers, he got threatened with a knife. He’s not going to back down. He’s not going to convert for anyone.”

The situation in British prisons is deteriorating according to a John Chapman a former prison officer now a prison’s law consultant.

“I think it could be a huge problem. Previously I’d probably only worked in about a dozen or so prisons as an officer, but this job takes me to 40 or 50 over the year, throughout the country. It’s become obvious to me that it’s a growing problem. About half of my clients have directly reported problems with being forced to convert, those that weren’t Muslim when they came in and those that were and have been forced to look at more radical ideas about their faith.”

This is an issue that the government needs to sort out fast, if not we will witness prisons releasing some people very mixed up and coerced into extremism, adding to the already dangerous level of anti-British extremist allowed to live amongst us within Great Britain. 

If growing numbers of ethnic British young men are being threatened and forced into the Muslim religion by Muslim gangs within the prisons, then we have a major problem in this country. It is one that the government and prison officers along with security services need to address very fast. If not, the outcome could be nasty indeed for our democracy.


‘Moderate’ Muslims at Norway ‘peace conference’ endorse stoning for gays and adulterers

AFTER overwhelmingly agreeing by a show of hands that they were “normal” Sunni Muslims and not radicals or extremists, delegates to a “peace conference” in Norway earlier this year indicated their full support for the death penalty for adulterers and gays.

This vote, says the Chairman of a Norwegian organisation Islam Net, Fahad Ullah Qureshi, is indicative of the fact that ALL Muslims hold the view that the Koran is correct when it prescribes stoning, not just radical preachers.

The show of hands was requested during a section of the conference that dealt with the manner in which the media reports the words of: Shaykhs who speak openly about the values of Islam.

AS soon as these preachers are invited at speak at an Islamic gathering:  The Islamophobic Western media starts murdering the character of that organisation and the invited speaker.

The explanation posted under the YouTube video says: The question these Islamophobic journalists need to reflect upon is; are these so called ‘radical’  views that they criticize endorsed only by these few individuals being invited around the globe, or does the common Muslims believe in them? If the common Muslims believe in these values that means that more or less all Muslims are radical and that Islam is a radical religion.

Since this is not the case, as Islam is a peaceful religion and so are the masses of common Muslims, these Shaykhs cannot be radical.

Rather it is Islamophobia from the ignorant Western media who is more concerned about making money by alienating Islam by presenting Muslims in this way.

Islam Net invited nine speakers to “Peace Conference Scandinavia 2013?. It added:

These speakers would most likely be labelled as ‘extremists’ if the media were to write about the conference. The attendees were common Sunni Muslims. They did not consider themselves as radicals or extremists. They believed that segregation was the right thing to do, both men and women agreed upon this. They even supported stoning or whatever punishment Islam or prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded for adultery or any other crime. They even believed that these practises should be implemented around the world.

Now what does that tell us? Either all Muslims and Islam is radical, or the media is Islamophobic and racist in their presentation of Islam. Islam is not radical, nor is Muslims in general radical. That means that the media is the reason for the hatred against Muslims, which is spreading among the non-Muslims in Western countries.


'Terror victim' Richard Dawkins wails at honey loss: Atheist professor mocked on internet after complaining that airport security took his jar

Atheist Professor Richard Dawkins was mercilessly mocked on the internet yesterday after he complained that Bin laden has won... because airport staff confiscated his jar of honey.

The respected evolutionary biologist took to Twitter to declare: ‘Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day.’  He added: ‘I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.’

The outspoken atheist, who came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, uses his self-coined word ‘dundridges’ to describe petty jobsworths.

The term, which Professor Dawkins has used in his writings, was inspired by the character J. Dundridge in the 1975 novel, Blott On The Landscape.

The Oxford University academic was treated to a flood of sarcastic replies to his Twitter posting.  One Twitter user wrote: ‘I’m not sure that Bin Laden’s number one target was your honey jar, but yeah, he kinda won.’  Another added: ‘You truly are the real victim of terrorism.’

And one advised: ‘You could have just read the rules properly and not kept it in your hand luggage...’

Professor Dawkins hit back: ‘Of course I know the airport security rules. My point is those rules are stupid advertising displays of dundridge zeal. Bin Laden has won.’  He added: ‘Are you carpers really too thick to see the difference between a matter of general principle and a petty concern with a single jar of honey?’

Some of Professor Dawkin’s 844,000 followers had more sympathy.

One wrote: ‘You are quite right. After the awful violence and bloodshed, the winning tactic of the terrorist is to instil lasting fear.’

International airports around the world stop passengers taking containers containing more than 100ml of liquid in their hand baggage.

The rules frequently catch out passengers carrying semi-solid foods such as pate, foie gras or honey, which are often bought by tourists as gifts.

The security measures were imposed in 2006 after British police said they had foiled a plot to bring down as many as 10 planes with explosive liquids.

Professor Dawkins’ outburst comes after he sparked anger in August with a tweet that critics claimed was ‘anti-Muslim’.

On that occasion he posted: ‘All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.’

And last month he found himself at the centre of a row over an interview he gave to the Times Magazine in which he appeared to suggest he was the victim of ‘mild paedophilia’ at school and that current cases of historical child sex abuse had been overblown.

‘I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours’, he said.


This non-profit organisation is like the Left's very own old boy network

Ask anyone connected to Common Purpose what it actually does, and they will almost certainly respond with a wall of impenetrable jargon. On its website, the charity likes to call itself an ‘independent, international leadership development organisation’.

In filings with the Charities Commission, it describes its ‘objective’ as being to ‘educate men, women and young people … from a broad range of geographical, political, ethnic, institutional, social and economic backgrounds, in constitutional, civic, economic, and social studies.’

The language is opaque, which is what concerns a growing chorus of critics who are starting to wonder if Common Purpose’s agenda is to create a quasi-masonic Left-wing equivalent of the ‘old boy network’.

The Shoreditch-based non-profit organisation was founded in 1989 by Julia Middleton, a 55-year-old author and liberal activist who now works as its chief executive.

It has 84 employees and an annual turnover of £5million. Its best-paid member of staff, believed to be Miss Middleton, earns between £100,000 and £110,000 a year – a considerable sum by the standards of the non-profit sector.

For more than two decades, Common Purpose’s primary activity has been to run ‘career development’ courses aimed largely at public sector and charity staff who wish to become ‘better leaders’.

The courses typically cost £5,000 and last a week. But for those who really buy into the charity’s way of thinking, the influence they buy endures for much, much longer. That’s because of Common Purpose’s all-important ‘alumni network’, which all participants are encouraged to join.

Membership allows them to interact with like-minded ‘graduates’ via a password-protected internet site, and to attend networking events held under ‘Chatham House’ rules, under which no one can be quoted by name.

No one knows how many active members regularly do just this, but 35,000 have completed Common Purpose courses over the years.

Many now hold senior positions in Whitehall, the BBC, local government and major police forces.

They range from Sir Bob Kerslake, the head of the Civil Service, to Cressida Dick, one of Britain’s most senior female police officers.

Little wonder that some critics have compared Common Purpose to a giant octopus, whose mysterious tentacles stretch across the worlds of Westminster, Whitehall and academia. Others, citing the group’s apparent political leanings, wonder why it is allowed to continue receiving large amounts of public money.

Freedom of Information requests show that government departments have spent more than £1million sending staff on Common Purpose courses. The BBC spent £125,000 over a five-year period. Police and local councils are believed to have given it millions.

‘It’s a huge scandal,’ says Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley. ‘Common Purpose is like a Left-wing version of the freemasons. It’s a networking organisation for the great and good to advance their pro-Europe, pro-New Labour, politically correct view of the world.’

Common Purpose would deny party-political bias. But it has particularly close ties to senior Blairites.  David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, gave it free government office space in Sheffield.

In early 2005, Julia Middleton held a networking dinner at the London offices of Pearson, the firm behind the Financial Times newspaper, which counted Sir David Bell, a Common Purpose trustee, as a senior executive.

It was attended by senior bankers, academics, and a bishop, along with Robert Peston, the BBC journalist. Like many of Miss Middleton’s meetings, Peston recalled, the dinner ended ‘with a collective wail about the irresponsibility and excessive power of the media’.

A few weeks later, Middleton and Bell would co-found the Media Standards Forum, the charity which spawned the pressure group Hacked Off.

Eight years later, and like so much that Common Purpose’s intensely well-connected founder lies behind, the campaign to muzzle the Press has ended up succeeding beyond her wildest dreams.



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

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

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


4 November, 2013

A ‘Disgusting Experience’: Band’s Show Cancelled Because They Are ‘Too White’??

Shokazoba, an “Afrobeat” band, reportedly had its Halloween performance at Hampshire College allegedly cancelled because the members of the group are “too white” to play Afrobeat music.

The band’s keyboard player, Jason Moses, told MassLive.com that about 30 people were able to execute an online campaign to have their show at the annual Halloween event shut down. He said the band is not even all white, but race shouldn’t matter anyway.
“It’s not important to us. Music and art has the opportunity to transcend all that,” Moses said.

The Hype Committee, which apparently made the call to cancel the band’s show, announced the decision on Facebook on Oct. 24:
“Due to concerned students voicing their opinions about the band Shokazoba, we held community dialogue to hear what individuals had to say. As a result of the dialogue, and discomfort expressed by members of the community in person as well as by email, Facebook, and other means, we have removed Shokazoba from the lineup for Hampshire Halloween.”

Further, a Hampshire College spokeswoman said in a statement that students “questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures.”

Moses says the entire experience has been “disgusting.”
“It felt like we were demonized. I didn’t feel they should cancel us,” he said.

The keyboard player also revealed his group singed a performance contract with the Hype Committee that prohibits the school from discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical ability or sexual orientation.

“He said he does not feel the band was dealt with in an honest way, and said he was sure some people would have wanted to see them play. Moses said the band would still play at the college, if it were organized by a different group interested in incorporating other points of view,” MassLive.com’s report adds.


An age when all faiths are equal - except Christianity: As a judge says Christian morality has no place in our courts, a stinging riposte from a former Archbishop of Canterbury

By George Carey, Former Archbishop Of Canterbury

Christianity is a force that has profoundly shaped our civilisation.  From literature to architecture, from music to education, the morality and aesthetics of the Christian faith are the very foundations of our nation’s culture.

Crucially, Britain’s legal system also has its roots in the ethics of Christianity.

The concepts of honesty, personal responsibility, opposition to violence, concern for others and respect for their property — which are all part of the fabric of our laws — lie at the heart of the gospels.

Tragically, this rich and inspiring heritage is now under attack as never before.  Our Christian identity is being ruthlessly marginalised.

No longer regarded by officialdom as the bulwark of our society’s moral code, it is increasingly treated as a minority fad or even a dangerous anachronism.

This trend has been driven by the ideologies of atheism, secularism and multi-culturalism, which together have formed a battering ram against our traditional Christian culture.

Society’s leaders are fond of talking about ‘social inclusion’, yet they now seem determined to exclude Christianity from the public realm.

This tendency was highlighted this week in a speech by Sir James Munby, the senior judge and President of the Family Division of the High Court, who spoke about Christianity’s decline as an influence in the judicial system.

Drawing a contrast between modern Britain and the more devout Victorian age, Sir James declared that ‘the days are past when the business of judges was the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs’.   

Significantly, he said: ‘We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths’, with the result that he and his colleague ‘happily’ no longer had a role in enforcing morality.

On one level, Mr Justice Munby is absolutely right.  Equality before the law is one of the essential principles of British justice. Everyone, no matter what their beliefs, is entitled to equal respect in the courts.

But that does not mean that Christianity should be banished from public life altogether.

I am afraid that his rhetoric represents another disturbing assault on the role of the Christian faith in civic life.

For all his judicial restraint, his words are part of a pattern whereby, in the name of tolerance and equality, Christianity is increasingly ostracised. 

Everywhere there are examples.

Only this month, the managers of a set of student halls at Huddersfield University banned the distribution of Bibles because, like the judge, they said they wanted to remain ‘ethically neutral’.

Similarly, town halls have increasingly abandoned the tradition of saying prayers before their meetings, while crucifixes and other aspects of Christianity have been outlawed in many workplaces.

In one particularly outrageous recent case, a highly-experienced paediatrician was forced out of his position after he emailed his work colleagues a copy of the beautiful 16th century prayer of St Ignatius Loyola, which contains the famous lines, ‘to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds’.

Understandably, the doctor thought St Ignatius’s verses might serve as an inspiration at his clinic, but instead he found himself out of a job.

This case goes to the core of the problem.  In our dogmatically secular world, the Christian faith has, ludicrously, come to be seen as a threat to equality, freedom and progress.  

Indeed, that was the thrust of Sir James Munby’s speech, particularly in his comment about the religiously-minded, supposedly reactionary Victorians.

But the truth is that there is no conflict between equality and Christianity.

In fact, the opposite is true. The idea that all human beings are equal before God is central to the Christian faith. It is precisely because of this egalitarian impulse that Christianity has appealed to so many people over the centuries.

It is this same principle of equality that has infused British law since Magna Carta.

What Justice Munby seems to have failed to understand fully is that our whole legal system has its basis in Christian morality, with its emphasis on empathy and selflessness. 

Christianity has nearly always been a restrained, tolerant faith, keener on compromise than obedience.  ‘The gentleness of English civilisation is its most marked characteristic,’ wrote George Orwell, whose famous image of ‘old maids cycling to communion’ so brilliantly evoked the English character.

The one exception to this rule was the cruel Puritan zealot Oliver Cromwell; but fortunately his reign of religious terror was brief.

Just as misleading is Sir James’s pretence that, thanks to the decline of Christianity, today’s judiciary no longer has to impose any form of religious morality.  But that, too, is completely wrong.  

The modern state does indeed have its own new religion: the creed of political correctness, which it imposes with a fervour that might have provoked the admiration of Cromwell.

The consequent marginalisation of Christianity has left a vacuum, which is now filled by the ideologies of diversity and human rights.

This new morality, in a deeply anti-British, anti-Christian way, demands complete obedience.

Those who refuse to obey are treated by the State as heretics to be punished, as was graphically illustrated by the case of a Christian couple who owned a B&B in Cornwall and, because of their religious belief that sex should only happen inside marriage, refused to allow unmarried couples — gay or straight — to share a room.

In a landmark legal case which sealed the supremacy of gay rights over Christian belief under the Sexual Orientation Regulations introduced in 2007, the B&B owners were ordered to pay £3,600 compensation. The modern British state cannot tolerate such unorthodoxy.

The couple have been forced out of business. It is a case that makes a mockery of the judge’s claim that the judiciary is no longer involved in ‘the enforcement of morality’.

In truth, we now have a class of judicial activists and public officials who have taken on the highly political role of imposing this new orthodoxy.

Other controversial recent human rights cases include the demand that prisoners be given the vote. 

In another recent incident, a nurse was suspended from her job for offering to say a prayer for a patient. Her managers ruled that she had failed ‘to demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ — a statement that could hardly be more political. 

What is so disturbing about these developments is that double standards are being employed.

Christians are often hounded for their beliefs, yet there would be outrage in some quarters if adherents of other faiths were treated in the same way.

Christians in the NHS, for example, are told that they cannot wear crucifixes, yet Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves.   

In the same vein, a Christian doctor is currently under investigation for ‘sharing his faith’ with a patient. Would Sikh or Hindu doctors be scrutinised for talking about their faiths? I doubt it.

Contrary to what High Court judge Sir James Munby claims, we are not moving towards equality — but towards something far more sinister: the slow disappearance of Christianity from the forefront of our society.

In the process, I fear, we are losing something extremely precious.


Religious Tolerance Is Not Hate

Recently, many Christians were alarmed to learn that military leaders had begun classifying mainstream Christian organizations such as the American Family Association (AFA) as “domestic hate groups,” comparable to the Ku Klux Klan. The briefing in question took place at Camp Shelby (Mississippi) in early October. What has happened in the last few years to bring about such confusion in an arm of our government which has traditionally honored God unapologetically?

There is much confusion over what we mean when we talk about America’s Christian heritage. For some, the words conjure up images of strict social norms and puritanical moral codes, while others may point to slavery and segregation as trump cards, negating their meaning. In reality, America’s Christian roots can be best understood as an experiment in human liberty, based on the idea that God created people to be free. Before the American Revolution, humans had almost always been ruled by hereditary kings or military strongmen. Outside of nomadic tribes and small-scale tribal confederations, to live in a settled “nation” meant to be ruled.

As the modern nation-state emerged, standing armies and guarded borders became the norm. Most assumed that a king or emperor had to be at the helm for a country to fend off invaders and protect its people. Could a nation survive if it allowed its citizens the freedom and responsibility to govern themselves? This was the question the framers of the Constitution hoped to answer in the affirmative when they gathered in Philadelphia to sign our founding documents.

From the very beginning, these leaders saw religion as an indispensable part of America’s survival. If humans were not being ruled by a king, they would need an internal system of restraint to rule themselves. In fact, John Adams spelled this out very directly when he proclaimed, “Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Of course the American experiment was never carried out in ideal conditions. It took several decades before our laws lived up to the Biblical principle that humans of all races and genders are bearers of God’s image and thus worthy of the equal protection under the law. But those who fought for abolition and suffrage were able to do so peacefully by calling America to live up to its own standards: ideals that were rooted in unchanging Biblical Truth.

Religious toleration—the ideal that the military doubtless thought it was upholding when it condemned AFA— was always part of the American experiment. After all, many of the early settlers had been previously persecuted for practicing their faith differently from the majority. But “religious toleration” never meant that that the state was to be agnostic, and the principle of institutional separation of church and state never meant that God was to have no place in public life. American Atheists are free not to believe in God, but they are still bound to a system that recognizes God, not man, as the source of human liberty.

Americans have traditionally believed that as long as our nation remembered to honor God, we would remain “a shining city on a hill.” When we began removing any mention of God from our public life, stripping every reference to God and the Bible from our schools, we began a slow and painful descent into chaos. It is not that the invocation of God’s name is a magic spell that protects us from harm. Rather the acknowledgement of God is a public reminder of the shared principles and values that all Americans were supposed to practice, to teach their children and to hold dear to their hearts. Without such restraints, the cords of our Constitution begin to unravel, just as President Adams warned.

Our nation and world are in the middle of an age that is both infinitely promising and profoundly terrifying. Humanity is finding new cures for diseases even as it discovers new ways to kill; we are gaining greater knowledge and understanding while we seemed more plagued by ignorance than ever. Economies, political structures and belief systems are being shaken and tested.

If we are to have any hope of restoring our nation and regaining our confidence and security, we will need to remember what made us great in the first place and regain our trust in Him. Our coins say “In God we trust,” and so should our hearts. It is only because of the wisdom and grace of God that so great a nation came into being in the first place, and we will need His sovereign guidance if we are to survive.


UK has one of largest Gypsy populations in Western Europe with 200,000 living there

Britain has one of the largest Roma populations in Western Europe - with about 200,000 living here - says an authoritative report.

The study contradicts Government claims that ‘relatively few Roma citizens’ had set up home in this country. Most are thought to have arrived in the last ten years.

The 200,000 figure is four times the 49,000 estimated just four years ago in a report prepared for the Department of Children School and Families.

Some 183,000 have set up home in England, with 3,000 in Scotland, 900 in Wales, and 500 in Northern Ireland.

The findings come amid concerns about how many more migrants will arrive when restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria are relaxed in January.

It is claimed most of the migrants have arrived since a number of eastern European countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined the European Union in 2004.

The latest study, conducted by the University of Salford and seen by Channel 4 News, concluded the migrant Roma population in Britain was ‘significant’, increasing, and that 200,000 was almost certainly a ‘conservative estimate’.

As well as London, Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands are identified as areas where large numbers of Roma live.

According to Channel 4 News, Sheffield has seen a big influx of Roma families over the last ten years.

A decade ago, only one or two were living in the Page Hall area of the city. There are now several hundred families – with more arriving. Families of ten children are not uncommon.

Miroslav Sandor, who works in a local advice centre in Sheffield for Roma people, came to the UK in 2004 when Slovakia joined the EU. 

He was drawn by the chance to send his children to school and college.  He told the programme: ‘We came here for a better life, having a job, having education for my children.’

Miroslav ‘Bob’ Sandor, his son, said: ‘In Slovakia when you go to school they don’t let you go to college. If you Roma they just don’t care about you.’

Gulnaz Hussain, manager of an advice centre for migrants in Sheffield, said: ‘I don’t think we could accommodate more people arriving. I think it’s taken its toll in terms of numbers and houses that are available.’

One of the local residents, Jane Howarth, who is not Roma but has taken it upon herself to organise street patrols around Page Hall, said she often saw ‘hordes of people, Roma, standing on street corners, drinking, eating, chucking all their rubbish’.

Dr Philip Brown, one of the authors of the study, said: ‘A few years ago we didn’t really understand the number of migrant Roma in the UK.’

The Council of Europe estimates the population across the whole continent is somewhere above 11million – with 6million in the EU.

Of those, around two million live in Romania. Spain has the largest Roma population in Western Europe, with 750,000, followed by France with 400,000.



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

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

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


3 November, 2013

More multiculturalism in Britain

Muslim "honour" at work

A disqualified driver who bowled over three pedestrians in a revenge attack has been jailed for 20 years.  Aqab Hussain, 21, was already banned from the roads when he ploughed into a group of friends following a minor spat outside a club.

Shocking CCTV footage shows the attack, which during the trial was compared to a scene from the computer game Grant Theft Auto, taking place in Manchester city centre last August.

It shows one man knocked to the pavement, another catapulted over the roof of the Vauxhall Corsa and a third carried down the street before Hussain swerved to dislodge him from the bonnet.

Father-of-three Michael Ward, 29, who was thrown over the car roof, was left with catastrophic head injuries. He now cannot talk, feed himself or play any part in family life, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Ward was already partially sighted and had to be helped to cross roads and get upstairs before he was injured in the incident.

Hussain denied being the driver but was found guilty by a jury of four counts of attempted murder after a trial last month and today given a 20-year jail term.

He had flouted court orders for previous convictions for dangerous driving and Hussain, himself a father of three, was serving a ban at the time of the offence.

Passing sentence Judge Robert Atherton said it was fortunate Mr Ward did not die in the attack. ‘He was very, very seriously injured. He will never recover, he will never be able to enjoy his family,’ the judge said.

‘One witness described the scene as being like someone bowling at skittles and people being flung like skittles to the side.  ‘Why you did it is extremely difficult to understand.’

During the trial, eyewitness Corey Gordon, 26, who watched the attack from inside his car, later compared it to a sequence from the violent computer game series in which users play the role of car thieves.

He said: ‘It was like ten pin bowling where you hit the skittles and they go up in the air. I can only describe it as unreal - a computer game like Grand Theft Auto - as he swerved off line to hit the men. It knocked one of the men at least 7ft into the air.’

Hussain even wobbled his vehicle so he could shake off one of the men who was still on the bonnet, Manchester Crown Court was told.

Outside court, Mr Ward’s wife of seven years, Mary Rose Ward, said: ‘What he did to my husband, you wouldn’t do it to an animal really would you?

‘My husband was never a violent person and I am not a violent person but he should not have done what he did.’

Mrs Ward said her blind husband was still receiving full-time care in a rehabilitation centre but that she cares for him during the day before going home to look after their children, daughters Montana, six, and Crystal, aged four, and son Michael, aged one.

‘He can’t play with the kids or anything. He can’t talk, he can’t walk, he can’t wash himself or feed himself, he has no memory. I’m his wife and I will care for him for the rest of my life because he is my husband.

‘He knows he was in a car accident and I try and explain but he doesn’t really understand.’

Mr Ward is still receiving full-time care more than a year on from the incident in Manchester city centre

The court heard the incident, on John Dalton Street in Manchester, started in ‘horseplay’ between Hussain, from Rusholme, Manchester, and his friends and the group with Mr Ward, from Bolton.

But it led to ‘fisticuffs’, with witnesses saying Hussain’s group coming off second best.  Minutes later Hussain jumped in the car and drove at the men in revenge.

Mr Ward was scooped up on the bonnet before being ‘deposited’ at the side of the road. He was in intensive care for 20 days and spent around four months in a high dependency unit.

Paul Hulme, 30, also suffered ‘significant injuries’ with multiple leg fractures after being carried on the bonnet before Hussain veered in the road to knock him off.

Martin Harris, 32, suffered bruises as he was side-swiped by the car while a fourth member of Mr Ward’s group, Thomas Mallanphy, narrowly escaped injury after stepping back from the road.

Hussain fled to Pakistan after the incident but was arrested at Heathrow when he flew back to the UK six weeks later.  He had a string of motoring convictions starting from the age of 16.

Hussain was also banned from driving for 15 years, which he will serve once he is released two-thirds of the way through his sentence, as is normal practice.

Mr Ward faces another major operation on December 21 to have metal plates fitted in his head.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Peach, from Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘This incident started after a minor disagreement between the two groups of men. The CCTV footage demonstrates that Hussain thought he would finish the argument by purposefully using a car as a weapon and deliberately driving into Michael and his friends.

‘The CCTV footage gives an example of how fast he was driving the car and the impact it had with Mr Ward. In all my years of policing, I have not seen anything as shocking as this and I find it amazing that Michael and his friends are still alive.

‘The impact this has had on him and his family has been truly devastating. He is still receiving treatment and his wife visits him every day in hospital. Due to the injuries he suffered, he will no longer be able to play an active part in bringing up his young children. He will need care for the rest of his life.

‘Thanks to the information we received, we were able to arrest Hussain and bring him to justice.

‘However, no sentence can bring back the quality of life Michael once had, and he and his loved ones will have to live with the constant reminder of what happened in the early hours of that morning.’


Among Leftists, the Fascism is never far below the surface

Terrorised by union bullies: How Labour's Unite paymasters intimidated managers and their children in bitter oil refinery battle

The full extent of the Unite union’s campaign of bullying and intimidation against senior managers during the bitter Grangemouth oil refinery dispute is revealed today.

In a disturbing echo of the union militancy of the 1970s and 80s, Unite leaders deployed a dirty tricks squad to personally target and humiliate executives of the Ineos chemical company and their families.

The sinister unit – known as the ‘Leverage team’ – sent mobs of protesters to the homes of senior figures in the firm.

One director last night said he had feared for the safety of his wife and his two young children after 30 Unite protesters descended on his drive during the school holidays.

Police were called after the group approached his neighbours, telling them he was ‘evil’ in an apparent attempt to coerce him into giving in to their demands.

The daughter of another company boss had ‘Wanted’ posters denouncing her father posted through her front door hundreds of miles away in Hampshire.

The union agreed to call off the Leverage team only as part of the settlement of  the dispute.  Yesterday, an unrepentant Unite spokesman said such activities were ‘legitimate in the context of an industrial dispute’, adding that ‘bad employers should have nowhere to hide’.

Details of the bully-boy tactics were revealed yesterday as David Cameron branded Stephen Deans, the Unite organiser at the heart of the dispute, a ‘rogue trade unionist’ whose behaviour nearly sank the plant.

Ineos threatened to close the Grangemouth plant after Mr Deans and Unite refused a new pay and pension package designed to save the business.  Unite general secretary Len McCluskey brought the dispute to crisis point by launching strike action.

Unite finally caved in last Friday and Mr Deans resigned on Monday after being told he would be fired for spending a quarter of his working hours on Labour party business. Mr Deans was also chairman of the Falkirk Labour party where he had become embroiled in a Labour vote-rigging scandal.

The Prime Minister said of Mr Deans: ‘Frankly, we have a real problem with a rogue trade unionist at Grangemouth who nearly brought the Scottish petrochemical industry to its knees.’

One Grangemouth boss, who as asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, called the police after 25 Unite members working for the union’s Leverage team protested on his driveway with flags, banners and an inflatable rat for about 90 minutes on October 18.

The director was called by his wife, who was out with her children and had been phoned by a friend to say a mob had arrived on their doorstep. He rushed to the scene said he was overcome with ‘bloody anger’ when he saw they had targeted him.  ‘It was a mob, a threatening mob,’ he said. Children as young as seven who were playing on the street were coaxed into joining the mob.

‘They were trying to humiliate me,’ the director said. ‘Trying to portray me as a nasty boss, a nasty capitalist. To portray me as someone evil. Their intent was to have my neighbours thinking, gosh, what sort of a guy do we have living there.

‘It was just despicable to approach kids and try to introduce them to a demonstration against one of their neighbours. It’s hard to find words to describe the lunacy of their behaviour.’

Police were called and interviewed the director and his neighbours at length, saying they would search out the members of the group on suspicion of being in breach of the peace. Officers decided not to press charges.

The director added: ‘Their intent was to gain concessions. But taking it to someone’s home, to someone’s drive, during the school holidays, is way over the line.’

The director and his wife now fear for the safety of their children, who are both under ten.  ‘It had quite an impact on my kids,’ he said. ‘My wife is very concerned that they could turn up at any time again. They know where I live. It’s in the back of my mind.’

Leaflets denouncing company owner Jim Ratcliffe were also posted through the doors of homes in the town where he lives.

Union protests were also held outside dozens of businesses which trade with Ineos, including their bankers Lloyds and customers Sainsbury’s and Asda, in a effort to pressurise them to cut their ties with the firm.

Another Ineos director said: ‘They have send flying squads of protesters to dozens of businesses we have links with. The put leaflets through the door of pretty much every house in Lyndhurst where we have our headquarters. My daughter received a poster explaining what a terrible person I am.

‘This behaviour smacks of totalitarianism. The way they have been behaving is frankly insane.’

The Mail has seen an email, sent from Mr Deans’ email account last Wednesday, acknowledging that the Leverage unit went on the attack.

The message, written by Mr Deans’ fellow Unite convenor Mark Lyons to Calum MacLean and Declan Sealy, the two Ineos negotiators, offered the company a deal. In addition to accepting the ‘survival plan’ and ‘pensions proposals’, the Unite point man also says union bosses will ‘ensure withdrawal of leverage strategy’.

On Unite’s website, the union boasts that it uses ‘leverage’ to put pressure on ‘shareholders of the employer, competitors of the employer, communities within which the employer operates’ and ‘customers of the employer’.

‘Leverage is about the democratic right of the Union to ensure that immoral employers cannot hide behind veils of secrecy.’

The behaviour of the Leverage team appears not to violate union laws banning secondary picketing since protests are allowed if they do not prevent employers of the firms they targeted from going to work.

But the Tories last night branded the revelations ‘extremely sinister’ and called on Ed Milibad to reopen Labour’s inquiry into the activities of Unite.

A Unite spokesman said: ‘All the activities referred to are both legal and legitimate in the context of an industrial dispute. Bad employers should have nowhere to hide.

‘Of course all campaigning in the context of the Ineos dispute has now ended.  ‘However for the workers and their union to be described as “bullies” is beyond satire.’

Last night Len McCluskey denounced Mr Cameron after he used Prime Minister’s Question Time to criticise Mr Deans.  ‘The Prime Minister’s conduct today was disgraceful,’ said Mr McCluskey. ‘His rush to smear a good and honourable man will appal decent-thinking people. He should apologise at once.’


Nigel Farage: We must defend Christian heritage

By Cristina Odone

The boardroom at the UK Independence Party offices at the top of a smart Mayfair town house has a flip chart showing the party’s agenda. The marching orders are printed in large, green ink letters — this is the green ink party, after all: “Target groups. Focus on marginals. Gain Gravitas.”

When Nigel Farage appears, in dapper suit and polished shoes, it is not “gravitas” he exudes but rather the bonhomie of a good lunch at the French restaurant next door. Within minutes, he is entertaining me with one-liners about the RSPCA (“a Left-wing agitprop group”) and sugar (“the one vice I don’t have”) and anecdotes about his days in the City (“ratting wasn’t allowed – in fact we called it Welshing, but we wouldn’t say that now.”). It’s a winning performance: the plain-speaking politician who dares say what others don’t. But is Farage more than an act? For the next few weeks, the public will be able to judge as he stars in theatres up and down the country.

An Audience With … Nigel Farage features a stage with only a table, a chair, and a bottle of wine as props. Farage thinks it will give him a chance to “explain who I am” and, crucially, to “reach a new audience”.

The MEP is a practised showman. His famous drubbing of Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council (“you have the charisma of a damp rag”) briefly transformed the sedate chambers into Punch and Judy entertainment.

Today, he explains, winking conspiratorially, we cannot go into his office because it’s full of smoke: in order to indulge his 40-a-day habit, he has designated one room of the headquarters his “bedroom”, to sidestep the smoking ban.

The organiser of An Audience with … claims there is “huge appetite for Nigel”. Wendy Bailey won’t say how many tickets (at £16 a head) have sold, but “people are curious about this man who has come out of nowhere to reshape British politics”.

This sounds a tad far-fetched, but it chimes with Farage’s claim that Ukip “sets the agenda on everything from the BBC, green taxes and immigration control”. When I tell Farage that I have reservations about some of his policies, his smoker’s laugh rolls across the table. “So do I!” He ignores my question about which policies these might be, thumping the table instead to say that “there’s an innate prejudice against the new, whether it’s Wilberforce or Darwin or even O’Leary with Ryanair”.

I balk at the comparison with the giants who vanquished slavery and introduced the concept of evolution — but the Michael O’Leary analogy is apt: a maverick who breaks ranks. Unlike the budget airline’s boss, though, the Ukip leader “can only be obnoxious about the French”. He imposes the same restriction on all party members. When Godfrey Bloom MEP referred to developing countries earlier this year as “bongo bongo land” and later, at the Ukip conference, to women who didn’t clean behind their fridges as “sluts”, his leader knew “he had to go”.

Farage insists Bloom was an exception. “When people say Ukip is racist, it makes me laugh. Look at our intern,” and he points to the young woman who delivered us a cup of tea. “She’s half Hindu!”

He ignores my discomfiture and proceeds blithely: “For 40 years we have believed that if you even discuss issues like border control, or the make-up of society, you are innately a bad person because it is a front, a cover for a deeper and darker motive.”

Fear of causing offence drives the “Notting Hill claptrap about diversity”. “We need a much more muscular defence of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. Yes, we’re open to different cultures but we have to defend our values. That’s the message I want to hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury and from our politicians. Anything less is appeasement of the worst kind.”

Yet he speaks not as a defender of the faith — he ventures to church only four or five times a year — but of “our identity”.

This is the joker’s trump card, and he plays it ably, voice throbbing as he speaks of “the working classes who bear the brunt of excessive immigration”. It is not just the number of immigrants. Their “calibre” matters too. Who doesn’t meet his standards? “Criminals. There are 9,000 eastern Europeans in British prisons. I don’t think they should be here.”

Later, I can’t find evidence for that statistic anywhere. Nigel apologises, he thought he’d said foreign nationals, not east Europeans. In fact, the real figure is 10,786 foreign nationals in prison.

His list of those who will have no place in a Ukip Britain also includes Muslims who speak no English and wear the veil. “It makes people feel deeply uncomfortable. We go on about equality but under our noses, female genital mutilation has been going on in this country. Tens of thousands of women a year, but is anyone talking about it? It’s brushed under the carpet.” This slick eliding of veiling and mutilation is a typical Farage-ism.

“We have,” he says, “some very mixed values”. These include the “betrayal” of the family. “This has been the most anti-family government we have ever seen. The very fact that they pushed for gay marriage, and thought that it was important at a time when not even Stonewall was campaigning for it, shows you their twisted sense of priorities.” He is “100 per cent” supportive of stay-at-home mothers.

He has two sons from a first marriage and two daughters from his second, with Kirsten Mehr. Farage married the German-born broker in 1997. She forgave him when a Latvian blonde told a tabloid about their one-night stand in 2006.

When Farage’s son Thomas, 21, was cautioned last May for being drunk and disorderly, his father refused to comment. He still does.

Farage has always kept Mehr and his children from the public eye. “I don’t think you can have this both ways. There is Blair standing on May 4 on the steps of Downing Street posing as the perfect family. Then when Euan is 16 he gets p____d and collapses in Leicester Square. If you parade your family on the public stage, they become fair game.

“A lot of people in Ukip have said to me there would be electoral advantage in parading wife and children. But I’m not doing it.”

Does he think Samantha Cameron and Miriam Clegg have proved electoral assets? “They are wealthy and well-dressed and yes it probably does help the image. But I feel very passionate about this.”

Farage lives in a village in Kent and says that the Countryside Alliance has deserted David Cameron because “the Tories have completely lost touch with the rural community”. Wind farms? “I’d like to blow them all up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single issue in my life more insanely stupid than despoiling our green and pleasant land and our seascapes with ugly bird- and bat-chomping monsters that don’t work.”

He adds: “How could I do a deal with Dave? Look at what rubbish he comes out with every day!”

I ask if he sees himself as the little guy who takes on the big giants of Westminster: “I hope so. I’ve got the sling and the stone.”

Wilberforce, Darwin, now the Biblical David slaying Goliath: Farage’s view of his role is somewhat inflated. But then, I suspect this, too, is an act.


Jezebel, the 'Mainstream' of Feminism

Feminism isn't just a brutal philosophy for millions of unborn children. It's brutal on the Internet. Take the website Jezebel.com, a reference to the prophetess in the book of Revelation who was "teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality."

This summer, a Catholic priest in Gainesville, Va., took to Facebook to help find an adoptive home for an unborn child with Down syndrome. It spurred a little press boomlet when hundreds of people called or emailed the church, volunteering to raise the child.

But Katie J.M. Baker of Jezebel thought this story was disgusting.

"So many mistreated babies and kids with Downs live terrible lives," Baker wrote. "Instead of throwing resources at a nonviable fetus, why can't the church help children with Down syndrome who are already alive? Because anti-abortion folks care more about fetuses with fairytale narratives than actual babies."

Two days after this putrid piece, Planned Parenthood honored Baker with a "Maggie Award" for her "ongoing original coverage of reproductive health news and legislation." Now Baker has been hired by the folks that currently own Newsweek, prompting her to write a departure blog headlined "Goodbye to the Coven."

The jaw drops. This was an actual baby, not a doomed "nonviable fetus." Most people who say, "Downs kids live terrible lives" are making excuses as they kill them.

This Down syndrome dissing was just another day at the office for the Jezebel coven. They've also mocked women obsessed over when to choose pregnancy by offering instead, "When's the Best Age to Have an Abortion?" How about under 18? "Well, duh. This one's a no-brainer." At 30? "If you saved up a little, you could probably afford a designer abortion. A Marc Jacobs abortion, in teal."

For feminists, any age is perfect.

Now this website has been transformed into a book, "The Book of Jezebel," a snark-loaded feminist encyclopedia. It can be repetitive. The condom is "a must-have accessory for protection against two potentially life-threatening conditions: AIDS (among other STIs) and babies."

You read that sentence correctly.

"Children" are defined as "the side effect of sex," and "nephew, niece" is defined as "child of a sibling, a partner's sibling, or a dear friend. They work well as both practice kids and as reminders to use birth control." A "zygote" is "too young to be a slut, so way more entitled to civil rights than you are."

The Jezebel entry for "misogyny" is "Exemplified by God, Aristotle, Phyllis Schlafly, Rush Limbaugh, The Republican Party, Allen West."

Unsurprisingly, our leftist media elite love Jezebel. The Huffington Post announced, "If these short posts are a sampling of smart womanhood, we're sold." The Daily Beast proclaimed the book a "coffee table bible for middle-class feminists everywhere." USA Today noted the "encyclopedic tome filled with hilarious, female-centric definitions on everything from popular movies, to virginity, to acne." CNN host Jake Tapper not only promoted the book and Jezebel founder Anna Holmes on air, he attended her book party.

No one loved this book like National Public Radio. They published at least three book reviews and interviewed Anna Holmes at least three times -- on "All Things Considered," on "Marketplace," and "On Point with Tom Ashbrook." No one asked Holmes about trashing God or mothers who choose to have more than two children. No one even asked why she lists her name on Twitter as "SATANna Holmes." (Emphasis hers.)

NPR.org reviewer Annalisa Quinn proclaimed: "Jezebel is the closest thing we have to an engaging and mainstream (!) feminist news outlet. That is something to be grateful for. (It) may sometimes be mean, petty, biased, and irresponsible -- but it is utterly necessary."

Mean, petty, biased, and irresponsible. That could also be a liberal's sales pitch for NPR donations.

But on "Fresh Air," NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan took the cake in celebrating this tome of "jolly feminist cultural commentary." The book "is packed with gorgeous graphics and photos, as well as witty and unruly entries on everything from Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House on the Prairie' books to speculums. Most gloriously, this is an encyclopedia with a voice. Take, for instance, the entry on conservative commentator Ann Coulter, which notes that she 'subsists on a diet of kittens.'"

Notice how NPR liberals love to think of themselves as the guardians of civility and the gentle moderators of a national discussion. Baloney. They delight in laughing at the "glorious" notion of Ann Coulter eating kittens.

This is NPR's only recent mention of Ann Coulter. Her latest book didn't receive three gooey book reviews and three fawning interviews. She just gets Jezebel-slapped.



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

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

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


1 November, 2013

A religion that rots the brain

Father who started fire in attempt to stop daughter 'dishonouring family' by marrying for love is found guilty of murdering wife and three other daughters

Mohammed Riaz Inayat, 56, flew into a rage when his daughter, Kalsoom Bibi, told him she planned to move to Dubai to marry a policeman.  He said she had brought ‘dishonour on the family’ before pouring gallons of petrol over his family home and setting it alight.

On the night of April 17 Inayat killed his wife Naika and injured his three daughters in a blaze that took seconds to engulf the house.

Naika died of carbon monoxide poisoning and one of his daughters, 16-year-old Saimah, who jumped from a bedroom window, suffered 50 per cent burns.

He was found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering his wife and arson but was cleared of attempted murder of his three daughters.

During his trial the court heard how the father-of-six soaked seven parts of his home in petrol at about 5am as his family slept - only hours before Miss Bibi, 28, was set to fly to Dubai to marry the CID officer.

After initially telling police the fire was started by ‘a gang led by a white middle-aged woman’, he admitted one count of manslaughter.

Philip Bennett QC, prosecuting, told the court: ‘For this defendant a love marriage was not appropriate.  ‘He was traditional in his beliefs that marriage should be arranged.’

Miss Bibi, who is already divorced from a marriage arranged by her father, met her lover in 2011 but had to travel in secret to see him in Dubai.

When her family discovered the affair in December last year, they disapproved, and her father became increasingly angry and upset, the jury heard.

Miss Bibi, who works for World Duty Free, told the court: ‘He told me he would kill me and that he would poison himself if I married him.  ‘He said I would bring disgrace to the family. He was not happy with it. I understand why he wasn’t happy, it was because he had never met the man.  ‘It took him a long time to accept it, but he did in the end because he could see it was what I wanted.’

On the night of the fire Miss Bibi woke to find flames coming under her bedroom door.

While his wife, three daughters and a family friend slept upstairs, Inayat used petrol as an accelerant both upstairs and downstairs in the family home and then set it on fire, trapping his family upstairs.

Neighbours called the emergency services and they tried in vain to rescue the occupants of the house.

The three daughters and family friend jumped from the first floor bedroom windows resulting in them suffering broken bones.

When the fire service arrived they entered the house and the found the body of the defendant’s wife in one of the upstairs bedrooms. She had died as a result of smoke inhalation.

Miss Bibi suffered a broken arm and three broken vertebrae after leaping from the window of the terraced house in Tyseley, Birmingham.

Inayat, who is originally from Pakistan, told the jury he tried to kill himself on the night of the fire, using three kitchen knives.

After the verdict, Zafar Siddique, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘Crimes committed to supposedly defend a family’s honour will not be tolerated in our society and today’s conviction of Mohammed Inayat demonstrates that.  ‘Honour-based violence and forced marriages are ultimately about men policing the behaviour of women.

‘This can include rights as fundamental as a choice of partner, as in today’s case, and this abuse can escalate frighteningly quickly from controlling behaviour to murder.

‘Inayat committed a dreadful crime, a crime which he committed because he was unable to accept the fact that his daughter wanted to get married to someone that she loved, cared for and wanted to spend the rest of her life with.  ‘This he felt brought dishonour to him and his family, but today’s conviction has shown that the shame is his to bear.

‘The CPS will not shy away from tackling honour-based violence. It is a fundamental abuse of human rights and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.  ‘Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Naika Inayat.’


Frightening scale of reoffending revealed: 148,000 criminals caught this year in Britain had at least FIFTEEN previous convictions

Almost 150,000 criminals convicted or cautioned last year had committed 15 or more previous offences,  figures revealed last night.  The ‘frightening’ re-offending rates mean this group alone have been responsible for  more than two million crimes between them.  And shockingly, the number of such career criminals has increased by 14 per cent in just five years.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the figures exposed the abject failure of the criminal justice system to get to grips with repeat offenders and showed the desperate need for action to tackle persistently high reoffending rates.

Mr Grayling said the public – and the Government – were ‘fed up with crooks doing their time and going straight back to crime’. The Justice Secretary has proposed radical reforms to the Probation Service aimed at reducing recidivism among hardened criminals.

Charities and private firms will be paid ‘by results’ to engage with criminals and help them turn their lives around.

But his reforms have faced fierce opposition from unions – who are planning strike action next week – and probation chiefs.

Last night Mr Grayling said: ‘People should stop and think about what these bleak figures represent – too many devastated victims, too many wasted lives and broken families, and millions in taxpayers’ money squandered.  ‘Simply put, the situation is grim and it will only get worse by sitting on our hands and doing nothing.

‘Our reforms will help us put a stop to this, for the first time making it possible for every offender coming out of prison to receive at least 12 months’ support and supervision.

‘And we will only pay for services in full where they are proven to cut reoffending, making sure public money goes further.’

The statistics also show that more than half a million offenders with at least one previous conviction or caution committed a further crime in the same period.

That includes 95 per cent of those given short jail sentences of less than 12 months.

In addition, more than 350,000 of those convicted or cautioned in the same period had served some kind of community sentence.

Justice officials said the statistics exposed the ‘frightening scale’ of reoffending.

Experts say crime is increasingly committed by a small group of hardened offenders who return to crime again and again.

Peter Cuthbertson, director of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘These are appalling figures. Thugs are going through a revolving door of probation and soft justice and then reoffending time and again.  ‘We need to do far more of what works – tough prison sentences. Locking up serious, repeat offenders cuts crime and protects the public.’

Under the new reforms Mr Grayling’s department will award contracts worth £450million to private and voluntary groups who will supervise some 225,000 low and medium-risk offenders.

The remaining rump of 31,000 high-risk offenders, including  dangerous violent and sexual  criminals, will remain under State control.

Criminals given short-term jail sentences, who currently are not supervised at all after their release from jail, will be given at least 12 months supervision and rehabilitation on release from prison.  This ‘Rehabilitation Revolution’ will, it is hoped, make a significant dent in reoffending rates.

The figures expose how reoffending remains persistently high – despite some recent falls – and  tens of thousands of criminals  continue to offend after completing community service or probation programmes.

Members of the National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) union are due to strike next Tuesday over the policy.

And yesterday the Guardian reported that the chairmen of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire probation trusts have told the Justice Secretary the plans will risk public safety.

The Ministry of Justice has said that more than 700 organisations worldwide have expressed an interest in carrying out the work, including hundreds of British firms.

In a letter to the Justice Secretary, Jane Wilson, chairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland probation trust, said the current timetable had ‘serious implications for service delivery and therefore increases the risk to public safety’.  [Increases their workload, more like it]


More Twisted Tales From the Pink Rainbow

The cases of the homosexual wrecking crew are mindnumbing in their frequency and insanity. While I have offered plenty of recent examples of this, the following story certainly does take the cake. Just how utterly mindboggling. You would almost think it has to be a joke.

But tragically it is the real deal. It comes from California, a land known for its fruits and nuts. And behind it all is Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. He has long been known to be lost in space, but this one removes him from the galaxy altogether. Read and weep:

“The governor of California has signed into law a bill that mandates insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for infertility treatments for homosexuals. As previously reported, AB 460 was proposed this past spring by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, whose partner died of AIDS in 1994. He asserts that some insurance companies are discriminating by denying coverage to homosexuals because they did not have ‘an opposite sex married partner in which to have one year of regular sexual relations without conception.’

“Current law requires that spouses try to conceive for one year, and may claim coverage if they remain barren after that time. ‘Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit,’ Ammiano wrote in a statement following the signing of the bill this month by Governor Jerry Brown. ‘To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that’.”

Wow, I am still trying to recover from that one. So let me get this straight: those who deliberately choose to engage in a sterile lifestyle are being discriminated against and thus need taxpayer-funded fertility treatment. Ol’ Jerry might as well pass a bill requiring those who have taken a vow of silence to be eligible for voice lessons.

Umm, has anyone informed these meatheads in the California government that two men can’t reproduce, just as two bowling balls can’t reproduce? Will they mandate fertility treatment for bowling balls as well to overcome “unjust discrimination”?

I am not sure which has reached rock-bottom the most: our moral freefall or our utter stupidity. Can it get any worse? Sadly yes: wait – there’s more. Check out this headline: “A couple who rake in a staggering £53k a year in benefits are demanding a bigger house from the council because they are lesbians.”

The story opens: “Civil partners Lisa and Carrie-Ann Beaney currently live in a single B&B room with their four children, and claim that they are too stressed to work because of homophobic bullying. Lisa, 30, quit her job in McDonald’s after just three months because it made her too anxious, while Carrie-Ann, 23, has never worked at all.

“And due to tough new benefit cap rules their housing payments were slashed and the pair were evicted from their £850-a-month rented home. However, their £608-a-week B&B room is paid for by the taxpayer, and makes up a £53,000-a-year benefits handout on top of income support and child benefit. The pair now want the council to give them a bigger house for their brood.”

Yeah right. Hey, I get bullied all the time: can I demand a bigger house as well? I get subjected to so much heterophobic and Christophobic bullying, that by their standards the government ought to be offering me at least a mansion – and maybe a castle in Bavaria as well. Hey, I deserve it after all.

And the sporting world is not even exempt from gross moonbeamosity. Get a load of this homo-baloney: “U.S. athletes who want to participate in the Olympics must now take a vow that they will not engage in ‘discrimination’ based on ‘sexual orientation.’ USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said the committee changed the rules last week ‘to address the legislation in Russia prohibiting advocacy of non- traditional relationships among minors,’ its anti-gay propaganda law.”

So the IOC is throwing a hissy fit over Russia, yet this same body did zippo when the Olympics were held in Beijing. China’s reprehensible human rights violations mean nothing to the IOC, but pro-sodomy activism means everything to it, it seems.

Not everyone is keen about this idiocy: “Steve McConkey, a Christian pastor who ministers to top track and field athletes, says he worries that the new USOC rules may set the stage for discrimination against those whose religious beliefs oppose homosexuality and other non-traditional sexual orientations.

“‘The policies are set-up for discrimination against gay athletes, but there could be reverse discrimination in the future,’ McConkey said in a statement, adding that it ‘is a matter of time’ before traditional morality is discriminated against by ‘the law of the land.’ McConkey said he found it disturbing that the Olympic Committee took no similar action in 2008, when the games were held in Beijing, where Christians are jailed or even executed for their beliefs.

“‘The IOC allowed the Olympic Games to be in China in 2008 while hundreds were in prison for being Christian and the country has 100 million underground Christians,’ McConkey said. ‘They did not speak up about this, but now a sin category is added to non-discrimination policies.’ McConkey summed up the difference in public reaction to the two host nations in one word: ‘Hypocrisy’.”

So what’s new? Just another example of blatant hypocrisy and double standards on the part of the homosexualist lobby and their many cronies in positions of power. We expect such nowadays. Just part of a world turned upside down by the militants and their supporters.

But keep your moonbat-o-metre handy. I will soon be back with more twisted tales from the culture wars crypt.


More Military Political Correctness

Another U.S. Army briefing and yet another incident of Christians and Tea Party members cast as a threat to America. This time, the briefing took place at Fort Hood, where, as you'll recall, an Islamic fanatic killed 13 people and an unborn child in a murderous rampage based solely on his religion. Earlier this month, we noted that soldiers at Camp Shelby in Mississippi were told that the American Family Association is an extremist group. The same thing happened at Fort Hood. And last year, Army Reserve troops were briefed about Evangelical and Catholic “religious extremism.”

In each case, the Army insisted that the soldiers responsible for the presentations did their own research on the Internet and that these were isolated incidents. Once is isolated and twice might be coincidence, but three times is a pattern. Combined with the restriction of chaplains, and the mysterious removal of “so help me God” from Cadet and Officer oaths at the Air Force academy, there is obviously a more widespread effort to undermine our tradition of faith in the military.

In what we fear is a related note, the list of senior military commanders fired by Barack Obama continues to grow, including nine more this year. Active duty senior commanders are keeping their heads down. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely notes, “Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama's ideology. The White House protects their own. That's why they stalled on the investigation into Fast and Furious, Benghazi and ObamaCare. He's intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”



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

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

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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take 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

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And the command in Leviticus 20:13 that homosexuals should be put to death 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 Romans chapter 1 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 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

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.

"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)

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.

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

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