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

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH 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, 2015

ISIS radicals planning terror attacks in Europe ARE entering the continent hidden among migrants, says German police chief

ISIS jihadis determined to carry out attacks in European cities are entering the continent hidden among migrants, a German police chief says.

Hans-Georg Maasen, a federal police chief, claimed ISIS extremists hardened on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria are blending in with the migrants and are planning 'combat missions' in Europe.

In the wake of the Paris attacks it was revealed several of the gunmen and suicide bombers - who helped slaughter 130 people - had reached the city via Greece posing as asylum seekers.

According to the Austria Press Agency, Mr Maasen said his office was aware of almost 8,000 Islamic radicals in Germany.

He said all of these extremists advocate violence to advance their goals, with some trying to win over migrants, and his office receives one or two 'fairly concrete tips' of planned terrorist activity a week.

He went on to describe ISIS extremists as 'combat-hardened professionals' more dangerous than those from al-Qaeda.

His warnings comes just nine days after it emerged eight migrants have reached Europe using documents almost identical to those carried by one of the Paris suicide bombers.

The passport, found near the body of one of those who participated in the massacre of 130 people, identified him as Syrian.

It showed he claimed asylum on the Greek island of Leros last month with the fake Syrian passport in the name of 25-year-old Ahmad Almohammad.

But nine days ago Serbian police revealed they had arrested a man carrying a Syrian passport which was almost a carbon copy of the one found on the ISIS bomber’s corpse.

It had the same name, date of birth and place of birth. The only difference was the photograph.

Serbian officials said as many as six other men this year had entered the EU with virtually identical passports.

The discovery has heightened fears that all the documents are fakes made by the same forger in the Middle East to dupe authorities into believing the holders are asylum seekers.

And worse, it has sparked concerns that the bogus papers could be in the possession of jihadists now lurking undetected in the EU’s passport-free Schengen travel zone.

The shocking ease with which the terrorists who murdered 130 innocent people in Paris were able to travel across Europe has sparked a renewed debate about the open borders policy.

The development raises fresh worries over the potential security threat posed by 670,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in Greece this year after fleeing war and poverty.

Meanwhile, today Czech President Milos Zeman stated Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was endangering his country by not fully recognizing the danger asylum-seekers are posing.

In an interview published in Thursday's edition of the Mlada Fronta daily, Zeman say that unlike the prime minister he considers the migrant wave 'an organized invasion'.


Why do we tolerate the jihadis in our midst? 

By Peter McKay

More than 400 suspected jihadis have returned to the UK from Syria. More than 100 are being ‘monitored’ by police in London alone, we are told.

‘Hundreds more’ are under surveillance nationwide. Yet only eight have been prosecuted so far, it’s reported. Why so few?

The fact that they will enjoy robust defence advice — paid for out of public funds, of course — is a factor. The police will be reluctant to bring cases that are not water-tight. Some civil rights campaigners feel that returning jihadis should not be prosecuted at all.

The argument is made that these prodigals might redeem themselves by providing valuable information about their erstwhile Islamic State commanders — a somewhat Walt Disney-like scenario. Does it seem believable to you?

Some returning fighters will claim they had joined Syrian opposition groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad. Can we prove otherwise?

Their lawyers can point out that, until recently, at least, Assad was also regarded as our enemy by the Prime Minister, David Cameron. So aren’t Assad’s enemies — the jihadis — the PM’s friend?

In Belgium and France, armed police are busily breaking down doors and dragging alleged Islamic State conspirators off to prison. Soldiers are patrolling the streets of Paris and there’s a three-month state of emergency.

When the fear and anger following the Paris slaughter dies down, as it surely will, we’ll hear again about the great British virtue of tolerance which sets us above cruel and backward peoples elsewhere.

But as the great philosopher Sir Karl Popper — himself a foreigner accepted by the UK and knighted by the Queen after a distinguished career — said in his book, The Open Society And Its Enemies: ‘If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.’

Popper suggests: ‘We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law. And we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.’

We accept the State’s suppression of intolerance when it involves racism. We are emphatically not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, creed or religion.

Muslims here are protected by such laws like everyone else. It’s why some of them came to the UK in the first place. So why is it so difficult to prosecute those who live here — often claiming welfare benefits — who plot with like-minded fanatics abroad to do us harm and destroy our way of life? We parrot meekly that Islamic State’s murderous discrimination against non-Muslims is a perversion of Islam. But is that entirely true?

In Arab countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, non-Muslims are openly discriminated against. Not believing in Islam is a crime punishable by death, in law if not always in practice.

Do they hope that we’ll be terrorised into coming around to their point of view one day, which boils down to ‘accept Islam or die’?

Bombing Islamic State terrorists in Syria is justified, but pointless on its own. ISIS has to be encircled and destroyed, in Syria and everywhere else it proliferates.

The nations which have acted as its ‘enablers’ must be tackled, too. Lord West, a former Sea Lord, says: ‘We should confront states such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which have financed ISIS and bought its oil supplies on the black market.’

And here in Britain, surely it isn’t enough to ‘monitor’ those who actively support the aims of Islamic State? Or must we wait until they commit an atrocity before rounding them up? It’s in the interests of the overwhelming Muslim majority here who mean us no harm to remove those in their midst who give active support to Islamic terrorists.

That majority must understand — as Sir Karl Popper put it — that unlimited tolerance leads to its disappearance. Isn’t escaping intolerance the reason they, or their ancestors, came here in the first place?

It’s at times like this that I envy Roman Catholics. There was no airy-fairy Welbyspeak from Pope Francis, who said that using God’s name to justify the massacre was equivalent to blasphemy.


French ban on Muslim headscarves is upheld by human rights court after woman sacked for refusing to remove hers loses appeal

Europe's leading human rights court upheld the France's ban on Islamic headscarves in the case of a Muslim social worker who was sacked because she refused to take hers off.

Christiane Ebrahimian lost her job at a psychiatric department of a hospital in Nanterre because patients complained about her refusal to remove her head covering.

She lost her appeal at the European Court of Human Rights today.

The French government bars public employees from displaying their religious beliefs on the job.

In 2004, the country banned the wearing of 'conspicuous religious symbols' including the Muslim face veil, known as the niqab.

The ban was eventually extended to schoolchildren and even parents who wanted to accompany classes on trips.

In 2010, the country banned face coverings of all kinds, including masks, niqabs and the full body dress known as a burqa, in public spaces 'except under specified circumstances'.

Ms Ebrahimian was born in 1951 and lived in the capital Paris at the time of the ruling, according to Dr Georg Neureither who founded the online religious platform, Religion Weltanschaaung Recht.

He said she was recruited to the hospital on a fixed term contract as a social worker. On December 11, 2000, she was told that her contract would be terminated because patients complained she would not take off her headscarf.

In May 2000, the hospital wrote to her to remind her that the 'the secular State... prevented public officials from enjoying the right to manifest their religious beliefs while discharging their functions'.

It added: 'Wearing a visible symbol of religious affiliation constituted a breach of a public official's duties.'

A local government in Switzerland imposed a similar rule this week by threatening to issue fines of up to £6,500 to women caught wearing the burqa in shops, restaurants or public buildings.

Officials in the state of Ticino, southern Switzerland, approved the ban after a referendum in September 2013 which saw two out of three voters backing the move.

Ticino government had wanted to ban burqas and niqabs as well as masks worn by demonstrators and balaclavas, it was reported.


Cory Bernardi: Australia must reconsider refugee intake in light of Paris attacks

Screening process for refugees is open to inaccuracies

The government must reconsider its decision to take an extra 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq in light of the Paris attacks, Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi has said.

Bernardi told ABC TV on Monday he supported the initial cabinet decision to offer an additional 12,000 visas to refugees from Syria and Iraq, on top of the 13,750 existing humanitarian visa places.

But since this month’s attacks in the French capital, Bernardi has changed his mind.

“I do think that cabinet now needs to reconsider the decision to take in 12,000 additional refugees on the basis of evidence that’s come to light over the last week,” he said.

“In our previous refugee intake we’ve had examples where people who have been accepted as refugees have gone on to commit terrorist acts or planned terrorist acts in this country. Why do we think that suddenly this is going to be any different?”

Bernardi said the screening process for refugees was open to inaccuracies, as security agencies were unable to go to Syria to do background checks. He also objected to handing over the decision of who could come to Australia to the “bunch of unelected bureaucrats” at the United Nations refugee agency.

“A lot of the most persecuted minorities in the Middle East – the Jews, the Christians, the Yazidis – don’t even go to UNHCR camps, they don’t register there because they’re scared for their lives by the Muslim communities there,” Bernardi said.

He said he wanted a rethink of the way the whole system worked.

“I do believe we should be reassessing our refugee humanitarian intake,” the Liberal senator said, adding his views were shared by many Australians.

“For many years I’ve been voicing my concerns about extremist elements in the country and the lack of political will to confront that and of course I’ve been called all sorts of names for my trouble by my colleagues and the media,” Bernardi said.

“But the point is I’ve been right about it and it is now a widespread community sentiment. We have extremist elements at work in this country. Why risk bringing in more to add to their ranks, even potentially, and bear the financial and social burden that comes with that?”

Bernardi’s call to axe the 12,000 refugee intake was promptly shot down by the attorney general, George Brandis, who reiterated the government’s determination to proceed during a statement to the Senate condemning the Paris attacks.

“These attacks give no reason to reduce our commitment to helping those who flee the barbarism of Isil and other terrorists,” Brandis said during question time on Monday. “Indeed, they demonstrate more graphically why it is necessary, both to stand resolutely against Isil, and also, to help as best we can its many innocent victims, including the 12,000 Syrian refugees we have rightly committed to take.”

The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, told the House of Representatives’ question time 2,800 Syrian and Iraqi refugees were in the process of having health and security checks as part of the 12,000 intake.

“The Australian government has in place the most robust security screening measures in relation to those coming in under the humanitarian program and we will not resile from that one bit,” Dutton said.

He said the government would cast aside any application of those seeking to come into Australia under the humanitarian visa system if the application presented security concerns.

The first five of the 12,000 intake, a Syrian family, arrived in Perth last week, in line with the government’s promise to resettle the first group by Christmas.

But the New South Wales refugee resettlement coordinator, Peter Shergold, told ABC radio on Monday morning the lengthy security process refugees had to undertake could mean the bulk of the 12,000 visa holders would not be resettled until 2017.

“I’m working on the basis that the vast majority will come next year, in 12 or 18 months, not six months,” he said. “I think it’s appropriate that screening, security, character checks are all done before they arrive.”



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

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

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


27 November, 2015

Like Most People, President Obama Gets The Crusades Wrong

Greg Scandlen, below, makes many good points in telling us what the crusades were really about -- points which are accurate and well-informed as far as I can see.  And I speak as someone who has made something of a study of the Byzantine period.  He points out the basic truth that the Crusades were a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands, not an invasion of Muslim lands.  The crusaders simply took back lands that had belonged to Christendom for a thousand years -- Biblical lands.

But the main point surely is to ask:  WHY is something that happened a thousand years ago any excuse for something happening today?  Why are the crusades any excuse for anti-Western violence by Muslims today? No-one would normally think that a sane proposal to make but when you are dealing with Muslims and their apologists reason flies out the window.  If it were sane we would have Britons going to Germany and bombing Germans because Germans invaded Britain a thousand years ago. 

The whole idea is a version of punishing children for the misdeeds of their parents, which is generally recognized as a breach of natural law:  You should not be punished for something you didn't do

If we were to use Muslim reasoning, we should be making random raids on Muslim lands to steal their property, kill their men and rape their women -- because that is what the Muslim corsairs  of North Africa did to coastal Europe right up until the 19th century  -- until finally terminated by the French conquest of Algiers in 1830.

In light of President Obama’s recent remarks comparing the brutality of the Islamic State to the Crusades, it might be time to take a fresh look at those events. Were they really the one-sided Dark Ages barbarism we have been taught? Were they an early manifestation of Western imperialism and global conquest?

In his landmark book, “God’s Battalions” (HarperOne 2009), Baylor University social sciences professor Rodney Stark suggests otherwise. It is a well-researched chronicle, including 639 footnotes and a bibliography of about 300 other works, yet reads like an adventure story full of military strategy and political intrigue.

What Prompted the Crusades

He begins in the final years of Mohammed and describes how a newly united Arab people swept through (Zoroastrian) Persia and the (Orthodox Christian) Byzantine-  controlled areas of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. (Byzantine refers to the Greek-speaking eastern remainder of the Roman Empire.) Eventually Arabs took over control of the Mediterranean islands, most of Spain, and the southern part of Italy, and even reached as far as 150 miles outside of Paris before being turned back by the Franks, or early French.

The Muslims were brutal in their conquered territories.

The Muslims were brutal in their conquered territories. They gave pagans a choice of converting to Islam or being killed or enslaved. Jews and Christians (other People of the Book) were usually but not always treated somewhat better, and allowed to retain their beliefs but under conditions of Sharia subjugation.

But the Muslim-held territories were not monolithic. Stark writes:

"Perhaps the single most remarkable feature of the Islamic territories was the almost ceaseless internal conflict; the intricate plots, assassinations, and betrayals form a lethal soap opera. North Africa was frequently torn by rebellions and intra-Islamic wars and conquests. Spain was a patchwork of constantly feuding Muslim regimes that often allied themselves with Christians against one another."

Not surprisingly, there was intense Christian resistance and determination to take back lost territories. Especially effective were the Normans and the Franks in Spain and Italy.

The Golden Middle Ages Belonged to Europeans

Western scholars have often characterized this clash of cultures as an Islamic Golden Age versus a European Dark Age, but Stark demolishes this as a myth. He says the best of the Islamic culture was appropriated from the people Muslims conquered—the Greeks, Jews, Persians, Hindus, and even from heretical Christian sects such as the Copts and Nestorians.

He quotes E.D. Hunt as writing, “the earliest scientific book in the language of Islam [was a] treatise on medicine by a Syrian Christian priest in Alexandria translated into Arabic by a Persian Jewish physician.” Stark writes that Muslim naval fleets were built by Egyptian shipwrights, manned by Christian crews, and often captained by Italians.  When Baghdad was built, the caliph “entrusted the design of the city to a Zoroastrian and a Jew.” Even the “Arabic” numbering system was Hindu in origin.

And, while it is true that the Arabs embraced the writings of Plato and Aristotle, Stark comments,

"However, rather than treat these works as attempts by Greek scholars to answer various questions, Muslin intellectuals quickly read them in the same way they read the Qur’an – as settled truths to be understood without question or contradiction…. Attitudes such as these prevented Islam from taking up where the Greeks had left off in their pursuit of knowledge."

Meanwhile, back in Europe was an explosion of technology that made ordinary people far richer than any people had ever been. It began with the development of collars and harnesses that allowed horses to pull plows and wagons rather than oxen, doubling the speed at which people could till fields. Plows were improved, iron horseshoes invented, wagons given brakes and swivel axels, and larger draft horses were bred. All this along with the new idea of crop rotation led to a massive improvement in agricultural productivity that in turn led to a much healthier, larger, and stronger population.

Technology was also improving warfare with the invention of the crossbow and chain mail. Crossbows were far more accurate and deadly than conventional archery, and could be fired with very little training. Chain mail was almost impervious to the kind of arrows in use throughout the world. Mounted knights were fitted with high-back saddles and stirrups that enabled them to use more force in charging an opponent, and much larger horses were bred as chargers, giving the knights a height advantage over enemies. Better military tactics made European armies much more lethal. Stark writes:

"It is axiomatic in military science that cavalry cannot succeed against well-armed and well-disciplined infantry formations unless they greatly outnumber them…. When determined infantry hold their ranks, standing shoulder to shoulder to present a wall of shields from which they project a thicket of long spears butted in the ground, cavalry charges are easily turned away; the horses often rear out of control and refuse to meet the spears."

In contrast, Muslim warriors were almost exclusively light cavalry, riding faster but lighter horses bareback with little armor, few shields, and using swords and axes. Their biggest advantage was their use of camels, which made them much more mobile than foot soldiers and gave them the ability to swoop in and out of the desert areas to attack poorly defended cities.

Muslims Slaughter, Rape, and Pillage

These differences provided Crusader armies with huge advantages, but what would prompt hundreds of thousand Europeans to leave their homes and travel 2,500 miles to engage an enemy is a desert kingdom—especially after the Muslim conquest of Europe had been turned back?

There had been long-festering concern about the fate of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. After his conversion to Christianity in the early 300s, the Roman Emperor Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of what was believed to be Jesus’ tomb, and other churches in Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives. These sites prompted a growing number of European pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, including Saint Jerome, who lived in Bethlehem for the last 32 years of his life as he translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. By the late fifth century, Stark reports, more than 300 hostels and monasteries offered lodging to pilgrims in Jerusalem alone.

But in 638 Jerusalem surrendered to Muslim invaders, and mass murders of Christian pilgrims and monks became commonplace. Stark includes a list of select atrocities in the eight and ninth centuries, but none worse than the some 5,000 German Christians slaughtered by Bedouin robbers in the tenth century.

Throughout this period, control of Palestine was contested by several conflicting Muslim groups. Stark writes, “In 878 a new dynasty was established in Egypt and seized control of the Holy Land from the caliph in Baghdad.” One hundred years later, Tariqu al-Hakim became the sixth caliph of Egypt and initiated an unprecedented reign of terror, not just against Christians but against his own people as well. He burned or pillaged some 30,000 churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the tomb beneath it.

Soon enough, newly converted Turkish tribes came out of the north to seize Persia and Baghdad (by 1045) and press on to Armenia, overrunning the city of Ardzen in 1048, where they murdered all the men, raped the women, and enslaved the children. Next they attacked the Egyptians, in part because the Turks were Orthodox Sunnis and the Egyptians were heretical Shiites. While the Turks did not succeed in overthrowing the Egyptians, they did conquer Palestine, entering Jerusalem in 1071. The Turks promised safety to the residents of Jerusalem if they surrendered the city, but broke this promise and slaughtered the population. They did the same in Ramla, Gaza, Tyre, and Jaffa.

Emperor Alexius Pleads for Help

Finally, they threatened Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor Alexius Comnenus wrote to Pope Urban II in 1095, begging for help to turn back the Turks. This was remarkable given the intense hostility between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Perhaps the pope saw an opportunity to unite or at least reduce tensions between the two Christian churches, but he responded with a call to create an army that would go to the Middle East.

I am not going to regurgitate all the battles of the Crusades themselves. It is a fascinating history well worth studying in part for its parallels and lessons for today. Let’s just say that the Crusaders were extremely effective militarily, often defeating far larger Muslim armies, despite having traveled some 2,500 miles into an alien desert climate. Their biggest enemies were disease, starvation, and political betrayal. Plus, the Crusades were expensive and home countries grew weary of paying the taxes needed to support them (sound familiar?)

The Crusaders ended up establishing their own kingdoms in the Holy Land, which lasted for about 200 years or, as Stark notes, almost as long as the United States has existed; but without ongoing support from Europe they could not survive constant attacks from the Muslims.

So, what to make of all this?

The current idea that Jews in Israel are usurping the rights of indigenous people is nonsense. This has always been a hotly contested area. In the Old Testament, the Jews wrested control from the Canaanites, then were overrun by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Greeks, then the Romans. The Romans of Jesus’ time were displaced by the Greek Byzantine Empire, then replaced by the Arabs, then the Egyptians, then the Turks, and finally by the British. For most of human history the wealth of a society was created by conquest and plunder. It is hardly unique to Christians, and certainly not to Jews.

The Crusaders were unique in that they did not seek to plunder or enslave.

Actually, the Crusaders were unique in that they did not seek to plunder or enslave. They didn’t even try to forcibly convert anyone to Christianity. Their sole interest was to protect the pilgrims and Christian holy sites. They sometimes sacked cities that refused to provide food to a hungry army, but they didn’t take riches back to Europe. There were few riches to be found. Rather than exploiting indigenous resources to benefit Europe, Europe sent money and resources to the Middle East. Pilgrims were quite lucrative for host countries, just as tourism is today.

War was a nasty and brutal business at the time, and had been for all of recorded history. Cities fortified themselves as protection against invading armies. A siege of a city meant surrounding the area and cutting off supplies until the population surrendered, often by starving. In the Bible, II Kings 6:24-33 relates the story of the siege of Samaria, in which two starving women agree to kill and eat their sons.

The rule of war at the time was that, if a city surrendered, the population would be spared, but if it resisted and the invading army had to take it by force all the inhabitants would be killed or enslaved. But Stark notes that Muslim armies often violated even this rule—promising sanctuary, then slaughtering the population that surrendered. (Before we get too smug and condescending about the savagery of these ancients, let’s not forget the rocket bombing of London, the firebombing of Dresden, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a mere 70 years ago.)

One way in which Muslim fighters today have advanced over their forebears is that during the Crusades they did not adopt new tactics to counter the technological advantage of the Europeans. They never used crossbows or shielded infantry, even after several hundred years of fighting. Today, Muslim warriors quickly evolve to make the most of Western technology, although they still never seem to develop anything of their own.

An Enduring Clash Between Inquiry and Submission

One final thought on this. As Stark indicates above, there is in too many Muslim countries a sense of obedience that precludes robust debate or new ideas, let alone technological innovation. In his classic, “The World is Flat,” Thomas Friedman quotes Osama bin Laden as saying,

"It is enough to know that the economy of all Arab countries is weaker than the economy of one country that had been part of our (Islamic) world when we used to truly adhere to Islam. That country is the lost Andalusia. Spain is an infidel country, but its economy is stronger that our economy because the ruler there is accountable. In our countries, there is no accountability or punishment, but there is only obedience to the rulers and prayers of long life for them." (pp. 400-401)

Friedman confirms that this is based on a 2002 report, the first Arab Human Development Report. This report, written by Arabs, found that Spain had a larger gross domestic product than all 22 Arab states combined!

I think Stark is closer to the mark than bin Laden. The problem is a cultural way of thinking that starts with the Qur’an and the Prophet and emphasizes unquestioning obedience. The very name of the religion, Islam, means “submission.” The thinking of bin Laden that emphasizes punishing poor rulers is a complete misunderstanding how progress is made. European cultures place a high value on questioning everything, even the divinity of Jesus Christ. Certainly there have been exceptions to this, but in the sweep of history it is an unmistakable trait.

So we have perhaps the starkest conflict of worldviews imaginable: on one hand, a robust and virtually unlimited spirit of inquiry, and on the other a fervent dedication to universal obedience and submission. How this plays out is the story of our times.


Muslim Guilt Trip Trojan Horse

By Jim Croft

Marty Skinner asks: Syria has had a civil war for almost 5 YEARS. Why all the “refugees “NOW and why so all of a SUDDEN and why in such VAST NUMBERS?

With an Honors degree in History and a lifelong student of the subject, I smell a rat.  This is a highly organized, well oiled, mobilized invasion of  Muslims and Jihadists into the Western World. It’s been in their plan for a long time. Momar Gadhafi predicted and explicitly stated that Muslim domination of Europe would happen without a conventional war and he said it 30 years ago. 95% of these economic “refugees” many who have cellphones are men between the fighting ages of 20 and 40. Very few women and children from everything I’ve seen.

Odd that the 5 wealthiest Arab States including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait are taking “no refugees” thanks and feel quite self righteous about it. No guilt what so ever? They are even laughing at us for doing so.

Ask yourself, why would Germany Belgium, Holland, France, Sweden and others want to destroy their own cultures from within? It doesn’t make any sense? If this keeps up Europe will be burning daily within a very short few years if not months. Civil war in the streets between civilizations.  Muslims vs Kefirs, that is to say, everyone who is not a Muslim.

Unfortunately, the reality is that Muslims are just not like any other immigrants. They don’t want to assimilate, they want to set up separate enclaves and implement Sharia Law. Another problem is that while the civilized West rightly abhors violence, conversely Muslims daily display their love of violence. They live it and embrace it. In many Muslim countries public beheadings and stoning to death for adultery for example. It’s a part of their culture precisely because Islam is, dare I say it, a death cult.

Islam is a supremacist, totalitarian, bigoted, fascist political ideology masquerading as a religion. It literally means “submission”. The Quran MANDATES death for blasphamy, for adultery, for apostasy, for family honor, for being gay, Jewish or a Kafer as well as ten other “crimes” many not even considered to be so in the West. Death for drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs for example.  Why let in vast numbers of these brainwashed people especially men of that age when past experience has already demonstrated the tragedy, not to mention the financial, social, and political costs of rampant multiculturalism in Europe. Ordinary citizens are against this immigration but strangely, their governments are not?

Someone or some organization is pulling some strings here is what I see. Is this invasion part of the New World Order’s plan to depopulate the planet? Maybe there’s not even any such an organization but it’s all over U-tube and other social media.  The major media are implicit in selling gullible citizens of the West the righteousness of the “refugees” cause and openly siding against Western culture.

One drowned child’s picture in the right places sparks outrage and sympathy world wide for the movement and resettlement of vast numbers of Muslims. However the implementation of Sharia Law, No Go Zone ghettos in most countries in Europe and Muslim rape gangs go unreported. In radical Islamist countries honor killings, beheadings, stoning’s, cutting off limbs, whipping and torture, pedophilia, child bride marriages, rape and misogyny go unreported DAILY and are dismissed as culturally ingrained.

Where is the indignity and the outrage over people doing this every day to their own populations? Yet a staged picture a drowned baby on a beach sparks a world outcry?  Muslim birthrates are 8 children per family while Europeans average 1.4. When these current millions bring in their multiple wives, children and extended families 85% of whom live on state benefits (England’s experience) you can multiply their number by at least 10x, maybe 20x or even more.

By 2050 Europe will be Muslim dominated just by demographics alone.  When their numbers are sufficient they will legally vote in their own kind and then Sharia Law.  Europe as we know it will be lost forever. Two thousand years of civilization will be destroyed by the same fanatical bearded, bigoted, brutal, boneheaded, belligerent bastards who are now slaughtering their own kind and blowing up ancient and irreplaceable world heritage buildings, monuments, books, manuscripts and other historically significant art treasures in Iraq, Syria and other conquered territories.

Canada (America) should not get sucked into this quagmire of political correctness just to show how polite, civilized. politically correct and Canadian we are. We should learn a lesson from our Australian counterparts.


VA Christmas Tree Ban Causes Yuletide Uprising

Folks around Salem, Virginia, were ready to jingle the government’s bells after they implemented a ban on Christmas trees and religious Christmas carols in the public spaces of the local VA hospital.

The holiday hullabaloo began last week when workers received an email announcing that Christmas trees would no longer be allowed in public spaces at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“Trees (regardless of the types of ornaments used) have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year,” the email stated.

According to the federal government’s telling of the Christmas story, not only did the three wise men delivered gold, frankincense and myrrh, they also brought along a Douglas fir adorned with sparkling lights.

The VA also warned employees that “public areas may only be decorated in a manner that is celebratory of the winter season.”

In other words, candy canes are good, the Baby Jesus is bad.

“Displays must not promote any religion,” they noted.

The VA went so far as to tell workers what kind of “holiday” music was permissible according to government standards.

“Music travels and should be secular (non-religious) and appropriate to the work environment,” the email stated.

The VA decided to go into full Grinch-mode and ban visiting entertainers from warbling any Christmas carol that included the words “Christ” or “Christmas.”

“They told me I could sing ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ but I couldn’t sing about Christ,” Pastor John Sines, Jr. told me. “I couldn’t sing about anything that had the word Christmas in it. I could sing what they referred to as ‘holiday’ songs.”

The Rev. Sines, the pastor at Rock Pike Baptist Church in Forest, Virginia, was a bit flustered by the rules. All he wanted to do was entertain the veterans. “My agenda wasn’t so I could push Jesus on the veterans,” he said. “I just wanted to honor the veterans and to say thank-you.”

So the good reverend politely told the VA Hospital that he was not going to abide by the rules.  “I let those folks know I wasn’t going to be bullied into their way of thinking,” he said. “We’re rednecks. We don’t have no problem standing our ground.”

Pastor Sines said he wasn’t trying to cause any trouble — he just wanted to do what the Constitution allowed him to do. “I have a Constitution that protects my freedom and I have God who said He would protect me from everything else,” the pastor told me.

In addition to Pastor Sines, the VA had to contend with outraged employees and veterans and the local townsfolk. So on Friday, they reached a compromise.

Pastor Sines said he was re-invited to perform and Christmas trees will once again be allowed in the public spaces — so long as other faiths are also represented.

That includes “the Jewish Menorah, or Hanukkah Lamp, and the Kwanzaa Mkeka (decorative mat) or Kinara (candleholder).”

They cited VA Directive 0022, titled, “Religious Symbols in Holiday Displays in VA Facilities.” The directive states that religious symbols may only be allowed in a public area if they display does not favor one religion over another, and conveys a primarily secular message.

So the only way folks can celebrate Christmas is if they also celebrate Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.

“This compromise allows for the Salem VAMC to be in full compliance with Federal mandates that prohibit US government facilities, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, from ‘favoring one religion over another’ while providing the diversity and flexibility for employees and Veterans to celebrate the holidays according to their individual faith structure,” the VA stated.

Sounds to me like somebody’s been smoking too much mistletoe.

The federal government may cite VA directive 0022 for its definition of Christmas, but I prefer to cite the holy Bible. And the Good Book declares that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, not a decorative mat.


Sen. Lankford: People of Faith Targeted with a New ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) spoke out Thursday on his concerns for religious liberty in America, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and the recent case of a football coach placed on paid leave for praying publicly after games.

“People of faith in the workplace and in public settings have become the new individuals who are targeted towards don’t ask don’t tell: If you have faith, don’t tell anyone, and don’t ask anyone if you have faith, and if you have it, don’t live it out publicly, because people don’t want to see it,” Lankford said at a Family Research Council event on defending religious liberty.

He voiced concern over the implications of the legalization of same-sex marriage for people of faith as well as concern over the “undercurrent of conversations” with the assumption that if you’re for religious liberty “you’re exclusive, you are divisive, you’re a person that needs to be isolated.”

Lankford gave some examples of recent challenges to freedom of religion, citing the example of Bremerton High School assistant coach Joe Kennedy, who was placed on paid administrative leave by his school district last month for praying on the field after football games.

He said that the school district in this instance “set a new principle that is very interesting for us as we deal with the issue of religious liberty.”

“The new principle that the school district set was: a school district employee cannot have a visual display of faith,” Lankford said, “because if they can see you practicing your faith, then they might take that as the school district establishment of faith.

“It’s an odd statement for them to make that no court has ever stood up but for this district they’re trying to push this one principle,” he said.      

Lankford went on to argue that “universities in the country right now are dealing with a new norm as well” following the same-sex marriage ruling.

“A university in my state this year closed married student housing - closed it - understanding full well that there were gay students that would apply to the school and would immediately say I want to get in to married student housing,” Lankford explained.

“Because of the oncoming onslaught of lawsuits, they knew they would face and where they were as a school, they chose to just say we won’t offer married student housing at all,” he said.

“I don’t criticize them for that,” Lankford added. “They’re trying to figure out how do we actually function under a nebulous new court ruling.

“This is not a settled issue in America, and the way the Supreme Court settled this, it will not be a settled issue 40 years from now,” he emphasized regarding the same-sex marriage ruling.

“What is unresolved and what will be the unpacking now - and I think it’ll be first in the universities - is trying to force universities to be able to give up faith principles,” Lankford said.

“The weapons that they have in their tool box for the federal government is accreditation, is Pell Grants, and student loans,” he warned, “They have all three of those weapons in their tool box and say if you don’t do XYZ in your university and recognize XYZ, we’ll take away accreditation, student loans, and Pell Grants and your university’s shut.

"Very few universities could survive that,” Lankford said.

“That’s the kind of stuff that accelerates now after this summer’s decision,” he concluded. “It’s the yes you can have any opinion you want as long as it’s ours.”  



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, 2015

A multicultural career criminal in Britain

A career criminal nicknamed 'Monster' who mowed down a five-year-old boy in front of his mother has been jailed more than 10 years after the schoolboy's death.

Nawnee Mackin, of Manchester, knocked down and killed little Samuel Walker as the youngster crossed the road with his mother and sister.

Mackin then 23 - who had no licence or insurance - then fled the scene in a Mitsubishi Gallant which was used as a 'pool car' for the estate where he lived.

He was jailed for nine years today for causing death by dangerous driving after being found guilty at Manchester Crown Court.

The case was reopened on the 10th anniversary of Samuel's death in 2013 and Mackin was later identified as the driver of the Mitsubishi which had been taken for a joyride around the Merseybank Estate in Chorlton. He was also picked out by Samuel's mother Jacqueline Tocmak in an identity parade.

The court heard that Samuel had been crossing Hardy Lane in Chorlton in February 2003 with his 11-year-old sister - who also witnessed him being struck, as they made their way to his grandmother's house. He was thrown up onto the car's bonnet and killed instantly days before his sixth birthday.

Prosecutor Mr Henry Blackshaw said that Mackin had been seen 'wheel-spinning' and driving 'aggressively' before the collision.

Tyres had been heard 'screeching' and his speed had been estimated at being between 40 and 50 mph.

Mackin  - who had 30 previous offences on his record - drove from the scene after failing to stop and hiding his face as he went around a corner. The car was found abandoned after being reported stolen.

Mrs Tocmak said she never gave up on finding the man responsible for her son's death and would have 'fought for justice until the day I died'.

In a victim impact statement read to the court she said: 'Samuel was a wonderful child, he was bright and funny and he had a loving personality. He was observant and intelligent. As well as being my son he was my best friend.

'He was and always will be my angel. The day Samuel was killed my heart was ripped out. It is every parent's nightmare to lose a child.

'I have missed out on so many of the things that we as parents take for granted. My life was never the same again. He left my son in the road.

'There is not a day I do not think of Samuel. I often relive the events of that day. His sister then aged 11 saw him die. Twelve years later she still cries herself to sleep. Getting justice for Samuel has brought me a step closer for closure for my family and I.'

In passing sentence Judge Andrew Blake said it had been a 'tragic, tale of wanton driving'.

The judge said: 'You killed that little boy, something which you must have known was highly likely almost immediately. Nonetheless you drove on in the hope you would get away with it.

'You ploughed right through the group hitting Sam who at the last moment turned back towards his mother no doubt sensing the danger.'

The judge added that he had been witnessed committing the crime but was not reported to the police because of the 'moral code against criminals of no grassing'.

He added: 'This is as bad a case of death by dangerous driving as I have had the misfortune to deal with. The wanton driving, the callous disregard for life and the carefully orchestrated cover up are all matters which aggravate the offence.'

Mackin, now 35, was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.


Free speech: our best weapon in the war for the West’s soul

It may have been a deliberate sick joke or just another irony of history. But either way, it seemed symbolic that two of the terror attacks in Paris, including the bloodiest assault at the Bataclan theatre, took place on Boulevard Voltaire.

That Parisian thoroughfare is named after the eighteenth-century revolutionary writer Francois-Marie Arouet, known by his pen name Voltaire, who is associated with all the values that those Islamist terrorists despise. Most famously, Voltaire is widely credited with the historic declaration (actually formulated by his biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall as a summation of his views) that ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. Those words ring down the centuries, encapsulating the Enlightenment ideals of free speech and tolerance with which IS and its ilk are at war today.

The appearance of the name Voltaire in the midst of last Friday’s slaughter was a reminder of that which we should hold dear in these times of conflict. It should also serve as a reminder that free speech remains the best weapon we have to defeat the enemies of freedom. That has often been forgotten in the rush to suppress ‘dangerous’ words and ideas in the aftermath of the latest Paris outrage, and of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January.

This war is not only a military conflict over territory in the Middle East. It is a cultural and political battle for the future of the West itself, for the soul of an ostensibly free and civilised society. The danger is not that IS or similar will destroy our freedoms – no terrorist has the power to do that. The danger is that our fearful response to terror will itself further undermine freedom; that we will not simply lose this war, but surrender without a fight.

Reactions to Paris have already illustrated the pusillanimous attitude that prevails towards liberties in general and free speech in particular among the West’s elites. They begin by reaffirming the need to defend our freedoms and values in principle. Then they swiftly cut to the chase and start attacking freedom of speech in practice.

Thus on Monday, the French authorities announced that they had launched more than 150 raids on ‘militant targets’ – not only to hunt for armed terror suspects, but also to round up people who espouse dangerous ideas. France’s prime minister Manuel Valls said that the government was using its special powers under the state of emergency ‘to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement… and all those who advocate hate of the republic’. Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said this offensive was the start of a crackdown that would lead to the ‘dissolution’ of ‘hate-preaching mosques’ across the country.

These raids followed on from the French authorities’ post-Charlie Hebdo campaign to silence ‘hate speech’ attributed to Islamist extremists and ‘Islamophobic’ racists alike. The crackdown involves new measures against ‘hatred online’, the deportation of radical preachers and tougher legal penalties for hate speech and racism.

After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January and the related murders at a Parisian Jewish supermarket, notorious anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala was arrested and convicted of ‘condoning terrorism’ for tweeting ‘I feel like Charlie Coulibaly’ – a mash-up of ‘Je suis Charlie’ with the name of the kosher supermarket killer, Amedy Coulibaly. Ironic joke or attempted justification for violence, it was only words, and only one word – Coulibaly – made it controversial. Yet it earned Dieudonné a suspended jail sentence. The French authorities thus made clear that they would fight to the death for the right of people to say things of which the government and the judges approve.

In the UK, the official response to Friday’s slaughter in Paris was to affirm the British state’s support for freedom, while warning of the dangers of taking free speech too literally and speaking out of turn. One foolish woman who posted on Facebook that her Oxfordshire beauty salon would no longer accept bookings ‘from anyone from the Islamic faith’ was not only pilloried by social-media users but also reported to the police and arrested for publishing ‘written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting with the intention of stirring up racial hatred’. Which might seem a heavy-handed state response for advertising your reluctance to do somebody’s nails.

Meanwhile Brit comedian Jason Manford’s Facebook account was suspended after he posted that the Paris attackers were ‘Fucking cowards. Slaughtering innocent unarmed people for what? In whose name? Cos I’ve got news for you, if you think your “god” is gonna reward you for this type of atrocity then your god is a massive cunt. You are a shit stain on all of humanity.’ Harsh but fair some might think, but apparently enough to have Facebook reaching for the ‘Dislike – and Take Down’ button.

Slightly higher up in the UK cultural stratosphere, Economist writer Edward Lucas penned a classic piece of contemporary nonsense in which he effectively argued that in order to defend our freedoms, we must ‘compromise’ (aka sacrifice) some of them, including free speech. Civilisation, declared Lucas, ‘is a cause. We should fervently sing its praises, practise its principles at home and promote them abroad’. And how should we ‘practise its principles’? By accepting that we will have fewer freedoms and more constraints on democracy. And by purging our enemies from ‘social media or the comment fields of mainstream news organisations’. Of course Lucas insists that his proposal ‘does not constrain free speech’ – a sure sign these days that it would do precisely that.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old toddler from Todmorden in West Yorkshire was arrested for posting an infantile Facebook rant in praise of the terror attacks. The unnamed idiot wrote that ‘My brothers did well in Paris. Now we have proved that there’s a bit of intelligence, planning and synchronisation going into our killings. WE ARE ISIS, THIS IS OUR TIME NOW. Keep your eyes on Manchester, AALUUACKHBAAR! Rip Jihadi John.’

His post met with a robust response from other Facebook users, and disappeared after 45 minutes. In the meantime, however, somebody had reported the jihadi groupie to West Yorkshire Police, who arrested him ‘for publishing material intending to incite racial hatred…West Yorkshire Police take this behaviour seriously, especially in light of the recent events in Paris.’ Why West Yorkshire Police should take this overgrown boy’s behaviour so seriously is unclear, since it appears unlikely that ‘intelligence and planning’ about an IS attack on Manchester would be posted on Facebook from his mum’s back bedroom in Todmorden, and the only ‘hatred’ he seems likely to incite is of himself. Free speech is for fools and fanatics, too.

In the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo and the latest Paris atrocities, it might be tempting to imagine going along with government attempts to crack down on ‘radical’ opinions and censor extremists in our universities. Wouldn’t it be good if we could simply gag them with the UK’s 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, and kick them off campus and social media, if not out of the country, altogether?

But such simple authoritarian solutions to offensive ideas won’t work. Trying to defend freedom by banning its enemies, to uphold our belief in free speech by censoring those who disagree, would be both wrong in principle and worse than useless in practice. What we need to do is fight them on the intellectual and political beaches, not try to bury the issues in the sand. The big problem Western society faces is not how to stop radical Islamists espousing their beliefs; it is how best to make a compelling case for what ‘we’ are supposed to believe in. Free speech is the potential solution, not the problem.

This should not be seen as a concession to the enemy, either. In the war over the future of the West, free speech is the greatest weapon in civilisation’s armoury. Our culture’s internal arguments about values today are often characterised by confusion rather than clarity. How are these problems to be resolved? Not by being afraid of and trying to exclude some ideas on any side, but by open argument in which all points of view can fight it out. Not by creating ‘safe zones’ and restricting debate to the same blandly conformist opinions, but by letting speech run free in a no-holds-barred debate.

The fight for free speech has been key to the historic struggle that has brought humanity from the caves to something approaching civilisation. It is how we decide what we believe to be the truth. That is why the freedom to question everything has been central to the advance of everything from scientific progress to political democracy. Today we need it more than ever.

One word which has come up in many responses to the Paris attacks is ‘Tolerance’. Yet that powerful notion is often abused. ‘Tolerance’ has been turned into a call for censoring ideas deemed too offensive or extreme, through slogans such as ‘we cannot tolerate intolerance’. This is the opposite of true tolerance, which means tolerating the expression of opinions you fiercely disagree with – in order that you might then challenge them in a battle to the bitter end.

That was the spirit of Voltaire’s famous, attributed, motto about defending to the death your right to say things with which we disagree. Or as he put it in his own words, ‘Think for yourself, and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so, too’. Today by contrast, from the university campus to the post-Paris media, our culture is coming under the influence of those I call the reverse-Voltaires, whose slogan is ‘I know I will despise what you say and I will fight to the end of free speech for my right to stop you saying it’.

This is not about upholding an abstract principle. Free speech remains a practical weapon to deal with the enemies of liberty. The alternative, of seeking to ban them and get the genie back in the bottle, can only store up more trouble and lend them perverse credibility as victims of censorship.

It is a hard truth about free speech that the acid test is always standing up for ‘freedom for the thought that we hate’, at the same time as exercising our own freedom ruthlessly to challenge it.  In the end it is only those ideas deemed extreme or offensive that need defending on free-speech grounds. The mainstream can look after itself. Nobody ever tries to ban an opinion for being too mundane.

Should we really be scared of speech from bearded Islamists or hair-teasing Islamophobes? Must we turn the whole of our society into a campus-style ‘safe zone’, where we are all to be protected from offensive words that are viewed as if they were automatic weapons?

If we are not going to defend the civilisation-founding liberty of free speech, then what are we supposed to be fighting for in this war?


The feminists who want to silence men

If there’s one person who epitomises the University of York’s notable alumni, it’s Harriet Harman.

The Labour MP studied politics there in the early 1970s before becoming a lawyer and, subsequently, a politician who — not long ago — believed that touring Britain in a pink van might dismantle the ‘patriarchy’ (otherwise known as civilisation, to you and I; something men created, but women have long enhanced, benefited from and now co-own).

Needless to say, she was wrong. On paper her approach may have had all the hallmarks of a PR success story, but in today’s climate it simply smacked of tired tactics. Still, by the University of York’s standards, it was probably A-grade stuff. After all, stale with esoteric feminist professors and their wacky take on reality, they too remain locked in Harman’s time-warped mindset.

Earlier this week, the college u-turned plans for a modest International Men’s Day (IMD) meeting — even though it coincided with a parliamentary discussion on the 19 November event.

The reason? Melodramatic ‘outrage’ from the sisterhood.

Yep, rent-a-gob gender warriors — who, I often find, are some of the most privileged people in the world — decided that men responsibly discussing their collective issues (suicide, schools failing boys, fathers’ rights, violent partners, MGM, the life expectancy gap, etc) without feminist supervision was too risky of inducing a riot — or, at the very least, a hashtag.

This was despite the fact that, 24 hours earlier, a fellow student had tragically killed himself.

Still, in an open letter signed by 200 people (many of whom were former students or, more worryingly, incumbent lecturers) they declared: ‘A day that celebrates men’s issues – especially those outlined in the university’s statement – does not combat inequality, but merely amplifies existing, structurally imposed, inequalities [sic]. Men’s issues cannot be approached in the same way as discrimination towards women, because women are structurally unequal to men.’

It continued: ‘We recognise that patriarchy is damaging to both men and women. We do not, however, believe that the university statement engages with these complex issues with sufficient nuance or understanding. The failure of the Equality and Diversity Committee to do so undermines their self-proclaimed commitment to gender equality, and leaves us deeply concerned that their supposed investment in women’s rights is mere lip service.’

In other words: other narratives mustn’t threaten the lucrative status quo they’ve spent years cultivating.

It’s almost like competitive victimhood. Except, err, young women in further education are anything but victims, making feminism increasingly redundant for them.

Granted, this might be bittersweet news if you’re heavily invested in it’s ongoing survival, but, trust me, it’s ultimately a good thing. That’s surely what we’ve been working towards: men and women largely being equal, at least in terms of inequality, or lack thereof.

Perhaps somebody should tell campus feminists this because, judging by their poor level of enlightenment on the matter, they need some serious de-programming.

Earlier this year, spiked published the Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR), which highlighted the scale of the intolerance problem. They found that 80 per cent of UK colleges censor debate and expression; much of this is done by NUS officers preoccupied with Page 3, boisterous sports teams and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, rather than anything pertinent.

But why? Certainly not for PR purposes. This latest battle has been humiliating, with the likes of Leeds Becket University — which is hosting its own IMD event - instantly appearing demonstrably younger, smarter and progressive than York by default.

So what gives? Is it more that, like George Orwell once said, the war is not meant to be won, but to be continuous?

Christina Hoff Somers, academic and host of YouTube’s Factual Feminist, thinks so. When I interviewed her earlier this year she told me: ‘In the early 1990s, I — along with several other feminist scholars (Wendy Kaminer, Daphne Patai, Camille Paglia, Mary Lefkowitz, Katie Roiphe, to name a few) — went to battle against the hardline, sex-panicked conspiracy feminists like Andrea Dworkin.

‘My side won the arguments, but their side quietly assumed all of the assistant professorships. So colleges are now full of gender scholars who instruct students on the ravages of the capitalist, hetero-patriachal system and its “rape culture”. Everywhere we hear about “micro-aggressions”, “trigger warnings”, and the toxicity of masculinity.’

At the Battle Of Ideas weekend in London last month, she added: ‘We won the battle, but they won the war. The question now is whether they can hold on to that power…’

The fact there’s already a 1,000-strong petition to reinstate the University of York’s Men’s Day event suggests not. Especially as, rather brilliantly, it was started by a woman.


Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission finds all Catholic Bishops might have a “case to answer”

A news story in The Australian this morning indicates that the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission has found a preliminary “case to answer” in relation to a claim of sexual orientation discrimination against not only the Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Porteous, but also “all Australia’s Catholic bishops.”

We have known for some time that Greens political candidate Martine ­Delaney had made a complaint against Archbishop Porteous, but the additional feature of the decision of the Anti-Discrimination Commission is the inclusion of other Catholic Bishops from all around Australia.

The booklet distributed to parents of students at Roman Catholic schools by Archbishop Porteous is entitled, “Don’t Mess with Marriage,” and was produced by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The booklet eschews all forms of “unjust discrimination,” and goes on to say, “some suggest that it is unjustly discriminatory not to allow people with same-sex attraction to marry someone of the same sex. Others believe that marriage is an institution uniting a man and a woman. We wish by this pastoral letter to engage with this debate, present the Church’s teaching to the faithful, and explain the position of the Catholic faithful to the wider community.”

It continues: “the traditional view of marriage, which the Church has always supported, is different. It sees marriage as about connecting the values and people in our lives which otherwise have a tendency to get fragmented: sex and love, male and female, sex and babies, parents and children. This view has long influenced our law, literature, art, philosophy, religion and social practices. On this view, marriage includes an emotional union, but it goes further than that. It involves a substantial bodily and spiritual union of a man and a woman.

“Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships will have far reaching consequences for all of us. The world around us influences the communities in which we live. Cultural and legal norms shape our idea of what the world is like, what’s valuable, and what are appropriate standards of conduct. And this in turn shapes individual choices. That’s one of the main purposes of marriage law: to enable and encourage individuals to form and keep commitments of a certain kind. But if the civil definition of marriage were changed to include ‘same-sex marriage’ then our law and culture would teach that marriage is merely about emotional union of any two (or more?) people.”

The legal status of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and whether it claims to represent, for example, the views of every Roman Catholic Bishop in Australia, is unclear. But it must also be said that it would be somewhat odd if a Tasmanian tribunal were legally able to exercise authority over Bishops who operate in other states of Australia.

The more important issue, of course, is whether the law will continue to protect the religious freedom of churches and believers to maintain and teach within their own communities the historical views of Christianity about marriage and sexuality.

These issues are brought sharply into focus when some of those supporting “marriage equality” consider this sort of attempted widespread suppression of speech and religious freedom a reasonable policy stance.



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, 2015

Why Islamic violence?  Leftist "New Matilda" has no answers

Megan Giles, who wrote the article I excerpt below, has a significant academic background.  It is however a solidly Leftist one, so we cannot expect much in the way of balance or academic rigour from her. She mainly seems to be a do-gooder.  Anyway, she knows a bit about history.  And she parades that history as if it excuses or at least explains the current epidemic of Muslim violence. She spells out the tired old comment that Christians and Christian countries have been violent in the past too.  As if nobody knew that!

There she is. Isn't she gorgeous?

But it is not history we have to deal with. It is the present. So why is the present-day world's flood of political violence coming from Muslims?

She seems to think that it is Muslims "getting even" with the West for colonialism.  But de-colonization took place around 50 years ago.  And, after some initial eruptions, the decolonized world was mostly peaceful.  What has suddenly caused it to erupt? And why are Indo-China and other non-Muslim ex-colonies not erupting?  And why are the people being killed at the moment overwhelmingly Muslim, rather than the wicked colonists? 

Megan has not apparently thought of those questions.  Her conventional Leftist hates are all she has to explain anything, whether they fit or not.  She is a procrustean.

I and many others point to the way in which ISIS and other violent Muslims are just doing what the Koran says.  Megan thinks that cannot be the explanation as Christians have been similarly vicious at times too.  But that is a non-sequitur. A particular type of behaviour can arise from many causes. And that normal human selfishness has caused Christians to GO AGAINST New Testament teachings proves nothing.  But Muslims don't have to do that.  The Jihadis are not going against ANYTHING in their religion.  Their deeds and faith are in harmony. So we at least need to note that.

And that makes a difference to what adherents of the two religions hear.  Both Mullahs and priests tell their adherents to do as their holy books say.  So Christian priests overwhelmingly preach peace and kindness while the Mullahs overwhelmingly preach conquest.  And preaching can be influential.  Why do it otherwise? For most people -- Christian or Muslim -- it goes in one ear and out the other. They usually accept the wisdom of it but don't act on it.   But some do. So on the one hand we have the provision of Christian hospitals and schools while on the other we have gruesome violence.

So what the Koran says is indeed central to the Muslim problem -- because it is what most of the Mullahs preach --  and what the Mullahs preach is influential.

But why is it that we have the upsurge of violence now?  Megan does not even attempt to tell us.  She had no answers about the causes of Muslim violence at all.

But I think the cause is pretty clear. It is in that history that Megan thinks she knows about. It is a product of ham-fisted European intervention. A skeletal outline:

It all started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  Afghanistan had been a reasonably secular State up until then.  But it was part of the Ummah, part of the Muslim world. So it was devout Muslims who chased the Soviets out.  The invasion aroused the devout Muslims and eventually made them the only effective force in the land.  And they used that power to transform Afghanistan into a Koranic State, a centre of Islamic righteousness and virtue.

And it might have stopped there except for the fact that the Afghan upheavals had attracted a very rich Saudi who became instrumental in defeating the Soviets: Osama bin Laden.

And Koranic virtue does preach attack on the infidel, the kuffar. So after helping to defeat the Soviets, Osama bin Laden was "feeling his oats" and sought new fields to conquer -- and consequently organized  the attack on the exceedingly un-Muslim USA, with results we all know about.

And since then it has been push and counter-push. An Afghanistan-enmeshed organization -- Al Qaeda -- attacked the USA so the USA attacked Afghanistan in an attempt to root them out.  And once the USA under George Bush was mobilized, they thought that the sabre-rattling coming from Iraq sounded dangerous too so decided that a pre-emptive war there was needed to avoid another "9/11".

But in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Americans had no reasonable idea of an end-game. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they assumed that destroying the hostile regime would enable them to give the grateful natives the blessings of democracy.  But there is no history of democracy in the Middle  East and no hankering for it. Instead there is a 4,000 year history of tyrannies.  So the semi-democratic regimes set up by the Americans had no legitimacy in the eyes of the people and consequently had little control over anybody or anything.  Instead we have had chaos.

But nobody likes chaos and many influential Muslims of the Middle East have put their hands up as the new tough-guy leader who will restore peace and unity -- and maybe even become the new Caliph.  And that is what has been going on.  Can it have escaped anyone's notice that 98% of the people dying are Muslims?  Much of the the Middle East and North Africa is in the midst of a civil war to determine who the next tyrant will be.  The people there want a strong tyrant not a wishy-washy democracy.

And amid those struggles aspiring leaders will do everything they can to acquire legitimacy.  And attacks on the West are a good way of doing that.  It enables the aspiring tyrants to claim Islamic righteousness.  So what constitutes Islamic righteousness does matter.  And we find that in the Koran.

And all the excitement of the struggle does catch the attention of people in the Western world whose ancestry is in Muslim lands.  And a tiny minority decide that they want a part of the action.
So some of those go to Syria, while others attack individuals in their country of residence.

So is it reasonable to target the whole Muslim minority of a Western country in some way?  I think it is.  But no half  measures will do.  Tentative measures will just exacerbate the problem.  The small minority of radicalized Muslims can do a lot of damage and cause a lot of disruption, social and otherwise.  And the populations of Western countries are becoming increasingly intolerant of that, as they should.  We wouldn't accept such disruption from anyone else so why should we accept it from young Muslims?

But how can we get violent young Muslims out of our countries? How do we detect in advance who they are?  We cannot.  So the only way of getting the violent young Muslims out of our countries is to get ALL Muslims out of our countries.  I believe it will come to that.  Muslim populations ARE a breeding-ground for terrorists and that undisputable fact endangers their continued long-term acceptance in Western countries.


Now listen to Megan. I have omitted her more sulphuric comments about Pauline Hanson:

Hanson states that the New Testament, unlike the Qur’an, is devoid of any violence, as if the relative peace and prosperity enjoyed by the Western world is somehow solely attributed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hanson and many others fail to recognise the context of time, place and circumstance that permits the usurping of Quranic verses for such violence.

They fail to scrutinise what it is that separates the millions of Muslims, and millions of others of faith, who can read their sacred scriptures in their historical contexts, from those that totalise and literalise religious doctrine and wrongly champion it as the impetus for their savagery.

In the late 20th century, regimes across the Arab world shaped and utilised Islamic ideologies to solidify and mobilise support against Western liberalism. And so it goes, on and on through history. Past contexts magically transforming to suit present and future contexts.

When we place blame we go directly to the original source, without acknowledging how that source has been manipulated to accommodate contemporary political objectives.

Though all of this, in our current debate, is near-irrelevant. Focusing on the details of religious texts will lead us nowhere since we have, right in front of us, countless examples that help us understand the rise of Islamic State and specific historical, albeit complex and multi-faceted, justifications for North African and Middle Eastern violence.

Indeed what is missing from mainstream debates about contemporary terrorism is the very heavy historical baggage it carries.

Tony Blair has apologised for “mistakes” made during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The US government’s hasty state-building policies after the disbanding of the Iraqi army left thousands of young men angry, armed and unemployed.

Unfortunately, only few commentators will reach back far enough into history to examine the brutal, incendiary and utterly destructive legacy of colonialism in the Middle East to understand contemporary violence.

While ‘we’ in the West have moved on from colonialism and want everyone else to just ‘get over it’, post-colonial states were never given space to – they live its continuity in the neocolonial economic policies of the Washington Consensus and the ubiquity of a militarised national consciousness where violence pervades and reproduces.

The late Algerian psychiatrist Franz Fanon has written passionately on the impact of colonialism on the colonised individual’s psyche, and its propensity for creating violent separatist and regionalist factions, long after independence.

“At the individual level, violence is a cleansing force. It rids the colonized of their inferiority complex, of their passive and despairing attitude… Violence hoists the people up to the level of the leader.”

Despite the horrors of history committed on every continent, our right to anger and grieve over the bloodshed in Paris is doubtless. It must be denounced with the loudest possible voice and responded to with the strongest possible deliberation and vigilance.

Good people lost their lives because they represented the freedom we all hold dear, no matter our race, nationality or religion. Though we must fall short of dismay that Middle Eastern wars have somehow spilled over onto a bystanding Europe caught up in the crossfire.

These wars belong to the Great Powers and they always have. As Gordon Adams has noted, “France has been a central arena for the confrontation between Islam and political-religious Christian Europe for 1,300 years.”

The proceeding centuries were characterised by a vicious brand of colonialism under the guise of exporting a concept of citizenship that was highly exclusionary at home, and anti-Islamic domestic policies leaving hostility an omnipresence weaved through France’s social and political fabric.

Adams states, “France needs to undergo a deep self-examination, and a fundamental revision of the current practice of sidelining its large Muslim population, leaving them disaffected, poorly educated, underemployed, and ripe for recruitment to terrorism.”

All religious texts have the capacity to unite or divide humanity. Our conversation must start centering on the dark, ugly side of human nature and the contexts that breed violent extremists of which our own states are often complicit in.


Disgusting British social workers again

Social workers lied on under oath and doctored a report as part of an attempted 'cover-up' which favoured five children being taken away from their parents.

Judge Mark Horton said there had been a 'deliberate and calculated' alteration to the dossier and changes had been made by a social worker and a team manager.

Alterations of the report, which was an assessment of the children's parents, had completely changed its tenor and improved the case for removing the children from their parents.

In a family court hearing in Portsmouth, Judge Horton said: 'It is exceptional to find a case in which there has been deliberate and calculated alteration of a report prepared by one social worker in order to make that assessment seem less favourable, by another social worker and the team manager; the withholding of the original report when it was ordered to be disclosed and the parties to the alterations lying on oath one of them twice, in order to try to cover up the existence of the original report.'

The original report of the parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had contained 'positives and negatives' and had been balanced.

Proceedings started more than two years ago and the children, aged between three and 16, are currently living with foster parents as part of an interim agreement.

Social workers for Hampshire County Council wanted them to stay in foster care but their parents wanted them returned to their care.

But despite Judge Horton saying the children should stay within the care of the council and approving fostering plans put forward by staff, he was critical of the way the case had been handled.

He said: 'A final decision is long overdue,' said Judge Horton.

'The reasons for the delay have been almost exclusively, the actions of employees of the applicant local authority.'

He went on to say that he had never came across a case like this before.

He said given the 'enormity' of what staff had done and the fact 'they still work as social workers' it was right that they should be named so that members of the public were aware of 'their shortcomings in this case'.

The judge indicated that some staff had left Hampshire council and moved on to other jobs since the case involving the five children had started.

Social worker Sarah Walker Smart had 'lied twice to me on oath', said the judge.

He said he had been told that she had been promoted to a 'team manager' in Hampshire council.

Kim Goode had been Sarah Walker Smart's manager and 'was the person who initiated the wholesale alteration of the original report and who attempted to keep the truth from the parties and me', said the judge.

He said she had gone on to become 'district manager for the Isle of Wight'.

Lisa Humphreys had been Kim Goode's manager, said the judge.

'Her evidence was deeply unimpressive,' he added. 'She made a 'hollow' apology to the parents during her evidence; she regarded a social worker lying on oath as 'foolish' and she failed to accept any personal responsibility for what had gone on under her management.'

He said she had gone on to become assistant director of children's social care with Lambeth Borough Council.

Judge Horton said he had concluded that at one stage the children had been illegally removed from their parents' care - and that a 'fair parenting assessment' had not been carried out.

He said a number of concerns had been raised about the way the children were being looked after by their parents.

The judge said the parents loved their children - and their children loved them.

But despite the quality of those relationships, the parents had 'difficulty parenting the children to the required minimum standard', he said.

The court heard that both parents had experienced 'very difficult childhoods', had an underlying 'chronic' mistrust of professionals and did not want to 'inflict on their children the experiences they themselves had as children', which had led them to failing to provide effective boundaries for the children, according to the judge.

He said this then led to appalling neglect of the older children's educational, emotional and social development and neglect of all of the children's health needs.


Hypocrisy of the cinemas: Film bosses ban Church's video of the Lord's Prayer - yet allow adverts for beer and violent video games to be shown to children

Cinemas have banned an advert encouraging prayer while letting children see commercials selling alcohol and ultraviolent video games.

The 60-second recording of the Lord’s Prayer was scheduled to be shown ahead of screenings of the new Star Wars film before Christmas.

But it was pulled after the company which sells advertising at the Odeon, Cineworld and Vue chains said the Church of England film could be seen as offensive.

Christian and Muslim leaders, MPs and even the outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins said the decision was ridiculous.

The row intensified as it emerged that:

    The commercials for alcohol and violent video games are being shown before films aimed at children;

    One 12A-rated film, which children of any age can watch with an adult, showed a sexualised perfume advert featuring naked models posing as Adam and Eve;

    The prayer advert was pulled even though Digital Cinema Media, which sells screen advertising, had no written policy against it;

    The CofE is considering legal action under the Equality Act.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘This advert is about as offensive as a carol service or a church service on Christmas Day.’

He appears in the advert, walking through a park while voicing a line from the Lord’s Prayer. Further lines are spoken by children, police, weightlifters, a farmer, refugees and a gospel choir.

It ends with a link to JustPray.uk, a website featuring prayers submitted via social media. The advert was cleared by the Cinema Advertising Authority and rated U – suitable for all – by the British Board of Film Classification.

CofE spokesman, Reverend Arun Arora, said he was baffled by the ban, adding: ‘In one way the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly but the fact they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech.

‘We are hopeful the leadership of Digital Cinema Media would have the strength to recognise they have made a mistake and change their minds.’

Yesterday it emerged that DCM, which controls 80 per cent of UK cinema advertising and is jointly-owned by Odeon and Cineworld, was so eager to host the advert in July that an agent offered the Church a 55 per cent discount.

But on August 3, he claimed the cinemas would refuse to show the clip, saying ‘our hands are tied by these guys’.

Executives later said that DCM had turned the advert down because its policy prevented it airing trailers ‘connected to personal beliefs’.

But yesterday DCM claimed its decision was based on its ‘policy of not accepting political or religious advertising content for use in cinemas’ – pointing to a document on its website as evidence.

Analysis by the Mail reveals this document’s creation date was last Friday – just two days before the farce was revealed by the Mail on Sunday.

DCM did not respond last night to questions about when the policy had been written.

Professor Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist who is an outspoken critic of organised religion, told the Guardian: ‘I strongly object to suppressing the ads on the grounds that they might offend people.

'If anybody is offended by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.’

Marketing expert Sue Primmer said the decision not to run the advert was ‘bonkers’.

She added: ‘Somehow cinemas think it is OK to promote sugar, popcorn and fizzy drinks at children when we have a serious problem with diabetes in this country, but they won’t show an inoffensive and intelligent advert at a time when it is important to reflect on what our great world faiths, including Christianity, are all about.’

Yesterday Odeon and Cineworld screenings of 12A films were packed with teenagers and younger children. But all featured adverts for alcohol, including hard spirits, or violent 18-rated video games.


Australian Scouts to ditch pledge to God, Queen and Australia to become ‘more inclusive’

SCOUTS are set to dump the word “God” in its traditional promise amid claims the ­religious reference was making non-Christian members “uncomfortable” while turning others away from joining.

References to being “cheerful” and “thrifty” are also set to be axed, while a pledge to “doing my duty to Australia” will be canned to be more inclusive to other ­nationalities as part of a major review within the nation’s largest youth movements.

In a move set to irk monarchists, an optional promise to the “Queen of Australia” is also to be permanently given the boot as part of the modernisation of the movement.

Scouting families have until the end of the year to complete a survey on the new wording of the movement’s new “law and promise” that will then be recited by members from mid-2016.

A message posted on its website by Scouts Australia chief commissioner Chris Bates said the change of words was about making the Scouts more inclusive.

The existing promise includes the line “I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to my God and to the Queen of Australia”.

However, some younger Scouts were already reciting an adapted version of the promise, contributing to a “silo-effect” between its sections, Mr Bates said.

He said there was a strong feeling some of the wording was not consistent with members’ beliefs or their current use of language. “The result is we are either losing members or some of our members are using words they don’t actually believe in,” he said.

“After much research and discussion, we have provided some new wording for a revitalised promise and law that we believe young Australians will find easier to commit to, and to follow.”

One of the proposed ­options for the new promise includes a reference to being “true to my spiritual beliefs”.

The revised law ditches the need for Scouts to be cheerful, thrifty, courageous and helpful, while retaining the need to be friendly, honest, fair, loyal and trustworthy.

Founded in 1958, Scouts Australia is regarded as the largest youth movement in the nation with almost 70,000 members. Although the ­organisation is open to members of all religious faiths, those who refuse to make the promise to God are not ­allowed to become members.

The Scouts Youth Program Review said feedback from members found many parents preferred non-­religious activities for their children “and have expressed discomfort with the use of the word ‘God’.”

Scouts had the option to ditch the line about “doing my duty to the Queen” a decade ago, with only a few branches retaining the reference. But the review said most members felt the phrase needed to change, with less than 12 per cent wanting it retained.

As for revising the law, young people no longer used words such as “thrifty”. It said scrapping the reference to “Australia” in the promise was in recognition of the global nature of scouting, it said.

“The removal of direct reference of Australia was also seen as recognition of the global nature of Scouting, and making the promise more ­inclusive for citizens of other nations,” the review said.


John Kerry the buffoon

Americans rejected him in the 2004 Presidential election but he is still hanging around like a bad smell

There's an age old quote often attributed to Mark Twain that says "better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." Unfortunately, John Kerry's role as Secretary of State compels him to speak publicly on behalf of the United States, and he's spent the last several months sweeping up those last few grains of skepticism about his intellectual limits. As Jonah Bennett at the Daily Caller notes:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry remarked Tuesday that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo are much more understandable and have a better rationale than the Friday Paris attacks.

Kerry flew to France following the G20 talks in Turkey and delivered remarks at the U.S. embassy on the Paris attacks, which left 129 dead, CBS News reports.

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that,” Kerry said. “There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘Okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.’ This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate.”

Kerry's response is rife with the moral relativism and unseriousness that underlies modern liberalism. It's an incoherent view that is both condescending and generous. "In our Western society, we abhor violent retaliation for speech, but we understand if that's not how you do things in the Islamic world, and we're sorry if our insensitivity to your cultural preferences offends you."  As Charles Cooke at the National Review put it:

Implicit in Kerry’s reasoning is the assumption that the perpetrators of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo had a clear purpose whereas the perpetrators of last week’s abomination did not. Or, as he put it, that in one case the killers were “really angry because of this and that,” but that in the other they were not.

But this isn’t true. In fact, both set of attackers gave reasons. With Charlie Hebdo, the killers’ purported motive was revenge against ”blasphemous” expression; in Paris last week, it was disgust at Paris’s reputation for “obscenity.” In consequence, there are only two choices here: Option 1) That John Kerry believes that killing people for speaking rudely is more understandable than killing them for being secular; or Option 2) That John Kerry doesn’t actually know what the most recent attackers used as their justification (and also doesn’t remember that at the same time as the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, associated gunmen targeted a market simply because its owners were Jews).

Although Kerry's logic is muddled, one thing is quite clear: this is an unserious man who is completely unfit to be America's Secretary of State.



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

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

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


24 November, 2015

Long overdue straight talk about Europe addressed TO Europe

Farage's speech to the European Parliament is Churchillian in its pin-point accuracy and clarity. 

Interesting that this superb performance by Nigel Farage of UKIP in Brussels wasn't reported in the French or German media - and it's wonderful seeing the shots of Merkel's and Hollande's faces as they listened to it! In clear RP English with French subtitles:


Australian army chaplains to remove ‘conquer’ from 102-year-old motto because it is offensive to Muslims

Has anybody noticed that conquering is what armies are about?  And how ironical that Muslims might be offended by the idea of conquest.  They believe in conquest and the only people attempting conquest in the world today are Muslims:  ISIS

THE Australian Army is removing the motto “In this sign conquer” from the 102-year-old hat badges of army chaplains because it is offensive to Muslims.

The move comes after an imam approved by the Grand Mufti was appointed to join the ­Religious Advisory Committee to the Services in June.

Australian Army chaplains have had the motto on their hat badges since 1913.

A Defence spokeswoman last night denied the motto was being changed because it was associated with the Crusades, when Christian armies fought Muslims in the Holy Land during the Middle Ages.

“The motto of the Australian Army Chaplains is being changed to better reflect the diversity of religion throughout the Australian Army,” she said.  “The new wording on the Australian Army Chaplaincy badge is under consideration and no decision has been made at this time.”

Former army major Bernard Gaynor, whose commission was terminated last year due to his outspoken views, said: “This is political correctness destroying our military heritage.”

Mr Gaynor, who is standing as the Australian Liberty Alliance senate candidate for Queensland, said political correctness in the military was highlighted by the appointment of an imam.

“The government must stop the political correctness. It must dismiss the Defence Imam for his views. And it must put Australia first,” he said.

Military historian Professor Peter Stanley from UNSW Canberra said: “The motto was acceptable 100 years ago but today has crusader connotations.”

Despite the perceived crusader links, he said the motto actually comes from Emperor Constantine’s vision before he won the battle of Milviian Bridge in 312AD and converted to Christianity: “Jewish chaplains already have a separate badge with a Star of David, so Muslim chaplains would not be expected to wear the current badge. They would have one with a crescent.”

Army chaplains are understood to have pushed for the change. Former principal chaplain to the army Monsignor Greg Flynn said: “We have been aware of this coming down the track and most chaplains would agree with the change. It is a reality.”

Professor Tom Frane, former Bishop to the Defence Force, said: “It seems like a crusading motto — triumphal. It is not the first time it has been misinterpreted. If times have changed it is worth another look.”

The army imam, Sheik Mohamadu Nawas Saleem, has previously called for sharia law to be introduced into Australia. He signed a petition supporting radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has argued in favour of honour killings and said Muslim students should not be forced to honour Anzac Day.

Sheik Saleem works about 40 days a year for the Army and is paid $717 for each one: almost $30,000 a year.  The sheik did not respond to requests for comment.

Sheik Saleem was supported for the role by Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who this week sparked controversy by failing to come straight out and condemn the Paris terror attacks.

The Defence spokeswoman said: “There are 102 ADF permanent members who self-identify as Muslim. In addition there are 40 Active Reservists who have declared as Muslim.’’


Paris is tragic proof that Enoch Powell was right about threats to Britain

Where the toxin of hatred exists ... it needs to be treated as incitement and punished accordingly

Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted is an inevitable consequence of democratic politics. François Hollande’s presidency was already terminal before the November 13 assault on Paris; his reaction to that atrocity has consisted of trying, and it appears failing, to convince a sceptical public that he is acting to protect them.

One wonders, therefore, why the scores of raids last week hadn’t happened before the massacre, when they might even have prevented it. France knew it had an enemy within: for reasons that may or may not emerge after an inquiry, it chose not to take adequate steps to stop them launching their war.

Although police and ministers now warn us daily of the dire threat from terrorists, Britain is in the fortunate position of not – yet – having suffered in this new wave of violence. Many will recall the platitudes and rhetoric aired after the attacks on London in July 2005 about how they must never happen again. Perhaps they were more than platitudes and rhetoric. There have been outrages – such as the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby – but no more wholesale slaughter.

And whenever someone else suffers, as our French friends have, the Prime Minister is swift to tell us how our security services have constantly foiled attacks. Perhaps we have already had the equivalent of France’s scores of raids: I hope so. If Mr Cameron is half the politician he thinks he is, he will leave nothing undone, so that in the event of an attack here he can truthfully claim that the state could not have done more.

That, however, will be difficult. He is but the latest prime minister to have paid lip-service to the warped ideal of multiculturalism, and all that entails. In case one is unsure what it does entail, let us run through the card. It is an idea that the cultures and values of new, minority communities are the equivalent of the majority ones.

It means the majority culture may not expect those from minority cultures to abide by majority ways. It carries with it an expectation to tolerate attitudes that the majority reject, such as towards women and those professing other faiths. And it abjures interference in those minority cultures, for fears of accusations of racism. That last fetish has paralysed sensible response to multiculturalism for decades, and continues to stop any senior politician giving the right lead today.

You can raid all the houses, mosques and madrassas you like: but far better to eliminate radicalisation before the state has to contemplate a mass round-up, helping avoid an attack – and inevitable promises of a retaliation we are ill-equipped to execute.

That means presenting a common culture through our education system, our employment regulations, our welfare state and through the enforcement of our laws. This is not to punish people from minorities: it is to ensure they can participate completely in our society, are equal under the law and are, above all, completely integrated into our way of life.

Today, too many are either on the margins or not communicating members of our society at all. Letting this happen, to coin a phrase, is “like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre”.

That phrase was Enoch Powell’s, whose so-called “Rivers of Blood” speech in April 1968 warned us of the dangers of “communalism”, and specifically of those caused by mass immigration. He feared that the concentration of immigrants and their descendants in large communities killed the prospects of integration. Powell was reviled for his remarks, though mainly for those in which he quoted constituents. He was not a man to think, let alone utter, bigoted thoughts himself.

The toxic situation created by the response to his speech – a mixture of Leftist grandstanding and self-righteous smugness by many Tories who thought it politic to denounce him – provided an excuse to politicians for years afterwards not to question the imposition of multiculturalism on Britain.

I recall one former cabinet minister – a Tory – whose cowardice was typical of dozens like him, saying to me 20 years ago that although he and his colleagues knew mass immigration was causing problems, “Enoch” had made it impossible to discuss them.

That is one of the great lies of recent politics. It was not Powell who made this discussion impossible: it was the fear of generations of politicians since him to state the bleeding obvious, that there was a group within Britain’s community of predominantly decent, law-abiding and highly civilised Muslims who were determined to impose a primitivism and savagery first on their co-religionists and then, if they could, on the rest of society.

To refuse to tolerate that was not racism, it was common sense and an appeal for reason and decency; to use what Powell had said as an excuse for doing nothing was simply the expression of a desire for a quiet life.

The issue has ended up like that of the gas bill put behind the clock on the mantelpiece. One might forget about it from time to time, but it is still there, and one day it will have to be paid.

I should have declared my interest about Powell: he was a close friend, one of only two genuinely great men I have ever known, and he asked me to write his biography. I discussed these matters with him for years. He knew what was coming. His fault was that he sought to explain it in a way that required close attention and sophistication to understand.

The stupid, and the ruthlessly manipulative and opportunist, simply dismissed him as a bigot, and too many of the rest of our people stood in fear of their censure. Mr Cameron even had a parliamentary candidate sacked for expressing sympathy with Powell, which was ludicrous.

If you seek the monument of Powell’s critics, look about you. We are a prosperous, decent country that normally embraces many faiths and outlooks within a strong common culture. Yet we have this malignancy eating away at a part of us: and our political class still fears to take the lead necessary to deal with it. The fault starts in our schools, and they need to be made to teach mainstream British values, not least of tolerance and peace.

Where the toxin of hatred exists in mosques or on university campuses, it needs to be treated as incitement and punished accordingly. Monitoring is not enough: we have to stop extremism. We are all equal under the law, and the law must be applied equally: any British citizen who encourages criminality should be punished, irrespective of his or her faith or ethnic origin, and any Briton trying to destroy the British state should be tried for treason.

We cannot allow our citizens to dine à la carte from the menu of our laws and customs. We welcome those from other cultures here: all we ask is that they live by our rules.

Powell anticipated “the chorus of execration” that would greet his 1968 speech. He knew people would ask why he said such things. Taking seriously the job of representing his constituents, he asked in return by what right he could remain silent.

Our politicians, whose actions in tackling the evil effects of multiculturalism come nowhere near their words, fail to understand that still.


The politicized RSPCA again.  No longer just an animal charity

A judge has thrown out an attempt by the RSPCA to prosecute fox hunters using fierce laws designed to stop dog fights.

The ruling is a blow to the charity, which has routinely brought cases against country sports enthusiasts under the Animal Welfare Act because this carries stiffer penalties than the Hunting Act – including imprisonment.

But a landmark decision by District Judge Kevin Gray last week saw a case collapse against six men and a woman because the prosecution was using the wrong law.

Following an undercover investigation by the RSPCA, the six were accused of hunting foxes, badgers and deer using lurchers.

But after almost four weeks of evidence and legal argument at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court in Devon, Judge Gray ruled there was no case to answer.

He concluded that taking a dog into the countryside ‘does not constitute fighting as defined in the Animal Welfare Act’ even if the intention is to kill another animal.

Jamie Foster, a pro-hunting solicitor, said it highlighted the way the RSPCA was ‘breaching not just the spirit but the letter of the law’.

The charity has already come under attack from critics who say it pursues needless prosecutions against huntsmen and pet owners.

Clive Rees, one of the lawyers defending two of the six accused, said: ‘The RSPCA routinely charges hunting folk with animal fighting under the Animal Welfare Act.

‘Judge Gray has now ruled, as we argued, that was wrong. ‘The decision was that Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act was confined to animal fighting and was not – as the RSPCA suggested – any fight between a lurcher and a fox in the context of a hunt. The proper way to charge hunting offences was under the Hunting Act 2004. If the charge could not be brought within that legislation it could not succeed.

‘Offences against the Hunting Act cannot result in a prison sentence or a ban against keeping dogs – while the Animal Welfare Act can.’

The Mail on Sunday understands that the charity will be lodging an appeal with the High Court this week in an attempt to have Judge Gray’s decision overturned. His ruling upheld an earlier understanding of the law. The Protection of Animals Act 1911, which the Animal Welfare Act replaced, stated clearly that only captive animals could be subjected to fighting.

A Countryside Alliance spokesman said: ‘There is no excuse for wildlife crime, but prosecuting people for the wrong offences simply means they will not be convicted or punished. Unfortunately the RSPCA has a long history of trying to extend laws by campaigning in the courts. ‘It would be far better handing over prosecutions to the Crown Prosecution Service.’

An RSPCA spokesman said the charity intended to seek further clarification of the law. He said: ‘We always act fairly, impartially and with integrity as a prosecutor following the guidance laid down in the CPS code for Crown Prosecutors.

‘Last year, the RSPCA published a comprehensive review of its prosecution activity which showed claims made by the Countryside Alliance that we target the hunting community were completely unfounded.’

Two months ago, MPs launched a probe into whether it was appropriate for a charity to bring legal action, which could see the RSPCA stripped of its powers to prosecute.


Toys R Us ditches 'girls' and 'boys' categories online as retailers selling to children come under increasing pressure to go gender neutral

Retail giant Toys R Us has stopped categorising products as 'boys' or 'girls' toys on its website after coming under pressure from campaigners.

The move occurs two years after a meeting with campaign group Let Toys Be Toys, and now shoppers will search products by age group, brand or type of toy rather than by gender.

It makes the company entirely gender neutral, both in stores and online, following complaints that categorising toys puts girls off playing with science and construction sets, and makes boys feel they can't take an interest in dolls.

In 2013, Toys R Us agreed to make their marketing more inclusive and stop categorising products as 'boys' or 'girls' toys in their branches. Now let Toys Be Toys have praised the retailer's latest step.

A representative of the group announced the news on Twitter this morning, saying: 'Great news. Two years after our meeting @toysrusuk has finally agreed to #lettoysbetoys & ditch the online label.'

The pressure group which represents thousands of shoppers concerned with sexism in the toy industry and its impact on children, regularly post examples of sexist marketing of toys and products to children.

They recently urged Boots to change the way they sell toothbrushes after a follower shared an image of pink Barbie brushes for girls, while the boys' version was emblazoned with Spiderman. 'Could you change this please,' they wrote. 'Boys and girls have the same teeth.'



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

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

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


23 November, 2015

'Whitesplaining': what it is and how it works

Leftists usually run away from  any contact with conservative discourse because the factual points made by conservatives are toxic to Leftist beliefs.  As a conservative, however, I have no fears about Leftist discourse and am always ready to learn so I read quite a lot of Leftist writing, even though I am often disappointed by its vacuity.

So I read with interest the attempt below by Catriona Elder (an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney) to explain some very fashionable Leftist tropes.

There she is, complete with feminist haircut

Sadly, however, amid her long ramble below I have found nothing but opinion.  I would have thought that a social science professor might have brought some facts and data to bear but she has not done so.

And even her reasoning is just a ramble.  I have read the article carefully, with particular attention to her view that being "colour-blind" is somehow wrong.  Why is it wrong?  She does not  say -- but simply asserts that we are not in fact colour blind. Our behaviour does not match our beliefs.  That is no new point, however; psychologists have been saying that since the 1930s.

But surely being color blind is a worthy goal? Perhaps not.  It is difficult to get a grip on what she is saying but she seems to think that we should become MORE race-conscious.  She wants us to SEE racial differences rather than ignore them.

That is very naive.  The whole motivation behind the colour-blind  people is to avoid us seeing too much.  There ARE real race differences in educational attainmemnt, occupational attainment, crime-rates, IQ and much else.  In one way I could be seen as her ideal person.  I DO look at and report race differences.  I have many published academic journal articles on race-related topics. And, as a psychometrician, I always feel free to mention black IQ if it is relevant.

Is that what she wants?  I doubt it.  She wants some ideal world where people see only those things that she wants them to see.

And her comments on privilege are frankly Marxist.  Marx said that what you see depends on where you are.  While that is trivially true in some ways, Marx meant that there was no objective truth and that what you see as truth will depend on your social class position. Catriona thinks the same, except that she sees your race and the important influence on your perceptions.

The nature of truth is a very large philosophical topic so, despite my interest in such matters I will forgo any attempt to address it fully here.  Suffice it to say that those who deploy the "no absolute truth" weapon aim a gun at their own heads.

For example, if there is no absolute truth, why should I believe anything that Catriona says?  She might simply be seeing the world from her own privileged viewpoint (I think she does) and all her resultant conclusions from that might simply be wrong and worthy only of being disregarded. She evidently wants to say that nothing is right excerpt what she says.  Which is roughly what Mussolini said.  She is a neo-Fascist.

So as far as I can see, what she says is an expression of muddled and poorly-founded opinion that expresses a diffuse sense of rage but achieves nothing more.  I certainly fail to see from her writing that "race-blind" people are doing anything unworthy.  Given that there are real and not always congenial differences between the races, I think that they are in fact rather heroic people.  Ignoring race differences may be the best most people can do when it comes to fostering harmonious race relations.

I am not entirely sure that I am spending my time wisely in  commenting on the addled lucubration of an airhead like Catriona but her position in a senior university post is significant.  The feebleness of her "explanations" should help to confirm in the minds of my fellow conservatives that even the smarter end of Leftism is intellectually incompetent.  Had her screed been presented to me as a student essay in my time teaching sociology at Uni NSW, I would have failed it on the grounds of its incoherence.

Have you ever had an experience where someone is explaining to you, maybe in a lot of detail, something you actually already know quite a lot about? Possibly about your own life?

It’s frustrating. But it’s not a random occurrence, and it’s often about power. There’s a word for it: “whitesplaining”.

It’s a term that’s been in high rotation over the past couple of weeks, thanks to Hollywood film star Matt Damon and Australian radio and TV personality Kyle Sandilands, whose comments around issues of racial diversity and sexuality have sparked debate around issues of white privilege and “colour-blindness”.

Let’s reexamine their comments:

While appearing on Project Greenlight two weeks ago, Matt Damon - in the midst of a discussion about forming a directorial team for a reality show - argued the decision to appoint a director should be based on merit rather than diversity.

His comments suggest diversity is only an issue when casting actors, not behind-the-scenes crew such as directors.

A short while later, Damon gave an interview to The Observer where he argued gay actors should remain private about their sexuality:

"But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play."

As Nigel Smith pointed out in The Guardian, Damon’s point negated the interview he then gave, which spanned such personal topics as how he met his wife, their children and family life, his childhood and his political views.

Closer to home, Kyle Sandilands last week explained to the Australia television viewing public that the lack of non-white contestants on a new season of The Bachelorette is irrelevant:

"I think a lot of young people don’t think like that. They don’t think 'Oh we better have a black, we better have a brown'."

Being ‘colour-blind’ and why it’s a problem

Let’s begin by unpacking Sandilands' comments. His perspective is one that suggests “people are people”.

About 20 years ago academic Ruth Frankenberg studied the phenomenon of white people explaining away race and difference by declaring “people are people”. Her book White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness (1993), explores the unspoken racial hierarchies around us.

In her terms, Sandilands self-identifies as “colour-blind”. It means you say you don’t see racial difference. Often making reference to Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote about being judged not “by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character,” proponents argue that drawing any attention to race is, in fact, more racist.

An extreme form of a colour-blind attitude to race can be seen in the US movement Unhyphenate America, which argues terms such as African-American are divisive:

"Cultural cohesion and connectedness are more important than having a 'diversity' of skin colour. Anyone can choose to be a part of this culture, because the principles aren’t ethnically exclusive."

Sandilands made his on-air comments in response to his guest Sam Frost’s defence that The Bachelorette producers didn’t even think about race when casting the show.

But in a “colour-blind” world, they should have thought about it - because all the contestants for The Bachelorette are the same colour. In fact, Australian television in general fails to reflect our diverse population. So what’s happening here?

The selection process for who ends up on our screens is not neutral because, like it or not, we do notice difference, including race or ethnic differences, and we act on this awareness in subtle ways.

Ways that end up suggesting that the bachelors of Australia are white.

This is where the episode of Damon “whitesplaining” the world of race to an African-American woman is useful to explore. Richard Dyer, another scholar of race and culture, describes these situations in terms of white invisibility and white privilege:

"White people create the dominant images of the world and don’t quite see that they thus construct the world in their image."

White people move through the world in a way that is made to suit a particular worldview. Damon, in explaining away any need for affirmative action, or awareness of race in film and TV, is only saying: I, personally, did not need it. He does not see his whiteness and all the privileges that come along with it.


Whitesplaining - derived from “mansplaining” - is a new, zietgeisty, word, but it’s essentially an expression of privilege: the unconscious, unearned and largely un-examined benefits of prejudice.

The concept of “privilege” was fully articulated in its modern form by Peggy McIntosh in her 1988 essay,White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.

In it, McIntosh lists specific and personal examples of her white privilege. Point number thirty is particularly relevant here:

"If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn’t a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of colour will have."

Sandilands and Damon are white, famous, middle-aged men. They used their platforms to make statements about the nonexistence of social issues that actively benefit them.

All of this is not to say Damon or Sandilands are necessarily racist. Their comments, however, are examples of how easy it is for those with privilege to assume their experiences are universal. Because our media, our government and our cultural institutions constantly reflect whiteness back at us, it is easy act as if is the default.

Privilege is insidious because benefiting generally involves little to no effort. It is often the result of other people’s actions towards you, and requires simply that you look a certain way. Conversely, perpetuating privilege means acting on invisibly socialised patterns of behaviour.

Calling out whitesplaining is not about saying white people can’t talk about race: it means prioritising the voices of those with experience, not those with the loudest megaphone.


Greedy multiculturalist who was already earning a six-figure salary is jailed after he conned a charity out of £325,000

A greedy businessman who earned a six-figure salary at a housing charity and conned them of £325,000 to buy a chain of Subway sandwich shops has been jailed for three years.

Lakhbir Jaspal, 47, made £147,000-a-year as an executive of Accord Group and lived in a palatial seven-bedroom house with an indoor pool and gymnasium.

He created a bogus firm to steal money from the organisation that builds affordable homes for low-income families and vulnerable people. 

When the qualified accountant's ruse was uncovered he lied to officers, telling them he needed cash to fund end-of-life care for his frail mother.

Detectives later discovered the money had been used to buy two Subway franchises in Coventry, with Jaspal on his way to acquiring a third when his scheming was uncovered.

He had bought his first Subway franchise at Coventry's Arena Park for £245,000 in December 2012.

He then paid £97,000 for a second sandwich outlet in Radford, in Coventry, on April 1 this year and was in the process of purchasing a third in the city's Gallagher retail park. 

Today, he admitted eight counts of fraud at Birmingham Crown Court today and was handed concurrent jail sentences for his crimes. He has also agreed to pay back the money owed.

Jaspal's deceit only came to light when a series of dodgy invoices - the largest for £97,980 - submitted to Accord were found to have been raised by companies controlled by the 47-year-old.

He resigned from his post at West Bromwich-based Accord in June after being confronted over the bogus paperwork by his employer.

Police then arrested Jaspal on August 6 this year at his £1 million luxury seven-bed Warwickshire home in Gaydon, which featured its own indoor swimming pool and gym.

Despite claiming he was desperate for cash to fund his mother's care, detectives found out she was being looked after on the NHS.

Further scrutiny of his finances revealed he had spent £13,000 on jewellery in just two months.

Detective Constable Mark Delaney said: 'It is a classic case of pure greed.

'Not satisfied with a £147,000-a-year salary he spotted an opportunity to defraud the company - one that is part-funded by the taxpayer - to line his own pockets.'

He added: 'He was the principal budget holder with responsibility for monitoring and authorising expenditure.

'He is a qualified accountant and abused his accountancy skills and his senior position to hide the fictitious invoices in Accords' account figures.

'It's particularly distasteful he tried claiming he needed the money to pay for his mother's end-of-life care - but our inquiries showed she was admitted to a home in December 2013, more than 12 months after his last successful fraudulent invoice.'

Police today released pictures showing the luxurious lifestyle he enjoyed, with a BMW X5 parked on the driveway, as well as his indoor pool and gym. 

A spokesperson for Accord said: 'We were shocked and disappointed with the actions of this one individual within our company who abused his position to steal.

'This was an isolated incident and we have a zero tolerance policy against any such crimes.

'We have a legal agreement in place to recover the money and all costs, and we would like to reassure our staff and customers that it is business as usual for the group.'


Forget the Badedas beauty from the Seventies. It's today's ads mocking MEN that are truly sexist, writes TOM UTLEY

Every so often comes a jolt to remind my generation of just how much times and attitudes have changed over the course of our lifetime, and how strange we must seem to our young.

Such a moment came for me yesterday when I opened the paper to see two pages of advertisements from the Seventies, headlined: ‘The ads that put the sex in sexism.’

Now, like many of my age (I’ll be 62 this month), I’ve always regarded the decade of my late teens and 20s as pretty modern times. True, men tended to wear their hair longer than today — and such fashions as sideburns, flared trousers and avocado bathroom fittings look decidedly dated in 2015.

But we were free-thinking, tolerant and liberated, surely — brimming over, in our thoroughly modern way, with respect for our fellow human beings, whatever their race, creed, sexual orientation, class or sex.

Or were we? It’s only when I see a feature like yesterday’s that it fully strikes me how it’s not just outward appearances and fashions that have changed, but society’s whole way of thinking about the difference between the wholly unremarkable and the downright offensive.

Indeed, some attitudes of the Seventies must seem as baffling and remote to my young, born in the Eighties and Nineties, as those of the Thirties and Forties seemed to our generation when we were growing up.

At this point, I must make a dreadful confession. For the truth is that even now, after decades of listening to feminists on Woman’s Hour, I struggle to see why anyone should be offended by some of the old advertisements reproduced in yesterday’s Mail.

In fact, without the prompting of the headline, inviting us to tut-tut and shake our heads with a wry smile, I might have turned the page without realising there was anything unacceptable about the way these ads depicted women.

Take the memorable Badedas bubble bath campaign. This shows a young woman, just emerged from the bath and decorously wrapped in a towel, looking out of the window at two men who are about to fight a duel over her. Beneath is the caption: ‘Things happen after a Badedas bath.’

Yes, we can all see that the scene is a little preposterous, with the duellers absurdly dressed in bow-ties, flared trousers and brightly coloured shirts — one purple, one orange (‘Shame the blokes look like rejects from Strictly,’ as the Mail’s caption writer observed).

I can see, too, that earnest-minded feminists would argue we’re being encouraged to see the young woman as a sex-object. After all, the implication of the advertisement is that the prize for the winning duellist will be a place in her Badedas-scented arms.

But what I cannot understand is why anyone should think it demeaning to women to suggest men are likely to fight for their favours after they’ve soaked in a fragrant bath. Haven’t women through the ages — men, too — sought to make themselves attractive to the opposite sex?

All right, I concede that some of the other advertisements were more gratuitous in exploiting female beauty to market their wares. For example, perhaps it wasn’t strictly necessary for the Trustee Savings Bank to promote its travellers’ cheques by depicting a beautiful young woman in her underwear (she was off to the South of France, we were told, and would be spending her TSB cheques on a slap-up meal and ‘better beach clothes than this lot’).

There’s a touch of desperation, too, about the ad for Rest Assured furniture, showing a woman with an hour-glass figure — fully dressed, this time — perched awkwardly on a perfectly hideous orange chair. Above her is the slogan: ‘Our curves are in all the right places.’

Certainly, I award the copywriter no points for imagination, wit or relevance. Indeed, the furniture he’s advertising (I assume he’s male, in my sexist way) doesn’t even look particularly curvy, making his pun fall all the flatter.

But offensive to women? I just can’t see it. I reckon it’s a fact of life — and nothing to make a fuss about — that good-looking models attract the eye. But perhaps I’m merely betraying my extreme antiquity.

What is surely safe to say is that, 40 years on, advertisers are more careful about how they depict women, fearful of feminists’ wrath if they’re seen to be sexist or patronising.

Strikingly, however, no such scruples appear to apply to the depiction of men. Indeed, a whole new genre of advertisement has sprung up, showing mine as the weaker and feebler sex, inferior in every way to the modern woman.

Think of the slogan for the cleaning product, Shower and Bath Pride: ‘So easy, a man could do it.’ If they’d substituted ‘woman’ for ‘man’, they’d have been lynched by now.

Or Asda’s 2012 Christmas ad, which showed a multi-tasking woman making all the preparations for the big day, while her hopeless man hangs around doing nothing except getting in the way (an all-too- accurate depiction of the Utley family Christmas, I have to admit).

Or consider the ad for KFC Bargain Buckets, in which a twit of a husband proudly shows his wife a novelty lamp he’s bought, with a clown’s face on it, declaring it a bargain.

‘No, this is a bargain,’ she tells him, pointing to her bucket of fried chicken. He meekly agrees to return the lamp.

Ads for BT Infinity broadband, Lynx shower gel, Samsung’s Evolution TV — all show smart women running rings around the cavemen in their lives. And, as is proved by the famous Diet Coke ads, which show female office workers gazing lustfully at bare-chested workmen during their break, these days no one turns a hair when men are shown as sex-objects.

Fair enough, you may well say, that the boot is now firmly on the other foot, after all these decades in which women have been portrayed as the ditzy airheads.

But is this new turn the sex war has taken really any more healthy than the old? On any number of fronts, after all, it’s simply not true any more that women are the downtrodden sex.


At school, girls outperform boys by a growing margin. Meanwhile, men are 20 times more likely to go to prison, have lower life expectancy, are more likely to be homeless and fewer men than women go to university or enter the law or medicine. Only this week, it emerged that up to the age of 35, women are better paid than men.

To crown the woes of my sex, men are also much more likely than women to commit suicide — and the gap is widening.

Yet all hell broke loose from the sisterhood when an academic administrator at York University tried to draw attention to these trends, planning an event to mark yesterday’s International Men’s Day (yes, it passed me by, too).

Some 200 academics, alumni and present students at York rose up in arms, insisting that the event, organised by Dr Adrian Lee from the university’s equality and diversity committee, would amplify ‘existing, structurally imposed inequalities’, accusing the university of echoing ‘misogynistic rhetoric that men’s issues have been drowned out by the focus on women’s rights’.

So how ironic it is that this is precisely what the protesters succeeded in doing. By bullying the university into cancelling Dr Lee’s event, they drowned his attempt to highlight the plight of men in modern Britain.

Feebly, the authorities went on to apologise for the ‘unhappiness’ Dr Lee may have caused feminists by pointing out that female candidates appeared to have a better chance of academic staff appointments than men.

The focus of their ‘gender inequality work’, they said, should ‘continue to be on the inequalities faced by women’.

I wonder if, 40 years from now, the next generation will look back on the advertisements of 2015 — and marvel how anyone could have thought it acceptable to belittle and ridicule men.


Archbishop Welby's fury at cinema ban on 'offensive' Lord's prayer

Britain's biggest cinema chains have banned the screening of a film in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the public recite the Lord’s Prayer – because they say it could be offensive to movie-goers.

Odeon, Cineworld and Vue have refused to show the one-minute film the Church of England planned to run in cinemas across the UK before the new Star Wars blockbuster, which opens a week before Christmas.

Last night the Church of England threatened legal action against the cinemas, saying it was the victim of religious discrimination.

The astonishing decision to block the film was made even though it was given a Universal certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) – meaning anyone, of any age, can watch it – and approved by the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).

Last night Archbishop Justin Welby reacted with fury, telling The Mail on Sunday: ‘I find it extraordinary that cinemas rule that it is inappropriate for an advert on prayer to be shown in the week before Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

‘Billions of people across the world pray this prayer on a daily basis. I think they would be astonished and deeply saddened by this decision, especially in the light of the terrorist attack in Paris where many people have found comfort and solace in prayer.

‘This advert is about as “offensive” as a carol service or church service on Christmas Day.’

The Archbishop, who appears in the film walking through a park as his voiceover intones ‘Our Father in heaven…’, urged people to judge the advert themselves rather ‘than be censored or dictated to’.

The ban will heighten fears that Christianity is being pushed to the margins of society by political correctness, and the Church said it could have a ‘chilling effect’ on free speech.

A series of emails seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that executives representing the leading cinema chains initially encouraged the film – which was to have been screened over two weeks before the main feature Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and would have been watched by an estimated five million cinema-goers.

But the executives suddenly pulled the plug, saying that ads that reflected people’s political or personal beliefs risked ‘upsetting, or offending, audiences’ – even though they are backing a ‘global’ advert supporting UN policies on poverty, injustice and climate change with actor Liam Neeson providing what has been described as the ‘voice of God’.

Church officials drew up plans for the film to promote a new campaign to encourage more people to pray. It shows Christians from all backgrounds including weight-lifters, a police office, refugees in a support centre and schoolchildren reciting or singing a line each of the prayer.

One participant, Ian McDowell, 50, a former bouncer who was ‘saved’ from a life of violence by ‘finding God’, and who co-founded the charity Tough Talk which preaches the Gospel in prisons, said: ‘It’s lots of different people saying a prayer, some people singing a line, I just don’t see how it can be offensive.’

The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, said: ‘I am flabbergasted that anyone would find this prayer offensive to anybody, including people of no particular religious belief.’

Government watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it could not comment on individual cases, but added: ‘There is nothing in law that prevents Christian organisations promoting their faith through adverts.’

The emails show that the Church was in contact in spring with Digital Cinema Media (DCM), jointly owned by Odeon and Cineworld and which handles the majority of cinema advertising in the UK, and was told there should be no problem as long as the film was cleared by the CA A and BBFC.

In May, DCM even offered the Church a 55 per cent discount for a slot in the ‘ad reel’ that is screened before the seventh Star Wars film when it opens on December 18.

But three months later, the agency told the Reverend Arun Arora, the Church’s director of communications, that Odeon, Cineworld and Vue had vetoed the film, saying they could not carry ads of a religious nature.

At the end of August, a bemused Rev Arora spoke to Andy Edge, commercial director for Odeon and a board member of DCM, who agreed to try to resolve the issue.

However, in another email sent on September 16, DCM’s finance director Paul Maloney told Rev Arora: ‘Having fully looked into the matter, I am afraid we will be unable to take forward the proposed Church of England campaign … DCM has a policy not to run advertising connected to personal beliefs.

'Our members have found that showing such advertisements carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences.

'We at DCM had first-hand experience of this risk when we and our members received considerable negative feedback from audiences following our decision to allow both Yes and No campaigners to run adverts in the lead up to the Scottish independence referendum.

‘Having learned from this … the board of DCM took the decision not to run any advertising promoting any religion or political views.’

The Church’s chief legal adviser, Stephen Slack, then wrote to the UK Cinema Association, an umbrella organisation that took over the dispute from DCM, saying the decision was ‘extremely disappointing’.

He warned it could ‘give rise to the possibility of legal proceedings’ under the Equality Act, which outlaws commercial organisations from refusing services on the grounds of religion.

However, the Association’s chief executive Phil Clapp said the DCM was within its right to refuse to show the film.

Rev Arora said: ‘In one way the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly but the fact that they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech.’

Last night Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: ‘Religious freedom is a cornerstone of British values. The public will find it surprising, particularly at this time of year, that cinemas have reacted in this way.’



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

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

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


22 November, 2015

Victory over Britain's obnoxious secret courts: Doors to open to public for six month trial following string of controversial cases

Big surprise!  It was a Leftist government that made them secret and a Conservative government that is opening them up

The country’s most secretive courts are to throw open their doors at last, judges declared yesterday.

The Court of Protection system, which decides on the fate of people too ill to make decisions for themselves, is to hold a six-month transparency trial. It means ordinary members of the public will be allowed into the hearings for the first time.

The move to end the secrecy surrounding the courts follows a series of controverial cases which in some cases have shielded wrongdoers from public exposure.

Among the worst examples was a case in 2013 in which a Court of Protection judge sentenced a woman to jail for contempt over her attempts to release her father from a care home without anyone being allowed to know her name or details of her offence.

Following the sentencing of the woman - later identified as Wanda Maddocks after the issue was highlighted by the Mail - senior judges ordered that no-one should ever be secretly imprisoned again.

The Court of Protection is a branch of the High Court set up by Labour’s controversial 2005 Mental Capacity Act. It makes decisions about the money, property, welfare and health of people who are incapacitated because of accident, illness or dementia. It also supervises the behaviour of ‘attorneys’ nominated to look after their money and welfare.

Its regulations, drawn up by Tony Blair’s Justice Secretary Lord Falconer, say that ‘the general rule is that a hearing is to be held in private.’

The secrecy meant journalists and members of the public were not allowed into hearings in Court of Protection cases in London and other major cities for several years after it began operations in 2007.

But a series of controversial cases - particularly the imprisonment of Wanda Maddocks - led to growing pressure for more openness.

Another judgment made in secret in 2012 ordered that pregnant Italian Alessandra Pacchieri should undergo a forced caesarian birth after she was put under state care following a breakdown at Stansted airport.

During the six-month transparency trial, Court of Protection hearings will be open to the public and the press, with some exceptions, such as the most serious medical cases. Judges will make anonymity orders to prevent publication of the names of incapacitated people and others they consider should be shielded from exposure.

A further long-mooted reform which will be tried out is changes to the way courts provide notice of the cases that are to be heard. During the trial, to begin in January, Court of Protection case lists will have short descriptions of what the argument is about so that journalists and members of the public can decide which are most worth attending.

The judge who is in charge of the Court of Protection, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby, has been trying to push through similar reforms in the Family Court, although so far without success. Family Court hearings, which in the past were entirely closed, have been open to journalists in recent years and judgments, with names of those involved removed, are now regularly published.

Sir James said yesterday: ‘It is logical to look at extending this greater transparency to the Court of Protection, provided the right balance can be struck to safeguard the privacy of people who lack capacity to make their own decisions.’

Mr Justice Charles, Vice President of the Court of Protection, said: ‘I support a move towards more public hearings to promote a wider understanding of the work and approach of the Court of Protection and the improvement of the performance of the Court and those who appear in it.

‘I am aware that others hold different views on whether hearings should generally be in public and hope that the pilot will provide useful evidence to weigh the rival arguments.’

The trial has required the approval of Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who has agreed that the regulations demanding secrecy, which are set by Parliament, will be eased for six months. Government approval for opening the Court of Protection was not granted under the Coalition that was in power until May.

Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage said: ‘I am pleased that we are piloting a new more open, more transparent Court of Protection. It is right the public and the media should be able to see justice being done in this important court, while protecting the privacy of the people involved.’

Yesterday’s move to open the court system and its workings to public and media scrutiny is a landmark in the battle to shine a light into not only of the Court of Protection but also of the Family Court network which remains largely closed to outside inspection.

Some judges, lawyers, social workers and professional expert witnesses have been fighting hard to prevent any exposure of evidence and decisions in the courts that settle divorce, child custody, care and adoption cases.


No, It Is Not Un-American to Prefer Christian Refugees to Muslim Refugees

By Ben Shapiro

On Friday, Muslim terrorists murdered 129 people in Paris. At least one of the ISIS perpetrators apparently entered Europe as a "refugee" from Syria — he was found with a refugee ID. ISIS has already claimed that they have infiltrated the Syrian refugee population to the tune of thousands of terrorists.

On Monday, President Obama announced that it would be purely un-American for Westerners to ban unvetted Muslim immigrants from the Middle East while allowing Christian targets of genocide to enter the West. He called such an idea "shameful," while passionately calling for Americans to "open our hearts" to more refugees. He praised bordering countries Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees; Obama said that showed their "belief in a common humanity."

He added, "And so we have to, each of us, do our part. And the United States has to step up and do its part. And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims ...That's not American. That's not who we are."

Every aspect of this little speech is wrong. Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon aren't taking in Muslim refugees out of some great commitment to common humanity. They're doing so because their other choice involves setting up fences and machine guns to stop the waves of refugees crossing their frontiers.

And as we know, Muslim countries have a rotten history of absorbing fellow members of their ummah: For 70 years, since the creation of the State of Israel, tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs have lived in refugee camps located in Muslim lands. By contrast, the State of Israel has taken in every Jewish refugee seeking asylum, from Russian emigres to Moroccan immigrants, from Ethiopian refugees to Syrian expatriates.

And the West has good reason for skepticism toward Muslim refugees. While Muslim refugees who stay in the Middle East split evenly between males and females, the vast majority of refugees entering Europe are males of fighting age.

Muslim immigration has already led to massive increases in crime from France to Sweden, and cultural fragmentation from Great Britain to Austria. Terrorism is only the latest threat — and even that threat is obviously not exaggerated. Vetting refugees from Syria is nearly impossible given its status as a failed state. Vetting Muslim refugees is totally impossible given the fact that radical Muslims can easily masquerade as less-radical Muslims.

So why does President Obama, along with the global left, seek more Muslim immigration? Because President Obama does not believe that Islam, as a religious philosophy, presents any threat to the West. He believes that radical Islam doesn't exist. It's merely the hallmark of global poverty, probably affected negatively by climate change; if the West redistributed its wealth, ceased its "colonial" attitudes toward the Middle East, all would be well. The materialism of Marxism would win the day.

Never mind that this argument is entirely without evidence. Never mind that Muslims from Western nations have left wealth to join the impoverished ISIS fighters. Never mind that Osama Bin Laden himself was a wealthy man who lived in a cave to plan attacks against Westerners. Ideology matters, but to the self-centered Marxists of the global left, only their ideology matters: Everyone else has merely fallen into nasty ideas thanks to lack of resources.

And so we must give them our resources, endanger our own citizens. To do anything else would be un-American, according to the people whose idea of Americanism involves the rejection of the very ideas upon which America was founded.


Female cops win discrimination lawsuit after failing fitness exam; forces city to hire fat, weak, unfit slobs as police officers

It has become the new American method of getting out of something that you don't want to do: Go to court and have a judge side with you, even if it's a lousy thing to do to your community and, ultimately, to yourself.

That's what a group of female Colorado Springs police officers who wanted to opt out of their department's mandatory physical fitness testing did, and it worked – no more testing, meaning they are free to be as fat and unfit as they want, even to the detriment of their community and even if doing so will put them at risk of being physically injured or even killed by a stronger, more fit criminal.

The Daily Caller further reported that the dozen female officers sued their department, claiming that the required physical testing was somehow discriminatory. Of course, that was after they failed their annual tests. And now, following a ruling by a U.S. District Court, the women, all of whom are at least 40 years old, must be reinstated pending the final outcome of their case.

"I think the motivation in part is to get rid of these older women officers," the women's attorney, Ian Kalmanowitz, told KKTV News.

For his part, Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey told CBS Denver that while he disagreed with the federal court's decision, he would nonetheless abide by it.

"I very firmly stand behind physical fitness tests for our officers," Carey said. "I think what I'm asking them to do is fair and my hope is a federal judge also agrees with this."

The department implemented new standards for physical fitness tests in late 2014. The new standards required officers to do 52 pushups in two minutes, 45 sit-ups in two minutes and two running tests – testing that is similar to what military personnel are annually required to take and pass in order to be eligible for retention within the ranks and promotion, among other benefits.

If an officer failed the Colorado Springs fitness test, the department would confiscate their uniforms and assign them to a desk job until such time as they were able to pass the test. They would be given six months to get in better shape and retest; a second failure would result in their termination from the department.

The DC reported that 25 of the 628 officers who took the test failed, including the 12 women who filed a lawsuit.

"The punitive consequences of failing to pass the [Physical Abilities Test] were unrelated to the announced purposes for administering the test and did not serve any important governmental objective," the legal complaint read.

"These officers have dedicated their lives to the police department, to the citizens of this community, and they've had that taken away from them," Kalmanowitz told KKTV News. "Not being allowed to wear a uniform, not being allowed to wear a badge, do their job."

In a statement, Carey laid out the importance of taking and passing a physical fitness test.

"For the past several years, CSPD has been involved in an extensive project to evaluate whether to adopt fitness standards for its sworn officers, validate what minimum fitness standards were job related, and develop and implement a Physical Abilities Test (PAT) that had been carefully formulated," he wrote. "CSPD was guided in this process by a consultant with expertise specific to physical abilities testing of police officers. To ensure officer success, CSPD called upon many resources in our community, including local healthcare and sports facilities, to provide personal training sessions and design exercise plans.

"As most of you are likely aware, the City is presently defending a federal lawsuit challenging the PAT. I continue to believe that mandatory physical fitness testing is the right thing to do for our community and our officers, and is a fair and appropriate minimum qualification to expect of those selected to protect and defend," Carey said.


Black Sheriff: Obama Has ‘Incited Americans Against Americans

America has “retrogressed” under President Barack Obama who has “incited Americans against Americans,” said Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., who added that we can “survive” and “come out stronger” if we are willing to “fight back,” to “beat back these subversives who are trying to bring this Republic down.”

“The American ghetto is a mess, and I think it’s been exacerbated under this president, Barack Obama, who had a chance to come in and really make this country go to the next level of greatness -- it is a great country,” said Sheriff Clarke on The Blaze Radio Network on Nov. 14.

“Instead we have retrogressed under this president who has incited Americans against Americans,” he said. “The Republic is in crisis right now. Obama has pitted the poor against the rich. He’s pitted blacks against whites. He’s pitted illegal immigrants against American citizens. He’s pitted women against men.”

“It is a hot mess right now,” said the sheriff, who was awarded the Sheriff of the Award in 2013.

He continued, “But I’m one of those who believes that we come to define moments in our history. Those moments challenge us as a Republic. It happened during the Revolution, it happened during the Civil War, it happened during two world wars, it happened during Vietnam, the tumultuous ‘60s, it happened during the economic fallout, it’s happening again. But this is a resilient country. We’ll survive, we’ll come out stronger.”

“But we’ll only come out stronger if we’re willing to fight back, and beat back these subversives who are trying to bring this Republic down – and that is their goal, by the way,” said the sheriff.

David A. Clarke Jr., a Democrat, was elected to a 4-year term as the sheriff of Milwaukee County in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. In those elections he won, respectively, with 74%, 78%, 74%, and 79% of the vote.



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, 2015

Another one of those multiculturalists Britain is so lucky to have

A ‘street-smart’ teenager who conned his way into university and blew his student loan on a trip to join ISIS has been jailed for five years today.

Yahya Rashid, 19, blagged his way onto a course to study electronics at Middlesex University using a forged certificate for a BTech level 3 diploma and received £6,326.96 in student loans.

Rashid, of Willesden, north west London, used the cash meant to fund his studies to buy plane tickets to Turkey so he could help four friends travel to war-torn Syria with him on 26 February.

Despite having an IQ of just 65 - far below the average of between 85 and 115 - he was able to outfox a suspicious police officer at Gatwick Airport when he arrived ‘out of breath’ at the departure gate with his friends Khalid Abdul-Rahman and Ibrahim Amouri.

Sentencing Judge Philip Katz QC told the teenage terrorist: ‘You lied under oath before the jury and they saw through your lies and evasion.

‘You used forged documents to get into university; you told the jury without shame that you did that as a quicker way to get a degree; you previous educational history has shown you to be disobedient and obstructive. ‘You took £6,000 worth of taxpayer’s money to spend as you saw fit.'

Judge Katz continued:‘Your attendance at university was poor, no doubt because you were wasting your time with other young radicalised men.  ‘You went to Wembley mosque with them watching gruesome ISIS material on the internet to pump yourselves up.

‘There is some evidence to suggest your interest in Islamist groups predated these crimes.’

He said Rashid's Facebook chat with his father while he was on his journey 'provides insight' into his character.

Judge Katz said: ‘You were deceitful, insincere. Goodness knows what you would have gone on to do as a foot-soldier for ISIS.'

‘I’m not sure why you changed your mind and came back, but I’m inclined to think that it was to save your own skin. ‘Luckily for you, your loving family still supports you.’

Judge Katz said he was convinced that Rashid is not mentally vulnerable. He said: ‘In my view the doctor hit the nail on the head when he described you as street-smart.’

The trio had tricked their way onto a plane to Casablanca after telling a police officer they were looking for love, not war.

The group then started a journey that led them eventually to the Turkish border town of Gaziantep.

Rashid, whose family is originally from Somalia, paid £906 for five return flights to Morocco for himself and his friends.

The jury was told that before he left the UK, Rashid's YouTube account had ticked 'like' on around 300 YouTube videos, many of them Islamist-themed, although it could not be proved he had personally ticked them.

It had also been used to make comments under other videos, including one on the Charlie Hebdo massacre where a comment was left saying: 'Allah Akbar (God is great). This makes me happy.'

Giving evidence, Rashid, who was arrested at Luton airport on 31 March, said he could not remember how he paid for a flight home from the Syrian border. He claimed he had got cold feet about joining ISIS jihadis, it is said, and snuck out of a safe house to make his way back to the UK.

Rashid struggled to remember large parts of his journey home, and said he recalled a mystery donor coming to his aid at the airport in Istanbul. ‘I can’t really remember where I went but I got to an airport and I met some guy and he gave me some money to pay for my flight to Istanbul,' he said.

‘I can’t really remember how or why but he gave me the money that paid for my flight. I stayed in a hotel when I got back to Istanbul, I think I had some money left and that’s how I paid for it.

‘My father told me to go to the British Embassy and tell them I needed some money to get back to the UK, I was there for maybe an hour and then the police came and arrested me.’

The defence had claimed Rashid was a vulnerable young man with a low IQ who had done the right thing by turning back, before being arrested.

Defence barrister Mark McDonald told the jury the teenager did not want to fight for IS but simply wanted to live in what he thought was an 'Islamic utopia'.

‘You have a young man who starts off being influenced by other individuals, but realising the situation he has got himself into turns around and makes his way back to the UK,' he said.

It is up to psychiatrists to judge whether defendants with low IQs are unfit to plead.

Jurors took two and a half days to deliver a majority verdict and found Rashid guilty of preparing to commit an act of terrorism between 1 November 2014 and 31 March 2015 and a charge of assisting others to commits acts of terrorism over the same period.

Rashid also admitted a count of fraud by deception relating to him obtaining the student loan.

Rashid sat impassively in the dock throughout proceedings. He has been sentenced to five years in a young offenders’ institution for each terrorism charge, and four months for the fraud charge, all to run concurrently.

Rashid will also have a terrorism notification requirement for 15 years.


Salon writer uses Paris attacks to rant against conservative 'hate speech'

But he won't confine himself to speech.  He wants to "eliminate" those he disagrees with.  So who exactly is the Fascist here?  He sure is full of hate himself

I suppose it shouldn't surprise us that some knucklehead liberal would use the Paris terrorist attacks as a basis for an hysterical rant against conservative "hate speech."

But what surprises us here is that the author, Salon's Chauncey Devega, apparently has an incredibly low threshold in identifying "hate speech" - a lot like the campus activists who are roiling schools across the country:

"In recent months, the right-wing media has used language such as “terrorism” and “violent,” or that the latter is “targeting police for murder” to describe the Black Lives Matter movement. Such bombastic and ugly screeds–which are wholly unfounded, with no basis in empirical reality–have also been used by right-wing opinion leaders to describe the African-American students who are fighting against racism at Yale and the University of Missouri"

Well, in at least 3 separate protests, BLM activists were caught chanting "Pigs in a blanket. Fry 'em like bacon." Now, Chauncey might make the argument that the activists were simply chanting a breakfast order and that we're all racists for thinking they wanted more dead policemen:

"Bill O’Reilly has declared “war” on Black Lives Matter and in doing so described them as a type of contemporary Ku Klux Klan (KKK). At its height of popularity in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the KKK was America’s largest terrorist organization. It was responsible for the murders of thousands of African-Americans. In contrast to the KKK, Black Lives Matter is a group dedicated to protecting the human rights of all people against state-sponsored violence and police thuggery and murder.

Ben Carson, in his designated role as a black conservative whose primary purpose is to disparage black Americans and to excuse-make for white racism, recently told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that the black and brown students who are advocating for their full rights and respect at Yale University are ushering in “anarchy” and “this is just raw emotion and people just being manipulated, I think in many of these cases, by outside forces who wish to create disturbances.”

Likewise, Fox News has repeatedly described the student protesters at Yale and Missouri using the same language. O’Reilly has even gone so far as to suggest that Black Lives Matter and the students who are protesting racist treatment are part of a cabal that is engaging in “fascist” behavior and “running wild” against white people. Trumping his allusions to “fascism,” on his October 22, 2015 episode of his TV show, Bill O’Reilly even made the absurd claim that Black Lives Matter is akin to the “Nazis.”"

All three of these individuals may have exaggerated their rhetoric, but that does not constitute hate speech. And how this connects to the events in Paris is a downright loony idea. In fact,  Chauncey never bothers to connect the Paris attacks to right wing hate speech. He just wanted to grab your attention today in order to make explicit threats of violence against his political enemies:

"These are implicit threats and overtures to violence as racial authoritarian fascists are a clear and present danger to democracy and freedom. Thus, they must be eliminated by any means necessary."

In case you've forgotten, "by any means necessary" was a favorite threat made by Malcolm X back in the day. And don't you find it a bit strange that a rant against white racism and violence would include a threat to "eliminate them" - short for murder?

No doubt racists and white supremecists are bad people and should be denounced. But murdered? When liberals start equating exaggerated political rhetoric with the kind of hate speech made by Kluxers, skinheads, and others, you have to wonder just who it is they want to target. And why.


What France Can Learn from Israel in Confronting Islamist Terror

By Gregg Roman

As my French friends, colleagues, and acquaintances agonize over what is to be done in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the best advice I can think of is to look at Israel.

This tragedy was not “France’s 9/11.” Al-Qaeda effectively depleted its stateside human assets in that attack and never regained the ability to strike the American heartland. This is France’s Al-Aqsa Intifada – unfortunately, more of the same is absolutely going to follow. Whatever one's political predisposition to Israeli counterterrorism policies may be, its success fighting Islamist terror over the past two decades is the only real-world model for overcoming the specific challenges France now faces.

Here are some of the main takeaways.

First, it’s time to sacrifice some freedoms of convenience. Most Israelis don’t know what it’s like to walk into a mid-size concert venue of the kind targeted in France without passing through a metal detector and their government intends to keep it that way. They may gripe about it, but they would feel less free if their government wasn’t inconveniencing them on a daily basis.

Second, go ahead and profile. All of the jihadists bent on terrorizing France have some obvious commonalities. The reason Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport is considered the gold standard of airline security is that Israeli screeners are encouraged to single out passengers for extra scrutiny on the basis of religion, age, gender, and so forth, while waving the vast majority through terminals more quickly. Not even the most seasoned terrorist is likely to take the risk of running this gauntlet if he knows for certain he’s going to find himself in a room full of inquisitive Israelis.

Third, recognize that deterrence isn’t fair. Since it’s impossible to dissuade suicide bombers with the threat of certain death or bodily harm, you have to threaten things they care about. Israel’s policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinian terrorists may not be altogether “just,” but it’s necessary to counter the overwhelmingly positive social approval and financial benefits these families receive for contributing “martyrs” to the cause.

If being related to a terrorist isn’t already a deeply unpleasant experience in France, make it so. Understand that it’s neither possible nor desirable to ensure that terrorists are the only ones paying a price for their terrorism. Make whatever efforts to avoid harming innocents are consistent with your values, but don’t let the backlash from armchair counter-terrorists and Francophobes abroad dictate policy.

Fourth, target the brains behind terrorist infrastructure. Go after the people responsible for recruiting, financing, training, motivating and directing Jihadis, not just the foot soldiers. Prosecute them if you can, but if they’re overseas don’t be afraid to dispense swifter justice. Though controversial when Israel first adopted targeted killing as a counterterrorism tool, most governments (including most notably the Obama administration) now recognize its effectiveness. The number of fatalities from suicide bombings in Israel dropped from hundreds in 2002 to zero in 2010.

Fifth, fight the incitement. Americans can still afford to pretend that Islamist hate speech and indoctrination has little to do with terrorist violence, but France can’t. The French government took a step in the right direction when it deported 40 Islamists accused of incitement in June of this year. It needs to go further. Instead of avoiding the banlieues, rings of Muslim majority neighborhoods around French cities that are impoverished, crime-ridden, and blighted, gendarmeries and intelligence services should sweep into these suburbs and place community centers, mosques, and high rises under surveillance. Checkpoints should be setup at the entrances to Islamist havens and searches conducted on those commuting in and out of these areas.

Sixth, France must prioritize national security interests over sectarian grievances. It’s understandable that French Muslims are frustrated by their socio-economic marginalization, and there is surely room for improvement in how the authorities treat this estranged minority. But the rights and wrongs of this issue don’t diminish France’s right to defend itself or alter fundamental realities about what it takes to do that.

French Muslims rally in support of Hezbollah in a Paris suburb.

Finally, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, France must control and monitor its borders if it wishes to avoid a repeat of Friday’s terror attacks. The ability of at least one of the attackers to claim refugee status in Greece and move onto France was an intelligence failure of the highest degree. As Sweden, Germany, Austria, and other countries reconsider Schengen, an agreement that allows uninhibited movement around Europe, so too should France. The French Interior ministry instituted border controls immediately after the attack. This change should be permanent.

As President François Hollande declared after the attacks, France is reeling from an “act of war,” not a crime wave. Israel has demonstrated that it is possible to win such wars, but this isn’t for the faint-hearted.


Levin Rebukes Obama for ‘Religious Test’ Remarks: Christians ‘Have Nowhere Else to Go’

Nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin called out President Obama on Monday saying, “Nobody said there should be a religious test,” but more Christians should be allowed in because they “have nowhere else to go.”

"President Obama, speaking from the G20 Summit in Turkey on Monday said it was 'shameful' that some political leaders are suggesting the U.S. should only admit Christian and not Muslim Syrian refugees," reported CNSNews.com. Obama futher stated that America should not have a “religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war torn country is admitted.”

“Nobody said there should be a religious test,” Levin corrected. “What they said is that we should allow more Christians in this country. You want to know why, pal? Because they have nowhere else to go.”

Here is a transcript of what Levin had to say:

“Nobody said there should be a religious test. What they said is that we should allow more Christians in this country.

“You want to know why, pal? Because they have nowhere else to go. All those little countries you mentioned in the Middle East, Jordan and Lebanon and so forth and so on, they’re not taking Christians. Nobody’s taking Christians!

“So why don’t we say we are taking Christians? ‘Well, we can’t do that; we don’t have religious tests in this country.’ Sure we do. Certainly we do.

“The government now attacks Christianity left and right on morality grounds, whether it’s marriage, whether it’s abortion. What’s he talking about, we don’t have religious tests in this country? We sure as hell do.

“Oh, they don’t call it that. They call it civil liberties. I got that. Nobody is talking about religious tests.

“It’s just that Christians from the Middle East haven’t been known to commit acts of terrorism against the United States of America. What the hell is wrong with this guy? Doesn’t he have two eyes? Doesn’t he see what’s going on?”  



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, 2015

Turkish Crowd Refused to Observe a Moment of Silence for Paris Victims

Muslims in Western countries sometimes disown the deeds of ISIS but what they really think can be gauged from what Muslims in Muslim countries do

At a soccer game between Greece and Turkey held in Istanbul, the crowd was asked to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris. How did they respond?

Loud chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’ filled the stadium in Muslim Istanbul at a friendly soccer match Tuesday evening between Greece and Turkey.

Attendees were asked to observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims of last Friday’s Islamic terror attacks in Paris.

Derisive whistles and boos also rang out during the attempt to honor the victims.

Turkey was once the model for blending Islam and modernity, but over the last few decades many have reported of growing Islamic extremism. Under Erdogan, who has played to that crowd, disaffected young Islamist men are in abundance. Erdogan's AKP has helped advance that fundamentalism, in a slow effort to transform a forward thinking nation into an Islamic state. It appears his policies have been a great success.

Those in the west who harbor any illusions about radical Islam should watch this video and reconsider.


Paris, Brussels, and 21st Century Europe

Some time ago a former student emailed me a video clip that I now show my Major European Governments course. It’s a five-minute news piece by Dale Hurd of CBN News, a conservative Christian outlet — the rare kind of place where you see reports like this. The piece was on radical Islam in Europe, specifically in Belgium, and it was based on Hurd’s interview with a Muslim leader in Brussels, the very heart of modern Europe, of secular Europe, of the European Union, and of everything Islamic fundamentalists despise about Europe.

“Allah makes the laws and tells us what is allowed and what is forbidden,” Abu Imran told Hurd.

Imran is leader of Shariah for Belgium, and insists there’s no such thing as a “democratic Muslim.” Such a notion, he maintains, is as absurd as a “Christian Jew” or “Jewish Muslim.” “It’s impossible.”

Imran says that real Islam and Shariah law are “inseparable.”

Imran’s group wants what it calls “Belgistan,” and foresees Brussels as an “Islamic capital” within mere decades. He cites numbers to back his optimism. Imran says that in some cities in Belgium, such as Antwerp, 40 percent of the children in schools are Muslim. And though Muslims comprise only 25 percent of religious believers in the country, that is enough to make them the largest religious group, given that Belgium, like most of Europe, has rapidly de-Christianized. Imran’s group expects Muslims to be the majority in Belgium within 20 years.

Notably, that rise is coming from nothing unusual among Muslims. They are simply reproducing, whereas natives of Belgium, like natives of Europe, are not. For many modern Europeans, sex is about recreation, about fully separating intercourse from reproduction, about having as much sex as possible without the undesired outcome of a child. For faithful Muslims, sex is still about babies.

Like many major European cities, from London to Oslo, the most popular baby name in Brussels last year was “Mohammed.” In fact, reported Dale Hurd, “Mohammed” was the most common baby name in Brussels each of the last four years. I do not see that trend changing anytime soon.

Dale Hurd noted in his report that Shariah for Belgium is a “small group that a lot of people do not take seriously.” I bet they are now.

Obviously, I’m sharing this with readers now because the ringleaders of the terrorist assaults in France last week — the worst attacks inside France since World War II — were reportedly based precisely in Brussels.

Unlike Mr. Imran and his group, the ISIS-affiliated Muslims who attacked last week are blatant jihadists. They aren’t patient enough to wait for their babies to grow to adulthood. They’re not awaiting a demographic time-bomb to bring Islam to Europe. They want “victory” now. They are happily (yes, happily) willing to detonate themselves at this very moment. Their method is bombs rather than babies. They don’t want victory via life by outgrowing native Europeans. They want victory via death by killing native Europeans.

Regardless of those violent methods, Islam is poised to triumph in Europe in the long-run. Over time, a native population that fails to do the most rudimentary thing of any native population — that is, give birth to the next generation — will by sheer sex and math give way to the outsiders who have entered the country and are giving birth to the next generation. Muslims in Europe can make love, not war — love that brings babies rather than blocks babies.

The clashes we are witnessing between ex-Christian Europeans and current Muslim Europeans is just the start. The Europe of the 21st century is going to be extremely chaotic.


Syrian Christians Are in Greatest Peril, But Least Likely to Be Admitted As Refugees

President Obama said Monday that calls from some quarters for the U.S. to admit only Christian refugees from Syria were "shameful," yet the reality is that today's refugee system discriminates, not against Syrian Muslims, but against Christians and other non-Muslim minorities.

Critics say this is because the federal government relies on the United Nations in the refugee application process - and since Syrian Christians are often afraid to register with the U.N., they and other non-Muslims in invariably left out.

Fleeing persecution at the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other jihadist groups, Syrian Christians generally avoid U.N. refugee camps because they are targeted there too.

Most refugees considered for resettlement in the U.S. are referred by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Applications are then handled by one of nine State Department-managed resettlement support centers around the world, a process that includes vetting and interviews by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and takes an average of 18-24 months. There are occasions when a process can begin without UNHCR referral, but this usually applies in cases of close relatives of refugees already in the U.S.

Of 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, only 53 (2.4 percent) have been Christians, according to State Department statistics updated on Monday.

Ninety-seven percent are Muslims, with the remaining 0.6 percent accounting for other minorities including Yazidis, Baha'i and Zoroastrian.

Updated figures of Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war began. Only 53, or 2.4 percent, of the 2,194 total are Christians. (Data: State Department Refugee Processing Center)

By comparison, Syria's population breakdown in early 2011, before the civil war's death toll and refugee exodus roiled the demographics, was 90 percent Muslim (including Sunnis, Shia, Alawites and Druze) and 10 percent Christian, according to the CIA World Factbook.

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, some Republican presidential candidates and governors are calling on the administration to reconsider a plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year.

On Monday, Arkansas Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman also called for a temporary moratorium, but as part of a broader new policy on Syrian refugees that also deals with the U.N. referral problem.

"The United States' reliance on the United Nations for referrals of Syrian refugees should also be re-evaluated," they said. "That reliance unintentionally discriminates against Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who are reluctant to register as refugees with the United Nations for fear of political and sectarian retribution."

According to Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of Barnabas Fund, a charity campaigning to help rescue Christians from Syria, Christians fleeting ISIS "seldom go to the main refugee camps in neighboring countries because they are marginalized, abused, and at serious risk of violence in these Muslim-majority shelters."

Sookhdeo says Western governments "must understand that vulnerable Christians are being overlooked in rescue program that take only those in the camps to safety. Fully aware of the victimization that is likely to await them in refugee camps, Iraqi and Syrian believers are mainly taking shelter in schools, churches, and apartments, or with relatives where possible."

As a result, some refugee advocates say Western diplomatic missions should work through churches in urban areas in the countries neighboring Syria, to offer refuge for vulnerable Christians.

Prioritize the ‘most victimized'

In September Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced a bill that would give Congress an up-or-down vote on Obama's plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees - and would also require the administration, when considering applicants from Syria and Iraq, to prioritize the resettlement of "persecuted" religious minorities.

On Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that U.S. efforts to help Syrian refugees should focus on Christians, "who have no place in Syria anymore. They're being beheaded, they're being executed by both sides. And I think we have a responsibility to help."

Obama, speaking in Turkey, said calls to admit Syrian Christians but not Muslims were "shameful" and "not American."

Other Western countries are also grappling with the controversial issue.

Last September George Carey, a former leader of the world's Anglicans, urged the British government to prioritize Christians among the Syrian refugees "because they are a particularly vulnerable group."

Carey said in an op-ed a government plan to admit thousands more Syrians by way of refugee camps located in the region "inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimized by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State."

"Christians are not to be found in the U.N. camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them," he said.

Carey also tackled the sensitive Christian versus Muslim issue.

"Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe," he wrote. "This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws."

"Isn't it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict?" Carey asked. "Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene."

In Australia, Muslim groups accused the government of bigotry forannouncing in September that a plan to admit an additional 12,000 refugees from the conflict will prioritize "those most in need - the women, children and families of persecuted minorities."

The Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman said it would be discriminatory to reject desperate Syrians, "based on their adherence to Islam."

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils said then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott must "take the high moral ground and stop bigots in his party from dividing the Australian community" by wanting to screen refugees on religious grounds.


GOP candidates balk at accepting Syrian refugees

Question links to terrorism following attacks

GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Sunday said the United States should no longer accept Syrian refugees because it’s impossible to know whether they have links to Islamic militants — an apparent shift from earlier statements in which he left open the prospect of migrants being admitted with proper vetting.

"It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t," Rubio said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week." "Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria. Who do you call and do a background check on them?"

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Sunday told NBC’s "Meet the Press" the United States should admit Syrian Christians, after vetting. Other Republican candidates have called for a ban on allowing Syrians into the United States. All three Democratic presidential candidates have said they would admit Syrians but only after background checks.

Friday night’s mass killings in Paris offered possible evidence to back up what many, including Rubio, had warned: People with secret ties to Islamic militants could flow across borders in waves of refugees.

Authorities said a Syrian passport found near one of the Paris attackers that had been registered last month and traveled through three countries along a busy migrant corridor known for lax controls. It was not clear whether the document was real or forged.

A spokesman for President Obama said Sunday that the administration is moving forward with its plan to vet and admit up to 10,000 Syrian refugees.

Since Friday, several Republican presidential candidates have called for Christian refugees to receive different treatment than Muslim refugees. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said the country could continue to provide "safe haven" for Christians but not "refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS."

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana called for sealing off US borders, while former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee wants to halt the arrival of any refugees from countries with a "strong presence of ISIS or Al Qaeda." Ben Carson, a retired doctor who has embraced some of Trump’s views, said Sunday that accepting Syrian refugees is "a suspension of intellect."

The Obama administration has said it wants to host an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year — which some liberals argue is not nearly enough. During the Democratic debate on Saturday evening, Hillary Clinton and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley said the United States should increase that number to 65,000. Both said those refugees need to be heavily vetted. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont wouldn’t put a number on it.

Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, who has bucked many party leaders by welcoming Syrian refugees, is putting efforts on hold following the deadly attacks in Paris. Snyder said Sunday the state is postponing efforts to accept refugees until federal officials review security methods. He added Michigan is "proud of our rich history of immigration" but it’s "priority is protecting the safety of our residents."



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, 2015

Britain in decay

Compare the two articles below.  The British cops will no longer investigate if your car is stolen or your house is broken into.  But they will arrest you if you say bad things about Muslims.  How twisted can you get?

A 43-year-old woman has been arrested over a 'racially abusive' message posted on a beauty salon's Facebook page.

The woman has been named locally as April Major, the owner of the beauty business in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

The post, made following the terrorist attacks in Paris, said the salon is 'no longer taking bookings from anyone from the Islamic faith' , 'whether you are UK granted with passport or not'.

It added: 'Sorry but time to put my country first'.

Thames Valley Police arrested the woman yesterday after receiving a number of complaints about the message.

She has been released on bail until 30 November.

It was also met with criticism online, with social media users branding the person behind the post 'racist', 'ignorant' and 'vile'.

Laura Burt wrote: 'Thank God you have been arrested! Foul woman you deserve all you get!'

Victoria Alice Brady posted: 'Fantastic news TVP! In the light of the attacks on Paris.'

Scott Woods said: 'Can put fake lashes on ignorance but you can't educate it. You've a LOT to learn...racist and ignorant.'

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said: 'We have arrested a 43-year-old woman in Bicester today after a number of complaints about a racially abusive post on social media.

'The woman was arrested under section 19 of the Public Order Act which relates to the display of written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting with the intention of stirring up racial hatred, and for producing malicious communications.

'We take all such complaints seriously and will investigate.

'If you suspect that racially aggravated crimes are being committed please report them to Thames Valley Police on 101.' 


British police force says it will STOP investigating minor crimes

A police force says it will stop investigating some minor crimes as it is forced to make £25 million worth of cuts over four years and faces losing 250 staff members.

Surrey Police's Chief Constable Lynne Owens said the force is not a 'civil debt recovery agency' and claimed crimes such as petrol theft may no longer be investigated.

As part of the cuts they will lose nearly 250 members of staff from its criminal investigation department.

It blames the measures on 'austerity-driven budget cuts' and an increase in crimes affecting vulnerable people.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley said: 'It has been impossible to escape the news stories highlighting desperate attempts by police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners to mitigate the effects of government funding cuts.

'I would like to thank Surrey Police for their concerted efforts to make sensible and thoughtful savings in this restructuring plan that is 'Policing in Your Neighbourhood'.'

The announcement comes just weeks after police forces were accused of giving a 'green light' to criminals after they admitted they had given up investigating some crimes.

It came as officers claimed they could no longer afford to pursue thieves who drive off without paying for petrol, walk out of restaurants before the bill or steal from shops.

And in a direct threat to motorists one police chief has pledged to 'max out' speed cameras along the M1 to fine every driver over 70mph because it could raise an extra £1million a year.

It led to campaigners accusing police forces across the country of 'holding motorists to ransom' after they admitted to using motorway speed cameras to cover shortfalls in their budget.

In the latest announcement, Surrey Police will cut 266 jobs and will be working with business and the public on preventative measures in order to reduce crime.

They will also run a campaign in the New Year to tell the public who to call with an issue, saying last year 10,270 requests could have been dealt with in a 'different way or by a more appropriate agency'.

The criminal investigation department will be slashed from having 393 officers and back room staff to just 147.

A police spokesman said: 'It will happen through people being reassigned. And in those roles when people vacate them they will not be replaced. There won't be redundancies.'

The announcement came as Chief Constable Owens was grilled by MP Keith Vaz at the Home Office Affairs Select Committee over the policing plan on Thursday.

The Labour MP said: 'Isn't this a green light to the criminals that actually, you can come to Surrey, fill your car up with petrol, make off and not be pursued?'

Chief Constable Owens replied: 'If we have a repeat vehicle, repeat person or repeat location there is always going to be a requirement on policing to respond.

'But we are not a civil debt recovery agency and there are too many examples where policing has moved into gaps caused by others and it is those gaps that need to be filled.'

Of the 266 jobs cut, 32 will be officers jobs and the force will also merge its firearms and major crime investigation services with neighbouring Sussex Police.

Recently, a Daily Mail investigation exposed the shocking scale of fat cat pay in the public sector.

Amid the outcry about cuts to constabularies, it found some police chiefs were on more than £700,000 in pay, with allowances for home improvements.

One police back-office manager landed a six-figure deal for just 19 days of work over a year.


Bankruptcy and Mud

Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics. "If only we Arabs," they wrote, "who kill people cruelly and wholesale, cared as much about people as the Jews care about animals."

Civilian cameras often record events of startling cruelty carried out in Arab countries, in areas of conflict. We often hear Arabs privately saying, "The Zionists have never done to us what we do to ourselves." This is usually said by Syrians, who have hated the Jews for generations, when they give their thanks for the medical treatment they receive in Israel. Despite the hatred fostered by Hamas, after the most recent military operation, many Gazans admitted that the IDF did in fact warn civilians before attacking terrorist targets protected by "human shields."

The pictures of an armed Israeli soldier who did not strike back when he was viciously attacked by Palestinian women and children in Nebi Saleh, amazed many regional bloggers. "If such a thing had happened to us," they wrote on Twitter accounts, "the soldier would have killed his attackers without hesitation."

The pictures of an armed Israeli soldier who did not strike back when he was viciously attacked by Palestinian women and children, amazed many Arab bloggers.

As a Palestinian, I know that such situations are produced by Palestinians whose ability to stage them is professional and I know the source of their income. They cynically exploit the Israeli political "left," and enlist photographers to document the events for European-funded "Pallywood" media manipulation.

Every Palestinian youth knows that the weekly riots at the "traditional friction points" serve as social events, later used by Palestinians operatives for propaganda. Often, in the finest Hollywood tradition, parties are held after the "conflict action scenes."

The festivities sometimes include sex and drugs with the blond, blue-eyed volunteers from abroad, to celebrate another successful encounter with the Israeli security forces.

The escalating Palestinian riot routine takes into consideration that risks are few, because of IDF restraint in dealing with "civilians," as we saw in Nebi Saleh when the Israeli soldier who was attacked and bitten did not respond with gunfire to defend himself. Israel's restraint only makes the slaughter, rape and expulsion of Muslims at the hands of Muslims seem all the more vicious.

Many of the bankrupt European countries hostile to Israel now find themselves faced with a massive influx of Middle Eastern and African refugees. They are the brothers and sisters of the hundreds of thousands of murdered Muslims and the millions of refugees in tents, with only Allah ( s.w.a.t) to pity and protect them. Many die in leaky boats, in a desperate attempt to reach the safe shores of Europe. Those who do make it safely, join the Muslims in the Islamic enclaves where they have been plotting against their hosts for years.

The West has waited far too long to wake up to the realization that the Palestinian problem is not the cause of regional events. Therefore, The West's obsession with forcing a "solution" on Israel and the Palestinians will change nothing for the better, it will only expand the catastrophe to the doorstep of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the only islands of security and stability for Arabs, Christians and Jews in the Middle East.

In the shadow of the calamity of the refugees, we are slowly understanding that the issue of the return of the Palestinians to "Palestine," which we hang on to so frantically, is an anachronistic, politically manipulated mirage. There is nothing to be done but settle the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees as part of the overall settlement of all the Middle Eastern refugees -- if, that is, our Arab brothers ever succeed in extricating themselves from the swamp of the "Arab Spring."

What is strange is that the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which fund Islamic terrorism and pay the salaries of the radical clerics who incite murder and destruction, are silent when it comes to accepting refugees into their countries. Saudi Arabia has hundreds of thousands of empty, air-conditioned tents at its disposal, used only during the hajj pilgrimage. They could help shelter the millions of Sunni Muslim Syrian and Iraqi refugees. But Saudi Arabia does not open its gates to them, not even to a small number.

Now, by accusing each other for our refusal, hesitation and rejection of every proposal that might bring the Israelis to the negotiating table, we have finally managed to put an end to the "problem of Palestine." As our elders have said for years: "Falastin ['Palestine' in Arabic] begins with falas [bankruptcy] and ends with teen [mud]."



By Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychiatrist

A tragic phenomenon which is taking a terrible toll on everyone involved.

There is a dire phenomenon rising in Europe that is crippling entire societies and yet the continent sleeps, refusing not only to confront the destructive elephant in the room, but also to admit its very existence.

The troubling reality being referred to is the widespread practice of Muslim inbreeding and the birth defects and social ills that it spawns.

The tragic effect of the Left’s control of the boundaries of debate is that any discussion about vital issues such as these marks an individual as an “Islamophobe” and a “racist."

A person who dares to point at the pathology of inbreeding in the Muslim community is accused of whipping up hatred against Muslim people.

But all of this could not be further from the truth. To fight against inbreeding anywhere is to defend humanity and to defend innocent babies from birth defects.

Fighting against this Islamic practice stems from a pro-Muslim calling, since identifying destructive ideologies and practices in Islam enables the protection of the Muslim people from harm.

Massive inbreeding

Massive inbreeding among Muslims has been going on since their prophet allowed first-cousin marriages more than 50 generations (1,400 years) ago. For many Muslims, therefore, intermarriage is regarded as being part of their religion.

In many Muslim communities, it is a source of social status to marry one’s daughter or son to his or her cousin. Intermarriage also ensures that wealth is kept within the family.

Islam’s strict authoritarianism plays a large role as well: keeping daughters and sons close gives families more power to control and decide their choices and lifestyles.

Westerners have a historical tradition of being ready to fight and die for their country. Muslims, on the other hand, are bound together less by patriotism, but mainly by family relations and religion.

Intermarrying to protect the family and community from outside non-Islamic influence is much more important to Muslims living in a Western nation than integrating into that nation and supporting it.

Today, 70% of all Pakistanis are inbred and in Turkey the amount is between 25-30%  A rough estimate reveals that close to half of everybody living in the Arab world is inbred.

A large percentage of the parents that are blood related come from families where intermarriage has been a tradition for generations.

A BBC investigation in Britain several years ago revealed that at least 55% of the Pakistani community in Britain was married to a first cousin.

The Times of India affirmed that “this is thought to be linked to the probability that a British Pakistani family is at least 13 times more likely than the general population to have children with recessive genetic disorders.”

The BBC’s research also discovered that while British Pakistanis accounted for just 3.4% of all births in Britain, they accounted for 30% of all British children with recessive disorders and a higher rate of infant mortality.

It is not a surprise, therefore, that, in response to this evidence, a Labour Party MP has called for a ban on first-cousin marriage.

Medical evidence shows that one of the negative consequences of inbreeding is a 100% increase in the risk of stillbirths.

One study comparing Norwegians and Pakistanis shows the risk that the child dies during labour increases by 50%. The risk of death due to autosomal recessive disorders — e.g., cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy — is 18 times higher.

Risk of death due to malformations is 10 times higher. Mental health is also at risk: the probability of depression is higher in communities where consanguine marriages are also high.

The closer the blood relative, the higher the risk of mental and physical retardation and schizophrenic illness.

And then there are the findings on intelligence. Research shows that if one’s parents are cousins, intelligence goes down 10-16 IQ points. The risk of having an IQ lower than 70 (criterion for being “retarded”) increases 400% among children from cousin marriages.

An academic paper published in the Indian National Science Academy found that “the onset of various social profiles like visual fixation, social smile, sound seizures, oral expression and hand-grasping are significantly delayed among the new-born inbred babies.”

Another study found that Indian Muslim schoolboys whose parents were first cousins tested significantly lower than boys whose parents were unrelated in a non-verbal test on intelligence.

It is estimated that one third of all handicapped people in Copenhagen have a foreign background and 64% of school children in Denmark with Arabic parents are illiterate after 10 years in the Danish school system.

The same study concludes that in reading ability, mathematics, and science, the pattern is the same: “The bilingual (largely Muslim) immigrants’ skills are exceedingly poor compared to their Danish classmates.”

These problems within Islam bring many detriments to Western countries. Expenses related to mentally and physically handicapped Muslim immigrants, for instance, severely drain the budgets and resources of our societies.

Denmark, for example: One third of the budget for the country’s schools is spent on children with special needs. Muslim children are grossly over-represented among these children.

More than half of all children in schools for children with mental and physical handicaps in Copenhagen are foreigners — of whom Muslims are by far the largest group. One study concludes that “foreigners inbreeding costs our municipalities millions” because of the many handicapped children and adults.

What must our role be as a humanitarian society to this rising crisis?

We know that the greatest concern among pregnant women and their husbands is for their child to be healthy.

It is not difficult to imagine the sorrow and stress among interrelated couples who are forced to marry and pressured to have children.

Is it not our duty to fight for the rights of these human beings subjected to such Barbaric and inhuman predicaments?

What is it we can do?

Denmark is a pioneering example of where to begin: In order to counter forced marriages, the country does not allow Danish citizens to marry foreigners younger than 24 years old.

It also offers non-Western immigrants up to 15,000 Euros or 20,000 Dollars to emigrate back to their countries of origin.

Immigrants who are not Danish citizens are banished from Denmark if they commit violent crimes. The state does not support families economically for having more than the country’s average amount of children.

This prevents foreigners from coming to Denmark who have plans to have a lot of children and live off the State’s child support system.

The country also denies resident permits to foreigners who are marrying their cousin in Denmark.

Right now, the country is working on a complete halt to immigration from countries that are not oriented towards Western values (mainly Muslim countries).

No more intermarriage

We must simply forbid intermarriage among first cousins. Doing so will not only help slow down all the terrible consequences of inbreeding, but also prevent Muslims who insist on practising this damaging practice from moving to our countries.

Let us keep in mind that Muslims are the first — though maybe not the biggest — victims of Islam.

As long as we know that our motivation is to help them, then our conscience is clear in the face of the Left’s accusations that we are somehow “anti-Muslim” when we show our concern about Muslim babies who are born with mental and physical defects — and about their parents who endure endless suffering and worry.

In fact, it is the Left’s callous silence on this issue (and on so many others) that exposes who is truly “anti-Muslim.”

As long as we stick to facts, have a compassionate motivation, and are still able to be brave, we can be certain that not only are we right to reach out to protect Muslim people, but that in doing so we are also protecting ourselves from destroying our own basic humanistic and Western values while struggling against anti-human and aggressive practices and ideologies.



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, 2015

Blind altruists shall not inherit the Earth

Teaching children to be discriminating is an important life lesson

We atheists should welcome the report that reveals children raised by non-religious parents tend to be more altruistic than those hailing from a religious background. Christian and Muslim children, it seems, are more judgemental and inclined to share only with people they deem deserving. The report, said Keith Porteous Wood of the UK National Secular Society, was ‘a welcome antidote to the presumption that religion is a prerequisite of morality’.

It’s true that you don’t need god to be moral, and that religion can legitimate immoral behaviour (the pious Tony Blair often rationalised his actions because they were ‘the right thing to do’). But I’m not sure blind altruism is wise. It’s not a good survival technique. If you share with anyone, how do you know your actions will be reciprocated? I only scratch your back in the hope or expectation that you will ultimately scratch mine.

In other words, blind altruism facilitates parasitism. A child who shares with a selfish, badly behaved peer in her class shouldn’t be applauded for being ‘altruistic’. She is being unwise. A child raised with such ‘non-judgemental’ thinking will make bad decisions as an adult. He will certainly be left out of pocket on a big Saturday night out, having bought more drinks for his companions than he got in return. This is why, if we are going to have a welfare state, we also need to talk about the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor.

Much of Christianity’s and Islam’s expansion and success owe to having adopted evolutionary survival techniques. Damnation and apostasy are employed to cajole and threaten non-believers, while the pro-natal exhortation to ‘go forth and multiply’ and associated stances against contraception, abortion, homosexuality and masturbation ensure that their members out-breed others. Being ‘judgemental’ is but another.

Successful tribes have a sense of ‘in group’, with whom you share customs and resources, and ‘out group’, with whom you don’t. You only help people who are like you and behave like you. (That was the point of the tale of the Good Samaritan. The Jews hated the Samaritans, hence their surprise that one could act benevolently.) This is the main reason for Christianity’s decline in the West: it has become feeble, ‘non-judgemental’ and too compassionate towards non-believers.

Blind altruists shall not inherit the Earth.


The Tory war on privacy

If you were under any illusions about the parlous state of privacy in modern Britain, the Investigatory Powers Bill should have set you straight. The draft of the bill, published last Wednesday, sets out new and draconian powers allowing the security services to monitor, access and store our online communications data: IT and comms companies would be required to store information on the websites we visit for up to 12 months, and release them to the state when required; intelligence agencies would be given legal authority to hack into communications and bulk-harvest metadata; and the ability of companies like Apple and Google to encrypt individuals’ messages – putting their content beyond the reach of themselves and the spooks – will be severely curtailed.

Home secretary Theresa May has been quick to talk down the measures. She insists that the data retrieved from your web history is no more than a ‘shopping list’ of the sites you visit, rather than individual pages – a fine and utterly meaningless distinction. And while there has been much talk of the ‘safeguards’ guaranteed by the IPB, with judicial commissioners required to approve requests for interception warrants and wire taps, these are little more than formalities. Judges will only be able to reject Home Office requests on the principles of judicial review; as backbench Tory MP David Davis pointed out, ‘This is not the judge checking the evidence, it is the judge checking that the correct procedure has been followed’.

As part of a raft of counterterrorism and security measures, including rules to vet speakers on university campuses and censor broadcast media, the IPB continues a trend in Tory policy that is as dumb as it is illiberal. The IPB, we’re told, is meant to protect us from ‘terrorists, paedophiles and other serious criminals’, but no ‘serious criminal’ hatches bomb plots on Facebook chat or grooms children via Gmail. They’re actually a bit smarter than that. As we point out elsewhere on spiked today, there are already popular and straightforward tools used by people around the world to elude the security agencies. Those with far more to hide would no doubt have even more sophisticated ways of going about their business undetected.

Even on its own terms, the IPB simply won’t work. But, worse still, it puts everyone’s privacy in an even more perilous position than it already was. With CCTV on every corner and background checks required in a range of professions, the IPB is set to colonise one of the last enclaves of privacy in the modern world. Though ministers in the Commons, cribbing the old Goebbels-attributed mantra, have unnervingly tried to reassure us that ‘If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’, the opposite is true. The feeling that you might be being watched is chilling to freedom, autonomy and human flourishing.

But it was not so much the content of the bill as the response to it that was most revealing. Reading the headlines, you’d think the IPB was the outrage of the century, but beneath the bluster the criticism has been hushed and confused. The Labour Party seems incapable of making up its mind. Champion flip-flopper Andy Burnham first welcomed the proposals only to recant and voice his ‘concerns’ a few days later. And, while influential Labour MPs like Keir Starmer have urged leader Jeremy Corbyn to accept the IPB as a ‘step in the right direction’, the leadership is yet to come out on either side. Meanwhile, the bill’s supposedly most ardent critics – such as the Liberal Democrats or civil-liberties group Liberty – seem to be concerned only with whether or not these new powers would receive proper judicial oversight. ‘At most, there is a very, very limited role for judges in a rubber-stamping exercise’, said Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, in the dampest defence of privacy ever uttered.

What this half-cocked revolt against the government reveals is that privacy today is seen purely as a negotiable commodity – something that can be sliced up and traded off so long as there’s a threat and/or ‘transparent mechanisms’ one can point to. And this is the legacy of decades of legislation that has painted the private sphere as a space for plotting, secrecy and abuse. As Luke Gittos has argued before on spiked, the various iterations of the Tories’ ‘snooper’s charter’ have only looked to expand upon legislation that was established by New Labour over a decade ago. But while such measures, drafted to tackle terrorism, have always proved controversial, various other forms of state intervention into people’s private lives have passed through parliament almost unchallenged.

That, in recent weeks, the Home Office has talked-up the role of investigatory powers in catching paedophiles and sex offenders is telling. From New Labour’s introduction of CRB (now DBS) checks on individuals working with children to Clare’s Law, a Coalition government initiative that allows individuals to request the criminal histories of their partners, the idea that those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear has been given official sanction time and again in recent years. Indeed, the crusade against private neglect and abuse has spun so out of control that the Scottish parliament has felt bold enough to introduce the Named Persons initiative, which will assign every Scottish child a state guardian until the age of 18. At every turn, this war on the private sphere has been met with either deafening silence or legalistic quibbling from the so-called civil libertarians charged with protecting our rights.

Privacy is a cornerstone of a free society. It is the space in which we can retreat from public life, be intimate with one another, develop our ideas and morals, and head out into the world with confidence and vigour. That is what is at stake if the IPB passed. And that is what, in so many ways, we have already given up.


Curing Layla: the brilliance of mankind

Scientists are playing God – and it’s a good thing, too

A wonderful story made headlines last week: one-year-old Layla Richards, who has battled leukaemia since she was 14 weeks old, has been declared cancer-free.

Layla’s parents, Lisa and Ashleigh, had been told that, following several courses of chemotherapy, her cancer was too aggressive to treat. The Richards were offered palliative care and advised to spend the remaining time with Layla at home.

But Lisa and Ashleigh were not ready to give up. ‘We asked the doctors to try anything for our daughter, even if it hadn’t been tried before.’ So, following a speedy meeting with an ethical committee, doctors were given the go-ahead to use a new treatment that had only been tested on mice.

Unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately kills off cells, the new treatment uses genetically modified and enhanced cells. As the NHS explains:

‘The treatment works by adding new genes to healthy donor T-cells, which arm them against leukaemia. Using molecular tools that act like very accurate scissors, specific genes are then cut in order to make the T-cells behave in two specific ways. Firstly, the cells became invisible to a powerful leukaemia drug that would usually kill them, and secondly, they are reprogrammed only to target and fight against leukaemia cells.’

This super-cell treatment has now effectively removed all signs of cancer from Layla’s body, and, though she will still need monitoring and treatment in the future, the important thing is that she now has a future.

Scientists and doctors are playing God. And it’s fantastic. If there ever was a symbol of the power of human innovation and technology, this gorgeous little girl bouncing around in her cot is surely it. The fact that the risk was so high, and the medical technology so new, is cause for more celebration. And though reports are wary of claiming that Layla has been cured of cancer, I’m sure her parents and sister are delighted. What a wonderful moment for science and medicine.

More importantly, this is a much-needed example of the possibilities open to humanity when we manipulate and take control of nature. Changing our cells in this way sounds like something you only read about in comics. It’s an incredible achievement: we now have the potential to meddle with our genetics to make us better, stronger, disease-free humans.

The doctors and Layla’s family took a risk using this treatment. But this defiant stab in the dark has paid off. It shows the potential we have to change the world, including the way our own bodies work.

Layla’s story stands out at a time when humanity’s impact on the world, on nature, is thought to be a problem. Faced with the prospect of an ageing population, many bemoan the increasing drain on resources rather than celebrate the fact that we’re living longer. Instead of arguing for better research into energy solutions, as well as finding more efficient ways to use the energy resources we have, environmentalist campaigners argue that humans should give up the products of progress – cars, electricity, gas – in order to save the planet. So whether it is a fear of our environmental impact, or the consequences of genetic modification, there is an unwillingness to take risks today. But Layla’s story is heartwarming proof that human beings can progress through risk-taking and experimentation, that we can change and improve our lives.

Amid today’s doom-mongering and general misanthropy, Layla’s story is a reminder of spiked’s motto: humanity is underrated. Layla’s treatment shows that it is absolutely within our capabilities to cure cancer. So let’s stop looking at humanity as a drain on the world’s resources, and celebrate what we really are – a force for change. Human achievements show that we can clone food, artificially inseminate, create new types of energy and now, potentially, cure one of the most fatal diseases known to man. The only things standing in the way of realising our aspirations are the limits we’ve put on ourselves.


Is this the worst shopping centre Christmas display ever?

IS THIS the worst shopping centre Christmas effort ever?  A mall in Long Island, New York, has swapped Santa’s sleigh for something resembling a spaceship and nixed the Christmas tree because it doesn’t want to “offend” anyone, irate shoppers say.

The Roosevelt Field Mall ditched its traditional holiday village and put Saint Nick inside a winter-themed “glacier” instead. But some say the white and blue display looks more like something out of Star Trek than Twas the Night Before Christmas.

“Santa comes along with a decorated tree; he doesn’t come with a spaceship,” Maria Lovdahl fumed.

The Williston Park mother of two was shopping on Thursday night when she spotted the apparently futuristic Santa photo kiosk.

“Me and my husband looked at each other and said, ‘What is that?’ ” Lovdahl recalled. “They said it was because people were offended by the traditional Christmas display, that they had gotten comments in prior years.”

After a lifetime of shopping at Roosevelt Field and bringing her kids there, Lovdahl said, “I won’t be shopping there this year.”

Betty Borrero, 32, heard so much about the new display she came to see it for herself. “I bring my child, I want to see the big tree in the background. This is blank,” she said, noting she’ll take her kid to Macy’s for this year’s holiday pictures.

Mall management, which charges anywhere from $US24.99 to $59.99  for pictures with Santa, confirmed the change was made to avoid offending people, said Caren Toal, who was with Lovdahl.

“The people who answered the phone at the mall actually said, in order not to offend anyone, they were simplifying the Christmas display,” said Toal, who is also now boycotting the shopping centre.

The holiday hullabaloo sparked an uproar on Facebook and Twitter at the weekend. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition garnered 16,000 signatures in protest of a similar shift in decor at a North Carolina shopping centre owned by Simon Properties, which also operates Roosevelt Field.

Like a herd of spooked reindeer, mall management on Saturday quickly retreated from the politically-correct display.

“Key elements are still being added to the Glacier experience at Roosevelt Field over the coming week — and after hearing early customer feedback, one of those elements will be a traditional Christmas tree alongside the Glacier experience,” the mall said.

By Saturday afternoon, workers claimed a large Christmas tree would be up in about two or three weeks, and three small trees with white lights — but no decorations — were standing next to Santa.

There were no Christmas wreaths or other typical holiday decor, and Santa’s helpers weren’t elves, but regular folks with red ties covered in white snowflakes. While the sound of ringing bells was in the air, no traditional carols played.

Shopper Cathy Corbett wasn’t impressed, comparing Santa’s workshop to “George Jetson’s pad.”



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

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

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


16 November, 2015

The First Amendment Is Dying

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

Unless we’re talking about a white chocolate-paneled cake for a gay wedding or perpetual funding for “women’s health” clinics because it’s the “right thing to do.”

“or abridging the freedom of speech;”

Unless that speech is used by boorish climate change denialists to peddle dirty fossil fuels and run capitalist death machines that wreck the Earth, by anyone engaging in upsetting hate speech or other forms of “aggression,” by a wealthy person supporting candidates who undermine “progress,” by a pro-life protester who makes people feel uncomfortable about their life decisions, by a cisnormative white male who displays insufficient appreciation for the “systematic oppression” that minorities experience in places of higher learning or by anyone who has a desire to undermine the state-protected union monopolies that help fund political parties.

“or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,”

Unless the press invades safe spaces designated by mobs or writes about incorrect topics at incorrect times.

“and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Unless someone is a member of a predesignated special interest group, he should report to the IRS before doing so.

That’s pretty much the state of the First Amendment today. Climate change, abortion, gay marriage, race, taxes, what have you — even in mainstream political debate, these interests outweigh your piddling concerns about the First Amendment. So the notion that a bunch of students and leftist professors would agitate to shut down free expression in a public space in Missouri because they feel their special issue trumps your antiquated list of rules is not particularly surprising.

Now, we shouldn’t overstate the problem. Most of us are able to freely engage in arguments and express ourselves without worrying about the state’s interfering. This will not end tomorrow. But it is difficult to ignore how creeping illiberalism has infected our discourse and how not many people seem to care.

The thousands of other University of Missouri students, for example, could have held a counter-protest against dimwitted fascists cloistered in safe spaces. Where are those student groups? Why was there no pushback from those kids — and really, there was none as far as I can tell, at either Missouri or Yale — against the bullies who want administrators fired for thought crimes? It can mean that students are too intimidated, too uninterested or not very idealistic about these freedoms. None of those things bodes well for the future.

And where is the faculty, those brave souls who value the freedom to debate and champion sometimes-controversial ideas when mobs of students are making wild accusations against their school without any real evidence? Where are they when students shut down conservative, libertarian or not-progressive-enough Democrats from speaking at their schools?

In fact, the campus police — not the hissy-fitting communications professor or the would-be authoritarian student — asked students to call authorities and report “incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech” in detail. A school, the place where young people supposedly ponder challenging ideas, now has students reporting any instances of unsavory speech. What does “hurtful speech” entail anyway? Is it enough for someone to challenge your priggish worldview? Is it enough for someone to hurt your brittle feelings? And what is the consequence?

You may also remember when Chris Cuomo of CNN, a lawyer, tweeted (since deleted) that “hate speech is excluded from protection” under the First Amendment. He wasn’t alone.

Not long ago, 51 percent of Democrats in a YouGov poll claimed to support criminalizing “hate speech.” (A third of Republicans did so, as well.) Another study, by the First Amendment Center a few years back, found that nearly 40 percent of Americans said the First Amendment “goes too far” guaranteeing rights — a record high.

People are scared. They’re scared to be accused of bigotry or racism, an ugly accusation that is easy to level but impossible to disprove. It’s a lazy but effective method of intimidation.

So we can laugh at the confused millennial J-school major, but he is not alone. When the mayors of Chicago and Boston used their positions of power to keep Chick-fil-A out of their cities because of the CEO’s thoughts on same-sex marriage, they were working under the same notion as kids who want to be in safe spaces where their worldviews remain unchallenged. (Using the state to punish a person or company for its beliefs is even worse.) When Bill Nye argues that climate change skeptics are nuts who hate science and should be ignored by any right-thinking person, he is attempting to convince you of something. When Nye contends that America needs to drum climate change skeptics completely “out of our discourse,” he’s no longer a liberal.

Because what’s happening on college campuses hasn’t happened in a vacuum.


UK: ‘But you’re a white man!’: how identity politics crushes debate

George Lawlor on the racialised response to his criticism of consent classes

Apparently, I have become a bit of an internet sensation over the past few weeks. ‘Why?’, I hear you ask. Well, I posted an article online explaining why I was so offended to have been invited to a class about sexual consent at my university. To my surprise, the whole thing exploded and my face was all over the web. My inbox was flooded with interview requests and my newsfeed was filled with argument. As an aspiring writer, I was happy I had sparked discussion. But what really interests me is that my article also exposed the poisonous, reductive nature of the worldview that plagues the modern world: identity politics.

You see, alongside my article, I attached an image of myself holding a sign that read, ‘This is not what a rapist looks like’. The social-media reaction to that picture was revealing. In fact, many people chose to not even read my article and instead focused entirely on that image of me with the sign, scoffing, cursing and abusing me for my ignorance. I was called classist, racist and all the other debate-ending names. And, of course, I was portrayed as a pantomime-like villain for all the internet to shame, from Twitter to Tumblr.

The tragedy of all of this isn’t necessarily that I was shamed in an almost medieval fashion for having the audacity to defend myself as someone who already understands the meaning of consent – that’s a different discussion to be had. No, it’s that people so wildly missed the point of the picture.

When they looked at that picture, they didn’t see George Lawlor. They didn’t see the human being who is scared of spiders, who enjoys the work of BB King, and who only recently discovered that he can’t sing. Instead, they saw a white, middle-class, university-educated male just emanating privilege – the face of centuries of tyranny. Yes, I may fall into some of those categories, but the problem was that I wasn’t seen as an individual. I was labelled and put into a box, and that repulsive reductivism lies at the root of many of our world’s problems.

Yes, I do look like a rapist insofar as I share superficial characteristics with white rapists. This was kindly pointed out by many on the internet who compared me to the notoriously charming and ‘ordinary-looking’ killer and rapist, Ted Bundy. Though what these commenters demonstrated wasn’t empathy, intelligence or, even as many of them seemed to believe, wit. Instead, they showed themselves to be shallow, all too willing to judge individuals not by the content of their character, but by the colour of their skin, the depth of their pockets, the leaning of their sexuality. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds this worldview repulsive, but it just so happens that it is widely held today.

Many of those who joined the ranks against me would describe themselves as egalitarians, feminists, progressives and all the rest of it. But what they don’t realise is that by looking at the world through the tired old lenses of identity, they in fact perpetuate the problems created by racism, sexism, homophobia and other crimes. As Brendan O’Neill has observed, quotas and other solutions to racism or sexism not only penalise those who played no role in historical oppression: they also patronise and coddle those they are intended to benefit.

The politics of identity is a very poisonous way of looking at things, and it really isn’t very new or progressive at all. In fact, it is very close to the racism, homophobia and sexism that its proponents claim to oppose. The reductive collectivism of identity politics rests on the same principles as the colonialist idea of the ‘white man’s burden’ – namely, that white people are fundamentally different, biologically and morally, to black people. And, likewise, it’s disgustingly similar to the ideology that fuelled the racism of the American South well into the twentieth century. We all need to move forward together, not as men and women, not as white and non-white, not as gay and straight, but as individuals, dropping those labels that only serve to hold us back. Nobody is the same, no matter what boxes they tick. I may be a white male, but I refuse to take any responsibility for the crimes of other white males, or claim credit for the success of people who looked vaguely like me.

There’s no doubt that certain demographic categories of people were abused and oppressed throughout history, but the best way to deal with those injustices now is to put an end to the malicious practice of seeing people superficially, in terms of their sex or skin colour. Rather, we need to treat people as individuals with unique talents, fears, beliefs and values. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where they will be wrongly seen as symbols of oppression or victimhood. I want them to grow up in a world where my son can look up to Aung San Suu Kyi, and my daughter can look up to Frederick Douglass, and both can become inspirational individuals, freed of the chains of identity.


In This Mississippi Town, Residents Are Fighting Atheist Organization Calling for Removal of Christmas Display

In one Mississippi town, residents are fighting back after an an atheist organization requested that that a Christmas display in their city be removed, organizing a show of support for the display.

“I just feel like Christians lose a lot nowadays because we’re too polite,” says Andrea Kirkley, a resident of Collins and a stay-at-home mom. “I’m tired of seeing Christians get pushed down. We’re not pushing our faith on anybody.”

Kirkley, one of the event organizers, told The Daily Signal in an interview that individuals, businesses, and the chamber of commerce “created something for the community to enjoy.”

“I was very proud of my hometown for standing up for what we believe in, and in a positive way,” she says.

Collins, Miss., has the annual “Christmas in the Park” event at its Bettie D. Robertson Memorial Park.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, a member organization of Atheist Alliance International, sent a letter of complaint to the city of Collins, saying they were “contacted by a concerned local resident,” and requested that the display be removed.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the faith-based display is “unconstitutional” on public property.

“All of the above religious displays are unconstitutional,” Elizabeth Cavell, a staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote in a letter to the city dated Oct. 19. “The Establishment Clause prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages.”

“In its current state, Bettie C. Robertson Memorial Park is tremendously unwelcoming to non-Christian citizens,” Cavell continued. “Citizens of all faiths and no faith have an equal right to use city parks without being surrounded by symbols promoting any one religion. A city cannot have a ‘Christian’ park.”

Cavell requested that the city remove the Christian displays in order to “eliminate the appearance of government endorsement of religion.”

Kirkley said that if someone of another faith wanted symbols of his own faith displayed in the park, he is free to do so.

“By all means,” Kirkley said. “Go for it. I would never want someone to hate my savior because he’s on display in the park.”

She said that the display is meant to be “a happy time.”

The displays used in the annual event—which include crosses, angels, and a statue of Jesus—have been in the park for 12 years, Collins Mayor V.O. Smith told WDAM. Some are displayed year-round. The displays are lit in the evenings from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas.

“They had an unnamed local person complain about the religious displays in our city park,” Smith said. “But there’s more than just Christian material over there.”

The city of Collins does not own or maintain the displays.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Marie Shoemake, the executive director of the Covington County Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that the organization, not Collins, owns the displays.

Shoemake said that in addition to Christmas and family-friendly displays, there are displays honoring the military and fallen service members.

“There really is something for everyone,” Shoemake said. “I just pray whoever is against it will go through the park.”

Shoemake said that the displays are intended to “bring joy to the community” and have a positive economic impact on the town, with visitors to the park often stopping “in our beautiful town” for gas, food, and shopping.

She said that the displays are maintained by volunteers and church groups, and there is no charge to see them.


U.S. Holocaust Museum Report: Islamic State Targeting of Yezidis is ‘Genocide’

 A new report released by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum finds that the Islamic State terror group “has been and is perpetrating genocide” against the Yezidi religious minority in Northern Iraq.

The report, “Our Generation Is Gone: The Islamic State's Targeting of Iraqi Minorities in Ninewa,”  also finds that the terror group “perpetrated crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes against Christian, Yezidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Sabaean-Mandaen, and Kaka’I in Ninewa province from June-August 2014.”

The report, released on Wednesday, was primarily written by Naomi Kikoler, deputy director of the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. Kikoler traveled to northern Iraq in September 2015, where she spoke with dozens of members of Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities who were displaced during the summer of 2014 as the Islamic State seized their cities and towns.

“Today is in many ways a sad and solemn day -- thankfully genocide and the commission of mass atrocities and crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing is rare. This is not something that we want to have to say on many occasions,” Kikoler said of the report’s findings at a press conference on Thursday.

“In the summer of 2014, the self-proclaimed Islamic State carried out a violent campaign against civilians in Ninewa province in northern Iraq, home to many of Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities,” the report says, “they forced more than 800,000 people from their homes and deliberately destroyed shrines, temples, and churches.”

“They also kidnapped thousands and killed hundreds, likely thousands, of people,” states the report. “In less than three months, IS decimated millennia-old communities and irrevocably tore the social fabric of the once-diverse region. Now almost no members of the minority groups IS attacked live in Ninewa province.”

"Men, women, and children who were kidnapped and are still being held by Islamic State continue to be the victims of atrocity crimes,” reads the report.  “Their release must be a priority.”

Kikoler emphasized that “this is a moment where we need to ensure that the voices of those who’ve experienced these crimes are heard, that this report helps to compel action to assist those at risk and those who remain in need to also ensure that the American public and the world public understands what happened to the people in Northern Iraq.”

Kikoler shared the stories of several survivors of the onslaught of the Islamic State in Iraq, including Elias, a survivor of the August 2014 massacre of Yazidis in the Iraq village of Kojo.

 “He shared with me that he did not know where his sons were save for one, he did not know where his mother was, he did not know where his wife was, he did not know where his sisters were,” Kikoler said, “They were all missing, they’ve all either been killed or kidnapped by the Islamic State.”

Kikoler said that listening to Elias’s story, “I thought of my own family’s experiences and I thought of seventy years ago when my grandfather lost his entire family in the Holocaust.”       

Margit Meissner, an Austrian Holocaust survivor in her nineties and long-time Museum volunteer, shared her thoughts on the targeting of minorities in Iraq.

“I am appalled to hear that in 2014 genocide was perpetrated against the Yezidi people in Iraq and that Christians and other minority communities were the victims of ethnic and religious cleansing,” Meissner said, “Over seventy years ago the world vowed never again, yet today the world is again faced with a group, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, that is intent on destroying people based on their religion or their ethnicity.”

“I am proud that the museum is speaking out on behalf of Iraqi minorities. In doing so we are doing what was not done on behalf of the Jews during the Holocaust, serving as a voice, calling for action, urging us all to transcend politics and to nurture compassion,” Meissner concluded.  

 “As this report vividly documents there is an alignment between the mass atrocities and the acts of terrorism committed by those who are adherents to the radical ideology of the Islamic State,” Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary and chairman of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience said at the press conference.

“Last August, a U.S. military operation to protect Yezidi civilians targeted by the Islamic State reminded us that preventing genocide and mass atrocities is a core security interest for the United States Government,” Chertoff emphasized.

The release of the report coincides with a new, U.S.-coalition backed, Kurdish offensive, against the Islamic State in Sinjar, a town that fell to Islamic State militants in August 2014, causing thousands of Yezidis to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they became trapped.


Starbucks' Christmas Roast

On Nov. 5, self-described “evangelist” and “social media personality” Joshua Feuerstein posted a rant on Facebook complaining about Starbucks taking “Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups.” Believing that employees weren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas,” he pranked Starbucks by ordering a coffee and when they asked for his name, he said it was “Merry Christmas,” which the barista dutifully wrote on his plain red cup. “So guess what, Starbucks, I tricked you into putting Merry Christmas on your cup,” he boasted.

Hoping to start a “movement,” he challenged everyone to take their “own coffee selfie” at Starbucks and share it using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks. To further “offend” the coffee chain, he wore his Jesus Christ T-shirt into the store “because they hate Jesus” and carried his gun because they “hate the 2nd amendment.” Ho ho ho!

Unfortunately, Feuerstein’s fauxrage obfuscates a real assault on Christmas, as crèches are removed from the public square and religious songs banned from school concerts. Perhaps the greatest assault, however, is the commercialization of Christ’s birth — the Advent calendar is replaced by shopping sales. Consumers are shuffled from Halloween jack-o-lanterns directly to Christmas trees bedecked with ornaments and holiday sales with a slight nod to Thanksgiving as the day before Black Friday.

There is a real war on Christians, too. Barack Obama’s government battles The Little Sisters of the Poor in court and removes “So help me God” from military oaths. Meanwhile, the government funnels millions of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion.

Around the world, the Islamic State persecutes and beheads Christians, Syrian refugees flood Europe, and Christianity in the Middle East could be purged within a decade — all while Obama frets about “terrible deeds” done by Crusaders a thousand years ago in their quest to regain the Holy Land (after it was invaded by Muslims).

Feuerstein isn’t giving Starbucks a bad name; by battling colored cups, he’s making Christians look unfocused and whiny. With all this free publicity, the coffee emporium is well on its way to a very merry and profitable Christmas.

Don’t let a Grinch steal your Holly Jolly Christmas. Enjoy your coffee and your cups. And most of all, appreciate your freedom, family and faith.



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, 2015

Paris terror rampage no surprise after a year of tragedy

Unlike the attacks at Charlie Hebdo magazine in January, there was little surprise in France today when gunmen sprang attacks around the capital, apparently in the name of the radical Islamist cause.

President Francois Hollande’s government has been warning constantly that it was only a matter of time before home-grown French jihadists committed another atrocity.

With hundreds of French-born Islamists fighting in Syria and Iraq and networks operating underground around French cities, the security services are said to have thwarted half a dozen plots to inflict carnage in public places this year. A man was arrested last week in Toulon, on the south coast, and charged with planning an attack on the local naval base.

Three people have been murdered in attacks attributed to Islamists in recent months and there have been several narrow escapes. In August US and British passengers stopped a gunman from shooting passengers aboard a Thalys Brussels to Paris express after he pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

In April a would-be jihadist gunman was arrested while on the verge of firing inside a church on a Sunday in Villejuif, a southern suburb of Paris.

Police and intelligence services have been beefed up and given new powers to monitor communications among the country’s disaffected young Muslim population as the country marked the tenth anniversary of the 2005 riots in the immigrant housing estates, which alerted France to the discontent among the offspring of its former colonial subjects.

In the face of criticism from right-wing parties — including Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans and Marine Le Pen’s National Front — the security services have argued that they lack the resources to keep track of thousands of sympathisers with the Islamist cause who are attracted by Islamic State and its exploits in Syria and Iraq.


Angela Merkel's future under scrutiny for the first time as German asylum process criticised

A popular talk show the possibility of a coup against the German chancellor after her own party made implicit criticisms of her policy

Angela Merkel’s political future is being questioned for the first time in Germany as divisions continue to grow in her government over her “open-door” refugee policy.

Guests on a popular television political talk show debated the possibility of a coup against the German chancellor from within her own party.

The discussion came as civil servants at the government refugee agency warned identity checks for Syrian asylum-seekers were ineffective and open to abuse by economic migrants and terrorists.

Wolfgang Schäuble, the finance minister, warned that Germany was facing an “avalanche” of refugees set off by a “careless skier”.

And Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister, twice acted unilaterally to introduce stricter controls on Syrian asylum-seekers without informing Mrs Merkel.

But other guests on the television show were dismissive of the possibility of an internal party coup against the chancellor.

“Anyone who tries to overthrow some one like her will destroy himself,” Karl-Rudolf Korte, a political scientist at the University of Duisberg-Essen, said, adding that she was protected by an “armour of popularity”.

But he added: “The situation is not flattering for the chancellor, a loss of power is quite evident”.

Peter Altmaier, Mrs Merkel’s national refugee coordinator and the head of her chancellery office, tried to downplay the disputes with Mr de Maiziere as a “communication misunderstanding”.

“It is clear there are a lot of discussions over this issue,” he told the talk show. “I hope that we can discuss this internally and behind closed doors. However it is vital that we act as one – as we do.”

Mr Schäuble has come under fire for his intervention from coalition partners, and from Joachim Gauck, the country’s usually non-political president.

Mr Gauck broke with protocol to warn against those who “voice assumptions and perpetuate stereotypes”, in remarks widely seen as directed at the finance minister.

Mrs Merkel came under intense questioning in a special half-hour interview on ZDF television entitiled What Now, Mrs Merkel? on Friday evening.

In the interview, she vowed to continue her “open-door” refugee policy: “It is our principle to help people in need,” the German chancellor said. “We need to show the freedoms we enjoy in practice and help those in need.”

“I cannot unilaterally define a limits. We in Germany cannot simply determine unilaterally who can come and who cannot.”
Angela Merkel

Mrs Merkel dismissed claims that her government was in crisis at the end of a week that has seen two of her most senior ministers openly challenge her refugee policy.

“The chancellor has the situation under the control, the federal government has the situation under control,” she said.

“I am sure that we will continue to show a friendly face. That is my sort of welcoming culture.”

But she refused to give way on her insistence that Germany can handle a record influx of some 800,000 asylum-seekers this year.

Asked about her earlier slogan of “We can do it”, she replied: “I think we have to work to make sure we can do it, and I believe we can do it.”

She refused to set a limit for the number of refugees Germany could take in.

“I cannot unilaterally define a limits,” she said. “We in Germany cannot simply determine unilaterally who can come and who cannot.”

Mrs Merkel refused the discuss the alleged rebellion. “Wolfgang Schäuble is in a class of his own,” she said enigmatically.

The chancellor admitted she had made mistakes in the past and said it was up to her to reduce the numbers of asylum-seekers and to crack down on illegal immigration.

But she vowed Germany would continue to open its doors to genuine refugees.

“I’m not the first chancellor to fight for something,” she said, comparing her situation to that of Helmut Kohl, the chancellor who oversaw the reunification of Germany.

She was critical of Germany’s European partners, saying she regretted the EU had not been able to come up with a common solution.

She compared the numbers arriving in Europe to the more than two million Syrian refugees Turkey has taken in, including some 900,000 children.

“We are a much richer continent than Turkey, I think it’s obvious,” she said. “We talk about human dignity, then we say we have be careful about refugees.”

While ministers argue, civil servants at the federal office for migration and refugees have published an open letter warning of serious flaws in procedures.

Asylum-seekers are being accepted as Syrians without being asked for any proof of their nationality, they warned.

Those claiming to be Syrian do not need to show passports, according to the letter. The only checking of their identity is carried out by freelance translators who often have little or no experience of Syrian dialects or accents, and are not accountable for any mistakes.

A “large proportion” of asylum-seekers were giving false identities in order to stay in Germany, the letter warned.

“The discontinuation of identity checks has also facilitated infiltration by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists into Europe,” it claimed.

Austria on Friday announced plans to build a 2.5-mile stretch of fence on either side of its busiest border crossing with Slovenia.

Hungary and Slovenia have already built fences along sections of their borders.

Austrian officials said the new fence was not intended to prevent asylum-seekers from entering the country, but to control the flow.

“It’s about an orderly entry, not a barrier,” Josef Ostermayer, a minister at the Austrian chancellery said.

Meanwhile in eastern Germany, an eight-month pregnant asylum-seeker from Somalia was attacked and badly beaten.

The 21-year-old woman was taken to hospital. She has not been named and details of her injuries have not been released.

Police said they suspect two boys aged 14 and 15 and a 14-year-old girl of carrying out the attack.


Gender Pay Gap Caused, in Part, by Temperament

Really, it boils down to what kind of equality we’re talking about. For the Left, it wants to make sure everyone arrives at the same, equal outcome. Thus, leftists insist that when it comes time for the paychecks to get cut wages should be equal, regardless of gender, regardless of skill or experience. For more practical students of political philosophy, it’s more realistic to insist that everyone start out with equal opportunity.

According to details about a study performed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, women graduating from an MBA program earned less than their male colleagues because they searched for less competitive jobs. “Gender differences in taste for competition explain around 10 percent of the overall gender gap,” said the study. “Female MBAs are 8 percent more likely to work in low-paying industries at graduation and 12 percent more likely to work in such industries seven years later.”

In other words, a male with a type-B personality will likely earn less than a type-A woman with the top of the corporate ladder on her mind. Both had the same opportunities, and both are presumably content with where they are. If that isn’t equality, what is?


Newspaper reveals huge salaries of top British governmernt officials.  Government moves to prevent any more of that information getting out

The fat cat pay and perks deals exposed this week by the Mail have been dubbed ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’ by MPs.

We have revealed how a police back-office manager in Wales got £170,000 for a year in which he worked only 19 days, a former council chief claimed £2,368 per month so he could drive a Porsche to work, and an assistant chief constable in wales charged the taxpayer £54,000 expenses when he moved house – including for installation of a TV aerial and the replacement of curtains and blinds.

We told how an NHS executive got a £840,000 pay deal – but still put a £1.40 bus fare on expenses – while an NHS trust chair charged the taxpayer nearly £6000 when a cancer scandal meant she had to cancel her safari holiday.

And we revealed the shocking scandal of how 2000 council bosses across the country use taxpayers’ money to fund their private medical insurance.

It took 6,000 freedom of information requests and months of analysis to expose the scandal of public sector fat cat pay.

Over the past year, reporters from the Mail Investigations Unit have been working with researchers from the Taxpayers’ Alliance to uncover the truth about pay in the public sector.

Detailed questions were sent to every council, NHS trust, police force, fire service, university, school and quango.

We asked them to reveal the names and pay deals given to their highest earners and how many of them earned more than £100,000, £150,000, £200,000 and £300,000 last year.

The details were for all staff – not just the board members who are usually mentioned in annual reports.

In total, 5,913 freedom of information requests were submitted for the project. Reporters then spoke to whistleblowers and analysed public accounts, searching for details of bonuses, pay offs and expenses hidden in the tiny footnotes.

We found bosses had billed taxpayers for lavish holidays, business class flights and even their home gas bills, furniture and a £1.40 bus ticket.

When it emerged that one council boss was in receipt of private medical insurance, we asked the question of all other councils – and were stunned to discover taxpayers are being billed for fat cats’ private treatments across the country.

Further investigation found that many of the highest earners had claimed huge pay deals despite overseeing catastrophic failures - and while publicly complaining about cuts to their budgets.

The shocking scale of pay and perks in the public sector would never have been revealed if it were not for Freedom of Information laws.

And the results are a stark illustration of why the laws are so crucial in holding the government and other public figures to account.

They will add to growing fears over the Government’s desire to limit Freedom of Information laws.

Incredibly, only last week a cabinet minister sparked fury by saying it 'isn't acceptable' to use Freedom of Information laws to find news stories.

Chris Grayling accused journalists and campaigners of 'misusing' the law by using it as a research tool to uncover stories.

Yet journalists and campaigners insist the laws – which were introduced 15 years ago – are a crucial tool in holding the ruling classes to account.

Freedom of Information laws helped expose the MPs expenses scandal and the existence of Prince Charles's 'black spider' letters to ministers.

And the Act is used not only by journalists but also by members of the public, charities and campaign groups.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: ‘For too long Whitehall kept taxpayers in the dark about how their cash was spent, so the introduction of Freedom of Information was a huge step forward for transparency.

‘The TaxPayers' Alliance and the Daily Mail submitted over 5,000 FOI requests to obtain information about senior salaries, and that shows how important FOI is. That makes recent moves to water it down deeply concerning and politicians must not be allowed to close the books again.

‘After all, power should be in the hands of those who pay, not those who spend.’

The Government is currently carrying out a review of the laws - and there are growing concerns that the supposedly independent review is in fact heavily rigged against the interests of journalists.

Matt Hancock, the minister in charge of FOI legislation, has already said that he believes it should be curtailed to give ministers and civil servants a 'safe space' to devise policy out of public view.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood - known as Sir Cover-Up - said last month the law was having a 'chilling effect' on government decision-making.

An ‘Independent Commission of Freedom of Information’ is reviewing the law.

But the panel includes former Home Secretaries Lord Howard and Jack Straw, who has suggested the Act should be reined in – and does not include any campaigners for transparency.

Possible restrictions include charging for FOI requests, and limiting the scope of the Act, which covers Whitehall departments, police forces and hospital trusts.

Donald Campbell, of the charity Reprieve, said Mr Grayling’s comments were 'astonishing', while Labour MP Jack Dromey said Freedom of information was ‘essential’ and that ‘public bodies should always be publicly accountable and the powerful must always be held to account.'



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, 2015

Picking people out of the sea is not enough, says British PM as he vows to 'smash' people smuggling gangs behind migrant crisis

This is just a re-run of what Australian Leftist PM Kevin Rudd said -- and will be equally ineffectual.  It's only a refusal to give residence to illegal arrivals that will have any effect -- as Australia has shown under its present conservative government

David Cameron today warned that rescuing drowning migrants from the sea Is 'not enough' and British forces will be used to 'smash' the criminal gangs behind the crisis.

Speaking aboard HMS Bulwark in Valletta harbour, the Prime Minister said the movement of millions of people was was 'the biggest problem facing Europe today'.

He said Britain would have to show 'resolve' in tackling the problem, targeting people traffickers encouraging people to try to cross from north Africa to reach the shores of Europe.

The Prime Minister is attending a major international summit bringing together European and African nations in Valletta, Malta.

He marked Armistice Day on board the Royal Navy warship, laying a wreath with Home Secretary Theresa May.

Mr Cameron said the UK was a 'moral nation' which was involved in efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis.

He added: 'Saving lives is not going to be enough. We need a real partnership with the countries from which these people are coming and that is what this summit in Malta is all about, bringing together the countries of Africa, the countries of Europe, so we can work together.

'Britain will play a huge and historic role. Our aid programme means we can get into those countries and tackle not just the poverty but the failures of government, the corruption, the conflict and all the things that cause people to leave their homes and make this perilous journey.

'As well as responding with humanity and with partnership, we also have to respond with resolve and that is what the next stage of this mission is going to be about.

'Because, to be frank, it's not enough just to pick people up and save their lives, we have got to go after the criminal gangs that were loading them into the boats and offering them the false hope in the first place.'

He told HMS Bulwark's crew: 'We need to smash those gangs and that is what the next stage of this work is going to be about.

'It will be difficult work but it's absolutely essential and we will give you everything you need to make sure that work gets done properly.

'In the end we have to break the link between getting on the boat and getting the chance to come to Europe.

'As long as that ability to do that is there, the criminal gangs keep on exploiting people in the way they are today.

'So, we know what needs to be done - the humanity of a moral nation, the partnership of a country that acts with others to get things done in the world and a country that knows resolve is going to be absolutely key to dealing with this.'

He said the UK was the only 'major country' meeting both its Nato commitment to spend 2 per cent on defence and 0.7 per cent of gross national income on aid.

'We are the engaged nation that recognises the hard military power that this great ship represents but also the incredibly important soft power of an aid programme that can help knit together and mend the countries from which so many people are coming,' he said.

Amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark was despatched to the Mediterranean in April to help rescue migrants attempting the treacherous crossing from North Africa to Europe.

Mr Cameron told the crew: 'You should be incredibly proud of the lives you have saved. There will be people who will live out extraordinary dreams and lives that wouldn't have happened were it not for what you have done in the Mediterranean.'


Honor killing in America: DOJ report says growing problem is hidden in stats

The estimated 27 victims of so-called "honor killings" each year in the U.S. don't fit neatly into the FBI's exhaustive Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics.

Hidden among thousands of nondescript murders and cases labeled as domestic violence are a mounting number of killings motivated by a radical and dark interpretation of Islam. Honor killings and violence, which typically see men victimize wives and daughters because of behavior that has somehow insulted their faith, are among the most secretive crimes in society, say experts.

“Cases of honor killings and/or violence in the U.S. are often unreported because of the shame it can cause to the victim and the victim’s family,” Farhana Qazi, a former U.S. government analyst and senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism, told FoxNews.com. “Also, because victims are often young women, they may feel that reporting the crime to authorities will draw too much attention to the family committing the crime.”

Even cases that appear to be honor killings, such as the Jan. 1, 2008 murder of two Irving, Texas, sisters that landed their father on the FBI's most wanted list, cannot always be conclusively linked to a religious motivation. Without hard evidence, critics say, ascribing a religious motivation to crimes committed by Muslims demeans Islam. Yet, federal authorities believe they must be able to identify "honor" as a motive for violence and even murder if they are to address a growing cultural problem.

“Honor Violence Measurement Methods,” a study released earlier this year by research corporation Westat, and commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, identified four types of honor violence: forced marriage, honor-based domestic violence, honor killing and female genital mutilation. The report, which estimated that 23-27 honor killings per year occur in the U.S., noted that 91 percent of victims in North America are murdered for being “too Westernized,” and in incidents involving daughters 18 years or younger, a father is almost always involved. And for every honor killing, there are many more instances of physical and emotional abuse, all in the name of fundamentalist Islam, say experts.

“Typically seen in the form of physical or emotional abuse, rape or kidnapping, honor violence also includes harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. In extreme cases, murder,” said Stephanie Baric, executive director of the AHA Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by women’s rights activist and FGM survivor Ayaan Hirsi Ali. “In sharp contrast with domestic violence, families and communities often condone honor violence, which makes it more difficult to identify and stop.”

While women are generally the victims of honor violence, men also may be targeted if they reject an arranged marriage or are assumed to be homosexual. Victims may also be pressured to commit suicide, and may do so without even realizing they are victims of honor-motivated violence, said Baric.

In 2012, the mother, father and sister of 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi were charged with beating her because she refused an arranged marriage to an older man.

For police who encounter apparent honor crimes, the investigation is typically treated as a regular crime or murder probe, usually under the umbrella of domestic violence. While both issues are tragic and problematic, experts say there are critical distinctions, and that honor violence requires a different approach.

Detective Chris Boughey, of Peoria, Ariz., calls Oct. 20, 2009, a day that “changed my life forever.” That was the day Iraqi immigrant Faleh Almaleki murdered his daughter, Noor Almaleki, by running her over with his vehicle for becoming “too Westernized.” Boughey was assigned as the lead investigator and has since dedicated his career to educating others and taking on similar cases in numerous other states -- from Alaska and New York to California, Washington state and Pennsylvania.

“In the Almaleki case, I learned very quickly that we would receive no assistance from the family," Boughey said. "In fact, we received out-and-out defiance and resistance. Although we know they are involved, it can be very hard to prove in a court of law.”

Other honor-motivated tragedies in the U.S. have garnered headlines.

- In 2012, police arrested the mother, father and sister of 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi in Phoenix after they allegedly beat, restrained and burned her for reportedly declining an arranged marriage with an older man and talking to another boy.

- In 2009, Aasiya Hassan was beheaded by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, at the Buffalo, N.Y., Muslim TV station where they worked for allegedly requesting a divorce. The Pakistani-born killer defended himself at trial, never denied his guilt and was convicted in 2011. A few months before Hassan was killed, Sandeela Kanwal was strangled by her father outside Atlanta for failing to “be true to her religion” because she wanted to leave an arranged marriage.

- In the 2008 case in Irving, Yasser Said, a cab driver from Egypt, is suspected of shooting his two daughters, Amina, 18, and Sarah Said, 17, in the back of his taxi because they were dating non-Muslim boys and embracing Western culture. Said has been a fugitive ever since.

- In 2007, an Illinois man – Subhash Chander – set an apartment fire that killed his pregnant 22-year-old daughter, son-in-law and 3-year-old grandson because he disapproved of the marriage.

- And in one of the earliest widely reported cases of honor killing in the U.S., 16-year-old Palestina Isa, of St. Louis, was murdered in 1989 by her father Zein Isa, who was helped by her mother. Zein Isa was angry that his daughter had gotten a job and was dating an African-American boy. Both parents were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Zein Isa died on death row in 1997, while his wife's sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole.

Honor violence is an even bigger problem in other parts of the Western world, with a reported 11,000 cases of honor violence recorded in the United Kingdom in the last five years while incidents also have been documented in Canada, Germany, France and Sweden.

Baric affirmed that given immigration trends in the last decade -- an influx from Middle Eastern and South Asian countries where honor violence is part of the culture -- the problem will continue to worsen if authorities don't identify and address it. Boughey said honor violence, whether it be abuse and murder, FGM, or forced marriage -- is much more widespread in America than most people realize and, as it stands, authorities have no proper system in place to track it.

“Honor violence has been largely misclassified by law enforcement, by no fault of their own," he said. "They simply didn’t know the signs and symptoms of honor-related violence. They do not have the training on how to effectively identify and investigate these cases.”

One of the biggest challenges, Boughey said, is the social pressures to not be deemed “culturally insensitive.” That can keep social service agencies from alerting law enforcement when honor violence crosses their radar.

“Some agencies won’t intervene even after these young women have come forward," he said. "I am not quite sure when we as a country decided that it was more important to be politically correct than doing the right thing.”

Boughey and his police partner Jeff Balson, working with the AHA Foundation, have developed a curriculum to train law enforcement and members of social service organizations to properly identity such cases, as well as provide adequate help for victims and advocate the need for legislation to be enacted specific to honor violence.

Mainstream Muslims condemn honor violence without equivocation, said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam,” he said.

Republican Muslim Coalition Executive Director Saba Ahmed also said such “barbaric acts” are in total conflict with the teachings of Islam.

In 2013, President Obama signed the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, which prohibits the transportation of a child from the U.S. for the intent of FGM and in 2014 the Department of Health and Human Services held a civil society listening session on the domestic response to the violation. Whether or not the federal government will take further measures to address honor violence remains to be seen, and the DOJ did not respond to a request for comment regarding its action plan based on the study it funded.

But according to Paula Kweskin, human rights lawyer and producer of the Clarion Project’s documentary “Honor Diaries,” the most important thing to be done to combat the issue is to talk about it loudly and frequently.

“Honor violence can result in murder," Kweskin said. "FGM permanently disfigures a woman. Honor violence can shatter communities, causing suffering for generations to come. Culture is no excuse for abuse. We cannot let women suffer in silence any longer.”


Christian Music Festival Can’t Use Public Square in Toronto for Invoking Jesus

A Christian music festival has been given the boot by the board of Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto for what it says is a violation of its rules against proselytizing.

“A Christian music festival is crying foul over a decision by the board of Yonge-Dundas Square to cancel its permit for 2016 because of claims the group violated terms of its contract by proselytizing,” Inside Toronto reported on Nov. 3.

“The festival, Voices of the Nations, has been using the publicly owned square for nearly a decade for what festival director Peter Ruparelia said is a showcase for the music of artists from various denominations and cultures, but the group is no longer welcome, according to local councilor and board-member Kristyn Wong-Tam, because it has ignored repeated warnings by the board not to use the stage to proselytize a particular religion,” the news outlet reported.

“‘I’m not at liberty to get into the specifics of the reason why they’re not welcome back to the square,’ Wong-Tam told the news outlet. ‘Staff did raise with them on two separate occasions over two years that they needed them not to proselytize and there’s a contract they singed in guidelines for usage...They know why they’ve been asked to find alternative space. There is a process provided to them on how they should appeal and it’s clearly outlined.’”

Inside Toronto reported that the concert director told them other religious groups use the square.

“’There’s been an Islamic group that has been chanting, there’s been a Hari Krishna group in the square,” said Ruparelia, who added that no proselytizing was done in speeches, but “There is no God like Jehovah” was repeated in a song during the concert, which took place in August.

The Canadian-based pro-life website, lifesitenews.com, launched a petition last week to protest the board’s action and on Monday Ruparelia and representatives of the website delivered the petition with more than 40,000 signatures to Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office.

Lifesitenews.com quoted Yonge-Dundas Square manager Natalie Belman in a commentary as saying that singing about Jesus amounts to proselytizing.

“This is nothing more than blatant discrimination against Christians,” Lifesitenews.com posted in a commentary on Nov. 3. “Can you imagine the City Official saying something like this to a Muslim or Jewish group and getting away with it?

“Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto need to hear that Christians have as much right to be in public spaces as anybody else,” Lifesitenews.com said in the commentary. “It’s time to join together and urge the mayor and the city to reverse this outrageous decision.”

“As Christians we need to come together and unite as one,” Ruparelia said in a video posted by lifesitenews.com after the petition was delivered. “And what better cause now … this cause is to unite the body of Christ.”


The Indonesian Jihad on Christian Churches

In compliance with Islamic demands, Indonesian authorities in the Aceh region have started to tear down Christian churches. Their move comes after Muslim mobs rampaged and attacked churches. At least one person was killed; thousands of Christians were displaced.

On Friday, October 9, after being fired up during mosque sermons, hundreds of Muslims marched to the local authority's office and demanded that all unregistered churches in Aceh be closed. Imams issued text messages spurring Muslims from other areas to rise up against churches and call for their demolition.

On Monday, October 12, authorities facilitated a meeting with Islamic leaders and agreed to demolish 10 unregistered churches over the course of two weeks.

Apparently this was not fast enough to meet Muslim demands for immediate action. On the following day, a mob of approximately 700 Muslims, some armed with axes and machetes, torched a local church, even though it was not on the list of churches agreed upon for demolition.

The remains of a church in the Aceh region of Indonesia, still on fire, after hundreds of Muslims attacked it on October 13, 2015. (Image source: CCTV video screenshot)

The Muslim mob then moved on to a second church, an act that led to violent clashes. One person, believed to be a Christian, died after being shot in the head. Several were injured, as Christians tried to defend their church against the armed mob.

Approximately 8,000 Christians were displaced; many fled to bordering provinces. Their fears were justified: Islamic leaders continued issuing messages and text messages saying, "We will not stop hunting Christians and burning churches. Christians are Allah's enemies!"

Instead of punishing those who incited violence and took the law into their own hands by torching and attacking churches, local authorities demolished three churches (a Catholic mission station and two Protestant churches) on October 19. In the coming days, seven more churches are set to be demolished; in the coming months and years, dozens more.

Authorities had originally requested of church leaders to demolish their own churches. "How can we do that?" asked Paima Berutu, one of the church leaders: "It is impossible [for us to take it down] ... Some of us watched [the demolition] from afar, man and women. It was painful."

The situation in Aceh remains tense: "Every church member is guarding his own church right now," said another pastor

As for the displaced Christians, many remain destitute, waiting for "desperately needed clean water, food, clothes, baby food, blankets, and medicines." As Muslim militants were reportedly guarding the border with an order to kill any Christians crossing the line, reaching the Christians is difficult.

Many Muslims and some media try to justify this destruction by pointing out that the churches were in the wrong for not being registered. In reality, however, thanks to Indonesia's 2006 Joint Decree on Houses of Worship, it is effectively impossible to obtain a church permit. The decree made it illegal for churches to acquire permits unless they can get "signatures from 60 local households of a different faith," presumably Muslims, as well as "a written recommendation from the regency or municipal religious affairs office" -- that is, from the local sheikh and council of Muslim elders: the same people most likely to incite Muslims against Christians and churches during mosque gatherings. Christian activists say there are many mosques that are unregistered and built without permits, but the authorities ignore those infractions.

Others try to justify these recent attacks on churches by pointing out that they took place in Aceh, the only region in Indonesia where Islamic law, or Sharia, is officially authorized, and where, since 2006, more than 1,000 churches have been shut.

Yet in other parts of Indonesia, where Islamic law is not enforced, even fully registered churches are under attack. These include the Philadelphia Protestant Church in Bekasi -- nearly 1,500 miles south of Sharia-compliant Aceh. Even though it had the necessary paperwork, it too was illegally shut down in response to violent Muslim protests. On December 25, 2012, when the congregation assembled on empty land to celebrate Christmas, hundreds of Muslims, including women and children, threw rotten eggs, rocks, and plastic bags filled with urine and feces at the Christians. Police stood by and watched.

A church spokesman stated, "We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups. ... We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation [including when they privately meet for worship at each other's homes], we see that the police are also involved in this."

Bogor is another area where Islamic law is supposedly not enforced. Yet the ongoing saga of the GKI Yasmin Church there illustrates how Islamic law takes precedence over Indonesian law. In 2008, when local Muslims began complaining about the existence of the church, even though it was fully registered, the authorities obligingly closed it. In December 2010, the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered the church to be reopened, but the mayor of Bogor, refusing to comply, kept it sealed off.

Since then, the congregation has been holding Sunday services at the homes of members, and occasionally on the street, to the usual jeers and attacks by Muslim mobs. On Sunday, September 27, the church held its 100th open-air service.

The Indonesian jihad is taking place in varying degrees all throughout the East Asian nation and is not limited to Sharia-compliant zones such as Aceh. For the country once hailed as the face of "moderate Islam," the "extremist" behavior one would expect of the Islamic State (ISIS) -- hating, attacking, and demolishing churches -- has apparently become the norm.



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, 2015

Racists, Tigers and Chickens Come Home to Roost — Oh My!

The freshman class at the University of Missouri must be the most racist, sexist and homophobic student body in America. After all, it was just last year that Mizzou was lauded by the Leftmedia for its tolerance and inclusion after rallying around Michael Sam, the star football player who had recently announced his homosexuality to the world. Since the faculty is largely unchanged, the only conclusion we can draw from the recent resignation of university president Tim Wolfe is that he recruited a bunch of racist students over the last year and now must be punished for his sins. How else does one explain Mizzou going from the gold standard of tolerance and diversity to a hotbed of racism, sexism and homophobia in just a single year?

The impetus for the unfolding scandal was the hunger strike of Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, which would not end, he declared, until “either Tim Wolfe is removed from office or my internal organs fail and my life is lost.” Butler claimed the university had consistently failed to address incidents of intolerant behavior.

The primary complaint stems from an incident last month in which a white student jumped on a stage where black students were rehearsing a skit and allegedly shouted racial slurs. The evidence for Wolfe’s indifference apparently comes from the fact that Wolfe, riding in his car during the homecoming parade a few days later, did not step out of the vehicle and prostrate himself before a mob of angry black protesters.

Butler’s demands received little attention until he was joined in solidarity by some members of the Missouri football team, who declared their refusal to play another game until Butler’s demands were met and Wolfe resigned. (Based on the Tigers' current 4-5 record, the result might have been the same whether they played or forfeited). Not only did they demand that Wolfe resign, but in doing so he had to issue a hand-written apology in which he declared his “white privilege.” Sadly, the student bullies won, and Wolfe resigned.

It’s unfortunate that Wolfe gave in so easily, but once the football team was involved — putting millions of dollars of football revenue at risk — Wolfe had the weaker hand, and he knew it. Mizzou plays BYU this Saturday, and a forfeit to the Cougars would have cost the university a $1 million penalty for failure to play, plus potentially millions more in lost revenue.

Yet there is an element of schadenfreude here. While this phony scandal is ridiculous, we also admit to somewhat enjoying the show. Because, to paraphrase Obama mentor and America-hater Jeremiah “G-D America” Wright, for liberal academia and the cult of victimization it has created, their “chickens are coming home to roost.”

For several decades now our once-vaunted establishments of higher learning have been run by liberal academics who loathe everything that made America great. They preach America’s sins without extolling her virtues, and they infect students with the idea that America is an evil, imperialistic nation founded by rich, white slaveholders for their own enrichment. They teach these young, impressionable minds that they are either victims of oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, or they’re guilty of perpetuating those sins.

The problem for the Dr. Frankensteins of liberal academia is that they can no longer control the monster they created. It was all fine and good when their weak-minded little whelps were turned loose on the world of business and politics, where they would be good little warriors for liberal causes. It is another thing entirely when their perpetually offended little howling hobgoblins of heresy turn on them and find offense in every innocuous word, look or gesture. Once that Pandora’s Box of liberal victimhood lunacy is opened, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to close.

The ironic part of this story is that at no time in our nation’s history has there been less racism, less sexism, less homophobia and less bigotry in all of its forms. That isn’t to say it isn’t real, but it is no longer the widespread and culturally accepted practice it once was.

In fact, such bigotry has become so rare that liberals have been forced to do the job that racist hate-mongers will no longer do. These days, the offender is as likely to be a “victim” as a perpetrator of true bigotry. For example, the media was briefly atwitter this month following a string of fires set to black churches. The media interest came to a screeching halt, however, when it was revealed that David Lopez Jackson, a black man, was arrested for two of the arsons and named as a suspect in several others.

This was just the latest in a long list of “hate crimes” in which the instigators of the crimes were the supposed victims themselves, or those who were simply lying about a crime being committed. Examples abound, including Al Sharpton and the Tawana Brawley hoax, the Duke lacrosse rape allegations (where the so-called “victim” was not only exposed as a liar but was later convicted of murdering her boyfriend), Nazi flags and anti-Islamic flyers at Oberlin College, the lesbian waitress who claimed she was denied a tip by Christians, and the list goes on and on. Yet that never prevents the media from jumping on each new accusation and screaming it from the rooftops as fact before ever making the first attempt to verify.

In a way, this is a good thing. After all, if the leftist Cult of Victimhood is having to manufacture incidents of bigotry out of whole cloth, it means that actual incidents of bigotry have become difficult to find.

Still, as amusing as all of this can be, this also should be a warning for Americans of all political and ideological stripes of frightening things to come unless we immediately begin to crush this idea that every offense, real or perceived, is worthy of a lynch mob marching the streets with torches and pitchforks, demanding the blood of the accused. We need to start teaching these kids that life isn’t fair, that you don’t always get a trophy, and that there is no constitutional right to never be offended.

From “free speech zones” and speech codes that ban “offensive” or “hurtful” speech, to leftist laments of “microaggressions” or “triggers” that cause poor little sheltered students to get the vapors, it should be blatantly obvious that our institutions of higher learning are now all too often centers of pampering and indoctrination into the Society of Sniveling Sissies. It’s long past time that we teach these kids (and faculty) that life in the real world means growing a spine and taking life as it comes.


The new British passport design isn’t sexist, it’s historically accurate

Ella Whelan

Surprise, surprise, the new British passport has been met with an onslaught of online feminist criticism. The problem? The new design, which celebrates British landmarks and influential figures from the past 500 years, featured more men than women. In the same vein of criticism as that which was hurled at the British banknote a few years ago, rent-a-gob feminists are demanding that the new passport have more pictures of women in it.

First in line with a cutting tweet was Labour MP Stella Creasy, who declared she was ‘So tired of this shizzle’. Similarly, feminist blogger Caroline Criado-Perez, who led the campaign to get a woman on the £5 note, said, ‘I’m just tired of protesting this shit’. Emily Thornberry, another outspoken Labour MP, added that the underrepresentation of women was ‘exasperating’.

This latest scandal begs the question: why can’t feminists give all this tiresome whinging a rest? I have my own criticisms of the new passport. I would have probably chosen someone better than Anish Kapoor, whose work is celebrated in the new design, to represent the creative talent of modern Britain.

But the fact remains that most people are more interested in where their passport can take them, rather than the drawings inside it.

More than that, the complaining about the new passports, rallying online under the #herstory hashtag, is ignoring the reality of history. As hard as it is for modern, liberated women to swallow, historically speaking, more men than women have achieved impressive things – precisely because of the past inequalities women squashed in their political fight for liberation.

Changing the past to adhere to modern wishes doesn’t better women’s lives today, it only skews our understanding of history.

I share Creasy and Criado-Perez’s exhaustion, not because I want to campaign for more public pictures of women, but because I’m truly sick of having to refute the idea that women need to be barraged with representations of important women in order to be inspired. The idea that I need to see Mary Wollstonecraft on every item in my handbag, from my passport to my cash, in order to feel important and valued is pathetic.

While feminists are wasting their time whinging about such superficial matters, they could be campaigning for change that would actually better women’s lives.


LGBT Groups Deem Transgender Beer Not ‘Diverse’ Enough, ‘Inflammatory’

Brewdog, a Scottish craft beer company, announced their launch of a “non-binary, postgender beer” last week, which they called “No Label.” While the label was created in partnership with an LGBT group, the beer has stirred up controversy with some in the LGBT community, who claim that it “undermines” the diversity of the trans community.

“No Label is the world’s first ‘non-binary, postgender beer’ designed to reflect the diversity of the area and champion inclusivity,” according to Brewdog’s website.

“This 4.6% ABV Kölsch has been brewed with hops that have changed sex from female to male flowers prior to harvest. We have used these to emphasise that, just like humans, beer can be whatever the hell it wants to be, and proud of it,” it stated.

The announcement also stated that the beer was created in partnership with “LGBTQI+ events organisers Queerest of the Queer; an organization that celebrates the diversity and talent of the LGBTQI+ community. We are donating all profits from the sale of No Label to Queerest of the Queer to in turn support charities aiding transgender youth communities.”

However, some in the LGBT community are protesting the beer.

The LGBT advocacy group Stonewall told the UK’s Independent: “While it’s encouraging to see BrewDog raising money for trans youth communities, and we like the ‘No Label’ concept, we’re concerned about the language. The trans community is diverse - many trans people do not transition, or identify with binary genders, and BrewDog’s language undermines that."

“I would have thought that it might if anything be considered somewhat inflammatory,” Trans film-maker Jake Graf told the Huffington Post UK of the beer’s debut.

"The Jester hops that change sex might be perceived as making a mockery of what is a rather sensitive subject for many people too,” he said. “I would say possibly a rather misguided attempt at waving the white flag, that I can almost guarantee will be met with disdain from the community. Once again it's making light of an all too serious matter."

Brewdog also came under fire on Twitter with some users calling it “insulting” and complaining that it “feels like you’re mocking us.”

The new beer comes just months after Brewdog came under fire for an advertisement that some labeled ‘transphobic.’

The advertisement features founders James Watt and Martin Dickie asking viewers not to force them into any humiliating experiences, showing a segment in which they are dressed as female sex workers.


Consent: it’s a piece of cake

Cathy Young

Being guilt-tripped into eating baked goods is not a matter for the police

The latest campaign to educate the masses about sexual consent has a cute slogan, ‘consent: it’s as simple as tea’, and a cute video with animated stick figures to illustrate the idea. (The video, based on a blogpost that went viral last March, was made by Blue Seat Studios; there’s also an uncensored version with swear words.) The UK Crown Prosecution Service used the clip last month as part of its #ConsentIs campaign; now, Thames Valley Police have used it as part of their own YouTube public-service announcement. AdWeek calls it ‘brilliant’.

Rule of thumb: If we’re told that an issue widely viewed as complicated is actually incredibly simple… it’s probably not that simple. Mind you, the principles explained in the tea-and-consent clip should be obvious to the average 10-year-old. Take the following: ‘If you say, “Hey, would you like a cup of tea?”, and they’re like, “Uh, you know, I’m not really sure”, then you can make them a cup of tea, or not, but be aware that that they might not drink it. And if they don’t drink it, then – and this is the important bit – don’t make them drink it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to watch them drink it. And if they say, “No, thank you”, then don’t make them tea. At all.’ Also, just because she said she wanted tea last week, that doesn’t mean she wants it now. And no tea if she’s unconscious. Got that? Piece of cake.

Speaking of which, tea is fine, but if you’re going to use a gastronomic metaphor for sex, shouldn’t it be cake? Cake has connotations of sin, temptation, forbidden pleasure and guilt (at least for the weight-watchers among us). Google ‘sex is like cake’, and you’ll get over 8,000 hits. Google ‘sex is like tea’, and you mostly get references to the ‘tea and consent’ video.

So, let’s say you’re visiting a friend and she asks if you’d like some cake and you say, ‘You know, maybe I would’. So she puts the cake on the table, cuts off a slice and puts it on your plate, and then you think of all the extra calories (or maybe you see that it’s a kind of cake you don’t like), and say, ‘You know… thanks, but I don’t think I should’. No one needs a consent class to understand that if your friend grabs a piece of cake and starts forcibly shoving it in your mouth, they’re committing assault. Shoving cake in someone’s mouth is generally a no-no, unless you’re at a wedding and that person is your newly minted spouse. Ditto for threatening someone with bodily harm unless they eat the damn cake. That’s illegal, you know.

But suppose your friend says, ‘Oh come on, just one slice. It’s really delicious!’ And you say, ‘okay, sure’. Or maybe you keep saying, ‘No, I really don’t feel like it’, and your friend keeps pushing, coaxing and wheedling you until you finally say yes. Maybe she uses guilt: she slaved for hours baking that cake just for you, or made the rounds of a dozen bakeries trying to find the perfect cake! Maybe she tells you you’ve ruined her whole evening, or just sulks and pouts visibly. Finally, you agree to eat the damn cake just to get her off your back. And maybe then she badgers you into having another slice. Or two.

Is your friend being obnoxious? Sure. No one would blame you if you weren’t in a rush to visit that friend again, or complained to mutual friends about how annoying her behaviour was. On the other hand, if you suddenly decided that what your friend did was no different from grabbing you by the nose and forcefeeding you cake when you opened your mouth to breathe, or forcing you to eat the cake at knifepoint… well, your mutual friends would be likely to think there was something wrong with you. And if you walked into a police station with a story about being guilt-tripped or pestered into unwanted cake-eating, they’d laugh in your face and probably tell you off for wasting valuable police time.

When it comes to sexual assault, though, respectable mainstream studies are increasingly relying on definitions that include ‘arguing and pressuring the victim’ into unwanted sex, or ‘using guilt’. On college campuses, there are educational posters asserting that ‘if you have to convince them, it’s not consent’ (obviously, someone doesn’t get the dictionary meaning of ‘convince’!), and ‘if they don’t feel free to say no, it’s not consent’. In the media, we have rape narratives that boil down to ‘I kept saying no but he kept trying until I went along with it’.

And then, of course, there’s the alcohol issue. We can all agree that if you’re passed out or semi-conscious and someone shoves cake in your mouth, that’s assault. But let’s say you have a little too much to drink while at your friend’s place and then you polish off one slice of cake after another. Then a few days later you get on the scale and don’t like what you see. You may be annoyed at yourself for eating all that cake. Maybe you’re also annoyed at your friend because she kept offering you more cake. But are you going to have a sudden epiphany that you were actually forcefed the cake because you were drunk and in no state to make an informed, sober decision to eat it? No, you’re not, and your diet counsellor isn’t going to suggest such a thing, either.

So, to recap:

If someone offers you cake and you say, ‘Oh, I’d love some!’, that’s consent.

If someone offers you cake and you don’t really feel like eating it but say, ‘Sure, I’d love some!’, because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, that’s also consent.

If you say, ‘Thanks, but I don’t think so’, and they convince you to change your mind, that’s also consent. It doesn’t matter how many times you said no. It doesn’t matter if your friend was being an obnoxious, guilt-tripping, sulky, passive-aggressive pest. (Well, it matters. It may be a reason to reconsider your friendship. But it’s certainly not a reason to go to the cops.) As long as you were free to refuse the cake without risking some tangible harm, it’s up to you to grow a spine.

If you’re drunk (but sufficiently in control of your faculties to eat cake…), that’s also consent. If you weren’t thinking straight and ate so much cake you were sick the next day, chalk it up as a valuable learning experience.

Now, somebody make the above a public service announcement. I even have a title for the campaign: ‘Consent: it’s a piece of cake.’



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, 2015

More multicultural behaviour in lucky old Britain

Police have arrested a teenager after she was caught on CCTV allegedly punching an 87-year-old woman in the face on a bus.

Detectives said the elderly victim had 'just wanted to get home' but was left with a black eye when two grinning young women verbally abused her and then attacked her.

The unnamed 87-year-old had intervened when the driver confronted the suspects after they boarded the 166 bus on Brighton Road, Coulsdon, south London but refused to pay.

Scotland Yard said today they had arrested a 14-year-old on suspicion of ABH and were pursuing her alleged accomplice.

Footage of the incident shows the 87-year-old stand up to speak to the teenagers at around 3.20pm on Friday, October 16.

Most of the passengers then left the bus after the girls began arguing with the driver and the elderly victim.

One girl then appears to throw a punch and the 87-year-old woman is shown holding her face.

Both girls, described as black and aged between 14 and 18, ran away from the bus.

Another woman passenger came to the aid of the victim, who was taken to the nearby St Helier Hospital and discharged later the same day.

Police sergeant Arran Hillier, from the Croydon Safer Transport Team, said: 'This was a nasty attack on an elderly woman, who just wanted to get home. I urge anyone who may recognise the suspects to contact the police.'


Muslim charity boss in Britain promotes an antisemitic myth and gets away with it

English antisemites Simon Sheppard and Steven Whittle spent 4 years in jail over similar opinions

A trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust has made a video in which he claims Jews track Samsung smartphones.

The man, who posted the footage on the charity’s Facebook page, has been allowed to continue to run the organisation by the Charity Commission.

Ghulam Mustafa Trust, run by a voluntary group in Rochdale, is a registered charity which aims to ‘prevent or provide relief to those who suffer from poverty’.

In the homemade video, the campaigner accuses Jews of using secret microchips in Samsung smartphones to track users’ photographs.

As he dismantles his new phone, the man says: ‘They [Jews] are recording every photo of yours on your battery. I’m seeing if they have on mine.’

Peeling off what appears to be a tracking system, he adds: ‘You should take that off because they are recording every photograph of yours, these f***ing Jews. You should take this off. Look at that, they should not be on your phone battery.’

But in spite of the anti-Semitic myth proposed in the clip, which was originally posted online in June, the Charity Commission merely demanded that the video be removed from Facebook.

They also asked the charity improve its bureaucracy by adopting a social media policy, review offensive postings and to agree on a code of conduct for the charity’s trustees.

Jonathan Sacerdori, Director of Communication at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: ‘David Cameron has spoken about how “ideas based on conspiracy that Jews exercise malevolent power” contribute towards dangerous extremism.

‘Yet here we see the charity commission leaving a trustee in place running a charity, when he has personally made and spread exactly such a conspiracy theory via online video and social media.

‘We know also that more and more Islamist extremists are influenced by social media videos and other content. Regulatory bodies like the Charity Commission have to use the powers they have to show this behaviour is totally unacceptable, rather than feebly giving actively antisemitic trustees a free pass.’


SCOTUS takes Up Little Sisters of Poor Case Against Obama Administration

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to take up the case that the Little Sisters of the Poor--an order of Catholic nuns--has brought against the Obama administration for violating the sisters' right to the free exercise of religion.

"All we ask is that our rights not be taken away," said Sister Loraine Mari Maguire, the Mother Provincial of the order, in a statement released by the Becket Fund, the nonprofit law firm that represents the sisters.

At issue is whether the federal government can force these Catholic nuns to cooperate with the government in making sure that the health care plan they provide to their employees covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

The Catholic Church teaches that all of these things are intrinsically immoral.

"The Little Sisters of the Poor are Catholic nuns who devote their lives to caring for the elderly poor," the Becket Fund said in its appeal to the Supreme Court to take up the case. "The governent has put them to the impossible choice of either violating the law or violating the faith upon which their lives and their ministry are based.

"HHS insists that the Little Sisters must comply with a mandate that their employee healthcare plans 'provide coverage' for free contraceptives," said the appeal. "Although there is no dispute that the Little Sisters sincerely believe that all the available compliance methods would make them morally complicit in grave sin, HHS refuses to give them the exemption it has given to other religious employers, and instead requires them to comply, either directly or by executing documents that authorize and obligate others to use the Little Sisters' healthcare plans to accomplish the 'seamless' provision of contraceptive coverage."

When Pope Francis was in the United States in September, he visited the Little Sisters' nursing home in Washington, D.C., to show support for their cause.

The Obama Justice Department has argued--including in a brief presented to the Supreme Court--that in forcing the Little Sisters to allow their health care plan to be used as a conduit to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices the federal government is not placing a "substantial burden" on the sisters' free exercise of religion.

The administration wants the court to force the sisters to cooperate with the government in ensuring that their employees are covered for abortion-inducing drugs and devices through the health-care plan the sisters' provide.

Abortion-inducing drugs and devices terminate innocent human lives.

"The Becket Fund is grateful that the Supreme Court has decided to weigh in on this important case," said Mark Rienzi, the lawyer for the fund who is handling the case. "The Little Sisters spend their lives taking care of the elderly poor--that is work our government should applaud, not punish.

"The Little Sisters should not have to fight their own governemnt to get an exemption it has already given to thousands of other employers, including Exxon, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, and Boeing," said Rienzi. "Nor should the government be allowed to say that the sisters aren't 'religious enough; to merit the exemption that churches and other religious ministries have received."

Sister Loraine said: "As Little Sisters of the Poor, we offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they are welomces as Christ. We perform this loving ministry because of our faith and cannot possibly choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith, and we shouldn't have to."


UN human rights review: Countries line up to criticise Australia for its treatment of asylum seekers

Amusing that Australia should be getting criticized at a time when much of Europe is wishing that it had Australia's successful border defence policies

Geneva: Australia has copped a barrage of criticism at a United Nations human rights forum over its treatment of asylum seekers on the high seas and in offshore detention centres.

But Australia was defiant as dozens of countries called on it to wind back or end boat turn-backs and mandatory detention, and grant refugees their full rights.

Australia's delegation, which included MP Philip Ruddock, insisted that turning back asylum seeker boats and putting asylum seekers in overseas detention centres was necessary, and had saved lives.

The UN Human Rights Council's official review of Australia's human rights policies took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Monday. The scrutiny comes at a time when Australia is vying for a two-year term on the council.

During the review, representatives from more than 100 countries gave recommendations on how Australia should improve its human rights record.

Countries including Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Bangladesh - even Rwanda, Iran and North Korea - expressed concern over Australia's treatment of refugees. [What a laugh!]

The presence of women and children asylum seekers in detention centres came in for particular criticism.

Many countries called for Australia to ratify 'OPCAT' – an international convention against torture, which would expose offshore asylum seeker detention centres to new international oversight and review.

Countries taking part in the review also noted Australia's inadequate treatment of Indigenous people, the high level of violence against women, and the spread of Islamophobia.

France's spokesman Thomas Wagner called for Australia to "develop alternatives to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers, especially when dealing with children".

Germany's representative said Australia should "critically review" offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island. He recommended Australia "remove children and their families, and other individuals at risk – in particular survivors of torture and trauma – from immigration detention centres".

Bangladesh's representative said Australia's response to migrant arrivals had "set a poor benchmark", calling for the repeal of mandatory detention for asylum seekers – and she was also concerned by "firsthand reports of discrimination and racism, particularly associated with Islamophobia".

The United States encouraged Australia to "ensure humane treatment and respect for the human rights of asylum seekers, including those processed offshore". The US said the processing of refugees and asylum seekers should be "closely monitored", though it stopped short of calling for the offshore centres to be closed.

Countries not normally celebrated for their human rights records joined the criticism of Australia.

North Korea's representative said his country was "seriously concerned at continued maltreatment of and violence against the refugees and asylum seekers".

Iran expressed its "deep concern about the mandatory immigration detention regime".

And China said Australia should safeguard the human rights of "all refugees and asylum seekers who reach Australian shores".

Most countries acknowledged that Australia had made progress since its first human rights review in 2011.

However Russia pointed out that Australia had fully implemented just 10 per cent of the 145 recommendations it had accepted from that review – a statistic it plucked from this year's report by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In pre-written responses, Australia's delegation defended government migration policy during the three-hour session.

Steve McGlynn, from the Immigration Department, said Australia was committed to strong border protection measures – and a "critical element is to send a clear message that people smugglers do not offer a path to Australia".

Fewer asylum seeker boats were attempting to reach Australia, so the policy had "saved countless lives at sea", by damaging the people smuggler trade, he said. The drop in boat numbers meant Australia was able to resettle more refugees through other channels.

Mandatory immigration detention was "viewed by Australia as vital to ensuring the integrity of our migration and visa programs", he said.

As of September 30 there were 2044 people in immigration detention, and 113 children in 'alternative detention', down from a peak of almost 2000 in 2013.

Andrew Goledzinowski, ambassador for people smuggling issues, said Australia had "experimented with the free arrival of asylum seekers by boat", which had led to people smuggling networks mobilising a flotilla of more than 800 boats.

"The seas around Australia are wider, deeper and more dangerous than even the Mediterranean," he said. "More than 1200 people of whom we are aware died in the attempt to reach my country.

"Those who criticise (Australia's) policy positions need to appreciate the reasons (for them)." Regional processing "allows us to save lives", he said.

After the session, Mr Ruddock said he thought it was "a very positive performance by Australia and very well-received"....

The HRC's recommendations from the review will be made public on Thursday. They are not binding under international law.



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, 2015

Another deadly multicultural doctor in Britain

A back surgeon has been allowed to carry on working at a private hospital despite blunders that left one man severely disabled and another man dead.

Ahmed Abbas Hussein is still working at the Rivers Hospital in Hertfordshire, where he is described as having `extensive experience in spinal surgery'.

But patients are not told of his past errors, which robbed Andrew Sutton of his mobility and caused father Dean Bircham to bleed to death. Both underwent surgery to have back pain relieved.

Mr Bircham went under the knife in September 2010, three months after the surgeon received a formal warning from the General Medical Council over his treatment of Mr Sutton.

But Mr Hussein never told his patient of the warning, and nor did staff at the Rivers Hospital. Under GMC rules, neither was obliged to do so.

Mr Bircham's wife Julie, 55, said: `Had Dean known Mr Hussein's history, he would never have consented to surgery.'

During the operation - to replace a spinal disc - Mr Hussein damaged a vein, causing massive bleeding.

A week later, following the amputation of a septic leg, Mr Bircham died of multiple organ failure. Mrs Bircham successfully sued Mr Hussein and won a seven-figure sum.

Five years before Mr Bircham's death, Mr Hussein made mistakes that `devastated' Mr Sutton's life.

He accidentally tore a membrane covering the spinal cord, leading to nerve damage. Mr Hussein was originally suspended by the GMC over Mr Sutton's case, but it was reduced to a warning on appeal.

Ramsay Health Care, which runs the Rivers Hospital, said it was up to the GMC whether to let a consultant practise.

The GMC said it had received a complaint from Mrs Bircham about the death of her husband.


Mississippi flag, a rebel holdout, is in a new fight

 In single strokes after the massacre of nine black churchgoers at a Charleston church in June, Confederate battle flags were taken from statehouse grounds in South Carolina and Alabama, pulled from shelves at retailers like Walmart, and declared unwelcome, if to limited effect, at NASCAR races.

What happened so swiftly elsewhere is not so simple in Mississippi. The Confederate battle flag is not simply flying in one hotly disputed spot at the state Capitol but occupying the upper left corner of the state flag, which has been flying since 1894. And as recently as 2001, Mississippians voted by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio to keep it. Recent polls suggest the majority have not changed their minds.

“My flag’s been flying for 33 years, and I’m not about to take it down,” said Nancy Jenkins, 58, a postal worker who is white and who flies the Mississippi flag and the US flag at her house a block south of Louisville City Hall. “It doesn’t stand for hate. It means a lot of people fought and died.”

Over the past few months, there have been scattered outbreaks of municipal defiance by those who find the Confederate flag offensive, as mayors and city councils from the Delta to the Pine Belt have decided to no longer fly the state flag.

But beyond these sporadic gestures, any organized effort was always going to wait until politicians were on the safe side of this year’s election. With the closing of the polls Tuesday night, what could turn out to be the last battle over the Confederate flag in Mississippi has begun in earnest.

“It’s all about momentum,” said Dane Waters, president of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, which organizes ballot initiatives and referendums nationwide. “If you take a pocket here and pocket there of things happening, I don’t think anything is going to change.”

This week, Waters, a self-described conservative who has been retained by a group of people he declined to name, will arrive in Mississippi for a difficult task: forming an unlikely and perhaps unmanageable alliance of preachers, business executives, state boosters, and civil rights advocates to remove forever the Confederate battle flag from the state flag.

He is working with the Flag for All Mississippians Coalition, which was started by Sharon Brown, an activist in Jackson, who is black. The campaign has been organizing supporters and held a hundreds-strong rally at the state Capitol. But Waters spoke of other tools that will be brought to bear outside the public eye, such as pressure on political donors and lobbying in the Legislature.

The coalition he and others are trying to put together would need to unite groups almost never politically aligned, testing the depth of what Waters called the state’s “tremendous social, economic and racial divide.”

In the immediate aftermath of Charleston, it seemed that such a coalition might be possible here. Several conservative political leaders called for a change, including the state’s two US senators and the speaker of the Mississippi House. Down came flags at city buildings in Grenada, Magnolia, Starkville, Clarksdale, and Yazoo City. In October, even the University of Mississippi lowered the flag at the circle where segregationists once clashed with federal troops over the admission of James Meredith.

But the move to change the flag, which, in the words of the daughter of the state senator who designed it, was intended to “perpetuate in a legal and lasting way that dear battle flag under which so many of our people had so gloriously fought,” is not widely popular.

“This is what we stand for — this is our pride,” Trey Jefcoat, a 26-year-old construction worker in Hattiesburg, said on the October day that the nearby University of Southern Mississippi took down the state flag on campus. “We don’t think it’s offensive, and most of the black folks I know don’t think it’s offensive.”

Partisanship in Mississippi has become ever more racially polarized, and there are few topics on which racial division has been more explicit. In the 2001 referendum, according to the book “Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976-2008,” 90 percent of whites voted to keep the flag as it is. Among blacks, 95 percent voted for a new design, which replaced the cross with a circle of white stars.

“Don’t try to force me as a black man who knows his history to honor something that goes against my heritage,” said Robert Brown, a 42-year-old barber in Louisville, a small town in the central Mississippi pines with a population that is about 60 percent black.

Over the summer, Brown began using his post at Eiland’s Straight Line Barbershop to expound upon the causes of the Civil War, lecturing to the men who had come in for a trim or a shave about slavery, the meaning of the battle flag, and the offense of its lingering in the state flag. One evening in September, he went to City Hall to ask that officials follow the example of the other scattered towns and cities around the state, and vote on whether to fly the state flag.

He was met, he said, with mannerly talk of pressing budgets and correct protocol, and ultimately told that this was really an issue best left to the Legislature. The state flag still flies.

If a new flag is to be adopted, the simple math of a 60 percent white majority statewide dictates that it will come down to whether enough whites support it, either in the Legislature or at the polls. Feelings about the flag run so deep — as evident from the recent arrest of a man in Tupelo who was accused of firebombing a Walmart for not selling Confederate merchandise — that a widespread change of heart seems hard to fathom.

At a Hardee’s a few blocks north of Louisville City Hall, older men talked over coffee of how “the blacks” tried to get the flag taken down at City Hall and the cemetery — one man drives by daily to make sure they are still flying — and how such crusades would be as doomed across the state as they were here.

The minority who want the flag changed should not be allowed to dictate to the majority who want it kept, Carl Higginbotham, 63, said.

“Funds need to be cut off for that school,” he added of Ole Miss.

With sentiments like these widespread, many advocates of a change in the flag, Democrat and Republican alike, believe their only hope lies in the Legislature. They speak bluntly of the odds against them in a statewide vote and of the kind of international attention Mississippi would attract. But they also acknowledge that legislators and state officials, beyond those who staunchly defend the current flag, would probably be quite happy to turn over such an incendiary topic to a referendum.

Derrick Johnson, president of the state conference of the NAACP, said he would actively oppose a referendum, insisting that economic pressure was the only answer. “There’s never been a change in Mississippi when it comes to racial relations without pressure,” he said.

Representative Scott DeLano, a Republican, also said a legislative solution was the preferred way to bring about a change, but he insisted that too much partisanship or provocation could jeopardize the good will required for a successful vote.

“Within Republican circles there have been discussions about this,” he said, “about how we start the discussion and how we work towards unifying the state, and what that discussion would look like.”

“I think it’s going to take some more time,” he added.

Time appears to be somewhat short. Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican who won an overwhelming victory over token opposition Tuesday, recently came out in support of putting the question on next year’s ballot.

“I trust the people of the state of Mississippi as they are the sovereigns of this state,” he said recently. “They should be empowered as to the decision of what their flag should look like.”


Feminists need to get real

Rachel Johnson

It's all very well having a career, darling,' my mother suddenly said out of the blue one day, `but don't forget a husband and babies.'

I was outraged. I had a job and a string of unsuitable boyfriends. I was 25! But I must have hearkened to her matronly advice as, 12 months later, as night follows day, I was pregnant and married (in that order, by the way).

And now Vivienne Durham, the head of an exclusive London girls' day school, has got everyone into a frightful stew by saying much the same thing to girls.

`I'm sorry, I'm not a feminist. I believe there is a glass ceiling - if we tell them there isn't one, we are telling them a lie,' she said. `Women still have to plan for a biological fact - ie motherhood.'

Fellow headmistresses from all over the world wrote in their hordes to criticise her, accusing her of gender stereotyping, of chanting `tick tock' at teenagers, and other thoughtcrimes against groupthink.

`A head teacher who implies it is the mother's sole responsibility has neither caught up with the law about parental leave nor our changing society's expectations,' chuntered Athene Donald, a professor of physics at Cambridge.

Then a fertility expert called Geeta Nargund said there was really no need to worry about either falling off the career ladder or a biological cliff, as `girls today can put their eggs - instead of their careers - on ice'.

She called for a common national tariff for IVF across the NHS, as if a series of expensive and invasive medical interventions were a better solution to the problem of trying to have it all, rather than us breeding when nature intended and somehow muddling through. `They can use science to achieve the same as men,' Nargund claimed.

This is all rot. All Mrs Durham is guilty of is telling the truth. But for this she was metaphorically placed on the great British bonfire and set ablaze.

Nobody pointed out that all Mrs D had said was, as things stand, it's still women who gestate, deliver, and nurse babies, and this can at times get in the way of other professional or career objectives.

Indeed, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said `a wife and mother', as I didn't think other options existed, aged seven. Meanwhile, a certain blond boy who had exited the same womb only 14 months earlier replied without hesitation: `World King.'

Nobody pointed out that what Mrs Durham said was once - within living memory - so obvious that it needed no stating: that if you wanted to have children you had to get a move on in your 20s and 30s, and this was what most women did, back then.

And nobody pointed out the real elephant in the room - that no headteacher is standing in front of a group of boys and saying: `One day, lads, you will have to plan for a biological fact - ie fatherhood.'

This isn't a conversation we're having, yet, with males, even though most babies have two parents. Once the pregnancy and birth and weaning are over, both - let's say for the sake of argument a man and a woman - could in theory work out how to raise the child together.

Mrs Durham's urging of girls to check their biological calendars before planning their lives was actually a reminder that men don't make the same choices when it comes to starting a family, or career breaks. This is because only one in three women is the main breadwinner, paternity pay is a pitiful œ136 a week, and men still don't avail themselves - for whatever reason - of the right to a year of shared childcare, and full co-parenting honours, because that's not what chaps do, not in this country, not yet.

Mrs Durham was right and brave to mention, in loco parentis, motherhood as an alternative to a career or profession, because it IS a respected and time-honoured option for women, far more than full-time fatherhood is for men.

And who wants to be World King, anyway?


'Nothing to celebrate': Leftists in Spain lash out at Columbus Day celebrations

As King Felipe presided over a military parade to celebrate Spain’s National Day, several of the country’s new crop of leftist mayors took aim at the origins of the holiday, siding with a growing movement that questions the commemoration of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World.

On Monday, thousands of Spaniards waved flags and cheered as some 3,400 soldiers in uniform marched through the streets of Madrid. As armed forces aircraft flew overhead, leaving a trail of smoke in the yellow and red colours of the Spanish flag, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau decried the national day that honours Columbus’s arrival in the New World and Spain’s armed forces.

“Shame that a nation celebrates a genocide and, on top of that, with a military parade that costs 800,000 euros,” she tweeted. Her stance was seconded by several other members of her Barcelona En Comú party.

Colau’s view echoed that of José María González, the Podemos-backed mayor of the southern Spanish city of Cádiz. “We never discovered America, we massacred and suppressed a continent and its cultures in the name of God. Nothing to celebrate,” tweeted the mayor, who leads the Por Cádiz Sí Se Puede party (For Cádiz, Yes We Can).

Teresa Rodríguez, Podemos’s leader in Andalucía, also weighed in. “I think a national holiday should mark one’s own liberation and not the slavery of another.”

Her tweet was accompanied with a picture of a banner that read: “America was not discovered, it was invaded and looted. In America, civilizations already existed.”

Their comments tap into a transatlantic movement that has sought to counter the attention given to Columbus’ 1492 landing in the New World and instead highlight the cultures that were displaced in the wake of his arrival. In the US, cities including Seattle and Albuquerque, have joined the movement, renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day.

The strong stance of the leftist Spanish mayors laid bare the polarisation of Spanish society and clashed with the thousands who lined the streets of Madrid and – in smaller numbers – Barcelona and Pamplona, to celebrate the country’s national day.

Their view also contrasted sharply with Spain’s conservative prime minister, who pushed the idea of the day as a commemoration to be shared between Spaniards and Latin Americans. “October 12 is a day for all Hispanics,” Mariano Rajoy wrote in Spanish daily El País, in an editorial that highlighted the contribution of Latin American migrants to Spain.



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

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

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


9 November, 2016

Multicultural doctor kills little British boy

The lucky lad got a doctor who was both African and Muslim

 Two of the medics who treated Jack at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011 were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, and are now facing prison.

It is incredibly rare for criminal charges to be brought in a case like this; rarer still to get a conviction. But this was an extraordinary case. During the trial, the catalogue of errors made with Jack's care was laid bare - the most damning that the medic in charge, Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, 38, got Jack mixed up with another patient, the subject of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.

When Jack stopped breathing, instead of pouring every effort into saving his life, she ordered staff to cease treating him. Dr Bawa-Garba, who is originally from Nigeria but qualified as a doctor in Britain, and who is a mother of two herself, had recently returned from maternity leave when she made the catastrophic mistake, and was nearing the end of a 13-hour shift. But Nicky feels no sympathy.

'It's not even as if they looked alike,' says Nicky. 'That [other] boy was pale and fair. Jack was dark and stocky. But the biggest difference was that Jack had Down's.

'How do you get two children mixed up when one has Down's and the other hasn't? Afterwards, they tried to tell us that they had only mixed up the identities "for a few minutes". Was that supposed to be a comfort? Jack didn't have minutes to spare.'

Yet Jack wasn't just the victim of one fleeting mistake. Indeed, by the time that error occurred, others had already left him probably beyond hope. The court heard there were many red flags to his condition - which developed into septic shock - that were ignored or missed.

Abnormal blood results were overlooked. X-rays were not followed up. His nursing care was, the court heard, 'truly exceptionally bad'.

Portuguese-born agency nurse Isabel Amaro, 47, was found guilty of the same charge as Dr Bawa-Garba.


Flashpoint in Berlin as anti-immigration protesters clash with police and call for 'traitor to the people' Angela Merkel's resignation

Violence erupted in the streets of Berlin today as thousands of anti-immigration protesters clashed with police and counter-demonstrators.

Pro-migration activists took to the streets of the German capital to shout down the yells of the anti-migrant demonstrators protesting against Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy.

Furious Germans condemned Ms Merkel, waving German flags and chanting 'Merkel must go' and 'Traitor to the people'.

Around 5,000 people turned out for the anti-migration march, organised by the eurosceptic, populist-nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party under the banner 'Asylum has its limits - red card for Merkel'.

'We are demonstrating against the asylum chaos caused by Angela Merkel,' AfD member and European Parliament deputy Beatrix von Storch said at the rally.

Five counter-protests in support of migrants saw a turn-out of around 800 people, despite organisers' hopes that several thousand would attend. 

Activists protesting the anti-immigration protest found themselves targeted by police wielding pepper spray, as they attempted to break up the simultaneous demonstrations.

More than 40 people were arrested and one officer was lightly wounded after the violence broke out.

Scuffles erupted after police broke up a sit-in by counter-demonstrators, some of whom tried to break through the barriers separating them from the anti-migrant march.

Officers also intervened to stop angry exchanges between rival demonstrators.

More than 1,100 police were necessary in the capital to prevent trouble between the rival demonstrators. 

Ms Merkel has faced a growing backlash over her welcoming stance towards refugees fleeing war and persecution as Germany, Europe's top economy, faces a record influx of up to one million asylum-seekers this year.

Meanwhile, Germany's vice chancellor said today that he considers a proposal made, then shelved, by the interior minister to give many Syrians a restricted asylum status to be finished.

The definitive close to the suggestion indicates that he doesn't want to set off a new round of political infighting over it.  

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday that many Syrians should get 'subsidiary protection,' which comes with only a one-year renewable residence permit and wouldn't allow them to bring relatives to Germany for two years.

Hours later, he shelved the idea, saying things will remain unchanged for now.

Members of Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel's centre-left Social Democrats slammed the conservative de Maiziere.

Gabriel told ZDF television the plan appeared to have been produced at the Interior Ministry 'without consultation, and it is smart that it was taken back again.'

He added that de Maiziere 'took back the measure. And I think the measure is finished with that'.

De Maiziere's idea was that Syrians who don't present evidence of individual persecution but are fleeing the civil war in general should be given 'subsidiary protection,' rather than full asylum status that comes with a three-year residence permit and allows recipients to bring family members.

De Maiziere announced his idea only a day after leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition ended weeks of argument over how to process more quickly people who have little hope of asylum, such as those from Balkan countries.

They agreed to set up new processing centres, and also said people with 'subsidiary protection' shouldn't be able to bring relatives for two years - something that was thought to apply only to a few people.

Still, applause from the Christian Social Union - the tough-talking Bavarian branch of Merkel's conservative bloc - suggested that the issue may fester.

'Nothing is off the table for the CSU,' general secretary Andreas Scheuer told ZDF. 'Thomas de Maiziere is right when he says that Syrian civil war refugees should get a different a different status.'

Germany saw 758,000 migrants arrive between January and October. Syrians are the biggest single group arriving.

Last month, the founder of the EDL addressed a 40,000-strong crowd in Dresden, to celebrate the first anniversary of the anti-refugee group Pegida.

Tommy Robinson, the 32-year-old founder of the far-right group, told protesters: 'Do not let Germany be dragged back to chaos and destruction.

'All of your progress is now threatened. Your current chancellor, Angela Merkel, seems to be handing out the birth right of German citizens like she is handing out candy to children.'

He continued: 'I encourage you people to refuse the shame game. Refuse to feel guilty. Germany is not obliged to save the refugee crisis.

'This current immigration is an invasion. Our borders are being overrun. There is little or no control. A country that cannot control its borders will soon not be a country.' 


Fiorina: Conservative Women, Conservative Blacks 'Held to a Different Standard'

"I think conservative women or African-American conservatives are held to a different standard because we're not supposed to exist," Republican Carly Fiorina told Fox News's Sean Hannity Thursday night.

Fiorina described herself as a "conservative woman" who will challenge Democrat Hillary Clinton on the issues:  "And so you know, they're going to hurl a lot of insults my way. That's OK."

Fiorina on Friday will return to "The View" for the first time since mid-June, after hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins made fun of Fiorina's face following the Oct. 22 Republican debate. Among other things, they said Fiorina's smile made her look "demented."

Such petty comments would not be made about Democrats, Fiorina told Hannity on Thursday:

"And look, I'm looking forward to going back. I've been around a long time. I know the difference between an observation and an insult.

"But I think what this points out is that the left always demonizes the messenger when they don't like the message. And they didn't like my message. They haven't liked my message about Planned Parenthood and what's really going on. They tried to demonize me over that. They don't like my message that progressive policies actually harm women instead of helping women.

"So in general, what the left does is, instead of debating on the merits of the issue, they want to demonize the messenger. So I hope tomorrow on 'The View,' we can have a really civil conversation about the issues and why we differ."

Fiorina already has responded to the ridicule. During a Nov. 1 appearance on "Fox News Sunday," she noted that she had been on the View several months earlier -- and the hosts "said none of that to my face."

"Conservative women from Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann to Carly Fiorina are long used to this. It will not stop me. It will not scare me. Maybe the ladies of 'The View,' if I come back on again, let's see if they have the guts to say that to my face."

Fioirina described "The View's" hosts as "a set of liberal feminists who believe that if you do not agree with them on their liberal orthodoxy that you don't count, that somehow you're not a woman. You see, I know that women represent half the nation, so, of course, our views are going to be as diverse as men's."

This drew an indignant response from "The View's" Whoopi Goldberg on Monday, when she announced that Fiorina would be returning to the show:

"Carly will be here on Friday," Goldberg said. "Now, I will not -- but I do want to point out, Carly, that the last time you were here and you'll see b-roll (video) running. We welcomed you to our table, we helped raise your...your profile, so you would be included in the sea of men.

"There were no -- you weren't worried about, you know, any kind of Republican backlash. Nobody was backlashing. We were respectful and gave you your due. So, just so we're all clear, you have to know the difference between when somebody is coming for you and when somebody is paying you a compliment and when somebody is saying, here's my observation. If you get that together, maybe you can be president."

The spat between Fiorina and "The View" apparently has helped both parties -- Fiorina with free publicity and the TV show with ratings.

As Fiorina told Hannity on Thursday, her appearance on "The View" today is "must-see TV."


These Voters Rejected the Gay Agenda. How They're Being Punished

This past week, Houston voters rejected an ordinance that would have let transsexuals use woman's bathrooms. It's the sort of thing that is anathema to voters in that particular area of the country that might fly in New York or California. Rather than making a direct appeal to voters, gay advocates are going on the attack. Their plan- economic destruction of Houston:

The LGBT movement is not taking the rejection of Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) all that well. The measure - which would've allowed trans-women to use girls' bathrooms - was defeated by a solid majority of Houstonians on Tuesday, so activists are now trying to punish the entire city for exercising their right to vote.

The New York Times claimed the bill was only rejected due to the "hateful rhetoric" of political leaders like Gov. Greg Abbott. The Nation said the defeat made gays, lesbians and transsexuals second-class citizens.

So now the Human Rights Campaign and many other left-wing groups are calling for a full-scale economic boycott of the Texas city in response to its denizens voting in a way that didn't meet progressive approval. The main target for these activists is the Super Bowl, which is scheduled to take place in Houston at the end of this season.

The tactic is curious, and showcases the disregard for the sort of persuasive dialogue on controversial issues the first amendment was meant to protect. These advocates could have tried to humanize and familiarize Houston voters with the people they're trying to help. Instead, they've chosen the sort of divisive economic action that will only validate the concerns of social conservatives and moderates everywhere.



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, 2016

Another multicultural rapist in Britain

An Uber driver sexually assaulted a female customer in the back of his taxi. Samson Haile, 32, touched the woman's legs and said he wanted to have sex with her while driving her home from a pub in west London.

She had been out for dinner with her boyfriend, before going to a friend's leaving drinks.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, needed to be up early the next day so ordered a taxi on the Uber app to be picked up at 10.40pm.

During the journey she said Haile said to her 'you are very pretty' and asked her if she had a boyfriend, before saying 'I want to have sex with you'.

The victim said he kept repeating himself before they stopped at some traffic lights.  He then turned round in his seat and touched her leg with his hand, before moving it up to her thigh.

He drove on, and minutes later touched her again on the knee at which point she screamed to be let out of the car.

In a statement read out at Isleworth Crown Court today the victim, in her 20s, said: 'Since it first happened I was so upset and shocked, I couldn't sleep. 'It got so bad I had to take a week off work as I suffered from repeated flashbacks relating to the incident.

'I feel helpless, isolated and vulnerable, and the incident has made me lonely.. I now don't like being in a vehicle with a man I don't know. 'It has changed my life and it was the most horrifying experience I have ever had.

'I had to move since the cab journey because I was so worried the man knew where I lived. I was constantly checking outside my house in case he was there.

During the trial the prosecution called another female witness, an off duty police officer, who was also driven home by Haile, just two hours after the sexual assault.

She told the court he made similar comments and asked her if she was married, before telling her 'I want to sleep in your bed'.

The officer made a note of the journey in the police log when she went back on duty.

Eritrean refugee Haile, who described himself as a devout Christian who did not believe in sex before marriage, denied the offence at his trial.  He claimed he did not remember the journey with the woman and that he wouldn't act in that way.

The court also heard he has a degree in financial mathematics and came to the UK in 2006.

Defence barrister Zarif Khan argued a suspended sentence would be appropriate as a term to allow Haile's rehabilitation.  However, this was dismissed by Judge Recorder Sarah Buckingham who said 'the first priority of the courts is to protect the public'.

In sentencing the judge said: 'You are a 32-year-old man and you have been convicted at trial of one offence of sexual assault that took place on February 27 this year.

'On that date you had been employed as a self-employed Uber taxi driver for three weeks. But on that evening your conduct fell far below that expected of a taxi driver.  'It is important that the people that use the services of Uber, and other taxi services, can be sure the taxi driver coming to collect them can be trusted.

'You and your actions have let all taxi drivers down and you undermined that trust.'

She said: 'This is not the most serious sexual assault these courts have to deal with, but in these circumstance, with the victim being alone and vulnerable, it is extremely serious.'

She concluded he carried out the offence for 'sexual gratification' but said his cultural background may have been a factor.

However, she said his behaviour was 'wholly unacceptable' and there was a 'risk of reoffending'.

Haile, of Brentford, was jailed for eight months and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

The judge also issued a sexual harm order which will mean once released he can never be any sort of taxi driver again.


'Far Left activists' behead hundreds of pheasants after shooting them with catapults at four country estates

Leftist hate at work. Pheasant shooting is usually seen as a sport practiced by the wealthy

Hundreds of pheasants have been killed - with some catapulted out of trees and then decapitated - in attacks targeting country estates.

The killings, at four sites over just a few dozen square miles, have horrified a community where many jobs depend on field sports.

Police sources and gamekeepers believe the incidents may have been carried out by Far Left activists to target the sport's traditional upper class 'toff' following.

Thames Valley Police have described the crimes - at estates including one belonging to a cousin of Prime Minister David Cameron - as 'senseless, wanton damage and cruelty'.

Officers point out that poachers would take the pheasants away to sell, rather than mutilate them. Meanwhile, animal rights activists have been ruled out.

At least one arrest has been made so far.

Tory MP Richard Benyon, whose Newbury constituency includes two of the affected estates, said: 'Every now and again we suffer from random acts of thoughtless vandalism.

But Mr Benyon, whose family own a Berkshire estate where pheasant shooting takes place, said he was unaware of any political motives for the latest 'appalling acts', and believes they are 'senseless vandalism'.

The most recent killing spree, at the Farley Estate, Arborfield, near Reading, involved quad bikes being driven onto the land, before a number of pheasants were shot dead.

Some of them were stolen while others were left behind. Their bodies were discovered last Thursday and it is believed they were killed in the previous 48 hours.

The estate's owner, Viscount Nicholas Bearsted, 65, said: 'Mine were killed my an air rifle or a 22 (rifle) and they had quad bikes, so it was definitely the work of adults.

'We've had pheasants killed here before. You have an idea who might have done it, but I'm not sure it's class warfare.

'There are a lot of people who don't have a lot to do that involve themselves with petty crime.'

The landowner ruled out the possibility of poachers as he said dead pheasants often fetch just a few pence.

The incident comes less than a month after more than 50 birds were killed 12 miles away at the Wasing Estate, owned by Mr Cameron's cousin, the millionaire filmmaker Joshua Dugdale.

That incident, on October 10, involved missiles fired from catapults into trees where the birds were roosting.

Knocked senseless from their perches, they fell to the ground where they had their heads ripped off - which were then impaled on fence posts.

A witness said: 'There were birds apparently shot with catapults, bird feeders smashed, pheasants beheaded or smashed into railings and bodies dumped in water tanks... the losses are worth thousands of pounds.'  Police have confirmed that a group with catapults were spotted near the estate just before 6pm on the day.

A tenant on the Wasing estate, who asked not to be named, said: 'It's caused an enormous amount of stress and upset.

'People think shooting is just a thing for toffs but the fact of the matter is that shooting is responsible for most of the wildlife conservation in the UK and it's done for food as well.'

More birds were killed on October 8, after intruders broke into another pheasant farm at Hermitage, two miles from Bucklebury, home of the Duchess of Cambridge's parents Carole and Michael Middleton.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said the problem of pheasant-killing was becoming widespread.

One shoot captain claimed this year had been the 'worst ever' across Britain for vandalism and destruction of birds.

Last month, four people were caught on camera armed with crossbows in a private woodland estate in Ashford, Kent, the organisation said. Police suspected the men were seeking to kill pheasants or other wildlife.

Jack Knott, from the Countryside Alliance, said: 'It's a little bit heart-breaking especially at the start of the season.

'If they're actually doing senseless slaughter of the pheasants and not even taking them it's a bit more of a worry especially if it's the same sort of thing at different farms.' 


UK's health care falling behind rest of the world because front-line staff are bogged down with paperwork

Patients are dying needlessly from serious illnesses because doctors and nurses have too little time to care, a damning report has warned.  Experts highlighted how the UK’s survival rates for heart attacks, strokes and the most common cancers are well behind those elsewhere in the Western world.

This is partly because front-line staff are so bogged down with form-filling and worrying about the management hierarchy that they neglect basic care.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) think-tank also reveals the UK has far fewer doctors and nurses compared to most countries, including Greece, Israel and Slovakia.

Its authors calculate that the Government would need to spend nearly £5 billion hiring an extra 26,500 doctors and 47,000 nurses to bring us in line with the average.

Their analysis also reveals that women in the UK are dying earlier than in many other countries. The average British female life expectancy is 82.9 years – 24th out of the 34 nations involved in the study.

Our hospitals are fuller compared to elsewhere – only five other countries have higher bed occupancy rates – and the UK has the third worst survival rate for cervical cancer and fourth worst for breast and bowel cancer, out of 23 countries.

Mark Pearson, deputy director of employment, labour and social affairs at the OECD, said the figures were ‘dire’ and ‘really disturbing’.

He added: ‘The UK in general has mediocre outcomes despite all the attention that has been put into it. We don’t have adequate staffing to ensure basic procedures are being followed.

‘We still have annoyingly bad outcomes for hospital-acquired infections and basic things aren’t being done in the UK to the extent they are in other countries. We can speculate why.

'One thing we can collectively think about is whether there are far too many forms in the UK and everyone spends far too much time thinking about who they should deal with in the organogram (hierarchy) rather than how they should make basic processes of care work better.’

Mr Pearson added that constant NHS reforms meant staff were always having to update the way they recorded data. ‘That time is taken out of care for patients,’ he said.

Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think-tank, said the problem was partly due to the NHS’s dependence on trainee doctors.

‘It’s very difficult to get the basics right when you [only] just have the right level of staff,’ he said. ‘What’s unusual about British hospitals is that when you see someone, they are quite junior. We use juniors to provide the backbone of the workforce in hospitals rather than [senior] doctors.’

Ministers have repeatedly tried to address the problem of poor care in the NHS. Recent measures include minimum staffing levels on wards, named doctors above patients’ beds and compulsory ward rounds for nurses.

But the OECD report’s authors said such efforts were futile if there were too few staff and those who were on-call were preoccupied with bureaucracy.

The report did flag up areas where the UK is performing well, including aspects of care for diabetes, heart failure and hip fracture surgery.


An atheist and Muslim call on all Muslims to help reform Islam so it is more modern, not used for evil

MUSLIMS have been called on to accept Islam must be reformed to become more modern and tolerant, instead of it being used to justify extreme acts of evil.

Sam Harris, an atheist, author and neuroscientist, and Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, appeared on Lateline after they co-wrote a book together titled Islam and the Future of Tolerance: a Dialogue.

The men, who also founded the anti-extremist think-tank The Quilliam Foundation, argue that Islam has failed to modernise, and Islamism — the desire to impose any version of Islam over society — “has to be named and shamed”.

Mr Nawaz compared Islamism to Voldemort, the evil character that haunted and tried to take Harry Potter’s life.

In J.K. Rowling’s books, Harry is the only one allowed to name Voldemort and recognise his existence. Others are too afraid and refuse to believe in him.

Mr Nawaz said we mustn’t get to the point where we cannot even name what Islamism is. Instead, it must be recognised and removed from society.

“When we’re dealing with the challenge that we call Islamism, if we get to a situation where the president of the United States cannot even bring himself to name this ideology, we cannot even begin to tackle it. So what we’ve been doing with the British government is focusing on getting the British government and the prime minister to recognise that there is an ideology,” he said.

“This ideology is called Islamism. It needs to be isolated from whichever interpretation of Islam Muslims may happen to subscribe to and then it needs to be challenged, because we are indeed engaged in an ideological war.”

Mr Harris agreed, saying Muslims needed to change the way they also view their own religion. “We have a task ahead of us, a monumental task ahead of us, and that is to begin the process of adapting, reinterpreting our scriptures for the modern day and age,” he said.

“Islamism must be intellectually terminated, whereas Islam the religion simply must be reformed to adjust to modernity. Unfortunately many Muslims today instead of rising to that challenge are incredibly defensive when it comes to this.”

In referencing the Taliban’s attack on a school in Pakistan last year where 132 children were killed, Mr Harris said Islam needed to move away from the traditional notion that paradise can be found in the afterlife.

“A sincere belief in paradise really takes the guard rails off civilisation. You become undeterrable by death and you think that it’s impossible to kill the wrong people because if you blow up a crowd of even Muslim children, as a Muslim, well you’ve sent the children to paradise and you’ve sent all the bad people to hell which is where god wants them, so it’s impossible to kill the wrong people,” he said.

“This world is just fit to be destroyed because there’s nothing about it that matters in light of eternity.”

Mr Harris also criticised the way Islam portrays the Prophet Mohammed as an “exemplar of the faith”.

He argued he was not a “hippie who got crucified”, nor was he a “mediator”.

“He was a war lord who did many of the things that you see members of ISIS doing,” he told the program.

“And that’s why they can kind of paint by numbers and justify what they’re doing. That’s a very inconvenient fact that we have to confront head on and find someway to disavow.”



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

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

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


6 November, 2016

British feminists bitter that new British passport includes pictures of seven men, bagpipes, steam trains and a red phone box but only two women

How about adding a photo of Margaret Thatcher?  That should do nicely.  Feminists hate her

A new-look passport has been unveiled featuring an eclectic mix of British icons including tube trains, bagpipes, Bournemouth pier and desktop computers.

The Shakespeare-themed designs for the 34-page book includes a watermark of the playwright on every page which is supposed to celebrate 'Creative United Kingdom'.

But officials were forced to defend the decision to only include two women - mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace and architect Elisabeth Scott - alongside seven men.

A new passport is launched every five years, to make it harder to forge the travel documents.

Alongside Shakespeare, the latest design celebrates artist John Constable, sculptor Anish Kapoor, clockmaker John Harrison, artist Antony Gormley and designer Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

It also includes pictures of the London Underground network, steam trains, the SS Great Britain, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay, the Falkirk Wheel, the Titanic Belfast, red phone boxes and the Penny Black stamp.

Home Office Minister for Immigration, James Brokenshire, said: 'The UK passport has an international reputation as a trusted and secure travel document, and we work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of the criminals who attempt to abuse the UK's immigration laws.

'By using some of the most advanced technology and security measures around, the latest passport design is the most secure that the UK has ever issued.'

There is also just one single sheet of paper for the personal details page through to the page adjoined to the back cover to prevent the passport from being tampered with.

However, only two women are celebrated on the design for the new UK passport, which claims to showcase the country's cultural and creative heritage.

Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted: 'So tired of this shizzle - Home Office could only find 2 UK women 2 celebrate in 500 years of history. #TellHerStory.'  Emily Thornberry, another Labour MP, said: 'Here we go again - new UK has 7 men featured and just 2 women.'

Mark Thomson, director general of the Passport Office, defended the design. He said: 'It wasn't something where we said let's set out to only have two women.

'In trying to celebrate the UK's creativity we tried to get a range of locations and things around the country to celebrate our triumphs over the years, so there we are.'

Asked about the omission of female icons such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, he said: 'Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.

'We've got 16 pages, a very finite space. We like to feel we've got a good representative view celebrating some real icons of the UK- Shakespeare, Constable and of course Elisabeth Scott herself.'

The designs were said to have been developed by the Passport Office in consultation with designers and printers and authorised by ministers.


Why Palestinians Do Not Want Cameras on the Temple Mount

Why is the Palestinian Authority (PA) opposed to Jordan's proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews?

This is the question that many in Jordan have been asking in light of the recent agreement between Israel and Jordan that was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The idea was first raised by Jordan's King Abdullah in a bid to ease tensions at the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Shortly after Israel accepted the idea, the Palestinian Authority rushed to denounce it as a "new trap." PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki and other officials in Ramallah expressed concern that Israel would use the cameras to "arrest Palestinians under the pretext of incitement."

During the past two years, the Palestinian Authority and other parties, including Hamas and the Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) in Israel, have been waging a campaign of incitement against Jewish visits to the Haram al-Sharif. The campaign claimed that Jews were planning to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 m2) site, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass the Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to as Murabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).

These men and women have since been filmed shouting and trying to assault Jews and policemen at the Haram al-Sharif. This type of video evidence is something that the Palestinian Authority is trying to avoid. The PA, together with the Islamic Movement, wants the men and women to continue harassing the Jews under the pretext of "defending" the Al-Aqsa Mosque from "destruction" and "contamination."

Hundreds of Muslims on the Temple Mount, yelling and throwing objects, surround three Jewish men and their children, as about a dozen police officers try to hold back the angry crowd and evacuate the Jews.

The installation of surveillance cameras at the site will expose the aggressive behavior of the Murabitoun and Murabitat, and show the world who is really "desecrating" the Islamic holy sites and turning them into a base for assaulting and abusing Jewish visitors and policemen.

The cameras are also likely to refute the claim that Jews are "violently invading" Al-Aqsa Mosque and holding prayers at the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement have long been describing the Jewish visits as a "provocative and violent incursion" into Al-Aqsa Mosque. But now the cameras will show that Jews do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Palestinians have been claiming.

Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah's idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really "contaminating" the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.


Christmas 'buycott' to back Christian friendly businesses

With 70 percent of "faith consumers" eager to shop at Christian friendly stores, a new pre-Christmas campaign has opened to steer them to the right businesses and encourage others firms through a "buycott" to be more welcoming.

Called #AddUsIn, the effort from the influential group Faith Driven Consumer, is taking a page from the nation's LGBT lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, to reward, not boycott, firms that welcome Christians through their policies.

Organizers told Secrets that it wants companies that herald their "rainbow of diversity," typically focused on minorities, to also include Christians and their values. For example, if a company hosts a gay pride day, then they should also allow Bible studies.

Most companies are behind on the issue, but Hollywood has already embraced the 41-million Christian market with a wave of family and religious friendly movies like the upcoming "Risen" and "Ben Hur."

"In a marketplace that celebrates diversity, the Faith Equality Index focuses major brands on the newest color in their rainbow, Faith Driven Consumers. Like every community, Faith Driven Consumers expect to be welcomed by the companies they do business with and work for. FEI affords the marketplace a transparent tool to measure where brands stand," said Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Global.

"We congratulate the inaugural leaders and look forward to working with them, and the other rated brands, in the coming months—helping them all progressively improve their scores. We recognize that many brands still have a long way to go in welcoming, embracing, and celebrating Faith Driven Consumers at parity with their other diversity communities, and are diligently working with all brands as they seek to understand and embrace this key constituency."


Houston Voters Reject LGBT Ordinance That Raised Bathroom Privacy Concerns

The people of Houston rejected an Equal Rights Ordinance that that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people, with more than 60 percent of voters saying no.

Conservatives noted that among other things, Proposition 1 would have allowed any man or woman to use any bathroom, based on their chosen "gender identity."

"While much of the debate focused on biological males using a woman's bathroom, many voters told us they understood this involved a lot more than bathrooms," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said after the votes were counted.

"The mayor's efforts to disenfranchise voters and subpoena pastors' sermons and private communications demonstrated this law was ultimately about silencing and even stripping away the livelihood of those who refused to yield their beliefs to this new morality."

Earlier this month, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian Democrat, issued an unprecedented legal demand that several key pastors turn over sermons, emails, and text messages, even communications with members of their congregations, under the threat of fines imprisonment or both. The subpoenas were delivered to pastors who have spoke against Parker's LGBT ordinance.

The FRC called it political intimidation and an impermissible government intrusion into private religious affairs.

Perkins commended Houstonians for "courageously" standing up to the mayor and defending their freedom live according to their beliefs.

"Houstonians' religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the right to petition their government have won the day, but much more work remains to be done to safeguard these freedoms across the nation. No person should be punished by the government because of their beliefs," Perkins said.

Mayor Parker blamed the rejection of Proposition 1 on the "bathroom" campaign, which she called "fear mongering" and part of an effort to demonize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"This was a calculated campaign by a small, very determined group of right-wing ideologues and the religious right, and they only know how to destroy and not how to build up," Parker told a crowd of more than 100 people at an election night watch party in downtown Houston.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was initially approved by the Houston City Council in May 2014, but in response to a lawsuit, the Texas Supreme Court in July ordered the city to either repeal the ordinance or put it on the ballot.

The ordinance would have applied to businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants and hotels, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. It would have allowed residents to file a complaint if they felt they had been discriminated against based on the various protected categories. Religious institutions would have been exempt. Violators would have faced fines up to $5,000.

Tuesday's referendum drew attention from around the nation, with the measure getting high-profile endorsements last week from the White House, high-tech giant Apple and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.



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, 2016

The ‘Refugee Crisis’: Muslim History vs. Western Fantasy

Those who forget or ignore history are destined to be conquered by those who remember and praise it.

One of the primary reasons Islamic and Western nations are “worlds apart” is because the way they understand the world is worlds apart.  Whereas Muslims see the world through the lens of history, the West has jettisoned or rewritten history to suit its ideologies. 

This dichotomy of Muslim and Western thinking is evident everywhere.  When the Islamic State declared that it will “conquer Rome” and “break its crosses,” few in the West realized that those are the verbatim words and goals of Islam’s founder and his companions as recorded in Muslim sources—words and goals that prompted over a thousand years of jihad on Europe.

Most recently, the Islamic State released a map of the areas it plans on expanding into over the next five years.  The map includes European nations such as Portugal, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, and parts of Russia.

The reason these European nations are included in the Islamic State’s map is simple.  According to Islamic law, once a country has been conquered (or “opened,” as it’s called in the euphemistic Arabic), it becomes Islamic in perpetuity.

This, incidentally, is the real reason Muslims despise Israel.  It’s not due to sympathy for the Palestinians—if so, neighboring Arab nations would’ve absorbed them long ago (just as they would be absorbing all of today’s Muslim refugees). 

No, Israel is hated because the descendants of “apes and pigs”—to use the Koran’s terminology—dare to rule land that was once “opened” by jihad and therefore must be returned to Islam.  (Read more about Islam’s “How Dare You?!” phenomenon to understand the source of Islamic rage, especially toward Israel.)

All the aforementioned European nations are also seen as being currently “occupied” by Christian “infidels” and in need of “liberation.”  This is why jihadi organizations refer to terrorist attacks on such countries as “defensive jihads.”

One rarely heard about Islamic designs on European nations because they are large and blocked together, altogether distant from the Muslim world.  Conversely, tiny Israel is right in the heart of the Islamic world—hence why most jihadi aspirations were traditionally geared toward the Jewish state: it was more of a realistic conquest. 

Now, however, that the “caliphate” has been reborn and is expanding before a paralytic West, dreams of reconquering portions of Europe—if not through jihad, then through migration—are becoming more plausible, perhaps even more so than conquering Israel.

Because of their historical experiences with Islam, some central and east European nations are aware of Muslim aspirations.  Hungary’s prime minister even cited his nation’s unpleasant past under Islamic rule (in the guise of the Ottoman Empire) as reason to disallow Muslim refugees from entering. 

But for more “enlightened” Western nations—that is, for idealistic nations that reject or rewrite history according to their subjective fantasies—Hungary’s reasoning is unjust, unhumanitarian, and racist.  

To be sure, most of Europe has experience with Islamic depredations.  As late as the seventeenth century, even distant Iceland was being invaded by Muslim slave traders. Roughly 800 years earlier, in 846, Rome was sacked and the Vatican defiled by Muslim raiders.

Some of the Muslims migrating to Italy vow to do the same today, and Pope Francis acknowledges it.  Yet, all the same, he suggests that “you can take precautions, and put these people to work.”  (We’ve seen this sort of thinking before: the U.S. State Department cites a lack of “job opportunities” as reason for the existence of the Islamic State).

Perhaps because the U.K., Scandinavia, and North America were never conquered and occupied by the sword of Islam—unlike those southeast European nations that are resisting Muslim refugees—they feel free to rewrite history according to their subjective ideals, specifically, that historic Christianity is bad and all other religions and people are good (the darker and/or more foreign the better).

Indeed, countless are the books and courses on the “sins” of Christian Europe, from the Crusades to colonialism.  (Most recently, a book traces the rise of Islamic supremacism in Egypt to the disciplining of a rude Muslim girl by a European nun.)

This “new history”—particularly that Muslims are the historic “victims” of “intolerant” Western Christians—has metastasized everywhere, from high school to college and from Hollywood to the news media (which are becoming increasingly harder to distinguish from one another). 

When U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama condemned medieval Christians as a way to relativize Islamic State atrocities—or at best to claim that religion, any religion, is never the driving force of violence—he was merely being representative of the mainstream way history is taught in the West.

Even otherwise sound books of history contribute to this distorted thinking.  While such works may mention “Ottoman expansion” into Europe, the Islamic element is omitted.  Thus Turks are portrayed as just another competitive people, out to carve a niche for themselves in Europe, no differently than rival Christian empires.   That the “Ottomans” (or “Saracens,” or “Arabs,” or “Moors,” or “Tatars”) were operating under the distinctly Islamic banner of jihad—just like the Islamic State is today—that connection is never made. 

Generations of pseudo history have led the West to think that, far from being suspicious or judgmental of them, Muslims must be accommodated—say, by allowing them to migrate into the West in mass.  Perhaps then they’ll “like us”? 

Such is progressive wisdom.

Meanwhile, back in the school rooms of much of the Muslim world, children continue to be indoctrinated in glorifying and reminiscing over the jihadi conquests of yore—conquests by the sword and in the name of Allah.  While the progressive West demonizes European/Christian history—when I was in elementary school, Christopher Columbus was a hero, when I got into college, he became a villain—Mehmet the Conqueror, whose atrocities against Christian Europeans make the Islamic State look like a bunch of boy scouts, is praised every year in “secular” Turkey on the anniversary of the savage sack Constantinople. 

The result of Western fantasies and Islamic history is that Muslims are now entering the West, unfettered, in the guise of refugees who refuse to assimilate with the “infidels” and who form enclaves, or in Islamic terminology, ribats—frontier posts where the jihad is waged on the infidel, one way or the other.

Nor is this mere conjecture.  The Islamic State is intentionally driving the refugee phenomenon and has promised to send half a million people—mostly Muslim—into Europe.  It claims that 4,000 of these refugees are its own operatives: “Just wait….  It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah [Allah willing].”

It is often said that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.  What does one say of those who rewrite history in a way that demonizes their ancestors while whitewashing the crimes of their forebears’ enemies?

The result is before us.  History is not repeating itself; sword waving Muslims are not militarily conquering Europe.  Rather, they are being allowed to walk right in.

Perhaps a new aphorism needs to be coined for our times: Those who forget or ignore history are destined to be conquered by those who remember and praise it.


German official says Merkel’s open door migrant policy will lead to ‘civil war’ after thousands march through one city holding crucifixes during anti-Islam protest

A German official has said that Angela Merkel's open door migrant policy will lead to 'civil war' after thousands marched through one city's streets holding crucifixes during an anti-Islam protest.

Hansjoerg Mueller, of the Alternative for Germany party, said the country was 'sliding towards anarchy' and risks becoming a 'banana republic without any government'.

He made the claims after about 8,000 people joined the anti-Islam Pegida movement for a rally in Dresden over Angela Merkel's decision to allow up to one million migrants into the country this year.

Some demonstrators held crucifixes and upside-down German flags while others shouted 'Merkel out!' alongside doctored images of the German Chancellor in a burqa and a Nazi outfit.

The group's leaders, who have been described by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere as 'hard right-wing extremists', are demanding an immediate end to the policy.

Mr Mueller was later asked for his views on remarks made by Bavarian official Peter Dreier. Mr Dreier had reportedly told Merkel that his town of Landshut would only take 1,800 refugees if a million were welcomed to the country - insisting that the rest would be put on buses to Berlin.

Mr Mueller told RT: 'Usually he does not have the power, but we are not living in usual times. He added: 'Germany now is somewhere at the edge of anarchy and sliding towards civil war, or to become a banana republic without any government.'

Video of today's protest emerged on YouTube as prosecutors have opened an investigation into the group's founder for slander after he compared the justice minister to Hitler's head of propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

Lutz Bachmann said Social Democrat (SPD) minister Heiko Maas was the 'worst spiritual fire raiser' since Goebbels and Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler.

Von Schnitzler was a television commentator in Communist East Germany who strongly criticised Western governments and media.

The comment is the latest in a series of provocative remarks made at the regular rallies of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA).

Only two weeks ago, a speaker said that concentration camps were 'unfortunately out of action'.

The refugee crisis in Europe has boosted the popularity of Pegida's rallies in the eastern city of Dresden and raised fears about right-wing radicalism.

Many voters are worried about how Germany will cope with an influx of about one million migrants this year, many fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa.

Social Democrats, who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, expressed outrage at Bachmann's comment. SPD General Secretary Yasmin Fahimi said it was deceitful and disgusting.

A spokeswoman for Dresden prosecutors said they had started an investigation into slander.

But Bachmann said on his Facebook page that he would not be silenced.

'If the Sharia Party of Germany (SPD) and the whole press... demand hundreds of thousands of investigations, YOU WILL NOT GAG ME! I will still say openly say what I think.'

Bachmann has already been charged by Dresden prosecutors with incitement because of a post on social media last year in which he described refugees and asylum seekers as 'animals' and 'scumbags'.

No trial date has yet been set.

He quit as leader of PEGIDA earlier this year after a photo was published of him posing as Hitler which led to internal squabbles and the grassroots movement all but fizzled out until the migrants crisis swept Europe.

Support for Merkel's conservatives has dropped over her handling of the refugee crisis while the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) is up in opinion polls.


The story of my stabbing

by Ari Abramowitz

I, too, was stabbed for being a Jew.

My cowardly attacker came from behind, thrusting a knife deep into my back, just to the left of my right shoulder blade, mere centimeters away from penetrating lung. The second stab, into the muscle of my right tricep, was comparatively benign compared to the first and most devastating wound. I shouted in shock and spun around to see my attacker fleeing down the street.

At first the pain was no greater than a hard punch and, initially, I thought the attack was exactly that, a random punch. Confused as to what had just happened, I threw my left arm over my right shoulder to feel the wound, and was shocked to discover that my finger easily entered the flesh of my back. Upon seeing my hand drenched in blood, I realized what had just happened.

As I learned during my IDF service in the Golani infantry unit, when one is wounded in “merkaz massa,” anywhere in the torso, coughing blood is a sign that the lungs have been punctured and it is only a matter of time until the victim drowns in his own blood.

As I felt around my mouth for any signs of blood I began banging on the window of the closest building yelling for someone to call an ambulance.

What makes my story so noteworthy is not the miraculous nature in which I evaded death or serious injury. What makes my story worth telling is that it happened neither during my IDF service in Lebanon, Gaza, or Hebron nor during the 15-plus years of my life residing in Jerusalem. I was stabbed in New York City. Stabbed by a man, the police would later tell me, who needed to stab a Jew to be accepted into a gang.

As I sit here in my Jerusalem apartment hearing the sirens which have become devastatingly commonplace, I write this article in response to the Facebook posts I am reading from olim who are questioning the wisdom of their decision to move their wives and children to the middle of an intifada in which many fear leaving the confines of their homes.

We must open our eyes. It can happen anywhere. France, London, Seattle, New York, Australia...

Jews are being attacked everywhere with increasing frequency and ferocity every day. All one must do is scan the news to see the alarmingly dramatic upswing in anti-Semitism around the world.

When a Jew is murdered in the Diaspora, they join the millions senselessly murdered and martyred for their Judaism. But there is something fundamentally different when it happens here in Israel. When we are attacked here it is not merely because of our identity, it is because of our mission. Here we are not tragic victims, but pioneers, working to bring to fruition a 2,000 year old dream of establishing the first Jewish commonwealth in our beloved homeland.

The belief that we can flee and find refuge elsewhere is an illusion.

Man has always resisted coming to terms with the fact that our health, our lives and fate are not in our hands. All that is in our hands is whether the decisions we make are rooted in fear or desire; whether we decide to live ordinary lives or make them extraordinary.

A story told to me by Rabbi Stewart Weiss of Ra’anana, the father of slain soldier Ari Weiss, best illustrates this critical point.

He shared that after his son was killed, a woman knocked on his door, crying. She told Rabbi Weiss: “I was born and raised in Israel, but when my son turned 16, my husband and I decided to leave.

We feared for our boy’s safety.

We knew he would soon have to go into the Israeli army – he was already telling us of his insistence on joining a combat unit – and we could not bear the thought of him standing in harm’s way. So we packed up and we dragged him away to California, far from the Middle East war zone.”

The woman lowered her head and sobbed for a few minutes more until she mustered up the strength to speak again.

“When he was 18, still pining away to serve in the IDF with his high-school friends, we bought our son a car. We hoped that this would lift his spirits and make him happy. Three months ago, just after his 21st birthday – the same age as your son – he was killed in a car accident, and I came here to tell you what a fool I was for taking my child away from Israel.

“If he was destined to die young, he should have died in an IDF uniform, not in a car in California.

He should have been a hero, like your boy, and not just another statistic.”

The truth is that even with this recent wave of terrorism, we are strong and resolute. For each message of fear and doubt, there are many more expressing strengthened commitment and determination.

We must not allow these vicious attacks to weaken our resolve, not only because that would be granting the terrorists the victory they crave, but because giving into our fears would be to betray the ultimate sacrifice already paid by those who have brought us to this paramount moment in Jewish history; a moment in which each and every one of us merits to be a player on the center stage of Jewish history, advancing the Jewish mission just by waking up in the morning.

Let us heed the words of the biblical Joshua who faced the same insurmountable odds that we do today and exclaimed to the young nation of Israel: “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid or dismayed, for God is with you.”


Liberal tolerance is a one way street

The war by big government against people who don’t conform to their ever-evolving worldview continues. Take two cases in two different blue states: the Oregon bakers and the Minnesota truckers. Both objected to performing a service on the basis of religious conscience, but who was right in the eyes of the law?

The Oregon bakers, Aaron and Melissa Klein, refused to bake a cake. Period. For the “crime” of refusing service to a lesbian couple’s wedding cake, Oregon’s political correctness enforcement agency, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled they owe the aggrieved couple $135,000. The judgement could result in the dissolution of the Klein’s property, which is outright confiscation. The couple who brought the complaint were not even seeking damages.

If you would, juxtapose that with a federal court ruling in favor of truck drivers who were terminated from employment for refusing to transport alcohol, namely beer. Keep in mind, the equipment used to transport the alcohol was owned by the now defunct Star Transport, not the drivers. They chose to apply to a company that delivered these products, and expected their employer’s acquiescence. With the help of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an Obama appointed judge awarded the aggrieved truckers $240,000.

On the surface, it might lead one to conclude that the disparity is simply that the former are Christians, while the latter are Muslims; maybe that’s all there is to it.

However, assuming which religions are invoked in each case do not actually matter, what we have is a legal standard where a company cannot refuse to perform a service out of religious objections, but an employee can.

Either way, the difference is somewhat political; to put it in the literary terms of Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The government has successfully created a protection racket, under which protected classes are endowed with specialized rights, usually at the expense of groups they find distasteful.

In these cases, there are separate rights for businesses and employees.

The Kleins are an example of this, who, because they were a company, found themselves on the wrong side the Left’s newfound orthodoxy on what constitutes discrimination. And the truckers are also an example where, because they were employees, benefited from the current body of law when it comes to religious conscience exceptions.

Religious freedom under the First Amendment is not just for the benefit for the majority, but the minority as well. In that sense, a Muslim baker should have as much a right to deny services to a gay couple out of religious objections as a Christian one.

Unfortunately for the Kleins and people like them, that is not the standard. As they have learned the hard way, as a business, the government refuses to tolerate anyone who does not share their views.

Ironically, the implication is that the Christian employee of a baker in Oregon could refuse, under federal law, to bake the cake for a gay couple getting married for religious reasons, and sue their employer for firing them, but then that company will still be compelled to bake the cake under state law, all the while paying damages to the former employee.

Remember that one way street from earlier? It travels from big government, away from the freedom of expression, and for the sake of the nation, we’d better find a way to turn back. Because the unintended consequence may be that some classes end up being more equal than others.



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, 2016

Cleanse the Language and Culture So We Offend No One

Aliens can be “aliens” no longer. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) wants to refer to all immigrants in federal matters as “foreign nationals.” And if they are in the country illegally, we cannot refer to them as “illegal aliens” — they now must be transformed into “undocumented foreign nationals.”

Never mind that the proposed new designation is longer and more cumbersome, a larger problem is that the old designation is more accurate.

An “alien” is defined as: A resident born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalization, a foreigner. “Illegal” is defined as: By law or statute, contrary to or forbidden by official rules, regulations, etc.

Ergo, someone from another country who is not a citizen, who is in the country without having gone through appropriate legal processes to be here, is an “illegal alien.”

This proposed change in our use of language is being insisted upon because Castro thinks the label “illegal alien” is demeaning and hurtful. This idea ought to have linguists concerned. If words with specific meaning can no longer be applied to people or situations that precisely fit that meaning, then we have a problem that we may not be able to survive.

Frankly, if you are in this country illegally, you do not deserve any special consideration in how we describe you. If you are offended by the designation you have earned for yourself by being in the country illegally, well then, go back home, and then if you want to return, do it the right way.

The solution to removing the hurtfulness of the term “illegal alien” is to be a legal alien or a legal immigrant by following immigration and/or visitation laws, not by changing a term used in federal documents since 1790 that accurately describes the person and the circumstance.

America once was about individual freedom. You could think what you wanted, pretty much say what you wanted, and within fairly limited legal bounds do what you wanted, and you didn’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time worried about whether what you thought, said or did might offend someone, somewhere.

America did not become the country so many of us grew up in and loved by worrying about offending someone by observing long-standing traditions, or doing normal, everyday things. It also did not become the great nation it once was by accommodating people whose life consists primarily of searching out things that offend them.

One right that is not guaranteed in the Bill of Rights or by the U.S. Constitution is the right to not ever be offended. And thank goodness it isn’t. Part of being an adult is being able to cope with less-than-ideal circumstances, and each of us has an obligation to the rest of us to “just deal with it” sometimes.

Instead, many people believe that when they are offended by something, others must change to suit their preferences.

A good example of overreaction in the name of being non-offensive is that at least two school districts banned Halloween activities, one of them because 20% of the students could not or would not participate.

Milford, Connecticut parents and other residents were angered when the school district decided to ban the popular Halloween parades at the city’s elementary schools, due to fear of excluding children who can’t or won’t participate in the tradition.

An official of the school district told the local newspaper, “Milford Public Schools do have many children from diverse beliefs, cultures and religions. The goal is for all children to feel comfortable and definitely not alienated when they come to school.”

A petition opposing the decision read, in part: “These are our American customs and traditions and we should not have to give them up because others find them offensive!” And a school parent added, “I’m so tired of my kids missing out on some of the things we all got to do as children and are some of the greatest childhood memories I have due to others saying they find it offensive.”

The school district reversed the decision, however, as some obvious questions arise: What about the vast majority who could and probably would participate? Is 20% the red line beyond which traditions that some don’t like can no longer exist?

Where does it stop? How few people who are offended by some activity does it take to end it? We Americans love and treasure our traditions, and some of them have been around since before the birth of the nation.

And, finally: Is it even possible to assure, as the Milford school district intends, that all children, or adults, will always feel comfortable and never feel alienated?

Barack Obama was likely not involved in the actions of these school districts, but these actions fit comfortably within the idea of his pledge “to fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

Fortunately, there are tens of millions of Americans who want none of it, and will fiercely resist efforts to erase treasured traditions from our lives, and further are disinclined to go crazy trying to avoid offending the terminally offended.


The real reason Britain should fight to leave the EU

Being in the EU damages our democratic rights. Let’s leave

With the launch of the main pro and anti campaigns for the British referendum on European Union (EU) membership, we can be sure of seeing lots of figures bandied about on the supposed costs and benefits of either staying or leaving. So, in the past couple of weeks, businessman Stuart Rose’s campaign, Britain Stronger in Europe, claimed that leaving the EU would cost every British family £3,000. The Vote Leave campaign countered with the claim that Britain could save £350million per week with an EU exit (although it seemed to be basing this on Britain’s gross rather than its net payments to the EU budget). No doubt there will be many more financial estimates promoted in the months ahead.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend much time on the financial aspect of the debate. For a start, there are much bigger issues at stake than whether an exit would make us a little bit better or worse off. On top of that, most of the calculations from both sides are inherently flawed and meaningless.

Historic estimates of how much Britain has gained or lost economically and financially from EU membership cannot be definitive because we don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t joined in the first place. The so-called counterfactual is unknowable. For instance, it may seem reasonable to assert that British trade with EU countries would have been less if the UK had remained outside the EU and its single market. Though by how much is impossible to say, not least because British exports to the EU were already growing well before Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Who is to say that this earlier expansion in British trade to bloc members would not have continued? This makes it impossible to say how much post-1973 trade growth can be attributed to membership per se.

Moreover, we don’t know how Britain’s trading relations would otherwise have evolved had it not joined. Maybe even more lucrative trade relationships would have built up either with other advanced economies, such as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, or with emerging markets, such as India and China — all of which could have been damaged by protectionist EU policy. It is worth noting that, today, British trade is in deficit with the other EU countries, while it is in surplus with the US. So there is also no determinate relationship between a net trade position — positive or negative — and membership of a trade area.

Similarly indeterminate are the gross and, even more so, the net estimates for the future financial and economic effects of leaving or staying. The true costs and benefits arising from alternative referendum outcomes are unquantifiable today, because they are contingent on what happens after the result. The economics of either situation — being in or out — is not static or pre-determined; it depends, in particular, on the policies the British government pursues now and after the EU referendum.

This is not just to do with how the British government handles the exit negotiations and the new trade agreements, or the challenges from continued membership, if that were to be the unfortunate decision. More broadly, the future health of the British economy is much more dependent on what sort of economic and industrial policies the government implements, rather than if Britain is in or out of any particular economic or trade grouping.

A country can have free-trade relationships with areas and countries all around the world, the gains will be much less when the country’s level of productivity is low and stagnating, as has been the case in Britain in recent years. Given that Britain’s goods and services currently lack international competitiveness, government actions to help fix inadequate productivity will do much more for prosperity than securing particular free-trade agreements.

Democracy trumps the cost-benefit approach

It is precisely because it is so important that a nation is able to pursue appropriate economic and industrial policies that Britain ought to leave the EU. It is only outside the structures of the EU that economic policies are subject to democratic accountability. There are many different views on what those economic policies should be — I’ve argued on spiked that Britain needs a radically transformative set of economic and industrial policies in order to renew the economy. But for any policies to be effective, they will require open and extensive public discussion and engagement, alongside full political accountability. Unfortunately, democracy and accountability are precisely what EU membership curtails.

EU member countries have ceded sovereign control over a wide range of areas to appointed elites. So, for example, the European Court of Justice recently ruled that time spent travelling to and from home by employees without a fixed workplace should count towards time worked, and therefore should be paid. Now, we might think that’s a good or a bad ruling, fair or unfair. But the core political point is that, as national citizens, there is nothing we can do to reverse this decision – we can’t enforce policy accountability by replacing the politicians involved.

The democratic argument for an exit is therefore not based on the assessment of particular EU policies or regulation. Rather, it is based on the need to restore public accountability for the decisions the EU currently makes for us. If economic policies are decided by national, elected governments, we can assess these policies, and we can hold governments to account for them through national elections.

Although we can also assess EU policies as agreed by the European Commission or the increasingly political European Court of Justice, there is little we can do as national electorates to change them. And there is no meaningful pan-European demos — as evidenced by the steady decline in electoral turnout at European elections. Sixty-two per cent of EU citizens voted in the first parliamentary election in 1979, but turnout fell in each of the subsequent elections. Since 1999, it has been hovering below 50 per cent.

Being part of the EU undermines the prospects for securing the sort of economic policies that Britain, and other mature industrialised countries, so desperately need. Quite simply, for as long as we remain in the EU there will be less public accountability for our policies and less scope for changing them.

The EU: both hindrance and alibi

Even for Britain, which, being outside the Eurozone, is not directly affected by the most invasive forms of Brussels intervention, the EU already influences regional funding, state aid for industry, employment rights and laws, and financial regulation, as well as policies for transport, the environment, energy, agriculture and fisheries. Not having national accountability over policymaking is a problem today because economic policy sorely needs to be changed. Economic policy has become far too concerned with propping up the status quo and getting in the way of the sort of extensive economic restructuring and renewal of productive capacities that Britain and other European countries greatly need.

EU membership has become a barrier to such changes in policy; more importantly, it has become a means for national politicians to evade their own policy responsibilities. For example, the existence of EU state-aid rules can get in the way of revitalising the economy. Take the recent shutting down of the SSI steelworks in Teesside, with the direct loss of about 2,200 jobs and possibly thousands more at suppliers and in local businesses. SSI’s closure and the subsequent announcements of more possible plant closings from Caparo Industries and Tata Steel reinforce the need for substantial, sustained and active economic and industrial policies. These are required to help create the new industries and jobs for the millions of people who have lost, and are still losing, their jobs from Britain’s old industries of steelmaking, shipbuilding, textiles, cars, coalmining, and North Sea oil and gas production.

Yet the official government response to this devastating news for people in Redcar, Scunthorpe, Motherwell and Clydebridge was to claim that it was limited in what it could do because of the EU’s state-aid rules. The core point is not that British ministers’ hands were necessarily tied by the EU rules — there are always ways around any set of rules. No, it’s that ministers used the EU-imposed rules to absolve themselves of responsibility for economic renewal. The existence of the EU’s rules-based technocracy reinforces the anti-democratic depoliticisation of national economic life. It masks politicians’ own evasion of responsibility for helping to create the new industries, sectors and jobs that all those redundant steel workers need.

Leaving the EU would not by itself be an economic game-changer, but by removing one block to a national debate on, and public accountability for, economic and industrial policy, an EU exit would make a long overdue restructuring more feasible. Getting out of the EU will not automatically repoliticise economic policy. But it would remove the alibi used by national politicians who are refusing to engage in discussion about restoring productive dynamism.

Fundamentally, the political problem we face here is a domestic one, but it takes an external form in the European Union. This is not a case of nasty Brussels technocrats set against saintly British democrats. On the contrary, this anti-democratic sentiment flows from London, Berlin, Paris and other national capitals, not the EU headquarters in Brussels. But the EU as an institution does sharply express the anti-democratic trend of Europe’s national elites. The EU is more a symptom, than the cause, of depoliticisation.

Time after time, the EU has shown contempt for public participation and has quashed accountability and democratic decision-making. We have seen this most blatantly when the EU elite has ignored or bludgeoned national electorates who voted against its initiatives, as the French and Dutch did in their 2005 referenda, as the Irish people did in 2008, and as the Greeks did this year. We’ve seen it, too, in the EU’s imposition of unelected technocratic governments on the peoples of Italy and Greece in 2011. As an institution, then, the EU epitomises the contemporary political elite’s denial of democracy, its political estrangement from the demos and its rejection of popular sovereignty.

The EU’s ascendancy as a bureaucratic technocracy is enabled by the decay of democratic politics in nation states. And that decay is the responsibility of various national elites, not least the British. So when national European politicians hide behind the EU to disguise their own disdain for public politics, they further degrade democracy.

For another illustration that the biggest problem we have is at home, look no further than prime minister David Cameron’s secrecy over his EU-reform wishlist. This secrecy and opaqueness, this refusal to allow the wishlist to be part of the referendum debate, exemplifies the undemocratic and anti-political tendencies at work in Britain today. To add insult to injury, Cameron is now saying he will publish his demands in November… because other national elites told him to.

Sovereignty and internationalism

Getting out of the EU because it denies democracy is not an argument for Britain to pull up the metaphorical drawbridge. Leaving the EU is not the same as cutting Britain off from Europe, or indeed the rest of the world. Asserting national sovereignty is about a people being able to determine their own future and not have it determined for them. This applies both to purely domestic matters, such as national employment or financial rules, and to its relations with the rest of the world. Advocating the importance of sovereignty is not counterposed to being open to the world, as some EU opponents often present it.

Promoting the free movement of people, goods, services and capital across borders – not just in Europe but throughout the rest of the world, too – is a positive, internationalist perspective. The problem with EU membership today is that the rules for cross-border movement are being set and imposed in a way that is not accountable to national electorates. ‘Ever closer union’ is admirable as an internationalist aspiration, but it denies democracy when it is being imposed by unaccountable elites. It is this external imposition of policies – this usurpation of sovereignty – that is fuelling the national sense of grievance and resentment towards others.

This shows that the ideal of internationalism is better served, not sacrificed, by leaving the EU. To vote against the EU is not a vote against the peoples, the cultures and even the markets of Europe. On the contrary, it is the EU that has become one of the biggest enemies of ‘one Europe’ and internationalism. It is the main force dividing and disuniting the people of Europe today. Any presumption that the EU operates in the interests of the European people is flawed. It has become a self-serving oligarchic political institution that actively negates a pro-European outlook.

For example, during the Eurozone crisis, the EU has divided the peoples of the north from those of the south. German and other northern taxpayers are understandably reluctant to bail out southern countries — that is not something they have ever had the democratic opportunity to vote for. And Greek and other southern peoples don’t welcome the external imposition of austere national budget measures that they have had no say in.

Similarly, over the migrant crisis, people are being divided, with a supposedly progressive West pitched against a supposedly backward East. The EU once again denied national sovereignty when it used its majority-voting system to force through a mandatory migrant-quota programme that meant Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary had to accept a certain number of migrants. We should not expect the peoples in these countries to welcome the decision when they have had no say in it.

So the EU political regime, far from furthering the goal of a closer European people, has become the biggest source of European division and national resentment. Arguing against the EU in the referendum is therefore also an argument against the main driver of European disunity. It is consistent with the promotion of a truly internationalist perspective.

Regardless of whether the EU is the culprit or the scapegoat, British people should vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum. This decision would not in itself resolve all the problems of national democratic accountability. But it could be a big step towards regaining national control and accountability for the policies being pursued on our behalf, not least in the sphere of economic and industrial policymaking.

Fighting for democracy and accountability is a neverending struggle, so an EU exit won’t automatically solve everything. However, the potential benefits to leaving will provide the answer to the scaremongering ‘stay’ campaigners, with their financial prophecies of rack and ruin. Leaving the EU presents Britain with an opportunity for real democratic, economic renewal, which could strengthen engagement with Europe and the wider world.


Is policing now politically incorrect?

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he agrees with FBI Director James Comey that police are hesitant to do their jobs, given the backlash against them since the rioting in Ferguson, Mo.

"I commend James Comey for telling it like it is," Kelly told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I mean, if you talk to police officers in other jurisdictions, not only in New York where I am, they will tell you that. They are backing off.

"A lot of police work is discretionary and they don't want to put their careers at risk. They don't want to put their family's wellbeing at risk, so they are hesitating somewhat. In some people's mind, I guess, that's a good thing. In my mind, it's not a good thing."

Speaking in Chicago on Friday, Comey noted that "in cities across the country, we are seeing an explosion of senseless violence."

Comey lamented the widening gulf between police and the people they are sworn to serve and protect:

"I spoke to officers privately in one big city precinct who described being surrounded by young people with mobile phone cameras held high, taunting them the moment they get out of their cars. They told me, 'We feel like we’re under siege and we don’t feel much like getting out of our cars.'

"I’ve been told about a senior police leader who urged his force to remember that their political leadership has no tolerance for a viral video.

"So the suggestion, the question that has been asked of me, is whether these kinds of things are changing police behavior all over the country. And the answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior."

Comey said the country "can't lose sight of the fact that there really are bad people standing on the street with guns. The young men dying on street corners all across this country are not committing suicide or being shot by the cops. They are being killed, police chiefs tell me, by other young men with guns.

"Lives are saved when those potential killers are confronted by a strong police presence and actual, honest-to-goodness, up-close 'What are you guys doing on this corner at one o’clock in the morning?' policing. All of us, civilian and law enforcement, white, black, and Latino, have an interest in that kind of policing.

"We need to be careful it doesn’t drift away from us in the age of viral videos, or there will be profound consequences," Comey warned.

On Monday, Wolf Blitzer asked Ray Kelly what he thinks is driving the recent increase in crime in some of America's big cities.

"I think part of it is being driven by what Jim Comey says," Kelly responded. "The officers are not engaging in proactive policing, not engaging in a level they engaged in recent past. Actually, proactive policing in my judgment has reduced crime in this country for two decades. Smarter policing, better use of technology.

"Now, they are not taking the initiative, you might say, and that's what's causing in my judgment, not totally, but to a significant extent, an increase in violent crime in 30 major cities throughout the country."

The Obama White House takes an entirely different view.

Asked about Comey's comments on Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he hasn't discussed it with President Obama: "I will say that the available evidence at this point does not support the notion that law enforcement officers around the country are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities.

On the contrary, I think you've seen a lot of local law enforcement leaders indicate that police officers and sheriffs and other local law enforcement officials are actually dedicated public servants who on a daily basis are putting their lives on the line to serve and protect the communities that they're assigned to."

Earnest agreed that some communities, including Washington, D.C., are seeing an "uptick" in crime and violence. It's something that "merits serious consideration," he said.

Earnest also said President Obama is focused on "making sure we have a Criminal Justice System that works for the United States in the 21st century."

"I think the President certainly does believe that there are certain elements of our Criminal Justice System that are not serving the country and communities all across the country very well. And that, after all, is what the President believes should precipitate some needed reforms that would have the effect of making our community safer."

President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are scheduled to discuss criminal justice issues Tuesday at a conference of police chiefs in Chicago.


Sweden: It Is Considered Racism Only If the Victims Are Not White

On Thursday, October 22, Sweden was shocked by yet another act of madness apparently connected to multiculturalism.

Anton Lundin Pettersson, 21, dressed in a black coat and Darth Vader helmet, and armed with a sword and a knife, entered the Kronan school in Trollhättan and started killing. By the time the police shot him down, he had killed one person and wounded three others severely. One of the wounded later died in the hospital.

In many respects, the attack was similar to the one in the Västerås IKEA on August 10 -- random people killed because of the color of their skin. In IKEA, whites were killed by a black assailant; at the school, blacks were killed by a white assailant.

The reaction, however, was completely different. After IKEA, there was dead silence. But this school attack is all over the news. A white perpetrator killing black victims is apparently considered far worse than a black perpetrator killing white victims.

Like most schools in Sweden, the doors of the Kronan school, which has many Somali students, are open to the public. A few minutes after 10 am, Anton Lundin Pettersson, a native Swede with no criminal record, took a knife and a sword into Kronan, and began attacking people. Pettersson's first victim was a teaching assistant, Lavin Eskandar, 20, who according to witnesses, tried to protect students but was attacked. He managed to stagger out into the schoolyard before he collapsed and died.

As Pettersson continued his tour of the school, he seemed particular in his choice of victims. One student, thinking Pettersson was dressed for Halloween, even persuaded him to pose for a picture with her two friends on either side. Expressen, a daily, interviewed two students who were in one of the classrooms Pettersson visited. One girl described the horror:

"We saw him through the glass wall and thought it was a prank. He knocked on the door. My friend opened it. He walked into the classroom and checked us all out. Then he stuck his sword in my friend's belly. One student started screaming but we all still thought it was a prank. When we saw the blood spurt, we ran to the side. There is a small room next to the classroom, so everyone ran there."

The police arrived quickly. Two minutes later, they located Pettersson, and when he tried to attack them, they opened fire. Pettersson, hit in the chest, died in the hospital a few hours later.

The next day, the police held a press conference. In security camera footage, Pettersson can be seen marching in school halls. He left light-skinned students alone but attacked blacks. One of the victims, Ahmed Hassan, 15, died in the hospital. Two other victims, a 15-year-old student and a 41-year-old teacher, are hospitalized with severe injuries; according to reports, their condition is now stable.

Even though there is no one to bring to justice, the police are continuing their investigation, to try to establish his motive.

The police also said at the press conference that they had found a suicide note of sorts in the murderer's apartment. The exact wording has not been made public, but according to the police, the letter makes it clear that Pettersson wanted to stop immigration, and that "he did not feel that Sweden is being governed correctly." Policeman Niclas Hallgren said the letter indicated that the act was planned:

"It says that the perpetrator intends to go to the location in question and carry out the attack. It says that this will be done and that the end result may be the death of the perpetrator. ... We know that the perpetrator was prepared to end his life there and then, but I cannot go into details about how he saw this happening."

Although everyone has condemned the attack, the internet is also crowded with people questioning the huge difference on how the "establishment" has been reacting. After the IKEA murders, the Swedish government did not make a single public statement, not even to mourn the family's loss. But as soon news broke of the school attack, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven dropped everything and went to Trollhättan to condemn the slaughter, calling it "a black day for Sweden."

Newscasts and television debates were devoted to the attack, and focused on the racist motive. After the double murder at IKEA, there were no such discussions. We have yet to hear anyone condemn the racist motive of IKEA killer, Abraham Ukbagabir, a migrant from Eritrea.

When he was indicted last week, it was revealed that Ukbagabir told police he chose his victims, Carola and Emil Herlin, because they "looked Swedish." According to the forensic psychiatric evaluation, Ukbagabir is "completely self-absorbed and views other people only as a means to meet his own goals."

The double murder he committed was apparently an act of revenge. According to the police report, he said he had felt unfairly treated -- he thought he would get to stay in Sweden. He viewed Sweden as his homeland and "if an enemy disturbs you, you have no choice but to defend yourself." The rejection, he told the police, had made him feel like a criminal, and he was angry, offended and disappointed.

One of the people who reacted strongly to the fundamentally different way these two acts of murder were publicly handled is the blogger Fredrik Antonsson. In a post entitled, "Us and Them," he writes:

"Sweden is in shock. The tragedy in Trollhättan is all over the news... It is all people are talking about, writing about, thinking about ... everyone is trying to understand why. Why? Racism. Intolerance. We can already see the contours of an insane act where... 'us against them' was the primary motive. Another illusion of Sweden gone -- the illusion that this is a safe, protected country where things like this do not happen. Another question spinning around the internet is why [Prime Minister] Stefan Löfven values people differently. It only takes a little googling to realize that the country's Prime Minister is present and compassionate when it suits him, and completely absent when it doesn't feel right to step forward and condemn the unprovoked, racist violence at an IKEA store.... There is, of course, the argument that atrocities at a school are always worse than any other act of meaningless violence. But by his not dealing with Västerås but dealing with Trollhättan, Löfven has now created an image of caring, but selectively."

The question is: What does Löfven hope to achieve with an agenda of condemning all violence from native Swedes, but ignoring violence from immigrants? He and his advisors probably think that acts such as the racist attack at the school in Trollhättan will make Swedes tone down their criticism of immigration policy, and bow their heads in shame because "all Swedes are racists." There is a great risk, though, that the reaction will be the opposite -- that as Swedes become more and more convinced that no one speaks for them, they will feel an increasing need, to take matters into their own hands if they want to change things.

Just last week in Sweden, six would-be housing facilities for asylum seekers were set ablaze: on October 13 in Arlöv, October 17 in Ljungby, October 18 in Kungsbacka, October 20 in Munkedal, October 20 in Upplands Väsby and October 22 in Perstorp. Another fire broke out on Friday, October 23, in Eskilstuna. Fortunately, the buildings were all empty, so no one was hurt.

There is now an imminent danger that the school attack and the torched asylum housing facilities may be followed by many other, possibly worse, criminal acts.

After the IKEA murders, hundreds of Swedes wrote emails and letters to the government, demanding that they do something about the violence against native Swedes in Sweden. The replies contained nothing of any value.

According to editorial columnist Hans Davidsen-Nielsen, of the Danish daily Politiken: "Let us not forget that Sweden has a history of political extremism and violence, expressed among other things through the murders of a Prime Minister [Olof Palme] and a Minister for Foreign Affairs [Anna Lindh]. The climate of debate is cruder in Denmark, but once the lid blows in Sweden, it will happen with much larger force."



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, 2016

Refugee influx turns Europe to the right

Paul Sheehan

An estimated 1.5 million immigrants and refugees will arrive in Europe this year, and the inundation is driving Europe to the anti-immigrant right in election after election.

For several years, the Canadian author Mark Steyn has been starkly pessimistic about Europe. He recently travelled to Europe to see what the immigration influx looked like. He began in Sweden, the most generous country to immigrants in Europe, and had barely arrived when he had an encounter, described on his website on September 29:

"I was looking forward to sitting back and enjoying the peace and quiet of Scandinavian First Class. But, just as I took my seat and settled in, a gaggle of 'refugees' swarmed in, young bearded men and a smaller number of covered women, the lads shooing away those first-class ticket holders not as nimble in securing their seats…

"They seemed to take it for granted that asylum in Europe should come with complimentary first-class travel … The conductor gave a shrug, the great universal shorthand for there's-nothing-I-can do."

What Europeans can do is vote, and, in the wake of more than a million immigrants arriving this year, their voting is showing a clear pattern:

Britain. In the general election of May 7, by far the biggest increase in votes since the 2010 election went to the UK Independence Party, up from 867,000 votes (3.5 per cent), to 3.9 million votes (12.7 per cent). UKIP is now the third force in English politics.

France. Opinion polls show that the most supported politician in France is now Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, an anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-European Union party. In national provincial elections in March, the National Front polled the second-highest number of votes, 25 per cent, behind the centre-right UMP, with 30 per cent. Their combined vote routed France's socialist parties. Le Pen will seek the presidency in 2017.

Denmark. In the national election on June 8, Denmark swung right and the Social Democrats lost power. The anti-Muslim Danish People's Party surged from 22 seats to 37, while the conservative Venstre party won the highest number of seats, 47, and formed government.

Netherlands. In the months since the immigrant influx, Holland's most strident critic of Islam, Geert? Wilders, has become the country's most popular leader. His Party for Freedom (PVV), has polled an average 33.5 per cent in recent opinion polls, far more than any other party.

Switzerland. In the national election on October 20, the anti-immigration Swiss People's Party won the largest vote, with 29.4 per cent, a record for the party, giving it 65 seats in the 200-seat National Council. Coupled with a swing to the conservative Free Democratic Party, which finished third, Switzerland made a decisive tilt to the right.

Poland. Last Sunday, Poland turned right in the national election. The Law and Justice Party, which is anti-immigration, anti-Euro and sceptical of the European Union, won 39 per cent of the vote and formed government.

Austria. In the Styrian state election on May 31, the hard-line anti-immigration, anti-Muslim Freedom Party of Austria won a 16 per cent swing, to 27 per cent, just behind the first-placed Social Democrats.

Italy did elect a liberal president this year, but the country is still scarred by the excesses of the right-wing president Silvio Berlusconi. In Spain's regional elections, the left made big gains, but the right was in power during a recession.

What is driving the general lurch to the right is fear, a fear of rapid demographic change, high welfare costs, higher unemployment and declining social cohesion.

The epicentre of tension is Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her government would accept 800,000 refugees from Syria this year alone. The subsequent inundation, with the majority of arrivals not Syrian, forced Germany to try to rescind its promise.

Too late. More than 500 arson attacks have occurred in Germany this year targeting housing designated for refugees.

In Cologne last weekend, the mayor, Henriette? Reker?, a pro-immigration politician, survived an assassination attempt. She was severely wounded in a knife attack by an anti-immigration assailant.

Crime flows both ways. A confidential police report leaked to a German newspaper revealed that 38,000 asylum-seekers in Germany were charged with crimes in 2014.

Police are now urging segregation in immigration shelters, with numerous media reports of violence between Sunnis and Shiites, and intimidation and rapes by Muslims of Christians.

In Munich, a German doctor recently posted a warning online that went viral: "The situation here and at other Munich hospitals is unsustainable … Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff… Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units."

I began with Mark Steyn and I'll conclude with his prediction, published on September 24, that what is happening in Europe is an invasion, not an influx:

"The trains pull into German stations to disgorge men who meet no known definition of "refugees"… and who, according to the UN, make up 75 per cent of the "refugees" … Only one in five … are Syrians fleeing the implosion of their country…"

"[It is] the ruthless demographic logic of what happens when an impoverished tide of humanity [is] next door to a depopulating, not-so-gated community of soft decadent poseurs … Angela Merkel has given a generation of young men … their battle cry. And the lesson of this month is that no one will stop them."

This encapsulates a growing view in Europe from which you may recoil, as it contrasts starkly with the liberal belief that the West has a moral obligation to help the wretched.

I doubt the liberal view will prevail. The dots are starting to connect. They point to a gathering storm, building on millions of small indignities and disappointments which, over time, will add up to something large.


Christian minister disciplined by prison authorities for quoting verses from the Bible deemed to be homophobic

A Christian minister has been disciplined by prison authorities for quoting verses from the Bible that were deemed to be homophobic.

Rev Barry Trayhorn was acting as a volunteer chaplain at an institution for sex offenders when he recited the passage from the New Testament during a service.

The verses from Corinthians include homosexuality in a long list of sins, along with adultery, theft and drunkeness.

Mr Trayhorn said he wanted to explain to the congregation of inmates - many of whom have committed horrific sex abuse crimes - the Christian message that God will forgive those who repent.

However, following the service he was given a final warning after his bosses ruled that he had breached equality laws because the verses criticised homosexuality.

The ruling came despite his argument that he should be free to quote from the Bible during a religious service as the congregation would be familiar with the traditional teachings and could leave if they were offended.

He is now taking HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire to an employment tribunal, which opens in Bedford on Monday, claiming he was forced out of his main paid job as a gardener at the jail because of the intimidation he suffered as a result of his faith.

He said: ‘I was very angry. All I was doing was preaching the Bible and repeating the same message of repentance that was heard in many services.’

The 51-year-old father of three, a Country and Western singer who has played in clubs for years, started work supervising prisoners in the jail’s gardens in 2011, and later began helping out with music in the chapel, even preaching formal sermons at some services.

But in April last year, he was told by managers that he should not preach again, officially because he had not completed anti-terrorist paperwork required for clearance to work as a chaplain.

He said, however, that he had later heard there had been a complaint about a remark he had allegedly made at a service in February about same-sex marriage, though he could not recall it.

At a service in May, while he was leading the music, he said he had been ‘moved by the Spirit’ to urge the congregation to repent and quoted the Bible verses - as is common in Pentecostal services where worshippers often speak out spontaneously.

One version of Corinthians VI: 9-11, reads: ‘Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.

‘And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’

Mr Trayhorn denied he was formally preaching, but an investigation was launched by the prison.

Because he was also suffering stress as the result of problems he was having with his job in the gardens, he was signed off sick and resigned days before the disciplinary hearing in November.

But as he was still working out his notice, he was still sent the final warning in which the governor, David Taylor, ruled that, while he was not an ‘antagonistic individual’, he was guilty of making ‘provocative’ statements that breached the prison’s code of conduct.

With the support of human rights lawyer Paul Diamond and the Christian Legal Centre, he is now suing the prison for constructive dismissal and will claim compensation.

In its defence, the prison said it had acted reasonably throughout and rejected Mr Trayhorn’s claims that it had discriminated against him because of his religious beliefs.

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, said: ‘Mr Trayhorn’s words were nothing that couldn’t be found in a rural parish church on a Sunday morning and were an explanation of repentance and forgiveness.

‘Is the Bible given to prisoners now to be censored to remove anything that people may find difficult to hear?’

The Ministry of Justice declined to comment.


With Israel, the headlines tell a very different story

On Saturday, Oct. 3, an Israeli couple and their 2-year-old son were walking in the Old City of Jerusalem when a 19-year-old Palestinian man attacked them with a knife.

The attacker, Muhanad Halabi, killed 21-year-old Aharon Bennett and stabbed his wife many times, leaving a knife stuck in her neck as she went desperately looking for help. A local man, a rabbi, heard the commotion and rushed to the scene. Nehemia Lavi, 41, tried to stop the killing, but the attacker grabbed Lavi’s gun, shot him to death and also shot 2-year-old Natan, hitting him in the leg.

Halabi was still firing when Israeli police arrived and shot him, killing him.

These facts are beyond dispute. A Palestinian man attacked a young family. He killed two men, also injured a baby and nearly murdered his mother. The police killed the attacker.

I want to make that part perfectly clear before I tell you about the headlines reporting the story.

Al Jazeera English quickly sent out a tweet reporting: “Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed.” The Twitter message linked to a website story with a similar headline. The death of the attacker was the news; the Israelis’ deaths were secondary, coming after the semicolon.

Here’s how the BBC described it: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” Notice the disembodied “Jerusalem attack,” without a hint of a perpetrator. Notice we’re not told who the “Jerusalem attack” killed. We do know that the main subject of the headline, who was shot dead, was Palestinian. The Jewish Israeli victims are essentially not noted.

To long-time observers of media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tendentious wording from Al Jazeera and the BBC will hardly come as a surprise.

This, on the other hand, will come as a shock: The Washington Post story on the Jerusalem attack was the most egregious of all. “Palestinian is Killed After a Fatal Attack,” read that headline.

If you didn’t trouble to read beyond that, as many people do, all you knew is that a Palestinian was killed. Nothing more.

That tragic incident was just one of a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis in recent days. The upsurge in violence is the result of a number of factors, which I will resist listing here. After years, nay, decades of covering the dispute, everyone has a point of view on who bears the greatest responsibility for the stalled conflict.

For news reporters (and headline writers) that creates a challenge. Journalists (not commentators) are required to keep their opinions out of the news they cover. But when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, the personal views of the writers have been creeping into international coverage for years.

The examples from the Old City murders are particularly transparent, with the prejudice shouting its presence from the headlines.

The journalistic transgression was so egregious that Al Jazeera English apologized. It deserves credit for doing something that the Washington Post and the BBC should emulate.

In an editors’ note the next day AJE acknowledged the criticism from “many people in our audience,” who said the tweet and the corresponding headline with similar wording minimized the killing of Israelis. (It also misled about the character of the event, but the apology did not address that.) “The criticism is valid,” the editors said, “and we regret the wording.”

With violence increasing and drawing attention back to the conflict, this event is a timely reminder for journalists and for news consumers. Subtle bias shapes the opinions of readers, policy makers, and potential combatants. It has a very real impact.

Journalists have a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of their work.

The rest of us, news consumers, must remain alert to bias and, with today’s many open social media platforms, we should communicate and protest when unfair coverage appears. After all, the killings, stoked at least in part by tendentious media coverage, are likely to continue.


With our way of life under threat, focus on what unites us

Gerard Henderson regrets that most intellectuals and many Muslims and blacks in Australia feel no loyalty to Australia

In reviewing John Howard’s The Menzies Era in The Times Literary Supplement last May, Clive James made a tough-minded assessment about refugees, immigration and all that.

James wrote: “Until recently, in Australia, every ethnic group that came in was assimilated if it wanted to: the Muslim extremists are the first consignment of immigrants to hate Western ­civilisation almost as much as the resident intellectuals do.” Tough minded, for sure. But fair. Except that the intelligentsia in Australia is not into murder and/or destruction.

On the other hand, some Islamists openly proclaim their intention to overthrow Australian democracy and establish a caliphate whereby everyone will live in accordance with the dictates of an Islamist theocracy.

Certainly this is the view of only a very small minority of the Muslim community. Yet it is both real and threatening. This was made clear in the important report by Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop and Dylan Welch on the ABC’s 7.30 last Monday.

The program interviewed a 19-year-old supporter of the so-called Islamic State, or Daesh, who knew Farhad Jabar, the 15-year-old who murdered Curtis Cheng outside the Parramatta police station.

The 19-year-old, who came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan 10 years ago, did not attempt to disguise his hatred for Australia and non-Islamist Australians. While demanding anonymity on the ABC, the young man understands he is known to NSW Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security and Intelligence Service.

He described himself as “a normal dude”. But there was nothing normal about his religio-political ideology. Asked why he found it hard to say that Cheng’s murder was a tragedy for the victim and his family, the reply was brutal: “Why should I please the kafir — the ­disbelievers?”

So, to this Islamist, the battle is unambiguous.

There are Islamists like him and there are the kafirs. And he is waging war against disbelievers: “There is no other law except Allah’s law; people that smoke drugs, there’s no cigarettes, there’s no alcohol, there’s no brothels, there’s no clubbing — all shut down.” That’s life under the caliphate.

Earlier he had declared that “everyone wants to die for Allah” and those who died for Allah get to live “the best life in the hereafter”. It was no surprise, then, that he declined to answer whether he was prepared to get killed for Allah. This, after all, is the Islamists’ distorted interpretation of 15-year-old murderer Jabar’s death — who was shot by NSW police acting in self-defence.

The uncomfortable truth is that there are a number of Jabars in contemporary Australia who are prepared to kill kafirs, to die for what they believe is Allah’s cause. This deauthorises the position of academic Waleed Aly, who ­described such terrorist acts as the Boston Marathon bombing as a “perpetual irritant”, and journalist David Marr, who said last year that “the amount of fear being thrown into the community at the moment is disgraceful”.

The Islamists involved in acts of terrorism in Australia — or conspiracy to commit terrorism in Australia — during the past decade include Australian-born, immigrants and refugees alike. This problem is likely to be with us for a long time despite the best efforts of police and intelligence services along with the mainstream ­Muslim community.

In view of this reality, it makes sense for the rest of the Australian community to focus on what unites us rather than what divides. Yet this is not the fashion in Australia where, as James and others have noted, many of the best educa­ted happen to be the most alienated.

This is evident, for example, in the indigenous community. Talented [Aboriginal] actress Miranda Tapsell was interviewed by Karl Stefanovic on the Nine Network’s "The ­Verdict" on October 15. Despite her evident success, Tapsell said no when asked if she identified herself as Australian. Asked the reason for this, she replied: “When I go to Australia Day, I don’t feel like an Australian that day because people are telling me I can’t be part of that.” It is not clear who made such an assertion.

Asked whether she would sing the national anthem, Tapsell ­responded: “I’d mumble it in the corner of my mouth, maybe.”

Deborah Cheetham, associate dean of music at the University of Melbourne, has gone even further. In an article in "The Conversation" this week, the famous indigenous soprano revealed that she had declined an invitation to sing Advance Australia Fair at the Australian Football League grand final in Melbourne this month.

Shortly after her piece in The Conversation was published, Cheetham received a soft interview on ABC Radio 702’s program Mornings, hosted by Linda Mottram.

Mottram described the article as “wonderful” as the author spelled out her opposition to the words of the national anthem.

In short, Cheetham will not sing the words “For we are young and free” primarily because she believes it is condescending to indigenous Australians to describe the nation as “young”. Her point is that Aborigines, in what became known as Australia, go back more than 50,000 years.

True, of course. But it is also true that the Commonwealth of Australia was created in January 1901, which makes the country relatively young.

Moreover, many indigenous Australians have ­European, Asian or Islander ­ancestors in addition to their indigenous ancestors.

Tapsell, for example, told The Verdict that her father had an ­English and Irish background.

Mick Dodson in 2009 raised the familiar question as to whether Australia Day should be called “Invasion Day”. That was a reasonable point, provided that all Aborigines who have some ­non-indigenous ancestors acknow­ledge that they are part “invaded” and part “invaders”.

The threat to democratic ­society is real and immediate. It makes sense to embrace the reality of a young and free nation and to reject alienation, whether it is sparked by discontented intellectuals or murder-endorsing ­extremists.



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

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

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


2 November, 2015

Baker Who Doesn’t Want to Make Wedding Cakes for Same-Sex Couples Takes His Case to Colorado Supreme Court

Another layer has unfolded for cake artist Jack Phillips. He has asked the Colorado Supreme Court to rule that the government cannot force him to bake a cake in celebration of a same-sex wedding.

In August, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Phillips and his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, must bake cakes for same-sex weddings, even though this violates Phillips’ Christian view on marriage.

“The freedom to live and work consistently with one’s faith is at the heart of what it means to be an American,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement. “Jack simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message with which he disagrees.”

The lawsuit started in 2012, when same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after Phillips declined to bake a cake in celebration of their wedding.

Phillips, found to have discriminated against the two men, continues a battle to defend his First Amendment rights.

“We are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” said Tedesco, who represents Phillips.

A petition filed to the Colorado Supreme Court on Friday in part states:

    "Phillips … honors God through his creative work by declining to use his artistic talents to design and create cakes that violate his religious beliefs … This includes cakes with offensive written messages and cakes celebrating events or ideas that violate his beliefs, including cakes celebrating Halloween, anti-American or anti-family themes, atheism, racism, or indecency … He also will not create cakes with hateful, vulgar, or profane messages, or sell any products containing alcohol … Consistent with this longtime practice, Phillips also will not create cakes celebrating any marriage that is contrary to biblical teaching".

“In America, no one should be turned away from a shop or restaurant because of who they are or who they love,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ria Mar argued for Craig and Mullins.

Phillips, who says he doesn’t think he committed an act of discrimination, has opted since March 2014 not to take any new orders for wedding cakes rather than be forced to create them for two men or two women.

“In Colorado, bakers can refuse to make cakes with a message opposing same-sex unions but can be fined out of business if they decline to bake cakes celebrating same-sex unions,” Roger Severino, director of The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said. “There is something wrong when government respects the freedom of some to run their businesses according to their values while targeting others, especially people of faith, with lawsuits, penalties, and fines.”

In April, Alliance Defending Freedom pointed out that three Denver bakeries were not found guilty of discrimination when a Christian customer was declined a cake that reflected opposition to same-sex marriage, a view that violated the conscience of those cake artists.

“Every artist must be free to create work that expresses what he or she believes and not be forced to express contrary views,” ADF lead counsel Nicolle Martin stated. “Forcing people to promote ideas against their will is not an American concept. It undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”


The British disease:  Plenty of money to pay for an army of bureaucrats and welfare payments to illegals but no money for police

Unless the police are harassing journalists with unsustainable charges or pursuing baseless allegation of pedophlilia, of course

A village is planning to hire its own private security team to tackle a crime wave after the local police force said it was getting rid of beat officers.

Burglaries have soared 250 per cent over the past 12 months in Tiptree, Essex, and other offences are on the rise.

But Essex Police insists it no longer has the resources to react to low-level crimes or isolated incidents.

Parish councillors decided to take action after learning police community support officers would no longer be available from April next year. The village had already lost its dedicated police officers and the police station was closed in 2011.

Councillors voted on Monday to look at increasing the precept paid by the 9,000 residents to cover the cost of security staff and a warden. Earlier this month its amenities committee recommended setting aside £12,000 in next year’s budget to pay for a trial scheme.

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston has condemned the idea for potentially creating a ‘two-tier policing system’.

But villagers say they have no choice as they are being abandoned at a time when there has been a surge in crime in the area. The community has been subjected to 82 burglaries since September last year, a massive increase on the 33 during the previous 12 months.

There have also been spikes in criminal damage and arson, up from 33 incidents to 42; shoplifting, which has increased from 19 to 27; and public disorder, which rose from nine to 15.

During the same period there were three offences involving weapons, while none were recorded in the previous 12 months.

Parish council chairman Steve Bays said: ‘This is a last resort. All the council believes it should be a police officer’s or PCSO’s job. Essex Police is now a reactive force, not a preventative force.’

Amenities committee chairman Diana Webb warned criminals would take advantage of the situation if they knew there was no law enforcement.

‘We have to be realistic. There will be police cuts so we are not going to have the kind of police presence we had in the past, so we had to look at an alternative,’ she said.

‘We have a huge skate park and had problems in the summer with youngsters with fires being lit and young people gathering and using illegal substances.

‘We would look at the main times when we envisage there to be problems initially and we would trial it to see what happens.

‘The advantage of a security firm could be that they will patrol it in the evenings.’

Ironically, the skate park and a shelter at the site were installed several years ago on police advice to counter anti-social behaviour in the town centre.  But they now attract trouble and officers are too busy to monitor the area.

Many locals are unhappy about having to pay extra to keep their neighbourhood safe but accept there is no alternative.

Crime victim Peter Healey, 77, who recently had money stolen in an eBay fraud, said: ‘When I had to report what happened to me they told me to go to my local police station. I told them I can’t, it’s been closed down. ‘I was asked to do it online and it took Essex Police more than 56 days to send a reply, so I had to get my MP involved.’

Overall offences in Tiptree, which is near Colchester and is home to Wilkin and Sons jams, are up nearly six per cent over the past 12 months compared to the same period in 2013-2014.

Under a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme it could have public, private or voluntary sector staff with limited powers, including issuing penalty notices for minor offences. They would not have the power to detain or arrest suspects.

Mr Alston said he was concerned about residents paying for private security patrols.  ‘It has the potential to create a two-tier policing system,’ he said.

‘I would prefer that all of us who are residents in Essex pay a responsible amount for policing through our council tax.

‘For example, an extra 50p per week would fund an extra 300 offices in Essex working on behalf of the whole community and not just those who can afford and are prepared to pay considerably more for private security.’

Essex Police needs to save £60million over the next five years due to budget cuts. A spokeswoman said: ‘We need to put our frontline officers where the most harm is being caused in our communities.

‘That is on the frontline dealing with domestic abuse, violent crime, sexual offences and child abuse.’

Earlier this week it emerged an offer by wealthy villagers in Upton Grey and The Candovers in Hampshire to pay £60,000 for each of the next three years to keep a dedicated beat officer on their streets had been rejected.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes told them police provision had to be ‘equitable’.

In May, it emerged villagers in the Essex village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy were patrolling their neighbourhood in an effort to stem the flood of crime in their isolated community.


After Being Fired for Religious Views on Sexuality, Navy Chaplain Gets His Job Back

A military chaplain who was fired from his job after being accused of misconduct was cleared of any wrongdoing, reinstated to the Navy, and now accepted to serve at the San Diego naval base.

“I’m glad the Navy had my back,” Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder told The Daily Signal in an interview Monday.

Modder is a decorated chaplain who served at the Base Chapel Naval Weapons Station at Joint Base in South Carolina. He was removed from his unit after several of his fellow service members in the Navy complained about his views on homosexuality and sexual relationships outside marriage.

Among the allegations, the Navy wrote in a Feb. 17 “Detachment for Cause” letter that Modder told students “homosexuality was wrong,” insinuated that he had the ability “to ‘save’ gay people,” and “berated a pregnant student for becoming pregnant while not married.”

They also alleged that Modder had “failed to show tolerance” and that on multiple occasions, “he discriminated against students who were of different faiths and backgrounds.”

On Sept. 3, a high-ranking Navy personnel commander rejected the request for detachment for cause, citing limited evidence.

“I have found the evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard of duty under reference,” Rear Adm. David Steindl, the head of Navy Personnel Command and deputy chief of Naval Personnel, wrote in a letter to Modder’s commanding officer. “Modder will not be detached for cause.”

While he’s grateful for the outcome, Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder says he feels the days of what he calls “comfortable Christianity” are over.

“The days of going to Church on Sunday and going throughout the week and not ever having anyone talk to you, I think, [are] gone,” Modder said. “We live in a very secular society, very postmodern. And people want to know what you believe. Even at the risk of being maybe attacked.”

The officer also informed Modder that the matter would be cleared from his official personnel record. Since then, Modder accepted an order to serve at Naval Base San Diego.

“It’s nice to have retirement, and it would be nice just to leave, but until—and not to over-spiritualize this—but until the Lord releases me, I need to be obedient to the calling that I have on my life to be a Navy chaplain.”


Multiculturalism is taking root and reordering society

It is there in small ways. For example, when the principal at a San Francisco middle school cancels the student government election because too many white students won—and cluelessly defends abrogating the student’s choice by saying, “I want to make sure the voices are all heard!”

It is also there when Salon writes the umpteenth brainless blog post (of the morning) decrying how there are not sufficient cast members of this group or that on any given TV show.

The whole new environment has left Peggy Noonan pining for Joe Biden, because the vice president reminds her of Democrats of old.

Those Democrats “did not spend their time endlessly accusing people of being sexist-racist-homophobic-gender-biased persons of unchecked privilege,” Noonan writes. “They would have thought that impolite.”

Another Narrative

On a bigger, more draconian level, multiculturalism ends one of our universities’ core missions, truth discovery, by closing students’ minds to other viewpoints.

And at its worst, multiculturalism is a blueprint for replacing the American narrative with a counter-narrative formed by values of the left such as income redistribution, reliance on government to apportion participation in society, and thinking of people as groups rather than as individuals and their families.

Perniciously, multiculturalism builds on the works of Marxist European thinkers such as Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci, whose “Critical Theory” has greatly influenced American progressives.

As my colleague John Fonte and I wrote recently in The Weekly Standard, multiculturalism inherits from Critical Theory the idea that society is “divided along racial, ethnic, and gender lines into a dominant group (white males) and ‘marginalized’ groups (ethnic, racial, linguistic, and sexual minorities). The goal of politics should be first to ‘delegitimize’ the ideas of the American system and second, to transfer power from the dominant group to the ‘oppressed’ groups.”

Gramsci himself was crystal-clear on this: “In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”

Another Warning

Multiculturalism has corrupted our vocabulary: The term “minorities” no longer applies to groups with ideas that must be constitutionally protected, as Madison worried, but to ethnic background. The word “communities” has become a functional abstraction (“the Puerto Rican community”) rather than a physical place with neighbors, churches, stores, and a bowling league.

Multiculturalism is, thus, precisely what Peter Thiel and David Sacks say it is in “The Diversity Myth,” their 1995 book: a “word game” that has allowed Marxists to succeed, where “an honest discussion would not lead to results that fit the desired agenda.”

And it succeeds because progressive multiculturalists incessantly have told immigrant groups that they need the government to protect them from native privilege. So, yeah, we are increasingly a nation of groups. That can lead to a fragmented culture and country, with dangerous long-term effects on our stability.

You know things are bad when Obama’s own pollster, Cornell Belcher at Harvard University, is urgently warning that we have self-segregated into a “Tribal America.”

“I think you will see our politics, our legislative bodies come to a complete halt, more so than they already have, if we don’t solve for this problem, if we can’t solve for the tribalism in our politics and be one big tribe and not several separate smaller tribes,” Belcher said.

I don’t mind celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, especially if the food will be Mexican and the beer Irish on both occasions. But we’re talking about something much bigger here



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, 2015

Realism from Sweden at last?

The Swedish Foreign Minister has claimed her country is facing collapse due to the mass influx of refugees as the migrant crisis deepens.

Margot Wallstrom has said that Sweden cannot cope with taking in refugees at its current level, without it affecting services.

She says that Stockholm will now have to pressure the European Union in a bid to force other member states to share the burden of those coming from the Middle East, mainly Syria.

It is expected that Sweden will take in around 190,000 migrants by the end of 2015. In the first nine months of the year, more than 73,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden.

And Mrs Wallstrom said in an interview: 'I think most people feel that we cannot maintain a system where perhaps 190,000 people will arrive every year - in the long run, our system will collapse. 'And that welcome is not going to receive popular support.

'I have to admit that there have been moments recently of very great disappointment. I have heard statements from member states that have been completely astonishing and very discouraging.'

The Foreign Minister's comments come after arsonists attacked housing for asylum seekers in the small town of Munkedal, in the south of the country.

No one was seriously injured, although some of the 14 migrants living there suffered slight smoke inhalation. They were swiftly rehoused.

"I thought I was going to die, it was horrible, but now it's OK, I'm safe," said Ahmet, a Somalian refugee interviewed by Swedish public radio SR.

Local inquiries have been launched, but the national police authority NOA could get involved if links are established between the various attacks, said police spokeswoman Carolina Ekeus.

Since the start of the year, 15 arson attacks throughout the country have targeted refugee reception centres and apartments, reducing some to cinders. In ten of the recent spate of cases, criminal intent has been established beyond doubt.

On June 19, two Molotov cocktails were hurled at a building housing migrants.

On August 16 a Christian cross was set ablaze near a migrant centre and, the same day, another centre was evacuated after the discovery of a bag containing flammable liquid.

That centre, in the central town of Arboga, housed two Eritrean migrants who were accused of a knife attack at an Ikea store three days earlier that left a 55-year-old woman and her 28-year-old son dead.

Sweden, which is home to 9.8 million people, is one of the European Union countries that has taken in the largest number of refugees as a proportion of its population.


Being a Minority and a Conservative Is Not a Contradiction

By Jonah Goldberg

Here’s something you may not know: Dr. Ben Carson is black.  Of course, I’m being a little cute here. The only way you wouldn’t know he’s black is if you were blind and only listened to the news.

For instance, Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” — a program that often serves as a kind of artisanal boutique of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom — host Joe Scarborough expressed his consternation over Carson’s popularity. “I just don’t get it,” Scarborough said more than once.

Remarking on some Carson ad he didn’t like, Scarborough said, “This guy is up 20 points in Iowa? … It’s baffling.”  Co-host Mika Brzezinski kept saying, “I just don’t get the Ben Carson …” before trailing off into in articulate exasperation.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson took a plausible stab at why Carson is popular. “They like him, they like him,” he repeated, referring to conservatives in Iowa and elsewhere who admire Carson’s dignified and soft-spoken demeanor.

True enough; Carson has the highest favorables of any candidate in the GOP field.

But what’s remarkable is that at no point in this conversation did anyone call attention to the fact that Carson is an African-American. Indeed, most analysis of Carson’s popularity from pundits focuses on his likable personality and his sincere Christian faith. But it’s intriguingly rare to hear people talk about the fact that he’s black.

One could argue he’s even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama, given that Obama’s mother was white, and he was raised in part by his white grandparents. In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college.

Meanwhile, Carson grew up in Detroit, the son of a very poor, very hardworking single mother. His tale of rising from poverty to become the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the most inspiring rags-to-riches stories of the last half-century. (Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson in the movie about his life.) He was a towering figure in the black community in Baltimore and nationally — at least until he became a Republican politician.

And that probably explains why his race seems to be such a non-issue for the media. The New York Times is even reluctant to refer to him as a doctor. The Federalist reports that Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, is three times more likely to be referred to as “Dr.” in the Times as brain surgeon Carson. If the Times did that to a black Democrat, charges of racism would be thick in the air.

Or consider the aforementioned Eugene Robinson, who routinely sees racial bias in Republicans. “I can’t say that the people holding ‘Take Back Our Country’ signs were racists,” he wrote in 2014, recalling a tea party rally four years earlier, “but I know this rallying cry arose after the first African-American family moved into the White House.”

Wrong. Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry all used the slogan incessantly when George W. Bush was in office.

How strange it must be for people who comfort themselves with the slander that the GOP is a cult of organized racial hatred that the most popular politician among conservatives is a black man. Better to ignore the elephant in the room than account for such an inconvenient fact. The race card is just too valuable politically and psychologically for liberals who need to believe that their political opponents are evil.

Carson’s popularity isn’t solely derived from his race, but it is a factor. The vast majority of conservatives resent the fact that Democrats glibly and shamelessly accuse Republicans of bigotry — against blacks, Hispanics and women — simply because they disagree with liberal policies (which most conservatives believe hurt minorities).

Yet conservatives also refuse to adopt those liberal policies just to prove they aren’t bigots. Carson — not to mention Carly Fiorina and Hispanics Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — demonstrates that there’s no inherent contradiction between being a minority (or a woman) and supporting conservative principles. And that fact is just too terrible for some liberals to contemplate.


Wilders on trial again

Today's De Telegraaf features an extensive interview with Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, leader of anti-Islamization, anti-EU PVV, now polling as the No. 1 political party in the Netherlands.

In a process alarmingly remininscent of old Soviet show trials, Wilders once again must stand trial for exercising his freedom of speech -- the subject of this interview. Backgrounder here.  

NB: I have lightly edited the following English translation.

'The verdict seems to be ready'

by Wouter de Winther and Ruud Mikkers

PVV leader Wilders feels provoked. He says he will not get a fair chance to defend himself in the trial in which he is being sued for "group insult" and "incitement to hatred and discrimination." Almost all of his requests to hear experts or to examine whether there has been tampering with the declarations against him have been dismissed. He has appealed, because this way the chance of a fair trial would be reduced to nil.

What are the indications that suggest that you will not get a fair chance at a defense?

"I notice that the judicial authorities get more intransigent as we rise in the polls. At the first meetings, the magistrate still said to me, 'You are entitled to a fair chance, the law will be interpreted broadly. But the opposite has happened. The magistrate uncritically follows the prosecutor. If all reasonable requests are rejected, then they apparently want to convict me at all costs."

Why would Lady Justice suddenly take off her blindfold for Geert Wilders?

"For months, we have been months working on the defense and therefore you suggest that further investigations be conducted. For example, about government ministers who already declared me guilty before the trial had begun, such as [Justice Minister] Opstelten. And we also want to know what has happened with all the pre-printed complaint forms [filed against me]. We have discovered that various forms have same signatures on them! We also want to hear experts, for example about the accusations of racism. A nationality is not a race, so how can I be guilty of racism? I am convinced that if today I ask "Do you want more or fewer Syrians," no one would take offense at that, let alone that there would be complaints would be filed."

But then we are dealing with refugees without a residence permit. Not Dutch citizens who have already been here for thirty or forty years.

"Yes, but I'm talking about the concept of nationality versus race. That is what everyone objected to, while I think that would now no longer be the case. If I would ask, 'Do you want more or fewer Belgians, I do not believe that many people would feel offended. I want to hear the opinion of experts about this. I want to defend myself, but I must also be able to defend myself. The frustrating thing is that we have made 39 requests and zero have been granted. One of them has been kept in deliberation."

During your previous trial, you [made] serious and less serious requests: You asked to hear Gaddafi or invite the Iranian president as a witness. What requests did you do this time?

"I have noticed that the director of a mosque did several complaints with different handwritings but the same signature. Hundreds of complaints were done on forms delivered in that mosque. About such matters I would want to hear the opinion of experts, because this cannot be allowed. I cannot give you all the names, because that information is not public. But, for example, Tom Zwart, professor at the University of Amsterdam, and Professor Paul Cliteur were willing to testify. But they have been rejected. "

What is behind all this?

"I do not know. But I have seen on television that there are people in the judiciary who say that PVV members cannot become judges. In the newspaper I read that the Public Prosecutor had already appointed two media judges even before the decision to prosecute had been taken. And as we rise in the polls, the rejections from the judicial authorities become more blunt and unfriendly. If this continues, then it seems as if the verdict has already been written. Then I at least will have to consider whether I still need to attend. Perhaps they should just rule in absentia. For me, it makes little sense to come. If this persists, it will be a political trial and a PVV-hate trial."

Are you saying that the judiciary in the Netherlands is not independent?

"I want to talk about my case. If this persists, it will not be a fair trial. Obviously, I am also referring to the statement of that judge who said that PVV members should not be allowed to become judges. That is the atmosphere in which this is all happening."

You are again seeking the role of the underdog, you and your PVV fighting the established order on your own. Is that not becoming a bit de?ja?-vu?

"I would rather not have been prosecuted, because I think I've done nothing wrong. I do not seek the role of the victim here because I would rather have preferred that I could defend myself. But if all requests are rejected, then it is no use. Let them then quickly sentence me in absentia. I hope it does not come to that. Because it will be a circus."

What consequences will a conviction have for you?

"I will always continue to say what I have to say. However, with the difference that I would only be able to express certain messages in the microphone of parliament. Because there I have immunity. If freedom of expression is curtailed, I can no longer express certain opinions anywhere."

Virtually nowhere you get what you want. But when you do think your trial will actually be fair?

"That depends on which requests are granted and in what way. Knoops also needs to have the impression that he can truly defend me. If such a person, the best criminal lawyer in the Netherlands, says it is not fair ... that's quite something. Knoops is not someone whom you can abuse politically."

Given all the hassle afterwards, don't you regret having made the statements about "fewer Moroccans"?

"I think an excuse to make it harder for the PVV will always be found. We are under more scrutiny than policitians of D66 or the Green Left because we are very outspoken. I understand that. We also oppose the establishment and do not mince our words. If you do that you do not make it easy for yourself."

Ultimately, this trial is about the freedom of expression. You always draw the line very clearly at calling to violence, but should everything else be said?

"I think you should be able to say if you want fewer Mexicans or Syrians. That is not discriminatory and certainly no call to violence. I will always continue. Nothing will stop me to express my opinion. Not a hundred judges, not a thousand verdicts or fatwahs will be able to change that."

Can you imagine that Moroccan Dutch people feel excluded by such a fewer Moroccans statement?

"I do not really care what they feel or don't feel. The point is whether it is illegal or not and I do not think that I have done anything wrong. If people feel hurt they should address apsychologist or someone similar."

Today or tomorrow you would as easily say " fewer, fewer, fewer Syrians"?

"I'm not saying I will do that, but if I would, it would in my opinion no longer cause a lot of commotion."

Yet you do not say it so explicitly today. Has this reluctance to do with the upcoming trial?

"We are calling for fewer Syrians, that's absolutely true. But today or tomorrow, I will not be holding such a speech as last year. But if I would, and if I would say it... then I think thatnothing would happen. In America, any politician can advocate fewer Mexicans. Noone would object."


Ben Carson: ‘PC Culture’ Is ‘Destroying This Nation’

GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson says the culture of political correctness is used to “frighten people and get people to shut up” and it’s “destroying this nation.”

During Wednesday’s nights GOP presidential debate a CNBC moderator asked Carson about why he had served on the corporate board of Costco even though the company offered gay domestic partner benefits.

“There is no reason that you can't be perfectly fair to the gay community,” Carson responded. “They shouldn't automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe.”

“This is one of the myths that the left perpetrates on our society, and this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up, that is what the PC culture is all about, and it’s destroying this nation. The fact of the matter is, we the American people are not each others enemies, it’s those people who are trying to divide us that are the enemies and we need to make that very clear to everybody.”



"Jewish Trees" are an obstacle to peace?

The true threat to peace comes from the pine trees that shade the kids playing in the water in a Ma'ale Adumim park.

The pine tree, you see, is a Jewish tree.

As anti-Israel activist Michael Davis accuses, "This foreign tree displaced the olive trees of the indigenous population." The "indigenous" population he mentions were the Muslim conquerors while the "foreigners" are the Jewish indigenous population who were planting the "foreign" Jerusalem pine trees that are mentioned in the Bible by that notorious foreigner, the Prophet Isaiah.

The trees of Israel were displaced not by the Jews, but by the Ottoman Caliphate building a railroad to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Charcoal for Allah's magic railroad consumed what few forests existed in Israel under Muslim rule and every tenth fruit bearing tree. Then the Zionists, in addition to planting trees, also thumbed their noses at the Caliphate and blew up its holy railroad.

No one cuts down forests for charcoal and the train no longer runs through Israel to Medina anymore.

 But facts, like trees, are obstacles to peace. And if we're ever going to have peace, we need to do something about the Jewish facts and the Jewish trees. And the Jews who produce facts and trees.

According to the anti-Israel hate group T'ruah, the trees planted by the Jewish National Fund block peace. According to T'ruah head Jill Jacobs, planting trees in '67 Israel violates Jewish "values."

Jacobs, who sits on J Street's Rabbinic cabinet and backed the Iran deal that lets the terror state get nukes and fund Hezbollah and Hamas, claims that it's the Jewish arboreal menace that is "getting in the way of a secure future for Israel."

It's the trees, not the nukes, that are the problem.



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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

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

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think so. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

There really is an actress named Donna Air

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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