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.

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

30 November, 2017

Canada Couple Denied Adoption Because They Oppose Homosexuality

An evangelical Christian couple in Alberta, Canada, has taken the provincial government to court, charging that they were denied the right to adopt a child because of their conviction that homosexual behavior is a sin.

As reported by Canada's National Post, the unnamed couple said that they had initially received a recommendation to adopt, with a Catholic Social Services worker whom the couple had worked with saying in her report that she was “pleased” to recommend them for adoption. The report noted that the couple was employed, owned their own home, and had a happy and healthy family and community network. The couple's hope was to adopt a child, or up to three siblings between the ages of seven and 17.

However, the report also recommended that a “homosexual child” not be placed with the couple, because of their religious opposition to that lifestyle. That information prompted the Alberta Child and Family Services department to put the brakes on the couple's application, and to call for further home study.

According to Canada's Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative legal organization that is representing the couple, when it was found that the couple were evangelical Christians with biblical views on marriage and sexuality, the door for adoption quickly closed on them.

In March 2017, Catholic Social Services advised the couple “that it was reversing its recommendation that they be approved for adoption,” related the Justice Centre in a press release on the case. “The rejection letter enclosed a revised Home Study Report that stated the couple should not be approved as adoptive parents because they would be unable to 'help' a child who 'has sexual identity issues.' The rejection letter did not explain how or why the couple would be unable to 'help' a child that they valued, loved and respected. The couple asked Catholic Social Services to reconsider their decision, but were refused.”

During a follow-up meeting with officials from Alberta's Child and Family Services office, a caseworker explained to the couple that Child and Family Services considered their religious beliefs regarding sexuality to be a “rejection” of children with LGBT sexual identities. At the meeting the couple was informed that the denial of their application was final.

“I was angry at the injustice of the situation,” the wife stated in a court affidavit. “Despite our stability, our kindness, our dedication to helping people, despite our willingness to take a child in who needed parents, and consider him or her our own for the rest of our lives, we were being discriminated against based on our religious beliefs.”

John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre, said that “making determinations about who is suitable to adopt on the basis of their sincere religious beliefs violates this couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law as guaranteed in the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] and in Alberta’s own Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act.”

He added that if not successfully challenged, “this decision would have grave consequences for the freedoms of all Canadians, not to mention adverse consequences for the many children who will never be adopted if the government continues with this discrimination.”

The Justice Centre is seeking a court declaration that the decision by Alberta's Child and Family Services to deny adoption for the couple is “unreasonable and void by virtue of arbitrariness, bias, bad faith, as well as breaches of procedural fairness and natural justice.” The Centre is also seeking a court order to approve the couple as adoptive parents.


Florida jury’s verdict thrown out because they weren’t tested for homophobia

A federal court has thrown out a Florida jury’s verdict clearing police of misconduct charges, claiming the jury hadn’t been vetted for homophobia and may have been biased against the gay plaintiff.

Raymond Berthiaume accused Lt. David Smith of the Key West Police Department of framing him for battery by forcing his friend to make false testimony in 2013, the Miami Herald reported. While the jury cleared Smith of wrongdoing, a federal appellate court tossed out the verdict because the district court had “refused” to ask potential jurors questions about potential bias based on sexual orientation. Berthiaume will now receive a second trial.

“The district court here asked the jurors multiple questions about any biases or prejudices they might have against law enforcement,” reads the decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. “But the district court refused to ask any questions at all about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore, we have no way to discern whether the jury was biased against the plaintiff for that reason.”

The original incident took place in 2013 when Berthiaume — clad in a loincloth and flip-flops — was leaving “Fantasy Fest 2013” along with several friends. The group got into an argument about whether they should call it a night, and Berthiaume’s then-partner stole the group’s car keys to force them into staying out later. Berthiaume smacked a street sign in frustration and Smith knocked him to the ground and arrested him for domestic battery, but the man was never charged.

Smith retired from the force in 2015 after 25 years with the department. Berthiaume filed a lawsuit against Smith the same year, claiming he had attempted to get one of his friends to lie about the incident. He demanded $15,000 in compensation for surgeries he apparently had to repair injuries suffered by being knocked to the ground.

While the jury ruled against Berthiaume in 2016, its verdict has now been revoked.

“Berthiaume noted that homosexuals had only recently begun to gain acceptance in society, and many people still harbor bias or prejudice against homosexuals,” the ruling reads. “Accordingly, Berthiaume contended that in a case such as his, involving both a gay party and gay witnesses, it is necessary for courts to inquire into prospective jurors’ potential biases against homosexuals to ensure a fair trial.”


The Freddie Gray police hearings are over. What did we learn?

When Lt. Brian Rice was cleared of wrongdoing at the Baltimore police disciplinary boards recently, that left only one more officer to go. Sgt. Alicia White was the last of the officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray to face the board. Even though she’d been found guilty of no crime, the possibility existed that official misconduct could have resulted in administrative discipline up to and including losing her job.

Now that process has concluded as well. White was found guilty of nothing, received no discipline and will return to her beat.

So that’s the end of years worth of angst, accusations, anger and riots. This was one of the most closely scrutinized police encounters in the country and in the end, no wrongdoing was found either in criminal trials or before disciplinary boards composed of both police officials and community leaders. There was, as it turned out, nothing to find.

Sadly, the local paper is still describing this as “an end to efforts to hold police officers accountable…”

Seriously? How much more accountable could they be at this point? The media is getting plenty of help in trying to roil up the masses. Here’s Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund:

    “A young man entered the custody of police and within an hour his spine was broken, his voice box crushed,” she said. “Our city has been defined by this. Now Baltimore must decide how to go forward. Baltimore must commit itself to whatever changes to policing, to internal police discipline, to our legal system are needed to ensure that this cannot happen with impunity ever again.”

Obviously, nothing happened “with impunity” except for cops using outdated safety and operating procedures during an arrest. But that doesn’t mean that things haven’t improved. The procedures for arrests and transport have been modernized. Body cameras are in use by police virtually everywhere in the city now.

Perhaps things might get a bit better now. There’s room for hope, anyway. But did we learn anything? Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun asks and answers the question of whether or not there were any lessons taken away from all of this. And he even manages to find room to agree with Sherrilyn Ifill (quoted above), at least to a degree. The city is at a crossroads and might come out of this better for the process.

    Here are a few: That insinuation is not evidence, and that the burden of proof is a heavy one, and even more so when the defendants are police officers being tried for actions in the line of duty. That videos have the power to reveal truth, but we still can’t jump to conclusions about criminal intent. That there was a perfect-storm nature to the reaction to Freddie Gray’s death, coming as it did after the deaths of other black men at the hands of police.

Nothing was ever going to improve in terms of civilian cooperation with law enforcement in the city with the worst per capita murder rate in America without getting the communities and the police talking to each other. It’s been a rocky road to travel, but that conversation has begun and continues to this day.

Hopefully the residents of Charm City feel like their concerns are being heard. And on the other side of the coin, perhaps they can be a bit less suspicious of the men and women in uniform who are trying to protect them. That might be the beginning of some actual healing. Let’s all hope so, because Baltimore is in desperate need of help.


Planned Parenthood Is in Deep Trouble With the Law. This Could Be a Turning Point

We are living through a remarkable time in history. Almost daily, those in influential positions who once appeared untouchable are falling out of popular favor as their abuses are exposed.

Earlier this month, one particularly corrupt institution was dealt back-to-back blows: Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.

On Nov. 13, The Hill reported that the FBI may be investigating Planned Parenthood and its associates for the sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit. It’s the latest development yet in a scandal that began in 2015 with the release of explosive undercover videos.

Those videos showed abortion industry executives haggling over the price of hearts, livers, brains, and kidneys and describing, in chilling detail, their techniques for crushing late-term babies to get the freshest organs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives spent almost one-and-a-half years conducting a national investigation, reviewing 30,000 pages of documents, and hearing hours of testimony.

They found enough evidence to refer several Planned Parenthood affiliates and tissue procurement companies for potential prosecution. Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested that if the FBI concurs, charges might be filed.

Then came the second punch.

Just as news of the FBI inquiry broke, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declined to revisit its ruling that the state of Arkansas can redirect Medicaid funds away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which the state is completely justified in doing considering the ongoing baby parts scandal.

These two major breakthroughs would have been inconceivable under the Obama administration, which repeatedly abused federal power to prop up the abortion industry.

President Barack Obama’s aggressively pro-abortion administration put the “bully” in “bully pulpit.” Under Obama, the Justice Department became a tool to harass and intimidate pro-life advocates, labeling them domestic terrorists alongside groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Instead of investigating Planned Parenthood for the shocking, potentially illegal practices exposed in the videos, pro-abortion Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided to investigate the whistleblowers.

The Obama administration also actively interfered with state efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina—all these states tried to get taxpayers out of the abortion industry, only to have the federal government bypass local officials to directly award lucrative contracts to Planned Parenthood or threaten to withhold federal Medicaid funds unless they kept tax dollars flowing.

As one last parting gift, during Obama’s final weeks in office, his administration issued an order banning states from defunding Planned Parenthood under Title X, which took effect two days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Through it all, Obama’s court appointees have generally been reliable backers of abortion. One Obama appointee even compared an abortion to a tonsillectomy in a recent case that would have created new “rights” to abortion on demand for illegal immigrants.

But there’s a new sheriff in Washington now, and a palpable sense of terror is gripping Planned Parenthood and its camp. Without their defender-in-chief or the courts to bail them out, they are finally being held accountable.

Trump has busily set about undoing his predecessor’s destructive pro-abortion legacy. He has filled his Cabinet with pro-life officials, and has filled court vacancies with outstanding judges like Neil Gorsuch who faithfully interpret the Constitution.

Right away, Trump signed legislation (H.J. Res. 43) rolling back Obama’s parting gift to the abortion industry—something that, on a personal note, I was proud to witness in the Oval Office.

Trump’s strong commitment to pro-life policies has helped embolden state governors and legislatures. Texas has now applied to reclaim the federal funding it was denied under the last administration. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster in August successfully defunded Planned Parenthood and requested a waiver from the Trump administration so that the state can do the same with Medicaid, which is where the abortion business gets most of its taxpayer funding.

The next step is for the Trump administration to issue new guidance to the states restoring their freedom to prioritize Medicaid funds the way they believe will best serve their citizens. The administration must be prepared to defend that policy vigorously should the case go to the Supreme Court.

The pro-life majorities in both houses of Congress should also fulfill their promise to redirect half a billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood using budget reconciliation, where they have the best chance of succeeding.

Sometimes justice is a long time coming, but as two of our nation’s greatest thinkers—Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr.—pointed out, it “cannot sleep forever” and “the arc of the moral universe … bends toward justice.”

There are good reasons to hope that for America’s abortion giant, justice is right around the corner.



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

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

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


29 November, 2017

Lone Democrat Says Conyers Should Resign; Asks Why Are Rules for Politicians Different?

Kathleen appears to be a dear little soul but she has somehow overlooked the race obsession of her party. Conyers will skate because he is black

Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York is the first, and so far the only Democrat to publicly call for Rep. John Conyers' resignation from the congressional seat he's held for 27 terms.

Conyers (D-Mich.) announced on Sunday that he will step down as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, but he denies the sexual harassment allegations against him and has made no announcement about leaving Congress.

One day after issuing a statement saying Conyers should resign, Rice told CNN's "New Day" on Friday that “enough is enough.”

“At this point, what I am voicing publicly is what every single private citizen is saying across America,” Rice said. “Why are the rules for politicians in Washington different than they are for everyone else? And the list is endless. Compare what happened to Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Mark Halperin. All appropriate consequences.

“And yet once we get into the realm of politicians, well, get the ethics commission into it. And you know, let's investigate this, and you know, and take forever to come up with a conclusion.”

Rice said people are sick and tired of the fact that the rules for politicians in Washington are different than they are for “regular people.”

Rice, a former prosecutor, said she experienced sexual harassment 30 years ago in her first job in Brooklyn:

“And it was brutal. Ultimately you don't make things like that public. Because as a woman in the workplace, if you say this is happening to me, you’ve become a professional pariah. You don't have any choice but to accept it if the workplace is not going to address the issue.”

Rice said many men facing sexual harassment allegations are never going to answer for the accusations in a court of law, and many of the victims aren’t going to have their day in court, either.

“Right now, what we're talking about is, is there going to be any level of accountability.  And saying that we're going to have these allegations against politicians go before an Ethics Committee that can sometimes take a couple of years, no offense to my colleagues who are on the Ethics Committee, but that's not real. That's not real. And that's not accountability," Rice said.

Rice said in the case of the House Ethics Committee, “you’re asking people, colleagues, to judge their colleagues.”


Welcome to Our New Age —the Victorian Feminist Era

The sexual predators like Weinstein show by default how important Christian morality is

We are in the midst of a powerful cultural shift that is dramatically changing the way we view power and sex.

So how should conservatives view the current environment: as a threat or an opportunity?

In a sense, it could be both. Rich Lowry put it very well at National Review when he acknowledged the tradeoffs: “Any revolution has its pitfalls. There will be false allegations that will be believed. There will be a conflation of relatively minor infractions with criminal acts. And, in all likelihood, there will be an over-correction that will create its own wrongs. But a model of predation practiced by scruple-less powerful men is getting destroyed before our eyes, and it’s a very good thing.”

For years, old-fashioned conservative values about comportment seemed antiquated. Today, it might be time for us to revisit them with our sons—especially in an era where shared civic and religious institutions that once served to informally shame and civilize us have largely disappeared.

I recently went back and re-read an old speech that conservative leader Morton Blackwell delivered in the late 1980s on the very topic of “survival values.” As Blackwell noted, views about sex are not linear. The man who takes his cues from today’s norms might soon find himself dangerously out of step: “In ancient Rome, Marcus Cicero’s thundering denunciations of the sexual behavior of Marc Anthony were followed in the next century by the open depravity of Nero and Caligula. And in England, the licentiousness of the Stuart restoration period was followed two centuries later by the Victorian era. The pendulum swings back and forth over time.”

The pendulum, it appears, is now swinging back in a more puritanical direction. To be sure, this is a secular movement that was the product of left-leaning feminists. But rather than resisting the it, social conservatives should perhaps be cheering it on.

Maybe this is an opportunity for Christian conservatives to step back from partisan politics and spend some time talking about masculinity, chivalry, and old-fashioned virtues that used to be called “gentlemanliness. Rather than seeing these old-fashioned attributes of gentlemanliness as a sign of weakness, we should see them as the definition of masculinity. Modernity made them look silly, but maybe it’s time they were back in vogue.

Would feminists welcome this? Twenty years ago, groups like the National Organization for Women used to criticize groups like the “Promise Keepers” for being paternalistic. Today, the Promise Keepers’ mission seems both quaint and needed. I found an old New York Times article about the group from 1997. “Promise Keepers extols a man who is a leader, while also possessed of characteristics once stereotyped as feminine: a nurturing parent, a model of marital fidelity and a churchgoer who cultivates close friendships and likes to sing,” the piece said.

Bill McCartney, the group’s founder, was quoted in that same article making a pretty obvious point: “If men are a principle cause of family meltdown, crime and racial strife, then men also are central to the solutions to those problems.''

Changing the world will require good women and men working together. Feminists and Christian conservatives should unite around shared goals.


Psychologist Says Too Much Christmas Music Is Bad for Your Mental Health

So I am one psychologist who believes that Christmas music is GOOD for your mental health.  Where does that leave us? Skeptical, I hope

It’s beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas. And while some people (like me) think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, others, apparently, find it crazy-making. Literally. According to psychologist Linda Blair, listening to too much Christmas music too early in the season can drive you insane. “People working in the shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out,” says Blair, “because if they don’t it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

But why would anyone not want to not hear what they’re hearing? Jingle Bells. Silver Bells. (All the other kinds of bells.) Sleigh Ride. White Christmas. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Let It Snow. Come on people, where’s your Christmas spirit?!

Really I think the problem is the particular Christmas songs stores choose to play. I mean, honestly, Feliz Navidad? Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime? (Um, no.  Not if I have to listen to that song over and over again.) Oh, and don’t get me started on Happy Christmas (War Is Over). If ever there was a piece of sanctimonious garbage it was Happy Christmas (War Is Over). (Who even puts parentheses in the title of a song?) “And so this is Christmas/ And what have you done?” Ugh, gag me. What have I done? I’ll tell you what I’ve done. I’ve punched the next person in the face who turns on that song. That’s what I’ve done. God, I hate that song. Oh. Hmm. That psychologist may have a point.

But no! Baby It’s Cold Outside! I’ll Be Home For Christmas! Santa Claus Is Coming to Town! Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! Not to mention all the wonderful traditional carols. I mean, sure, there are some really terrible versions of these songs. Versions that make me want to stab myself in the ear with an ornament hook. And, sure, those are the versions they tend to play in stores for some reason. But, I mean, honestly. We can’t condemn all Christmas music just because some idiot chose to play Justin Bieber’s version of The Christmas Song instead of Bing Crosby’s.

According to Sky News, a British workers union says, “We ask employers to consider the staff who have to listen to Christmas music all day, because playing the same songs repeatedly can become very irritating and distracting.” No, no! Not the same songs! These songs! I could listen to O Holy Night over and over again, couldn’t you? I mean, not the way Christina Aguilera sings it. But somebody (anybody) else. Don’t blame the songs! Blame Christina Aguilera! And Justin Bieber! Yes. Blame Justin Bieber. If we blame him, everyone will believe us. No one likes Justin Bieber.

Oh. And now I’m remembering that there are all those terrible, sappy Christmas songs that are so bad but they make you cry anyway. So then you’re standing in the produce section of your local grocery story, waving a green pepper in the general direction of the store’s speaker system and yelling “no fair!” as you bawl your eyes out. (He just wanted to buy his mom a pair of shoes! So . . . so she could look beautiful! When she went to heaven! But . . . but he doesn’t have enough money! And . . . and . . . No fair!) Yeah, okay, I guess I can see how Christmas music might drive you crazy.

Okay, so look. Yes. There may be some Christmas music that’s bad for your mental health. And it’s probably the Christmas music that’s playing in all your local stores, and on your Christmas music radio station, and at your weird Aunt Mindy’s Christmas party. So, I guess, basically, you’re screwed. But hey, if you’ve got to go crazy, there are worse ways to do it. So, grab some eggnog, put on your light-up sweater, and turn on some Justin Bieber. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!


Hospital Nurse ‘No Longer Employee’ After Tweeting Against ‘Evil’ White People

An Indiana hospital no longer employs a nurse at the center of outrage over a tweet calling for white women to sacrifice their sons, the hospital announced Sunday.

The nurse in question, Taiyesha Baker, is “no longer” an employee at Indiana University Health after a tweet of hers blaming white women for the evil in the world surfaced this week, according to a statement from a hospital spokesperson.

“A recently hired IU Health employee tied to troubling posts on social media this weekend is no longer an employee of IU Health,” a hospital spokesperson said in a statement.

Baker was recently at the center of an investigation after declaring that white women are raising potential rapists and murderers.

“Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves Bitch,” Baker allegedly posted over Twitter while she was an employee at the hospital.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed over the weekend that Baker was a recently hired employee at Indiana University Health and that Baker would not be able to work with patients during the course of the investigation.

“IU Health is aware of several troubling posts on social media which appear to be from a recently hired IU Health employee. Our HR department continues to investigate the situation and the authenticity of the posts,” a spokesperson said at the time, adding that despite Baker’s claims, she does not work in at the Riley Hospital for Children.



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

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

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


28 November, 2017

Nick Cave vs the anti-Israel bigots

Three cheers for the Oz rocker performing in Israel on principle

Not content with being the coolest man in rock, now Nick Cave wants to be the most principled, too. The Aussie rocker, of Bad Seeds legend, has said he is performing in Israel this week not only in spite of the BDS movement, but because of it. Yes, it is precisely because self-righteous Israel-bashers in the worlds of art and entertainment are forever imploring the likes of Cave not to set foot in the apparently uniquely wicked nation of Israel that he is determined to do just that. As one headline put it: ‘Nick Cave: BDS is the reason for my trip to Israel.’ Now that’s what I call rock’n’roll spirit.

Cave played in Tel Aviv last night and will play there again tonight. At a press conference bigging up the rock god’s arrival in the Holy Land, he said: ‘I like Israel and Israelis.’ That’s a borderline revolutionary statement these days, when hating Israel stands alongside crying over Brexit and fearing the Daily Mail as a baseline requirement for entry into the closed, strange world of the chattering class.

Yet while Cave might like Israelis, he doesn’t like censorious campaigns telling musicians which nations — and more importantly which peoples — they may perform for. He describes the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) pressure on singers and bands to dodge the Jewish State as an attempt to ‘shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians’. And so he decided to take ‘a principled stand’. ‘You could say, in a way, that BDS made me play Israel’, he brilliantly quipped. This might be the first time Israelis should be grateful to BDS: it has brought them Mr Cave and his Bad Seeds.

Cave saved much of his ire for Roger Waters, prog-rock dullard turned fumer against Israel. It was Waters and his Artists for Palestine who wrote an open letter to Cave last month imploring him to call off his Tel Aviv dates. Hilariously, the letter — also signed by Ken Loach, John Pilger, Mike Leigh, Judith Butler and other luminaries of the Israel-fearing dinner-party set — threw Chomsky in Cave’s face: ‘Noam Chomsky has recently said he’s opposed to any appearance in Israel that is used to cover up the denial of Palestinian human rights. We hope you will agree with him.’

Cave doesn’t agree with him! Blasphemy, I know. ‘Stand for freedom’, the letter contradictorily implored — it’s a funny freedom that wants to deprive one nation and one nation only of the right to enjoy the art and ideas of outsiders — and Cave has stood for freedom. He has stood for his freedom to perform in Israel and the freedom of Israelis to hear him. Cave said musicians shouldn’t have to suffer this ‘public humiliation from Roger Waters and Co’ every time they flirt with the idea of performing in Israel.

Cave’s defiance of the increasingly nasty cultural pressure to avoid Israel — and Israelis — should be cheered. For however much the BDS lot try to present their erection of a censorious moral forcefield between Israel and the rest of the world as a progressive campaign, on a par with artists’ refusal to play in South Africa during Apartheid (the impact of which has always been vastly overstated by self-loving cultural types in the West), in truth BDS is a species of bigotry.

In singling out Israel for special censorious treatment — they wouldn’t raise a peep if Cave played in China, or Britain, for that matter, which has caused more destruction in the Middle East in recent years than Israel has — they enact a special demonisation of this nation and its inhabitants. They depict it as uniquely foul, uniquely problematic, a disproportionate source of the world’s ills. They exercise explicit double standards, heaping on Israel an unforgiving judgement that they do not apply to any other nation on Earth, including nations whose militarism is far more destructive than Israel’s.

And in engaging in acts of censorship — whether they’re shutting down Israeli film festivals in London, forbidding Israeli academics from coming to our universities, or getting musicians to cancel trips to Israel — they chill international engagement and stymie the exchange of ideas and art. They speak the language of freedom while executing acts of global censorship designed to deprive Israelis of our culture, and us of theirs.

This is nothing like a progressive movement. It is prejudiced, intolerant agitation for the treatment of Israel as different to all other nations, and for the shutting down of any mingling between Western artists and Israeli people. The bottom line is this: if your movement jeers and boos as a violinist plays Max Bruch’s beautiful concerto just because that violinist is from Israel — as happened at the Proms a few years ago — then you are doing something dreadfully wrong.

These philistines for Palestine do nothing to advance Palestinian people’s interests, or art and culture; they’re only interested in making a showy display of their Israel-loathing credentials and thus their adherence to what the new cultural elite considers to be moral decency.

More musicians and thinkers and writers should join Cave in engaging with Israel precisely because it has become so worryingly verboten to do so. Because boycotting Jewish things and people is never, ever a good idea.


Just Be Honest, Millennials, and Say You Don’t Want Kids

“We can’t afford it.”

“We live under crushing student loan debt.”

“We can’t take on a mortgage.”

“We like the weather.”

Just admit it already, millennials: You don’t want children. I say this as someone who did want children and made life choices and personal sacrifices when I was still single that put me on the path to having children. I also say this as someone with more than one couple in her life who wants children they are thus far unable to have. I know what struggles they are going through emotionally, mentally, and physically that stem from the ache of that want. Because of them, I know what it means to truly want something versus to feel obligated to want something you couldn't care less about. And also because of them, I can rightly call anyone who makes up an excuse for why they “can’t” reproduce a hypocrite and a liar.

By now I’m plenty familiar with the money woes of millennials. “We’re buried by student debt!” “We can’t get jobs!” “How are we supposed to pay for new lives when we can’t pay for our own?” The whole financial argument is based on the presumption of responsibility. As in, “Look at how responsible I am, choosing not to have children until I can afford them!” Bull. Look no further for proof of hypocrisy than Kylie Ora Lobell’s reasoning as to why she and her husband couldn’t possibly give up their expensive L.A. lifestyle for a cheaper neck of the woods:

    "LA is one of the most expensive cities in the country, but for our careers, we have to be here. It’s either here or New York, and we tried that. We were way worse off there.

    Sometimes we fantasize about moving to Phoenix or Las Vegas, where huge houses rent for less than $2,000 a month and we could maybe even save up and buy something in a few years.

    And then I think about how few opportunities I would have to meet important people, and how nobody there is in my industry. I know it would be a huge loss. Plus, I love the weather in LA, we have lots of friends here, and, as Orthodox Jews, we can thrive. There are many synagogues and kosher restaurants."

Sure, they’d have kids, but man, that L.A. weather. Who can give up sunny skies for kids? Who can resign themselves to being a webmaster anywhere other than L.A.? Who can choose to prioritize kids over career goals? And the restaurants, oh the restaurants!

If you really wanted a child and had to move to Alaska in order to make that happen, you’d build a cabin under the Northern Lights and freeze together in perfect pregnant bliss. Just ask the couples who have gone tens of thousands of dollars into debt to schedule IVF treatments around tough work schedules and angry bosses. They’d take an Alaskan yurt in a snap if it meant having the baby they truly wanted.

When I arrived, my parents did yard sales to buy diapers and danced their way to the pharmacy, grateful for a healthy, happy child. Money, or the lack thereof, isn’t the governing force behind the decision to have a child. A willingness to put that child ahead of every other goal or personal preference (yes, even the average temperature) is what makes you choose to have a child.

Reducing a baby to a budgetary line-item is absurd. Justifying yourself as a responsible adult for choosing not to add another expense to your account is idiotic. And constantly seeking my approval for your poor life choice illustrates how immature you truly are.

Dear Millennials: You aren’t fooling anyone but yourselves. You’re just not ready for children. Perhaps you don’t think you ever will be. Or maybe you’re just too contented with yourself right now to bother with the idea of putting someone else’s life ahead of your own. Whatever your true motive is, stop masking it behind this sudden obsession with fiscal responsibility.

If you truly cared about your finances, you wouldn’t have wasted so much money on a useless degree to begin with. Try pontificating on that instead, will you? Maybe then, at least our children might not make the same life-wrecking mistakes you apparently did.


Workplace gender quotas are an insult to women

Five years on from the European Commission’s failed attempt to boost the number of women on company boards, it has again announced proposed legislation, which if implemented, would lead to the introduction of gender-quotas for company boards.

The commission tried to introduce gender-quota legislation back in 2012, with a proposal that 40 per cent of non-executive board positions at publicly listed companies must be occupied by women. The legislation was not received well. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden rejected the law arguing that Brussels was intruding into domestic affairs, while, according to one report, Hungary and Poland rejected it on ‘ideological’ grounds.

The commission’s latest proposal echoes this previous, unpopular attempt to get women into top jobs. But this time, the legislation will propose that companies whose non-executive directors are over 60 per cent male will be required to prioritise women when considering candidates of equal merit for director posts.

It is a typically and, in this case, ironically paternalistic piece of EU legislation, and, therefore, an affront to any woman who takes her autonomy seriously. In the UK, for example, women face few actual barriers when it comes to education and employment – more women than men study at university, and women under the age of 45, when taking hours and type of employment into account, earn the same as men. And, of course, actual discrimination on the basis of gender is illegal, so women who seek high-paying, top-jobs are already at no disadvantage to their male counterparts.

But what this legislation suggests is that the only way women can become company directors is thanks to the helping hand of the European Commission. This does down women, rather than lift them up. If women aren’t taking up top positions in companies, it is not because they are being held back educationally or professionally.

Indeed, if there is an issue, it is to be found in the arena of child care, where women are still expected to take responsibility for childrearing. So, maybe, instead of thinly veiled insults about our womanly ability to secure top positions, we should be asking questions about how better to balance professional and family life for working women and men?

Quotas to redress gender-balance in companies are antithetical to the idea of women’s liberation, especially at a time when women are doing better than ever before in professional and public life. I cannot imagine anything quite as insulting as knowing I was hired for the job on the basis of my genitals, rather than my credentials. We don’t need a leg-up, least of all patronising quotas, to succeed in the workplace.


Goodbye Goldilocks? Calls for Australian parents to ditch traditional fairy tales in favour of gender-neutral books showing 'men in caring roles and women as scientists'

Children should be read gender-equal books instead of fairy tales of knights and princesses.

That's the view of former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, who believes exposing children to gender-neutrality at preschool could help solve issues of pay disparity and violence towards women later in life.

'A lot of what our children see and are taught is subconscious gender stereotyping and what we have to do is really shift that, and we won't shift that until the social norms change,' she told The Sunday Telegraph.

Ms Broderick said children's literature in Scandinavian countries helps 'children understand that boys and girls can do anything.

'Their picture books are ones which show men in caring roles and women as scientists, through to looking at the division of unpaid work and the role of women in building the economy.

'I think we really need more of that approach here and it's not just putting all the men in caring roles and all the women as scientists. It is showing men and women in the diversity of roles,' she said.

Critics have slammed Ms Broderick's call as 'political correctness gone mad'.

Kevin Donnelly, director of the Education Standards Institute, told the publication that there was a real risk of 'damaging boys'.

'It is wrong to try and attempt to indoctrinate children with a politically correct gender agenda. 'It runs counter to human nature and what most parents want for their children - and it could be damaging to boys and their development'. 'Biologically girls and boys are different. Girls have a more nurturing role as mothers and wives which is different to what men are.'

Critic and entrepreneur Dick Smith told the paper: 'I'd much rather we weren't trying to make young girls aggressive by changing the messages they are getting. I'd much rather young girls continue to be nurturing, kind and understanding.'

Sam Page, CEO of Early Children Australia, told the paper he applauded Ms Broderick's call to introduce children to gender-equal ideas through books at school and wants parents to get board too.

'We've had examples where parents and dads have been really upset when boys dress up in dresses or traditional girls clothing as part of their normal play.

'While I don't think we should get rid of fairy tales altogether, we do need to contextualise and balance them with contemporary stories as well,' she said.



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

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

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


27 November, 2017

Fascism is back in Austria

It's as authoritarian and as anti-democratic as it was when it was the "Ostmark des deutschen Reichs".  That Islamofascism is the form of Fascism that they now support is just a matter of detail

November 17, 2017 was literally a Black Friday.

Reinhard Fellner, a card-carrying Social Democrat as well as chief of “Initiative Social Austria,” was sentenced in provincial court to three months (three years on probation) for denigration of Islam (§ 283 StGb). Any ever-so-small criticism of Islam in the next three years will lead to the completion of the sentence. This is so much more shocking, since he made a very mild criticism, which is far below the level of criticism which would be possible and necessary in a free and open society, to call attention to the dangers endemic to Islam. He simply began to investigate to what extent (terrorist) acts of violence as well as sexual abuse of women, children and animals are connected to Islam. Fellner’s conviction is so much worse because he undertook this attempt in the course of participating in the assessment of a bill published on the Parliament’s homepage. So he was legally convicted for performing the honorable task of an active citizen, participating in the process of parliamentary lawmaking.

The proceeding against Fellner can certainly be called a scandalous trial. The court did not examine several expert assessments by experts on Islam offered by the accused as proof of the truth of his statements. Likewise, witnesses named by the defense were not allowed to testify. Although the document gives no indication of a complainant, the state prosecutor suddenly claimed that the charge had been brought by the IGGiÖ (Islamic Faith Community in Austria) which “had felt insulted” by Fellner. The defendant was also confronted with a newspaper article which had not been in the document before the trial began. To Fellner’s indication that Ayatollah Khomeini, the most significant Shi’ite of the 20th century, had given approval to sexual intercourse with animals, the judge responded that this was not significant and had nothing to do with Islam, since Khomeini was already dead. Altogether, there was no serious effort by the judge or the state prosecutor[2] to formally align the evidence of Fellner’s criminal activity with the charge. Instead, the judge and the state prosecutor voiced the opinion that hate speech would apply even if the defendant’s claims were true.

The verdict does not concern just a number of oddballs who have chosen Islam-criticism as their strange hobby. It is an expression of the continued pushing of a blatantly political and subjective system of justice being established to enable the unresisted installation of a multicultural dictatorship, population replacement and Islamization. And it is a landmark in the transformation process which is morphing our disappearing democracy into an autocratic rule by mob.

This arbitrary judicial act is the inglorious apex of the years-long persecution of political undesirables using religiously- and subjectively-based punishment. The trail of devastation of the right to free expression extends over several prominent victims of political justice: from Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Pro Vita head Dr. Alfons Adam to the former Muslim convert Laila Mirzo, whose trial for “denigration of religious teachings” (§ 188 StGb) was adjourned, to be sure, but who was afterwards — because of her Islam-critical stance — denied her right be designated a journalist and Islam expert (February 5 of this year) by Kurier editor Karl Oberacher. An ultimate in judicial partisanship and scurrility is the recent verdict of an Innsbruck court of a €480 fine against a former district head of the “Ring of Free Youth” (RFJ, the Freedom Party’s youth movement), whose Facebook entry celebrated a “piglet barbecue” for Ramadan. (Der Standard of November 15, 2017)

For years, justice has applied subjective and religious law selectively and one-sidedly. While the Christian faith, its God, its commandments and its symbols may be besmirched and denigrated at will without a single prosecution in three decades, let alone a conviction, critics of Islam are habitually legally persecuted, even if their conclusions can be meticulously documented with reference to high religious sources.


ACLU targets ‘restrictive’ Maine abortion law

Julie Jenkins was on the job as a nurse practitioner recently in northern Maine when she got a call from the Maine Family Planning clinic’s headquarters in the south part of the state, asking if she could help oversee an abortion that day.

Jenkins, a 44-year-old clinician with specialized training in women’s health care, said she was ready to go. To get the abortion, the patient would drive to the nearby clinic in Presque Isle in far northern Maine, where Jenkins would check her ultrasound to confirm she was 10 weeks pregnant or less and eligible for a medication abortion in the form of five pills — one taken in the office and four at home.

But because of a decades-old state law, the clinic also needed to locate a licensed physician who could watch via video conference while the patient initiated the abortion in the clinic. No doctor was available, Jenkins said, so the patient was rejected for treatment that day.

“I was there. I had the ultrasound. I would’ve been able to provide the service,” she said. “We couldn’t find a doc to essentially watch her swallow the pill.”

Jenkins is now a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed in September targeting the state law that allows only physicians to induce abortions, a requirement shared by 40 other states.

Because of Maine’s vast rural expanse and often difficult travel conditions, the American Civil Liberties Union has settled on the state as promising terrain to challenge the law, which carries criminal charges for people who perform an abortion without a physician’s license.

In carving out this next frontier in the battle for abortion rights, advocates are hoping to build on a Supreme Court ruling in 2016 that struck down a Texas law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital near where the abortion is performed and mandating clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers.

If successful in Maine, the plaintiffs in the case, filed in US District Court for the District of Maine, expect similar legal challenges across the country.

Advocates of preserving the status quo argue that requiring physician involvement in abortions is important for patient safety. But the lawsuit argues that the law places an “undue burden” on women in Maine seeking to terminate their pregnancies. Allowing certified nurse midwives and advanced practice nurse practitioners like Jenkins to perform the procedure, they argue, would give women the access they are entitled to under the Constitution.

US Representative Chellie Pingree, who lives on the island of North Haven in Penobscot Bay, where obtaining an abortion can require multiple days of travel to and from the mainland, said she sees no reason to keep the law.

“The bottom line is, what’s the point?” said Pingree, a Democrat. “This is an allowable service, and to say it can only be performed by a doctor is clearly just a way to make it more restrictive.”

The law wasn’t always seen as an ideological tool. It passed the Maine state Legislature in 1979, six years after the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion across the country. According to local press accounts from the time, while other laws restricting abortions sparked emotional debates among politicians in Maine’s capital, the physician-only statute passed with little controversy.

The law was originally drawn up to protect women from back-alley providers, so there was little to argue over then, said Kathy Simmonds, an assistant professor of nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, who lives and practices in Maine.

Antiabortion advocates in the state still argue that expanding the universe of people allowed to perform abortions would present a health risk for women. Teresa McCann-Tumidajski, executive director of the nonprofit Maine Right to Life Committee, called the legal challenge a profit-driven move by the “abortion industry.”

“We don’t like Maine women used as test markets or guinea pigs for the rest of the country,” she said.

Abortion rights advocates say that fear of medical risk is unfounded, pointing to evidence that advanced practice nurse practitioners have similar results to physicians when performing the procedures in other states. The Maine Medical Association has no safety concerns about advanced practice nurse practitioners performing abortions, said Gordon Smith, the organization’s executive vice president.


Controversial Proud Boys embrace ‘Western values,’ reject feminism and political correctness

In May, eight men met at Mackesey’s Irish Pub in downtown Madison to drink beer and talk politics. The men, all of them white and most in their 20s, had met online and were getting together for the first time.

The meeting would establish the Wisconsin chapter of an emerging national group called the Proud Boys. For Thaddeus Pall, it was a rare opportunity to openly express his support for President Donald Trump in liberal Madison.

As the men were leaving the bar for a member’s apartment, Pall, then 26, separated from the group to buy cigarettes. According to Madison police, as Pall was returning to his new friends, he was approached on the street by men in hoodies with what Pall described as baseball bats or wooden sticks. He told police the men had targeted him as a Trump supporter because of his T-shirt, which read: “Basket of Deplorables 2016.”

Pall said one yelled, “He is wearing a Trump shirt! He’s a Nazi!” and three surrounded him, pummeling his head, hands and arms and shattering his cell phone. Pall told the officer he did not know who the attackers were but thought he knew what they were: anti-fascist activists known as “antifa.” An “antifa” website later published a blog post detailing the attack and claiming responsibility.

After the beating, Pall tweeted a photo of his face and hands covered in blood. As a member of the Proud Boys, a libertarian men’s club that conveys special status on members who are attacked by anti-fascists, Pall had just achieved the highest degree of membership.

But Pall, a former Madison resident who now lives in northern Michigan, said in an interview that he is no longer active in the Proud Boys, although he said the attack did not alter his feelings about the group.

“I think people need to calm down. It’s just politics. People can have different views. We all want the same things — we all want a better planet, a better world, a better future. This disagreement is really about how you get there,” Pall said.

The Proud Boys were founded at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign by Gavin McInnes, a New York-based conservative online talk show host and co-founder of Vice Media who has since cut ties with the company. He estimates the membership at about 5,000 men nationwide.

McInnes and his followers believe there are 10 ways to “save America”: Abolish prisons, give each American a gun, legalize drugs, end welfare, close borders to illegal immigrants, outlaw censorship, venerate the housewife, glorify the entrepreneur, shut down the government and declare “the West is the best.”

Members also traffic in inflammatory language. A female reporter arranging an interview for this story with Wisconsin Proud Boy members in September was asked by the interview subject whether he should bring condoms. In a later interview, McInnes told the reporter she should give up her career, that “you need to find a man,” and that she would run out of eggs if she did not get pregnant soon.

Several Proud Boys members say they joined the group after watching founder Gavin McInnes on his online talk show.
In McInnes’ view, there is a demand for men’s clubs like the Proud Boys because, “There’s a real war on masculinity in this country that starts in kindergarten and goes all the way to adulthood. And it’s not natural.”

The Proud Boys call themselves “proud Western chauvinists” who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Initiation into the group is a multi-step process. A first-degree member simply declares he is a Proud Boy. Initiation at the second degree involves getting punched by other members while naming five breakfast cereals. Third degree is earned by getting a Proud Boy tattoo. Fourth degree is a “consolation prize” if a member “endures a major conflict related to the cause,” as Pall did.

Members often greet each other with the group’s ironic rallying cry, “Uhuru!” The word is Swahili for freedom and was taken from a video showing an activist calling for whites to make slavery reparations to African-Americans.

The Proud Boys also have a “no wanks” policy urging members to avoid masturbation and pornography to motivate them to get “off the couch” and meet women.

Group members have participated in recent rallies that drew anti-fascists in Portland and Berkeley that turned violent. The attack on Pall in Madison has been investigated by the FBI; federal authorities have called “antifa” members domestic terrorists. No charges have been filed.

McInnes has fiercely distanced the Proud Boys from white nationalists and the recent deadly demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. But experts say some of the group’s beliefs overlap with so-called alt-right ideology.


Australia's seniors say the political correctness of millennials is ruining society

Older Australians are sick of the younger generation's manners, obsession with technology and political correctness, which they say is ruining society.

That was the verdict on the nation's young which emerged from a study commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA).

Of 1,000 people aged over 50 surveyed by CoreData for the ASIA, 88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct.

As well, 74 per cent of seniors said people who strived to be politically correct annoyed them, and 45 per cent said they tried to avoid being politically correct just for the sake of it.

And 86 per cent of those surveyed said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society.

Study findings:

85 per cent of older Australians found millennial social etiquette confusing

88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct

86 per cent said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society

Employment etiquette included putting phones away in meetings, punctuality, personal hygiene

Posting online when tired, intoxicated or emotional in the top 3 no-nos

Nan Bosler, president of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, said seniors found it difficult these days when it came to simple things, such as certain words they used day to day.

"Names we have known things by all our lives, they weren't there out of disrespect or anything like that, it was just a name we knew things by," she said.

"And if we have to always modify what we're saying, it's a little distracting, it's a little bit frustrating.

"We of course do respect other people, so we understand about political correctness. "But we don't always think it's the way we want to go — we want to be true to ourselves."

Ms Bosley said too much sensitivity about the meaning of words and phrases acted as a barrier between younger Australians and people aged over 50. "I think we can just be too politically correct," she said.

"I suppose it's for the majority that the minority have to sometimes think well 'ok, can't say that anymore, I must remember that'."



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

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

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


26 November, 2017

Bannon and the anti-Israel establishment

Speaking at the Zionist Organization of America's annual dinner, Steven Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist and current CEO of the Breitbart news website, said the US political establishment has "lowered the bar on what [pro-Israel] is supposed to be."

Bannon invited the pro-Israel activists to join what he referred to as the "insurgency movement against the Republican establishment and against the permanent political class in Washington, DC."

Bannon argued that it is because of the Republican establishment that then president Barack Obama was able to implement the nuclear deal with Iran.

Bannon is correct. Had a non-establishment senator such as Ted Cruz chaired the Senate Foreign Affairs committee in 2014 and 2015 instead of Senator Bob Corker, in accordance with the US constitution, Obama's radical nuclear deal would have been treated like a treaty. It would have required the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and it would have gone down in flames.

Instead, Corker stood the Constitution on its head, co-sponsoring the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which required two-thirds of the Senate to reject the deal in order to block its implementation.

As for US financing of Palestinian terrorism, the blame lies mainly at the feet of the permanent political class - particularly the denizens of the State Department.

With the support of Democratic and establishment Republican lawmakers, for more than 20 years the State Department has successfully watered down or canceled legislative initiatives to end US support for the terrorism-supporting, PLO -led Palestinian Authority. State Department officials have similarly led every effort to water down or cancel Congressional initiatives that strengthen the US alliance with Israel.

For instance, it was the State Department that fought tooth and nail to overturn the 2002 law that permitted US citizens born in Jerusalem to list their place of birth as Israel. It was the State Department that insisted the 1996 law requiring the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem include a presidential waiver.

The power of the State Department and its colleagues in the permanent bureaucracy to maintain US policies that are substantively anti-Israel and pro-PLO is being exerted today in the lead up to the publication of Trump's "peace plan" for Israel and the Palestinians.

According to a report published in The New York Times last weekend, sourced to White House officials, Trump intends to announce his "peace plan" in January.

Later reports disputed that claim, saying the plan would be announced in March.

Whatever the case, according to the Times' story, Trump's "peace plan" will look similar to - and be substantively indistinguishable from - "peace plans" adopted by the last three presidents.

Like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama, according to the Times' account, Trump's plan will be based on the assumption that for peace to be concluded between Israel and the PLO , a Palestinian state must be established on land now controlled by Israel.

Trump's plan will reportedly also discuss the partition of Jerusalem and address the Palestinian claim that the 450,000 Israelis living beyond the 1949 armistice lines in Judea and Samaria must be expelled from their homes and communities for peace to be achieved.

In a manner similar to Bush's "Roadmap to Peace," analysts told the Times that Trump's plan will include two stages. In the first stage, Israel will be required to block construction of homes for Jews in united Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria; to transfer control over land in Area C to the PA ; and to restate its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

This account was disputed by White House officials.

But, despite the denials, there are indications that the Times' account is accurate. For instance, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has justified all his recent moves to curtail construction for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, to provide funding to the PA and to suspend initiatives to expand Jerusalem's municipal borders as necessary to prevent a fissure in US-Israel relations.

Trump's team is led by his senior adviser and sonin- law, Jared Kushner, and run by his chief negotiator, Jason Greenblatt. Members of Greenblatt's team include deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

According to the Times, Greenblatt and his team "are consulting with Donald Blome, the consul general in Jerusalem, and others from the State Department and the National Security Council."

And this is where the problem begins.

Ahead of Trump's visit to Israel in May, Channel 2 reported that Blome lobbied heavily for Trump to cancel his plans to visit the Western Wall. While Trump did visit the Wall, Blome - supported by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster - blocked Netanyahu from accompanying Trump on his visit.

In a press briefing, McMaster refused to say that the Western Wall is located in Israel.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to Tel Aviv as the "home of Judaism" on the plane ride to Israel.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said at his Senate confirmation hearing that Tel Aviv is Israel's capital.

In other words, Blome, Tillerson, McMaster and Mattis have all embraced the view that the US should not treat Israel with the same respect it treats other countries - let alone other allies. Instead of deserving respect, Israel, in their view, deserves unique reproach to the point where even acknowledging its capital city and basic geographic facts is considered unacceptable.

This then brings us back to the "peace plan" that Greenblatt and Kushner are putting together in consultation with Blome, the State Department and McMaster's National Security Council.

If Greenblatt and Kushner compose a "peace plan" that satisfies the State Department and its governmental counterparts, and if Trump adopts it as his official position, they will guarantee that he will fail to advance the cause of peace; will harm Israel; will empower the PLO ; and will diminish the US's standing as a power in the Middle East.

This is the guaranteed outcome of any plan that is supported by the State Department because any plan that the State Department and its allies support will be based upon the core assumption regarding the Arab-Israel conflict that the State Department embraced in 1993.

In 1993, Israel and the PLO concluded a peace deal in Oslo based on the European assumption that Israel is to blame for the Arab-Israel conflict.

According to the European narrative, the Arab conflict with Israel - and indeed, all the pathologies of the Arab world - are rooted in the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian conflict, in turn, owes to the absence of a Palestinian state. And there is no Palestinian state because Israel refuses to surrender sufficient land to the PLO to appease it.

Until 1993, this was not the US's position. From 1967 through 1993, the US position was that the Palestinian conflict with Israel was a function of the Arab conflict with Israel. The Arab conflict was rooted in the Arab world's rejection of Israel's right to exist in secure and recognized borders - or really, in any borders. So long as this remained the position of the Arab world, there would be no peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan are based on this pre-Oslo process assumption.

But when it assumed leadership of the Oslo process, the US also embraced the European narrative it was predicated on: Everything is Israel's fault.

The US's continued funding of the PA , despite its support for terrorism, owes to the State Department's adherence to the European narrative. The US's refusal to treat Israel with the respect due an ally by, among other things, locating its embassy in its capital, owes to the State Department's power to dictate US policy.

We saw that power brought to bear in 2003 with the drafting of the Roadmap.

In 2002, Bush said he would not support Palestinian statehood unless new Palestinian leaders who didn't support terrorism took over the PA from Yasser Arafat.

Rather than take Bush's position seriously, the State Department emptied it of all meaning.

US officials crowned Arafat's deputy of 40 years, Mahmoud Abbas, as a reformer and peacemaker, despite the utter absence of any evidence pointing to this conclusion.

Having done so, the State Department declared that reform had been achieved. In support of that reform, they expanded US support for the PA and intensified US pressure on Israel.

Bush's State Department was able to subvert Bush's position because neither then secretary of state Colin Powell nor then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice supported it. Both were more than happy to pretend that the US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians had shifted toward Israel, when the opposite was the case.

We see a similar situation unfolding today with Trump.

While Trump has not called for new leadership, he has called for an end to Palestinian financing of terrorism. This demand will clearly not be met now that the PLO has reached a power-sharing agreement with the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza. Every cent transferred to Gaza is a cent that supports terrorism.

And yet, according to the Times account, and judging by Netanyahu's behavior, the Trump administration is preparing a "peace plan" that will bring no peace but will harm Israel and empower the PLO .

The thing of it is that it is hard to imagine that Trump is engaged sufficiently in discussions of the issue to be aware of what is likely taking place. Bush certainly was not aware that his positions were being undermined by his advisers.

This brings us to Greenblatt and Kushner.

Whereas Rice and Powell were consummate Washington insiders whose careers were made in the bosom of the foreign-policy establishment, Greenblatt, Kushner and Friedman are all consummate outsiders. They owe the establishment nothing. Dina Powell is the only member of Trump's team who is an establishment figure.

Trump brought in his team of outsiders to run his Middle East policy because he understood - and repeatedly remarked on the fact - that Washington's foreign policy establishment has failed for decades to develop successful Middle East policies.

If we are to believe the Times story and heed the signals Netanyahu has sent, Kushner and Greenblatt have surrendered to the establishment and are poised to conclude a peace plan that will be substantively identical to those of the past three administrations.

And, as a consequence, it will fail just as badly as the policies of the past three administrations.

Bannon is right that pro-Israel forces should fight to diminish the power of the Washington foreign- policy establishment - first and foremost the State Department - to empty the term pro-Israel of substance. The question is whether that fight needs to be directed at the White House or whether Trump's team of outsiders is willing and able to stand up to that establishment and adopt a policy not based on hostility toward Israel and support for Palestinian terrorists and, therefore, not guaranteed to fail.


UK: Kent grammar school creates ‘unsafe space’ to combat political correctness

The Simon Langton Grammar School for boys in Canterbury is in the spotlight again, this time over plans to create an “unsafe space” where Sixth Form students get to read texts like Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and openly discuss controversial matters.

The forum borrows from the concept of a “safe space”, which is where individuals feel safe in the knowledge that they can speak freely without fear of harassment, discrimination, abuse, criticism or any other forms of harm on their person and mental well-being. Safe spaces are also often attached to the ‘snowflake’ phenomenon, in which millennials are accused of being overly sensitive and emotionally fragile.

The school was criticised last year when it invited controversial right-wing speaker and former student Milo Yiannopoulos to deliver a speech there. According to The Guardian, the event was cancelled because of “the threat of demonstrations at the school by organised groups and members of the public”.

Its move to create the “unsafe space” is now stirring debate again. Mashable in its report said the scrutiny is due to reasons “loosely connected to the alt-right movement in the US”.

Reports say Professor James Soderholm, who organised the Yiannopoulos event, is the teacher in charge of the forum. He is the director of humanities at the school, which despite being all-boys in the lower school, becomes mixed at sixth form level.

The school describes the “unsafe space” as “an antidote to the poison of political correctness”. It adds that it is being put in place to display “the most beautifully disturbed and disturbing ideas, all of them presented without trigger warnings”.

According to The Guardian, Professor Soderholm said: “The ‘unsafe space’ is a much-needed forum for debate about a host of issues seen from both sides of the ideological spectrum.

“We are not interested in fomenting xenophobia, racism or sexism. We are interested in evaluating arguments, not putting stilts under postures.”

Headteacher Matthew Baxter also explained to the UK daily that the programme would incorporate Mein Kampf in the “wider debate”, rather than have students directly studying it.

Classes will be optional and offered only to students in the sixth form (aged 17 and 18).

According to reports, Soderholm informed pupils their first session would be about the wildly controversial claim from fired Google employee James Danmore that “women are less capable as engineers” than men.

Eighteen-year-old student Sarah Cundy told The Guardian: “When [Soderholm] was talking about doing this, he said we’ll look at the memo and highlight the pros and cons of his argument. To hear a teacher say there are any pros at all in the argument did make me feel pretty uncomfortable.

“I think female and minority students are going to face more issues. I think there will be a rise in sexism, which I would say is already an issue at the school – especially with it being an all-boys school except sixth form.”


The Hope of Women
“It seems undeniable at this point that Hugh Hefner’s death broke open some sort of seal.” My former colleague at National Review magazine, Ian Tuttle, tweeted this the other day, referring to the avalanche of accusations and confessions of men behaving badly in some of the highest echelons of power that has occurred since the death of the Playboy founder. A reckoning appears to be occurring in Hollywood, accompanied by a widespread acknowledgment that something has gone very wrong when it comes to men in power and sex.

Why is it that men would ever presume to take what is not theirs? Why is it that women have been too afraid to speak up? Could it be that the expectations of the culture have forced both men and women into untenable positions? Could it be that we’ve been breathing an air that has us believing the other gender exists for gratification rather than awe and reverence?

There was something in that Donald Trump infamous hot-mic incident — where he described this profane mindset of men in power — that was clarifying and almost set the stage for all these recent stories. The now-first lady dismissed it all as “what boys do.” One gets the impression that she’s trying to raise her son otherwise. So why would Melania Trump or anyone else tolerate it or otherwise explain it away?

When the U.S. Catholic bishops gathered in Baltimore for their annual meeting this past week, there was a presentation noting, among other things, the upcoming 50th anniversary of “Humanae Vitae,” a document that in 1968 seemed to do what my own magazine’s founder was inspired to do vis-a-vis the Cold War, among other things: “Stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’” as it says in the 1955 National Review mission statement. Paul VI, the author of “Humanae,” saw a radical revolution afoot that was going to make the world worse, for women in particular.

Speaking before his brother bishops, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan highlighted prophetic passages from Paul VI’s letter, including: “[A] man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”

And so it happened. And so we live among the ruins.

While there are men who have come out to accuse prominent actors of assault and other boorish behavior, the majority of the #MeToo movement testifying to abuse of power has been women, talking about men. Some 30 or so years ago, Pope John Paul II wrote about the role of women in changing the world. He focused on two things in particular, as Mary Rice Hasson, founding director of the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, put it in a talk:

“The first is to bring ‘full dignity’ to the ‘conjugal life and to motherhood.’ The second and related task is that women are called to ‘assure the moral dimension of culture … a culture worthy of the person.’”

Hasson issued a challenge to her sisters in the faith:

“Women must be front and center in evangelizing the culture because, as a Church, we must live that truth of complementarity. We believe that there’s something of value created when men and women work together, and we know that the Church needs us — men and women — to witness to the love of God in a powerful way, together. And the world needs that witness from us as much, if not more, than it needs the actual work that we do.”

I’ll add this: Everyone is welcome to join in leading a way out of the misery of seeing others merely as means to instant pleasure or another selfish gain.

Besides “Humanae Vitae,” Paul VI also issued this message that has resurfaced in recent years:

“Women, you do know how to make truth sweet, tender and accessible, make it your task to bring the spirit of this council into institutions, schools, homes and daily life. Women of the entire universe, whether Christian or non-believing, you to whom life is entrusted at this grave moment in history, it is for you to save the peace of the world.”

With this light shining on the darkest places in Hollywood and elsewhere, there’s a tremendous opportunity to turn the ship around. Women can save the peace of the world, by expecting better for themselves, their sisters, their daughters — and the men who ought to love them (thank you, those who do!) for all the beauty they bring to existence.


Groupthink at Apple is called "diversity"

Steve jobs was a genuine maverick. One wonders what he would think about the present mental rigidity at Apple

Denise Young Smith, Apple’s diversity chief, is stepping down, reports say. The move is strange. Young has only been in the job for six months. But reports suggest her departure is linked to “recent controversial remarks about white men.”

Several weeks ago, at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia, Young suggested that diversity of thought is important, too.  “I focus on everyone,” Young told the audience. “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

Young continued: “And I’ve often told people a story– there can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Quartz reports that Young’s statement “was met with a round of applause at the session.” Not everyone was pleased, however. Young, who has worked at Apple for two decades, soon felt compelled to walk back her comments, issuing  a lengthy apology to staff in an email obtained by TechCrunch.

“My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it,” she wrote. “For that, I’m sorry.”

The announcement that Young will be leaving Apple comes a week after the release of the company’s first public “diversity report.” TechCrunch offers a summary:

“Apple is still 32 percent female worldwide. In the U.S., Apple is 54 percent white (down two percentage points from last year), 13 percent Hispanic (up one percentage point), nine percent black (no change), 21 percent Asian (up two percentage points), three percent multiracial (up one percentage point) and one percent other (no change).

From July 2016 to July 2017, Apple says half of its new hires in the U.S. were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (women, black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander). Apple’s new hires also reflect more diversity than its current employees. For example, 11 percent of Apple’s new hires were black compared to its current black employee population of nine percent.”
One can see the issue here. Apple, which employs some 130,000 people worldwide, is facing heat to get more diverse. Prominent shareholders have expressed concerns “that low levels of diversity at the Company’s senior management and board level… are a business risk.”

Diversity at Apple

To not be sufficiently diverse is a great shame to corporations, especially those in Silicon Valley. And when the company’s own diversity chief starts talking about “diversity of thought” instead of the numbers, that’s a problem for Apple.

As I wrote before, in 21st century America, diversity is not just a virtue; it is a tenet of faith—“one that must be observed at all times and cannot be questioned.”

Young, a long-time HR exec, questioned the faith. Now she’s out.



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

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

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


24 November, 2017

Ratko Mladi? convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal

The massacre of innocents can of course never be condoned and it seems clear that Mladic is a thug but I wonder if it could have been taken into consideration during his sentencing that it was Muslims he was fighting and killing?  His Republika Srpska was essentially the frontline of Serbs against the Muslims of Bosnia.

Both in the former Yugoslavia and worldwide Muslims have shown scant regard for the lives of others and retribution is very much a part of Yugoslav culture generally.  As the report below notes, he is seen as a hero by his countrymen.   He is adored, his portrait adorns bars and office walls in Bosnia and Serbia, his name sung at football matches.  Was he just a typical Yugoslav?  His men appear to have followed him unhesitatingly.

Had my people been the victim of centuries of Muslim oppression, I imagine that I might feel similarly. Scots still remember Edward Longshanks (King of England from 1272 to 1307) with bitterness.  Serbs have to remember back only to 1812.  And are we allowed to mention the large number of Serbs killed by the Muslim KLA?

Finally: What Mladic did seems to have been no worse than what Muslims do frequently. Yet has anyone in the KLA or the Middle East been prosecuted for their deeds?  Were Mladic a Muslim, would he have been prosecuted at all?

The one-time fugitive from international justice faced 11 charges, two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war. He was cleared of one count of genocide, but found guilty of all other charges. The separate counts related to “ethnic cleansing” operations in Bosnia, sniping and shelling attacks on besieged civilians in Sarajevo, the massacre of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and taking UN personnel hostage in an attempt to deter Nato airstrikes.

The trial in The Hague, which took 530 days across more than four years, is arguably the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nuremberg trials, in part because of the scale of the atrocities involved. Almost 600 people gave evidence for the prosecution and defence, including survivors of the conflict.

Delivering the verdicts, judge Alphons Orie said Mladi?’s crimes “rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination”.

In evaluating Mladi?’s culpability for genocide, the court pointed to his command and control of the Bosnian Serb army and interior ministry forces, which carried out almost all of the executions, his presence in the area, and his frequent remarks about how the country’s Muslims could “disappear”.

Once Mladic has exhausted any appeals, he could, theoretically, be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his life behind bars. Britain is one of the countries that has signed up to the tribunal’s agreement on the enforcement of sentences.

The hearing, broadcast live, was followed closely in Bosnia. The Bosnian prime minister, Denis Zvizdi?, said the verdict “confirmed that war criminals cannot escape justice regardless of how long they hide”.

In Lazarevo, the Serbian village where Mladi? was arrested in 2011, residents dismissed the guilty verdicts as biased. One, Igor Topolic, said: “All this is a farce for me. He [Mladi?] is a Serbian national hero.”

Mladi?’s home village of Bozinovici retains a street named after the former general, where he is praised as a symbol of defiance and national pride.

Mladi?’s defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, announced that he would appeal against the convictions.


For God's sake let boys be boys, and girls be girls, and stop this charge to turn them all into 'non-binary, gender fluid creatures of indeterminate sexuality'

By Piers Morgan

I'm a man.

There, I've said it. At the risk of offending the world's increasing army of hypersensitive PC-crazed snowflakes, I am proudly and unapologetically identifying as a male.

I realise that for some people, this admission alone is currently tantamount to having me fired, arrested and possibly publicly executed.

Think I'm being ridiculous? Think again.

Last night, popular US Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin tweeted this to her 22,000 followers: 'Here's an unpopular opinion. I'm not actually at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.'

So yes, for some people like Ms Lindin, just being a man right now is enough to warrant a career and life being wrongly destroyed.

She is the very worst kind of radical feminist, the kind that hates men so much it blinds her even to basic fairness and justice.

Yet Ms Lindin's tweet wasn't even the most outrageous gender-related thing I read today.  No, that accolade goes to a speech by Natasha Devon, former British government mental health tsar, to the UK Girls' School Association annual conference. In it, she advised that teachers should no longer refer to female students as 'girls' or 'ladies', or to male students as 'boys'.

Ms Devon explained: 'I would never walk into a room in an all girls' school and say girls or ladies because it would be patronising.'

She added: 'I don't think it's useful to be constantly reminded of your gender all the time and all the stereotypes that go with it.'

Warming to her theme, Ms Devon stated that 'boys' holds connotations of being macho and not talking about feelings, whereas 'girls' prompts a sense that everything must be done perfectly, which can stress them out.

Today, she doubled down on her comments after they sparked a furious reaction.

'There are several unfortunate, negative and largely unconscious connotations attached to gender,' she tweeted. 'In that context, the words 'boy' and 'girl' can come with a whole heap of invisible expectation which can stifle and cause anxiety in young people.'

Sorry, what? I've never heard such utter garbage in my entire life, and given I judged talent shows for six years that is a very high bar of garbage.

Speaking as a father of four children - three boys and a girl - I'll tell you what I think might just cause young kids more anxiety than being called 'boys' and 'girls' – and that is telling them they CAN'T be called 'boys' and 'girls'. The simple reason is they were born boys and girls.

Yes, they were all handed to the their proud parents at birth with the words 'Congratulations, you have a little boy' or 'Congratulations, you have a little girl.'

Not, 'Congratulations, you have a non-binary, gender fluid creature of indeterminate sexuality.'

These children will have spent years happily being boys and girls, and for the vast majority of them that's exactly how they wish to remain.

To banish these descriptive terms now is to the first step to banishing gender altogether, thus disrupting and destroying one of society's strongest and until now, least contentious norms: i.e. that we're all either male or female.

I suspect the real reason for Natasha Devon's speech can be found buried away as almost an afterthought. She said she was also advising the abandonment of the terms 'boys' and 'girls' to protect the feelings of transgender children. 'You can't presume that because somebody presents as a gender,' she insisted, 'then that's what they are.'

Erm, yes you can actually. A girl 'presenting' as a girl is a girl and a boy 'presenting' as a boy is a boy.

This belief doesn't make me transphobic, as some seem to think.

I fully understand and respect that some people genuinely feel they were born to the wrong biological sex.

I recently spent three hours interviewing Caitlyn Jenner for my Life Stories show and came away massively impressed by her extraordinary courage and determination in transitioning from all-American male Olympic gold medal hero Bruce Jenner to a woman.

This is not something anyone does lightly and those who do it should be treated with full rights, respect and equality.

But what I don't support is the creeping eradication of conventional gender altogether, as if somehow it is a bad thing.

This new gender war is being driven by the radical transgender community, which - like radical feminism to non-radical feminism - is a very different, far more aggressive, loud and extreme group to the non-radical transgender community.

They basically want anyone, including very young children at school, to be free to identify how the hell they like, and their campaign has been undeniably successful.

That's why Facebook currently provides over 70 different gender 'options', from 'two-spirit person' to 'neutrois' and 'transmasculine'. One is simply: 'neither'.

Now, I don't care if adults want to identify themselves as giraffes or parrots if it makes them happy. That is their right, so long as they abide by the laws of the land.

But I do care when massive pressure is applied on the rest of us to stop using words like 'boys' and 'girls' because it may offend the gender fluid brigade.

I also care that kids as young as five are being encouraged to embark on a journey to change their gender and/or sex before they even really know what either of things even mean.

Anyone who's had children knows they go through all kinds of confusing emotional turmoil before, during and after puberty.

Why add to that confusion by making them think that 'boys' and 'girls' are offensive terms?

There are so many obvious unresolved problems with this surging transgender activism.

Some schools have begun eliminating gender distinction in their sports programmes, so any boy who feels he's a girl can play on the girls' team. This obviously puts most female athletes at an immediate physical disadvantage.

Other schools now allow boys who identify as girls (apologies to anyone offended by those words…obviously) to use the female bathrooms.

How can that do anything but create huge unease and discomfort?

Companies are being bullied and harangued into converting to non-gender-specific merchandise lest they get branded 'trans bigots' on social media. We see it in our high street stores and on our TV commercials.

The problem gets even more acute when we consider sexual offenders in prison.

Already, we are getting cases of male rapists identifying as female so they can switch to female prisons. It doesn't take a genius to work out why they may want to do that.

So self gender identity is a very complex and potentially very dangerous thing.

We're told this this is the new civil rights movement, that gender is the newskin colour. But is it? What does the word 'gender' even mean?

Well, check any dictionary and it will provide a simple answer something like this: 'The state of being male or female.'

Therefore we are all either boys or girls, men or women.

If, on reaching adulthood, someone like Caitlyn Jenner reaches an informed, mature and unchanging belief that they were born to the wrong sex, then I will be the first to offer respect and encouragement for them to transition and fight for them to have equal rights.

But until then, for God's sake enough of this madness. Let our boys be boys, and our girls be girls.


Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court

The Little Sisters of the Poor is returning to court to defend itself against lawsuits from two states that seek to remove the order of nuns’ religious exemption from the Health and Human Services rule.

“Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra have now filed lawsuits trying to take away the rights that the Little Sisters just won,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm that seeks to protect free expression of all religious traditions, said in a media call Tuesday.

“It is a shame that some folks want to dredge up the last administration’s culture war-fighting, and threaten the Little Sisters [of the Poor] and other religious charities,” Rienzi said.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled back the Obamacare mandate that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

According to an email from Becket, the firm representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, “shortly after the new mandate was issued, the states of California and Pennsylvania sued to take away the religious exemption the Little Sisters just won.”

Becket is “asking the court to ensure that they can continue their vital ministry of caring for the elderly poor without violating their faith,” according to the firm. 

Rienzi said the lawsuits from Pennsylvania and California “are obvious political grandstanding.”

“These lawsuits actually talk about all of the other ways that these states already have and already are using to distribute contraceptives to women who want them, which of course proves that they don’t need Catholic nuns to do it for them,” he added.

Hearings will commence in mid-December, Rienzi said, and some of the Little Sisters of the Poor will be present.

Melanie Israel, a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the litigation from California and Pennsylvania shows hostility to religious freedom.

“In expanding exemptions to one of Obamacare’s most egregious assaults on rights of conscience and religious liberty, the Trump administration provided meaningful relief to Americans like the Little Sisters of the Poor who do not wish to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.”

“You don’t have to share the Little Sisters’ beliefs to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their conscience when they step outside the four walls of a church to serve the poor, heal the sick, or educate the next generation,” Israel concluded.

The Obama administration’s rule, finalized in February 2012, mandated that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, whether or not it  went against the conscience of employers. Places of worship were left out of the mandate, but religious-affiliated groups that objected still had to bring in a third-party administrator to handle the contraception coverage.

The Trump administration’s new rule offered conscience protections for religious reasons and covers religious nonprofits such as churches. The moral exemption included in the rule covers employers who cannot provide contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs due to their conscience and convictions, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

Rienzi is confident the Little Sisters of the Poor will prevail:

The Little Sisters will tell the judges in these new cases what they have successfully told the Supreme Court time and again, that governments do not need nuns to give out contraceptives, that our big country has room enough and space enough for diversity of ideas, that we can have both people who want contraceptives and nuns who can’t give them out and that the Constitution surely does not require the federal government to punish the little sisters or any other religious person for living out her faith.



Anti-Police Hypocrisy & Ignorance on Full Display in House Oversight Hearing

Lawmakers’ attacks took a brief pause during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee grilling of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to allow their colleague Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee a few choice moments to showcase her personal bias, anti-police animosity and general ignorance of the federal components she purportedly oversees.

Jackson Lee’s tone was a slight departure from that of several of her committee colleagues which was contemptuous and working hard to paint the attorney general as a liar.  By contrast, Jackson Lee was principally just contemptuous.

The Texas congresswoman dispensed with the hypocritical niceties of thanking Sessions for his service and agreeing to testify at the hearing.  Instead, she waved a pocket-sized Constitution and asked whether the attorney general believed in that book and what it stood for.

Then, without the introductory drumroll, her staff began lifting a poster-sized blowup of an August 2017 FBI intelligence assessment cautioning recipients on the very real threat posed by Black Identity Extremists toward law enforcement.

The congresswoman could barely contain her disdain as she began her questioning on the assessment:

“It is interesting to me that you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in COINTELPRO, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting, ‘jews will not replace us.’  Why is there an attack on black activists versus any reports dealing with the alt-right and the white nationalists?”
Jackson Lee’s tone was thick with contempt but not so thick that her own anti-police bias and ignorance of internal DOJ processes weren’t fully exposed.

Had the congresswoman or her staff taken just a moment to read any part of the threat assessment, they may have actually recognized it as an FBI intelligence product, not one initiated by, processed by, or released by the DOJ.  Here, even a very basic understanding of the intelligence cycle and the roles of the various intelligence agencies might serve a congressperson; however, actual understanding of a process or of a threat or of an organization was, evidently, not part of this congressperson’s priorities. 

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee chose to read no more than the first three words of the assessment’s title, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers” before she had her issue.  The FBI had the audacity to write about blacks who were targeting law enforcement and were successful in repeated deadly attacks.  How dare the FBI!

In her words, “you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force.”  Really?

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee should have perused page four that recounted the deadly ambush attack on Dallas police perpetrated by Micah Johnson who “expressed a desire to kill white people, especially white officers” and who “searched and liked social media pages of B[lack] I[dentity] E[xtremists] and black separatist groups and had been ousted from a local BIE group for being too radical … .”

Possibly, on that same page, she might have seen the reference to the brutal October 2014 hatchet attack by Zale Thompson on four New York Police Department officers, and how Thompson was reportedly angered by recent deaths at the hands of police.  Or that Thompson’s own writings advocated for armed struggle against “the oppressors” and “mass revolt” against U.S. systems.

Just maybe, Ms. Jackson Lee could have flipped to page five of the assessment to find intelligence on BIE ideologies and how those ideologies may have pushed on Gavin Long to ambush and shoot six law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge in 2016 or on another man who mowed down a group of police officers with his vehicle in Phoenix later in 2016.

Or maybe not.

Instead of reading the entire FBI assessment and understanding the very real threat posed by people and groups who adhere to hateful, racist ideologies, including Black Identity Extremists, this congresswoman chose an alternate path.  Somehow, hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers must be among Rep. Jackson Lee’s constituency and must be protected, here, from an overreaching FBI that, in their misguided way, chose to warn about hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers.

Politics, hypocrisy and ignorance were on full display in the House oversight hearing on Tuesday.  It was one sorry version of a civics lesson and one that arrogant, party-serving politicians like Ms. Jackson Lee will never apologize for.



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

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

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


23 November, 2017

Unusual Pastors

A third Ohio pastor has been indicted on charges of sex-trafficking a minor, and now all three men face new charges in the case after a federal grand jury indicted the Rev. Cordell Jenkins, the Rev. Anthony Haynes and the Rev. Kenneth Butler on conspiracy to sex-traffic children.

According to the Associated Press, all three men pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

The U.S. attorney’s office says that Haynes began grooming a 14-year-old girl for prostitution back in 2014. Haynes then introduced her to other men. All three of the pastors sexually assaulted the child, authorities said.

Jenkins and Haynes were arrested by FBI agents earlier this year and were initially accused of knowingly recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person under the age of 18 for sex trafficking.

An affidavit indicated that Haynes engaged in sex acts on multiple occasions with a then-14-year-old girl, recording some of the encounters and then paying the teen to remain silent, telling her that she could ruin his family and his church. Haynes then allegedly introduced the girl to other men, including Jenkins, who also paid the girl to have sex, officials say.

Jenkins is also accused of paying for sex acts with another underage girl.

Butler is charged with trafficking a third underage girl between 2015 and March of 2017. That girl told investigators that she met Butler at Haynes’ church when she was 15 and that he would give her rides to his church in the Detroit area. The girl told authorities that she had sex with Butler in his car twice and that he later gave her money. He allegedly later told her to lie to the FBI if she was questioned about him.

“These three men violated the trust of these children and the communities they purported to serve,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said in a news release, according to the Toledo Blade. “We are grateful for the courage of the victims and the dedication of our law-enforcement personnel in bringing these men to justice.”

Both Haynes and Butler are also facing charges of obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation. Haynes is accused of attempting to destroy electronic evidence of sex trafficking, while Butler is accused of instructing another individual to lie and then lying himself to law enforcement about his involvement.

Butler, who was not part of the original indictment, was also indicted on two counts of sex-trafficking children and one count of obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation.

If convicted, prosecutors would recommend life in prison, Michael Freeman, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the Blade.


Israel hatred and Rock musicians

Rogers Waters and Brian Eno have hit back at Australian musician Nick Cave after he accused the rock icons of trying to "bully" and "censor" him, and other musicians, over his current Israel tour.

Waters and Eno – prominent supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which lobbies artists to sever ties with Israel in protest of its occupation of Palestine – have called on Cave to join the boycott.

At a press conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Cave said he decided to perform in Israel as a "principled stand" against BDS activists.

"On a very intuitive level I did not want to sign that [boycott], there was something that stunk to me about that list," Cave said on Sunday. 

"It suddenly became very important to make a stand against those people that are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and to silence musicians.

"At the end of the day, there are two reasons why I am here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians.

"So really, you could say in a way that the BDS made me play Israel," he added.

In Tuesday's statement, Waters responded to Cave's comments with sharp criticism.

"I read Nick Cave's press conference statements with a mixture of sorrow, rage and disbelief," Waters said, mocking Cave's accusations of censorship.

"What if it was your demolished home? Your invaded country? Your villages razed to the ground to build stadiums for the invaders to promote pop concerts on?

"We hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference," he added. 

Eno, the former Roxy Music synth player and ambient music producer, noted Cave's "generous" support for Palestinian humanitarian causes, but said the artist had fallen into Israel's "propaganda campaign".

"It's nothing to do with 'silencing' artists – a charge I find rather grating when used in a context where a few million people are permanently and grotesquely silenced," he said.

The BDS movement has drawn support from the likes of U2, Snoop Dogg, Bjork, Lauryn Hill and Elvis Costello, who all cancelled gigs in Israel.

Yet a long list of artists, including Metallica?, Madonna, Elton John, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne and others, have continued to perform in Israel.

In July, Radiohead performed their longest concert in more than 10 years in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, following a bitter public back-and-forth with Waters.


Support for Air Force Colonel Takes Off

Air Force Col. Leland Bohannon needed reinforcements — and thanks to eight senators, he got them. The Christian combat pilot has been grounded since spring, when his superiors decided that the colonel’s decision not to sign a “certificate of appreciation” for a same-sex spouse was enough to suspend him from duty.

For Bohannon, a 20-year veteran with a distinguished record, it was a stunning blow. After all, Bohannon, who’d sought the counsel of a command chaplain and staff judge advocate, had asked for a religious accommodation. He got a poor performance appraisal instead. On track to lose his standing and any hopes of promotion, Bohannon reached out to First Liberty Institute for help. Knowing “his career is likely over” if nothing’s done, conservatives everywhere have teamed up to raise the colonel’s case.

At least eight U.S. senators are pitching in to help. In a letter to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (reported on by Fox News’s Todd Starnes), Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) ask the branch chief to step in and save Bohannon’s career.

“Col. Bohannon has suffered severely on account of the [Equal Opportunity] investigator’s mishandling of his religious liberty rights,” the senators wrote. “The Air Force owes it to him to see that justice is restored, along with his good name.” After all, they explain, the colonel did all he could to guarantee that the certificate was signed — just not by him. “Col. Bohannon recognized the moral and legal dilemma this situation presented, and to his credit, sought to carve out a solution that would affirm the contribution made by the retiring officer’s same-sex partner while at the same time allowing the colonel to abide by his religious convictions,” the senators point out.

“The Air Force’s refusal to accept this compromise and its refusal to grant an accommodation — when doing so would cause no discernable harm — raises the question as to which circumstances, if any, would move the U.S. Air Force to defend the free exercise rights of its soldiers.” Like us, they’re asking the Air Force to overturn this decision and reinstate Bohannon in the good standing his record deserves.


History enthusiast branded a Nazi and loses his job

YORK, Pa. — Chad Eisenhart glanced at the image on his phone: a white, beefy face, partially obscured by ski goggles. The man wore a military-style helmet, backpack, and white polo shirt and was marching in loose formation with other men in helmets.

Charlottesville, Eisenhart quickly realized.

He looked closer with growing unease. The marcher looked familiar, like one of Eisenhart’s employees at Carryout Courier, a small business that shuttles pizza and hot food to the residential doorsteps of York.

Eisenhart’s social media manager, who sent the photo, had included a message: “Is our driver Bob a [expletive] Nazi?”

Now, in an instant, Eisenhart was forced to confront, in a stunningly personal way, one of the most stomach-churning events since Trump’s rise to power: his own employee, a local resident wearing white nationalist garb in Charlottesville and marching in public with racists and anti-Semites.

Eisenhart said he didn’t know about Martin’s shifting outlook, that his employee had kept that side of his life a secret at work. But as images of Martin marching in Charlottesville quickly spread on social media, a public outcry engulfed Carryout Courier.

Events of the summer would leave Eisenhart stung by the dizzying speed with which people across the country, strangers mobilizing on the Internet, attacked him and his 20-year-old local business.

Martin had begun participating with the Chesapeake Volunteer Guard, a group of reenactors from the mid-Atlantic that plays both Union and Confederate soldiers. Martin worked hard at being authentic. He sported a new pair of “brogans,” a style of boot common during the war. He purchased an 1861 Springfield musket and accumulated a wardrobe of period clothing.

His former friends in the group say that when he first joined up about a decade ago, he was jolly and helpful. If they needed someone to cook the meals, he was the first to volunteer. If they needed a trench dug, he was ready to do it.

“He wasn’t racist, he wasn’t political. He wouldn’t talk politics around the campfire. He would talk history,” said Joshua Mason, a former friend who was shocked to learn that Martin took part in the Charlottesville march. “The person I knew then and the person he is now is completely different.”

Martin can be seen marching in loose formation as someone shouts, “Black lives do not matter!” Another video shows him joining a defensive perimeter around the statue of Robert E. Lee, which was the focal point of the white supremacist demonstration. A third clip shows him jostling with counterprotesters, with an anxious look on his face, as Charlottesville’s Market Street turned into a melee filled with tear gas and people beating one another with sticks.

None of the hours of video footage reviewed by the Globe show Martin joining in the violence. In fact, he often looks out of place, glancing around with uncertainty and his mouth often gaping open as he appears to gasp for air.

After learning Monday morning of Martin’s participation in the march, Eisenhart had to figure out quickly how to respond.

His decision came with surprising ease — before he’d even talked to Martin. Eisenhart realized that what he thought about Martin’s political views didn’t really matter.

“We are not in the business of righting the world and its beliefs,” he wrote to his social media manager, about 10 minutes after getting her first text about Bob. “If we evaluated what was in each employee and customers head and made business decisions from that, I would be my only customer.”

As much as he was repulsed by his driver’s beliefs, Eisenhart decided he would stick by Martin’s constitutional right to hold and express them. Once you start down the road of firing people for their beliefs, where does it stop?

The criticism built. Eisenhart’s mother was even approached about the controversy at church.

“At some point, the public pressure became too great,” he said.

He again called Martin into his office and vented. “I’m getting pushback and pressure on this. What do you think I should do?” he said he asked Martin.

“I think you should let me work here,” Martin replied, as Eisenhart recalled it. “I didn’t do anything against the job.”

“I agree with you, dude,” Eisenhart said. “You should be able to have your opinions.”

Martin resigned. Eisenhart would not say whether it was offered or forced.

Eisenhart is still rattled months later. He used to relish nights watching Stephen Colbert or Seth Meyers make fun of Trump. He has been a regular listener of the liberal podcast “Pod Save America,” hosted by a trio of former Obama aides.

But now he’s tuning those voices out. “Somehow Trump rides everything out, and doesn’t let it bother him,” he said. “Why can’t I?”

Maybe Trump’s criticism of the media has a point, he now thinks. Perhaps things can get out of context and out of hand.

“I was attacked for something I didn’t believe in,” he said. “It felt like a lot of pressure against me and implying something I didn’t believe in.”

“When I look at all these other activists trying to drum up and get hoopla on policies — it’s hard for me to get behind them because I think, ‘Wait a minute I was targeted,’?” he added. “Maybe these people are being unfairly targeted. Maybe I need to hear their side of the story more.”



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

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

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


23 November, 2017

Evil mothers

As we know well, Leftists work hard to suppress information that disrupts their theories and claims.  And in areas where they just about monopolize knowledge, such as psychology and sociology, they often achieve near blackout.  My academic career consisted very largely of asking awkward questions and providing answers that no Leftist had considered in writing.  So I thought I knew where all the skeletons were buried.

Some information has just come to me however which took me entirely by surprise.  I heard of something happening of which I had no inkling.  Despite my many years of experience with academic psychology. I heard of something that had been completely blacked out.

The information came in an email from X, a volunteer social worker who had been at the workface of disruptive child behaviour for many years.  He is a very sympathetic person so gained the confidence of many people involved with child misbehaviour.  And what he heard was like nothing in the books.  I pass on now his words:

What is rarely acknowledged is that there exist many mothers who deliberately manipulate their children to misbehave so that the mother (single or married, but mostly single or defacto) can act stressed and give vent to her own irritation/anger and appear as if she is trying very hard like a martyr with a child that is badly behaved and wearing her down. I believe this manipulation by mothers is more widespread than most people can imagine. These sorts of mothers actually want their child to be badly behaved.

Now I will make an even more extreme claim, and that is that feminist/leftist mothers deliberately manipulate their children to be hateful, to be bullies, and to be socially maladjusted. In my role I had several mothers openly admit their tactics and motives to me for how and why they made their children so bad, and I observed many other mothers in obvious denial about doing much the same. I actually admire the ones who were open about it. At least they acknowledged it and so might change. Those in denial can’t.  

There was one little boy I worked with who was a horrid bully, frequently punching other boys on the nose, taking what he wanted from other children, and all the usual bully stuff. A few years later I met his mother. She was an absolute horror. Being fascinated by human personalities I spent several weeks chatting with her. She admitted to encouraging her boy to be a bully, to take what he wanted, to disrespect his teachers, and not to study at school, because society is bad and should be destroyed and one day it will be.

She told me she expected one day to shoot her brother and bury him in the forest because he comes and sponges off her. After telling me all about her horrid nature she started getting awkward, kindly holding my dustcoat out the way so it would not drag on what I was doing while also brushing my dick with her hand at the same time.

Not the sort of woman I wanted to get involved with, and one I expected would not hesitate to cause me problems if I upset her with rejection, so I acted completely dumb and talked about the job I was doing and other things like I was very focused on them and didn’t notice what she was doing. Its not usually too hard to make women like that not like me and leave me alone in that way. I act dumb and let other men look better.   

Another mother told me how she was training her 11 year old boy to be violent, to smash a neighbour’s car windows and pile rocks on the driver’s seat to make him late for work and annoy him because he’s an idiot, and because she thinks its good to have violent sons.

She also told me she is preparing her 18 year old son to one day beat up her defacto husband and throw him out of the house all beaten up because he is a weak and useless man. She said the defacto was not a real man like her previous husband who would beat her up if she gave him trouble. She said the current one just sits on the couch and trembles and cries when she insults him and tells him he is a useless man. She said one day he will crack and get violent with her and then her son will bash him and throw him out.

Those were two cases of rather gross behaviour by mothers. I have many more cases of more subtle tactics that take longer to describe what they do. I think the subtle tactics are worse for many reasons.

Other extreme cases in which I did not meet the mothers, only the sons, were some criminals in the prison when I was doing volunterering. Most crims are raised by single mothers.

Of course crims are commonly liars but I think I got pretty good at telling what was true and false of what crooks said. To assist my counselling I had access to their criminal records, prior psych assessments, prior psych notes, judges summaries of their court cases, etc.  So it was easy to get a pretty full picture.

I wanted to in the correction system. The psychs I worked with kept to only doing the minimal ordinary part of their work, but I have always explored the outer reaches and peripheries of all my jobs. One crim, a serial sex offender against underage girls, was kept away from school for half of most of his primary school years by his mother and was kept stoned on cannabis and LSD, and of course she had sex with him too.

His mother was a welfare worker. She ran the first needle exchange program for junkies in one of our state capital cities. Last I heard she was still working in welfare, but in another state capital.

These details were in various reports and even the judges summary but as far as I know his mother was not investigated or charged.

Many of the crooks report all sorts of abuse from their mothers. My fellow workers were always reluctant to put that in the crims counselling notes though, but they didn’t mind noting when crims were abused by males as children. The stats have to be incorrect because the feminist psychs don’t want to face and report abuses by mothers.    

Via email

UK: Labour’s identity politics amounts to bigotry

The left loves to lump people by sex or ethnicity and fails to see that this creates more division

Nasreen Khan, who until recently was shortlisted for a safe Labour council seat, claimed a few years ago that schools were “brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler” and asked: “What have the Jews done good in this world?”

Apart from earning about a quarter of all Nobel prizes, formulating the theory of relativity, founding psychoanalysis, pioneering game theory and DNA computing; helping to invent synthetic fertiliser and creating vaccines for cholera, polio and measles; producing Roth, Kafka, Proust, Heller, Mailer, Salinger, Pinter; giving us West Side Story and The Wizard of Oz, Mendelssohn and Mahler, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Saving Private Ryan, Google and Facebook, I’m struggling.

Last week Labour finally dropped her, but she’s not the only figure in the party to rue old comments recently. There was Jared O’Mara, the suspended MP for Sheffield Hallam, who had made comments online about “poofters” and a man being “sodomised to death”, as well as various sexist remarks.

Then there is Emma Dent Coad, the bafflingly not-suspended MP for Kensington, who called the Tory Shaun Bailey, who is black, a “token ghetto boy” and “ghetto man”.

The remarks are different, but the common denominator they reveal is something poisonous in parts of the Labour Party: a tendency to put people in boxes, to see the minority status first and the individual second. You might imagine that a so-called progressive party would champion the message that what matters is the content of our character, not the colour of our skin, our sexuality, our gender. Time and again, though, they come back to an obsession with identity and difference.

Before the 1983 election the Conservative Party released a poster which encapsulated the parties’ contrasting approaches to identity. It showed a black man with the caption: “Labour say he’s black. Tories say he’s British.” Since then Labour’s habit of seeing the minority and not the man has only become more pronounced. I never fail to be irritated by their politicians’ ability to speak sweepingly of large groups of people as “communities” with necessarily common interests, when such “communities” are united only by gender, race or sexuality.

In recent years we have had the hideously patronising sight of Harriet Harman and other Labour women travelling the country in a pink bus to “speak to women” before the 2015 election, treating women as a wholly separate tribe with separate interests.

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has brought more right-on appealing to minorities, encapsulated in his boast that “only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of BAME people”, as though the talent of black, Asian and minority ethnic people were something intrinsically different from that of white people.

There are good electoral reasons for doing this, of course. Set yourself up as the only defenders of minorities, make people see themselves foremost as members of a minority, and sweep in the votes.

But it is all so loathsomely condescending, so divisive and so absolutist. Many on the left have a remarkably rigid view of the world: a stubborn cleaving to stereotypes that allows them to see all of life as a great struggle for justice, a fight between the oppressors and the oppressed. All those living in poverty are then helpless victims of “the system”, whatever choices they’ve made. All Conservatives are cruel and selfish. All wealthy people are money-grubbers who deserve to be squeezed until the pips squeak. All women must be interested principally in “women’s issues” or they are betraying the sisterhood. All big businesses are capitalist predators conspiring to rinse the economy and our pockets. And, of course, all ethnic minorities must fall into line and vote Labour.

After Ms Dent Coad’s slur on Mr Bailey, the MP Clive Lewis, sometimes hailed as Labour’s next great hope, doubled down on the offence she had caused by tweeting: “If you think you can fight racism and be in the Tory party then I guess this conversation isn’t going to go very far I’m afraid. If anyone has any understanding of the structural reality of modern racism, you’d not come within a country mile of a Tory membership card.”

Not content with calling Mr Bailey “boy”, Labour now tells this man that he simply doesn’t understand modern racism. Labour owns minority concerns, see? To be in the party, with its noble aspirations to equality, creates a force field against criticism.

Yet what some on the left fail to see is that by endlessly categorising people as minorities and catering to separate “communities”, you do not liberate them but leave them stuck in victim status. You cast them not as individuals but as needy cases who will only thrive through leg-ups, positive discrimination, quotas. You deny them all autonomy.

As Kemi Badenoch, who is black and also a Conservative MP, said in the wake of Ms Dent Coad’s comments: “My message to young black people everywhere is please, please feel free to be who you want to be. Don’t let Labour’s stereotypes and low expectations hold you back and never let them treat you like black sheep who will always follow them.”

The truth is that it is not through the odd comment on social media that Labour perpetuates racism, sexism and homophobia. It is in constantly dividing us into different “communities”, putting people in boxes according to minority and attempting to keep them there. It is this attitude, not a few bad apples, that really needs to be rooted out.


President Trump: Stop The FEMA Religious Discrimination

Last Friday, a Houston federal judge rejected FEMA’s attempt to delay a challenge by three Texas churches asking for equal access to disaster relief aid. The judge also set a December 1 deadline for FEMA to change its position or he would issue a ruling. Since the devastation by Hurricane Harvey in late August, FEMA has denied houses of worship access to federal disaster aid grants while allowing other non-profits to apply. Judge Keith Ellison’s ruling in Harvest Family Church v. FEMA suggests that the end may be near for the agency’s policy that explicitly discriminates against houses of worship because of their religious status.

The three churches – Harvest Family Church, Hi-Way Tabernacle, and Rockport First Assembly of God –sued  Churches FEMAFEMA on September 4, because of the agency’s policy of excluding churches. The churches received overwhelming support, including friend-of-the-court briefs filed by a Houston synagogue and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. But since the start of the lawsuit, FEMA has continued to shut houses of worship out of the disaster relief grant application process. The ruling Friday repeatedly refers to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, which ruled that the First Amendment requires religious groups to receive equal access to widely available public programs.

“Christmas may come early for hard-hit houses of worship in Texas—the Court has set the clock ticking on FEMA’s irrational religious discrimination policy,” said Daniel Blomberg, counsel at Becket, the non-profit religious liberty law firm that represents the churches. “It can’t come soon enough.”

Judge Ellison heard arguments in the case on Tuesday. Friday, he denied a request by Department of Justice lawyers to delay the case and gave FEMA a December 1 deadline to change its position or he would issue a ruling. In his ruling, the judge recognizes that the Churches’ challenge is a “First Amendment case,” that the Churches here have suffered “significant damage,” and that FEMA’s exclusionary policy is “fraught” with constitutional issues.

“Discriminating against houses of worship—which are often on the front lines of disaster relief—is not just wrongheaded, it strikes at our nation’s most fundamental values,”?said Blomberg.

Kate Shellnut of ChristianityToday.com reports that their case brings up the precedent set by the US Supreme Court’s recent Trinity Lutheran playground ruling, which stated in June that a church could not be kept from applying for a public grant “solely because it is a church.”

FEMA’s public assistance program focuses on organizations providing public services, so it excludes “facilities established or primarily used for political, athletic, religious, recreational, vocational, or academic training, conferences, or similar activities.”

Since many churches use their buildings for both religious purposes and for charitable outreach to the public, FEMA clarifies the eligibility of mixed-use facilities and explicitly bars organizations that put on “religious activities, such as worship, proselytizing, religious instruction, or fundraising activities that benefit a religious institution and not the community at large.” Religious nonprofits that run secular community centers, that are open to all, and do not host any worship activities, are an exception.

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in the Trinity Lutheran case brought up how “the court leaves open the possibility a useful distinction might be drawn between laws that discriminate on the basis of religious status and religious use.” FEMA’s policy likely falls into the latter category.

“They’re not asking that FEMA give them the money; they just want a place at the table” to apply for it, said Blomberg.

Houses of worship were among the first to respond in Harvey’s aftermath and they continue to provide aid to their communities. While the court heard arguments on Tuesday, Hi-Way Tabernacle was unloading several tractor trailers of food and goods for distribution to hundreds of people in their community.

Though houses of worship cannot apply for money to offset response costs or to rebuild damaged buildings, FEMA policy lists churches among the facilities that are typically used as emergency shelters.

Hi-Way Tabernacle, an Assemblies of God congregation outside of Houston, is hosting hurricane evacuees for the third time:

As of September 4, the church was sheltering between 60 and 70 people, with more expected. The Tabernacle’s gym has been transformed into a warehouse for the county, storing and distributing food, water, hygiene products, and clothing. Over 8,000 FEMA emergency meals have been distributed from the Tabernacle’s facilities. Relief workers are using the facilities to provide both medical services and haircuts to victims. The Tabernacle has been informed that governmental disaster relief helicopters may be landing on its property as well.

In the first few days of flooding, the City of Houston called on several churches to serve as official temporary shelters, and many others opened their doors on their own. Now that recovery and cleanup efforts have begun, churches continue to collect and distribute materials and prepare damaged homes for renovation, rallying together as “the faith-based FEMA” that often turns out after major disasters, reports Ms. Shellnut.

Samaritan’s Purse is operating out of five areas affected by Harvey, dispatching over 2,000 volunteers. World Vision has collected supplies to help around 100,000 people displaced by the storm. Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief are providing hot meals, clean water, and other necessities.

FEMA has already approved $66.4 million in Hurricane Harvey relief funds. During previous storms like Katrina and Sandy, affected households received between $7,000 and $8,000 in assistance on average according to Kate Shellnut’s reporting.

Bizarrely, says Becket, FEMA’s current policy discriminates against churches while at the same time using them for its own relief efforts. The policy also stands in defiance of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Trinity Lutheran, which appears to protect the right of religious organizations to participate in widely available programs on equal footing with secular organizations.


Loading your tray at the Social Justice Cafeteria

By Alex Beam 

I see that the pitchfork people are coming for Woody Allen. His movie “Wonder Wheel” opens next week, and there is talk of a boycott to protest Woody’s numerous crimes against humanity.

Allen may be the greatest comic writer of the 20th century, for those of us who remember his lapidary contributions to The New Yorker in the 1960s and 1970s. I’m not sure the magazine has ever published work as funny as “The Whore of Mensa,” or the chess-by-fax parody “The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers,” And yes, I know who S.J. Perelman is.

What was Woody’s unforgivable transgression? He had an adulterous affair with his stepdaughter, to whom he has been married for more than 20 years. In the course of a vitriolic divorce battle, he was accused multiple times — and exonerated multiple times — of molesting another stepdaughter.

I’ll read the reviews of “Wonder Wheel” and take it from there.

Welcome to life in the Social Justice Cafeteria! Eat this! Don’t eat that! While Hurricane Weinstein was blowing through town, my wife and I were watching a TV series produced by the Weinstein Company, “Trapped,” a goofy Icelandic police procedural — and saw the logo flash across our screen every night. Should we have turned the television off?

Should I never watch my favorite movie, the Weinstein-produced “Shakespeare in Love,” again? Hey, cinephiles — will you stop watching “Casablanca,” arguably the greatest movie of all time? I read here in the Tablet that its producer, Jack Warner, was “a serial exploiter of women . . . who may well have invented the casting couch.”

I am shocked, shocked.

Speaking of eat this/don’t eat that, Globe food critic Devra First recently ventured into a Chick fil-A restaurant, reminding readers that Boston’s late mayor Thomas Menino pointedly uninvited the chain to set up shop here, because of its chairman’s outspoken support of “traditional” marriage. “Where do we draw the lines about what we consume?” First asked, and it’s an interesting question.

The lines are sinuous indeed. Guess who opposes same-sex marriage? The majority of my co-communicants in the worldwide Anglican church. And yet I pop up at the altar rail a few dozen times a year because, well, I choose to. The state of Israel doesn’t perform same-sex marriages, and yet I’ve travelled there twice, and would again in a heartbeat.

Boycott the NFL? Why should I? If, like me, you are still watching pro football, you are in pretty deep. You are apparently comfortable with paunchy white men raking in enormous amounts of money on the soon-to-be-shattered brains of promising young athletes. You somehow rationalized Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice smashing the bejesus out of a defenseless woman on videotape.

Even though I deplore Donald Trump, it somehow doesn’t bother me that every member of the Patriots’ Holy Trinity — owner Bob Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and the Gwyneth Paltrow of quarterbacks, Tom Brady — has been shilling for him since Day One.

Football isn’t a morality play, and it doesn’t claim to be. It’s a violent spectator sport that mimics the ancient drama of battle to huge, appreciative audiences, including me.

The problem with over-analyzing the menu at the Social Justice Cafeteria is that you risk starvation. Bad people do great things, and mediocre people do very little at all. Our world was built with the crooked timber of humanity: the just, the bent, and the halt; the brilliant, disturbed writers who marry young girls; and the God-like quarterbacks who won’t eat tomatoes, for some crazy reason.

Welcome to it.



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

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

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


21 November, 2017

Could trophy hunting be saving rhinos, elephants and lions?

IT’S almost too easy to jet out to Africa and hunt a lion, elephant or rhino in its “natural habitat”.

A shocking new documentary film, Trophy, shows how massive conventions are now flogging package holidays for those looking for the perfect kill.

The only catch is, they often have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to slaughter some of world’s most iconic animals in their natural habitat — some say they are saving theses precious species at the same time as killing them.

“I did not know that you could simply go online and, within minutes, book a hunt for any animal that you desired — a lion, a cheetah, an elephant, even a critically endangered black rhino,” said internationally acclaimed film director, Shaul Schwarz, whose film explores the controversial subject.

“Could it be that simple? It is,” he said. “Hundreds of African outfitters will welcome you, lodge you, and provide legal permits for your hunt.”

Trophy hunting, the recreational killing of animals the killing of big game for a set of horns or tusks, a skin, or a taxidermied body has become a billion-dollar business.

Now a heated debate is raging over whether this money, some of which goes back into conservation, is worth the moral issues it raises and the market for killing and animal products that it feeds.

“The basic principal of supply and demand drives these businesses — the rarer and closer to extinction a species is, the higher the price for the kill,” said Schwarz.

The cost of some of these hunts is staggering. For example, a 14-day, single elephant hunt in Namibia can cost around $105,000.

Some of that cash is reportedly used to fund conservation projects to protect the area’s wildlife and often the meat goes back into the local, predominantly impoverished, communities.

Felix Marnewecke, a guide and hunter who leads trophy tours, told National Geographic that a portion of the fee is paid directly to community members. “I feel quite shitty when an elephant dies, but those elephants pay for the conservation of the other 2500 that move through here,” he told the magazine “Trophy hunting is the best economic model we have in Africa right now.”

“In the end it may save this place — and the elephants too.”

Problem solved then, right?

Mr Schwarz, says this couldn’t be further from the truth and some of the statistics he uses in the film are shocking. He says big-game populations are dwindling because of pressure hunting, human encroachment, shifting climate norms, and widespread criminal poaching.

Since 1970, the world has lost over 60 per cent of all wild animals. In 1900, there were 500,000 rhinos in the world. Now there are fewer than 30,000.

In 1900, there were 10 million elephants. In 2015 there were only 350,000 left.

And there are holes in this “hunting to save” theory. The profit-driven industry is overseen in some cases by corrupt governments and it feeds a demand for products from these animals — such as ivory.

The film also shows how the commodification of killing is becoming like a “fast-food culture” where hunters can go on “canned” expeditions — where they can kill lots of animals in a more enclosed environment. They are also far cheaper than the multiple day hunts.

In Trophy, US tourists are shown gunning down tied-up crocodiles at close-range hunts and celebrating in a “canned” experience.

Biologist and lion expert Craig Packer, told National Geographic the “kill to protect” argument isn’t justified. “If hunters were shooting lions for a million dollars and returning a million per lion directly into management, they would be on solid ground,” he said. “But lions are shot for tens of thousands of dollars, and very little of that goes into conservation.”

And, if these hunters really cared about the animals they claim to help protect — wouldn’t they be better not killing at all?

The link between hunting and conservation is nothing new. Prominent conservationists such as Charles Darwin and Ernest Hemingway were also big hunters.

But, trophy hunting and glorifying of big-game killing through social media have foisted it firmly back into the public eye in recent years.

The killing of celebrity lion Cecil in Zimbabwe three years ago created headlines around the world and outrage on social media.

The US dentist who killed the lion using a bow and arrow went into hiding and spent thousands on personal security.

Some hunters have claimed many those who are outraged by these pictures are hypocrites because they eat packaged meat and consume animal products from cruel, industrial-scale farming.

Trophy also explores how the animal parts from these incredible beasts are trafficked and how the hunting industry is feeding into it.

The filmmakers met with John Hume — who is the world’s largest private rhino breeder and founder/owner of Buffalo Dream Ranch, home to approximately 1500 rhinos in South Africa. He says rhino horn is most expensive animal product in the world and it is worth more than gold.

The retired property developer publicly advocates for legalisation of the trade in rhino horn and took the South African government to court in order to lift a 2009 moratorium on rhino horn trade that triggered a massive spike in poaching.

He trims his rhinos’ horns every two years and has over five tons of horn currently stockpiled and claims the market for the substance is not going away. So, he is advocating for a transparent, legal market.

And, just this week, President Trump said that he was temporarily reversing his decision to lift the Obama-era ban on importing big game hunting trophies into the United States.

Could Mr Hume be right?

“There are no easy answer to these questions,” said Schwarz. “We hope Trophy becomes a first step bringing those oppositional forces together to ignite a healthy, informed debate on how to save these animals before they disappear.”


Why Didn't Liberals Embrace 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot'?

I don't know what made me decide to take a chance the other day on Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a movie released last year and now available on Netflix. I've had it up to here with anti-American, military-bashing movies about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I had no reason to believe that this one, about an American network news correspondent who spends a couple of years based in Kabul, would be any less PC or preachy than Redacted, Syriana, Rendition, In the Valley of Elah, Stop-Loss, Grace Is Gone, Green Zone, or a dozen others. (I liked The Hurt Locker and American Sniper, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which flopped last year when it was released in cinemas, definitely didn't look like it was in the same class as those pictures.)

But I gave the movie a chance anyway, deciding to have it on while I was futzing around the apartment. I was pleasantly surprised almost immediately. Tina Fey, playing a longtime newsroom writer with zero on-camera, war-zone, or foreign-correspondent experience (the movie is based on a memoir by Kim Barker, then of the Chicago Tribune, now of the New York Times), arrives in Kabul only to be greeted at the airport by a hijab-clad local woman who barks at her: “Cover your hair, shameless whore!” That line was a good sign – this was one movie, apparently, that wasn't going to back off from gags at the expense of Islamic culture. After Fey is driven to the house where she'll live with a bunch of reporters for other Western media organizations, one of those reporters – a stunning Britain blonde – tells her that while she (Fey) is a “six or seven” in New York, she's almost a ten in Kabul. Another good sign – this movie's not too PC to make jokes based on the premise (offensive in some quarters nowadays) that some women are more attractive than others.

It got even better. Seeing a bunch of women in blue burkas, Fey calls them “IKEA bags.” She gives her translator a copy of Oprah's magazine, O, so he can get some idea of how women think. Visiting a village on a Marines embed, she's irked that the male interpreters aren't allowed to talk to the local, burka-wearing women. In the same village, where a well installed by the Marines has been repeatedly destroyed, presumably by the Taliban, she's taken aside by the village women, who, removing their burkas, explain to her that they're the ones who keep destroying the well, because walking down to the river to get water is the closest they ever get to being free.

I was stunned. Was this really a Hollywood movie?

There was more. Interviewing an Afghan official, Fey addresses the continuation under the Karzai government of Taliban-style “vice and virtue” policing and the retention of sharia law in Kandahar. Preparing to visit Kandahar, Fey quips about the burka she's obliged to wear there: “It's so pretty I don't even want to vote.” Her Afghan bodyguard tells her: “Now you are in the blue prison.” In Kandahar, she visits a girls' school firebombed by the Taliban. There's graffiti on the wall. “What does it say?” she asks. The answer: No education for women.

No, it's not All Quiet on the Western Front or Saving Private Ryan or The Deer Hunter. It's a nice, appealing little movie about real people – a fish-out-of-water story with likable characters and a colorful setting. The funny lines landed; the poignant moments came off; the obligatory kind-of-love story that developed in the film's second half was believable and interesting enough and neither took up too much screen time nor yanked the film off course.

And no, there was no out-and-out personal tragedy, no overt depiction of wartime horror (unless you count a brief, scary encounter with a ragtag group of Taliban types and a climactic kidnapping scene), but we already know that war is hell and there are plenty of war movies that give us two solid hours of hell. The idea here was plainly to look at the war in Afghanistan through a different window. And it worked. It felt fresh; I felt as if I was glimpsing a side of that country that I hadn't seen before.

One more thing. Without engaging in so much as a second of sententious moralizing, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot sent a powerful feminist message. Much of its humor was at the expense of Islamic patriarchy. For that reason, American feminists should've embraced this picture. Hell, American liberals generally should've embraced it for the humane picture it paints of friendly, respectful interaction between Westerners and ordinary Afghans, who are presented consistently without condescension.

And yet I hadn't even heard of this film before. Why was that? As soon as it was over, I looked up some reviews online – and I found out what sins writer Robert Carlock and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa had committed, in the view of the mainstream cultural commentariat. The Hollywood Reporter informed me that Whiskey Tango Foxtrot had done “nothing to illuminate the larger geopolitical picture.”

Other reviews leveled essentially the same charge. What nonsense. Did Ninotchka “illuminate the larger geopolitical picture”? Of course what really bugged most of these reviewers was that the movie didn't make villains out of the Americans and saints out of the Afghans. Also, they didn't like the fact that the two juiciest Afghan parts weren't played by real Afghans.

Then there was the whole verboten business of making fun of anything remotely connected to Islam. The Ayatollah Khomeini once said that there's no humor in Islam, and in America's left-wing cultural establishment there's certainly no humor allowed anywhere near that most sacred (and scary) of topics. Case in point: Melissa Anderson, whose review of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot appeared in the Village Voice and several other left-leaning metro weeklies. Actually accusing the film of “mild Islamophobia” and of “disregard for the battle-ravaged Asian nation” – sheer calumny! – Anderson was outraged that when Fey makes her “IKEA bags” remark, “we are meant not to be appalled by her bigotry but to chortle along with her forthrightness.”

Yes, that's the word Anderson used: “bigotry.” As far as she's concerned, a woman who openly and unapologetically disapproves of men forcing women into “blue prisons” is guilty of nothing less than bigotry. No surprise there: this kind of repellent cultural relativism, this refusal to stand in solidarity with the planet's most oppressed females, is what passes for American feminism nowadays. And it's why an effective, authentically feminist movie like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot gets trashed by the same types of moral and intellectual pygmies who think that Linda Sarsour is a women's rights heroine.


Men are not a different species

Gender determinism has returned in PC form

Patrick West

We are in the midst of a moral panic. And not just any old moral panic – a traditional reactionary one directed at paedophiles, immigrants, skinheads, mods and rockers or Teddy Boys. No, this is a proper ‘progressive’ moral panic, as embodied by the Pestminster witch-hunt. This moral panic is about men, and the belief that there is an existential problem with males as a whole. Masculinity has now become pathologised, and sexism today has become transformed into a modern-day evil: invisible, intangible, omnipotent.

For decades we learned to appreciate that while your sex might influence the way you act and think, it doesn’t define you. Environment is just as important in shaping who you are, both in how culture interprets the differences between men and women, and through other factors unrelated to your sex. More importantly, human beings are not hostages to biology: we can think for ourselves. We may not be able to escape nature or rewrite how we were nurtured, but we are not condemned by either. My genitals, chromosomes, hormones or ‘male brain’ aren’t writing these words – I am.

Yet gender determinism is curiously back in fashion (as is racial determinism, with the rhetoric about the ‘problem with whiteness’). It has become normal to talk of ‘men’ as a problematic category, as if all ‘men’ are potential or actual sexual predators, as if we are a coherent category of automatons, confined by those inverted commas. When Caitlin Moran concluded her Times column on Saturday speaking about ‘the problem of men’, she summed up a mainstream sentiment. It’s astonishing that it needs saying these days that this is no different to talking about the ‘problem of women’ or the problem of ‘the blacks’.

It should baffle us that gender determinism has magically returned, but it is the logical consequence of identity politics, which has held sway ever since the appeal of class began to wither in the 1960s. If you are going to obsess about gender (or race), as has been the norm, making it the foundation of your very essence will follow. This is the logic of political trends, and fashion in general: they always veer to the extreme. Just as once skirts got shorter, flares wider, hair longer and now hipster beards bigger, political trends always get more outlandish.

It is this very ignorance of class that makes today’s gender determinism so intellectually bankrupt. Not only is it irrational to talk of ‘men’ as if they are a different species, and prisoners of biology, but this current fad among a loud, unrepresentative coterie of academics, twenty- and thirtysomething tertiary types and upper-middle-class London journalists ignores class and social status, and other factors that help to shape you, such as race, religion, age and sexual orientation.

Power is gender-blind. A docker in Dover, an African-American in Detroit, or a Third World manual labourer: each possess a fraction of the power and privilege of a wealthy woman in London who writes for a national newspaper. There has been improper behaviour at Westminster and Hollywood not because the culprits are men, but because they are MPs and film directors. Their power – and abuse of it – derives from their elevated social status, not their sex.

Any person who talks about the ‘problem of men’ implicitly condemns their own father and any brother or son they might have. To talk in such hostile, blanket terms of ‘men’ exposes the inhumanity of gender determinism. All of us have or have had a male and female biological parent; misandry is as irrational as misogyny.

No one factor determines you, either biologically or environmentally. You yourself are the final arbiter of who you are and what you are. Like most men, I have never raped a woman or groped a female colleague, and so I refute the war on men’s deterministic narrative. I refuse to accept it. I am not guilty of anything.


It Begins: YouTube Censors Christian site

Two weeks ago, I was summarily informed in a brief email from YouTube that our Russian Faith channel —on which we had spent hundreds of hours of hard work and which complements the Russian Faith website, which I own - had been ‘terminated.’ No reason was given other than a very general one which could mean anything.

Russian Faith is a new media project I started in September:  a website, YouTube channel (now banned), Facebook, and Twitter - to cover Christian issues in general, and the huge story of the renaissance of Christianity in Russia.

This dramatic turn by both government and society in Russia is very important not just for Christians, but for the whole world, regardless of their religious views, because it has so many ramifications important to us Americans.

It should affect our foreign policy, and it contrasts with the hostility to Christian values in our own Western societies. It is a fact that Russia has emerged as the leading defender of world Christianity, and it is a disgrace that liberal forces in the US elites and the government are among Christianity's most hostile foes - both at home and abroad.

Millions of Russians now routinely march for Christianity
Observing the Christian renaissance in Russia first hand while living there, I realized that this story is being badly misunderstood, misrepresented, and under-reported - another massive fail by the mainstream media. No surprises here.

When we launched, we received glowing reviews, enthusiastic support and encouragement from the public, and raised over $10,000 from hundreds of small donors in an initial crowdfund.

The videos which were banned were of the most positive character - videos about love, sacrifice and charity, about honor and respect. YouTube banned them ALL - and most incredibly - refuses to explain why!

I have started and managed successful YouTube channels and understand the environment very well, and it is obvious to me that this is deliberate censorship. Blocking monetization, suppression of views, and manipulation of statistics, is a huge, persistent problem, and there has been a dramatic increase over the past two months across all the big tech platforms.

I have been monitoring this with increasing alarm. If you think this is un-American, then please sign our petition below, and follow my personal pages on Facebook or Twitter. I will be talking more about these encroachments on our rights in the coming weeks and months.

I and the Russian Faith team feel violated - our constitutional rights have been trampled on, our hard work trashed. Our ability to fund this site, which we started on a shoestring thanks to hundreds of small donations from people all across America and the world, has been attacked.

Russian Faith is a labor of love - everyone involved has given and sacrificed to share good things with the world. Here is our initial crowdfund video explaining why we started this (and yes, this one was banned by YouTube too):

We’ve decided to fight back - and have started a petition (sign below) and other measures. If you agree that it is time for Christians of all denominations to speak up against the hostility coming from the elites who control our media and big tech platforms, please join us (see below).

Our views are socially conservative, reflecting the views of the Russian Orthodox Christian Church, which includes being critical of the LGBT movement - and I suspect that is where the problem lies (see below).

The censorship wreaked havoc on our website because we had embedded the videos in dozens of articles, all of which were now showing empty grey boxes where videos used to be. Many of those articles were about the videos, rendering the articles meaningless.

In many cases, we had spent hundreds of hours painstakingly translating videos which were in Russian into English, embedding the subtitles. All this was swept away with a keystroke from a nameless YouTube censor who won’t even condescend to explain what his reasons were.

We will have to spend hundreds of hours fixing it all at considerable expense.

Most importantly, we had our crowdfunding video on that channel, and it had been embedded on many websites across the internet - all of this was also crippled by YouTube’s arbitrary decision. And we depend on the crowdfunding to survive.

Currently, we are still unable to publish our usual volume of content because our small team has to repair all this gratuitous and unnecessary damage.

This is deliberate censorship

I am very familiar with YouTube's rules and guidelines, and I can say with absolute certainty that they discriminated against us, and treated us unfairly as if they were deliberately looking for a reason to shut us down.

The way it usually works is that if you do make a mistake, YouTube gives you a warning, which you can dispute - and only if you accumulate a certain number of these ‘strikes’, and are unable to disprove them, and refuse to take the videos down, does YouTube take the drastic measure of banning your channel.

We got no such warning and had not been notified of any ‘strikes’. The ban came out of the blue.

If there were some violations on any of the videos, why didn’t YouTube notify us? Why did they not give us a chance to take down the videos? Why didn't they give us a chance to dispute any complaints, if there were any? Why do they refuse to answer questions about this? Obviously, they wanted to ban the whole channel, and to stop it altogether. But why?



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

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

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


20 November, 2017

Safe spaces for Leftists only

We are starting to see just how ideological the so-called ‘Safe Space’ is. This is an era in which it’s considered progressive to provide Safe Spaces for 20-year-old students who don’t want to hear certain ideas, but it’s ‘transphobic’, if not demonic, to expect a Safe Space for 13-year-old girls who want to try on clothes in Topshop without some bloke with stubble and chest hair breezing in.

Feminists demand Safe Spaces against controversial speakers, but will laugh at the fact that ‘there’s no hiding place’ for men accused – only accused – of sexual harassment.

Students with the ‘right’ views get a Safe Space, but students who like Israel or Brexit or reading tabloid newspapers can expect their spaces to be invaded and policed.

It’s clear now: the Safe Space is ideological prejudice in action, granting ‘safety’ to those who subscribe to the new illiberal-liberal orthodoxies, and denying it to those who do not. If you dissent from PC, there’s no safety for you. And there might even be violence.

Via email

Brendan might have added that there are no safe spaces for men either. Clubs and bars that excluded women to provide safe spaces for men -- as with the Harvard "Final clubs" have been relentlessly attacked, until there are now very few of them left. 

For over a hundred years all Australian towns had a men's space -- the public bar of a local hotel.  Women were not allowed there.  There was a separate "Ladies' lounge" where women drank.  Feminists have completely destroyed that.  Women are now allowed in all bars, sometimes by force of law.

Many universities do however have permanent "safe spaces" for women -- from which men are rigorously excluded. My son reports that when he was recently on the campus of the University of Queensland -- of which he and I are both graduates -- he was approached by some young women who were handing out small gifts to anyone who signed a petition demanding a women's space on that campus.

He agreed to sign their petition, saying, "I think any group should have the right to exclude people they don't like".  This utterance was greeted with horror, his signature was rejected and he did not get his gift.  He was describing plainly what they wanted but they could not admit that

And Christians attract a lot of hostility on campus but where are the safe spaces for them?  Despite their constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, Christian clubs that try to set up at American High Schools and universities are often denied permission to do so (e.g. here and here).  As Brendan says, safe spaces are only for certain groups -- ones favoured by the Left

What Happened to Colonel Who Didn’t Want to Praise an Airman’s Same-Sex Marriage

The controversy started when someone approached Bohannon about signing a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for an airman in a same-sex marriage. A devoted Christian, Bohannon couldn’t, in good conscience, celebrate a relationship that violated biblical truth. After talking with the command chaplain and a staff judge advocate, he asked for a religious accommodation.

Six weeks passed. The Air Force responded to his request by doing nothing. The accommodation letter was returned without an answer, leaving Bohannon completely defenseless in what had become a major flare-up with his superiors.

After the airman complained to the Equal Opportunity Office, investigators took on the case, ultimately accusing Bohannon of “unlawful discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation.” To most people’s surprise, officials didn’t care if Bohannon had gotten an exception. Even if the “accommodation been granted,” they wrote, “Colonel Bohannon would nonetheless be guilty of unlawful discrimination.”

The colonel was stunned. Not as stunned as he would be in the coming weeks, when he was suspended, given a poor performance appraisal, and virtually guaranteed that he would never be promoted again. For Bohannon, who is a decorated combat officer, the news was devastating.

“His career is likely over,” First Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry told Fox News’ Todd Starnes, “and he will likely have to retire as a colonel instead of a general.”

Berry, who’s representing Bohannon in the case, could only shake his head. “This sends a clear message—if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military. The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage.”

Unfortunately for people like Bohannon, religious hostility in the military didn’t disappear when President Barack Obama did. There are still plenty of bureaucrats and political appointees determined to carry on the intolerant legacy of the last eight years. That will be harder to do now, under a commander in chief like Trump. But, even with a new president, it takes time to identify and uproot the problem areas in a department of almost 3 million people.

The executive order is certainly a huge step, especially since the Department of Justice’s guidance included the Department of Defense. But so far, the Defense Department hasn’t issued a specific follow-up guidance like we saw with the Department of Agriculture last week.

The Family Research Council is encouraging the Air Force—and the rest of the military—to do exactly that so that people like Bohannon aren’t forced to check their faith at the base’s gates. After all, as the Family Research Council’s Travis Weber points out:

"[The DOJ’s religious freedom] memorandum relies on current law—the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1300.17—which all protect religious freedom in the military, and thus protect Col Bohannon. Indeed, DODI 1300.17 requires an accommodation to be granted unless a military interest overrides it. All of these authorities clearly require the government to protect Col Bohannon’s religious freedom by not forcing him to personally sign the certificate."

What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than correcting this wrong to service members’ rights? With our friends at First Liberty Institute, we call on the military to make it clear through their own guidance that service members are free to exercise the same liberties they’re fighting for. Join 17,000 others who’ve signed our petition to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on behalf of Bohannon—and every Christian brave enough to wear the uniform.


Louis CK and the rise of Sexual Stalinism

Like a disgraced commissar, his work is scrubbed from the record

Tom Slater

Life is messy. Everyone’s a bit of a perv. Can we separate someone’s work from their potentially sordid private life? These seemed to be the issues at the heart of I Love You, Daddy, a new film written and directed by comic king Louis CK. I say ‘seemed’ because its release has been suspended, perhaps indefinitely. And the likes of you or I won’t be able to see it, at least legally, any time soon. All we have to go on now are a handful of reviews, many scathingly written in light of revelations of CK’s ‘sexual misconduct’ towards five women – many of them other writers and comics.

In the past week, the post-Weinstein Sexual Salem has turned into a kind of Sexual Stalinism. Not only have men been outed, sacked and shamed, allegations printed as fact and due process suspended; they’re now being airbrushed out of records, like disgraced Soviet commissars scratched out of party photos. As I write, Ridley Scott is furiously reshooting Kevin Spacey’s scenes in his new thriller, All the Money in the World, with Christopher Plummer in his stead. Following a rape allegation made against actor Ed Westwick, the BBC has shelved a three-part Christmas drama he starred in.

But the memory-holing of CK has been particularly swift. As the New York Times prepared to publish an exposé alleging he had asked and then proceeded to masturbate in front of five different women, the NYC premiere of I Love You, Daddy was cancelled. FX, home of his hit show Louie, cut all ties with him. Netflix has cancelled his forthcoming comedy special. And HBO has announced it will erase all of his past specials from its archive. Various films, sitcoms and shows that the prolific CK has been involved in have been shelved or his role has been snipped out.

For what it’s worth, CK has owned up. ‘I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first’, he said in a statement. ‘But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.’ Most of the incidents were clearly consensual, though later regretted – others were more blurry. One can’t ignore the difficulty these women would have faced in turning down such a major player in their industry. But that this is being referred to as ‘misconduct’ makes it clear CK is more perv than predator.

That we are even moved to speculate over what amounts to a comedian’s awkward sexual behaviour speaks to how sordid and febrile the #MeToo debate is. As has the fact that CK has effectively been excommunicated from the entertainment industry. He’s not been accused, let alone tried, of any crime. And even if he was – as in the case of Spacey and Westwick – should our next move be to expunge his every trace? A rational, grown-up society should be able to handle an alleged abuser or philanderer’s presence on screen, to say ‘we take this allegation seriously, but the movie’s still going out on Friday’.

The history of art is full of morally ambiguous people, far more questionable than CK. Which is where I Love You, Daddy is grimly relevant. The film, going on those reviews, is both an ode to CK’s hero Woody Allen and a meditation on the moral questions that swirl around his private life, and the infamous marrying of his stepdaughter. CK plays a comedy writer whose 17-year-old daughter takes up with John Malkovich’s Allen stand-in. The film wrestles – or so I read – with whether we can separate the artist from the work; with questions about where adulthood begins and the limits of sexual tolerance.

It sounds like precisely the kind of nuanced story that is increasingly impossible to tell. And it is testament to the pearl-clutching nature of the post-Weinstein climate that CK’s work is now being re-read as suspect, littered with nods and winks to his dubious ways. The responses to the revelations make constant reference to the masturbation jokes in his stand-up. Reviews of I Love You, Daddy make dark note of a scene in which CK’s screwball sidekick, played by Charlie Day, mimes masturbation to completion. This is the kind of philistinism that was once the preserve of the religious right.

Of course, an artist’s private life or views on women, for example, may well bear some imprint on their work. And everyone comes to an artwork with their own experiences and predispositions, about both the subject and the author. Some will be unable to watch a film by Woody Allen or Roman Polanski and disregard their pasts. Others will. But while this is a question of criticism and judgement, the discussion now is more about whether they should even be allowed to work. The current climate demands not simply sympathy or understanding for victims, but a kind of vengeance against the alleged perpetrators.

Just as we balk at rappers with violent pasts being shut down by the authorities, as routinely happens in London, we should be nervous about the gleeful expulsion of people like CK due to their personal transgressions. It takes nothing away from those making allegations to say that someone’s private life shouldn’t lead to them being cast out forever from their chosen profession. No one needs to forgive these people. Nor is the ‘artistic temperament’ an excuse for bad behaviour. But it’s a sign of a civilised society that artists with dubious private lives or even heinous, criminal convictions are allowed the space to create.

Whatever his private predilections, CK is a giant of comedy – the best and most accomplished of his generation. That shouldn’t be scrubbed away. A handful of his specials are still on Netflix, for now. Watch them while you can. And make up your own mind.


Stop jumping on the trans-wagon

Transgender ideology should be subjected to more rigorous debate

Naomi Firsht

Who knew the dressing-up box was such a source of controversy? Let boys wear tutus and tiaras, cried the Church of England this week, as if across the country boys with a penchant for tulle and sparkles were being forced into tool-belts and firemen uniforms. Personally, I’m looking forward to the boys’ tutu march, which must surely be imminent.

Once again, the trans agenda is dominating the news. Trans performance artist Travis Alabanza accused Topshop of transphobia when assistants at a Manchester branch refused to let him change in the women’s changing rooms. It later emerged that Topshop had recently enacted a gender-neutral changing-room policy, meaning anyone can use any changing room. So Alabanza had a point when he complained about their refusal to let him change with the teenage girls.

Meanwhile, ‘queer role models’ from the Bristol organisation Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) will be teaching nursery-age children about genderfluidity during storytime in libraries, schools and hospitals. Issues such as misogyny and homophobia will also be included. Good luck to parents trying to explain misogyny to children who don’t yet know the days of the week. No doubt those who would prefer it if their children could hear Winnie the Pooh without a side of politics will simply go elsewhere for storytime.

But there is a serious issue at stake here. The transgender agenda is creeping into public life without any kind of debate or discussion as to whether it should. New schools guidance in Scotland says teachers should not ‘overly question’ children’s gender confusion, and advises them not to inform the parents of said confusion if the child doesn’t want them to. Even worse, it advocates reporting parents to the local authorities if they struggle with their child’s genderfluidity.

In Oxfordshire, a schoolteacher has been suspended and could lose his job because he allegedly ‘misgendered’ a pupil. Joshua Sutcliffe said ‘Well done, girls’ to a group that included a girl who self-identifies as a boy. He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation… I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal, Kafkaesque.’ Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Sutcliffe, said: ‘This is one of a large number of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current transgender fad.’

When critics raise concerns about transgender politics, the backlash is fierce. They are instantly accused of ‘transphobia’. Times columnist Janice Turner was labelled a ‘bigot’ for daring to raise questions about how trans politics is affecting children. An academic at Bath Spa University had a proposed study into transitioned people who want to ‘detransition’ blocked, so as ‘not to offend people’. And on Wednesday this week, it was reported that the entire executive committee of a local Labour Party resigned in protest at an alleged smear campaign against their women’s officer. Anne Ruzylo was allegedly subjected to a campaign of harassment and branded a ‘TERF’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) after she raised concerns about government plans to change the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier legally to change genders.

Shutting down debate over transgenderism is becoming the standard response. Increasingly, it looks like trans activists are not searching for equality – they are looking to enforce an ideology. The Stonewall Trans Advisory Group’s five-year plan includes recommendations that faith groups change their liturgical language to incorporate non-gendered terms. The fact that a teacher has now been suspended for using the ‘wrong’ language shows the reach of this authoritarian linguistic policing.

Those who were offended by Janice Turner’s column say they are speaking out to stop the bullying of transgender children. My heart goes out to troubled children dealing with gender dysphoria, and to their parents, who must find things difficult. But this isn’t about ‘bullying’. Most parents and teachers want to discourage bullying and will encourage children to be kind to people of all stripes. There is a difference between promoting sensitivity between peers in schools and changing school policies to fit a particular political agenda. Some schools have already changed school-uniform policies and toilet facilities, and are policing teachers’ language in the name of transgender inclusivity.

In the workplace and public sphere, similar demands are being made over gendered facilities and language. Yet there is no mass swell of demand for these changes. Trans people are not marching in the streets demanding that society bend to their needs. So why has almost every institution, including even the CofE, jumped on the trans-wagon?

There is a kind of madness at play here. A tiny, vocal minority has managed to dominate the news and even public policy with its agenda. Politicians have joined this PC crusade in the hope of appearing ‘progressive’ – without, it seems, giving any thought to the consequences of making sex and gender so relativistic. Whatever you think of trans politics, the shifts we’re seeing raise big questions about our society and we need to be able to discuss and debate them. Moreover, we should be very wary of any political group which demands total adherence to its viewpoint and shuts down any attempts to challenge its discourse.



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

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

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


19 November, 2017

The women academics who insist PMT is all in your mind

Feminism is a low-grade form of insanity.  The criterion for insanity is loss of reality contact.  We see just that below. Any man who has seen much of women doesn't need "studies" to be aware of PMT.  It is just so regular.  I remember once having breakfast with a very crabby wife.  But when I came home that night she was full of the milk of human kindness.  I said to her: "You have had your period, haven't you?"  "Yes" she happily replied

With nine out of ten women claiming to be sufferers, no wonder it's long been accepted that premenstrual syndrome will afflict us at some point in our lives.

Indeed, from adolescence onwards we are told to expect a few days every month when we will feel irrationally weepy, snappy and unable to cope with what life has to throw at us.

But is that really the case?

Increasingly, there's an argument that PMT — or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as it is now known — is little more than a figment of our imagination. One respected health psychologist, Robyn Stein DeLuca, goes so far as to say that PMS is really just evidence of modern women struggling under the burden of trying to have — and do — it all. Put bluntly, it's an excuse for women to get a break.

'Growing up, when we become women, we are told in books, on the internet and in magazines that PMS is out there. We internalise this idea that our bodies must be faulty,' she says.

'The medical community is also to blame. We see this again and again that normal life stages, such as pregnancy and childbirth, are treated as sicknesses that have to have some kind of intervention.

'That perspective encourages women to think of their bodies as instruments that cause illness. But it's more likely that women feel overwhelmed.

'Women are expected to do a lot of things these days — we work, take care of families, we make sure everyone's health is OK, we make the Christmas dinner and a lot of women use PMS as a release valve or if they just can't give any more.

'You lose your good woman crown if you say: 'I just don't feel like doing this right now,' and relinquish your responsibilities. But if you say it's PMS, it's like a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's women's excuse for when they need a break.'

It's a view that will surely have many women howling in outrage.

But, as DeLuca explains in her new book, The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics And Lies About PMS Keep Women Down, there is scientific evidence that our hormones don't affect us as much as we might imagine.

'Reproductive events like our monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy or the menopause don't mentally destabilise us,' she says. 'Most women function at a very high level throughout their lives.

'While hormones do cause some physical and emotional symptoms — women can get cramps, bloating and feel depressed — they certainly don't affect us emotionally to the point that it's a big deal. That's where the myth is. That's where it's not true.'

So where did the PMS 'myth' come from? It seems that doctors in as far back as the mid 1800s were writing articles connecting 'hysteria' and women's emotional state with their periods. The phrase 'premenstrual tension' was first coined in 1931, and the term premenstrual syndrome some 20 years later.

Subsequently, there were many psychological studies claiming to uncover how badly women were affected by hormonal changes.

However, DeLuca claims all the psychological studies done on PMS from the Fifties to Eighties had very poor methodology — for example, they failed to use control groups so they could compare one group with another — and defined PMS far too loosely, citing nearly 150 symptoms linked to hormonal changes.

'They were symptoms anyone could have — headaches, feeling tired or cranky — but everyone feels those things some of the time,' says DeLuca.

She believes the real number of women affected by PMS and other hormonal changes is substantially lower — between 3 and 8 per cent, according to the latest studies, she says, rather than the commonly held figure of 90 per cent.

Clinically, women all the time say: 'I'm feeling depressed — I don't know whether it's my hormones.' But the reality is they are overloaded with work, have ailing parents and kids to look after and a myriad reasons why they might be depressed, and yet they immediately think it's hormonal.

'A minority of women do have hormone fluctuations that cause them to suffer serious trouble so they can't function or work effectively. This is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The criteria for PMDD is much more strictly defined — there are only 11 symptoms to choose from, such as insomnia, difficulty in concentrating or a marked change in appetite.

'Women have to have at least five to be defined as suffering from PMDD. And they should be treated. But for the rest of us, it's an alteration in mood that has little to do with hormones.'

Why, then, are women so wedded to the idea that we're slaves to our hormones? DeLuca believes the idea of PMS being a debilitating disorder is drummed into us when we are teenagers — and we quickly latch on to it, using it as an excuse for a wide range of symptoms.

DeLuca doesn't just blame women for the PMS myth, however. She also says the syndrome is perpetuated by men to invalidate women's anger — to stop them from succeeding.

'If a woman is angry or complaining, men can just attribute it to her time of the month,' she says.

'Throughout time, men have used PMS, or the idea that women are hormonal lunatics and have mercurial moods, to keep them out of power. It keeps people from thinking women should be leaders. After all, how can we let women make big decisions or be dependable when their crazy hormones can strike at any time?'

In short, says DeLuca, blaming a woman's hormones is the easy — or even lazy — answer to any ill. In pregnancy, we're told they give us baby brain and we can't function cognitively. In menopause, they affect our memory and give us mood swings. When we give birth, they give us postpartum depression.

'Memory tests done, however, show very small differences between pregnant and non-pregnant women when it comes to memory,' says DeLuca.

'We attribute our behaviour to what we have learned. And as for hormones causing postpartum depression, that's the biggest myth of all. The largest predictor of whether a woman is going to have it is if a woman was depressed before she has the baby. Overwhelming research says it has nothing to do with hormones.'

DeLuca is certainly not alone in her views. Sarah Romans, professor of psychological medicine, is another female academic who wholeheartedly agrees with DeLuca's theory that PMS is little more than a dangerous fiction.

Professor Romans conducted a review in 2012 to examine the prevailing research on PMS and concluded that out of 47 studies, nearly 40 per cent of them found no association of mood with a woman's menstrual cycle.

'We weren't looking at women who claimed to have PMDD, which is a very severe disorder, but instead the general population. We discovered women who kept a diary day-by-day were experiencing mood changes all over the month, not just connected to their cycle,' she says.

'To claim women turn into premenstrual wrecks suggests a woman is nothing more than her biology and the political ramifications of this are enormous.

'Indeed, would you say that about a man? After all, men have a reproductive aspect to their function, but we don't say that because they may be more testosterone-driven at certain times of the month, they may not have good judgment and we should keep them out of decision-making roles in the same way people say that about women.'

Like DeLuca, Professor Romans believes women are raised to use PMS as a cause for life's woes — something she sees more and more with the rise of the 'Sandwich Generation', women who juggle work, raising children and elderly parents.

'Clinically, women all the time say: 'I'm feeling depressed — I don't know whether it's my hormones.' But the reality is they are overloaded with work, have ailing parents and kids to look after and a myriad reasons why they might be depressed, and yet they immediately think it's hormonal.

'And their husbands think it, too. It's extraordinary.' So what's the answer? DeLuca is emphatic — no matter how weepy you might feel as your period approaches, she believes women need to stop perpetuating the myth of PMS and address the real issues that are troubling us.

'Instead of using PMS as a way to get a break, women need to turn round and tell their partners and families to do the food shopping or to pick up their socks or just to do more and help,' she says. 'Women need to be more generous with themselves. If they are angry or upset, they shouldn't just blame it on PMS, but they have reasons to be moody and angry and they should express their anger and own it.

Yet others remain unequivocal about its existence.

Professor John Studd, a consultant gynaecologist who runs the London PMS and Menopause Clinic and treats about eight to ten women a day with PMS, insists: 'PMS is a very real and distressing disorder, and it's so obvious because it happens at the same time every month. Yes, the range of PMS symptoms may be large and extend from depression, anxiety and anger to exhaustion and loss of libido, but the research is not vague or unscientific and has been thoroughly proven.

'It is clearly connected to a woman's menstrual cycle with the symptoms usually starting seven to 14 days before a period starts, and ceasing when it comes.'

The cause, Professor Studd says, is usually sensitivity to the hormone progesterone. 'Some women, we're not sure why, are more intolerant to their own progesterone than others,' he says.

After ovulation, progesterone is passed into the bloodstream from the ovaries, which is where problems can begin. While the Pill is often the first line of treatment as it steadies hormone levels, treatment at Professor Studd's clinic usually involves suppression of ovulation and progesterone via gels containing oestrogen, applied to the skin.

As for the new theory that PMS doesn't exist, Professor Studd is insistent: 'If I have a patient with PMS and she has this treatment, she'll be better in two months, so to say it doesn't exist is just not true.'


Quid est Veritas?
“Quid est veritas?” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus of Nazareth. What is truth? It is in short supply in the 21st century. Western civilization is not really in decline, as many fret. It is reverting to its Greco-Roman pre-Christian norms.

It may be right that Pilate said “Quid est veritas?” but in John 18:38, Pilate is recorded as saying "?? ????? ???????", in Greek. Latin was Pilate's native language but educated Romans spoke Greek

In the Roman Empire, the vast majority of the wealth was held by the top two percent. Gnosticism was on the rise with a logically incoherent worldview that echoed Christianity and promoted androgyny. “Science said” became all the rage even then. People gave lip service to the gods, but it was mostly for show. We are going full circle.

Nowadays every cultural-sociological movement has a medical doctor and a scientist with a PhD to form the basis of their claims. There are doctors who promote the idea that vaccines cause autism. There are scientists claiming having children is “scientifically proven” to harm the environment so smaller families are a moral obligation. Some doctors will tell you life does not begin until a child exits a womb. Others will tell you that it is scientifically possible for a boy to become a girl. We are even told that though we might pick whether we are a boy or girl, we are born heterosexual or homosexual.

Language then tracks the political consensus of the scientific community. And it is a political consensus. Secular liberals have worked very hard to co-opt cultural institutions so that, regardless of truth, science reflects opinion instead of the other way around. The two-parent heterosexual nuclear household may be, for thousands of years, the most stable way in which to raise kids, but get a bunch of liberal sociologists masquerading as scientists together in a room and soon they’ll tell you science says the two-parent heterosexual nuclear household is bigotry, white supremacy and part of the patriarchy.

The Associated Press has gotten in on this game. The opposite sex’s pronouns or new ones can now be used to describe people. A single person can talk about himself in the plural sense to reject the conformity of language. One boy can be they and a girl can be he or even ze instead of she. Likewise, Caitlyn Jenner always was and Bruce never was because in the mind-numbing logic of “gender conformity,” Caitlyn was always there just waiting to be revealed.

Truth no longer matters because truth can be whatever one wants. This is a disease of society that started in our culture and floated downstream into our politics. In the ‘90s, conservatives screamed that character mattered as they tried to impeach Bill Clinton for a lie under oath. The lying under oath, for which Clinton lost his law license, is overshadowed by his affair with a White House intern. In the '90s, feminists praised Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was declared an empowered female. Conservatives who said Lewinsky was a victim were shouted down by prominent feminists who said they would have gladly performed the same sex act on the president in appreciation for what he did for feminists.

Now, decades later, many of the people who promoted the Clintons are throwing them under the bus. Bill is an abuser and Hillary his apologist. It is a sign the Clinton power is at an end. One could hardly imagine this change of heart from the Left if Hillary had been elected. But the Right is not spared the cultural rot. They served as apologists for a man caught on video bragging that famous men could grab women inappropriately among other terrible things he said and did. They excuse their own behavior by pointing to liberals defending Clinton. Only now is the Left throwing Clinton aside to provide legitimacy in their attacks against Roy Moore. Conservatives demand everyone believe Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey, but they dismiss all of Roy Moore’s accusers.

Truth has, it would seem, given way to tribe. But truth has a way of reasserting itself. Pontius Pilate asked what was truth, and that truth died on a cross only to conquer death. It is that truth that will one day come calling against asking not what is truth, but what have we done?


Being Shoved Into Meaninglessness

David Limbaugh
I’m an advocate of higher education and all, but so much for assuming that the development of common sense and sound judgment are part of the package.

A Pew Research Center poll found that 77 percent of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more believe a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were “assigned at birth.” You’ll remember that Democrats are the party of science, and Republicans the Neanderthal science-deniers.

First we have to ask ourselves why in the world it would occur to anyone of any gender at any time or any place even to conduct such a survey. It would be like surveying people to find if they believe ears are for hearing or eyes for seeing.

It would be disturbing enough if only 77 percent of Democrats with this level of education thought gender is determined biologically. But 23 percent? That’s a whole new level of weird — unless you define “weird” as being outside the mainstream. What’s weird is how weird the mainstream has become — at least on the political Left. This doesn’t speak well for higher education in this country, does it? Then again, you wouldn’t be surprised if you had seen the core curricula of America’s “great” universities — and many of the required reading assignments in the classes.

I watched an interesting video of a young conservative from a liberal family explaining why he could dialogue with liberals and still love them because we all share common goals. It is leftists, he said, who don’t even share our goals anymore, and it is very difficult to find any common ground with them.

I thought to myself when watching the video, “Yes, we do share some of the same goals: less crime, less poverty, etc., but increasingly the mainstream Democratic Party is embracing or strongly enabling certain extremist ideas. There is just no denying that the party has lurched leftward.”

Reading these poll results, sadly, tends to validate my concerns, which is not something I’m happy about. How can a significant percentage of people of any respected group, much less of the higher-educated subset of that group, be so wrongheaded? People urging bipartisanship should explain how we find common ground with such stunningly different worldviews.

I’m hoping this chasm is partially due to the phrasing of the survey questions or fear of political correctness policing — but still, it’s seriously problematic.

I don’t doubt, by the way, that some very small fraction of a percentage of people sense they are trapped in their bodies and feel more like the opposite biological gender. I recently talked to such a person and am sure he was sincere. He has always felt like he should have been born a female. Note that he fully acknowledges, however, that he wasn’t. He doesn’t dispute the biological reality.

So I have no inclination to judge such people. If they feel opposite their biological gender, they do. It’s above my pay-grade to fully understand this. But I think we’re dealing with something more than this. Cultural activism is at work here.

Just look at the language the Pew survey uses to address these ideas: A human being’s gender is “assigned at birth.” You surely don’t believe this language is accidental, do you?

To have an assignment there must be an assignor. If they mean God, or even nature, I’d have no quarrel, but it’s clear they are talking about human agents (doctors or other health care providers) as assignors. This suggests some arbitrariness in the determination, or at least something that is subject to question.

It is not subject to question. Absent some biological aberration we are born either male or female, and no amount of linguistic manipulation can alter that reality, even though it obviously alters some people’s perception of the reality.

Yes, there is certainly an agenda at work here; with the Left everything is political. There is an effort to normalize that which is not normal, which introduces uncertainty into things certain. We have not evolved, but are being pushed headlong into moral relativism and further into post-modernism and beyond, where there is no such thing as truth and reality is just a function of the individual’s preference.

This is moral chaos, intellectual chaos and biological chaos. It is nihilism. If truth is no longer defined as that which corresponds with reality, we have completely untethered ourselves from our foundations of meaning and significance. Parents with any remaining affinity for traditional values must surely be concerned about what we are bequeathing our children.

I’m not citing these ominous trends to score political points, and I acknowledge they are not solely the fault of just one political party, though they are disproportionately prevalent in that party. This is a societal and cultural problem that has polluted downstream political waters.

Indeed, these developments transcend politics. At the risk of subjecting myself to anti-Christian scoffing, I believe we are in the throes of spiritual warfare, which is one reason I’m not attempting to unduly demonize people falling prey to it. I used not to believe in the devil, but that was then, and this is now. I have no other rational explanation for morality and truth routinely being turned on their very heads — for right being considered wrong, and unreality masquerading as reality. Satan is the first and great deceiver, and many people, most of them unwittingly, are being deceived.

Pray for America. Pray for mankind.


No, Colin Kaepernick Is No Muhammad Ali

GQ magazine named former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its 2017 “Citizen of the Year.” In doing so, GQ overlooked NFL Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, who raised some $37 million for hurricane relief. Many of Kaepernick’s supporters liken his protest to that of boxer Muhammad Ali, who refused to be inducted into the military. The comparison is not well-taken.

For whatever reason, Kaepernick chose not to give the magazine an interview, passing up an opportunity to clearly explain the purpose of his protest. At first, Kaepernick insisted his protest was about the alleged epidemic of police brutality against blacks. Shortly after he started his protest, Kaepernick said: “There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically is police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. The cops are getting paid leave for killing people. That’s not right.”

Contrast this with Muhammad Ali’s protest. He argued that his religious beliefs made him a conscientious objector who ought not be forced to join the military. In doing so, Ali faced up to five years in prison and was stripped of his ability to fight in the U.S. for more than three years, his prime years as an athlete. While the heavyweight title-holder avoided prison during his appeals process — that ended up in the Supreme Court — he was forced to hand over his passport, which prevented him from fighting overseas, as well.

Banned from boxing and stripped of his world heavyweight title, Ali argued his case on the road, speaking at a number of colleges and universities, where he repeatedly stated that he would rather abide by his religious convictions rather than violate them in order to make money. Martin Luther King Jr. urged his followers to “admire [Ali’s] courage. He is giving up fame. He is giving up millions of dollars to do what his conscience tells him is right.”

By contrast, Kaepernick wants to have it both ways. The NFL allows players to stand or not, depending upon their own choice. So the league actually gives players permission to stand or not to stand for the national anthem. In Ali’s case, his refusal to join the military cost him the ability to earn a living in his chosen profession.

The Supreme Court eventually sided unanimously with Ali, ruling that the appeal board failed to properly specify the reason why Ali’s application for a conscientious-objector exemption had been denied. The ruling required Ali’s conviction to be overturned, and the court said the record shows that Ali’s “beliefs are founded on tenets of the Muslim religion as he understands them.” After his Supreme Court victory, Ali could have sued for lost wages, arguing that he was illegally forbidden from working as a fighter. Ali refused, arguing that he would rather look ahead than exact revenge.

Kaepernick, on the other hand, filed a grievance against the NFL, claiming the owners “colluded” against hiring this mediocre-quarterback-turned-locker-room distraction.

What about the merits of Kaepernick’s argument? Is there an epidemic of police brutality against blacks? The answer is no.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, police shootings against blacks have declined almost 75 percent since 1968. Of the 963 people shot and killed by police in 2016, 233 were black, and 466 were white. Most people could not name a white person killed by the police, because the media are far less interested in a white person killed by a cop than a black person killed by one. Last year, a grand total of 17 unarmed blacks were killed by the police, according to The Washington Post. Contrast this with the approximately 6,000 to 7,000 blacks killed annually, almost all — as many as 90 percent — by other blacks. Where is Kaepernick on the fact that the No. 1 cause of preventable death for young blacks is homicide, while the No. 1 cause of preventable death for young white men is “unintentional injuries,” or accidents?

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who supports Kaepernick, said: “It’s easier for white people because we haven’t lived that experience. It’s difficult for many white people to understand the day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with. …

"When somebody like Kaepernick brings attention to this, and others who have, it makes people have to face the issue because it’s too easy to let it go because it’s not their daily experience. If it’s not your daily experience, you don’t understand it.”

As to Popovich’s assertion about the “day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with,” what of the 1997 Time/CNN poll that found 89 percent of black teens found little or no racism in their day-to-day lives? And more black teens than white teens agreed that “failure to take advantage of available opportunities” was a bigger problem than racism. And this was 20 years ago, before the election and re-election of a black president.

Kaepernick’s protest was bogus from the start, and it only helped to create greater unnecessary tension between the black community and the police. “Citizen of the Year,” indeed.



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

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

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


17 November, 2017

GQ Honors the Wrong Kneeler

In a pitiful homage, the rag names malcontent Colin Kaepernick its "citizen of the year."

GQ magazine named Colin Kaepernick its “citizen of the year” for his launching the last year of NFL kneeling protests. The magazine noted that Kaepernick refused to be interviewed for the cover article, explaining, “As his public identity has begun to shift from football star to embattled activist, he has grown wise to the power of his silence.” Seeking to suggest that Kaepernick is sacrificing himself for the cause, GQ quotes rapper J. Cole, who states, “Had [Kaepernick not taken a knee], this guy would be making millions of dollars right now. Period, point blank. And more important than the money, he was living his dream. He sacrificed his dream.” World’s smallest violin, please.

In Linda Sarsour’s adoring GQ tribute, she wrote, “I always tell Colin: ‘You are an American hero. You may not feel like a hero right now, but one day, people will realize the sacrifices that you made for so many others.’ There might even be a day when we’ll be walking down Colin Kaepernick Boulevard and people will remember what Colin Kaepernick did, just like we remember Muhammad Ali.”

Ironic how little respect and honor Kaepernick and his sycophantic scribe have for genuine American heroes – those who literally sacrificed their very lives to ensure that pro football kneelers and other celebrities enjoy the freedom to make millions of dollars doing what they love to do while making a mockery out of our nation’s flag. If Kaepernick is truly concerned about sacrificing for the cause of others, he can contact the nearest military recruiter’s office and sign up to fight for much more than his sophomoric narcissistic ego – fighting as genuine heroes do for American Liberty.

In the meantime, Kaepernick may want to read up on famed abolitionist and escaped slave Frederick Douglass’ perspective on this nation Kaepernick so clearly despises. While Douglass was not shy about criticizing that “peculiar institution” of slavery, he encouraged black Americans to sign up with the Union to fight for freedom. He was also known to regularly play “The Star-Spangled Banner” on his violin, and in an 1871 speech at Arlington National Cemetery he said that “if the Star-Spangled Banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army.”

The problem for leftists like Kaepernick and GQ is that they no longer believe, and may have never believed, that the United States of America is a noble nation that has consistently espoused and defended the ideals of justice and Liberty. So on the heels of Veterans Day, GQ honored the wrong kneeler.


Supreme Court Will Review California Law Requiring Pro-Life Groups to Promote Abortion

California's Reproductive FACT Act requires crisis pregnancy clinics to post a bulletin informing patients that the state offers subsidized abortion access. (Photo: iStock Photos)
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a challenge to a California law requiring pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post information about state-funded abortions.

A coalition of pro-life groups challenging the law say it explicitly targets and coerces religious counseling centers into pro-abortion expression with which they disagree.

The law, called the Reproductive FACT Act, requires crisis pregnancy clinics to post a bulletin informing patients that the state offers subsidized abortion access. The FACT Act requires that the advisory appear in large font in a “conspicuous place” within the clinic.

“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women,” the bulletin reads. “To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number].”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative public interest group representing a crisis pregnancy network challenging the law, says the FACT Act forces pro-life organizations to promote a state-sponsored advertisement for the abortion industry

“It’s unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry,” said Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at ADF. “This is especially true of pregnancy care centers, which exist to care for women who want to have their babies. The state shouldn’t have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life. Instead, it should protect freedom of speech and freedom from coerced speech.”

Providers that fail to comply with the law are fined $500 to $1,000 per violation, roughly the cost of an abortion in California. As such, the clinics say they are forced to chose between promoting abortion and subsidizing abortion through the state.

Similar laws adopted in New York and Maryland were struck down by the 2nd and 4th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, though the 9th Circuit upheld California’s law in 2016. The Supreme Court is more likely to hear a case when circuit courts “split” or reach different conclusions on the same question.

The 9th Circuit concluded that California has a compelling interest in protecting the health of its citizens by regulating the medical profession.

“California has a substantial interest in the health of its citizens, including ensuring that its citizens have access to and adequate information about constitutionally protected medical services like abortion,” Judge Dorothy W. Nelson wrote.

A separate provision of the FACT Act requires crisis pregnancy centers that do not have a state medical license or access to medical professionals to post a second disclaimer, advising patients as to where they might receive medically supervised care.

The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, is the second of the new term involving a conservative group’s challenge to a liberal state law. The other is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, involving the rights of religious objectors and state anti-discrimination laws.


How Elite Liberals Have Sold Out the Black Community

Walter E. Williams

When hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their prey. They would synchronize their steps on the side of the horse away from their prey until they were close enough for a good shot.

A stalking horse had a double benefit if the prey was an armed person. If the stalkers were discovered, it would be the horse that took the first shot.

That’s what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America—stalking horses. Let’s look at it.

I’ll just list a few pieces of the leftist agenda that would be unachievable without black political support.

Black people are the major victims of the grossly rotten education in our big-city schools. The average black 12th-grader can read, write, and compute no better than a white seventh- or eighth-grader.

Many black parents want better and safer schools for their children. According to a 2015 survey of black parents, 72 percent “favor public charter schools, and 70 percent favor a system that would create vouchers parents could use to cover tuition for those who want to enroll their children in a private or parochial school.”

Black politicians and civil rights organizations fight tooth and nail against charter schools and education vouchers.

Why? The National Education Association sees charters and vouchers as a threat to its education monopoly. It is able to use black politicians and civil rights organizations as stalking horses in its fight to protect its education monopoly.

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was the nation’s first federally mandated minimum wage law. Its explicit intent was to discriminate against black construction workers.

During the legislative debate on the Davis-Bacon Act, quite a few congressmen, along with union leaders, expressed their racist intentions. Rep. Miles Allgood, D-Ala., said:

Reference has been made to a contractor from Alabama who went to New York with bootleg labor. This is a fact. That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.

American Federation of Labor President William Green said, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

The Davis-Bacon Act is still law today. Supporters do not use the 1931 racist language to support it. Plus, nearly every black member of Congress supports the Davis-Bacon Act. But that does not change its racially discriminatory effects.

In recent decades, the Davis-Bacon Act has been challenged, and it has prevailed. That would not be the case without unions’ political and financial support to black members of Congress to secure their votes.

Crime is a major problem in many black neighborhoods. In 2016, there were close to 8,000 blacks murdered, mostly by other blacks. In that year, 233 blacks were killed by police.

Which deaths receive the most attention from politicians, civil rights groups, and white liberals, and bring out marches, demonstrations, and political pontification? It’s the blacks killed by police.

There’s little protest against the horrible and dangerous conditions under which many poor and law-abiding black people must live. Political hustlers blame their condition on poverty and racism—ignoring the fact that poverty and racism were much greater yesteryear, when there was not nearly the same amount of chaos.

Also ignored is the fact that the dangerous living conditions worsened under a black president’s administration.

There are several recommendations that I might make. The first and most important is that black Americans stop being useful tools for the leftist hate-America agenda.

As for black politicians and civil rights leaders, if they’re going to sell their people down the river, they should demand a higher price. For example, if black congressmen vote in support of the Davis-Bacon Act, they ought to demand that construction unions give 30 percent of the jobs to black workers.

Finally, many black problems are exacerbated by white liberal guilt. White liberals ought to stop feeling guilty so they can be more respectful in their relationships with black Americans.


Using Grand Jury Testimony, ‘Ferguson’ Stage Play Challenges Media Narratives

When it came time for Darren Wilson to testify about what happened after firing his gun from inside his vehicle, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer told the grand jury that his assailant “had the most intense, aggressive face.”

Wilson, then 28, is the white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male on Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, a northern suburb of St. Louis.

It’s all part of the stage play performance of “Ferguson,” which ran from Oct. 23 through Nov. 5 at the 30th Street Theater, located between 7th and 8th avenues in New York City, and makes use of a storytelling technique known as “verbatim theater.”

The Advantage of Verbatim Theater

All of the play’s dialogue is taken verbatim from the 25 days of  grand jury testimony. Phelim McAleer, the Irish-born filmmaker and investigative journalist who wrote the play, has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to help finance the play’s production, which expired on Nov. 9. If enough funds are raised, the play could be restaged.

“This is as much about journalism as it is about the activists involved with the Ferguson incident,” McAleer told The Daily Signal after the Saturday afternoon performance of the play. “This is about checking primary sources and looking into what these people actually saw and not what they said they saw. That’s something many journalists failed to do.”

The media narrative built around the widely reported “Hands up, don’t shoot” scenario that fueled protests from Black Lives Matter and other groups directed against the police was contradicted by key witnesses and by physical and forensic evidence, according to what the grand jury heard.

Ian Campbell Dunn, the actor who played Darren Wilson. (Photo: The Daily Signal)
The confrontation between Wilson and Brown “took place over an approximately two-minute period of time at about noon,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice report on the shooting. Brown had stolen several packages of cigarillos from a nearby convenience store a few minutes earlier and had strong-armed the store clerk when the clerk tried to stop him, the report explains.

Wilson’s radio transmissions and dispatch records make it clear that he was aware of the robbery and had a description of the suspects.

The police officer first encountered Wilson and his friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, when they were walking eastbound on Canfield Drive in the “middle of the street,” according to the Justice Department report.

After Wilson noticed that Brown had cigarillos in his hand and that Johnson was wearing a black shirt, consistent with the description he had of the suspects, the police officer reversed his vehicle and then angled the vehicle to cut Brown and Johnson off in the street. That’s what Wilson told prosecutors and investigators, that’s what he said in his testimony to the grand jury and that’s what it says in the Justice Department report.

Of all the witnesses, McAleer said he was particularly impressed by Ciara Jenkins, a young black woman, who was positioned behind Wilson and Brown in the moments leading up to the shooting.

“What she delivered was just incredibly powerful,” McAleer said. “She had been avoiding the subpoena and didn’t want to testify, but when she did, she said Michael Brown did not raise his hands to surrender and that he charged the officer. This is a very intense, emotional part of the play. But that’s what’s in the grand jury testimony, and the media did not tell the truth about what happened.”

Philadelphia College Students Bail Out at Last Minute

“Ferguson” is a 90-minute courtroom drama unfolding in one room on stage with 13 actors and with some of those actors playing multiple roles.

A staged reading of the play was first presented in 2015 in Los Angles, but nine of the cast members walked out in protest over the script. None of the New York City cast members walked out, but the Saturday afternoon performance did not escape controversy. A representative from the Community College of Philadelphia had contacted McAleer to see if accommodations could be made for about 50 students. McAleer obliged, but he was informed on Saturday morning that almost all of students had decided to back out at the last minute.

The Irish playwright explained what went down in an email that was sent to The Daily Signal and other interested parties.

“I was really excited, and so were the cast, so I organized a group discount and a Q&A afterwards with the cast and myself so we could all discuss the issues raised by the play,” McAleer said in his email. “I thought the students would really benefit to hear verbatim what went on in the grand jury room during the Michael Brown investigation. In the end, 53 tickets were booked—almost all the house.”

A handful of students from the college did show up individually.

In the email McAleer received from the college’s representative, he was informed that “almost all of the students decided not to come because of the controversy surrounding the play,” he explained in his own email commenting on the incident.

“Don’t forget Ferguson is verbatim theater. It creates the drama using only actual words from the grand jury transcripts,” McAleer continued. “That is what these snowflake students were afraid of—the actual words of eyewitnesses—and many of these witnesses were minorities.

“What kind of country is this where students are scared of the ‘controversy’ created by the verbatim recreating of minority voices?”

The Daily Signal contacted the college representative who had been in touch with McAleer to ask if he wanted to comment for this article, but the representative did not respond.

Standout Performances Capture Divergent Testimony

Brown was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his confrontation with the police officer, a forensic toxicologist told the grand jury.

“I can tell you the drug is present at a significant concentration that represents a large dose into Mr. Brown,” Dr. Brian Wilcox said in his testimony. “How he would have behaved and what he would have done, I cannot predict. I know the drug was having an effect and was impairing his nervous system.”

Ian Campbell Dunn, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, played the part of Officer Wilson. He poured a lot of emotion and intensity into his performance and even stepped off stage and into the audience during the climactic, final moments of the play.

“There’s a difference between simply retelling the story and reliving it,” Dunn told The Daily Signal. “As an actor, you are trying to bring out the humanity of each individual involved.”

The altercation reached a critical turning point when Brown reached into Wilson’s car, punched the officer several times, grabbed the officer’s gun, and attempted to get control of the weapon, according to Wilson’s testimony.

This happened after Wilson had tried opening his car door, only to have Brown slam it shut, the officer said in his testimony.

Johnson, the 22-year-old who accompanied Brown that night, said in his testimony that “the first, initial contact” Wilson and Brown had was when the officer’s “arm came out of the window” and “grabbed a hold of Big Mike’s shirt around the neck area.”

Actor Cedric Benjamin, who played Dorian Johnson. (Photo: The Daily Signal)
Cedric Benjamin, who is from Florida and moved to New York to pursue a career in acting, played the part of Johnson. He sympathizes with his subject.

“Throughout the entire process, Johnson is the only one who is really unbiased,” Benjamin told The Daily Signal. “He sees Mike [Brown] stealing in the store, and he testifies about what happened and what he saw, but what happened in the store and what happened with the shooting were two different incidents.”

Benjamin used highly pronounced facial expressions as part of his portrayal of Johnson to help capture his subject’s growing anxiety while he was being questioned by lawyers.

Johnson acknowledged in testimony that he had his own checkered history with the law and had been in jail before. When he recognized that “Big Mike” was not going to pay for the cigarillos, Johnson said in testimony that he tried to exit the store because he “didn’t want any part of it.”

Johnson also saw that “Big Mike kind of reverses the grab” when the store clerk tries to stop him.

“The grand jury was there to determine if there was enough evidence to go to trial,” Benjamin told The Daily Signal. “That was the purpose, but the entire time it just felt like the lawyers were prosecuting Michael Brown. The injustice of the justice system is the story that needs to be told.”

The testimony of Wilson and Johnson diverge sharply. Wilson tells the grand jury that it was Brown who reached into the police vehicle.

There was physical and forensic evidence presented to the grand jury that backs up Wilson’s version of events. McAleer told The Daily Signal he does not view Johnson as a credible witness.

“Johnson was caught several times telling stories that just didn’t hold up under scrutiny,” McAleer said. “When he said the officer reached out of his car to grab Michael Brown, he was describing a physical action that defied common sense and one that didn’t happen.”

Oliver D’Anna, 13, a precocious eighth-grader from Westport, Connecticut, with an acute interest in theater, wanted to know why Wilson didn’t just drive off when the situation escalated.

“Why didn’t he just push on the gas pedal and drive away?” D’Anna asked. “It seems like he could have done something to avoid the situation.”

Finally, after the shots were fired, Wilson is able to exit his vehicle and pursue Brown on foot while calling for backup.

Jenkins, the witness who made a strong impression on McAleer, was in a minivan with her family members when the final confrontation leading up to the shooting takes place. Jenkins tells the grand jury that Brown did not raise his hands to surrender and continued to charge the officer.

“I’m not, you know, really big on talking to the police or defending the police. I’m just being real honest with you,” Jenkins said to one of the lawyers during testimony. “I feel like the officer was in the right, and that is a lot of saying. Because other than that, I ain’t got nothing to do with them.”

In one of his final dramatic testimonies, Wilson describes how Brown kept charging toward him even after Wilson fired his weapon.

“Well, he keeps coming at me after that again, during the pause I tell him to ‘get on the ground, get on the ground,’ he still keeps coming at me, gets about 8 to 10 feet away,” the officer said. “At this point, I’m backing up pretty rapidly, I’m backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he’ll kill me.”

Dunn, the actor who played the part of of Wilson, expressed skepticism toward the officer’s testimony.

“I personally did not believe him, and I don’t think the shooting was justified,” he said. “The burden should be on the police to defuse the situation. But as an actor, you don’t get to make a choice about whether or not you believe someone. You want to capture as much of what it must have been like in that situation, which was traumatic for everyone involved.”

Benjamin, the actor who played Johnson, sees value in the verbatim approach to theater, but thought more of the verbatim material could be been used to show that Brown was a genuine victim in the shooting.

The Daily Signal asked McAleer if that was an option.

“No such additional verbatim material exists,” he said. “Any more verbatim material I put in would have made Brown look more guilty and Wilson look more innocent.”



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

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

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


16 November, 2017

Hate Crimes Data: Similar Numbers, Different Percentages

FBI hate crime data shows little change in the number of crimes, but significant changes in race of offenders.

With the mainstream media blaming Donald Trump for promoting hatred and all the talk of America being a society steeped in “white privilege” and racist nationalism, one might expect to see hate crime statistics support such claims. The FBI has released its “hate crimes” data for the year 2016. Now, as we have argued in the past, the designation of “hate crime” injects a rather subjective standard into motivating factors for crime and it’s often used to artificially increase the level of guilt beyond the actual criminal act. Moreover, leftist social justice warriors love to implicate the criminal’s entire social, religious or racial group, so long as it’s white or Christian. But for the sake of argument, let’s accept the FBI’s designation and look at some things.

According to the data, over the past decade the total number of reported hate crimes has changed very little, with anti-black crimes remaining the highest reported percentage at 50.2%. However, over that same period there has been a significant shift in the percentage of white offenders. In 2007 — before the Age of Hope ‘n’ Change™ — nearly 63% of all known offenders were white; by 2016 and the rise of that big “hater” Donald Trump, that percentage had dropped to 46.3%. And while the percentage of white offenders has decreased, the percentage of anti-white crime saw an increase in 2016 to 20.5%, the highest level recorded since 2006.

It’s not surprising to see an uptick in the number of anti-white hate crimes, since those who have been widely demonized by politically motivated leftists will tend to see a greater backlash against them by other groups who feel newly justified in their anger.

Finally, one interesting stat not noted by the FBI were the number of crimes committed against politicians, particularly of the Republican variety. With all the rhetoric about Trump and Republicans supposedly fomenting hatred, it was Republicans who were violently attacked this past year, specifically when a Bernie Sanders-supporting leftist targeted and shot GOP House members practicing for a baseball game. And more recently there is Sen. Rand Paul, who is sporting six broken ribs after a blindside attack at the hands of his leftist neighbor. Are we the only ones detecting a pattern here?


Islamophobia? Jews Represented 54% Of ALL Hate Crimes In 2016

With the constant refrain of Islamophobia parroted by the mainstream media, it might be interesting for them to note one telling statistic from the FBI as they tallied hate crimes in 2016: Of the 1,538 hate crimes motivated by religious bias that were reported by law enforcement, a whopping 54% were anti-Jewish; more than double the 25% that were anti-Muslim. After the precipitous drop from the anti-Jewish crimes to the anti-Muslim crimes, there was another huge drop to the third-most targeted group: Catholics, at 4%.

15,254 law enforcement agencies participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

834 hate crimes were counted against Jews; 318 against Muslims, and 63 against Catholics. Hate crimes against Jews rose 9% from 2015.

In 2014, Jews in the United States were targeted 40.7% more than Muslims.

Interestingly, despite the fact that Jews were far more targeted than Muslims, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, speaking at the Muslim Advocates annual dinner on December 3, 2015, focused on anti-Muslim acts, saying, “Since 9/11, we’ve had over 1,000 investigations into acts of anti-Muslim hatred, including rhetoric and bigoted actions, with over 45 prosecutions arising out of that. I think sadly that number’s going to continue.”

As Carol Brown wrote at the time in The American Thinker:

One would think that as the attorney general, she would have a few basic facts at her command. For starters, the largest percentage of hate crimes against people based on religious affiliation are committed against Jews. According to 2014 FBI stats, 63% of all hate crimes against a religious group were committed against Jews, compared to 11% against Muslims. But I’ve never heard Loretta Lynch express her concern about anti-Semitism. Have you?


Questioning gender fluidity is the new blasphemy

The capitulation of the establishment to the politics of transgenderism has been astonishing. I’m struggling to remember any other time when a new and contested ideology has been so uncritically embraced by the powers-that-be.

We have a Tory government pushing a Gender Recognition Act that would allow anyone to change his or her gender without so much as popping a hormone pill. An established Church which yesterday issued guidelines to its schools encouraging them to let kids ‘explore gender identity’. Police forces exchanging helmets for caps because ‘gender-based headgear’ is disrespectful to trans people. And of course a university system — the nurturer of future leaders — in which women’s colleges are throwing themselves open to people who were born male, students are told to use gender-neutral pronouns, and anyone who says ‘Men cannot become women’ can expect to be hounded off campus.

From the stuffy Tories to the armed wing of the state to the actual Church of England, one by one the core institutions of the nation have accepted an idea that we really should have more debate about, no? Namely that gender is fluid. And that children should be allowed to decide if they’re male or female. And that men who transition into women are actual women — full-on, legally recognisable, going-into-women’s-changing-rooms women — rather than transwomen, as they were respectfully referred to for many years. Anyone who claims that trans politics is edgy is kidding themselves: it is one of the most established, protected ways of thinking of our time.

Indeed, raise so much as a peep of criticism of the ideology of gender fluidity, or the wisdom of chest-binding for teenage girls who think they are boys, or whether primary schools really should let little lads wear dresses to school, and you will be shot down with accusations of ‘transphobia’. Even to suggest there are two sexes and that one cannot really become the other, to state what many people consider to be biological fact, is to risk being branded with the phobia tag.

So protected is the dogma of transgenderism that it now effectively enjoys its own blasphemy law. Suggesting people who were born male shouldn’t use women’s changing rooms in clothes shops is the 21st-century equivalent of saying ‘the Bible is nonsense’, as the Times’ Janice Turner discovered this weekend when she was subjected to a metaphorical tarring and feathering by the Twitterati for criticising trans thinking. In essence for being that thing that established and intolerant ways of thinking have always had a problem with: a woman who doubts, a woman who thinks. Trans activists should ask themselves how their campaigning came so closely to resemble old, unforgiving religions.

The institutionalisation of trans thinking is making critical debate tantamount to heresy. An elite, eccentric idea that has its origins in the rarefied land of Gender Studies department, whose language — cis, ze, gender fluidity — is the language of academic cliques rather than of pubs or bus-stops or barbershops, is being foisted on the land by religious and political institutions now more keen to cosy up to tiny groups of influential campaigners than to connect with the concerns of ordinary people. And this is wrong. The unilateral reorganisation of the basic categories of social life by aloof institutions is undemocratic and worrying. And it is not transphobic to say so.

Nowhere is it more worrying than in schools. The trans outlook increasingly holds sway in education. The CofE’s guidelines instruct teachers to let kids explore gender identity ‘without…comment’. That is, say nothing, pass no judgement, exercise no reason: just stand back and nod as the boy tells you he is a girl. Teachers who want to keep their jobs have little choice but to accept this advice. A Christian teacher in Oxford currently faces disciplinary action allegedly for ‘misgendering’ a female student who identifies as a boy. Worse, the teacher believes biological sex is defined at birth. This is heresy now. No matter that most people believe this, or that society has been organised upon this basis for centuries: overnight it has become the great unsayable.

We need to ask questions about the importing of trans thinking into schools because it shows how far down the rabbit hole of relativism our society has gone. I fear for the future if we will not even tell boys they are boys and girls they are girls. If teachers lack the authority even to say, ‘You’re a boy and should wear a boy’s uniform’. We are cultivating a new generation that will expect its every instinct to be instantly respected, and worse that the social infrastructure, from bathrooms to uniform policies, should mould themselves around their instincts. It’s so bizarre: we don’t trust kids to walk past chicken shops or read difficult literature, but we think it’s cool for them to choose their sex.

Well, ‘we’ don’t. ‘They’ do — the new trans-friendly rulers of society and policers of public discussion. More of us need to blaspheme against their eccentric strictures. Let me make this as clear as possible: trans adults should enjoy the same rights as every other adult, and by the same token, their ideas, their beliefs, their faith, should be subjected to the same levels of criticism and even ridicule as everybody else’s. People have rights; their ideologies do not.


SEIU’s Sexual Harassment Scandal

While so much attention is being focused on the allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood, there’s another sexual harassment scandal that is not getting anywhere near as much coverage. That scandal is at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a major campaign supporter of Democrats, and its Fight for $15 campaign.

SEIU, which is composed of janitors, security guards, child care workers, government employees, grad students, and adjunct professors, among others, is one of the largest unions in the country; its Fight for $15 campaign advocates for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The scandal began with allegations against Scott Courtney, formerly an SEIU Executive Vice President. Seven SEIU staffers accused Courtney of having sexual relationships with young staffers who were then promoted. Just last month, Courtney married an SEIU staffer. Furthermore, “more than a dozen current and former staffers … said complaints about top-level staff on the Fight for $15 were an open secret.” They also alleged “that complaints about abusive behavior by organizers who reported to top strategist Courtney led to no action.” Amidst an investigation, Courtney resigned from the SEIU late last month.

The Washington Free Beacon talked to a former Fight for $15 organizer. She spoke of the “the broad environment of misogyny at [the union],” and stated that she had “personally experienced sexual harassment from two people in supervisory positions.” The organizer claimed that, although she reported her harassers to human resources, it did not seem to accomplish much. Speaking of one of the harassers, she said, “His behavior didn’t change. He had an attitude of entitlement and misogyny and the feeling he could get away with really egregious comments.”

Caleb Jennings, who led SEIU’s Fight for $15 campaign in Chicago, was fired late last month. Jennings was accused of creating a toxic work environment and having a “sexist and aggressive” attitude. Over a year ago, 50 staffers signed a letter urging his firing. Included in the letter was an allegation that he had shoved a staffer into a doorframe and subsequently fired her. That former staffer, who is also an immigrant, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB found that she was wrongly fired and awarded her $20,000 in back pay. She declined to take her old job back and stated, “I wouldn’t want to work for someone who assaulted me.” If the allegations against Jennings are true, it is unclear how he managed to keep a job at all, particularly one at an organization that claims to fight for workers’ rights.

Although no explanations have been provided publicly, two other Fight for $15 leaders have recently left their jobs. Mark Raleigh, who led the Detroit chapter of Fight for $15, was fired; and Kendall Fells resigned earlier this month. Fells departure is notable because he was the national organizing director for Fight for $15 and was a leading spokesman for the campaign.

After the latest departures, an SEIU spokeswoman stated the following. “These personnel actions are the culmination of this stage of the investigation which brought to light the serious problems related to abusive behavior towards staff, predominantly female staff.”

What makes the scandal even worse is the Fight for $15 campaign’s hypocrisy. On its website, the campaign asserts that “four in ten women working in fast food restaurants deal with sexual harassment on the job… This has to stop. WE have to stop it.” Yet, while the campaign was busy crusading against sexual harassment in fast food restaurants, it was ignoring serious problems in its own organization.

It is good that SEIU is finally decided to investigate its scandal and admit that it has had “serious problems,” but the union is still rather late in arriving at this conclusion. Because SEIU’s sexual harassment scandal was so widespread and reached so high into the organization, the Department of Labor should investigate to see whether any dues money from hard-working SEIU members was used to buy the silence of sexual harassment victims.



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

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

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


15 November, 2017

No, Vox, ‘Small Government’ Does Not Mean White Nationalism

According to a recent article in Vox, conservatives who denounce government overreach aren’t really concerned about burdensome regulations. No—it turns out the “language of small government” is really just “a handmaiden to ethno-nationalism.”

Proof? The author, David Roberts, points to a 2016 New York Times story that depicted a few white men in rural America venting their anger over regulations against “coal rolling”—the practice of modifying diesel truck engines to spew thick black smoke.

Apparently, being a blue-collar white man who likes spewing black smoke into the air makes you a white nationalist. And apparently, spewing black smoke into the air is the essence of liberty and of limited government.

Roberts is both misguided and self-deluded, as he conveniently overlooks a few important factors.

Most worrisomely, he ignores the fact that bureaucratic red tape and regulations are a burden to everyone, regardless of race—and they impose particularly heavy costs on poor people and minorities.

Why Limited Government Matters

The Constitution dictates that the American government is one of limited, enumerated powers, separated into three distinct branches with three distinct roles.

Any branch granted power by the Constitution can do only what that particular power grant authorizes it to do, and the Constitution does not grant powers generally to the government “as a whole.”

The powers not granted expressly to one of the three branches of the federal government are reserved to the state governments.

This principle of vertical power sharing between the national and state governments is called “federalism.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy once beautifully explained the principle, even if he has not always been consistent in upholding it:

Federalism is more than an exercise in setting the boundary between different institutions of government for their own integrity. State sovereignty is not just an end in itself. Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from a diffusion of sovereign power. … Federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power. When government acts in excess of its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake.

When a branch of government steps beyond the limits of its power—when it “overreaches” the words of the Constitution itself—it tramples onto the liberties of the American people. Not just white people, but all people.

Further, conservatives generally believe that just because a federal, state, or local government may act under its constitutional authority does not mean it is prudent for it to do so.

This is often expressed as the principle of “small government.” Small government necessarily correlates to a freer people. In the words of President Ronald Reagan, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

The idea that conservatives use the language of “limited government” to oppress others is exactly backward. Conservatives support limited government precisely because they understand the oppressive nature of a large and centralized power that seeks to regulate every aspect of life.

The Problem With Government Overreach

The New York Times piece about “coal rolling” featured a tiny portion of Americans giving voice to a specific grievance.

For Vox to cite that grievance as somehow indicative of an entire political philosophy’s relation to white nationalism is not just bad journalism—it’s intellectual dishonesty.

Government overreach neither begins nor ends with the inability to spew black smoke from a truck. Its impact is not limited to white nationalist men, or white men broadly, or even white people at all.

The grip of overregulation and overcriminalization suffocates everyone, without exception. It is not about white nationalism. It’s about liberty.

Government overreach is about John Duarte, a farmer in California who was threatened with the loss of his farm for plowing his fields without a government permit.

It’s about the 500 people who almost lost their jobs because the Environmental Protection Agency insisted that temporary, shallow pools on Duarte’s land were “navigable waters” under federal jurisdiction.

It’s about the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Roman Catholic religious institute for women, who the federal government would force to choose between compliance with the Affordable Care Act and compliance with the sincere and deeply held dictates of the Catholic Church.

It is about powerful and prohibitive occupational licensing systems that keep people from making an honest living, requiring them to get the costly and time-consuming consent of state and local governments.

These systems burden poorer Americans and minorities by inserting arbitrary obstacles between them and the ability to earn a living or start a business—obstacles like the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in licensing fees, or the time off to complete dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours in training—not to become lawyers, or dentists, or real estate agents, but to braid hair. To run a food cart. To act as a tour guide, to do landscaping, and to put together flower bouquets.

It’s about the more than 400 federal agencies, 5,000 criminal laws, and literally uncountable number of federal regulations that have made the law inaccesssible to even the most diligent of citizens.

It’s about the absurd prison sentences handed down on everyday people, acting in morally blameless ways, who never could have anticipated their actions were against the law.

It’s about the $2 trillion in regulatory costs imposed every year on Americans, based on an erroneous presumption that large, unaccountable government bureaucracies are the best means of protecting the public.

Limited Government Is Not White Nationalism

Limited government is a concept embraced by men and women of all backgrounds, races, ages, and religions. Its proponents include accomplished African-Americans like economist Thomas Sowell, renowned surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, and Kay Coles James of the NASA Advisory Council.

The philosophy is defended by prominent Latinos, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Wash., Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Asian-Americans groups have also organized around the call for lower taxes and reducing excessive government regulations.

So no, limited government is not about angry white nationalists. In fact, white nationalism could not accomplish its goals with a truly limited government, nor has it ever really supported limited government.

Why? Because oppressive philosophies like white nationalism require a large government powerful enough to enforce the philosophy.

The most egregious instances of oppression have always been carried out with the power of a strong, centralized government: slavery, the disarmament of African-Americans during Reconstruction, the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, the segregated public schools of the Jim Crow South.

In each of these instances, federal and state governments undertook to impose laws and regulations in excess of both their constitutional authority and the limits of public necessity. They were the result of government power grabs, not the result of limited government.

Similarly, the racist Aryan supremacist oppression imposed by the Nazi Party in Germany depended on a big, overreaching government that routinely violated individual liberties.

History speaks plainly to this issue. Decrying government overreach and appealing to principles of limited government, confined to its constitutionally directed boundaries, has nothing whatsoever to do with the ideology of white nationalism.

Asserting otherwise is a tactless, lowbrow non-argument that refuses to engage honestly with the philosophy of limited government as it is articulated by conservatives.

It also prevents the kind of honest conversations about reducing government overreach that could actually help the very people that white nationalists abhor. This, more than the mischaracterization itself, is tragic and unacceptable.


Stop Forcing Taxpayers to Fund Public Broadcasting

This month marks the half-century of one of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.

It’s not the War on Poverty, Medicaid, or the Voting Rights Act. It’s public broadcasting. And it’s high time Congress stopped forcing taxpayers to subsidize it.

When Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act on Nov. 7, 1967, he spoke of a future in which non-commercial broadcasters would function as nationwide replicas of ancient Greece’s “agora,” or marketplace.

But he added a dark warning: If mishandled, they could “generate controversy without understanding … mislead as well as teach.”

Conservatives quickly realized it was not going to be the agora.

PBS wasn’t yet a year old in 1971 when a 35-year-old White House lawyer warned President Richard Nixon that they were being “confronted with a long-range problem of significant social consequences—that is, the development of a government-funded broadcast system similar to the BBC.”

That lawyer was future Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As usual, he was right on the money. Since then, there have been efforts under every Republican administration except Gerald Ford’s to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the vehicle for funding PBS and NPR.

President Donald Trump’s experience is typical. His original 2018 budget would have ended federal grants for public broadcasting, but the budget Congress recently passed punts on the issue. It does not provide new funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but does allow for appropriations bills with advance appropriations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to move in the Senate.

That means the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will receive a nearly half-billion dollars in advance appropriation included in the fiscal year 2017 omnibus bill.

Republican presidents keep trying to stop taxpayer funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for a simple reason: While PBS, NPR, Pacifica Radio, American Public Media, and all the other public broadcasters create what is unquestionably a quality product, that product skews to the left.

NPR and PBS insist they just report the news with no bias. And it is true that NPR, PBS, et al, do not broadcast government propaganda. (If they did, they wouldn’t be so hard on the Trump administration.)

What they do represent are the views of a particular group—those of the politically correct elite left—whose assumptions frame public affairs programming on public broadcasting.

This group is comprised of a bien pensant coalition of government bureaucrats, academics, entertainers, philanthropists, ethnic group activists, corporate leaders, etc., many of whom control America’s cultural institutions.

This coalition is an updated version of the “managerial elite,” which the political theorist James Burnham warned would come to rule industrial societies. The views of this group almost always favor government control of or involvement in everything from health care to the environment to the media.

Many, if not most, journalists (not just taxpayer-funded ones) echo the opinions of the elites, whom they tend to use as sources. And because the national ones are based inside the Acela Corridor, they will reflect the liberal views prevalent in New York and Washington.

The difference here is taxpayer involvement.

These problems were well understood by both sides 50 years ago, when Congress held hearings on public broadcasting. Conservatives demanded no editorializing or even any type of public affairs programming.

Even the liberal godfather of public broadcasting, the legendary network veteran Fred Friendly—by this time working for the Ford Foundation—told a House hearing in 1967, “We must avoid at all costs any situation in which budgets of news and public-affairs programming would be appropriated or even approved by any branch of the federal government.”

Friendly’s point was that “public television should not have to stand the test of political popularity at any point in time. Its most precious right will be the right to rock the boat.” As he understood, with government appropriations comes accountability.

So why the persistent failure of all previous efforts to relieve the half of the country that votes conservative from paying for public broadcasters? As Scalia warned Nixon, defunding would be “politically difficult in view of … the generally favorable public image which [the Corporation for Public Broadcasting] has developed.”

The reason for that is that PBS, NPR, and the others hide behind their original educational remit. As George F. Will put it earlier this year, “Often the last, and sometimes the first, recourse of constituencies whose subsidies are in jeopardy is: ‘It’s for the children.’”

But NPR and PBS are not really for the children anymore, if they ever were, which is why conservative leaders must now find the intestinal fortitude to free Americans from the tax obligation to fund them.

Thomas Jefferson, who never heard a broadcast, was undoubtedly right when he observed that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”


Democrat Who Accused Trump Of Harassment Is Now Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women

A Democratic state senator who accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment is now facing calls to resign after facing multiple sexual harassment allegations of his own.

Several women accused Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen of “persistent and unwanted” invitations to meet and allegations that Schoen grabbed them from behind and sent them photographs of male genitalia on social media, the MinnPost reported.

Schoen, a first-term senator who previously served in Minnesota's state house, knew of each alleged incident when the MinnPost approached him for comment, but called the allegations either false or taken out of context.

“It was never my intention to leave the impression I was making an inappropriate advance on anyone,” Schoen told the MinnPost. “I feel terrible that someone may have a different interpretation of an encounter, but that is the absolute truth. I also unequivocally deny that I ever made inappropriate contact with anyone.”

DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk condemned Schoen and called for him to resign over the allegations.

“I have discussed these allegations with my leadership team and we are united in our call for Sen. Dan Schoen to apologize, step aside, and seek care to address these actions,” Bakk said in a statement.

The MinnPost detailed one of the allegations against Schoen:

[Rep. Erin] Maye Quade had just become a candidate for the state House, and had never met Schoen, she said, but he nevertheless offered up his advice about how to handle the situation at the 4th Precinct. “Be careful about posting anything about BLM and if you want a police officer’s side of this, feel free to ask,” Maye Quade said Schoen texted.

He then asked her multiple times if she wanted to meet and have a drink and talk about it. Maye Quade said she respectfully declined.

Later that same evening, Schoen texted her again, this time suggesting she should come over, telling her his children weren’t home. She thought the messages were strange but didn’t think much of the invitation until she got another text that was “clearly meant for someone else.” It said, “'I almost got her. Working on her pretty hard, but I almost got her,'” according to Maye Quade. “My blood went cold.”

Schoen accused President Trump of sexual assault in October 2016 and appears to have judged him from a place of moral superiority.

Schoen apologized for his past behavior saying that it does not represent who he is and indicated that he has no plans to resign.


Finding Relief on the Streets and at the Office

Terrorists are much weaker than we feared in 2001. And sexual harassers are suddenly more vulnerable

Peggy Noonan
In 2001 I thought it would be a suitcase bomb, a homemade nuclear device, not airplanes going into buildings. I’d felt something coming, had written of it, but that day, amid all the grief and carnage, I felt a lurking relief. I’d feared worse — tens of thousands gone, parts of the city rendered uninhabitable.

I feel a version of that relief now, after the recent truck attack downtown, within the shadow of the Freedom Tower. Barely three hours later, on Lexington Avenue from the 90s through the 70s, the streets were crowded with kids and parents out for Halloween. The mood was not a sag-shouldered “This is the new normal,” but a collected sense of “We can handle this.” There was an air of gallant enjoyment. It made the emotionalism of the mayor’s remarks — “We will not be cowed”; “This action was intended to break our spirit” — seem both hyped up and rote, and appropriate to another time.

Yes, ISIS is here; yes, this will happen again, and security was appropriately high for the marathon. But it’s obvious, and has been for some time, that we’re in a different moment, a different part of the battle. For months and then years after 9/11, we feared al Qaeda would hit us again, harder. Sixteen years later what we see is a series of single, random-seeming acts by weak, stupid, highly emotional men who read propaganda sites and become excited in the way of the weak, stupid and highly emotional. Their attacks are low-tech, limited.

Graeme Wood had a smart piece for the Atlantic hours after the attack. “The details strongly suggest that the man was a complete idiot,” Mr. Wood wrote of the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov. “I harp on Saipov’s apparent stupidity for one reason: As long as Islamic State’s attackers are idiots like Saipov, our societies can probably handle them… . The Idiots’ Crusade is a manageable problem. Much less tolerable would be a campaign of competent terror — the kind of mayhem enabled by training, like the 2015 Bataclan killers in Paris had, or by patient planning, as Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas did.”

Continued vigilance is in order: “As Islamic State loses territory, the greatest danger remains the prospect that some of the battle-hardened fighters will return home, raising the average IQ of attackers, and making possible attacks that would be many times more deadly than this one.”

The bad guys now seem incompetent. But the bad guys will never go away, and it is to the deep and everlasting credit of U.S. law enforcement, especially the New York City Police Department, that they have been so contained. Some day they’ll hit us hard again, so no relaxation of efforts is possible. But right now it feels more like Britain’s long struggle with the Irish Republican Army than an existential threat, and we must be thankful when feelings improve. This was my small epiphany as I moved among people dressed as bumblebees, Pharaohs, Godzilla and an angel with black wings. I liked the gallant enjoyment. I shared it.

* * *
Here we shift to another thing that has changed, this one permanently. Before it goes away as a regular front-page story — and it will, because as Thoreau said, once you’re familiar with a principle you become less interested in hearing of its numerous applications — it must be noted that what has happened the past month regarding sexual harassment in the workplace is epochal, a true watershed and long overdue.

The revelations will have a huge impact, not because men now understand that sexual abuse and bullying are wrong — they always knew, and for many the wrongness would have been part of the enjoyment — but because they now know, really for the first time, that they will pay a terrible price if their misbehavior is revealed. And from here on in, there’s a greater chance it will be revealed, and believed.

The price to be paid was the real lesson of the past few weeks of resignations and firings. Celebrity abusers understand the first paragraph of their obit will now include something like, “… but fell from his position of power in the sexual-abuse scandals of the 2010s.”

That there is a price to be paid will have a deterrent effect. Human sin won’t stop; harassment will continue — but something important happened here.

In July 2015 New York magazine put 35 women on the cover who alleged that Bill Cosby had sexually violated them. Until then it had been a cloudy, amorphous story. Suddenly it was no longer he-said/she-said: You saw the faces, read the testimony, and knew what Mr. Cosby really was. A year later Gretchen Carlson, and later others, went up against Fox News’s Roger Ailes ; her lawsuit was settled for $20 million. Then came the revelation of the Bill O'Reilly settlements.

But Black October for sexual harassers began with the New York Times stories by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuses and payoffs, followed by Ronan Farrow’s lengthy investigation in the New Yorker, and then on to other men in show business and the news media.

Something happened. Media outfits made a commitment — expensive in terms of resources, personnel and legal costs — to get the story. What they found was numbers — the sheer number of abusers and the number of accusers who’d testify. They discovered details that established patterns.

This is all good. And one of the things that fell is the phrase “everybody knew.” That is now a self-indicting phrase.

I close with a point that may grate on those who, like me, are glad at what has happened and wish to see just revelations continue.

The challenge is to pursue justice while keeping a sense of humanity. Human-resources departments terrified of costly lawsuits will impose more and stranger rules that won’t necessarily thwart bad guys but will harass good men. This is the way of things. Two recent anecdotes: At a yearly checkup, a male doctor went through his short list of how to stay healthy in New York. It included: don’t stray onto the curb, stay on the sidewalk, keep back from careening trucks that take a corner too tight and knock people down. I got it, I said — I take the arms of cellphone zombies and guide them a step back to keep them safe. I’d done it recently with a young woman. He got a poignant look. “I can’t do that now,” he said. If he put his hand on a strange woman’s arm, it might be misunderstood.

I was told the other day of a news executive who complimented his co-worker on her boots. He was later taken aside by a colleague: You can’t talk like that now! He hurriedly called the woman and apologized: He meant no offense, didn’t mean to sound leering. She said: Are you kidding? I knew it was a compliment, no offense at all.

That was human. Common sense is better than antihuman edicts.

It’s good the pendulum has swung. You want it to hit the bad guys hard, and leave the good ones untouched.



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

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

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


14 November, 2017

Children sacrificed to appease trans lobby

From Topshop’s cave-in on changing rooms to the SNP’s guidance for schools, there is a mindless rush to appear right-on

Travis Alabanza is a performance artist who, in the tradition of Leigh Bowery, Boy George or Bowie, dresses to astonish and subvert. Blue lipstick, beard stubble, fab shoes, frocks, mad hair, attitude. What Travis isn’t, however, is a woman.

Yet when Topshop in Manchester wouldn’t allow him to try on clothes in the women’s fitting area, he exploded on Twitter: “Not letting me use the changing room I decide is shit, sort it out.” Within hours Topshop declared all customers “are free to use any fitting room located within our stores”.

Note: Topshop hasn’t built solid, separate unisex boxes as in, say, Urban Outfitters. They are just permitting men — any man — to walk into a flimsily curtained space where giggling teenage girls check out a friend’s new dress in their bras. Topshop’s female customers were baffled. Why sacrifice our privacy and safety? (When the US company Target adopted this policy, predatory men exploited it to snap photos under cubicles.) Why not create a discrete space for the few “non-binary” people like Travis to change?

Fair question. But the current trans movement is doctrinaire, uncompromising. Led by mainly older trans-women — ie born men — it won’t acknowledge women’s rights or feelings. It fights for two principles. First, “self-definition”: a person is the gender they “feel” inside, so a trans-woman “is” a woman even without physical change or while retaining male genitalia. Second, “affirmation”: everyone must acknowledge this inner gender identity. Hence the right to waltz into women’s private spaces is sacrosanct.

For months, researching the rise in referrals to gender clinics of teenage girls, I’ve been shocked at how the trans lobby, abetted by a cowed LGBT movement and deluded politicians, are prepared to sacrifice the wellbeing of children to attain those two goals.

This week the Scottish government published its transgender guidance for schools, drawn up solely by activist groups such as Mermaids. If Justine Greening implements a highly contentious women and equalities committee report, such rules will apply everywhere. On changing rooms it states: “If a learner feels uncomfortable sharing facilities with a transgender young person, they can be allowed to use a private facility . . . or to get changed after the trans young person is done.” So if a girl objects to showering with a male-bodied pupil, she must go elsewhere or wait outside. For overnight trips: “If a transgender young person is sharing a room with their peers, there is no reason for parents of the other young people to be informed.” So you have no business knowing if your daughter is sleeping alongside someone born a boy.

It recommends schools allow a child to change gender without parental consent. Moreover, if parents are not wholly behind a child’s decision: “It may be useful to approach the local authority for additional guidance”, ie report them to social services, perhaps to question custody.

As in the US, trans kids are now an industry that makes careers
This craze to expedite gender transition in children goes against all clinical advice for “watchful waiting”. The young brain evolves, children change their minds, puberty is troubling for many reasons. Yet the Scottish guidance allows no one to dispute a child’s view, maybe acquired on Reddit and Tumblr, that he or she is in “the wrong body”. Or to suggest that a child may simply be gay. The apparatus of medical transition, a hormone regime causing sterility, plus surgical removal of healthy tissue, is seen as wholly positive. PE teachers must tolerate girls using binders to strap down their hated breasts “which can lead to shortness of breath and can be painful during physical exertion” because they have “a positive impact on a young person’s mental health”.

We are being ordered to endorse a practice reminiscent of Chinese foot-binding or the Victorian tight-lacing craze where girls fainted to achieve the tiniest waist. Should we also hand out fresh razor blades so self-harm wounds don’t go sceptic? Or “affirm” anorexics’ delusions that they are fat?

In my research I heard from teachers, doctors, parents and trans-folk aghast at children being pushed towards drastic treatment before they can possibly understand how it will affect their future relationships and lives. None would speak out publicly: like Topshop, they feared being labelled transphobic.

Because how quickly we transition kids is the new measure of an enlightened society. Announcing proposals to let 12-year-olds change their legal gender, the SNP equalities secretary Angela Constance boasted that “Scotland rightly has a reputation as one of the most progressive countries in relation to LGBTI rights.” This proves the SNP is more right-on than even Corbyn Labour. Meanwhile the Tories, in a cynical pursuit of youth votes, push for legislative changes they don’t even grasp. “Being trans is not an illness,” said Theresa May recently, “and it should not be treated as such.” So why does it require surgery, drugs and lifelong patienthood?

While trans children are a liberal totem, 50 more are being referred to London’s Tavistock clinic every week. “If there was a 1,000 per cent rise in six years in any other field,” said one doctor, “there would be a major inquiry. Instead no one asks why.” Because trans kids are becoming, as in the US, an industry that makes careers, brings Children in Need and Lottery grants, humanitarian prizes, plaudits, MBEs; it provides a legion of photogenic young foot-soldiers to help secure older trans demands, and for the private clinics, who’ll put your 13-year-old girl on testosterone, it is a mighty cash cow. But in a decade, when our adult children turn to ask, “Why did you let me do this? Why didn’t you stop me?” we may wonder if this was progress or child abuse.


Why I want to be a stay-at-home mum: Tech executive reveals why she gave up a high-powered career to care full-time for her son in a post that will resonate with mothers everywhere

Clare Tully, 32, worked tirelessly to build a successful career, eventually landing herself a real estate executive role in a global tech company.

But when she returned to work two months after giving birth to her son, Jack, in February this year, Clare soon found herself feeling robbed of precious time with the child she had long longed for.

Writing in a blog post, Clare, from Ireland, described how she felt 'torn up with guilt' and like she was 'missing out on being his mammy'.

A few weeks ago Clare and her husband Cole took the decision that she would stop work to care full-time for their son, swapping her demanding career for life as a stay-at-home mother. 

Posting on her blog, The Tully Tales, Clare wrote honestly about her experience, revealing she did not take the decision lightly.

She described how she found her job 'challenging and interesting' but that it required 'long hours and frequent travel'.

Late-night meetings were also common as Clare, who had spent the last eight years working in California, struggled to keep up with different time zones.

'Work/Life balance is an impossible dream in most cases, but trying to juggle quality time with my family, and my job, has been a nightmare,' she continued.

She wrote: 'I have been torn up with guilt, and downright miserable at times. Mornings were spent rushing through our breakfast routine in order to get out of the house on time, and running around to make sure I had everything packed that he would need for the day.

'By the time I picked him up in the evening, there was just enough time for dinner and a few minutes of play before bed.

'I found myself wishing the week away so I could spend the weekend with him. It felt like I spent all my time handing him off to others, and I was missing out on being his mammy.'

Returning from a recent three-day business trip, Clare made the decision to quit and had her last week at work earlier this month.

She added that while she is looking forward to the next chapter, she understands it will be demanding in its own way.

'Staying at home with your child is hard work, with no breaks, and no paid holidays,' she wrote. 'I won’t even be able to pee alone... I’m nervous about throwing caution to the wind and taking a career break, not to mention going down to a single income.'

However ultimately she wants to be there to spend more time with her child. She added: 'We waited a long time for our little man, and the baby years are so short.

'So goodbye to meetings and overflowing inboxes, and hello to 24/7 nappy changing, mammy and baby groups and cuddles.'


UK: ‘Pestminster’: feminism’s double standards

Why working-class victims of real sexual abuse are ignored

Earlier this year, following a testimony from one woman and one girl, police uncovered a gang of rapists and child abusers in Newcastle. Seventeen men, convicted under Operation Sanctuary, were routinely raping young women, and girls as young as 14. They plied their victims with alcohol and drugs before assaulting them.

This month, several MPs have been demoted or suspended pending investigations for allegedly touching the knees of journalists or researchers, and for making ‘lewd’ comments and texting women to ask them out for drinks.

Which of these things got more media coverage? The rape of working-class women or the inconveniencing of middle-class women with a hand on the leg or an unwanted text? The latter, of course. The ‘Pestminster’ scandal has dominated media coverage for two weeks now. For more than a month the press has obsessed over which celebrities and actresses were allegedly mistreated by Harvey Weinstein. And the #MeToo hashtag has been trending for weeks, designed to raise awareness about sexual harassment.

In contrast, the revelation that girls in the north of England had been raped on a terrifying scale was news for around a week. Some of the coverage was cautious and embarrassed. Don’t focus too much on the men’s backgrounds, commentators warned (the men were largely of Pakistani origin). It was a similar situation when the abuse and rape of working-class girls in Rotherham and then Rochdale was uncovered. Operation Stovewood, Operation Clover and Operation Sanctuary, all investigations of the sexual exploitation of young women or girls in northern towns, have now largely been forgotten.

In these cases, vulnerable women and girls were drugged, threatened and raped. When they looked for help, their stories were either ignored or dragged out by the local authorities – even, in one instance, when DNA evidence proved there was a case to investigate. The wilful ignorance of the police in these cases has now been criticised by many, and was dramatised in the BBC series, Three Girls.

Yet when the Westminster sexual-harassment scandal broke, many observers described it as a watershed moment. Feminists, their heads in their hands, described parliament as a ‘toxic’ place. Something Must Be Done about our abusive MPs, they insisted. There has even been calls for politicians to undergo consent training – to stop them from touching journalists’ knees.

There is something very troubling in the different approaches to the very serious abuse of working-class women and girls and the far more minor problems faced by some political writers and researchers.

The response to the Westminster sex-pest panic has been to demand new respect for allegedly ‘vulnerable’ women in the largely middle-class ranks of political commentary and policymaking. Yet when genuinely vulnerable young women in Rotherham, Rochdale, Manchester and Newcastle needed protection, they were ignored for years and left to face more abuse. When a well-connected journalist wrote in The Times about Damian Green ‘fleetingly’ touching her knee (allegedly), an investigation was instantly opened and she was widely described as ‘brave’ and a hero for women. When Andrew Norfolk published a story about the abuse in Rotherham in 2011, it was largely ignored.

Many now talk about the need to ‘believe women’. Yet northern working-class girls weren’t believed, and many of them knew they wouldn’t be believed. The contrast in the social capital of these girls and of the journos complaining about handsy MPs is stark. So the former are forgotten, and the latter are hailed as martyrs, despite ‘suffering’ what most people would consider to be very mild creepy behaviour. It seems that for many feminists and many in the media, high-profile women being lightly touched is a bigger, more important story than working-class women being raped.

The difference between these cases is important for two reasons. First because looking back at the northern rape scandals should help confirm that the Westminster scandal really is a small, insignificant affair. No doubt there are unpleasant men in parliament. And yes, women shouldn’t have to put up with handsy old men at boozy lunches. They should tell them to get lost. But this is hardly shocking stuff. With the exception of a serious claim of rape, made by Labour activist Bex Bailey, most of the allegations coming out of ‘Pestminster’ are petty.

And secondly, contrasting these two cases helps us to understand how much feminists misuse language today. To describe well-educated professional women in the sphere of politics as ‘vulnerable’ is ridiculous. However, girls in care in the north whose abuse was ignored or overlooked really were vulnerable. Jane Merrick and Kate Maltby, journalists who have made incredibly petty accusations against MPs, aren’t brave; the northern women who persisted in bringing their serious suffering to light are brave. Sending someone a dirty text message is not ‘sexual predation’; but raping, assaulting and harassing girls as young as 14 is.

There is a powerful class dynamic to the ‘Pestminster’ scandal. What we have here are middle-class women playing the role of victims in a very unconvincing way. But real victims, if they’re working class and northern, are quickly forgotten. It is alarming that in Britain in 2017, you will get more sympathetic coverage in the broadsheet press if you’re posh and someone touches your knee than if you’re working-class and were raped for months.


Woe betide women who don’t subscribe to feminist orthodoxy

In the panic about lecherous MPs and sleazy film producers, everything from knee-touching to rape has been lumped together under the heading ‘sexual harassment’. The only purpose this term now serves is to label all men as abusers and all women as victims. A faceless but omnipotent patriarchy, feminists tell us, holds sway over women and girls. Apparently, it is men’s bad behaviour, a male sense of entitlement garnered from covert networks of privilege, even men’s stature and strength, that causes problems for women.

Feminism has long pitched men against women. But increasingly it pitches women against women, too. Women who don’t see men as problematic, who refuse to accept that ‘the patriarchy’ lies at the root of all their difficulties, are alternately pitied for suffering from internalised misogyny and loathed for betrayal. The sexual-harassment panic makes clear that there are some types of women feminists approve of – women who bravely detail their knee-touching allegations in newspaper columns, for example – while other women who refuse to join in with the pity-me stories are shamed for victim-blaming.

Earlier this week I took part in a debate about sexual harassment on Channel 4 News. Sitting alongside me was Dame Ann Leslie, one of the great reporters of the 20th century and a foreign correspondent at a time when such jobs were considered unsuitable for women. Leslie travelled the world, often alone, reporting from Moscow to Zimbabwe, from Berlin when the wall came down to South Africa when Mandela was released. Despite her age and physical frailty, her sense of humour and feistiness brought badly needed perspective to the discussion. Yes, she acknowledged, sexual harassment takes place. But she dealt with it through being fearless and fearful, once stubbing out a cigarette on someone, and shouting loudly at others.

Leslie argued that feminists today ‘spend their time saying women are traumatised because some silly old drunk in parliament put his hand on her knee or something like that’. She was in no way trivialising rape or saying that when it comes to sexual harassment women should just suck it up. Rather, her point was that wailing over knee-touching makes women appear, frankly, a bit pathetic, and ‘you can’t say women are strong and empowered and then say they’re scared and they’re going to cry and all that sort of thing’.

On cue, keyboard feminists took to Twitter to bemoan Channel 4 News for providing a platform for this ‘appalling woman’. ‘WHAT DID I JUST WATCH????’, they shrieked in unison. Why, they demanded to know, was this ‘dinosaur’ ‘exhumed’ and given airtime? ‘Women reporting sexual harassment are so, so brave’, came the chorus. The director of communications for Channel 4 News fuelled the indignation: ‘Ann Leslie claims women reporting sexual violence are weak.’ In fact, Leslie’s point was that it is precisely because women are strong, powerful and capable that crying over knee-touching is so degrading.

Outrage continued over on the Huffington Post, where Leslie was described as ‘a Daily Mail journalist’. Her groundbreaking career now trivialised and ridiculed for the pleasure of the Guardian-reading classes. Contempt, prejudice and misrepresentation are all allowed because Leslie dared to veer from today’s feminist orthodoxies. This rewriting of history, this lack of respect, is far more appalling than anything Leslie did or did not say. A woman who landed a Fleet Street column at the age of 22, became the highest-paid female journalist in the UK and made such a significant impact upon journalism should be celebrated as a role model for today’s young women. But because she thinks the ‘wrong’ thing, she is a woman who is fair game for attack.

In the sexual-harassment panic, other women have met a similar fate. Anne Robinson, another veteran journalist and TV presenter, provoked outrage with her claim that modern-day women are ‘fragile’. Robinson said: ‘In the early days, 40 years ago, there were very few of us women in power and I have to say we had a much more robust attitude to men behaving badly.’ Ironically, the upset prompted by her statement proves her point.

‘The glass ceiling seems to have been shattered’, Robinson argued, ‘but running alongside that is a sort of fragility among women who aren’t able to cope with the treachery of the workplace’. For saying this, she has been branded ‘dead wrong’, ‘confused’ and someone who is engaging in ‘humble bragging’ about her own strength. ‘Because of detractors like you, Anne’, she is patronisingly informed, ‘it takes far more courage and confidence to speak out about harassment in the workplace’.

I’m sure neither Leslie nor Robinson will give a damn what today’s feminists think of them. Neither has made a virtue out of displaying her feminist credentials. But even having fought at the frontline of yesteryear’s feminist battles is not enough to protect an older generation of activists from censure.

Linda Bellos, a self-described black, Jewish, lesbian radical feminist and one-time leader of Lambeth Council, who continues to work in the field of equality, was recently disinvited from speaking at the University of Cambridge’s Beard Society. Bellos had planned to raise questions about the current direction of gender politics, including ‘some of the trans politics… which seems to assert the power of those who were previously designated male to tell lesbians, and especially lesbian feminists, what to say and what to think’.

A representative of the Beard Society replied: ‘I’m sorry but we’ve decided not to host you. I too believe in freedom of expression, however Peterhouse is as much a home as it is a college. The welfare of our students in this instance has to come first.’ In other words, Bellos’s personal achievements and political victories fighting for women’s rights and equality count for nothing if she insists on ‘raising questions’ that challenge today’s consensus.

Germaine Greer, one of the most influential feminists of the 20th century, was similarly met by protests when she tried to speak at Cardiff University in 2015. Greer was accused of transphobia. She eventually delivered her lecture under high security. Her classic work The Female Eunuch dismantles the ways in which ideas about femininity encourage women to see themselves as weak; and it seems many of today’s feminists are too weak to hear views they might not agree with.

It seems increasingly that there is one correct way to do feminism, and it involves berating those individuals whose hard-won victories helped bring about the equality we have in the workplace today. This is worse than just disrespectful – it is terrible for women more broadly. Not only do we lose the voices of great female role models and activists; we also shut down diversity and dissent. Feminism now insists upon an emotional correctness and an adherence to one set of views. Feminists now present women as victims or, at best, survivors of the patriarchy. I prefer the feistiness, idiosyncrasy, ruthless ambition and sheer fun of the now vilified previous generation.



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

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

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


13 November, 2017

Leftist throws up his hands on gun control

It's an extended effort at saying just about nothing below.  He does however admit the failure of do-gooder solutions to gangbanger shootings. He has no idea how to stop gang-bangers with guns but criticizes conservative comments on the matter. 

But conservatives DO have a solution: Get more people carrying so the bad guys get taken down when they draw.  And it's a proven solution. As gun restrictions have eased and ownership has increased, innocent deaths have fallen.  The solution is exactly the opposite of what Leftists want.  They are part of the problem, as usual


A semiautomatic handgun concealed under his winter clothes, Josiah Zachery made his way to Jamaica Plain one snowy morning in 2015, prosecutors say. He spent an hour on the bus, then took the Orange Line from Jackson Square to Forest Hills, almost as if he were making a long, cold commute to work.

But Zachery wasn’t going to work. That morning, Zachery had allegedly received a text message from Donte Henley, a fellow member of Boston’s Franklin Hill gang. Henley had discovered that he and someone affiliated with a rival gang were working on the same snow shoveling crew for Roca, a nonprofit that tries to change the lives of at-risk young people.

He texted Zachery for help. When Zachery found the crew, he allegedly walked up to the man Henley had described, drew the large-caliber handgun, and shot 21-year-old Kenny Lamour in the head. Lamour, who was trying to turn his life around, died in the snowy street.

Almost three years later, Henley and Zachery are both on trial for Lamour’s murder — a crime that represents a type of gun violence that is even harder to solve than the mass shootings that are all too prevalent.

Now, you may have heard that nobody really cares about the kind of violence that killed Kenny Lamour. At least that’s the talking point that emerges from some conservative quarters pretty often these days.

Raise the issue of gun control in the wake of another mass shooting, or suggest criminal justice reform after a police officer shoots another black man, and someone will invariably ride in on his tired stalking horse, asking you why you’re not talking about “black on black crime” or “murders in Chicago.” Their point? That discussing something like an assault weapons ban means you’re ignoring all the young men like Lamour who are gunned down every day with handguns.

It’s a disingenuous argument, of course, intended only to derail the national conversations about gun control or other reforms. But listen to these sad, angry voices long enough, and you might even begin to believe that decent, empathetic people can’t care about more than one thing at once: like, say, mass shootings and gang violence.

So it’s worth pointing out that on every level, that’s nonsense. Searching for a solution is the only humane response to massive, senseless death at a concert in Las Vegas or a church in Texas. But doing so doesn’t preclude anyone from also wondering what could’ve saved Kenny Lamour.

In fact, the cumulative toll of the kind of gang violence that killed Lamour is far greater than from mass shootings. What makes it harder to talk about isn’t a lack of concern — it’s that this violence is even more confounding and intractable, rooted in poverty and centuries of discrimination.

It’s fairly easy to design regulations that would make large-scale mass shootings less common. A federal ban on semiautomatic, military-style rifles and large-capacity magazines wouldn’t stop every one, but it would prevent at least some — and the country not long ago had just such a ban, albeit one with .50 caliber loopholes in it.

In the wake of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Democrats in Congress introduced just such a bill. It won’t go anywhere, of course — which is frustrating to the point of being intolerable — but we fundamentally understand the political factors involved.

But violence in our streets? It’s harder to see a way forward. Lamour’s death is particularly galling in this regard, because it came as he was actively participating in one of the potential solutions.

This week, during the trial of the two men accused of murdering Lamour, a prosecutor described a Roca crew chief getting assurances from Henley that he could work alongside Lamour without incident.

But within five minutes, Henley was allegedly texting Zachery, plotting Lamour’s death.

A couple of hours later, Lamour was standing behind the Roca van on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, smoking a cigarette, when a bullet entered his head above his right ear, ripped through his brain, and lodged inside his left cheek.

In Massachusetts and many other states, handguns like the large-caliber weapon Zachery allegedly used to end Lamour’s life are already subject to far greater restrictions than rifles. The weapons used in street crimes are typically already being carried illegally. And keeping them out of the wrong hands has proven incredibly difficult.

So we rely on public programs and nonprofit organizations like Roca, which helps over 700 young men, ages 17 to 24 all over Massachusetts. Most of them have been arrested before, many have been incarcerated or involved in gangs and dropped out of high school. Roca workers knock on doors again and again, offering work and help and the kind of trusting relationship that can begin to convince someone to follow a different path.

In that sense, Lamour’s life, if not his death, is evidence that people do indeed care deeply. All over the country, smart and dedicated people are searching for solutions.

And they’re grieving the loss of people like Kenny Lamour.


Ditch political correctness and wise up. Empower cops to fight radical Islamic terrorists here at home

When you're getting dressed in the morning, you look for a shirt in your closet - not your refrigerator. When you want to go out to dinner, you look for a restaurant - not a dentist's office. And when you're a cop looking for radical Islamic terrorists ... well, let's just say you don't look in a convent, a monastery or a rabbinical seminary.

Is this politically correct? Absolutely not. Is it simple common sense? Of course it is.

There's no question that the vast majority of Muslims in America are peaceful, law-abiding and hardworking men and women. They serve in our armed forces and police departments, teach in our schools, treat us in hospitals, and work in countless other jobs that benefit our nation. We welcome and appreciate them.

But there's also no question that a small subset of Muslims in this country don't fit the above description, because they support the aims of radical Islamic terrorists. And an even smaller, very tiny subset actually engages in terrorism. Finding these people after they commit terrorist acts is challenging. Finding them before they commit terrorist acts and stopping them is incredibly difficult.

A basic principle of police work is that you use logic and common sense when searching for criminals of any kind. You can't search for everyone everywhere, so you narrow the field of possible suspects. What does the suspected criminal look like - race, sex, height, weight, hair color and style, and so on? Where do you think the suspect might be? These and related questions hold true whether the search is for a robber, a rapist, a drug dealer or a terrorist.

Where might a radical Islamic terrorist be? Well ... wild guess ... mosques, other areas where Muslims get together, and Muslim neighborhoods. One thing's for sure: you won't find any radical Muslim terrorists who are not Muslims.

It does not take a brilliant detective like Dick Tracy or Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Even the imbecilic film detective Inspector Clouseau could do it.

Yet in New York City last week, where a radical Islamic terrorist drove his truck into innocent people on a bike path on Halloween - killing eight and injuring a dozen - police and other law enforcement officials are being handcuffed. They are being told to ignore their common sense and training, and not focus on Muslims when looking for Muslim terrorists.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that the Halloween terrorist - indentified by police as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, a Muslim who emigrated from Uzbekistan - was radicalized here in the United States, not in his home country, which has a history of violent Islamic extremists.

If the governor is correct, than where in the U.S. did the radicalization take place? And before we jump to the convenient presumption that Saipov was "self-radicalized" or a "lone wolf," we should realize by now that terrorists are not hatched overnight after sitting in their basements watching videos.

No one lives in a vacuum. Radicalization is a process that includes both internal and external catalysts and occurs in many environments. That principle was laid out in a report created by the New York City Police Department's Intelligence Division in 2006 titled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat: The NYPD Report," authored by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt.
The report was a seminal tutorial on how and where the radicalization of "unremarkable" individuals occurred. It was a vital component of the NYPD's counterterrorism program until 2016.

But last year Mayor Bill de Blasio caved in to demands from the American Civil Liberties Union and several Muslim activist organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and ordered the counterterrorism report removed from both the NYPD's website and its training manuals.

And if that was not enough, the mayor also ordered the police to discontinue standard police practices of surveillance and undercover operations of the group most susceptible to radical Islamic terrorists - the Muslim community of the greater New York and New Jersey metropolitan area.

De Blasio's absurd action came in response to a 2012 lawsuit filed in Newark, New Jersey by Muslim advocates. They claimed that the NYPD was profiling them strictly on the basis of their religion and that they had suffered irreparable damages as a result of police actions.

But U.S. District Judge William J. Martini ruled in 2014 that the NYPD's investigative practices did not violate the Constitution, nor were any damages suffered by the Muslim community. The plaintiffs appealed the decision and the case was to be reheard.

Unfortunately, de Blasio then inexplicably surrendered to the demands of those suing the police department and withdrew from defending the NYPD against the lawsuit.

One of the mosques in New Jersey that claimed to have been unjustly surveilled was the Omar Mosque in Patterson. This is the same mosque attended by Sayfullo Saipov, the now-accused self-proclaimed ISIS follower who struck on Halloween.

Yet NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller stated publicly that the Saipov case has nothing to do with Islam or which mosque someone attended.  How quickly he forgets.

Perhaps Miller needs to go back and reread the 2002 book he wrote titled "The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It." Back then, he clearly acknowledged the obvious fact that that radical Islamic terrorists have connections with Muslim communities.

And as if to add insult to injury, New York City has agreed to an amendment to a court decision that oversees police intelligence investigations of political and religious organizations. De Blasio will now appoint a civilian monitor who will have oversight over who the police department can or cannot investigate.

Perhaps the Army will next follow suit and appoint civilian monitors to determine where and when it can fight radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. That would make as much sense as the de Blasio policy.

Here's the bottom line: We need to spend less time worrying about being politically correct and more time worrying about how to protect the American people from bloodthirsty radical Islamic terrorists who want to kill and injure as many of us as possible.
At some point, we have to let the police be the police and investigate terrorists and other criminals - regardless of religion, ethnicity or race - based on tried and true procedures.

Good police investigative work in years past resulted in many arrests against criminal organizations like the Mafia and Colombian drug cartels, even though Italians and Colombians were disproportionately represented in these groups. It would have been as silly to search for Mafia kingpins in mosques as it would be to try hunting down ISIS terrorists at Knights of Columbus meetings.

Good police work can be effective against Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, which often infiltrate the Muslim communities in the United States, only if police are allowed to do their jobs.

Hopefully, the NYPD under the current leadership of Commissioner James O'Neil, a career cop, will be allowed to go where the evidence leads, utilizing every tool at its disposal and not bow to political correctness when investigating potential terrorists and their hideouts. Perhaps the tool most needed in fighting radical Islamic terrorism today is a strong backbone.


What These 3 Doctors Think Should Be Done for Children Who Think They Are Transgender

Three doctors, specializing in pediatrics, biology, and psychiatry, are criticizing what they say is the reliance on feelings over facts when it comes to studying and treating children who think they’re transgender.

In a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation, the doctors said the transgender ideology permeating society today is hurting children and undermining scientific research.

Ryan Anderson, senior research fellow in American principles and public policy at The Heritage Foundation, hosted the Oct. 11 panel with Drs. Michelle Cretella, Paul Hruz, and Allan Josephson.

Cretella, president of the Gainesville, Florida-based American College of Pediatricians, outlined her definition of what determines a child’s sex.

“Biological sex is not ‘assigned,’” she said. “Biological [sex] is imprinted by our DNA at the moment of conception, and it’s [in] every single cell in our bodies.” It comes down to chromosomes, she explained: If you have a Y chromosome, you’re a boy. If you don’t, you’re a girl.

“Thoughts and feelings are not hard-wired before birth,” Cretella said. “They develop over time.” She said there is no scientific test or biological evidence that affirms a person’s “chosen” gender.

Ten years ago, Cretella said, she had a patient, who she called “Andy,” who said he was transgender.

“Between the ages of 3 and 5,” she said, “little Andy increasingly played with girl toys. Stereotypical girl toys. He really made friends easier with girls, and he started telling his parents, ‘Mommy, Daddy, I am a girl.’”

Cretella referred Andy’s parents to a therapist to look at the family dynamics behind the circumstances.

“During one session, they had a breakthrough,” she recalled. “Andy had a truck and a Barbie. He put the truck down, he looked up at his parents, and said, ‘Mommy, Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.’ Now the therapist had something to work with.”

Andy had a sister with special needs when he was 3 years old. His mom and dad had to give more attention to her to accommodate her condition. Andy thought that they favored his sister over him and that he needed to be a girl for his parents to love him.

By focusing the therapeutic session on family dynamics, Andy was able to progress through his treatment.

“Over the next year, this therapeutic work is what relieved Andy’s gender dysphoria,” Cretella said in an email to The Daily Signal. “He no longer had the psychological need to be the opposite sex in order to feel loved. Within a year of that session he was happy, healthy, and identified as a boy.”

But Cretella said Andy wouldn’t have received the same treatment today. “Today, Andy’s pediatrician would refer Andy and his family to gender specialists or a gender clinic,” she said. “The parents would immediately be told this is who Andy is.”

Josephson, a professor and division chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, called the current transgender revolution “a social-cultural-psychological phenomenon,” but added that it’s also a “neglectful phenomenon, neglecting the developmental needs of children.”

Josephson said young children don’t have the capacity to make choices on sexual identity, just as they don’t have the capacity to drive a car or make the choice to go to bed on time. He said it’s the parents’ job to help their children learn these things as they develop.

For parents not to take action in the child’s decision-making, particularly with respect to sexual identity, is detrimental to the child’s development, he said. “Of course you affirm the child and love the child,” he said, “but you don’t affirm a bad idea.”

Hruz, associate professor of pediatrics, endocrinology, cell biology, and physiology at Washington University in St. Louis, explained the psychological issues that transgender people face. These include depression and anxiety, and they can lead to bad outcomes, such as substance abuse.

“These children that have a gender identity that does not align with their sexes are truly suffering,” he said.

Hruz said guidelines on how to treat transgender patients emerged from the Netherlands and were introduced into the U.S. about 10 years ago. Before then, transgender identity was considered a psychological condition. Now, doctors consider using puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on patients suffering from gender dysphoria.

There were studies on the effects of the new guidelines, but Hruz said, they haven’t warranted a drastic change in the approach to the way doctors treat gender identity issues.

“Despite the fact that there are well-established treatment guidelines,” he said, “not standard care, but guidelines … the evidence behind this new treatment paradigm is slim to none.”

Cretella raised the issue of the dangers of puberty-blocking drugs, which counteract hormones that allow people to develop puberty traits, such as deeper voices and breasts. The blockers are not Food and Drug Administration-approved substances, and there have been no long-term studies of the substances used on a regular basis for otherwise healthy children.

Cross-sex hormones used to replace the normal pubertal process, Cretella said, can cause cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

Hruz agreed with Cretella about the dangerous effects of puberty blockers and added that they can also cause other problems, such as osteoporosis and infertility.

When the doctors began taking questions, Zack Ford, the LGBTQ editor of the liberal website ThinkProgress.org, asked why anyone should think they have the best interests of children in mind when their views on the issue, he said, are in “stark contrast to major medical organizations” and “reflect a clear prejudice against trans people.”

Ford said studies concluded that when parents affirm a child’s chosen gender, they relieve any mental stress the child may have sustained from the transition.

He didn’t cite specific studies, but Cretella noted flaws with studies of the kind he alluded to.

First, the studies assume that affirming a false idea—in this case, the false ideas behind gender identity—is healthy for anyone. Second, she said the studies have been small and short-term.

Third, the control group of mentally healthy children were the siblings of the transgender child. In an email to The Daily Signal, Cretella explained, “Non-trans siblings will have a higher degree of other mental illness above the general population. An authentic control group would consist of children who live in similar family structures without any transgender-identifying individuals.” And fourth, the parents were evaluating the mental health of the children, not scientists.

Hruz told Ford that objective scientists look at the hypothesis of a subject and seek to come to the best conclusion, and not be “prejudiced” toward a preferred  solution without looking at alternatives.

When Ford mentioned that transgender children are relieved of stress when parents affirm their chosen gender, Josephson said the studies Ford mentioned only consider a child’s temporarily relief and don’t look at the long-term effects of the issue.


ACLU Threatens to Stamp Out Diversity by Shuttering Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. And how is the American Civil Liberties Union celebrating? By trying to reduce the number of agencies that place needy children with families.

Specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan over a 2015 law that allows religious adoption agencies to decline placing children with same-sex parents, in accordance with their religious convictions.

If the ACLU prevails in court, it would overturn the Michigan law and force numerous faith-based adoption agencies to choose between following their beliefs about marriage and family, or going out of business, leaving thousands of foster children out in the cold without families.

Despite the ACLU’s attacks, Michigan’s law is neither unconventional nor unprecedented. It simply preserves the status quo in which religious adoption agencies and foster families can serve children on equal terms with secular adoption agencies and foster families.

As Michigan state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine explained at the time of the bill’s enactment, “[The bill] simply preserve[s] the system we use today. It is not about who can and who cannot adopt a child. It’s about ensuring the most alternatives for people wanting to adopt a child.”

Similar laws have been adopted in six other states—Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. This lawsuit shows why a federal law, like the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, is so needed to protect faith-based adoption providers.

High Stakes for Michigan Children

There are currently more than 13,000 children in the Michigan foster care system. Placing these orphaned and hurting children with permanent, loving families requires an all-out effort from a diversity of agencies.

These agencies work tirelessly to recruit foster and adoptive parents, and diversity aids their cause. Having a diversity of providers means there are more connections with communities and families who want to open their homes to children in need.

Considering the decline in the number of parents who are adopting, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would seek to limit the number of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Doing so would only further delay the day that each child in Michigan can join a “forever family.”

Yet that is exactly what the ACLU is doing in Dumont et al. v. Lyon. It is not just an attack on fairness within the adoption industry, but on the children who are served by religious adoption agencies.

As former president of the National Council for Adoption warned, “If all faith-based agencies closed … the adoption and child welfare field would be decimated, depriving thousands of children [of opportunities to] grow up in families.”

The ACLU’s Michigan lawsuit could create the same conditions that led to the shuttering of faith-based adoption and foster care providers in Massachusetts, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.

Groups in those states were compelled to either shut down or comply with government mandates that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In the case of Illinois, over 2,000 children had to be moved to agencies around the state. Closing these institutions—which in Michigan make up 50 percent of all adoption and foster care services—did not help a single child find a home, or any couple find a child.

In fact, it hurt the most vulnerable children, as faith-based agencies—which tend to have the highest success in placing older children and disabled children with families—were unable to provide the required services.

In essence, Illinois scored a symbolic political point in the culture war at the expense of over 2,000 children.

The ACLU’s Claims

The ACLU argues that the Michigan law violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishment of a religion.

But the legislation does not force the government of Michigan to establish a religion, nor does it favor one particular faith or doctrine. Instead, it allows faith-based groups to partner with the government to serve the larger community while remaining true to their beliefs.

In Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, the Supreme Court faulted the state of Missouri for expressly requiring Trinity Lu­theran Church Child Learning Center “to renounce its religious character in order to participate in an otherwise generally available public benefit program, for which it is fully qualified.”

Here, as in Trinity Lutheran, excluding faith-based child welfare providers from working with the government solely because of their religious character would be unjustified discrimination.

The ACLU’s interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause is wrong and misleading.

The ACLU also claims that the faith-based groups violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

However, the preference of faith-based agencies for placing children with mothers and fathers is not based on sexual orientation. It is based on beliefs about the uniqueness of both sexes in parenting, and the value of giving a child a mother and a father wherever possible.

An agency could choose to place a child with a mother and father rather than with two women or two men (whatever their orientations) because the best two dads or two moms can’t replace both a mom and a dad.

This has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the individuals. Even the Supreme Court has referred to the support for opposite-sex marriage as “decent” and “honorable,” and based on “reasonable” premises.

Same-sex couples in Michigan seeking to adopt are free to do so with dozens of agencies across the state. One of the plaintiff couples refused to take advantage of a secular agency that was only 11 miles away, insisting that a faith-based agency had to violate the tenets of its faith for them to adopt a child.

Contrary to the ACLU’s claims, there is no constitutional or practical reason why a faith-based agency must be forced to violate its religious beliefs when there are an ample number of alternatives across the state.

There should be enough room in Michigan for every qualified agency to provide adoption and foster care services.

Erasing a Win-Win Policy

Plaintiff Kristy Dumont said, “So many children in Michigan need homes. The state should do all that it can to make sure children in the foster care system have access to all available, qualified families.”

The people of Michigan agreed with Dumont and chose to have diversity in their child-placing provider options, passing legislation that preserves a variety of options for everyone.

If the ACLU has its way, it will remove this increasingly rare “win-win” legislative solution and prevent the agencies most successful at finding homes for hurting children from operating.

The courts should reject the ACLU’s attempt to impose ideological uniformity on adoption and foster care providers at the expense of Michigan’s most vulnerable children.



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

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

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


12 November, 2017

The case for colonialism

I reproduce below just the abstract and a bit of the Introduction of a most "incorrect" academic article.  It provoked a huge outcry from the usual suspects and was promptly withdrawn by the journal that originally published it.  At least as far as Britain's African colonies are concerned, there is little doubt that they have steadily gone downhill in all sorts of ways since independence -- so it is long overdue for a systematic survey of that

Note, for instance, a recent report that Zimbabwe is again on the point of collapse, with a worthless currency and food shortages creeping in again.  As Rhodesia under British rule, Zimbabwe was a prosperous and well-run country that was a major exporter of grains and other agricultural produce --JR

Bruce Gilley


For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.


For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. Colonialism has virtually disappeared from international affairs, and there is no easier way to discredit a political idea or opponent than to raise the cry of ‘colonialism’. When South African opposition politician Helen Zille tweeted in 2017 that Singapore’s success was in part attributable to its ability to ‘build on valuable aspects of colonial heritage’, she was vilified by the press, disciplined by her party, and put under investigation by the country’s human rights commission. It is high time to reevaluate this pejorative meaning. The notion that colonialism is always and everywhere a bad thing needs to be rethought in light of the grave human toll of a century of anti-colonial regimes and policies.


End of the 'bachelor pad' as almost a third of men live at their parents’ home until their mid-30s

For young men, moving out of the family home and living independently was once considered a rite of passage.

But the "bachelor pad" could be consigned to the annals of history, as new figures show that almost a third of men do not move out of their parents’ home until their mid-30s.

Now 32 per cent of men aged between 20 and 34 are living with their parents, compared to a fifth (20 per cent) of females, according to the Office for National Statistics’ latest data release on families and households.

Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent said that number of young men who live with their parents is increasing due to a lack of aspiration among men and the “feminisation of society”.

He said: “A lot of young men find the transition to adulthood particularly difficult because male values and masculine values are regarded less favourably than feminine values. Masculine norms have been devalued quite considerably.

“Female values and seen as better than men’s values in culture. There is a lack of aspiration among men because they feel more insecure. There is no clear construct of what it is to be an independent man.”

He went on: “The aspiration for independence [among men] has been undermined by the way their world has changed, so they find it difficult to find points of reference about how to make their own way.”

Prof Furedi added that men are now more insecure about entering into relationships in a way that was “unthinkable” in the past.

He said that economic factors also contributed to the trend, since working class women are now more likely to get a mortgage than working class men.

In 1996, 27 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women aged 20 to 34 lived with their parents, which has been steadily rising over the past two decades.

The ONS said that larger numbers of young adults tending to stay at home for longer may be explained by staying in education and training for longer. Other factors include having children at older ages, as well as the increased costs in renting or buying a home.


Irish government minister told to quit because he asked a woman if she was married

Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Leo Varadkar has expressed confidence in Independent Alliance minister John Halligan who is facing calls to resign. Mr Halligan said he “regrets” asking an official if she was married in a job interview last year, writes Daniel McConnell and Gordon Deegan

However, speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Varadkar said Mr Halligan has his confidence. The support for the Taoiseach is significant and should see him keep his job.

“Minister Halligan has expressed regret for what he said. This incident should not have happened. Minister Halligan has accepted that,” a source close to the Taoiseach said last night.

Mr Halligan said of the incident that it was “an innocent mistake”.

“I have always strived to be a family-friendly employer. The people I have working for me have kids and I try to be as flexible as possible. The question was asked in that context. I regret the incident but certainly I meant no offence,” he told the Irish Examiner from Thailand where he is on a trade mission.

Last night in a statement, the Independent Alliance members said they have full confidence in Mr Halligan. “He made a mistake and he has apologised for it.”

However, the Labour Party condemned his actions saying he “broke the law” and said he should consider resigning from office.

“This is a very serious matter. The minister broke the law. The minister discriminated against a civil servant. He should do the decent thing now and consider his position,” said Labour TD Sean Sherlock.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, where Mr Halligan is based, has been told to pay €7,500 in compensation to a senior official who was deemed to have been discriminated against after Mr Halligan asked her in a job interview ‘are you a married woman?’.

He said his staff members had offered to write character references and the Workplace Relations Commission accepted his bone fides as a “good employer”.

The union representing the civil servant yesterday described the questions as ‘shameful’.

General secretary of the Public Service Executive Union, Tom Geraghty said “it beggars belief that 40 years after the enactment of the first Employment Equality Act 1977 anybody, let alone a government minister, would think that it is acceptable to ask questions based on an outmoded view of the role of a mother”.

“We hope that that the publicity around this case makes it clear that it is never okay to ask discriminatory questions or to make discriminatory assumptions regarding candidates simply because of their family circumstances.”

The executive officer has been employed by the Civil Service since 1993. She had applied for one of two posts of private secretary in May 2016 to two junior government ministers in the same government department.

At the interview, Mr Halligan said to her “I shouldn’t be asking you this, but ... ‘Are you a married woman?’ Do you have children? How old are your children?’.

Taken off guard, she confirmed that she was married and that she was the mother of two children and she indicated their ages. In reply, the minister observed, “you must be very busy”.

At a Workplace Relations Commission hearing into the official’s claim of discrimination under the Employment Equality Acts, the junior minister’s words at the interview were neither challenged or denied.

In her ruling which found that the woman was discriminated against, adjudication officer, Penelope McGrath found the comments to be “so outmoded”.

“It was ill-advised of the minister of state to have so pointedly obtained information that had nothing to do with this candidate’s suitability for a position, and a position for which she had determined she was eligible to compete.”


California NAACP seeks to abolish ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ calling it ‘racist’

The California chapter of the NAACP has a solution for the NFL take-a-knee flap: Get rid of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The organization is urging Congress to jettison the national anthem after passing a resolution at its Oct. 26-29 state conference describing the tune as “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon.”

A second resolution was passed in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of last season’s protests during the national anthem.

“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman told the Sacramento Bee. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.”

The NFL kneeling began as a protest against the deaths of black men at the hands of police, not the lyrics of the national anthem, and has since grown to encompass social-justice issues in general.

Those who argue the song is racist point to a rarely sung and little-known line in the third verse that says, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

“It’s racist. It doesn’t represent our community. It’s anti-black people,” Ms. Huffman told CBS13 Sacramento.

The passage’s meaning is the subject of debate. Critics argue that the line celebrates the deaths of black U.S. slaves who fought with the British during the War of 1812, while others say it condemns anyone who fought on the side of the British regardless of race.

“No one has ever seen any racial overtones. There aren’t any in the song,” said Fox News host Tucker Carlson, adding that, “the truth is it’s not inherent to the text. It’s not there.”
He sparred over the issue on his Wednesday night show with University of Maryland professor Jason Nichols, who said that “we shouldn’t argue tradition for tradition’s sake. That’s the argument that people made for Jim Crow.”

California Assemblyman Travis Allen, who’s seeking the Republican nomination for governor, denounced the idea. “Our flag and national anthem unite us as Americans,” said Mr. Allen in a statement. “Protesting our flag and national anthem sows division and disrespects the diverse Americans who have proudly fought and died for our country. Real social change can only happen if we work together as Americans first.”

Critics note that “The Star-Spangled Banner” didn’t become the national anthem until 1931, although it had been recognized by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, according to Wikipedia.

Marc Clague, musicologist of the University of Michigan and board chairman of the Star Spangled Music Foundation, has argued that the song is not racist.

“The social context of the song comes from the age of slavery, but the song itself isn’t about slavery, and it doesn’t treat whites differently from blacks,” Mr. Clague told The New York Times in a September 2016 interview.

“The reference to slaves is about the use, and in some sense the manipulation, of black Americans to fight for the British, with the promise of freedom,” he said. “The American forces included African-Americans as well as whites. The term ‘freemen,’ whose heroism is celebrated in the fourth stanza, would have encompassed both.”

The issue has received more attention in the light of the NFL protests as well as efforts to take down statues celebrating U.S. historical figures who were slave owners.

The anthem’s author, Francis Scott Key, who penned the lyrics about the battle of Fort McHenry, owned slaves in Maryland.
The California NAACP is still seeking legislative sponsors to rescind “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“This song is wrong. It shouldn’t have been there, we didn’t have it ‘til 1931,” Ms. Huffman said. “So it won’t kill us if it goes away.”



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

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

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


10 November, 2017

Is It Okay to Be White or Not?

Signs on campuses around the country declaring "it's okay to be white" are, unsurprisingly, "racist."

It’s almost too easy to tweak leftist noses these days. They take themselves way too seriously, believe that their views are completely infallible, and can only seem to fall back on violence and rage when they meet any form of opposition, no matter how slight.

Take for instance a recent prank that hit several college campuses this past week. A group on 4Chan, an anonymous Internet forum, launched a campaign to post signs declaring, “It’s okay to be white.” The goal was to prove that “leftists and journalists hate white people.” The outcome would be that middle-of-the-road people would turn against the left, creating a “massive victory for the right in the culture war.”

The verdict on the outcome of the culture war is still out, but this particular campaign certainly stirred the hornet’s nest. In campuses around the country, students, faculty and administration, and in some cases entire communities melted down in what they all claimed was a racist attack against people who believe in diversity.

Harvard, Princeton, Tulane, Western Washington, Auburn, the University of Kansas and Concordia College all reported seeing the signs on campus. Dutiful lefty students and administrators tore them down wherever they saw them, and every campus announced that there would be investigations into the incidents.

Mary Womack, student body president at the University of Kansas voiced a typical response by the so-called injured masses: “I am deeply disgusted that this organized online campaign to divide university communities across the country has come to our campus. It is shameful that anyone would use these posters to promote a racist agenda.”

So it’s racist to say, “It’s okay to be white”? Does one then logically conclude that it’s not okay to be white?

Renay Johnson, principal of Montgomery Blair High School in Maryland where fliers were also found, went even further. “Our research so far has indicated that this may be part of a concerted national campaign to foment racial and political tension in our school and community,” Johnson said.

Really? A national conspiracy to create racial division at a Maryland high school?

The offended masses all claimed that the signs were meant to cause racial division. Of course, according to these students and the leftist professors who have indoctrinated them, it’s perfectly permissible to say that Black Lives Matter™, that Islam is a Religion of Peace™, and that we should be celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day™ instead of Christopher Columbus every October.

But claiming that it’s okay to be white goes against this narrative. The leftist view of the world wants to put all of society’s problems past and present at the feet of white people. For their view to have merit, it cannot be okay to be white.

The social media chair of the Auburn University Student Union, who would go only by the name Hunter, told the College Fix, a student-reported higher education website, “The overarching idea for the campaign was quite simple — post an innocent pro-white message which states a simple truth that anyone who doesn’t hate white people agrees with. … Because of this simple value statement, it is easy to identify that anyone who disagrees as prejudiced against white people. If the signs had said, ‘It’s Okay to be Black,’ anyone outraged by that wording would be labeled a racist.”

We have been living with the double standards of the leftists for quite some time. This campaign, which easily and cleverly exploits double standards regarding race, angers the Left to no end because to a rational mind, their reaction is indefensible.

The trouble is the mainstream media is not rational. It has bought and perpetuated the race-war mentality of the Left because reporters earned their degrees on the very college campuses that spew leftist hate speech and race-baiting.

Concordia College president William Craft said on Facebook, “It is indeed okay to be white — and to be black, to be brown, to be Christian, to be Muslim, to be straight, to be gay, to be conservative, to be liberal, and so on. We are stronger for this diversity of identities.”

But the Left doesn’t really want diversity. And therein lies the crux of the problem.


Why do schools teach all about contraception - but not the joy of motherhood, asks JOANNA MOORHEAD

As a youngster, I was educated in a convent that felt like the school time forgot. It was the 1970s, but it could have been the 1950s or even the 1920s — although the nuns would have been behind the curve in both those eras.

They were thoughtful, intelligent, well-meaning women — but way out of sync with the modern world.

The future (for those of us who weren’t going to follow them into life as a bride of Christ) held just two significant events as far as the nuns were concerned: marriage and motherhood.

At evening prayer, we boarders were encouraged to think about our future husbands. By day, we were steered into what might be called domestic pursuits: cookery, needlework and piano playing.

Academic work was tolerated, but it had its place. One night at prep, the nun at the front of the classroom told me I’d done enough maths and should get on with my embroidery. ‘But Sister,’ I protested, ‘it’s my O-level tomorrow.’ Her reply: ‘Put your books away and say a prayer while you’re working on that lovely embroidery.’

Instead of focusing on exams, we were encouraged to think about the families we would one day raise, about the husbands we would find and — of course — about the babies we would give birth to.

Despite not having even heard the word ‘feminism’, the young me was outraged by all this. Surely there was more to life than pushing out babies and looking after them?

Looking back now, though, I can see that the message I was given at school about the importance of becoming a mother, outdated though it sounded, has served me well.

Yet today, such guidance is light years away from how most young women are raised. I doubt there’s a girl in Britain getting the sort of advice I had 40 years ago (my old school closed down more than 25 years ago, so even the nuns have finally had their day).

Because, whisper it if you will, there was more than a smidgen of common sense to their credo. Especially where prioritising babies is concerned.

For whether we like it or not, women’s fertility isn’t a given, and it doesn’t last for ever.

But that’s certainly not a message our young girls (I have four daughters) are getting. In their Personal, Social and Health Education — PSHE for short, or what once might have been called sex education — and biology classes, our children are taught plenty about contraception and how to prevent pregnancy. My youngest daughter, who’s aged 15 and revising for her GCSEs, can reel off every sort of contraception available, and then some.

But no one at her school has ever talked about something that seems to me increasingly relevant to young women today: that while it’s fashionable to leave having your children until later, it certainly doesn’t get any easier to have them as the years go by.

Babies, the underlying message seems to be, are something that can wait until you’re ready. In this landscape, fertility is somehow infinite. What no one has spelled out to my daughter at school is that there comes a point when, however much you might want to have a child, it may prove complicated, or costly, or even impossible to do so. In other words, fertility is very much finite — at least, for women.

The nuns at my school may have seemed from another era, but they knew that fertility hadn’t changed much for centuries.

Women are still best-placed to give birth in their 20s, they are still less fertile in their 30s and less fertile again in their 40s.

Women’s lives may have changed — mostly for the better, thank goodness — but their bodies haven’t.

Yet young girls today simply aren’t being taught this, which is deeply worrying. Today, I am so grateful to those nuns who taught me to think of my unborn babies — because pre-eclampsia and recurrent miscarriages blighted my fertile years. If I hadn’t been relatively prompt when trying to conceive in the second half of my 20s, my life could have been very different.

That’s not to say I didn’t give my career a moment’s thought, and thought only of babies. On the contrary.

When I had the slightly wild idea of applying to university, the nuns pursed their lips and said: ‘Are you sure you want to go down that route?’

A job, as far as they were concerned, was simply a means of treading water while waiting for the really important part of life to take off.

But I’d decided before I even got to secondary school that I wanted to become a journalist. Realising it would never cut much ice in the convent, I nurtured this ambition secretly.

When I spoke of it once to the headmistress, she said: ‘I suppose things could be worse. At least you can combine babies and writing — one doesn’t rule out the other.’

As I got older, influenced partly by the nuns’ emphasis on motherhood and partly by my own ambitions, I steered my craft with two destinations in mind. I met the man who would become my husband at university, and started to think about having children in the second half of my 20s.

Given my hopes of having four, this turned out to be a good thing — because, for me, as for so many women, pregnancy and childbirth turned out not to be the picnic I hoped they would be.

It took me ten years to have those four children.

If I had started trying to conceive my first baby three or four years later than I did (when I’d have been in my early 30s — hardly over the hill), I probably wouldn’t, given the problems that I encountered, have got past two children.

Women are leaving it later and later to start their families. Those of my generation left it later than our mothers to try to get pregnant — in some cases, much later.

In my particular case, the generation gap wasn’t that vast: my mother had me, her eldest child, when she was 24; I had my first baby when I was 29.

However, I know women whose mothers, like mine, gave birth in their mid-20s, but who didn’t have their own children until they were over 40.

That pattern simply can’t be repeated by the next generation: if my daughters wait a decade or so longer than I did, they’ll be way over the hill where conception is concerned.

Such a trend poses a secondary threat, too: making grandparents extinct, or, at least, too elderly to have any meaningful role in their grandchildren’s lives. Speaking as one whose life was completely changed by a very close relationship with a grandparent — my paternal grandmother — I’d say that’s a big pity.

My story ended happily, and I am forever grateful for that.

But a generation on, it’s my daughters, now aged between 15 and 25, who are facing the same dilemmas I did. Although I’d never have imagined myself saying this 35 years ago, when I was railing against the nuns and their outdated philosophy, I have to admit a little of that same advice is now finding its way into the ears of my own girls.

A career, I tell them, can be taken up or changed at any point between your 30s and 60s. I found new directions, and new ambitions, in my work in my 40s and 50s, and I very much hope my daughters will, too.

But the clock ticks relentlessly when it comes to our fertility. We have far less control over it than we do over our working lives.

Motherhood needs scheduling into your life as well as a career.

Teaching our children about fertility has another benefit, too, adding some context to what they think sex is for — vital in a world where so many find about it from raunchy reality TV shows such as Love Island, or from porn that’s all too accessible on the internet.

Teaching our children about fertility helps them realise that sex isn’t all about tawdry round-the-pool intrigue over who’s going to ‘get with’ who. It’s also about the reality of having children.

It’s not just teachers who don’t discuss the fact that women’s fertility doesn’t go on for ever: magazines and TV programmes, too, are full of stories about women who postponed childbirth until midlife and suddenly — hey presto! — produced a child.

I’m thinking of celebrities such as Janet Jackson (aged 50 when she gave birth at the start of this year), Halle Berry (47 when her son was born in 2013), Uma Thurman (42 when her third child arrived) and Mariah Carey (41 when her twins Moroccan and Monroe were born in 2011).

While it may be true that more older women are having babies now than in the recent past, not every older woman who wants a baby gets one.

Indeed, the statistics tell a troubling story: according to research published in New Scientist, a woman wanting two children will have a 90 per cent chance of success if she starts trying at 27. If she waits until she is 38, that chance of having the children she wanted falls to 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, a woman aged 46 has a less than 4 per cent chance; and by the time she’s 50 the odds are minute or non-existent.

Practically speaking, I can see all the reasons why it might seem to make sense to wait: women who postpone childbirth have higher earnings. And while childcare is difficult for parents of all ages, it can be especially difficult to organise early in your career when money is tighter.

But the central facts won’t go away: however you look at it, women’s fertility (and men’s, but more significantly women’s) declines as they get older.

A significant proportion of women who have problems conceiving in their late 30s or early 40s would not have had problems a decade earlier — or, as with me, if they had problems, there would be time to get things fixed before their egg supply ran out.

I’m so grateful that babies were always on my radar. I knew fulfilment was multi-dimensional — and that my happiness would depend on being a mother as well as having a career.


Gang With Suspected Neo-Nazi Links Vows to Force Migrants From Greece

A suspected breakaway faction from Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party says it is recruiting anti-migrant hit squads and has vowed to drive all migrants and refugees out of Greece.

The group, naming itself Crypteia, after a vigilante band of ancient Spartans who terrorized slaves, told a Greek news outlet Tuesday, “We will fight until the last immigrant leaves. And to that end, we will use force and violence, mercilessly.”

Crypteia claimed responsibility for an attack Friday on the Athens home of an 11-year-old Afghan boy and his family, whose apartment was pelted by rocks and beer bottles. A note was left that read, “Go back to your village. Leave.”

The boy, Amir, had drawn local attention days before the attack after having been picked to carry the Greek national flag for his school in a national day parade, only to have the privilege revoked and given a school sign to hold instead.

“I was shouting and calling for help,” Amir’s mother told local reporters. “The children had woken up, crying; they were very afraid. The children's room was full of glass. A beer bottle was on the bed. The stones kept coming, one after the other. I panicked. I didn't know what to do,” she added.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras condemned the attack, saying, “Amir, and every child in our country, deserves the right to security and Greek education, without discrimination.” State prosecutors have opened an investigation.

Europe has seen the emergence of other violent anti-migrant groups and a European Union agency reported in May 33 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans in Europe have been victims of at least one racially-motivated crime in the previous 12 months.

A network of civil rights activists, the European Network against Racism, warned recently that crimes against immigrants were under-reported and said minorities“are not targeted randomly by perpetrators.”

Recent opinion polls suggest anti-migrant sentiment is rising in Greece. The country has witnessed a surge in the past few months in the number of refugees and migrants entering the country, exacerbating already terrible living conditions in camps on the Greek islands and shelters on the mainland.

Last month, officials said the number of people arriving, across land and sea borders, had more than doubled since June, with authorities estimating that arrivals are now at their highest level since March 2016, with more than 200 men, women and children being registered every day.

Refugee flows had dropped dramatically after a landmark accord was reached between the European Union and Turkey in March 2016. In return for aid Ankara agreed to strengthen border patrols along its Aegean coast and turn back smuggler boats.

How serious a threat Crypteia poses is the subject of debate within Greek political and police circles with some saying that invoking the ancient Spartan band is nothing more than cover for a bunch of crude thugs. Others are not so sure.

Stavros Theodorakis, leader of the centrist Potami party, complains that Greece is seeing a rise of serious political gang violence across the ideological spectrum, warning, “every day there is a new target. Gangs intimidate with impunity.”

Analysts say there has been talk within Golden Dawn circles of forming secretive anti-migrant hit squads since several party leaders and lawmakers were arrested following the 2013 murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by an alleged supporter of the party. Their trial is ongoing.

Greece has seen a wave of hostility towards the more than 60,000 migrants estimated to be in the country with shelters and refugee squats being targeted. Civil rights activists say far-right groups have been stoking local grievances and anti-refugee sentiments. Many attacks and assaults, they say, go unreported

Greece isn’t alone in being buffeted by anti-migrant violence. German authorities say there were more than 3,500 attacks against refugees and asylum shelters in 2016, amounting to nearly a dozen acts a day of anti-migrant violence, neo-Nazis


Judge Halts California Law Forcing Pro-Lifers to Advertise Abortions

In a major victory for free speech, Riverside County Superior Court Justice Gloria C. Trask ruled late Monday that California must not force pro-life pregnancy medical clinics to promote abortions to their clients.

California had passed the so-called “Reproductive FACT Act” in 2015, which mandated that pro-life centers post signage and inform their clients about the state’s taxpayer-funded abortions and birth control.

Monday’s ruling placed a permanent injunction on the law. It would have applied to over 200 privately funded pregnancy centers, which offer free alternatives to abortion.

Scott Scharpen, the head administrator of “Go Mobile For Life,” a mobile ultrasound unit that serves women in Riverside County, praised the ruling.

“We are thrilled with Judge Trask’s ruling, which is a huge victory for free speech,” Scharpen said.

“The whole notion of being compelled to share information with our patients about abortion availability, which is contrary to our mission and purpose, is fundamentally wrong. Lives will be saved because of this ruling.”

Pushed through on a purely party-line vote in 2015, the law has only been enforced in one jurisdiction—the city of Los Angeles—but has served as a template for other Democrat-controlled states, including Hawaii and Connecticut, to crack down on pro-life pregnancy centers that offer free services to expectant mothers.

California’s ‘Freedom of Mind’ Protection

Since the bill’s inception, pro-life advocates have argued that it tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of free speech and free religious expression.

Prior to Monday, those arguments had fallen on deaf ears. In October 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—the most frequently reversed court in the U.S.—upheld the state law, dismissing plaintiffs’ concerns that it violates their deeply held religious beliefs and freedom of speech.

Pregnancy centers in the state have since appealed to the Supreme Court, which has yet to indicate whether or not to consider the case.

As pro-lifers await action from the Supreme Court, Scharpen and his legal team made their case before Trask’s court on the basis that the law runs aground of California’s 1849 Declaration of Rights, which guarantees the “individual freedom of mind.”

In her ruling Monday, Trask agreed that the Reproductive FACT Act violates free speech protections, noting that “compelled speech of a political or cultural nature is not the tool of a free government.”

Elsewhere in her decision, Trask wrote that if the state’s primary goal is to raise awareness as to the availability of its programs, it has several ways to do so, including public service announcements and even purchasing billboard space, even “directly in front of Scharpen Foundation’s clinic.”

None of those options involve running roughshod over the deeply held religious convictions held by Scharpen—who also serves as a pastor—who would have been forced to speak a government message that would have left “patients with the belief they were referred to an abortion provider by that clinic,” as Trask explained.

“Compelled speech must be subject to reasonable limitation,” Trask wrote. “This statute compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the state has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message. In this case, however virtuous the state’s ends, they do not justify its means.”

Next Steps in the Fight

While California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, will likely challenge this ruling, it remains to be seen how the decision will affect pregnancy centers’ pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

Danielle White, legal counsel for Heartbeat International—a network of pregnancy help organizations, including Scharpen’s and close to 100 more in California—said the state-level ruling will likely put the pending Supreme Court challenge into a holding pattern while Becerra fights the injunction.

Similar laws forcing pregnancy centers to post signage that denigrate their own services have been struck down in New York City and Baltimore, as well as in Austin, Texas, and Montgomery County, Maryland. Montgomery County was eventually ordered to pay pregnancy centers $330,000 in attorney’s fees.

A comparable pattern played out in Illinois this July, when a judge placed a statewide preliminary injunction on a 2016 law that would have forced medical professionals—including pro-life doctors, nurses, and pregnancy center personnel—to refer patients to abortion businesses.

“This is such an encouraging win for free speech and for the pro-life community,” White said. “We’re praying this will be a major turning point to allow clinics like Go Mobile For Life to keep their attention on reaching women who desperately need help..”

Nada Higuera, who argued the case before Trask, understands from personal experience why it’s so important to allow pro-life people to reach women facing unexpected pregnancies.

As a pregnant teen, she knew where she could go for an abortion, but not where she could go for life-affirming help.

“As a young female and defender of speech, I am thrilled to know that our work is not in vain,” Higuera said. “I’ve regrettably had an abortion. And I’ve just recently experienced the incomparable joy of having a baby.

“I wish I would have had the opportunity to visit a pro-life clinic when I was just 16 years old and contemplating an abortion.”



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

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

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


9 November, 2017

Australia: Homosexual community won’t forgive those who voted "no" to homosexual marriage

The homosexual writing below makes large and unwarranted assumptions about other people's motives so it is no surprise that he is filled with hate. He says, for instance, that  the plebiscite on homosexual marriage was a deliberate delaying tactic.  It was not.  It was a buck-passing exercise.  The Liberal party was disunited over the matter so they did the democratic thing and handed the decision to the people.

He also says that "no" voters were motivated by a feeling that homosexuals are inferior. That may have been true in a few cases but he is totally ignoring that the case for the "No" vote was almost entirely put by Christian organizations.  Nobody could be in any doubt that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible and there are still many people who respect Bible teachings as at least wise.  I do myself, despite being an atheist.  The "No" vote was almost certainly a vote in favour of Christian teachings in most cases.

So he ignores both the virtue of democracy and the teachings of Christianity.  No wonder he is bitter and twisted and full of vindictiveness.  Ignoring reality is never wise.

What about the "hurt" that homosexuals have experienced when they heard their practices condemned?  They can only have felt that if they were previously unaware that people disapproved of them.  Being hauled into an awareness of reality must be regarded as a generally good thing. Political correctness normally inhibits people from speaking negatively of homosexuality so this was an occasion where the truth could come out.  Surely that must be on balance a good thing

FEW things have united the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters in the divisive, drawn-out campaign for same-sex marriage.

Mathias Cormann’s suggestion back in August that the postal ballot would be a “unifying moment” for the country now seems utterly laughable.

But if one thing unifies, it’s surely the relief that this postal ballot plebiscite finally ends today. People in both camps have felt injured or insulted over these six long weeks. Many of the public feel fatigued. They just want it to be over.

Make no mistake: this is what anti-equality MPs wanted. The optional, non-binding, expensive, unnecessary postal vote was a delaying tactic to prohibit or at least postpone marriage equality — and certainly to exhaust existing public appetite for it.

Turnbull’s continued insistence that this has been a “respectful debate” isn’t just a lie — it’s offensively ignorant. Trains were defaced with ‘Vote no to fags.’ Two lesbians in Redfern woke up in October to discover that dog excrement had been thrown on their doorstep. Graffiti instructed people to ‘Bash a gay today’. Respectful? This is incitement to homophobic violence.

A ‘No’ voter was sacked from her job for being public about how she’d vote. At Sydney University, food was thrown and threats made to “stomp on the face” of ‘No’ voters, which resulted in the police being called.

This is what happens when you put people’s human rights, basic dignity and simple equality up for debate. People get passionate. It gets ugly. And it was always going to.

Of course, passion makes the headlines. Many, myself included, tried to have the polite, respectful debate Turnbull wanted. I volunteered for the ‘Yes’ campaign, making calls to voters and asking if they’ll, pretty please, consider treating me equally. It was a demeaning exercise — but one I did on behalf of the anxious, upcoming generation of LGBTQI people who deserve to share in the happily-ever-after optimism that every young person does.

A typical response to asking a caller if they’d consider voting ‘Yes’ was offered by one particularly aggravated woman: “I don’t actually think that’s any of your fucking business, do you?”

What I wanted to say was: “Neither is the validity of my relationship with my boyfriend actually any of your fucking business, but you’ve still been invited to have your say on its legitimacy, haven’t you?”

What I actually said was: “No worries madam, sorry for interrupting your evening!” It’s a conversation, through gritted teeth, I had dozens, possibly hundreds of times.

But where did that politeness get me? Even if we win the postal ballot, we lose. A Sky News ReachTEL poll found 64 per cent voted ‘Yes’. But if that’s the case, I still find it devastating to know that over a third of the country have been encouraged to post a letter saying they don’t want to treat me equally.

That 36 per cent have been influenced by a ‘No’ campaign to solidify their gut feeling that I’m inferior to them. They could be my future employers. They could be people whose livelihoods I help fund by buying goods or services from them. And that makes me very uncomfortable.

Something unforgivable has occurred here. MPs were widely warned a plebiscite would unleash a Pandora’s box of harm. Gay people warned it’d give licence to homophobia and further ostracism. We pleaded with MPs to think of the suicide risk to vulnerable young LGBTQI people. Rainbow families travelled to Canberra to warn of the harm this’d do to their young kids. Bill Shorten listened, and reversed his initial support for the plebiscite.

Not only did Coalition MPs ignore and dismiss these warnings, they fought them at the High Court — and won. Look what happened. As Tanya Plibersek said on last night’s Q & A, gay people were distraught to discover members of their own family would be voting ‘No’.

I’ve seen gay people asking anyone on Facebook voting ‘No’ to de-friend them: from cousins and acquaintances to those they thought were their friends. Employers have been encouraged to turn against their staff for voting a different way. I’ve even seen divisions within the gay community itself emerge as a debate rages about how much tolerance or acceptance we should offer those who don’t want us to have equality.

With all this grimly predictable polarisation, I can think of one unifying moment for the LGBTQI community. It’s a reclaiming of power too often denied us, and one of the greatest powers of all: the withholding of forgiveness.

If gay people are angry that they’ve been pitted against each other and against their friends, family and colleagues, they have the power to punish at the ballot box — not just at the next election, but for a lifetime.

I’m hoping it galvanises LGBTQI people not just to vote for any other party than the LNP, but to join one, and campaign for one.

Why should we trust or forgive MPs who’ve ignored us, dismissed our legitimate concerns, made us beg for equality?

The real unifying moment is that the gay community now knows who has our backs. If you’re gay, and now consider voting LNP in your lifetime, shame on you.


Robots are no danger but the response to them could be

By economic historian Martin Hutchinson

My much-esteemed ex-colleague Andrew Stuttaford has written several times on the dangers of robotics. He believes that our living standards may come to suffer an “Engels Pause” similar to the impoverishment Friedrich Engels, writing in 1844, saw resulting from the early Industrial Revolution. Having studied that period in my work on Lord Liverpool, I will suggest that Engels was wrong about the Industrial Revolution. I also claim that whatever the unknowable future effects of robotization, we should today be more fearful of not Engels’ Pause but his statist Paws, meddling like an economically illiterate King Kong with the ineffably efficient wealth-optimizing mechanisms of the free market.

Turning now to the 21st Century, the possibility of an Engels Pause from robotization is given increased plausibility by the lousy wage growth in the last decade, both in the United States and in Stuttaford’s and my native Britain. If wage growth can be so sluggish even while full employment is returning and robots have yet to make their full mark, then robotization appears indeed to have the potential to immiserate us all.

However, on inspection the lackluster economic record of the last decade has been a Pause caused not by robotization, but by what we may call Engels’ Paws: clumsy attempts to mess with the economy, distorting the signals sent by the market, to produce more politically attractive results. Needless to say, the Paws have been ineffective, grotesquely increasing asset prices and inequality, and driving the economy far indeed from its optimum state, as Engels-style meddling always does.

The most important destructive Paws meddling with the global economy for the last decade have been the monetary policies of the rich world’s central banks, keeping real interest rates mostly below zero. Rates were a moderate distance from where the free market would have put them even at the bottom of the recession, but have been forced an ever-increasing distance from equilibrium as economies have recovered. In Britain, for example, Mark Carney’s Bank of England is doggedly maintaining rates below 1%, at a time of full employment when inflation is running at more than 3%. Thus, British short-term rates today are a full 5% away from the level at which they would settle in a free market. That has huge distorting effects on resource allocation, pushing the economy a huge distance from its optimum.

Those large and clumsy Paws have caused British house prices in London and the south-east to be bid up to levels completely unaffordable for domestic citizens without giant trust funds. For those London professionals of my generation who have maintained stable employment, this is fine; they bought houses in the 1980s and are now sitting on gigantic capital gains, which they can use to fund retirement if they are prepared to move out of London. For the young or those who have had to sell their houses it is catastrophic; they are cut off from any possibility of buying anything beyond a share of a slum-located hovel.

Even more important, however, is the appalling absence of productivity growth in countries with ultra-low interest rates. Without productivity growth, there is no possibility of a rise in living standards, and only the likelihood of a steady, probably accelerating further decline as unskilled Third World immigrants flood in and undercut the locals’ wages.

Economists in the United States are currently debating learnedly the incentive effects of possible tax cut packages, and whether a particular package may bring back the magic of 3% annual economic growth. However, non-market, Paws-operated interest rates have a far greater distorting effect on economic decision making than any possible tax package. For example, company after company among the Fortune 500 has engaged in gigantic stock buy-backs, rewarding management’s stock options but leaving the company itself denuded of equity and thus hugely vulnerable to even the mildest downturn. When giants such as AT&T and Boeing create balance sheets with negative tangible net worth through stock buybacks, they commit long-term suicide, a decision utterly irrational were they not forced into it by management greed and a decade of ultra-low rates.

In the United States over the last decade, there have been two possible explanations for the productivity lag, both examples of Engels’ Paws. One of them is interest rates; the other is the blizzard of environmental and other regulations under the Obama administration. When the government arbitrarily forces consumers to abandon a type of light-bulb they have been using for more than a century, that is the clumsy Engels in action. When government attempts to shut down the coal industry when many pits are still profitable, the hairy Paw of the subhuman Engels is again visible. The gigantic global scam of climate change, not the scientific reality showing a possible very modest anthropogenic warming but the huge government and supranational superstructure attempting to regulate much of the world economy out of existence, is the most dangerous Paw of all.

Under the Trump administration, economic growth and productivity have returned, at least at moderate rates. The last two quarters showed economic growth above 3% and productivity growth at 2.3%, both far above the levels in the late Obama years. The interest rate distortion has been lessened; real short-term rates have almost reached zero. Nearly as important, Engels’ paws in the regulatory area have been slapped down and tied behind the monster’s back – at least for the moment.

The improvement in growth produced by President Trump, without any great new policies, but simply by lessening Engelian meddling, suggests that our future may possibly be brighter than it appears. Robots will easily take over many of our current tasks, for example long-distance transportation, but will find it much more difficult to handle others, which require specialized motor and human interaction skills they still lack. Just because the middle classes are now threatened by robots in the way handloom weavers were by steam engines does not make the robot threat historically unique. Even among middle class jobs, you can’t tell me robots will in our lifetimes become effective salesmen for residential real estate (1.23 million jobs in 2016).

New jobs will appear, new needs will appear, which humans will fill alongside robots, perhaps with their capabilities enhanced by human-robot interfaces. Provided Engels’ Paws are firmly tied behind his back, the economy will adapt to these new jobs, and wages will tend to rise rather than fall. Only a possible glut of human beings, outweighing the physical capacity of our planet to provide Western living standards for all, remains a threat; Thomas Malthus, like Say, was a much better economist than Engels.

For two centuries, Engels and his leftist successors have been trying to subject us to the whims of government by denying the realities of the Industrial Revolution. Their economically illiterate fantasies, not robots, are the principal threat to our living standards in the next century, as they have been in the last two. The Engels Pause barely existed (and is subject to a simple non-pejorative economic explanation) but the Manichean struggle against Engels’ Paws is central to our existence.


NPR Legal Reporter Wants The Supreme Court To Stop Citing The Constitution

America’s newest Supreme Court Justice – Neil Gorsuch – has made news in the liberal media – not necessarily for his opinions though. The media has portrayed the Trump-appointee as pedantic, boorish and juvenile and annoying.

This is hard to square with the praise Gorsuch received from colleagues and former law clerks during his confirmation hearing, writes Elizabeth Slattery in a commentary on Heritage.org.

As an example of the outpouring of support for Gorsuch, here’s a former law partner – almost breaking down in tears – talking about how “whip smart,” honest and honorable the man is.

But to read the headlines, you’d think that was all made up.

In a recent episode of the Supreme Court podcast “First Mondays,” NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg took aim at Gorsuch. First in her crosshairs was his habit of frequently citing the Constitution. She objected to Gorsuch bringing things back to first principles at oral argument. He often prefaces his questions by saying, “Let’s look at what the Constitution says about this … It’s always a good place to start.” This should come as no surprise.

But it annoys liberals, who want a “modern” interpretation of the Constitution, without the baggage of the historical record. That’s not how Gorsuch operates. A former clerk wrote: “Whenever a constitutional issue came up in our cases, he sent one of his clerks on a deep dive through the historical sources. ‘We need to get this right,’ was the memo—and right meant ‘as originally understood.’”

But Totenberg wasn’t done criticizing Gorsuch. She also claimed there is a fight brewing between the new Justice and his colleague, Justice Elena Kagan. Here’s what she said:

"My surmise, from what I’m hearing, is that Justice Kagan really has taken [Gorsuch] on in conference. And that it’s a pretty tough battle and it’s going to get tougher. And she is about as tough as they come, and I am not sure he’s as tough—or dare I say it, maybe not as smart. I always thought he was very smart, but he has a tin ear somehow, and he doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the conversation".

Here’s how Slattery put it:

First, I’m highly skeptical of someone purporting to know what happened when the court met in conference. The justices are notoriously secretive about these meetings—not even law clerks are allowed in the room. During conference, the justices discuss cases following oral argument and cast their initial votes in conference, though they sometimes change after draft opinions have been circulated. This is precisely the time for the justices to debate the issues in a case.

Second, Totenberg’s assertion that Gorsuch is “maybe not as smart” as she thought is off base. Anyone who has read his speeches or his written opinions—either from his time on the appeals court or his first two months on the Supreme Court—can see why that is patently false. The Columbia-Harvard-Oxford-educated judge weaves literary references into his opinions and writes in a clear, concise manner that’s easy for lawyers and lay people alike to understand.

Totenberg also claims that she doesn’t think Gorsuch believes in precedent. This is likely her fear – and the fear of millions of liberals – that he would vote to overturn the 40-year-old Roe v. Wade decision lifting bans on abortion.

Unless Nina Totenberg has a microphone in the chambers, she should leave her analysis to what she can actually see and hear.


Google Not Feeling So Lucky Over Australian Defamation Case

A recent decision in the Supreme Court of South Australia is a warning shot across the bow of publishers of online content. Hannah Marshall and Daisy Von Schoenberg from Marque Lawyers explain.

The latest defamation case about Google’s search engine results has just come out. It’s a warning to search engines and online publishers generally, and a nod to defamation litigants everywhere to pursue them.

It all started when Dr Janice Duffy, a medical researcher, consulted some online psychics about her love life. After the psychics’ predictions didn’t eventuate (shock!) Dr Duffy posted negative reviews about the psychics on a website called the Ripoff Report (who’d have thought psychics might be a rip-off?).

The psychics responded with posts labelling Duffy a “psychic stalker”.

Because of this, a Google search of her name started returning results with extracts of the articles calling her a psychic stalker, and its autocomplete function offered the words psychic stalker after her name.

Dr Duffy asked Google to remove all that. Google refused. Litigation ensued.

This latest judgment was Google’s appeal of the original judgment, in which it lost and Dr Duffy won $115,000 in damages.

You might think that a payment of $115,000 would be immaterial to a multinational tech company like Google, but the broader implications for its business and other online intermediaries were huuugggeee.

The legal question was whether Google was a publisher of the search engine results in a way that makes it liable for defamation. Here’s the short version of the appeal court’s answer.

Google said it was not a publisher of the defamatory results because its algorithms automatically produce results at the request of users, performing over 100 billion searches every month.

The court accepted this, and found that Google was not liable for the results prior to it being made aware that they were defamatory. However, the court also said that once Dr Duffy notified Google of the defamatory material, its failure to remove the results amounted to further publications of the defamatory material.

This largely reaffirms the position of secondary publishers like search engines, or hosts of user generated content like chat rooms, Facebook page operators, or any news or other sites with user comments.

Once you know, or should reasonably know, that material is defamatory, then you can be liable for publishing it.

What happens now? Keep your eyes and ears peeled for a High Court appeal by Google. Our bet is that the mega search engine is not going to roll over on this decision lightly.

In the meantime, if we were Google we’d be reviewing our complaints handling procedures very carefully.



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

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

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


8 November, 2017

The Ugly Truth About Sex Reassignment the Transgender Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Know

High suicide rate

Sex reassignment is as natural as being born, some in the media tell us. And many Americans are buying it.

But a growing chorus of dissenters made up of physicians, researchers, and even transgender individuals is beginning to paint a far different picture of the truth.

These dissenters are now coming forward to expose just how harmful gender transition and reassignment are—both medically and sociologically speaking.

First, consider recent revelations about how problematic sex reassignment surgery is as a therapy for gender dysphoria.

In an interview with The Telegraph, world-renowned genital reconstructive surgeon Miroslav Djordjevic said his clinics are experiencing an increase in “reversal” surgeries for those who want their genitalia back. These people express crippling levels of depression and, in some instances, suicidal thoughts.

In male-to-female reassignment surgery, doctors such as Djordjevic transform the man’s genitals into the shape of a vagina, removing the testicles and inverting the penis.

In female-to-male reassignment surgery, doctors remove the woman’s breasts, uterus, and ovaries, and extend the urethra so that the woman-turned-man can urinate from the standing position.

A recent Newsweek article takes note of Djordjevic’s concerns, illustrating their legitimacy by pointing to the case of Charles Kane, a man who underwent male-to-female reassignment surgery.

In a BBC interview, Kane explains that he decided to have the initial surgery immediately after having a nervous breakdown. But after having the surgery and identifying as a female named “Sam Hashimi,” Kane soon regretted the decision and went for reversal surgery.

“When I was in the psychiatric hospital,” Kane said, “there was a man on one side of me who thought he was King George and another guy on the other side who thought he was Jesus Christ. I decided I was [a girl named] Sam.”

Similarly, Claudia MacLean, a transgender woman, is quoted as saying her psychiatrist referred her to a sex reassignment surgeon after having only a 45-minute consultation. “In my opinion,” MacLean said, “what happened to me was all about money.”

Given that clinics charge up to $50,000 for reassignment surgeries, Djordjevic says he fears that doctors are stuffing their bank accounts without concern for the physical and psychological well-being of their patients.

Physical and psychological well-being should be a concern, given that 41 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, and people who have had sex reassignment surgery are approximately 20 times more likely than the general population to die by suicide.

In addition to the problems inherent to sex reassignment surgery, we should recognize the troublesome nature of giving hormonal “treatments” to gender dysphoric children to delay puberty.

In a recent paper, “Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria,” endocrinologist Paul Hruz, biostatistician Lawrence Mayer, and psychiatrist Paul McHugh challenge this practice.

They note that approximately 80 percent of gender dysphoric children grow comfortable in their bodies and no longer experience dysphoria, and conclude that there is “little evidence that puberty suppression is reversible, safe, or effective for treating gender dysphoria.”

Thus, scientific evidence suggests that hormone-induced puberty suppression is harmful and even abusive.

Finally, gender transitions are problematic for society at large, as revealed in recent debates about restroom usage, military realities, housing policies, and sporting events.

What is often overlooked in these debates is the troublesome and even dangerous situation created when transgendered “females” compete in female athletic competitions.

Consider the 2014 women’s mixed martial arts bout between Tamikka Brents and Fallon Fox. During a two-minute beating, Brents suffered a concussion, an orbital bone fracture, and a head wound requiring seven staples.

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night,” said Brents.

As it turns out, her opponent, Fox, wasn’t born female. She is a biological male who identifies as transgender.

Brents thought Fox had an unfair advantage. “I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor,” said Brents. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”

Brents was right to consider Fox’s advantage unfair: The physical differences between men and women are significant enough that professional female fighters cannot compete effectively against other professional male fighters.

Given all this, why do we not see a more constructive and sustained public debate among surgeons, psychiatrists, and lawmakers about the ethics of sex reassignment?

The most significant reason is the power of the transgender lobby.

Consider psychotherapist James Caspian’s recent claim that Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom refused his application to conduct research on sex reversal surgeries because the topic was deemed “potentially politically incorrect.”

According to Caspian, the university initially approved his research proposal, but later rejected it because of the backlash it expected from powerful transgender lobbies.

Regardless of how politically incorrect the evidence may be, and even while we accommodate the privacy and safety concerns of those who identify as transgender, we must also draw a sober and honest conclusion about the human costs of sex reassignment.

The best medical science, social science, philosophy, and theology coalesce. As Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Ryan Anderson puts it, they reveal that sex is a biological reality, that gender is the social expression of that reality, and that sex reassignment surgeries and treatments are therefore not good remedies for the distress felt by people with gender dysphoria.

The most helpful therapies for gender dysphoria, therefore, will be ones that help people live in conformity with the biological truth about their bodies.


No, the Bible Does Not Teach Socialism

Writer Peter Heck has found himself in a back-and-forth with Christian socialists Jim Wallis and Michael Wear. After writing an article for The Resurgent titled "There's Not Much As Gross As Christian Socialists," Heck found himself the target of Wear's ire. Doubling down, Heck reasserted in an article for The Christian Post that socialism is not taught in the Bible.

Having been a Christian who used to read and admire Jim Wallis and who once mistakenly believed that the Bible teaches socialism, I am grateful for Peter Heck's articles. It's necessary to push back on the erroneous belief that socialism is taught in the Bible. Sadly, many Christians conflate the commands of Jesus that we are to care for the poor with the failed economic theory named socialism.

A friend recently asked me if I still believed the Bible teaches socialism. Immediately, and without equivocation, I responded, "No."

Using my own past words and arguments to push back, he mentioned Acts 4:32-37, the passage that relates how the early Church "had everything in common" and that "there was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands and houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet and it was distributed to each as any had need."

Before he could finish, I interrupted, "They weren't compelled by the government, but gave willingly."

As Heck writes,

If the government takes from me and gives to the poor, I am not fulfilling the command of Jesus to be personally charitable. Anyone who teaches that deserves rebuke. Similarly, if I am in a position of power in government, and I use the force of law to take from certain citizens and redistribute to other citizens, I am not fulfilling the command of Jesus to be personally charitable. Anyone who teaches that also deserves rebuke.
Peter Heck is clear that he doesn't believe that supporting socialist government programs means that an individual is not a Christian. That would be a violation of the Apostle Paul's claim, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Responding to Wear's accusation that he slandered Jim Wallis, Heck asserts:

I don't believe anyone is unchristian for supporting the Social Security ponzi scheme. Politically wrong and unwise? Yes, but not unchristian. I don't question the Christian bona fides of anyone who wants to ramp up Medicaid or the SNAP food stamp systems. I may disagree with them politically, but those aren't issues of belittling or abusing the Word of God.

My objection to Wallis was and is that he teaches and many of his followers repeat that support of socialist redistribution policies is synonymous with obedience to the call of Christ to care for the "least of these" ......

As an evangelical Christian who has conservative politics, I am more than happy to concede that policy differences are typically not matters where our faith compels us to be rigid and dogmatic. But when it comes to twisting and using Scripture to advance our policy preferences (particularly when those policies lead to dramatic suffering for the poor, as in the case of socialism), all believers must oppose such an offense.

It's true that we should care for those in our community who are suffering. Failing to do so is a sin. However, twisting Scripture to support your pet economic theory is also a sin.


Radical feminism fundamentally opposes liberal feminism

Sean Gabb

Introduction: The common core of feminism, before about 1970, was that women should have the same political and legal rights as men and that they should not be denied the same economic opportunities – eg, “equal pay for equal work.” This can be called liberal feminism. Since then, however, a strong divide has emerged within feminism, and some feminists (the radical or “second wave” feminists) believe that male oppression (patriarchy” is deeply rooted in the structures of the established order.

Point 1: For the radical or “second wave” feminists, patriarchy begins in the structures and assumptions of heterosexual monogamy. Girls are conditioned from an early age to accept the primacy of boys. By the time they are young women, they are wholly enslaved – so much so that they cannot recognise their chains. Two key texts of this kind of feminism: “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” Susie Orbach (1978), “The Beauty Myth,” Naomi Wolf (1990) The first argues that women are made to feel bad about themselves if they grow fat, and so they give in to other forms of oppression. The second argues that male oppressors have created an ideal of female beauty that cannot be achieved, but that women are encouraged to aim at by starving themselves. Because women on starvation diets are incapable of standing up for themselves, both pornography and the advertising industry are key supports of patriarchy.

Therefore, the personal is political. Dieting is not a personal choice. It is an acceptance of patriarchy. Being fat and not bothering to wash or use sanitary towels are revolutionary acts that tend towards the true emancipation of women.

Point 2. Perhaps the most prominent of the second wave feminists was Andrea Dworkin, who became notorious for her writings on sex. She did much to expand definition of rape from unwilling sex with threats of violence to any kind of sex that does not involve explicit prior consent. She also popularised the idea of “political lesbianism,” and insisted that heterosexual sex is not oppressive only when women are on top and the man has only a weak erection. She was also strongly opposed to the free availability of pornography, claiming that it “objectified women” – that is, made them into objects of male lust that demeaned them as individuals and encouraged rape and other forms of sexual abuse. For the same reason, she supported the suppression of prostitution and other forms of sex work.

Point 3: However, not all feminists stand within this tradition. Both Germaine Greer and especially Camille Paglia continue to insist that feminism is achieved by a programme of political and legal equality. They strongly reject the idea that the political is the personal. Germaine Greer has become steadily more conservative since her “Female Eunuch” was published in the 1960s. Camille Paglia stands close to the American libertarian tradition. She believes that, once obvious political and legal discriminations are removed, there is no fundamental conflict between men and women. She also strongly supports the right to publish and enjoy pornography and the right of women to become sex workers. She is a lesbian who believes that sexual orientation should be a matter of personal choice.

Pont 4: This is a fundamental divide within feminism – as fundamental as the older divide between democratic and revolutionary socialists. It is not just a matter of political difference, but also of intense personal hatred. Germaine has been banned from speaking at various British universities on account of her alleged “transphobia” or unwillingness to accept that men who change their sex are really women. Camille Paglia enjoys disrupting second wave feminist demonstrations outside sex shops – explaining how she thinks pornography and sex toys are wonderful. Another example is the British feminist Erin Pizzey. In the 1970s, she inclined to second wave feminism, founding the first refuge for battered wives. She then published a book claiming that women were just as likely as men to initiate domestic violence, and that women were just as likely to be paedophiles. Since then, she has been subject to death threats from radical feminsts, and has had to leave the country.

Conclusion: The division between these two kinds of feminism is so great that it is hard to find common ground between them. They really are as different as the British Labour Party and the British Communist Party in the 1940s. They both use the word “feminist” to describe themselves, but place radically different meanings on the word.


These are desperate times for Democrats. And what do Democrats do when they're desperate? They play the race card

These are desperate times for Democrats. And what do Democrats do when they’re desperate? They play the race card.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Democrats and their equally smug media allies thought the nation would be basking in the glow of the nation’s first female president. Instead, Trump was elected, and his victory was attributed to “referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others,” Hillary Clinton stated on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” in September.

Host Jane Pauley looked for clarification. “What you’re saying is millions of white people?” she asked. “Millions of white people, yeah. Millions of white people,” Clinton responded, adding that Trump’s inauguration a speech was a “cry from the white-nationalist gut.”

Hillary and her equally clueless fellow travelers never get around to explaining how those same “racist” white people elected Barack Obama twice, or why many of them label any black American who identifies as Republican a race “traitor.”

When one swims in a sea of identity politics, inconvenient reality is easily ignored.

What cannot be ignored is when Democrat institutions engage in the very same bigotry they claim to abhor. Last week, DNC Data Services manager Madeleine Leader sent an email to fellow DNC employees announcing that the Technology Department is looking to fill some positions. That would be a DNC whose website states it is an “equal opportunity employer.”

For most Americans, “equal opportunity” would be self-explanatory. For a Democrat Party obsessed with dividing Americans into tribalist sub-groups, it is apparently necessary to elaborate. Thus we are told the DNC does not discriminate based on “sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity or disability, or any other legally protected basis.”

Leader didn’t get the proverbial memo. “I personally would prefer that you not forward [this email] to cisgender straight white males, since they’re already in the majority,” she wrote.

For Americans who have failed to keep up with the Left’s sexual identity politics, “cisgender” is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Thus one can presume a white male claiming to be a woman trapped in a man’s body remains in the running.

The DNC disavowed Leader’s email. “The email in question was not authorized by the DNC nor was it authorized by senior leadership,” spokesman Michael Tyler told Fox News. “All hiring decisions at the DNC are made consistent with the DNC’s commitment to equal employment opportunity and hiring an inclusive and talented staff that reflects the coalition of the Democratic Party, because our diversity is our greatest strength.”

That is, quite simply, a bald-faced lie. For Democrats, diversity is about anything that accrues to their political agenda. Anything that doesn’t is bigotry with all the attendant subheadings, from nativist to transphobic, and everything in between.

New Yorkers are the latest group of Americans paying a high price for Democrat-defined diversity. Following last Tuesday’s terrorist attack, during which eight innocent people were slaughtered with a truck allegedly driven by Sayfullo Saipov, it was revealed the Islamic State supporter was invited to America under the auspices of the “Diversity Visa Program.” The program was initially spearheaded by-then New York Representative and current Senator Chuck Schumer, along with former Senate “lion” Ted Kennedy in 1990. And the GOP, demonstrating an equal level of cluelessness, supported the measure, with President George H.W. Bush signing it into law.

An added “bonus” of that lottery is chain migration, a system that allows citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to sponsor their non-nuclear family members for entry in America. Thus we welcome a virtual flood of unskilled, uneducated and often elderly immigrants to partake of our nation’s generous welfare system.

In Saipov’s case, he was able to help as many as 23 other individuals become eligible to emigrate to America.

Trump would eliminate the lottery and turn immigration into the skills-based merit system that benefits America, not merely those who wish to come here. For that he was branded a racist, just as he was for imposing a travel ban including the nations of Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

One of the jurists blocking this latest ban is Barack Obama appointee Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii. That would be the same overwhelmingly Democrat Hawaii prepping for a nuclear attack by North Korea, one of the countries added to the list. Like their New York counterparts, it appears a commitment to diversity and multiculturalism is more important than the threat of terror — or nuclear annihilation.

Speaking of annihilation, that’s exactly what the Latino Victory Fund (LVF) attempted to do to Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ed Gillespie. They produced a political ad showing a white man attempting to run down minority kids with a pickup truck sporting a Confederate flag, a Tea Party license plate, and a bumper sticker for Gillespie. The end of the spot reveals this is a nightmare replete with awakened kids shaking in fear, while the narrator asks, “Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by ‘the American dream’?”

As opposed to the open borders, national sovereignty-despising fundamental transformation dreams of Democrats?

Records subsequently released by the Virginia Department of Elections reveal Democrat candidate Ralph Northam’s campaign coordinated with the LVF to produce the ad. No doubt to both entities’ dismay, the real truck attack in New York forced them to pull the spot. Undaunted, LVF released a Spanish-only ad featuring Gillespie and Trump — appearing in front of Nazi flags.

And despite pulling the original ad, LVF president Cristóbal J. Alex defended it. “We knew our ad would ruffle feathers,” he said. “We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see.”

What Republicans see? How about what decent Americans see? Americans who don’t believe anyone and everyone who disagrees with the Democrat agenda is a potential terrorist or a dedicated Nazi? Americans who finally got sick and tired of being referred to as “bitter clingers,” “irredeemables” or “deplorables” in addition to the aforementioned epithets Democrats substitute for rational debate?

“The Democrats use identity politics to develop their campaigns, organize their party and impose their will via government policy,” explains Washington Post contributor Ed Rogers. “Qualified people are excluded from service, good candidates are smeared, and Americans are put in danger. But somehow, Democrats think this is progress. They think this is justice. It is what they want to do more of when they are in power.”

Last week, former DNC leader Donna Brazile revealed just how committed Democrats are to honesty and fairness amongst themselves in pursuit of power. In short, the party was willing to shaft half (or more) of its supporters to make Clinton its presidential candidate. Thus as always, “by any means necessary” remains Democrat Party’s foremost “principle.”

And as for race bait, Brazile recounted an exchange she had with the Clinton campaign: “I’m not Patsey the slave,” referencing a character in the film “12 Years a Slave.” She continued, “Y'all keep whipping me and whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!”

Race-baiting? A tool of the Democrat trade.



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

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

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


7 November, 2017

BOOK REVIEW.  "Young Hitler: The Making of the Fuhrer", interesting but amateurish

Yes.  From what the reviewer says, the book is amateurish.  He rightly says that Hitler was not initially antisemitic but does not know why he became so.  He offers no understanding of Hitler's psychology at all. Yet Hitler himself gives a perfectly clear and believable account of that in "Mein Kampf".

Hitler was a strong patriot who wanted to make Germany great   again.  That is normal enough.  Strong patriotism is common even in nations where there would seem to be little to be patriotic about. So there is no mystery or madness about his basic motivations.

And what turned that patriotism into anti-semitism is also clear.  People say it was because of his rejection by the Vienna art school -- but Hitler himself agreed with that rejection.  The Rector told him that his main talent was in architecture and Hitler enthusiastically agreed with that. He was not antagonized at all.

What DID anger Hitler was all the revolutionary talk in postwar Vienna.  There were many orators calling for class war and a revolution.  But that went completely against Hitler's patriotism.  He wanted Germans to be one big happy family, not fighting among themselves.  And it was his constant belief in Germany and German unity that got him his following.  He came across as someone who loved his people.  And they followed him to the bitter end because of that.

And guess who the revolutionary talk came from?  Predominantly Jews.  Karl Marx was a Jew and many of the Bolsheviks were Jews and to this day, Jews tend strongly to support the political Left.  There is no doubt that there WERE many Jewish preachers of revolution in Vienna in the aftermath of WWI.  Hitler even lists the names of the ones he knew of.

So he saw the Jews as enemies of Germany.  Thus his hatred of Jews mirrored his love of Germany:  All perfectly understandable and straightforward in an era where EVERYBODY (just about) hated Jews. His ideas were perfectly normal in the context of his times. The vast majority of Germans would have nodded their heads wisely when Hitler demonized Jews.  It was a tragic overgeneralization but it was far from mysterious

Young Hitler is a new direction for Australian writer Paul Ham. His previous books have been about war, specifically defeats, disasters and grossly abnormal loss of life, such as Passchendaele: Requiem for a Doomed Youth (2016). His least blood-soaked book is Vietnam: The Australian War (2007), which remain­s the only one-volume treatment of the subject and is still useful, if in need of updating.

Now, however, he has turned to a biograph­ical study, albeit of a soldier and the instigator of the most widespread war in history. But Hitler! Why Hitler? Ham’s 18-page bibliography makes it clear that Adolf Hitler is hardly neglected by other writers.

The question Ham believes has not been suffic­iently answered is how “the experiences of Hitler’s youth, especially during the First World War, wrought the conqueror of Europe out of this unpromising human clay”.

In fact, Ham doesn’t quite mean that; he’s not trying to explain the Reich’s military success­es. Rather, what is it about World War I that “created one of the most murderous dictators of the 20th century”? Ham believes “the finest” biograph­ers of Hitler — Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and Volker Ullrich — “tend to give less emphasis to the role of the First World War in shaping Hitler’s character than it deserves”. His book is to remedy this flaw. It’s an ambitious if not cheeky aspiration.

Ham quotes Kershaw: “What happened under Hitler is unimaginable without the exper­ience of the First World War and what followed it.” So it must all be a question of degree, for what veteran’s personality and subsequent impac­t o­n the world is not influenced by war exper­ience?

What are the striking features of Hitler’s 1914-18? That he survived all 4½ years of it on the Western Front. That he was a brave soldier and deserved his two Iron Crosses. That he was exhilarated by the dangerous life of combat. That he was disgusted by defeatism on the part of his comrades (although any suggestion of intim­acy in that word hardly applies). That he resented whingeing and poor morale on the home front. That he saw the heavy losses in the First Battle of Ypres as the malign doing of the German political and military establishment.

Naturally, all or much of this played into the man’s evolving personality. But certain central traits of the “mature” Hitler don’t seem to have had a Great War genesis or particular encouragement — his anti-Semitism, for example. At length, Ham refers to the anti-Semitic miasma in the air in Hitler’s youthful days in Vienna and Munich, but keeps commenting that Hitler was not irrevocably infected then. And it wasn’t the war that did it either: Hitler’s Iron Cross First Class was recommended by his Jewish officer, and Hitler doesn’t seem to have noticed or minded, much less felt disgusted or ashamed.

If anything — and this seems the strong countercurrent of Ham’s book — it was ­Hitler’s experience of the aftermath of the war, rather than 1914-18 itself, that was responsible for the final fuhrer mould. Hitler bitterly embrace­d the myth of the stab in the back as an explanation for Germany’s defeat, and he threw himself into the business of fingering and nailing the assassin. In the end, this came down to being the entirely imaginary figure of Jewish Bolshevism.

Despite, it seems to me, arguing against himself, Ham has written an interesting primer. For the serious Hitler aficionados, brought up on Bullock and Kershaw, the obvious next step is Ullrich’s 2016 book Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939. But Ham’s Young Hitler works well as an introductory text. It has a good parade of the non-partisan witnesses to his youth, a discriminating account of Hitler’s war service, and offers just as much of Mein Kampf as a strong stomach can handle.

Yet a slight air of amateurishness hangs over the book. There’s a non-nuanced reference to the causes of the war, which seem to come down to Prussian militarism. Ham’s bibliog­raphy strik­ingly omits great Australian histor­ian Christopher Clark’s groundbreaking 2012 book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. And there is no trace of what I might even call empathy for Hitler. Despite the book’s avowed intention, there is no prising open the psyche of the as-yet-unformed young man. His devotion to his mother comes across more as an aberration than any kind of possible key to a flicker of a less-egocentric consciousness.

Ham’s earliest assessment of the child is as “sullen and resentful” and “by the age of 12 Hitler­ had grown into an emotionally indulged self-absorbed boy with a marked contempt for authority and the temper of a bully”.

It could be said that Ham has taken a pre­determined set against him. Maybe he can simply­ find no spark of humanity even in the child. “Whence came this juvenile rage at the world? … The answer has eluded the powers of psychiatrists.” It’s as though the evil machine was born ticking over and just waiting to be pointed toward­s its destined field of destruction.

Ham’s epilogue opens out into an analysis, a sermon, even a harangue on the present. Conventi­onal wisdom has long been that once you bring Hitler into your argument, you’ve lost it. Present times, however, seem to call for the overthrow of this maxim.

In April, historian Christopher Browning devoted his review of Ullrich’s Ascent in The New York Review of Books to a comparative, and very sane, essay on the rise of Hitler and the rise of Donald Trump. For Ham’s last eight pages he says “a few points are worth making about Hitler­’s legacy”. What follows is a fairly cosmic denunciation of white supremacists, far-right European parties, Steve Bannon, Islamophobia, trickle-down economics, Western inequity …

Ham then lays down his own combative program­ in a series of paragraphs that begin: “The solution …” As it happens, there’s little I dis­agree with, but the style is denunciatory, highly generalised and flamboyantly rhetorical. Is this intentional? Too much unnerving Hitler here.


An interesting collage

British Council manager who was sacked for posting a Facebook message calling Prince George ‘the face of white privilege’ loses her claim for compensation

A British Council manager, who was sacked for posting a Facebook message calling Prince George 'the face of white privilege' has lost her employment tribunal claim for compensation.

Angela Gibbins, who earned £80,000-a-year as head of global estates at the organisation, was sacked after her 'distasteful and personal attack' on the future King went viral in July.

Ms Gibbins – dubbed by colleagues at the charity as the ‘red under the bed’ and the ‘quiet Corbynista’ – had previously refused to meet Prince Charles when he visited her office, stayed at her desk as colleagues watched Lady Thatcher’s funeral, and turned down a Buckingham Palace garden party invitation.

Yet Judge Sarah Goodman and tribunal colleagues ruled the British Council was right to fire the staunch republican for her 'reckless lack of judgment, inexcusable in someone in a senior position' - despite her claims that she had a 'slip of judgement'.

Ms Gibbins sparked outrage after her Facebook comments under a photo of Prince George hit the headlines a year ago. The picture, released to mark George’s third birthday, was originally posted on Facebook with vile comments by the band Dub Pistols.

There followed a debate among Ms Gibbins’s friends of social media about the Royals, Central London Employment Tribunal heard.

She wrote the offending comment in response to a photo placed by the band Dub Pistols, with the caption: 'I know he's only two years old, but Prince George looks like a f***ing d***head.'

This was followed by the comment 'too much?', which sparked a debate among Ms Gibbin's friends about white privilege, Central London Employment Tribunal was told.

She also posted: ‘White privilege. That cheeky grin is the (already locked-in) innate knowledge that he’s Royal, rich, advantaged and will never know any difficulties or hardships in life. Let’s find photos of 3yo [sic] Syrian refugee children and see if they look alike, eh?’

Later she posted: ‘I’m sound in my socialist, atheist and republican opinions. I don’t believe the Royal Family have any place in a modern democracy, least of all when they live on public money. That’s privilege and it needs to end.’

Yet in a written ruling, the judge said: 'The Tribunal agrees "reckless lack of judgment" which had caused disrepute is sufficient for gross misconduct.

'We concluded that it was not the expression of republican belief that was the reason for concluding that the claimant had lacked judgment and thereby brought the respondent into disrepute.

'It was that she had associated herself with a distasteful and personal attack on a small child.'

Ms Gibbins had taken the British Council, which promotes British culture abroad and has the Queen as the patron, to an employment tribunal in July. She had claimed unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and 'belief discrimination'.

She said the British Council were limited by the lack of expert evidence on Facebook and had little practical experience of social media themselves.

But Judge Goodman added: 'Nevertheless we agree that posting controversially expressed views associated with an obscene remark about a child to 150 people by itself raised a risk that at least one of those might be so outraged by her comment as to pass it on.

'The claimant agrees that her remarks would have been unacceptable if associated with the British Council.'

Despite posting her remarks on her Facebook, which has secure privacy settings, they were leaked out and two days later a story was published which sparked a huge row and widespread media coverage.

The British Council, which employs 12,225 staff across over 100 countries and gets 16 per cent of its budget from the publicly funded Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said it received at least 700 complaint emails, including some from MPs.

Judge Goodman said: 'Against the information to staff about social media use, this was on a par with gross negligence, and did amount to reckless risk taking. It did also bring the respondent into disrepute.

'It is relevant she was a senior employee. It was conduct undermining the respondent's trust in her to express her views responsibly and not to bring them into disrepute.'

Ms Gibbins said that she had received a barrage of abuse and threats on Twitter, including that she would be 'Jo Cox'd' for making supportive comments about refugees and Syrians.

She also added that she has been unable to secure another job since her outburst.

Rebecca Walton, the British Council's EU regional director, who oversaw the disciplinary hearing, told the tribunal: 'My concern would have been the same whoever our Patron was, whether from the Royal Family or not.'

She added: 'I believe there is a recklessness that comes into play when you choose to comment under a picture of a three-year-old child about that three-year-old child.

'It is common knowledge that it is hard to keep your social media to 150 people, and 150 people alone are a lot of people. 'She didn't think through the consequences of her actions.'

Ms Gibbins, of Walthamstow, east London, had said she either wanted her job back with compensation, another job or just compensation.



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

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

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


6 November, 2017

‘It Scares The Hell Out Of Me’; Another Person Attacked By Group Of Black Teens In Baltimore

A high rate of black on black violence is normal in largely black cities like Baltimore but it is usually associated with some form of altercation.  That the violence is now spreading to uninvolved people is probably traceable to the high levels of black alienation and anger that were fostered under the Obama administration

Another brazen assault, and another mother left in awe. It’s a story that is only being shared with WJZ. “These attacks, these assaults, someone is going to get killed,” said Kia Martin, whose daughter was attacked at the Inner Harbor on Halloween.

For the third time in just days, a group of teens strike yet again at the Inner Harbor. This time, Kia Martin’s daughter is one of the victims.

“The group of teens surrounded my daughter and her friends,” she said. “My daughter was stomped, kicked, punched, thrown to the ground, beat with a baseball bat.”

Martin says her daughter and friends – students at Digital Harbor High – were pounced on near the science center on Halloween night. Forced to walk a mile to the hospital for help.

“She has three staples in her head, both of her hands are broken. I’m pissed. I’m pissed,” she said. “I just don’t understand why a group would want to go around and terrorize innocent people. My daughter walks that path to and from school every day, and to think that this can happen, it scares the hell out of me.”

Just days ago, two families were bombarded by a group of the teens on the same night. One attack left an 18-year-old hospitalized, the other left a family from New Jersey scarred for life.

“I can’t sleep at night, seeing what happen over and over again in my head, seeing my family attacked,” one victim said.

The victims are outraged that officers were nowhere to be found.

Police have said the Inner Harbor is already flooded with cops on a daily basis, but they can’t have officers on every corner.

“I’m certainly aware of those two assaults and our presence is very, very important, specifically at the Inner Harbor,” said Baltimore PD Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Trashel Maye says her son went through a similar harrowing experience. Her 18-year-old was bombarded by a group of teens. “I am disgusted and I’m upset because my son got hurt,” Maye said.

Outside the incidents at the Inner Harbor authorities now looking into other reported attacks around the city each one more severe than the last.

From a possible pistol-whipping in the Homeland neighborhood in North Baltimore, a robbery on Calvert Street, and at least one robbery in Federal Hill where the suspects were armed with a bat and wooden boards.

“We’re not going to make excuses for that type of behavior we can’t we can’t continue to do that it’s not fair to the victims of these crimes who mainly were just minding their business,” said BPD spokesperson T.J. Smith.


Most People Are Not Afraid of Robots Taking Their Jobs

More than half think automation could make their work easier or more efficient in the future.

Most Americans believe their jobs, and the jobs of those they live with, are safe from automation — at least for the next decade, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

And more than half think automation could make their work easier or more efficient in the future.

The findings suggest that while Americans express concern about how automation technology might cause some other people to lose jobs, they are less worried about its effect on themselves.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they thought it unlikely that they or someone in their household will be replaced at work by automation within the next 10 years, the survey found. A nearly identical proportion — 56 percent — said they consider it at least somewhat likely that their job will be improved by automation. Many think, for example, that such technology has made jobs safer.

The poll's key findings echo those of other recent surveys. The Pew Research Center found in a survey released earlier this month that 70 percent of Americans believe it unlikely that they will lose their jobs to automation.

Those assessments may well prove accurate, according to recent analyses that foresee far fewer job losses resulting from automation compared with studies several years ago that had suggested that up to half of U.S. jobs could be replaced over the next two decades.

A report released this month by the education company Pearson, Oxford University and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will likely shrink by 2030.

Still, the AP-NORC survey found that many Americans worry about the effects of new technologies on their daily lives and the job market. Three-quarters of respondents said they think it at least somewhat likely that "people will be more isolated from one another."

And most say robots have cost jobs in factories — a view supported by academic research and data showing that factories are now producing more with fewer employees. Three-quarters foresee at least some likelihood that many retail workers will be replaced by automation.

A wide gap also exists in how people with different levels of education respond to such questions. Americans without college degrees are twice as likely as those with degrees to say it's very likely automation will cost them or someone in their household a job. That is in line with studies that have found that lower-skilled work is more likely to be automated.

Among the poll's other findings:

— Americans vastly prefer dealing with people, rather than machines, when they order food at a restaurant. But in most other settings, many don't particularly care. Seventy percent of respondents said they preferred ordering food from a person. Nineteen percent said it made no difference. Just 10 percent said they preferred self-service. But at a supermarket checkout line, roughly half preferred the self-service option or had no preference. That may partly explain why the small automated restaurant chain Eatsa, which sold food without cashiers or waiters, had to close five of its seven restaurants last week.

— Most Americans still aren't using the latest technologies, some of which could introduce ground-breaking automation in the future. Uber, for example, is testing self-driving cars, which could over time eliminate work for its drivers as well as taxi drivers. Yet just a quarter of Americans use Uber or Lyft, the survey found. And barely 30 percent use a voice-activated personal assistant such as Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa. Just 29 percent at least occasionally pay for goods or services with their phones, rather than with cash or credit cards.

— The likelihood of whether someone has used online services and other technology tends to breaks down along educational lines. For example, 63 percent of Americans with at least a college degree have purchased goods or services online, while just 34 percent without a degree have.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,038 adults was conducted Aug. 17-21 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and were later interviewed online, by phone or in person.


Australia: Pro and anti marriage equality campaigners clash outside Sydney University

"Yes" voters vilify Christians to the bitter end

With only two days left to return the same-sex marriage postal survey, the campaign ended the way it began — with rainbow fascists silencing dissent and demonising Christians.

The latest display of “tolerance” comes from The Rose Hotel in Chippendale, which has banned a group of young Christians from holding their monthly meeting in the pub’s beer garden because patrons complained that gay marriage was being discussed.

A Theology on Tap meeting, titled Listening as a Form of Love, was cancelled after organiser Natalie Ambrose received an email on from The Rose Hotel licensee George Kanellos.

“I’m terribly sorry to inform you that we can no longer let you host your event with us in the beer garden,” the email said.

“We’ve experienced some backlash from customers, and within these complaints they have threatened not to return if these events continue… I was told by staff yesterday that worked the previous event that 4 different groups of people got up and left and, out of the two groups, we were told that they might not ever come back.

“It was about the debate of marriage equality that had frustrated these groups and our locals.”

Kanellos refused to comment when contacted, but confirmed he had cancelled the Theology on Tap booking on the first Monday of every month, which attracts 200 to 300 people.

The event which so antagonised Rose Hotel patrons was a talk last month by American nun Sister Mary Patrice Ahearn titled, ironically enough, Resilient Faith: How to Survive When Under Attack.

The talk, organised by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic chaplaincy, was not about gay marriage, but how to cope with being attacked for your faith.

Sister Patrice quoted the Gospels: “If the world hates you know that it has hated me before it hated you.” She mentioned gay marriage as one issue, along with euthanasia, for which Christians would be persecuted.

“Most of us are feeling… tension, conflict, disruption in relationships, because of these issues,” she said.

She urged her audience to find “common ground between the two sides… I’m sure most of us in this room know or love someone who’s gay. Persons with same-sex attraction desire love, friendship and intimacy as much as you or I do.”

In other words, she could not have been more loving or charitable.

But for the “tyrants of tolerance”, anything a nun says has to be hate speech, and discrimination against Christians is the highest sign of virtue.

It’s part of what former High Court justice Dyson Heydon describes as “the new de-Christianisation campaign… the tyrants of tolerance pay lip service, but only lip service, to freedom of ­religion as a fundamental human right,” he said in a speech last month.

“Modern elites do not desire tolerance. They demand uncondi­tional surrender”. There’s no way an LGBTIQ group would be treated so shabbily as Theology on Tap, not least because sexual orientation and every other permutation of human diversity — except religious belief — is protected under anti-­discrimination laws.

Freedom not to serve people with whom you disagree only cuts one way. It is perfectly lawful for a pub to hang a “No Christians” sign in its window, which effectively is what The Rose Hotel has done.

Vilifying Christians has been a hallmark of the same-sex marriage campaign.

Rainbow bullies have physically attacked No volunteers, spat on them, stolen their placards, vandalised their churches, racially vilified them, blockaded their meetings. They abused Catholic students at Sydney University as “homophobes”, “bigots”, “neo-Nazis” and “gay-bashers”. “Go wank yourself off at home with your f ... ing Jesus picture”, they screamed, on video.

They graffitied “Crucify No voters” on church walls, and stormed a Coalition for Marriage launch, chanting “crucify Christians”, and brandished a banner reading: “Burn Churches not Queers”.

The frightening intolerance of the rainbow fascists has been on display for everyone to see during the plebiscite process.

But disappointingly few high-­profile people stood up to defend traditional marriage — not one member of Cabinet, few religious leaders, no business leaders or sports bodies, almost no one in the media — even those regarded as conservatives.

So cowed is the business community that it is refusing to be associated with the Catholic Church.

One bank, which previously had donated to an archdiocesean annual appeal, this year grudgingly agreed to donate a smaller amount but on the condition its name was kept secret.

Any wonder that “No” voters have kept their opinions to themselves, and that published polls are wildly out of kilter with the reality that No campaigners have found on the ground?

No voters “feel like dissidents in their own country”, as the ACL’s Lyle Shelton puts it.

For all the criticism, with voter turnout at 80 per cent the process has been a success, and most importantly has galvanised a new generation of social conservatives, as Tony Abbott said last week.

Shelton says they are part of a “dissident movement against the elites and the celebrities and the media”.

“Win or lose, they’re determined to keep fighting for freedom.”

If the Yes vote gets up, religious freedom will be the battleground.


Australia: Pub ordered to pay anti-Islamic political party founder $2,500 for discrimination - after they told her she wasn't welcome inside the hotel

A pub has been ordered to pay an anti-Islamic political party founder $2,500 compensation after they told her she wasn't welcome inside because of her views.

Beach House Hotel and its general manager Paul Robins were found to have discriminated against Love Australia or Leave founder Kim Vuga on the basis of her political beliefs.

Mr Robins initially showed discrimination against Ms Vuga when he told her he did not want anything to do with her political party, the day before she wanted to attend drinks there, the Courier Mail reported.

Beach House Hotel and its general manager Paul Robins were found to have discriminated against Love Australia or Leave

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Jeremy Gordon said in his decision the manager also discriminated against Ms Vuga and her supporters by saying they were not welcome at the hotel or the car-park.

'A substantial reason for these things happening was Ms Vuga's political belief,' he said.

The hotel and Mr Robins claimed their exclusion was due to health and safety concerns, which Mr Gordon did not accept.

A party representative had initially been informed two weeks before Ms Vuga planned to hold a meeting in Hervey Bay that the hotel was available for drinks only.

Mr Robins then became concerned on August 8 when he saw a party flyer advertising a 'meet for drinks' and was worried people would be turning up for a meeting the next day.

He then said, in a phone conversation with Ms Vuga, that they could not meet at the hotel or in the carpark and said: 'Sorry, I don't want anything to do with your association'.

In an email, the manager later told Ms Vuga: 'We do not want to get involved or have the name of our business associated with the party'.

Ms Vuga's request for $25,000 was turned down as Mr Gordon didn't believe she had severely suffered from the incident.

He also dismissed her application for the hotel to publish apologies or undergo anti-discrimination training.

Ms Vuga believed from the start that she had a discrimination case which she thought was important to stand up for.



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

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

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


5 November, 2017

US birth rates fall as deaths from age-related diseases climb according to the CDC's latest quarterly estimates

There is not much doubt that feminism plays a role in the birthrate reduction.  It has become accepted now that women should have a career -- and that means delayed child-rearing or even a complete abandonment of family creation. Some feminists even  criticize mothers as "Breeders".

Women who are merely delaying childbirth also take a substantial risk that when they are "ready" for a baby one may not come -- even with IVF.  There are now a lot of woebegone women in that situation.

Another way in which feminism is anti-birth springs from the draconian divorce law that they have inspired.  Wise men are no longer prepared to take the risk of marriage.  There are of course still a lot of ex-nuptial births but there is no doubt that a marriage does encourage children.  It's what marriage was once all about.

But there is a silver lining to it all.  The group least likely to have children would have to be feminists themselves. So the genes of these unhappy women will be much less likely to be passed on. To a degree feminists will breed themselves out of existence  -- leaving the world a much happier place

Birth rates are down by more than two percent this year compared to this time last year

As birth rates in the US continue to decline, deaths from age-related diseases are on the rise this year, according to new quarterly estimates released by the CDC today.

Deaths from cancer and HIV, on the other hand, are estimated to continue their steady declines, underscoring the successes of innovative treatments in the US, and infant mortality remains stable.

The CDC's numbers so far for 2017 confirm trends in US population growth decline that scientists and statisticians have observed in recent years.

The new stats come as baby boomers reach old age, and people are waiting longer to conceive and having fewer children than previous generations.

The CDC’s quarterly estimates report that the since this time last year, the birth rate has fallen from 61.3 to 59.2 in the US.

Birth rates peaked in 1990, and rose back again to around 70 per every thousand women in the US in 2007.

The declining birth rates are likely driven by a significant reduction in teen pregnancies.

In 2016, the teen birth rate fell to a record low, falling nine percent from 2015.

While birth control is aiding in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, many experts have expressed concern that over the growing number of men and women that are infertile, or choosing to wait to try to get pregnant until later in life when the odds of conception are lower.

These trends are also linked to the aging population, a fact borne out by the CDC’s most recent statistics.

Their data show an estimated increase in deaths due to the majority of age-related diseases. Alzheimer’s deaths, for example, have risen by 1.6 percent since this time last year, according to the CDC’s quarterly estimates.

Heart disease, hypertension and stroke deaths are estimated to be continually climbing.

The new data presents more encouraging statistics for some of the most vicious diseases that affect younger people.

Last year, seven new treatments for various forms of cancer were approved by the FDA. The CDC’s most recent data shows, encouragingly, that the rate of cancer deaths has fallen by nearly two percent in just one year.

Similarly, HIV deaths have been in decline in recent years, corresponding with the increased prevalence of effective antiretroviral treatments and, more immediately, the advent of preventative treatments like PrEP. Since this time last year, HIV deaths have fallen by 0.2 percent, according to the CDC.

Overall, the CDC estimates that the death rate for the US has risen nearly five percent just since last year. Infant mortality, meanwhile, remains stable, but taken together, the sets of data support widely-observed trends that the country’s population growth is slowing.


What the Reaction to John Kelly’s Civil War Remarks Says About Our Culture

What Jarrett Stepman says below is fine except that he fails to identify all the hatred as emanating from the Left only.  He claims it says something about "our" culture.  It does not.  What it says is that the Left are drifting further and further into irrationality and away from bipartisanship. They cannot be reasoned with. The neo-Communist Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic party.  And there are no greater haters than the Communists

Jesus famously said that no prophet is accepted in his hometown.  It turns out the Father of Our Country isn’t accepted in his home church. Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, stepped into the larger debate over statues and history this week when it decided to remove plaques of President George Washington and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee because they might make attendees feel “unsafe or unwelcome.”

But a cursory glance at history shows the foolishness of treating Washington this way.

During the Civil War, when Americans were killing each other by the hundreds of thousands, Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon was used as neutral ground by both sides to treat their wounded.

Washington’s appeal was universal even as the country was falling apart.

It may be a sign of the times that the most singularly unifying individual in our nation’s history is now considered an unwelcoming figure at the historic church he attended for much of his life.

But in the rapidly moving crusade against the sins of America’s past, Confederates are seamlessly lumped in with Founders.

In the Slip N’ Slide of slippery slopes, the movement that began by going after Lee and Jefferson Davis has now devolved to the point of expunging Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and now Washington.

All of these men have simply become stand-ins for the sins of modern America.

Reasonable people can debate the comparative merit of figures like Washington and Lee, but the rampant attacks on statues, plaques, and history itself should tell us that we are hardly engaged in a rational national discussion.

If you make a single, politically incorrect misstep in this debate, you will get swept up in the crusade along with the statues.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, learned this the hard way.

Kelly weighed in on the Christ Church decision in an interview with Laura Ingraham and defended Lee, in particular, from attacks. Kelly said he thought Lee was “honorable” and that a “lack of compromise” ultimately led to the Civil War.

At one time, these statements may have been met with polite rebuttals or sparked a debate on the legacy of a war that took the lives of over half a million Americans.

Not in 2017. Kelly was immediately labeled ignorant, a defender of the Confederacy, and guilty of perpetuating racism.

It must be noted that Kelly’s opinion of Lee isn’t far removed from that of President Dwight Eisenhower, who kept a portrait of Lee (and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant) in his office.

Ike was no “Lost Cause” supporter, and in fact played a vital role in desegregating Southern schools. Yet, he wrote that Americans could continue to learn something from the Confederate general because “a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

It took a monumental effort to rebuild this country after the cataclysmic Civil War tore it into pieces and nearly destroyed it. It is a testament to the enduring greatness of the United States that we picked up the pieces and made it even greater than before in the century that followed.

Lee, like Lincoln, became a uniting figure for Americans—of many political persuasions—who represented the restoration of the union and rebirth of freedom under a single banner, no longer plagued by the cancer of slavery.

Kelly’s other statement about the lack of compromise leading to war, though disputable, would have been met with little opposition even just a few decades ago.

Shelby Foote, the famed historian who headlined the Ken Burns Civil War documentary in the 1990s, used those words, almost verbatim, in the series’ opening episode. Burns is certainly no right-winger.

The series of compromises made over the decades before the war may have both delayed the violence, but also made it inevitable. Ultimately, the slave states’ inability to compromise and accept the election of Lincoln sparked the war.

Again, there is much to debate about the Civil War, which, as Kelly’s detractors are so keen to scream out over and over again, was undoubtedly caused by the slavery issue.

However, the overreaction to the remarks shows why this country can’t have a healthy debate about statues and history. The ferocity and hysteria of ideological combat against the current administration is now being directed at complex eras, far removed from our own modern debates.

We have reached a sad, final moment in which the most unifying symbols of who we are as a people are considered “unwelcoming.”

Men like Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Christopher Columbus, and so many others have simply been recast as villains for the contemporary crusaders, whose attacks are becoming indiscriminate and whose aims could not be more petulant.


Time Magazine Grieves Trump's Gov't Depredation

Memo to Time: "The Wrecking Crew" is a characteristic and a term Republicans will gladly embrace. 

Big government defenders at Time magazine are lamenting the Trump administration’s focus on government deregulation. Using what they thought was a derogatory term, Time editors’ latest cover story directs their ire at “The Wrecking Crew” by complaining that “Trump’s Cabinet is dismantling government as we know it.” Oh, the humanity!

What, pray tell, do Time‘s editors imagine he was elected to do?

Newsbusters’ Tom Blumer writes, “Separate reports singled out EPA Director Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for scrutiny.” He observes, “Of course, none of Time‘s four articles pointed out that 'government as we know it’ has gone from spending just over $2 trillion per year to just shy of $4 trillion in the past 20 years. After taking inflation into account, that’s a 41 percent increase in real terms. Today’s ‘government as we know it’ doesn’t accomplish much more than it did 20 years ago — unless getting in the way of progress is considered an accomplishment.”

It’s a systemic problem, reaching far and wide in all aspects of government. For example: The federal government for decades has encroached on our education system and allocated billions of additional dollars to improve grades. The results are … underwhelming. Not only are grades not improving, but the increasingly dire situation in inner city schools has spurred the school choice movement. And who can blame the parents? In fairness, Time does give Betsy DeVos accolades for emphasizing a return to due process on the issue of campus rape. Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, she is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.

The same goes for Ben Carson. Time does ask the question, “How can the government help people in need by propping them up without becoming a crutch?” Nevertheless, as the cover bemoans, he is a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and must be stopped.

The editors show Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt no mercy, accusing him of coddling special interest groups and “weaken[ing] an agency designed to save lives.” He, above all else, is a critical member of “The Wrecking Crew.” Therefore, as the cover bemoans, he must be stopped.

Time may view these governmental changes and reforms as a train wreck, but its editors don’t seem to understand that “The Wrecking Crew” is a feature, not a bug. And it’s a term Republicans gladly embrace. It’s why voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton — because the status quo isn’t working. Meanwhile, Time continues wrecking its reputation.


Faith and reason inseparable

It amuses me how both Christians and atheists regard one-another as unreasonable.  Atheists regard Christians as unreasonable for believing in an invisible being and Christians regard atheists as unreasonable for denying that there was a  creator.  Knowing that juxtaposition helps make me very tolerant of Christians even though I am a thoroughgoing atheist -- JR

By Peter Kurti (Peter is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Australia)

Myths persist about the unreasonableness of religious belief — especially Christianity. Fashionable intellectuals pitch religion against science, saying rationality is the highest principle of the universe.

Overlooked is Christianity’s vital synthesis of the Greek philosophical tradition that gave rise precisely to the form of reason from which the intellectuals have attempted to divorce faith.

Far from being the enemy of reason, faith — as Greg Sheridan wrote last week — is the basis of reason. “Science tells us a great deal about how,” he said, “but nothing about why.”

For the discovery of truth to be more than a series of non-rational, subjective assumptions, we need to remember that religious faith needs to be a part of reasonable discourse.

Not only does Christian theology entail formal reasoning about God; the discipline of theology, as a form of reasoned enquiry, is foundational component of what we refer to as ‘the West’.

And emphasis on our minds’ ability to apprehend reality — including philosophical and religious truths — is woven into the very fabric of the West, says scholar of religion Samuel Gregg.

The concept of reason is broader than the limits of the empirically falsifiable, something emphasised by Pope Benedict XIV in his 2006 lecture delivered at Regensburg:

“The world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their more profound convictions,” Benedict said.

By the application of reason, human beings exercise the capacity both to comprehend and to shape their social reality, to exercise moral judgement, and to make reasonable choices.

In this way, human beings grow as reasonable people and so are able to build human communities which defend human dignity from the subversion of character and courage.



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

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

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


3 November, 2017

WHITE men need not apply

Leftist racism never stops

That’s the message from a Democratic National Committee data services manager, currently on the hunt to fill multiple vacancies in the tech department.

The political organisation, which routinely makes grand statements about inclusion, recently sent an email to its employees looking to recruit people for eight open spots including IT Systems Administrator, Product Manager and Chief Security Officer.

Though the October 30 email says that the DNC is looking for a “staff of diverse voices and life experiences,” it apparently doesn’t mean white men.

DNC’s Data Service Manager Madeleine Leader purportedly wrote in an email that the desire for diversity excludes “cisgender straight white males”.

Leader adds, “I personally would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males, as they are already in the majority.”

Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned to at birth.

“The email in question was not authorised by the DNC nor was it authorised by senior leadership,” spokesman Michael Tyler told Fox News. “All hiring decisions at the DNC are made consistent with the DNC’s commitment to equal employment opportunity and hiring an inclusive and talented staff that reflects the coalition of the Democratic Party, because our diversity is our greatest strength.”

The Daily Wire, which first reported the incident, posted a screenshot of the email sent to DNC insiders.


There's No Such Thing as 'Lone Wolf' Jihad

So another radical Islamist went on a murderous rampage. Surely, the connection is obvious ... right?

Eight people were murdered and 11 injured in New York City Tuesday in the latest jihadi terrorist attack with a truck. Five of the victims were Argentine citizens, and another was Belgian.

 Not surprisingly, witnesses say the suspect yelled “Allahu Akbar!” as he exited the rented truck/murder weapon. Fox News reports, “The man accused of plowing into New York pedestrians Tuesday had a printout of an ISIS flag in his car and left behind handwritten notes pledging his loyalty to the Islamic State, as a clearer picture emerged Wednesday morning of Sayfullo Saipov’s alleged links to the terror group.” Police shot him and he remains in the hospital.

So another radical Islamist went on a murderous rampage. Surely, the connection is obvious … right? Wrong!

“All the evidence we have suggests that he was acting alone,” New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted. “The so-called ‘Lone Wolf syndrome.’”

Except Cuomo then proceeded to contradict his own assertion, adding correctly, “You have to remember a couple of years ago [the Islamic State] telegraphed this — that they were going to individual acts, they said, ‘Use a knife, use a car, use a truck, use whatever you can get.’ That’s what this was.”

But then he went back to his first position of willful blindness and obfuscation: “We have no evidence whatsoever that this was anything other than a person acting individually. We have no evidence that it’s connected to anyone or anything, or there are any follow-up measures.”

Never mind the evidence Cuomo had just presented. Indeed, Saipov used the same method and vile catchphrase that so many other jihadis have used and promoted.

Let’s be clear, again. There is no such thing as a “lone wolf” jihadi attacker. As Mark Alexander explained, “These attacks and those to come were and will be directly tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur'an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.”

Not all Democrats are so blind as Cuomo. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said, “We have to expect that as the capital of the [Islamic State] caliphate has now fallen, there are going to be increasing efforts to show that they remain dangerous and lethal, and to expand the virtual caliphate.”

Uzbekistan, Saipov’s country of origin, increasingly has become a hotbed for Islamic State recruiting. And Saipov came to the United States seven years ago under the Diversity Visa Program, which President Donald Trump and the GOP aim to eliminate.

Trump responded to the attack on Twitter, saying, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Furthermore, he said, “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

Not when lives are at stake.

Footnote on a First: NY Mayor Bill de Blasio actually called this terrorist attack a “terrorist attack,” and not a New York second too soon!


NYC Foreign Terror Suspect Entered U.S. With ‘Diversity Visa’ Trump Wants To End

29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the immigrant from Uzbekistan who murdered at least eight people in Manhattan on Tuesday, arrived in the United States seven years ago under what is called the Diversity Visa Program, a program that President Trump and the GOP have been trying to eliminate.

As The Washington Post explained:

Each year, the Diversity Visa Lottery, as it is officially known, provides up to 50,000 randomly selected foreigners — fewer than 1 percent of those who enter the drawing — with permanent residency in the United States.

In February 2017, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) introduced the RAISE Act, which stated:

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a skills-based immigration points system, to focus family-sponsored immigration on spouses and minor children, to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program, to set a limit on the number of refugees admitted annually to the United States, and for other purposes.

On August 2, 2017, the White House announced President Trump would back the RAISE Act. The White House statement read, “The RAISE Act eliminates the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.”

On October 8, President Trump sent a letter to “House and Senate leaders & Immigration Principles and Policies” in which he outlined his plans for immigration. In section 3, titled “Merit-Based Immigration System,” Trump wrote, “Eliminate the 'Diversity Visa Lottery.'”


UK: Woman injured as feminists and transgender groups fight at Speakers’ Corner

Nutcase versus nutcase

A 60-year-old woman was pushed to the floor and punched in the face during a row between feminists and trans activists at Speakers’ Corner.

Police are investigating the incident which saw two groups, the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) and Trans Activists, fighting in Hyde Park on Wednesday.

TERFS believe that trans women aren’t real women and should not be given the same rights.

Maria MacLachlan, a ‘gender critical feminist’, was attacked at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park at about 7pm on Wednesday.

She told the Mail on Sunday: ‘‘These studenty-looking types were turning up and some arguments started to take place but I kept well out of it.’

‘I thought, “I can film this, it will be interesting.” They were getting louder and louder. Then suddenly someone tried to grab my camera. It was scary. Someone kept trying to get my camera. I think it was a girl, but I couldn’t tell because they had a hoodie over their eyes.’

Ms MacLachlan ended up with a bruise on her face, red marks on her neck and grazed knees, her camera also was smashed and memory card stolen. She added: ‘I didn’t go to hospital but it has really shaken me up.’

Ms MacLachlan later identified a trans-woman as one of her attackers.

She was in Hyde Park with 50 fellow TERFs waiting to find out a secret location for a talk entitled What Is Gender? The Gender Recognition Act And Beyond.

Several groups threatened online to protest at the event, including LGBTQ+ Society from Goldsmiths University, Sisters Uncut, and Action For Trans Health London.

The secret venue for the speech was the University Women’s Club in Mayfair which also saw tensions run high after protesters located the club.

Feminist Jen Izaakson said: ‘The staff had to form a human chain to let our people in and keep protesters out.’’

Action for Trans Health London said: ‘We condemn violence against women in all forms. We’re proud that many self-organising activists, allies and supporters stood against hatred, misogyny and intimidation.’



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

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

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


2 November, 2017

Hollywood actors speak of 'rampant' problem of male abusers targeting men

This is a prime example of how politically correct speech restrictions are poison.  Had people felt free to speak, all these abuses could have been nipped in the bud

Hollywood has a “rampant” and “pervasive” problem of men sexually abusing boys and young men, according to actors and lawyers who are speaking up about misconduct and harassment in the wake of an allegation against actor Kevin Spacey.

“It’s a very taboo subject,” said Alex Winter, an actor and director who said he was sexually abused as a pre-teen child actor. “I don’t know of any boys in any pocket of the entertainment industry that do not encounter some form of predatory behavior. … It’s really not a safe environment.”

Spacey has been accused of making an unwanted sexual advance toward Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who says he was 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident in 1986. According to Rapp, Spacey, who was 26 at the time, lay on top of him and tried to “seduce” him.

Spacey, star of Netflix show House of Cards and former artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre, apologized after BuzzFeed published Rapp’s allegations, saying he did not remember the “encounter”. If he did what Rapp described, it “would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior”, he added.

Spacey also formally came out as gay in the same statement on Sunday night – a move that outraged LGBT activists and actors, who said it was a cruel deflection that caused harm by linking his sexuality to an allegation of child abuse, fueling the homophobic myth that gay men are predators.

To some, the Spacey controversy has been a painful reminder that young gay actors can be particularly vulnerable to mistreatment – and that influential men wield their power to abuse both men and women.

“It’s a pervasive problem in Hollywood,” said Los Angeles attorney Toni Jaramilla, who has represented men in the entertainment industry in sexual harassment cases. She said that men can be coerced into sex or assaulted in professional contexts and are often afraid to speak out: “The common challenge is the fear of not being believed and the fear of having the situation turned around against them, to suggest that they are instigating it, or they are finding opportunities to sleep their way into a role.”

Rapp, an openly gay actor known for his role in the original cast of the musical Rent, said he was compelled to speak out following the avalanche of harassment and rape allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, whose behavior has been called an “open secret”. The scandal inspired victims of sexual violence and harassment to share stories with the hashtag #MeToo, and some have accused well-known men of being predators in a wide range of industries, including a prominent political journalist, a magazine editor and an art publication executive.

Weinstein has apologized for his past behavior, but said he denies many of the harassment claims and “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex.

Gloria Allred, the feminist attorney who has taken on Donald Trump and Bill Cosby, said in an interview on Monday night that she had fielded numerous calls from potential clients following the Spacey allegations. Sexual harassment of gay men in the industry is “rampant”, she said, adding, “It’s as serious a problem as it is with women.”

Rapp’s story has sparked debate about whether sexual harassment and even childhood abuse of men are also open secrets in Hollywood.

Wilson Cruz, a gay actor who plays Rapp’s love interest in Star Trek, recently spoke about sexual harassment at a Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) awards event, saying “older gentlemen” made offers when he was young, adding, “I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable. I was in my 20s, and I thought: ‘Is this what one does?’ And also: ‘Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?’ … I think it’s been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways.”

Gay actor Charlie Carver, known for The Leftovers and Teen Wolf, alluded to his own experiences at the same event, saying, “I’m not a stranger to it. This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general – maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity.”

Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director, said she was grateful to hear them speak out: “In our culture … there is an extra cone of shame and silence around boys and men who experience sexual harassment that can prevent them from getting help.”

Tyler Grasham, a Hollywood agent, has also faced formal accusations that he assaulted and harassed young male actors in recent days. (Grasham has not addressed the claims in any public statement yet and could not be reached for comment.)

Allred said it can be especially difficult for gay actors in Hollywood to come forward with harassment claims if they are not open about their sexuality.

“Many of the victims are still in the closet. That makes them extra vulnerable,” she said, adding, “It’s fear that keeps them silent … They feel they just won’t be believed against the denial of a rich powerful famous celebrity.”

Male models have also shared stories of harassment or abuse by photographers, stylists, art directors and agents, said Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, a nonprofit group. She cited stories from men about a range of inappropriate sexual conduct on set, such as unexpected demands for them to get naked or photographers following models into the bathroom and then assaulting them.

“Sometimes, they say that when they’ve complained to their agencies about abusive working conditions, their agents have actually encouraged them to give into their harassers’ demands.”

Winter, known for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and The Lost Boys, said abused boys can suffer long-term trauma and that it can feel like an uphill battle to go public many years later.

“There’s nothing more terrifying to someone who is holding on to that history and that PTSD than to finally come forward and make those claims only to not be accepted,” he said, declining to identify his alleged abuser. “My perpetrator was never caught … I had to live with that.”


Keeping Your Head When Others Are Losing Theirs

You probably hadn't heard because it didn't get a lot of attention, but David Daoud Wright was convicted in a Boston federal court last Thursday of conspiring to cut Pamela Geller's head off.

ISIS ordered her killed and Wright was attempting to implement that "fatwa," or order. As quoted in the Boston Herald: "Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb called Wright's conviction a ‘victory in the fight against ISIS and all terror organizations targeting the United States. Wright is a terrorist, an ISIS supporter and recruiter who intended to wage war against the U.S. by beheading people and killing Americans,' Weinreb said. ‘Together Wright and his uncle planned to murder Americans, and those plans were as real as the long knives Wright's uncle bought to carry them out.'"

Ten years ago Pam Geller interviewed me in Washington, DC after an exchange I had with Newt Gingrich at National Review's "Conservative Summit." I had no idea then who she was, but it was clear that she was an intense person on a mission. Gingrich had just finished a speech in which he predicted that sometime in next ten years radical Muslims would destroy an American city with an atomic device. Happily, that has not yet come to pass.

During the question and answer period following his speech, I went up to the microphone and identified myself as a middle school history teacher. I told Gingrich that my job of explaining to my students why radical Muslims were trying to kill us was getting difficult because the Bush Administration kept denying any connection between Islamic terrorism and fundamental Koranic teachings. My students were hearing one thing from me and another from the president. That put me in an awkward position as a teacher in the public schools. Gingrich basically told me to keep doing what I was doing.

As I returned to my seat I was swamped by media people asking me questions, and the most persistent was Pam Geller. I've met her several times since at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and she's nearly always accompanied by her sidekick, Robert Spencer. He directs Jihad Watch and is the author of seventeen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.

Even before ISIS condemned her to death, she was surrounded by bodyguards. When once I slid into a booth with Geller and Spencer for a chat at a Washington hotel lounge, I was immediately aware of rugged-looking men in nearby booths scrutinizing me before Geller signaled that I was okay. She's an extremely courageous American and a Jew who won't be intimidated by Islamic threats - and she's willing to pay the price for speaking out. Like her friends the Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, she lives under guard 24-7-365 and will for the rest of her life for daring to publicly criticize radical Islam.

Fatwas are not empty threats. They were issued against a Danish newspaper and a French magazine for publishing pictures of Muhammed and jihadis twice tried to kill the Danish cartoonist. In January, 2015 jihadis murdered fifteen Charlie Hebdo magazine staff people in Paris. American media outlets (except for my web site a few others) self-censored and declined to publish the Muhammed cartoons.They claimed it was out of respect for the religion of Islam, but this writer sees that as a smokescreen for cowardice, because they had no problems publishing images degrading Christianity.

So what did Pamela Geller do after the Charlie Hebdo massacre? She conducted a "Draw Muhammad" contest in which the winner received a check for $12,500. Two jihadis from Arizona showed up with assault rifles at the Garland, Texas facility where the contest was held and opened fire, wounding a security guard. Another guard took them both out with only a pistol. Liberal media outlets like the New York Times who were too cowardly to publish the Muhammed pictures from Europe blamed Geller, accusing her of "hate speech."

Geller later learned that the FBI had an undercover agent at the scene of the "Draw Muhammad Contest" who had been surveilling one of the jihadis. According to TheIntercept.com: "FBI Director James Comey said in a press conference following the shooting that the FBI [agent at the scene] did not have reason to believe Simpson was planning to attack the event, even though the bureau had spent years trying to build a case against him."Yeah, right. There was a time when I would have had no doubt about the credibility of a statement like that from the Director of the FBI, but those days are long gone.


The danger behind Google's free speech monopoly

As their infractions begin to pile up, there is increasing interest in the unchecked power of Silicon Valley companies. Congressman Frank Pallone, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently called out Google, Facebook, and Twitter for policies that, in his words, “are not neutral.” So as Republicans and Democrats alike grow more skeptical of these companies, the question remains – how do the likes of Google keep such a tight lid on their free speech monopoly? This quest to maintain power is no more evident than in the recent firing of Barry Lynn.

In late August, the New York Times reported that New America, a think-tank dedicated to open markets in the United States, had fired Barry Lynn, one of their scholars in residence. The firing, justified with a generic statement on Lynn’s incompatibility with the organization’s “openness and institutional collegiality,” followed Lynn’s increasing concern over the monopoly power of Silicon Valley companies.

It’s no coincidence that Lynn – a respected scholar with a long history at New America – was fired after praising the EU’s decision in June to levy a $2.7 billion fine against Google for antitrust violations. Eric Schmidt, Google’s parent company Alphabet’s Chairman, also served as the Chairman of New America until 2016, and the think-tank’s conference room is called the Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab. Google, along with Schmidt’s family foundation, are some of New America’s largest financial backers, contributing more than $21 million to the organization over the years.

The irony, and hypocrisy, of Lynn’s sacking, cannot be overstated. Google is primarily a search engine. It exists to make it easier for users to find whatever information they would like. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that Google is a monopoly, and the debacle with New America only serves to hammer home the hypocrisy that the company whose motto used to be “don’t be evil” regularly exhibits. The search giant’s influence extends far beyond the dollars it spends in Washington and is particularly apparent on its own platform. That is, of course, for those whose opinions differ from Google’s own unquestionably leftist viewpoint.

Google regularly censors content across its suite of products, and like Barry Lynn’s ill-fated praise of the EU’s actions against the firm, the targets of these actions are typically ideologically at odds with Google. In August, Diamond and Silk, a popular duo of African-American women known for their vocal support of President Trump, found that the majority of their YouTube videos had been stripped of the right to advertise. Similarly, well-known Canadian professor Jordan Peterson was banned from YouTube temporarily in August with little explanation.

These recent instances of censorship have one very important characteristic in common – they are conservative voices, advocating views that don’t mesh with Google’s well-known liberal bent.

Despite its de facto utility status, Google continues to operate almost completely ungoverned, exercising its massive influence on our politics, entertainment, and culture in any way it sees fit. And more often than not, the firm has used this influence to permeate political conversations, silencing opinions it deems unfit for the greater public.

Free speech is the bedrock of American society – it was a founding principle of our nation, and it continues to make us great. But the rise of Silicon Valley monopolies, and Google, in particular, has set a dangerous precedent; a company that launders its influence not only through Washington think tanks and academia, but also increasingly injects its considerable biases into the very fabric of the internet itself. Whether the target is an individual promulgating his or her views on YouTube or an entire division of an influential think tank, Google’s reach seems boundless.

The rise of Google and the increasing importance of preserving free speech are on parallel tracks. As we move along these tracks, we must be ever vigilant of the threat to free speech that companies like Google pose to a truly free and open internet. It’s time to hold Google accountable for its actions and treat Google like the monopoly that it is. Anything less than a full examination of Google’s monopoly power risks turning the internet from a platform for the free and open exchange of ideas, into Mountain View’s corporate plaything


Legislating liberal judge overrides Trump order
Liberals didn’t mind when Barack Obama forced his radical social policies on our military, but they certainly don’t want President Trump rescinding them. So where do they turn? Unelected judges. That’s what happened yesterday, thanks to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly who made the sweeping decision to keep the White House’s military transgender order from taking effect. Without the benefit of the administration’s data, military advisors, or intelligence reports, Kollar-Kotelly put herself in the position of setting a national security policy with very real consequences for our country.

As a result of her temporary injunction, the entire military will “revert to the status quo,” a dangerous environment where people like Chelsea (Bradley) Manning can serve openly, women can be forced to shower with biological men, and “pregnant males” can apply for maternity leave. Of course, the judge’s activism was celebrated by liberals, who don’t see the obvious problems of injecting Barack Obama’s social engineering back into a military that the world was finally starting to take seriously again.

For the Trump administration, which was already drafting regulations to turn the president’s July tweets into military policy, Kollar-Kotelly’s 76 pages of politically correct talking points are a frustrating bump in the road to restoring readiness. Her agenda is obvious from the opening line to the last, where she has the audacity to claim that “a bare invocation of ‘national defense’ simply cannot defeat every motion for preliminary injunction that touches on the military. On the record before the Court, there is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all.”

There was certainly enough support among the Defense Department, top brass, and service members themselves — who know better than anyone what the effects would be and have been. But unfortunately, this is where judicial activism is leading us. The courts have moved beyond legislating on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage to openly usurping the constitutional authority of the executive branch. The president’s primary task is protecting Americans. Yet now we’ve seen the courts do everything from relax the president’s immigration policy to telling the commander in chief how to run the military. And without the barest form of accountability to the same people who elected Donald Trump.

If Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wants to lead the military, she should face the people and run for president. Until then, her court should leave the policymaking to the man best informed and empowered for the job.



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

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

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


1 November, 2017

UK: Too many people favour immigration but resist development

Demography, immigration and the building of houses, roads and runways

The Office for National Statistics says it expects Britain’s population to grow slightly more slowly than it thought three years ago, partly because of lower immigration after Brexit and partly because of slowing increases in life expectancy. But it still forecasts the figure to pass 70 million in a little more than ten years from now. That is not necessarily a bad thing, unless we remain as reluctant to build new houses, roads, schools and hospitals as we currently are. Britain can thrive as a dense city-state, a big Singapore, but not if it hates development. Openness to immigration and antipathy to building cannot both persist.

The ONS may be wrong, of course. In 1965 it expected that there would be 76 million Britons by 2000. Then the birth rate collapsed and immigration slowed, so by 1994 the statisticians were expecting a population of just over 60 million and falling by 2020. Ten years later they were back to projecting an acceleration upwards and by 2014 they predicted 74 million by 2039 and rising. The forecasts of demographers are little better than those of soothsayers gazing at the entrails of chickens.

Still, we are adding about half a million people a year, most of which is from net immigration and the higher birth rate of immigrants. Of the 1,447 people that Britain added every day in the 12 months to the end of June last year, roughly 529 were births minus deaths, 518 were net arrivals from the European Union, and 537 net arrivals from elsewhere, minus 137 departing British citizens. Given such a flow, our unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent and employment rate of 75.1 per cent are remarkable, if not miraculous. We are one of the world’s great workplaces, which, of course, is why people come.

A recent paper from the think tank Civitas, Britain’s Demographic Challenge: The implications of the UK’s rapidly increasing population, by Lord (Robin) Hodgson makes the point that we are not facing up to the implications of the rate of population expansion. He takes the previous ONS projections for four similar-sized towns — Dundee, Norwich, Stockton-on-Tees and Guildford — and calculates how much land must be built on to accommodate the expected increase in population to 2039. Taking into account not just housing, but roads, shops, offices, schools and such, he arrives at the conclusion that Guildford and Norwich will need to build on at least 65 acres every year, Stockton 55 and Dundee 40. That’s several fields a year.

Britain is already more densely populated than France, Italy and Germany but only in the southeast and the northwest of England do we begin to approach the population density of the Netherlands. Yet Schiphol airport has six runways, to Heathrow’s two, Dutch roads are far less congested, and the price of a flat outside a city centre is almost 30 per cent lower than in Britain. What are we doing wrong?

Yet every time somebody wants to build a bypass, or housing development, let alone a runway, there is fury from nimbys and their lobby groups. Green belts, national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and other designations, together with planning delays and inquiries, constrain and increase the price of every attempt to provide the annual half a million extra Britons with houses, roads and schools.

What is more, I am guessing that the very people who rail against building development are more often than not the people who are most enthusiastic about immigration. The educated and wealthy tend to dominate nimbyism and also to dominate the argument for more immigration, whether out of admirable compassion for refugees or for good economic reasons. Whereas the people who most object to immigration, the urban working class, on the whole tend not to join the protest groups that oppose development. I am not taking sides here, just pointing out an irony.

There is no escape route in saying you are in favour of development but only on derelict or unused urban land. It is fanciful to think that the demands of the rising population can be met from “brownfield” sites alone. Fields and woods will have to go too. A recent paper by John Myers (founder of the group London Yes In My Back Yard) for the Adam Smith Institute, called Yimby: how to end the housing crisis, boost the economy and win more votes, recommends sensible reforms to get people behind sensitive development, mainly by giving streets and parishes control over their destinies. He estimates that a building boom to deliver more housing could raise GDP per capita by a gigantic 25-30 per cent.

Environmentalists were once more honest about this. It is often forgotten just how right-wing the roots of the environmental movement are, especially on population and immigration. Take the book that more than any other defined the birth of the environmental movement as a political force in Britain. It was called A Blueprint for Survival and it began life as a special issue of The Ecologist magazine in 1972. Signed by the great and the good of the green movement and written by Edward Goldsmith, it sold 750,000 copies. It called on the world’s governments to “declare their commitment to ending population growth; this commitment should also include an end to immigration”.

This is misanthropic, and unrealistic, but at least they had the courage of their convictions. They wanted to save the world, or the country, from (other) people, so they wanted fewer people. Those of us, and at least partly I include myself here, who like the preservation of all green spaces but also like welcoming immigrants should surely recognise that we are being hypocritical. We cannot have both.


Leftists Water Down the Meaning of Sexual Assault

George H.W. Bush and Harvey Weinstein are not even remotely in the same ballpark

Lumping actions together for the ease of public shaming or isolating and marginalizing one’s target — the Saul Alinsky method — has become standard in our culture. Forget understanding the true meaning of words. Obscuring them is the order of the day.

For example, we’ve watched the term racism become one of the first weapons leftists brandish to avoid an honest debate, and it’s typically used to bludgeon a conservative opponent rather than discuss a range of policy issues. In an effort to silence any dissenters, the Left has made the entire political Right a collection of “racists.”

But when everyone’s a racist, no one’s a racist when it really counts.

We’re seeing the same with the term sexual assault. Whether it’s the new grievance that’s going to have its own lapel ribbon for solidarity and notoriety, sexual assault victims are too numerous to count in the media in recent days. Make no mistake, authentic sexual assault is a heinous crime, and it belongs nowhere in a civil society. Several accounts of sexual assault have been exposed in recent days with Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein and MSNBC’s Mark Halperin as the exemplars.

Yet from the feminists who demand functional equivalence with men, there’s suddenly an outbreak of complaints of offense about the toxic masculinity that leads to dirty jokes and raucous behavior. The message is, “Let me into your locker rooms. Treat me the same as another guy. But not really.”

Columnist Mona Charen offered a vivid contrast last week between Halperin’s behavior (for which NBC has now fired him) versus that of former President George H.W. Bush, 93 years old and wheelchair-bound with Parkinson’s disease and related dementia.

According to multiple accounts from seven different young women in his work environment, Charen relates that Halperin is accused of “pressing his erect, if clothed, penis against the bodies of young women who worked with and for him.” Charen juxtaposed that with an instance of actress Heather Lind being “triggered” by watching the recent Hurricane Relief broadcast featuring five living former presidents to suddenly publicize an incident from four years earlier. According to Lind’s recollection of her “trauma,” Bush, then 89, touched her backside and told her a dirty joke … in the presence of his wife, Barbara, with cameras rolling as he sat in his wheelchair.

The truth? Again, Bush is wheelchair-bound, so when he puts his arm around someone for a picture, it sometimes slips a little low on their body. To ease tension, his go-to joke is a pun regarding his favorite magician, “David Cop-a-feel.”

That’s simply the tragic result of deteriorating physical and mental health, and it’s nothing like the predatory behavior of Weinstein. But when everything’s sexual assault, nothing’s sexual assault.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines harassment as “unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.” The EEOC explains that this behavior becomes illegal when the offensive conduct is a condition of employment — that is pervasive in the workplace, creating a hostile, abusive or intimidating environment.

The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network specifies that sexual assault is “unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape.”

So which one of the following public figures has engaged in sexual assault, according to these publicly available and legally utilized definitions?

Former Vice President Joe Biden regularly offered unwanted neck massages and overly zealous public caresses while whispering in the ears of younger, attractive females. His public displays are creepy. Bush’s backside brushes are no different, but neither rise to a legal definition of anything approaching sexual assault.

The pure evil rot of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein includes a list of 82 accusers who say they were in various ways molested, sexually assaulted or raped.

And now there’s actor Kevin Spacey, accused of advances on a then-14-year-old boy. Spacey’s excuse? Forget pedophilia, apparently — he’s having to choose “now to live as a gay man.”

In each of these situations, the focus is on the perpetrator largely because of his status, but there are real victims who’ve been inappropriately touched, threatened or intimidated and led to believe their word would mean nothing if they were to dare disclose the actual crimes against their person.

Yet when a wheelchair-bound old man is lumped into the same group as actual sexual predators, the authentic victims of horrific assault and abuse are diminished and vile perverts are indirectly protected with a watered-down version of the true violence that does occur against women. Simply put, if sexual assault can mean a pat on the buttocks and rape, it means little to nothing.

Recently, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly took to the press room podium. In his remarks on a completely different topic, Kelly hit the proverbial nail on the head when he recalled a better day when “a lot of things were sacred in our country.” Kelly reminisced that, in addition to Gold Star families and the dignity of life and religion, women were sacred to our society and were treated in accordance with that special status.

Today, in the craze to be the same and not just equal, feminists forfeit the specialness and sacredness that should accompany a gender created for purposes that men can’t fulfill. The need to sell headlines, to drive digital clicks and to sensationalize every bit of “news” has corrupted the value and meaning of words that are misappropriated. That misuse, in the case of the horrors of violence against women, diminishes the victims and protects the perpetrators. Oh, and don’t forget that the political Left, under the guise of speech, glorifies, monetizes and makes cause célèbre of women as objects, the distortion of gender and the perversion of sex.

Let’s commit to the dignity of life, the value of the female gender and the act of mutual respect in every aspect of society by correctly identifying misbehavior, punishing illegal acts and understanding both genders.


A Harrowing Trip to 'Flyover Country'

A former resident of the Leftmedia bubble spends a little time with everyday Americans ... who aren't crazy.

If you spend time watching any of the so-called mainstream media outlets, you’ll quickly discover that there’s nothing mainstream about them. The talkingheads, writers and producers of CNN, MSNBC and, yes, in some cases Fox News, think that the DC Swamp reflects the values, mindset and culture of most Americans.

Unfortunately, those who believe what they see on these networks have a grossly distorted understanding of their fellow Americans. CNN viewers, for example, must believe that all those sad souls living between DC and San Francisco are like the prisoners in Plato’s Republic, desperately needing to be led out of the dark cave by enlightened “liberals.”

There are many erroneous assumptions made by the media about Middle America. They think we’re generally a collection of uneducated white supremacists, gun-toters and religious zealots. They think we want the federal government shut down simply because we embrace federalism, or that we want the Old South to rise again when we talk about restoring traditional values.

They forget that we’re the ones who fought against slavery, Jim Crow and the KKK, and that our history is one of standing up for the rights of all Americans. Conversely, the Left is notorious for shutting down anyone with opposing viewpoints, and for oppressing and minimizing those who don’t see things as they do. They don’t merely detest those of us who live far away from the big cities on the coasts; they want to silence us.

Ken Stern, former CEO of National Public Radio, writes, “When you are liberal, and everyone else around you is as well, it is easy to fall into groupthink on what stories are important, what sources are legitimate and what the narrative of the day will be.”

So, he decided to gain some life experience. “For an entire year, I embedded myself with the other side, standing in pit row at a NASCAR race, hanging out at Tea Party meetings and sitting in on Steve Bannon’s radio show,” he recounts. “I found an America far different from the one depicted in the press and imagined by presidents (‘cling to guns or religion’) and presidential candidates (‘basket of deplorables’) alike.”

We’re shocked — shocked!

One great example Stern notes: The issue of defensive gun use (DGU) “is often dismissed by the media as myth.” Indeed, to them, anyone who owns a gun is a potential criminal, and the concept that citizens might actually own and use guns as a means of self-defense is as alien to the Left as the idea of free speech. But, Stern explains, “DGUs happen all the time — 200 times a day, according to the Department of Justice, or 5,000 times a day, according to an overly exuberant Florida State University study. But whichever study you choose to believe, DGUs happen frequently and give credence to my hunting friends who see their guns as the last line of defense for themselves and their families.”

See what happens when you actually leave the Mother Ship to meet those strange conservative creatures living on terra firma? You learn that we’re not so crazy, that we have some pretty good ideas about making our country a better place, and that our minds are open to just about anyone willing to consider the idea that constitutionally limited government and Liberty are still worth fighting for.

Some may suggest that the ever-growing chasm between red and blue states is a relatively harmless characteristic, a mere phase of evolution. But this phase is more like a seismic shift of the sort that we haven’t seen in 150 years.

Even during the tumultuous period of the civil rights movement, while blacks and whites couldn’t drink from the same fountains or eat in the same restaurants, we read the same books, believed in a higher power, and watched the same movies. We all believed in free speech, religious liberty, and the basic ideals that founded our country, at least in principle if not always in practice.

Cultural commonalities are essential in keeping society together. These bonds ensure that when there is serious upheaval, we can ride out the storm.

We emerged stronger and even more united after previous upheavals. But this time seems different. We can all feel it, and progressives and conservatives are all talking about it. This time, instead of looking for solutions, we’re pulling away from each other. And unlike conservatives, most of whom are willing and eager to have a discussion, those on the Left seem content only with launching hateful attacks.

Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, writes, “Those who create our culture feel free to lecture normal Americans — on news shows, on late night comedy shows. Why do they have such a propensity for violence? What is their love for guns? Why do they join the National Rifle Association? The influential grind away with their disdain for their fellow Americans, whom they seem less to want to help than to dominate: Give up your gun, bake my cake, free speech isn’t free if what you’re saying triggers us.”

Yep, it’s their way or the highway. But that’s not how our Founding Fathers hashed out a new Constitution in Philadelphia.

Where we go from here is anybody’s guess, but as long as those with the power to influence our culture continue to paint a picture of Middle America as a backwater full of “deplorables,” as long as those with traditional values are belittled and dismissed, and as long as the Left is willing to destroy our constitutional rights to implement their New Society, the divide will grow wider and deeper.


Great literature is not elite literature

Two newspapers and a mass of tweeters panicked around the headline “Student forces Cambridge to drop white authors”, though it was sheepishly corrected a day later. An open letter co-written by a student union officer, Lola Olufemi, had called for “decolonisation” of the English literature syllabus, criticising the “ ‘traditional’ and ‘canonical’ approach that elevates white male authors at the expense of all others"

Great literature makes you feel, suffer and laugh with people of other times and cultures, which is why the approach of some decolonisers is depressing. Dr Gopal writes of those “not used to seeing themselves reflected in the mirror of conventional learning — whether women, gay people, disabled people, the working classes or ethnic minorities”. Ms Olufemi deplores the “white male elevated at the expense of all others”. Both are talking as if all our great literature was written by pampered colonialist toffs, possibly with top hats and horsewhips.

But great books, plays and poems are not written by nation-states, and rarely by men of power. They are written by individuals, often vulnerable. When Dr Gopal says “elite white men”, who is she thinking of? Shakespeare the country glovemaker’s son and precarious wandering actor? Dickens, thrown into the blacking factory at 12 with a father in prison? The bankrupt Defoe? Samuel Johnson, dependent on arrogant patrons, who described Jamaican plantations as “dreadful wickedness” and shocked an Oxford dinner party by drinking to “the next insurrection of negroes”? He maintained in his household a freed slave who became his main heir.

Or maybe your cartoon “elitist” is William Blake, a tradesman apprentice often mocked for what we now call mental health “issues”. Or the debt-ridden addict Coleridge. Or George Eliot, having to disguise her gender and unconventional love life. Austen herself was a dependent spinster aunt in an age with little respect for such women (or for governesses like the Brontë sisters). How “elite” is poor Keats, orphaned at eight, nursing his brother’s TB in damp rooms and dead by 25, an outsider who felt his “name was writ in water”? Maybe your idea of a privileged establishment man is Milton, defying parliament and censorship in the magnificent Areopagitica, going blind, dying poor.

To have them all dismissed as Bullingdon bravos, swaggering around at the expense of BME genius, is a bit harsh. Of course some writers always had ease and income (like modern academics). But few of those became the greatest. Outsiders, invalids and mavericks have shone in the despised “canon” for centuries, and most of them would be delighted to encounter “postcolonial” writers from the global south. One academic, Malachi McIntosh, says the canon involves “sepia-tinged nostalgia for a past that never was”. This is unfair. Of course there is such nostalgia: ghastly TV bonnet dramas, empty-headed Downtonalia, Dickens-themed tablemats. But you don’t find it among real scholars, glorying in past magicians of story and language whose sparks still kindle our hearts.

There should be no sides here. Let both show respect and be, as Milton says, “of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle and sinewy to discours”. Not sullen, suspicious and prejudiced.



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

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

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



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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