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

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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

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

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


30 October, 2015

You can't beat hard-wiring (genes)

As the feminist below found out.  I know another mother who was herself a Tomboy (but never a feminist) and who still rarely primps, who has been puzzled to find that she has a very girly little girl.  At her 4th birthday party, the little girl was wearing a plastic tiara and someone said to her, "You're a princess today".  The little girl replied "I am always a princess".  But that mother is amused rather than bothered as she has a sister who is very feminine.  It was there in the genes all along, as it obviously was in the case below

Why do I care that my daughter's a girly girl?

My three-year-old daughter Alice is obsessed with pink and princesses. She spends most of the day pretending to be a princess (I'm the prince and I get to rescue her on my horse), or a bride (I have to propose, give her flowers and then we get married) or a mummy (there's nothing quite as humiliating as a three-year-old pretending to change your nappy [diaper] and calling you stinky).

She almost always wears pink and has as much interest in stereotypically 'boy' toys as she does in my imaginary smelly nappy.

A few days ago, she told me that boys can't wear dresses. Surprised, I told her that anyone can wear whatever they want. It made no difference: she was convinced that this was the rule and I was wrong.

Last week, when she asked me to be the prince and rescue her from the monster, I suggested she rescue me instead.

She looked at me like I had lost my mind. At this point I was rolling around on the floor crying 'Help! I've fallen off my horse!' Unmoved, she asked when we were getting married.

I'm a feminist, and I hate it when people decide a car is a toy for a boy, or a fairy outfit is for a girl. People should be able to like whatever they want and dress however they want.

Yet I'm also a huge hypocrite - Alice has girly girl tastes, and I'm embarrassed by it.

I find myself making excuses for her love of pink dresses and frilly aprons. Every time she asks me to buy her a doll, I secretly cringe.

I've tried to push the princesses I think are better role models – 'Oh Belle, she's so clever and she likes reading books!' 'Isn't Elsa a strong, independent female!' I can hear myself but I can't stop.

In stories that only praise girls for being pretty and nice, I add in a bit about them being clever or interesting too.

When I decorated Alice's bedroom, she was still young enough not to care about how it looked. I bought a jungle themed duvet and covered the walls with stickers of animals and trees.   This was for selfish reasons. I didn't want to spend every evening reading her bedtime stories staring into the glassy eyes of Disney princesses.

Last night came the moment I was dreading: Alice asked me to take down the animal stickers and put up pictures of princesses.

I said yes, hoping she'd forget. She hasn't forgotten.  I'll put up the princess stickers and tell her it looks lovely, but really I won't like it at all.

It's not for me to tell her what she can and can't like, and it would be weird to push her to play with cars and train sets when she doesn't want to, but still. I still feel it.

Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel I have to justify her traditionally feminine tastes? Why do I think other people are judging me for having a girly girl?

I think it's because I worry people will assume I've encouraged Alice's interest in stereotypically 'female' things, as though I've told her pink is for girls and blue is for boys.

Partly it's because I don't like the message many of the older Disney stories convey – that girls are damsels in distress, waiting to be rescued by a man.

I want my daughter to be strong and to save herself. I also know this is ridiculous. She is a strong-willed, confident child. She isn't remotely submissive to anyone.

Alice's fascination with girly things looks like she is just doing what society is telling her to do, rather than making an independent decision.  Yet it is her decision. So maybe as a feminist I should embrace it. She is being who she wants to be, after all.

It's no indication of what she'll be like as an adult, or even as a teenager. If she likes pink, so what?

I doubt she ever looks at one of her Barbies and feels upset that her own body doesn't match the dolls'.

I don't think she sees the doll as a mini person. It's just a thing to wear dresses and get married.

I do wonder where her interest in pink has come from, and why she is convinced that boys can't wear dresses.

At her nursery, I've seen boys in princess dresses, complete with tiaras and sparkly kitten heels. Why has she decided it's wrong?

As a feminist, I believe people shouldn't be forced to act in a certain way based on what gender they are.

It's an effort, but I'm going to embrace the pink. Maybe my younger daughter will be into monster trucks and burping contests.


New Petition Wants Victoria's Secret to Feature Transgender Person on Runway

A new petition at the website Change.org is asking women’s clothing store Victoria’s Secret to hire Carmen Carrera, a transgender person, to model as one of their "angels."

Carrera, 30, was born Christopher Roman. He was a reality TV star on the show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and also appeared in the Meryl Streep film “Ricky and the Flash.”

The petition has nearly 50,000 signatures. It was launched by Carrera fan Marco Regalado, who writes on the page:

    "By asking Carmen to be a model, Victoria's Secret would show the entire community that they embrace trans patrons. There are so many prejudices toward the trans community, even within the LGBT community, and many trans individuals are not seen as real people. To see a transgender model walk would show that trans women are to be taken seriously and that Angels are selected because of their character and talent. As a brand, Victoria's Secret should feel comfortable marketing towards ALL types of women".

Carrera was asked about the petition by Time magazine and replied:

    "I want to do this for the 50,000 people who signed the petition on Change.org. I want to do this for, of course, me and my career. I’m a show girl at heart. If I’m going to do fashion shows, this is the one to do. And I want to do it for my family. I want them to be proud of me. I want them to be like, that’s our kid, we raised that girl right there. And my community, for sure".


UN Official Warns of 'Amputation' of Christianity's DNA in the Middle East

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres expressed concern Tuesday over the exodus of Christians in the Middle East because of the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Guterres said that speaking “as a Christian,” he was “worried about what’s happening in the Middle East.” Guterres referenced the Middle Eastern origins of Christianity and said a religious cleansing of Christians from that part of the world would be “an amputation in the DNA of Christianity and in the DNA of the Middle East.”

“Allow me to speak here also as a Christian, which I probably shouldn’t,” Guterres said at a discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  “I must say that I’m worried about what’s happening in the Middle East.

“People in my country, and of course I cannot mention the United States because it’s a young nation except for the populations that were here already long ago, but in my country (Portugal), people were still worshipping the trees and the rivers; and the Christians in the Middle East, in Alexandria, in Antioch, in Caesarea…they were discussing whether the Holy Ghost was coming from the Father or from the Father and the Son,” said Guterres.

“I mean that is where Christianity was born, and to see these communities at the risk of being eradicated from that area is something I consider with horror. So independently of the importance of the resettlement program, I think that the international community must do everything possible to create the conditions for these communities to be able not to be religiously cleansed, I mean from that part of the world that would be to really do an amputation in the DNA of Christianity and in the DNA of the Middle East.

“This has nothing to do with the support to individuals that need resettlement, but we need also to mobilize the efforts of the international community in order to preserve those communities that are in the very origin of Christianity as Christianity exists today,” Guterres concluded.

Pope Francis also expressed concern over the exodus of Christians from the Middle East in a meeting Monday with Chaldean Catholic bishops from the region.

“Today the situation in your lands of origin is gravely compromised by the fanatical hatred sown by terrorism, which continues to cause a great hemorrhage of faithful who leave the lands of their fathers, where they grew up firmly rooted in the furrow of tradition,” the Pope said.

“I pray that Christians will not be forced to abandon Iraq and the Middle East,” he added. “I think especially of the sons and daughters of your Church, and their rich traditions.”



So what if Ben Carson is a creationist?

by Jeff Jacoby

THE TV NEWS was on, and there was a story about the leading candidates in the Republican presidential field.  "So if Donald Trump gets the nomination," my liberal friend needled me, "are you going to vote for him?"

"He's not going to be the nominee," I said, "but I wouldn't vote for him in any case."

"What about Ben Carson?" he wanted to know.

I like what I've seen of Carson's personality and character, I replied, but I couldn't imagine backing someone so inexperienced for president. Then I added: "He'd make a great surgeon general, though!"

I meant it lightheartedly, but my companion was appalled. A surgeon general who doesn't accept Darwinian evolution? I couldn't really imagine Carson in that post, could I?

Now it was my turn to be amazed. Carson is an eminent physician and surgeon. He was a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, and spent 29 years as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In a 2001 celebration of "researchers and doctors who are changing our world," Time magazine hailed Carson as one of America's best scientists and physicians. The Library of Congress, no less, declared him a "living legend." Surely even the most impassioned liberal couldn't argue that Carson, whatever his political or religious beliefs, would lack the scientific and medical chops to make a fine surgeon general, the nation's leading spokesman on matters of public health.

Nonsense, said my liberal friend. Someone who questions the fundamental scientific understanding of the development of life on earth would have little credibility on any scientific topic, including public health. Carson may be a great surgeon, but if he rejects such bedrock scientific findings, who knows what other well-founded data he would refuse to acknowledge?

It is certainly true that Carson denies that life developed through random, unguided genetic mutations over millions of centuries. It is also true that he believes in literal six-day creationism (though he's agnostic on the question of the planet's age) and that he attributes the rise of Darwinian thinking to the influence of "the Adversary," — i.e., Satan. Those are not mainstream views, but Carson has plainly thought about the subject and hasn't been shy about explaining his conclusions, in both religious and scientific terms.

To be sure, he is seeking the presidency, not the office of surgeon general or any other science-related position. But would Carson's views on evolution and Creation be such a red flag to Democrats if his views generally were more in line with left-wing priorities?

A trailblazing pediatric neurosurgeon, Ben Carson specialized in traumatic brain injuries, brain and spinal cord tumors, and congenital disorders. In 1987, he was the first to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head.

The best-known and most beloved surgeon general of all — C. Everett Koop — is remembered for his early leadership in fighting AIDS and for warning bluntly that smoking was harmful. Liberals admired him for putting public health before politics or ideology. Yet Koop, too, was skeptical of Darwinism. "It has been my conviction for many years that evolution is impossible," he wrote in a 1986 letter. Like Carson, Koop also believed that Genesis should be taken at face value, not as "something like parables." Yet those views clearly were no barrier to Koop's nonpareil service as surgeon general.

Similarly, Carson's decades of remarkable medical achievement should quell any suggestion that his biblical views about the development of life "in the beginning" have impeded his scholarship and skill at saving and improving lives in the present. All faiths (including dogmatic atheism) incorporate teachings that cannot be supported by mainstream science. Water into wine? Manna from heaven? Golden plates from an angel in New York? A universe that spontaneously created itself?

Can you regard someone's religious creed as preposterous, yet entrust the person who is faithful to that creed with public office? Of course; Americans do it all the time. I can't see Carson as president, but what I really can't see is why his religion or his doubts about evolution (neither of which I share) should even enter the conversation.



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

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

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


29 October, 2015

Debunking some more chapters of the Mideast ‘narrative’

There comes a time in people’s lives when they believe that they have heard it all only to discover some more proof of how far some twisted minds are willing and ready to stretch their half-baked truths, embellished version of historical events coupled with their fertile Levantine imagination in order to advance their own agenda. What is most troublesome though is that many innocent, yet intelligent minds fall prey to it and keep spreading these “narratives,” as I call them, all in the name of what is “right” “fair” and “accurate.”

It was precisely in the name of “fairness” “accuracy” and “factual history” that one of my students told me one day last week that the term “anti-Semitism” applied to all Semites and not just to Jews. It was during a heated debate following a presentation, part of an English class assignment, by another student on the rock group “Pink Floyd.”  The name Roger Waters, naturally, came up and his anti-Semitic/anti-Zionist ploys were discussed

True, Jews are not the only Semites and please believe me, the term “anti-Semitism” is not one I covet when it comes to the hatred that some bear towards Jews. And yes, I have heard others, mainly Arabs composing a carefully manipulative narrative in which they claim joint-ownership and rights for the term. Sorry to confuse you with facts, dear Arabs, my fellow Semitic members of the human race. Anti-Semitism refers to the Jews and the Jews only!

Here is why.

When the German agitator, Wilhelm Marr coined the term in 1879, it was for the sole purpose to “designate the anti-Jewish campaign underway in central Europe at that time.” (http://www.britannica.com/topic/anti-Semitism)

The Arab world in itself, however, would not have been able to manufacture any “narratives,” spread them widely and successfully had it not received support and a welcoming audience from a world that feels guilty and is therefore driven by Political correctness.

The recent exaggerated worldwide response to PM Netanyahu’s description of the Jerusalem Mufti’s WWII role of advising Hitler for the best and most effective means to rid the world of Jews is a perfect example of that worldwide support.

Benjamin Netanyahu, himself the son of a very credible historian dared to refute one such “narrative,” the one diminishing the great part Arabs had in the extermination of European Jewry. True, the Jerusalem Mufti and the Arab/Muslim world may not have written “Mein Kampf” and did not actively engage in pouring the Zyklon B into the showerheads of the extermination camps but to exempt the Mufti and those he represented from any responsibility for what my parents’ generation endured is a most outrageous denial of a historical fact. This fact is recorded in the form of the transcript of the conversation between the Mufti and Hitler which Netanyahu clearly related to all and which establishes the strong alliance between Nazism and Arabism beyond any shadow of doubt.

Furthermore, Germany’s rush to claim total responsibility for the Shoah without recognizing the contributions of the Arab world for their complicity merely aids the Arabs/Muslim “narrative” and absolves Arabism from its shared goals with Nazism. What’s next, may I ask, enshrining the Mufti with the honorary title of a “Righteous Gentile?”

Another “narrative” is being woven by the Arab/ Muslim world as we speak. This one relates to the Jewish ownership of the Temple Mount. Yes, it is Jewish! And yes, it belongs to Am Yisrael as is evident by none other than the Wakf’s own admission.

The Official 1925 Supreme Moslem Council (Wakf) Guide Book to the Temple Mount proudly proclaims, on page four, paragraph two  “ the Temple Mount’s inexorable connection to the Holy Temple built by King Solomon on land purchased by King David, complete with reference to II Samuel 24:25.”

Unfortunately, in this case, we, Am Yisrael, have immensely contributed to the authorship and the spread of this “narrative.” After the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel recaptured that portion of Jerusalem which was illegally occupied by Jordan since 1948, we proceeded in an ill-judged gesture of goodwill to hand over to those who wish to destroy us the keys to the holiest place of our people. Now, before anyone jumps at me, let me state I do not belong to those who call for the destruction of Al Aqsa so that we can rebuild our Temple. That is the Modus Operandi of the enemies of Israel and world civilization, not Israel’s.

Regrettably, “narratives,” Jewish ones, ones that aid, improve and even perfect the circulation of the ones created by the Arab/Muslim world are also being written by our own Jewish leaders and their blind devotees.

A few months ago, an Arab family was appallingly attacked by some terrorists. The arson attack which took place in the town of Duma in Judea and Samaria resulted in the painful death of a baby, his mother and father. The essayist of this Jewish “narrative” hastened to blame “Jewish terrorism” for the act. They declared it without any shred of solid evidence. Their “narrative,” I suspect, may have partly helped fan the flames of hatred that are currently burning Jewish lives.

As long as any side of the Middle East conflict refuses to adhere to facts only, as long as a “narrative” version of events is what dictates their policies, the chances for a long awaited Peaceful Existence in our troubled region are get slimmer and slimmer.


Cardinal Drops Bomb on Political Correctness

Report from the Synod on the Family in Rome.  The Synod was convened and opened by the Pope

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, responding to a question at today's Synod presser about the use of pastoral language, declared, "There's been a lot of emphasis on using language that doesn't offend, politically correct, if you like, language. I'm not sure that that's the best way to be prophetic."

The prelate from Durban, South Africa clarified what he meant by prophetic language, stating:

"When we look at the problems that we've been studying during this three weeks, there are two possibilities: the one is to look at it from the pastoral point of view, where you're trying to reach out to people and to administer to them. The other one which has been, I would say, has been de-emphasized at this time, even at the Synod last year, is the prophetic, where, like John the Baptist, you say you got to repent, and these are the sins and you name them as they are. I think that's the difference."

Incidentally the specific question to which Cdl. Napier — delegate president of the Synod — responded was: "If the Church abandons the phrase 'intrinsically evil' in describing homosexual sex, anal sex ... can you tell me what specific wording, if any, has been suggested for replacing the term 'intrinsically evil'?"

Polite, pastoral language is becoming more of a hot-button issue as the Synod heads to its conclusion this weeked. Many are wondering what language will be used by the 10-member drafting committee charged with preparing the Synod's final report.

To this end, Napier, the number three man at the synod, last week voiced his apprehension over the 10 members of the drafting committee, stating, "I really would share" concerns about "the choice of the people that are writing up the final document." He added, "If we're going to get a fair expression of what the Synod is about, [such as] what the Church in Africa really would like to see happening," he said, then different people should be chosen.

"We wouldn't like to see the same kind of people on that committee who were there the last time, who caused us the grief that we had," he said, referring to a controversial interim report in last year's synod with its dubious wording.

Reporting from Rome, ChurchMilitant.com's Michael Voris said of this press conference, "In one way, it was sort of the most realistic press briefing giving an account of what should be the case, what the Church should be talking about, of all the various problems besetting families."


Online Lefties slam Abbott's speech about dubious "refugees"

FORMER [Australian] prime minister Tony Abbott has been accused of “embarrassing Australia” at a prestigious gathering in London, where he urged European nations to turn back refugees fleeing the war torn Middle East.

Delivering the Margaret Thatcher lecture in London on Tuesday night, Mr Abbott warned of the “catastrophic error” Europe was making in its readiness to take in refugees from war-torn countries, offering his government’s tough boat-stopping strategy as an experience that “should be studied”.

Though the conservative crowd cheered the deposed leader, Abbott’s online audience hasn’t been so kind.

Greens Senator and asylum seeker advocate Sarah Hansen-Young was one of the first to distance herself from our former PM advocating anti-immigration message abroad.  “Tony Abbott still making a fool of himself and embarrassing Australia,” she wrote on Twitter. “His obsession with pushing people in need away is beyond belief.”

And she wasn't the only one critical of Abbott’s harsh words.

Abbott’s repetition of his government’s achievements like stopping the boats and repealing the carbon tax — phrases Australians have grown tired of hearing him rattle off — were also targeted on social media.

Mr Abbott’s uncharacteristic departure from his Christian values — namely, his criticism of other Western countries’ “love thy neighbour” approach to welcoming asylum seekers — has also angered Catholic priests.

A former Bishop told Fairfax he was astounded and appalled by Abbott’s use of Bible passages to preach such a “hard-hearted” approach to refugees.  “I’m ashamed that a former Australian PM would be putting out a message like this,” retired Bishop Pat Power said.

“People will make their own judgments but that’s completely at odds with what’s at the heart of Christianity. I’m certainly offended.”

In the interest of balance, news.com.au searched for, but struggled to find, praise of Mr Abbott’s speech in social media comments.

There was one positive comment from Melbourne-based Briton Antonia Mocham: “Only good thing about the Abbott speech is that no-one in Europe seems to have noticed it happened.”


Australia: The TRUTH about the fight against the proposed Bendigo mosque

The VCAT is a Human Rights tribunal

If anyone is foolish enough to believe what is being printed in our media about the outcome of the Bendigo mosque VCAT hearing last week or if anyone has any delusions that our win at VCAT was anything but a major and significant victory, let me begin by saying that had there been any opportunity for VCAT to force this mosque permit through, they most certainly would have.

The postponement of the hearing to the 23rd of February 2016 did not happen simply because VCAT President, Greg Garde was feeling benevolent toward us. It was because he had absolutely NO CHOICE.

Robert Balzola dismantled their case and they were unable to rebut his argument.

Of great significance was the complete annihilation of the Human Rights Charter argument by the lawyers acting for the Bendigo Council and those acting for the Australian Islamic Mission incorporated.

They played the discrimination card citing violations of the Human Rights Charter if the Australian Islamic Mission incorporated was denied their massive mosque in a quiet Bendigo residential area.

What they didn’t realize was that Robert Balzola is an expert on the Human Rights Charter, in particular, the Geneva Convention Human Rights Charter to which Australia is a signatory.

He pointed out that neither the City of Greater Bendigo nor the Australian Islamic Mission incorporated are covered under any Human Rights Charter because they are both corporations and not a ‘natural person’.

He told VCAT that the only person in this entire VCAT matter that was covered by the Human Rights Charter was Ms Julie Hoskin.

Robert Balzola then went on to list a raft of Human Rights violations that the City of Greater Bendigo and the Australian Islamic Mission incorporated had committed against us.

This puts a whole new slant on the conduct of the Bendigo Council toward the residents of Bendigo and potential grounds for appeal to the Human Rights Commission to bring them to account for their abuse.

Furthermore, numerous other violations and breaches of the law were raised as well as the monumentally flawed and unacceptable documents contained in the planning file for the mosque.

The performance and conduct of the council and the councilors was raised as well as the pecuniary interests of a number of current councilors in direct connection to the mosque development.

It was raised that these same councilors did not refrain from voting as they are meant to do when the mosque permit was presented for approval at the public council meeting on the 18th June 2014.

Again, do not believe anything that is presented in the media.



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

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

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


28 October, 2015

Germany's secret service warns the country 'is importing Islamic extremism, anti-Semitism, other people's ethnic conflicts and a different understanding of society'

Germany's intelligence agencies have expressed serious concerns over the huge influx of migrants harbouring extremist views, it has been reported.

A security document has warned of the damaging consequences of Berlin's open-door policy which is expected to see around one million refugees enter the country this year alone.

It read: 'We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples as well as a different societal and legal understanding.'

Security sources also fear the integration of migrants 'is no longer possible' because so many already live in isolated communities.

The document, seen by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, added: 'German security agencies... will not be in the position to solve these imported security problems and thereby the arising reactions from Germany's population.'

A senior level security official also told the paper that 'the high influx of people from all parts of the world will lead to instability in our land', it was reported by The Jerusalem Post.

The official added: 'Mainstream civil society is radicalising because the majority don't want migration and they are being forced by the political elite.'

The concerns have been voiced by the four major security agencies in Germany – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Police and Federal Criminal Police Office.

Germany – which is braced for around one million asylum seekers this year – has seen a spike in violence at registration centres in recent weeks as conditions deteriorate and tempers boil over.

Over the weekend, police sprayed left-wing protesters with a water cannon to keep them apart from an anti-Islam demonstration by a far-right group in western Germany.

Some 3,500 police in full riot gear were in Cologne yesterday afternoon, sometimes stepping in to keep the two groups from fighting.

About 10,000 people - including many families waving signs reading 'refugees welcome' - were protesting the demonstration Sunday by 1,000 from a group called 'Hooligans against Salafists,' the dpa news agency reported.

The more-radical offshoot of Dresden's anti-Islam PEGIDA group had clashed with counter-protesters last year in Cologne, injuring dozens. Police have stepped up measures this year to try and prevent similar violence.

Sex attacks are also now said to be an everyday event while in one state alone there are understood to have been 100 cases of violence in just the last three months.

Some women are even reportedly being forced to become €10-a-day prostitutes, local media reported.

More than 670,000 people have reached European soil this year - many of them fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - in the continent's worst migration crisis since World War II.

Slovenia's premier this weekend warned the European Union that it 'is weeks away from falling apart' if the bloc cannot agree on a plan to confront the sudden influx of refugees through the Balkans.

Nine days after Hungary's move to seal its southern border drove unprecedented migrant flows into tiny Slovenia, Prime Minister Miro Cerar sent out a dramatic call to fellow central and eastern leaders in Brussels for emergency talks.

He said: 'If we don't find a solution today, if we don't do everything we can today, then it is the end of the European Union as such. If we don't deliver concrete action, I believe Europe will start falling apart.'

Since October 17, more than 62,000 migrants have arrived in Slovenia, with some 14,000 still passing through the country on today alone.

Cerar said Croatia, which has already seen some 230,000 migrants pass through since mid-September, was still waiving migrants through into Slovenia without alerting Slovenia authorities.


Danish woman, 22, who dropped out of college to fight ISIS in Iraq has her passport confiscated by police in her homeland

A young Danish woman who dropped out of college and travelled to Iraq to fight ISIS has had her passport confiscated in Copenhagen.

Joanna Palani became famous worldwide when she declared she was leaving Denmark and heading to the Middle East to fight the terrorist group.

The 22-year-old, of Kurdish descent, is one of many Westerners to join the fight against ISIS in the Syrian city of Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab. Syrian Kurds in the city, assisted by Iraqi Peshmerga troops and US and Arab coalition warplanes, eventually forced hundreds of militants out of the centre of the city.

On one of her Facebook posts, she published a photograph of herself smiling while wearing military fatigues, a bulletproof vest and carrying a large assault rifle - threatening ISIS militants with the words: 'See you on the front-line tomorrow'.

With the city now being rebuilt, she returned to Denmark for a brief respite from war - but had her passport seized by police and the Danish intelligence service PET.

She said: 'They have forbidden me from leaving Denmark. That puts me in the dilemma that I cannot continue my service down there as a soldier.'

She said: 'How can I pose a threat to Denmark and other countries by being a soldier in an official army that Denmark trains and supports directly in the fight against the Islamic State?'

Minister of Justice Soren Pind told Danish national daily newspaper Berlingske over the weekend that Denmark's foreign fighter law is 'very clear' but suggested that Palani could challenge the decision in court.

Palani meanwhile has said she will appeal.

In an interview last year she said: 'I love Denmark. I grew up here and I love the freedom of our society.

'If Denmark should ever be attacked, I will go to the front-line with a Danish flag around my shoulders.

'But I have Kurdish family, and right now it is the Kurds who are being attacked by brainwashed Islamists.'


The Silliness Surrounding Mascot Nicknames Continues

“California Bans Use of ‘Redskins’ as School Mascot or Team Name,” according to a recent headline in the Sacramento Bee. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill implementing that prohibition statewide, apparently “without comment,” on Sunday, October 11.

According to the same newspaper story, the new law affects just four California high schools, located in Calaveras, Merced and Madera counties. The law allows those schools to “keep uniforms bearing the [supposedly offensive] name if they [were] purchased before 2017”, provided that “the school selects a new team name, mascot or nickname.”

Doesn’t California’s legislature and its governor have more important things to worry about, such as addressing chronically large public budget deficits and municipal bankruptcies caused by excessive spending and colossal unfunded liabilities in governmental employees’ excessively generous pension and healthcare programs?

The “controversy” over the Redskins’ nickname has been simmering for the past several years, originating from a small, but vocal group of members of the Oneida tribe of Native Americans, expressing outrage at the moniker of Washington, DC’s NFL football team. Dan Snyder, the franchise’s principal owner, thus far has resisted demands to change the team’s name and its widely known logos, despite a decision not very long ago by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office not to enforce his private property rights.

The controversy now has moved West in a new law sponsored by California Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), proving that if a well-organized special-interest group can express its grievances effectively in the public sphere, those grievances will be endorsed by reelection-minded politicians. California’s action on an issue that affects the nicknames of just four state high schools foreshadows indulgence of grievances on almost any other perceived wrong, no matter how trivial those “injustices” may be in the larger scheme of things.

High-school civics classes teach that our governmental representatives serve the “public’s interest.” But, California’s banning of “Redskins” supports public choice reasoning that self-interested members of the legislative and executive branches of government in fact cater to special interests. If “Redskins” is offensive, so too, in the words of my Independent Institute colleague Randy Holcombe, is “Yankees.” No end is in sight to the limits of “trigger words” to which anyone, anywhere can take offense.

To his credit, Governor Brown vetoed a bill on the same day that would have prohibited naming public buildings and roads after prominent civilian and military leaders of the “lost cause” of the Confederate States of America.

History happened. Removing Confederate symbols from state flags, knocking down statues honoring fallen Confederate soldiers, or placing a bell recognizing Martin Luther King atop Georgia’s Stone Mountain cannot erase the past. Such tactics are similar in form and substance to the aims of of ISIS, which wants to return the globe to the time of Mohammed, roughly the year 700 AD.

Unless America’s citizenry is willing to empower an Orwellian Ministry of Truth so as to expunge all uncomfortable truths, it is high time for government to stop trying to put everyone’s mind at ease.


Crazy like a fox

by Caroline B. Glick

No, the Holocaust was not Husseini’s idea. But he was a partner in perpetrating and promoting it. He also made it inevitable

Netanyahu’s assertion on Tuesday before the World Zionist Congress that the founder of the Palestinian people, Haj Amin al-Husseini, convinced Adolf Hitler to eradicate rather than expel the Jews of Europe was an overstatement of Husseini’s role.

No, the Holocaust was not Husseini’s idea. But he was a partner in perpetrating and promoting it. He also made it inevitable.

As I detailed in my book The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, during the course of Husseini’s meeting with Hitler in Berlin in November 1941, Hitler told the Arab leader of his plan to eradicate European Jewry.

Husseini told Hitler that he would support the Nazis, and rally the Arab world to their side, if Hitler agreed to two conditions: that Hitler support his bid to rule over a postwar Arab state comprised of present-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel; and that Hitler support the genocide of Middle Eastern Jewry.

As both the official Nazi record and Husseini’s summary of the meeting in his diary report, Hitler accepted Husseini’s demands.  And it makes sense that he did.

Husseini proved his loyalty to the Nazis long before he arrived in Berlin. His romance with them began with Hitler’s election victory in 1933. From then on, Husseini’s followers in Mandatory Palestine greeted one another with the Nazi salute. Swastikas festooned their towns. The Nazis began directly funding Husseini’s terror war against the Jews of Israel and British Mandatory officials in 1937.

In 1937, the British forced Husseini to flee the country. In 1941, he organized and incited a pro-Nazi military coup in Iraq. The British were forced to invade Iraq in response to the coup.

Husseini then fled to Rome where he met with Mussolini and went on the Berlin, where he remained for the duration of the war.

As the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Husseini invented and shaped the Palestinian national ethos in a manner that aligned with his pathological hatred of the Jews. Rather than providing the Palestinian Arabs with a positive vision of a future state that would safeguard and cultivate them as a distinct Arab nation, he shaped Palestinian society as a wholly negative phenomenon. It was seeded in a hybrid hatred of Jews that fused Koranic hostility to Jews with racism-based annihilationist European anti-Semitism rooted in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which Husseini translated and published in Arabic.

The goal of Husseini’s nationalist drive was not to form a Palestinian Arab state, but to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state and to annihilate all aspects of the Jewish national liberation movement through a campaign a terror and political warfare.

Husseini’s goal of leading an Arab state that encompassed Iraq and the entire Levant shows that the founding father of the Palestinian national project did not view “Palestine” as a distinct territorial entity.

After Hitler agreed to both of Husseini’s conditions, Husseini began his active collaboration in the Nazi war effort. He participated in the Holocaust directly. In 1943, he formed the SS Handschar Division comprised of Bosnian Muslims. His troops exterminated 90 percent of Bosnia’s 14,000-member Jewish community.

Husseini used his position as well to scuttle British attempts to trade German prisoners of war for Jews. In one such documented episode, in 1943 Husseini appealed to SS commander Heinrich Himmler to cancel a deal to exchange 4,500 Jewish children and 500 Jewish adults from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to cancel the deal and send the Jews to Auschwitz.

Himmler bowed to his appeal. The Jews were sent to the gas chambers.

Husseini contributed to the Holocaust indirectly.

Beginning shortly after his meeting with Hitler and extending through the end of the war, Husseini broadcast regular programs to the Arab world on Nazi short wave radio in Arabic. In those broadcasts he engendered support for the Nazis and the extermination of world Jewry. Using the mix of Islamic Jew-hatred and European annihilationist anti-Semitism he had developed in Jerusalem, Husseini cultivated a culture of support for the annihilation of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish (then nascent) state in the Land of Israel. That culture, bred through those broadcasts heard regularly by millions throughout the entire Arab world, still holds today.

Husseini was indicted as a war criminal in Nuremberg. Rather than try him, the allies allowed him to flee to Egypt in 1946. There he was greeted as a war hero by King Farouk.

It is true that Hitler didn’t need Husseini to convince him to annihilate European Jewry. By the time Husseini arrived in Germany, the Nazis had already murdered a million Jews.

But Netanyahu’s claim that Husseini made it impossible for Hitler to suffice with expelling the Jews from Europe is true. The only place that wanted the Jews of Europe was the nascent Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

Through his terror war against the Jews and the British Mandatory authorities, and through his incitement of pro-Nazi sentiment in Egypt, Iraq and the Levant, Husseini convinced the British to betray their legal obligation to allow free Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel and so closed off the Jews’ last avenue of escape from Nazi-dominated Europe.

As Netanyahu said, Husseini is revered and glorified by the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat claimed that he was Husseini’s political heir and blood relative as a means of legitimizing his claim to leadership over the Palestinians.

Hamas as well has invoked Husseini as its ideological founding father.

History in hand, it is time to return to Netanyahu, and his overstatement of Husseini’s role in the Holocaust.

From the time of Husseini till today, propaganda and terror have been the Palestinians’ weapons of choice in their war against the Jews. Internally lies are spread of nonexistent Jewish plots and imaginary acts of aggression, to incite and solicit the murder of Jews. Propaganda and lies are then used to glorify the murderers as heroes and martyrs.

Externally, the Palestinians spread lies about Palestinian victimhood at the hands of bloodthirsty Jewish settlers and security forces who seek to drive the Arabs from their homes. By casting themselves as victims to the outside world, the Palestinians ensure that Israeli responses to their acts of aggression are perceived as acts of aggression, which they are fully justified in attempting to defy through murderous rampages against Jews.

The Palestinians recognize that for their terror to be acceptable to the West, they must portray themselves as guileless victims. Hence, they repeatedly insist the absurd claim that terrorists who deliberately kill Jews by running them over, are really merely victims involved in traffic accidents. The Palestinian teenage girl who this week sought to infiltrate the community of Yitzhar with a carving knife, suffers from “sleepwalking.”

These ridiculous lies are only credible in a world devoid of any historical knowledge of the Palestinians’ 95-year history of aggression against the Jews. And so the Palestinians have invented a false history of their war against Israel in which thousands of years of Jewish history is blotted out, and thousands of years of Palestinian history have been invented out of whole cloth.

In this revised version of events, Husseini has been erased from history. His role in the Holocaust has been deleted. The fact that the goal of the Palestinian national movement from its inception has been to annihilate the Jewish state and that the annihilation of Israel remains its goal still today has similarly been washed out of the history books and the news pages.

To maintain this fictional account of current and historical events, the Palestinians depend on the collaboration of the Western media.

And with each passing year, that collaboration has grown more open, expansive and shameless.

Western reporting on the events of the day now are almost entirely devoid of any relationship to reality.

Consider just a few recent examples. CNN’s report of the Palestinian arson assault on Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus on October 16 contained no mention of the fact that the fire at the holy Jewish site was set by Palestinians. In the same report, the network stated, “In the past month, eight Israelis died in 30 attacks involving knives and other weapons.”

As if fires set themselves and angry knives wander the streets.

MSNBC’s reporter Ayman Mohyeldin was caught lying two weeks ago as he claimed that the knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem who was lunging toward security personnel as they killed him, was an unarmed, innocent bystander. As Mohyeldin spewed his lies, the video of the assault that clearly showed the terrorist wielding a knife was being broadcast to his viewers.

That embarrassment didn’t stop MSNBC from maintaining the myth of Israeli aggression, however.

The next week, the network posted a graphic of British Mandatory Palestine from 1946 which it claimed was the State of Palestine in 1946. The graphic them purported to show how the Jews stole ever more Palestinian land in the years that followed. Although the network was forced to broadcast a retraction, the lie that Palestine once existed had already been told.

Then of course there was The New York Times with its stunning “background” piece purporting to provide its readers with historical context regarding the competing Israeli and Palestinian claims regarding the Temple Mount. The Times reported as fact the false claim that there is a debate among respected academics regarding whether the Jewish temples were actually located on the Temple Mount.

In other words, the Times unabashedly participated in the Palestinian project of rewriting history in a manner that erases Jewish history from the Jewish homeland.

Netanyahu recognizes that the media have sided with the Palestinians in their war to destroy Israel through a mix of terror and propaganda.

He knows that the only stories they will report on are stories with an anti-Israel angle. It is reasonable then to assume that he decided to use their embrace of every possible angle of attack as a means to get the truth out about the nature of the war.

By exaggerating Husseini’s importance in the Holocaust, Netanyahu gave the media a means of attacking him. But by doing so, he forced the Times to report on the Palestinians’ founding father’s role in destroying European Jewry and his desire to carry out the Final Solution in the Middle East. They would have ignored the issue if Netanyahu had not exaggerated his actual role.

Due to his “gaffe,” every Western media outlet reported on Husseini’s actions. Some even mentioned that in his PhD dissertation, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the Holocaust was both a myth and a joint Zionist-Nazi project. For most Westerners, this is the first they’ve heard of the fact that the Palestinian’s George Washington was a Nazi war criminal.

Like I said, crazy as a fox.



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

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

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


27 October, 2015

"Not from the UK" = Muslim?

Not hard to guess

A 'mortified' blind woman was told to leave Asda by a security guard - for bringing her guide dog into the supermarket.

Louise Cannon, 34, from Liverpool, had the run-in while doing her weekly shop with her 12-year-old niece, Abbie, and guide dog, Harmony.

The security guard told her 'no dogs, get out' and refused to listen when she desperately tried to explain it was against the law to remove her from the store.  But he refused to budge and began shouting at her to leave.

Ms Cannon, a charity worker, asked the security guard to fetch the store manager, as other customers urged him to change his mind.

The store manager eventually came over and apologised, explaining how the guard was not from the UK and unaware of the law.

She was then allowed to continue with her shop at Asda in Stonycroft but was left feeling embarrassed.

Recalling the incident, she said: 'Everyone was looking at us and it was mortifying and it really was so embarrassing.  'The manager came and apologised and said that the security guard did not know the law as he was not from the UK originally.

'I can deal with that but what I can't accept is to be shouted at when I am a vulnerable women with a child.  'Security guards are supposed to protect you – not intimidate you.

'Everyone was talking about the incident when I got to the tills and I just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible.

'When I got outside I was shaking and I had to cross four lanes of traffic with the dog and my niece while I was in a traumatised state.'

Ms Cannon - who is a charity worker - tried to reason with the security guard, but he started shouting at her

She has vowed never to return to the store after she was made to feel vulnerable. 'I don't want to run into the man again and that is a massive part of my independence taken away', she said.

She went on: 'It is so stressful and demanding to get myself ready, get the harness on the dog and get my niece ready without having to deal with things like this.

'Harmony is not a fashion accessory. She is my mobility aid and is essential for me to live with a high quality of life.

'I have friends who have suffered a similar thing and it is ridiculous - it shouldn't be happening. Guide dogs are as good as gold too.'

A spokesman for Asda said the security guard in question has now been 'retrained'.  He said: 'We are genuinely sorry for how the security guard on duty in our store treated this customer, it was not acceptable.

'The colleague isn't originally from the UK and wasn't familiar with guide dogs being allowed inside shops.  'He has now been retrained.'

A spokesman from the charity Guide Dogs said: 'We're always saddened when we hear about a shop, business, place or transport service refusing access to a guide dog owner.

'The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to deny access to a person accompanied by their assistance dog but the charity Guide Dogs still regularly receives reports from people who have been turned away because they have their guide dog with them.

'Instances like this are incredibly upsetting for the people who experience it.'


The Politically Correct Guide to History

The terrorist attack in Sydney earlier this month has once more left the nation reeling, however it has apparently been deemed offensive to call it terrorism or religious extremism, with the preferred description being the more neutral “politically motivated”.

While this has frustrated some, I have come to realise that by applying such political correctness to other major events we can eliminate all death and destruction from the world.

And so, without further ado, I give you the Politically Correct Guide to History …

The end of the dinosaurs, 66 million BC

Old version: Dinosaurs wiped out by asteroid.

PC version: Non-progressive fauna restructured by rapid climate change.

Rise of hominids, 2-3 million BC

Old version: Human ancestors start eating meat.

PC version: Anthropocentric chauvinists commit mass speciesism.

Dawn of civilisation, 10,000BC

Old version: Humans learn to farm, civilisation begins.

PC version: Patriarchal agrarian society rapes Earth Mother.

Ancient Egypt, 3000BC

Old version: Various persons buried alive, unusually high number of hippo deaths, animal hieroglyphs.

PC version: Advanced eastern kingdom predicts rise of cat videos.

Sack of Troy, 1250BC

Old version: Greeks burn ancient capital to the ground, slaughter population.

PC version: EU emissaries renegotiate terms of trade.

Roman Empire, 44BC

Old version: Rising power colonises Europe, enslaves foreign races, builds aqueducts.

PC version: Cosmopolitan urban lifestyle meets tribal chic.

The Crusades, 1095AD

Old version: Christians and Muslims slaughter each other in the Holy Land.

PC version: Inter-faith dialogue.

Spanish Inquisition, 1478AD

Old version: Catholics torture non-Catholics until they admit to devil worship.

PC version: Advanced studies in comparative religion.

Discovery of Australia, 1770AD

Old version: Captain Cook comes to Australia, leaves again.

PC version: Captain Cook comes to Australia, kills everybody.

World War I, 1914-18

Old version: Nutter shoots duke and so 16 million people get slaughtered.

PC version: Physical expression of contrasting geopolitical perspectives.

World War II, 1939-45

Old version: Hitler invades Poland, kills Jews.

PC version: Programmatic population redistribution.

Stalinist Russia, 1922-52

Old version: Stalin invades Poland, kills Jews.

PC version: Advancement of progressive socialism.

Assassination of JFK, 1963

Old version: US president shot dead in Dallas.

PC version: Vertical hierarchical adjustment.

September 11 attacks, 2001

Old version: al-Qaeda terrorists hijack passenger planes, destroy World Trade Center, murder almost 3,000 people.

PC version: Disenfranchised non-Anglo-Saxon males advance counter-narrative to free market capitalism.

Martin Place siege, 2014

Old version: ISIS-inspired terrorist takes innocent cafe customers hostage.

PC version: Anti-war activist with mental health concerns raises awareness of international issues.

Parramatta shooting, 2015

Old version: Radicalised youth executes random police worker shouting “Allah is great!”

PC version: Politically motivated.



By Ron Edwards

The politically correct control freaks are on the move and way beyond crazy. For example, political correct lemmings are so goofy they want to let terrorists and other illegal immigrants into America while attacking cumulus clouds in their wacky environmental movement war on the United States. Of all places, Philadelphia the city of brotherly love, where the Founding Fathers assembled at Independence Hall and declared freedom from British tyranny just a few years ago witnessed it’s tyrannical mayor unleash his powerful government wrath against the Boy Scouts. He threatened to boot them out of their historical national headquarters because at the time Boy Scout leaders were still holding on to the Christian principles that were the hallmark of that organization.

As surely as the world turns the politically correct freaks continue to bring their misery into the days of our lives. The political correct freaks have invaded just about every single segment of our republic. Even when it comes to the protection of our country from enemies their politically correct influence endangers our safety. So now the U.S. Justice Department according to assistant Justice Department director John Carlin is going on the muscle against domestic terrorism.

John Carlin, head of the Department of Justice national security division announced the new Domestic Terrorism Division will focus on domestic threats. He added, “In order to ensure that we are gaining the benefits of the information and input from those eyes on the ground from around the country, and in recognition of a growing number of potential domestic terrorism matters around the United States, we have created a new position to assist with our important work in combating domestic terrorism.” Carlin went on to emphasize what he called the increasing risk from homegrown terrorism and specifically white supremacy.

Carlin also pointed out “We recognize that over the past few years, more people have died in this country in attacks by domestic extremists than in attacks associated with international terrorist groups.” To put it bluntly, what a crock of politically correct garbage. First of all, this is a nation of laws. If the government would enforce the laws already on the books without politically correct influences, the government would strongly deal with enemies both foreign and domestic.

There is no logical reason for the Department of Justice to take this politically correct approach. However the government has become a rouge enforcer of globalist political correct dogma at the expense of America and the unalienable rights of “We the People.” Mr. Carlin said that the D.O.J. will specifically emphasize white supremacy. Big whoop Mr. Carlin, where was the Justice department after Louis Farrakhan spoke about the need for ten thousand brave men to kill? Where is the Justice Department when Americans are needlessly murdered by illegal immigrants let in by the federal government that has so-far refused to build proper fencing and effectively guard the American borders?

The politically correct freaks have taken over almost all of the far too many government departments in addition to the Department of Justice. It seems as if Department of Justice officials are gearing up to work in concert with Obama administration plans to bring over a United Nations inspired international police force that is supposed to go after domestic extremists. This kind of evil is in lock step the politically correct freak who prefer the rights of illegal immigrants, animals, trannies and muslims who hate all non-muslims above the unalienable rights of you and I.

The politically correct freaks don’t believe in your right of self-protection. That is one of the reasons it was easy for president Obama to announce he wanted to politicize the gun issue. To him it was more important to drum up support for taking guns from law abiding sovereign citizens than showing gratitude to Chris Mintz, who bravely tried to save others from knuckle dragging murderer. Thanks but no-thanks to politically correct freaks, it was easy for the cowardly murderer to go after people he knew would be unarmed thanks to a politically correct work environment that discourages good people from protecting themselves.

The politically correct freaks in the form a homeowners association are so ensconced in evil and stupidity, they recently turned their bigoted ire toward Donna Morey of Hatfield Pa. Why? Because she dared to fly a small blue star flag in her upstairs bedroom window in honor of her son’s military service. Ms. Morey said that she had been flying the flag for nearly a year, but recently got a call telling her that she could be running afoul of the rules, in the complex where she lives. The silly rules state that only white or off white window treatments may be visible from outside of the house. Her son Donald Morey is a major in the army who has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the way, the Blue Star Flag is traditionally displayed by families of active servicemen and women.

Last but not least, the immoral politically correct freaks also continue to show their unyielding disdain of presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. Simply because he, like yours truly refuses to act, speak, or believe the way that the politically correct freaks (or progressives) want him to. In other words, Dr. Carson tells the truth concerning economics, abortion, American history, etc. and God forbid, he loves America and wants to see the reestablishment of proper moral instruction. By the way, a return to good moral instruction and faith in God will go a long way in helping Americans make better choices, even at the ballot box. Something the politically correct freaks don’t want to happen.


Politically correct Halloween costumes

Tom Purcell

“The wife keeps shooting down my Halloween costume ideas because she says they are too insensitive.”

“That’s too bad. Pop-culture expert Robert Thompson, the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, says it is the one day of the year when almost anything goes. A day when adults can ‘do something outrageous they’d never do normally.’”

“I couldn’t agree more. It’s the only day of the year we can freely satirize our culture, but the wife is having none of it.”

“You weren’t thinking of dressing up like Caitlyn Jenner, I hope?”

“No, but I was thinking of satirizing our lousy economy by dressing up as a hobo. I was going to wear old, torn clothes, but the wife put a stop to it.”

“Because it would be rude to make fun of people who live on the streets?”

“No, because I was going to wear my regular clothes. I haven’t been able to buy new pants since the economy tanked in 2008.”

“Surely you have other satirical ideas to choose from.”

“I was going to dress up like the clock kid, who brought an allegedly homemade clock to school in a briefcase, but the wife said no way.”

“Because she thinks such a costume might offend some people?”

“No, because she doesn’t want me to disassemble our bedroom clock. Then I had the idea to mock the story about the dentist who shot Cecil the lion. I was going to dress up like a dentist with a bow and arrow and carry a pro-Planned Parenthood sign.”

“I don’t get it.”

“How can people can get so universally outraged by the trophy killing of a lion without everyone getting universally outraged by some disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood activities? Then I had an idea to dress up like a machete-wielding ISIS member, but the wife really disliked that idea.”

“ISIS is beheading Christians who won’t convert to their faith. A costume that calls attention to their horrific bloodshed would certainly be provocative.”

“Well, the wife said such a costume would make people angry at me, not the bloodshed ISIS is causing. Many people can’t bring themselves to digest the real evil ISIS is carrying out on innocent people, but it would be easy for them to find fault with me.”

“The pope recently concluded a fascinating visit to our country. I imagine some people will come up with costumes based on his visit.”

“The wife says no way am I permitted to do anything that involves religion, as there are so many people who might find that offensive.”

“Well, your wife seems to reflect the hypersensitive nature of people these days. Then again, it would be inconsiderate to dress, say, as an illegal alien or Klansman. Still, for the most part, Halloween is possibly the last bastion of freedom in America — the only day of the year people can do something that is not entirely appropriate.”

“Well, the wife isn’t going to let me do something inappropriate.”

“How about having some fun with a political figure now that the presidential campaign is heating up? Surely that is still OK?”

“I was going to dress up in a blond wig and a pantsuit, but the wife said that would be insensitive to middle-aged women like Hillary.”

“How about dressing up in a frumpy blond toupee and a suit to have some fun with Donald Trump?”

“Great suggestion. The wife says the ONLY thing Americans can still make fun of is a rich, white Republican man.”



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

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

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


26 October, 2015

Some good news for press freedom in Britain, but...

... it’s still bad enough — and would be worse under Corbyn’s Labour

These are generally not the best of times for supporters of press freedom in the UK. The past four years have brought a sustained attempt to tame and sanitise Britain’s unruly, troublemaking media. So it has made a change to have two good news stories to report over the past week. First, Old Bailey jurors acquitted the last two tabloid journalists charged with paying public officials for stories. Then a Tory government minister suspended plans to impose punitive costs on publications that refuse to bow to state-backed regulation.

To recall the background. The panic that followed the 2011 phone-hacking scandal led first to Lord Justice Leveson’s official showtrial of the tabloids, and then to the politicians passing sentence. Leaders of all the political parties did a deal with the press-bashing lobby Hacked Off in 2013 to set up Britain’s first system of state-backed regulation since the end of Crown licensing of the press in 1695. They used the medieval instrument of a Royal Charter to empower the official regulator, and passed a new law threatening punitive fines and costs for publications which refused to bend the knee (which is all of them, so far).

Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service launched Britain’s biggest-ever policing operation — not against suspected jihadists, but journalists, more than 60 of whom were arrested, often in dawn raids, railroaded into court or left hanging for years on police bail.

Last week, however, that police/prosecutors’ witch-hunt suffered another major setback, when a jury issued not guilty verdicts in the trial of the last two Sun journalists charged with breaking the law by paying public officials for information, as part of the Met’s multimillion-pound Operation Elveden. The acquittal of reporter Jamie Pyatt and former news editor Chris Pharo means that, of the 34 tabloid journalists arrested and 29 charged under Operation Elveden, just two stand convicted. Only one reporter, Anthony France, has been found guilty by a jury, and he is likely to walk free on appeal (the other one pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors). The final score of Elveden trials should be Journalists 28, Witch-hunters Nil.

Jurors have refused to find reporters guilty of anything more than being journalists, for unearthing true stories which the secrecy-obsessed state wanted kept hidden. As a defence lawyer put it after last week’s not guilty verdicts, ‘They call it a crime, we call it democracy’.

Yet amid the celebrations of the imminent end of Elveden, things are still not looking great for the future of investigative journalism. Reporters’ and editors’ lives have been wasted and careers wrecked by the witch-hunt. Many of the sources of their stories have been jailed. The 2010 Bribery Act has now made it illegal to pay whistleblowers for stories. And Leveson’s proposals to tighten the restrictions of journalists’ contacts with police and use of data threaten to make matters worse. There is much more to be done if we hope to break through what one editor has called an ‘ice age’ of investigative journalism and get at the truths the authorities don’t want the public to hear.

The other good news came on Monday at the London conference of the Society of Editors. Giving the keynote address, the Conservative culture secretary, John Whittingdale, announced that he was presently ‘not minded’ to introduce the punitive system of costs against newspapers that refuse to sign up to a regulator backed by the Royal Charter. Cue much relief among the press corps, and consternation among the anti-press crusaders.

Under the Crime and Courts Act 2013, publications which join a press regulator recognised by the politicians’ Royal Charter will be offered an arbitration service and some protection against being sued by complainants. Those which fail to sign up to the state-backed regulator, however, would face the prospect of having to pay the costs for both sides in any civil court case, even if they won! As we argued on spiked from the first, if this was supposed to be ‘carrot’ to newspapers, it was one shaped like a baseball bat with a nail banged through the end. The threat of crippling costs for dissenters could effectively make membership compulsory for many, especially hard-pressed local news outlets.

With the recognition of a regulator under the Royal Charter drawing closer, it had seemed the new regime of punitive costs would soon start to bite. However, secretary of state Whittingdale has now said he feels it would be wrong to sign the new rules into effect. That threat at least appears to have been lifted for now.

This is welcome news. But it does not go nearly far enough. The culture secretary has indicated that he is still willing to accept the new law’s other potentially punitive measures against dissident publishers, that of ‘exemplary damages’ in libel and other civil cases. The bar for imposing such million-pound damages appears to have been set quite high – publications would have to show ‘deliberate or reckless disregard of an outrageous nature for claimant’s rights’. But it would still be up to m’lud to decide, and as Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford observed, ‘what a judge considers outrageous could well be fairly mild by the standards of a tabloid editor’.

In the same speech, Whittingdale also made it ‘very clear’ that the government still supports a state-backed regulator, and wants ‘to see the press bring themselves within the Royal Charter’s scheme of recognition’. Yet, with or without punitive costs and fines, the prospect of state involvement in the regulation of the press casts a long shadow over press freedom in the UK.

(Most major press groups are currently regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation – IPSO – which refuses to sign up to the Royal Charter. Others, including the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times, are effectively regulating themselves.)

Days before Whittingdale made his announcement, a new report, Leveson’s Illiberal Legacy, produced by the group 89up and sponsored by major news publishers, put a strong case against the acceptance of state-backed regulation. It begins by noting that, in January 2014, the World Association of Newspapers felt moved to make its first inspection visit to the UK in its history.

More used to investigating the lack of press freedom in undemocratic states, the WAN delegates were ‘plainly appalled’ by what they now saw happening in the historic heartland of press freedom. Their damning report described the Royal Charter as ‘a fundamental shift… from the principle of zero involvement of politicians in press regulation’. That principle will be in ruins so long as the Royal Charter or any other legal intrusion remains.

Even now, the non-state regulator IPSO appears far too close to Leveson’s idea of a strict policeman determined to prevent the press from running ‘too free’. I have described it as looking more like the Independent Press Sanitisation Outfit.

But however qualified the recent good news might be, we can be sure things would be far worse were the Labour Party now in power. Labour went into the 2015 General Election pledging to impose Leveson’s constraints on press freedom in full if they won. That was rejected by voters, along with the rest of Ed Miliband’s manifesto. Now there is an apparent wave of radical enthusiasm for the new Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Yet Corbyn, the veteran state socialist, is one of the most implacable enemies of a free press in UK politics, without a freedom-loving hair in his beard, who has lost no time in trying to blame the media for many of Labour’s and Britain’s problems.

As Professor Tim Luckhurst points out in his foreword to Leveson’s Illiberal Legacy, the moving forces in Hacked Off (behind the human shields of phone-hacking victims) include longstanding anti-free-press lobbies such as the Media Reform Coalition, ‘which proudly proclaims the support of Jeremy Corbyn’. These groups produced its Manifesto for Media Reform in run up to the May General Election.

As my book Trigger Warning points out, their manifesto’s ‘ostensible aim is to make the media “more accountable and more responsive to the public they serve”. Yet the only way these media activists can envisage that is through more state intervention and control… Never mind that freedom nonsense, they demand that “communications should be organised and regulated in the public interest”. The question such committee-speak always raises is: who is going to do the organising and regulating, and who will decide what we mean by the public interest? And the answer is: not the public.’

Instead the illiberal left wants more powers for Ofcom, the government’s regulatory quango, and demands that ‘the nations of the UK through their elected assemblies should be granted greater powers over the regulation of the media’. This, Trigger Warning concludes, is ‘basically a coded way of calling for greater political control, something that defenders of freedom of speech and of the press have fought against for 500-odd years’.

Despite the recent good news, defenders of press freedom have plenty of battles still to fight; but we also have reason to be pleased that Corbyn’s Labour has its hands nowhere near the levers of state power.


Parents! make the right kind of friends – or else

Reducing poverty is not just about people having more money’, says Ryan Shorthouse, director of Bright Blue, the ‘pressure group for liberal conservatism’. But can the solution really be giving people less money, and, instead, forcing them to make more friends?

Shorthouse’s new report, with the catchy title Reducing Poverty by Promoting More Diverse Social Networks for Disadvantaged People from Ethnic Minority Groups, has hit the headlines because of its proposal to remove child benefit from parents who fail to enrol their children in ‘quality pre-school education’.

‘All parents should know that formal childcare, as delivered through the Early Years Free Entitlement, is primarily an educational rather than a childcare service’, intones Shorthouse. ‘Even if parents are, admirably, caring for their young children at home, they should be expected to enrol their children in quality pre-school education for the free hours they are entitled to from the age of three, and from the age of two for the most deprived parents.’

Don’t be distracted by the word ‘admirably’. What it means, in this context, is ‘stupidly’, ‘irresponsibly’ or ‘anti-socially’. Shorthouse insists that, in order to reduce poverty, parents need to be forced to use a ‘relationship-based approach’ to solve the problem of having no money. This means having a relationship with the state (via pre-school education), and other people (via their encounters with ‘diverse social networks’). Furthermore, institutions such as nurseries, Sure Start children’s centres and primary schools should be monitored by the education regulator Ofsted, to ‘ensure these institutions attract families from wider socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds’.

As Shorthouse’s think-tank is so unapologetically called Bright Blue, there might be a temptation to pass this off as yet another nasty Tory policy, designed to penalise and stigmatise poor parents because they are poor. But what is interesting is how closely the report is modelled on the ideas behind Sure Start, the flagship childcare initiative pushed through by the Labour government of 1997-2010. These ideas can be boiled down to three central assertions:

1) That the problem is not poverty, but ‘social exclusion’;

2) That the solution is not money, but ‘social capital’;

3) That being middle class is a set of behaviours that can be ‘passed on’ like an infection, if only people are forced into a relationship with one another.

Ten years ago, I wrote that the aim of Sure Start was not to solve the problem of child poverty, but to broker a new relationship between the therapeutic state and the vulnerable, dependent family, whose privacy and autonomy are quietly eroded under the banner of ‘supporting parents as parents’. On this front, the project was hugely successful. By promoting the idea that the problem facing children from low-income families was primarily a parenting deficit, emanating from ‘chaotic’ home environments, the solution was conceptualised as the need to promote ‘warmer’ parenting styles that could be learned from contact with the professionals running Sure Start centres and absorbed from middle-class parents who might come along for some tea and sympathy.

This idea has galloped ahead under the Conservative government, which has promoted aggressive ‘early intervention’ policies, focusing on pre-school education as a way of getting children away from the wrong kind of influences (their parents) and into contact with the ‘right’ ways of thinking. Early intervention aims to ‘forestall many persistent social problems and end their transmission from one generation to the next’, stated the influential 2011 Allen report, Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings.

The report covered ‘a range of tried and tested policies for the first three years of children’s lives to give them the essential social and emotional security they need for the rest of their lives’. Making sure to cover all grounds, the report included policies for when children are older, to help them meet ‘the challenge of becoming good parents to their own children’.

In this reconceptualisation of poverty as a problem of parenting behaviour, social disadvantage became ‘social exclusion’ – a psychological state that could be remedied by contact with official channels and approved social networks. The Centre for Social Justice, set up by the government’s work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, developed this idea further, through promoting the concept of the five ‘pathways to poverty’ – family breakdown, educational failure, economic dependence, indebtedness and addiction.

Meanwhile, the idea of poverty as social exclusion forms the centrepiece of Shorthouse’s report – only this time it is couched in the language of ‘social capital’. Initiatives designed to promote ‘social capital’ were also beloved of the previous Labour government, because they provided a new vocabulary for social engineering. The idea being that people who have the right kind of networks will be more inclined to behave in the right kind of way, and will therefore be able to become like a middle-class person (even if they have no money). Shorthouse’s report spells out what this means.

Noting that it has been found that ‘[h]aving two or more close friends is associated with lower likelihood of being in poverty’, the report argues that ‘strong social networks’ are ‘especially important for people in poverty’, as they might not be able to afford childcare, for example, but can ask a mate to help out.

 But, the report argues, if poor people are only friends with other poor people, this isn’t good either. What poor people need are ‘diverse’ social networks that, for example, ‘provide essential motivation and contacts for those starting a new business’ – as well as being able to help with overcoming language problems, avoiding debt, or increasing ‘knowledge of healthy practices’. This is particularly the case for ‘disadvantaged people from ethnic minority backgrounds’.

In this way, friendships and other informal networks are stripped to an instrumental core. The role of friends and acquaintances is presented as teaching poor people how to behave like better-off people, and the role of public services is to monitor and, where possible, enforce this engagement with ‘diverse networks’.

Shorthouse grudgingly acknowledges that ‘the formation of relationships depends on individuals’. But the fact that he is even calling on the government to find ‘policies to strengthen and, in particular, diversify people’s relationships’ indicates that he doesn’t see individuals as having very much say in the matter at all.


Is the Australian Liberty Alliance an indication that multiculturalism is now under threat?

THE launch of an anti-Islam party in Australia has raised concerns about whether multiculturalism actually works.

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders launched the Australian Liberty Alliance in Perth this week, promising to stop the Islamisation of Australia, as extremist groups like Islamic State stoke fears of terrorism and distrust within the community.

It’s not a unique development with Mr Wilders noting that “like-minded parties” were enjoying great success in Austria, Sweden, France and Switzerland.

Even in Germany, where many were recently pictured welcoming an influx of refugees from places like Syria and Iraq, there were fears of a far right resurgence in response.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen her approval rating drop to its lowest level since 2011 and there have been attacks on places housing refugees. A recent anti-immigration rally in the country attracted up to 20,000 people.

Earlier this year a headline in Germany’s weekly newspaper Der  Spiegel asked the question: “Is the ugly German back?”

Australians could be asking the same question of themselves as anti-Islamic sentiment sees the re-emergence of divisive figures like Pauline Hanson. A recent Facebook post from the One Nation leader opposing “mosques, Sharia law, halal certification and Muslim refugees” was shared more than 25,000 times in just two days.

But despite the apparent growing public backlash, experts believe organisations like ALA will continue to appeal to just a small number of people, and that multiculturalism still enjoys wide support, especially in Australia.

“There will always be a segment of the community that is not happy with change,” Professor Andrew Markus told news.com.au

“We shouldn’t be surprised that there is a group in Australia opposed to cultural diversity and immigration but what makes Australia different is that the size of that minority is very small.”

Prof Markus of Monash University has been tracking changes in Australian attitudes towards immigrants and asylum seekers since 2007 as part of the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion Project. He said the last two surveys showed strong support for multiculturalism.

When asked whether multiculturalism was good for Australia, 84 per cent of Australians surveyed in 2013 agreed that it was, and 85 per cent agreed in 2014.

“It’s quite an amazing number and was consistent across Australia, it was hard to find anywhere in Australia, including those in rural areas, where support dropped much below 75 per cent,” Prof Markus said.

But the situation in Europe or even America was very different.

Prof Markus said a British study found 75 per cent its population wanted immigration reduced in 2014 but a comparable study in Australia found only 35 per cent believed immigration was too high.

Prof Markus said Australians saw multiculturalism as being good for the economy and for the integration of immigrants.  “I think people understand and accept it’s who we are,” he said, adding that 45 per cent of the population had at least one parent born overseas.

He said he would be surprised ALA got much traction within the community, and this could also be a sign of the times.

“This country has undergone very significant change over the course of a generation,” Prof Markus said.  “Young people today have grown up in a world very different to their parents,” and their attitude towards immigration or cultural diversity is likely to be “it’s life, this is it, get on with it”.

While this was not true for everybody, Prof Markus said the issues that were significant for their parents were not as prominent for their children.

Even though groups such as One Nation had managed to gain support in the 1990s, Prof Markus said that was 20 years ago and there had been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

“At its peak it got 22 per cent of the vote in the Queensland state election and since that time (leader) Pauline Hanson has struggled to get even one tenth of that,” he said.

UNSW Associate Professor Geoffrey Brahm Levey, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Political Science, agrees that parties like the ALA only appeal to a small number of people, but he acknowledged that the group did reflect genuine concerns.

“There is a genuine problem within the Islamic and Muslim community with radicalisation ... and that naturally provokes anxiety among populations,” Prof Levey said.

“People are right to be concerned when they see members of the public act violently or unacceptably but the problem is a relatively small one.”

He said the overwhelming majority of the 300,000 plus Muslims in Australia had integrated into the community.


Germany: Asylum Seekers Make Demands

Asylum seekers are increasingly using tactics such as hunger strikes, lawsuits and threats of violence in efforts to force German authorities to comply with an ever-growing list of demands.

Many migrants, unhappy with living conditions in German refugee shelters, are demanding that they immediately be given their own homes or apartments. Others are angry that German bureaucrats are taking too long to process their asylum applications. Still others are upset over delays in obtaining social welfare payments.

Although most asylum seekers in Germany have a roof over their head, and receive three hot meals a day, as well as free clothing and healthcare, many are demanding: more money, more comfortable beds, more hot water, more ethnic food, more recreational facilities, more privacy — and, of course, their own homes.

Germany will receive as many as 1.5 million asylum seekers in 2015, including 920,000 in the last quarter of 2015 alone, according to government estimates. This figure is nearly double the previous estimate, from August, which was 800,000 for all of 2015. By comparison, Germany received 202,000 asylum seekers in all of 2014.

With refugee shelters across the country already filled to capacity, and more than 10,000 new migrants entering Germany every day, Germany is straining to care for all the newcomers, many of whom are proving to be ungrateful and impatient guests.

In Berlin, 20 asylum seekers sued the State Agency for Health and Social Welfare (Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales, Lageso) in an effort to force local authorities to speed up their welfare payments.

Berlin expects to receive 50,000 asylum seekers in 2015. German taxpayers will spend 600 million euros ($680 million) this year to pay for their upkeep.

Also in Berlin, more than 40 migrants, mostly from Pakistan, seized control over the observation deck of the city's television tower and demanded stays of deportation, jobs, and exemptions from mandatory residence (Residenzpflicht), a legal requirement that asylum seekers reside within certain boundaries defined by local immigration authorities. More than 100 police were deployed to the tower to remove the protesters. After a brief questioning, they were set free. Police said no crime had been committed because the migrants had purchased tickets to the observation deck, some 200 meters (650 feet) above the Berlin.

In the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, more than 400 migrants, mostly from Africa, occupied an abandoned school because they no longer wanted to live in tents in a nearby square. When 900 police arrived to clear the building, some migrants poured gasoline inside the structure and threatened to set themselves on fire, while others threatened to jump off the roof of the building. "We are currently negotiating with local authorities about how to proceed," a Sudanese migrant named Mohammed said. "We will not leave until our demands [amending German asylum laws so they can remain in the country] are met."

In Dortmund, 125 migrants complained about the "catastrophic conditions" at the Brügmann sports facility, which now serves as a refugee shelter. The list of complaints included: bad food, uncomfortable beds and not enough showers.

Just hours after arriving in Fuldatal, 40 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria complained about conditions at a refugee shelter there and demanded that they be given their own homes. The regional refugee coordinator, Hans-Joachim Ulrich, said that migrants are coming to Germany with unrealistic expectations. "Human traffickers and the media in their home countries are making promises that do not correspond with reality," he said.

In Hamburg, more than 70 asylum seekers went on a hunger strike in an effort to pressure local authorities to provide them with better housing. "We are on a hunger strike," said Syrian refugee Awad Arbaakeat. "The city lied to us. We were shocked when we arrived here." The migrants said they were angry they were being asked to sleep in a huge warehouse rather than in private apartments. Hamburg officials say there are no more vacant apartments in the city, the second-largest in Germany.

Also in Hamburg, more than 100 migrants gathered in front of the city hall to protest the lack of heating in their tent shelters. City officials said they were caught off guard by the early frost and that all tents would have heating before the winter sets in. According to Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholtz, some 3,600 migrants would be spending the coming winter in tents due to the lack of alternative housing in the city.

According to Hamburg officials, 35,021 migrants arrived in the city during the first nine months of 2015. During this same period, Hamburg police were dispatched to the city's refugee shelters more than 1,000 times, including 81 times to break up mass brawls, 93 times to investigate physical and sexual assaults, and 28 times to prevent migrants from committing suicide.

Meanwhile, a confidential document that was leaked to the German newspaper Bild reveals that the Hamburg transit authority (Hamburger Verkehrsverbund, HVV) has ordered ticket inspectors to "look the other way" whenever they encounter migrants who are using public transportation without a ticket. The move ostensibly aims to protect the HVV against "bad press."

According to the leaked document, ticket inspectors should be lenient with asylum seekers because many migrants are "the victims of professional counterfeit ticket scammers" and many others have "barely comprehensible knowledge" of the HVV's tariff structure.

The CDU's transportation expert, Dennis Thering, said the HVV's policy cannot be left unchallenged. "This 'look-the-other-way' policy must be withdrawn. In Hamburg there is the opportunity to purchase discounted HVV tickets, explicitly also for persons who receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act." Every newly arrived refugee receives 149 euros in pocket money every month. This includes 25.15 euros that have been earmarked for the purchase of transport tickets.

In Halle, four security guards were injured when they tried to stop a mob of asylum seekers from Africa and Syria from entering the city's social welfare office before opening hours. The migrants, who were there to pick up their welfare payments, became angry when it appeared to them as though some migrants cut in front of the line. It later turned out that some migrants were there for other business, and thus were not required to stand in line.

In Munich, 30 migrants went on a hunger strike to protest shared accommodations in refugee shelters. Two of the men were rushed to the hospital after losing consciousness. "A constitutional state cannot allow itself to be blackmailed," Bavarian politician Marcel Huber said. "We have zero tolerance for this action."

In Nürnberg, six migrants from Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Iran went on a hunger strike to protest the rejection of their asylum applications. The men, who are living in a tent in downtown Nürnberg for several months, demanded to speak to local authorities. The asylum applications were rejected six years ago, but the men are still living in Germany.

In Osnabrück, an asylum seeker from Somalia successfully sued the German Agency for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) for taking too long to process his application. A judge ordered the BAMF to make a decision on his application within three months or provide him with financial compensation.

The man said he had been waiting for 16 months to get an answer from the BAMF. In its defense, the BAMF said it currently has a backlog of 250,000 unprocessed applications, and this number is expected to skyrocket as more asylum seekers arrive in Germany.

A spokesperson for the court said the ruling set a precedent, and that many more asylum seekers likely would file lawsuits against the BAMF in the near future.

Groups of migrants across Germany have been launching hunger strikes, demanding more money, more comfortable beds, more hot water, more ethnic food, more recreational facilities, and their own homes. In Berlin (right), 900 police were needed to remove more than 400 migrants who had occupied an abandoned school.

In Walldorf, a town in the state of Baden-Württemberg, a group of migrants demanded that local authorities immediately provide them with private apartments because they were tired of living in a refugee shelter with 200 other asylum seekers. The leader of the group, a 46-year-old refugee from Syria, said he expected more from Germany. It was high time for Germans to begin to "treat us like human beings," he said.

Following up on the complaints, state and local authorities inspected the shelter and found that conditions there were "absolutely acceptable," with cubicles for privacy and plenty of food and clothing.

In Wetzlar, a city in the state of Hesse, migrants threatened to go on a hunger strike in an effort to force local authorities to move them into permanent housing. Local authorities said they delays were due to a quarantine after several migrants were found to be infected with Hepatitis A.

In Zweibrücken, 50 asylum seekers from Syria went on a hunger strike to protest the slow pace of the application approval process. "We can accept the living conditions in the refugee camp, but we need hope," one of the men said. Local officials said the process has collapsed because of the large number of applicants.

Asylum seekers have also gone on hunger strikes in Birkenfeld, Böhlen, Gelsenkirchen, Hannover, Walheim, and Wittenberg.

Meanwhile, teachers at Gemeinschaftsschule St. Jürgen, a grade school in the northern German city of Lübeck, ordered eighth graders to spend a morning at a local refugee shelter and "actively help" the migrants by making their beds, sorting their clothing and working in the kitchen.

Some parents complained that their children are also being asked to bring gifts and food for the migrants, who are already receiving handouts financed by German taxpayers. A woman wrote: "Sometimes I do not even know how I am going to put food on my own table."

Another woman wrote: "This is going too far. Students are supposed to make beds and do cleaning work at a refugee shelter. My friend's 14-year-old son is being asked to do this!!! I am not an agitator and I am tolerant, but this is going way too far. Is there now a new course in Lübeck schools called: Slavery???

The school's principal, Stefan Pabst, said the negative reaction was a "catastrophe." He said that having the children work in a refugee shelter was the best way for them to "understand social behavior." The German newsmagazine, Stern, complained that the dissenting parents belong to "rightwing circles" and are "spreading their stupid slogans."

In Bad Kreuznach, a family of asylum seekers from Syria made an appointment to view a four-room rental property but refused to see the house because the real estate agent was female. According to real estate agent Aline Kern:

"One of the men, who spoke broken German, said they were not interested in viewing the property because I am a woman, I am blonde, and because I looked the men into their eyes. This was inappropriate. My company should send a man to show the property.

"I was taken aback. You want to help and then are sent away, unwanted in your own country."

In Idar-Oberstein, a town in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, an imam at a refugee shelter refused to shake the hand of Julia Klöckner, a visiting dignitary, because she is a woman. After Klöckner, the vice-chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), shared her experience with the German newsmagazine Focus, she received more than 800 emails from women across the country describing how they, too, have been mistreated by Muslim migrants.

Klöckner is now calling for Germany to pass a new law that requires migrants and refugees to integrate into German society. She said: "We need an integration law. We are a liberal and free country. If we give up the foundations of our liberality, we will wake up in a different country."

Klöckner insists that migrants must be informed about German "rules of the game" from the first day they arrive in the country. "The people who want to stay here must, from the first day, accept and learn that in this country religions coexist peacefully and that we cannot use force to resolve conflicts," she said.

One woman described how Muslim men repeatedly cut in front of her at the supermarket checkout line. "Twice while shopping at a German supermarket I was shown that I am a second-class citizen," she wrote. In one instance, an adult Muslim male with a full shopping cart cut in front of her. In broken German he said: "I man. You woman. I go first." In another instance, a young Muslim male elbowed the woman while cutting in front of her. "When I said that I would let him go ahead of me if he asked me for permission, I was instructed by his sister that boys do not need to ask, they just demand."

A teacher at a vocational school wrote: "The most problematic students are Muslim males, who do not acknowledge the authority of female teachers and who disrupt the classes."

A mother reported that during a visit to her daughter's school, she approached a fully-veiled female refugee and asked her if she could be of help to her. "A man with a fancy suit and a three-day beard, he seemed like out of a Hugo Boss fashion magazine, said: 'My wife does not speak the language of the unclean.' When I asked him who here was unclean, he said I was. I asked him what that means. He said it was nothing against me personally, because all German women are unclean, and that his wife should not speak the language of the unclean, so that she can remain clean."

In Berlin, more than 150 migrant youths from North Africa and Eastern Europe are occupied as full-time purse-snatchers and pick-pockets. Also known as the klau-kids (thief kids), they post their gains (smart phones, laptops, designer sunglasses) on the Internet, presumably to taunt the police. A 16-year-old known as Ismat O. has been detained more than 20 times on suspicion of theft, but each time he has been released. Walid K. has been arrested more than 10 times, and also freed.

According to the director of Berlin's police union, Bodo Pfalzgraf, "it is incomprehensible that such serial offenders do not remain in pre-trial detention." Police say the youths are released because German judges are not prepared to issue arrested warrants for so-called petty crimes such as purse-snatching. Meanwhile, youths can only be deported if they have been sentenced to at least three years in prison.

In Bavaria, the Munich Chamber of Trade (Handwerkskammer München und Oberbayern) reported that 70% of migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria who have been offered apprenticeships fail to complete them. The normal dropout rate is 25%. According to the director of the chamber, Lothar Semper, many young migrants believe apprenticeships are beneath them. "We have to make a tremendous effort to convince young people that they should even begin an apprenticeship," he said. "Many have the expectation of quickly earning a lot of money in Germany."



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

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

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


25 October, 2015

Germaine Greer can say whatever she likes about trans politics

Brendan O'Neill

If you want to know how crazy, even Kafkaesque, this young millennium has become, consider this: yesterday it was reported that a person with a penis — Caitlyn Jenner — will be named Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, while over at Cardiff University a woman who has done more than most to secure the liberation of womankind — Germaine Greer — was denounced by a swarm of Stepford Students as ‘transphobic’, someone who should make all right-minded people feel ‘sick to [their] stomachs’.

This is the world you live in, folks. One in which a bloke can be globally celebrated as an inspiring woman — and heaven help the brave soul who asks: ‘But is this strapping former athlete with testicles really a woman?’ — while an actual inspiring woman, whose balls are only metaphorical, can be labelled a disgrace to ‘feminism and society’.

The Cardiff crazies trying to prevent Greer from giving a lecture at their Uni next month even call her ‘misogynistic’, on the basis that she ‘misgenders trans women’ (ie, she thinks people with dicks are men). So a man in a frock is hailed as a great woman, while Germaine Greer is branded a misogynist. Where does one even begin to unpick such unhingedness?

The campaign to have Greer kept off Cardiff’s campus is only the latest act of student censoriousness. Having banned the far right, Zionists, Blurred Lines, the Sun, sombreros and too many other people and things to mention, now the weird new breed of book-burning students wants to stop Greer from giving a lecture titled ‘Women and Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century’ at Cardiff on 18 November.



Merkel's Muslim Madness

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that refusing to take in Muslim migrants is a "danger for Europe." Merkel as usual had it backward. It's her program of taking in Muslim migrants that represents the gravest threat to the freedom and future of Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Merkel may have already doomed Germany. The Bild newspaper published a leaked secret government document estimating that the number of migrants invading Europe this year might reach 1.5 million.

And that bad news gets much worse because the document estimates that each migrant will bring in as many as eight family members once they're settled in, bringing the year's true total to 7.36 million.

That's almost 10 percent of the population of Germany. In just one invasion.

And the migrants are mostly young men entering a rapidly aging country whose young male population is under 5 million. Germany's Muslim population already approaches 5 million. The median age of Germany's Muslim population is 34, while the median age for the overall population is 46.

Merkel has rapidly sped up the rate at which Germany's young male population becomes Muslim.

The document predicts up to 10,000 invaders entering every day. It foresees no end to the arrivals even when it gets cold. These words add up to the end of Germany and the end of Europe.

With numbers like these it's no wonder that Merkel is frantically trying to shift the burden, berating Eastern European countries for their nationalism and failing to learn from history even though as a former Communist and a German leader, she represents the two political forces that historically did the most to deprive these nations of their national rights and their independence.

Merkel invokes the Berlin Wall to claim that fences don't work. But the Berlin Wall kept people from leaving. The fences that Hungary has built are constructed in self-defense, not to keep Hungarians in, but to keep invading Muslims out. It's Merkel whose EU totalitarianism represents a new Berlin Wall that mandates open borders for Muslim migrants while preventing countries from leaving the EU.

When Merkel states, "The refugees won't be stopped if we just build fences. That I'm deeply convinced of, and I've lived behind a fence for long enough," she is not only deliberately mangling the moral difference between a fence that keeps invaders out and a fence that keeps people in, but her own complicity in these fences. East Germany needed a fence because people wanted to flee its totalitarian regime. The European Union needs political fences to keep countries from escaping its political regime.

The choice isn't between open borders and the Berlin Wall. Rather the open borders that Merkel advocates are another form of the Berlin Wall. Communist countries don't make immigration difficult. They make emigration impossible. Free countries make immigration difficult, but emigration easy.

That's how democracy is supposed to work. It allows the people of a nation to decide who can enter while allowing anyone to leave. Merkel's EU brings back the USSR's ‘Prison of Nations' where everyone can enter, but no one can leave.

Merkel warns European countries that refusing Muslim immigrants is "not negotiable." This is the type of language that totalitarian regimes use.

Europeans are told that they will lose their credibility if they don't take in Muslims. "Who are we to defend Christians around the world if we say we won't accept a Muslim or a mosque in our country?" she asks. "That won't do."

But taking in Muslims has prevented Germans from defending Christians even in their own country, not only in the Middle East.

Christian refugees in Germany report being persecuted, threatened and beaten by Muslims. An Iranian Christian refugee spoke of death threats from Syrian Muslim migrants. An Iraqi Christian family was beaten and told, "We will kill you and drink your blood."

A Lutheran pastor says that he is asked by refugees, "Will we have to hide ourselves as Christians in the future in this country?"

That question is better addressed to Angela Merkel and her mad Muslim vision for Germany.

Islamizing Germany will not enable it to defend Christians in the Middle East. Instead it will make the government even more vulnerable to terrorist blackmail and political pressure from Muslims. And if Merkel were really concerned about Christians, she wouldn't be fighting European countries that want to take in Christian refugees instead of Muslim migrants. Not only hasn't her appeasement of Muslims done anything to help Christians in the Middle East, but it has endangered Christians in Germany.

Despite resistance from her own party, Merkel continues doubling down. She has seized control of refugee policy from her own interior minister, who was skeptical of her action and who may have helped leak the Bild document, and she continues to ignore calls for refugee limits from her own party.

Meanwhile Muslims in Germany are vocal about refusing to accept any limitations of Muslim immigration.

Merkel isn't really an open borders fanatic. She's a political hack who made a tragic mistake and is desperately trying to dump it on the rest of Europe. After originally taking the correct line, Merkel folded and rather than admit that she made a mistake whose implications will destroy her country, she is desperately manufacturing one ridiculous excuse after another to defend her actions.

Her calls for sharing the burden amount to dumping the consequences of her unilateral policy on the rest of Europe. It's exactly the type of behavior she condemned from Greece, only to hypocritically practice a version of it that is far more disastrous, both from the standpoint of security and economics.

Merkel's plan is to unilaterally demand that the rest of Europe "share" in the welfare, crime and terrorism of the Muslim migrants that she chose to take in. And there's nothing fair about that. But the Eurocrats can't wrap their heads around the idea of border fences. The closest they can come to the idea is to hypocritically plead with Turkey to secure the borders that they refuse to secure.

The Turkish solution still requires Europe to take in another 500,000 Muslims from Turkey in exchange for its tyrannical Islamist ruler agreeing to secure its borders. This means outsourcing European border security to a hostile Muslim country whose ruler dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire and boasted, "The mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers."

That's the sort of man that Europe will be turning over its security too. Meanwhile those 500,000 Muslims will also have to be "shared" all across Europe.

Merkel claims that the migrants "present more opportunities than risks." What opportunities are these exactly? Half the Muslim "youth" in Germany are already unemployed.  Barely a third of Muslim immigrants earn a living through professional employment.

What opportunities will adding millions of Muslims to the welfare rolls accomplish except to create more jobs for the government bureaucrats who sign their welfare checks?

Merkel's allies claim that she deserves the Nobel Prize. She certainly does. Hitler and Stalin were both nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And Merkel has done more damage to Germany and Europe than any leader since these two worthy gentlemen before her had.   


Swedish attack was anti-Muslim

Most of the many "refugees" in Sweden are Muslim and they excell themselves in being obnoxious to the mainstream culture.  The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party has gone from strength to strength in recent years

The Swedish school murderer who killed a teacher and pupil with a sword during a brutal attack on Thursday, left a suicide note where he wrote that he 'had to do something about immigration'.

Police have said the letter written by Anton Lundin-Petterson, is additional proof that the attack on the school in Trollhattan, near Gothenburg, was a racist hate crime.

As the 21-year-old assailant moved through the school on his bloody rampage which left two dead and two seriously injured, he picked out his victims based on skin colour.

School killer: Lundin-Pettersson, pictured in high school, left a suicide note where he wrote that he 'had to do something about immigration'

Swedish police today confirmed that the letter found in Lundin-Pettersson's home proves that the attack was a planned racist hate crime and that he acted alone.

'It was a kind of suicide note, I believe the letter was hand-written,' head of investigation Thord Haraldsson told a press conference earlier today

'He writes that he has to do something about the immigration politics in Sweden.;

When asked if Lundin-Pettersson made clear in his letter that he did not intend to survive the attack, police said that it 'can be interpreted that he thought he was going to die'.  

Security footage from the school in Trollhattan, north of Gothenburg, shows Lundin-Petterson marching through school corridors armed with a sword and a knife, and stopping to talk to light-skinned students.

'He selected his victims and attacked the dark-skinned ones and left the light-skinned ones alone,' Haraldsson said today. 'Everything points to this being a hate crime.'

As he launched his attack on the students, Lundin-Petterson, who was described by a witness as 'wearing a Darth Vader mask', shouted 'I am your father' during his killing spree, a witness has revealed.

The killer who posed for a photograph with unwitting students midway through his rampage, said the famous Star Wars character's line as he slashed at children.

Earlier today, survivors praised the first victim of the attack - 20-year-old teaching assistant Lavin Eskandar [a Turk, judging by his name], who was cut down after throwing himself in front of a group of young pupils.

Witnesses say he screamed at the children to run before trying to overpower Lundin-Petterson who, armed with a sword and knife, went on to stab two 15-year-old students and a teacher.

Several students who witnessed the attack at the school in Trollhättan have described Mr Eskandar as a hero who gave his life for them.

Mr Eskandar had been sat by a computer in the school cafeteria when Lundin-Pettersson, wearing a black coat over his shoulders, a helmet and mask, raised his sword and went for a number of students.

Witnesses have described how the brave 20-year-old threw himself between the killer and students to try to stop him.

Mr Eskandar's family has paid tribute to him today, calling him 'a king and a hero in the eyes of the entire city.' 'All I know is that he cared about others, not about himself and that he tried to protect the children. He was the only person who succeeded in stopping the culprit,' his brother Leith Eskandar, 22, told Expressen.

Mr Eskandar, who graduated from a local high school in June this year with a diploma in media studies, had recently begun working as an assistant to one of the students at Kronan school in Trollhattan.  He dreamed of becoming a director and photographer and ran a production company with his brother and a friend, making videos that has millions of YouTube views.

In addition he worked as a local night-club snapper and has been described by friends and family as dedicated, hard working and loved.

Lundin-Petterson's second victim, Ahmed Hassan, 15, who died in hospital on Thursday afternoon, had arrived in Sweden with his parents and eight siblings from Somalia in 2012.  The other student victim, also 15, had fled Syria with his family and arrived in Sweden nine months ago.

He is currently in critical but stable condition and medical staff told Swedish media that the is no longer 'hovering between life and death'.

A witness told Expressen that Lundin-Pettersson had uttered the phrase 'I am your father', in English as he attacked.

Swedish police have now confirmed that the brutal attack was a racist hate crime and a terror attack.

On Friday, at least two schools in Gothenburg, just 45 miles south of Trollhattan received threats in connection with the attack.

Staff at one of them, Grevegårdsskolan, a primary school, found threatening posters when they arrived this morning.

The posters show a picture from the attack on Thursday, although police have not revealed which one, captioned 'I'm back'.

After cutting down Mr Eskandar, Lundin-Pettersson, moved through the school but before word had spread of the attacks, many students thought he had dressed up as a Halloween joke and approached him.

Two young girls even asked him to pose for a picture, and despite having already murdered Mr Eskandar, Lundin-Pettersson paused to do so.  Wearing a mask and holding a sword already covered in Mr Eskandar's blood, the image sees him stand next to two young students,

In a chilling move, Lundin-Petterson even has his arm around one of them, seconds before stabbing a teacher, who remains in critical condition.

The anonymous girl who took the photograph told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that they had no idea that the blood on the large sword he was holding was real.

She told the newspaper that she had left her classroom to fetch a pen when she spotted two friends standing with a man wearing a mask and holding a blood-covered knife.

Thinking that the attacker had dressed up as a holiday joke, her friends wanted a picture with him, so she obliged.

Seconds after the picture was taken, their teacher, a 41-year-old maths lecturer, came out of the classroom and told the killer to take off the mask and leave as he was scaring the children.

'He just nodded, then he plunged the large knife into the teacher's right side. The last thing I heard him say was 'call an ambulance'.'

Kronan is located in an area of Trollhattan with a diverse population and many of the pupils are first or second generation immigrants.

In the weeks before the attack, Lundin-Pettersson, who was described by witnesses as wearing a 'Darth Vader mask and helmet', had expressed sympathies with extreme right-wing organisations online.

An investigation by magazine Expo into Lundin-Petterson's social media activities found that he had 'liked' several YouTube videos glorifying Nazi Germany.

He had also showed support for anti-immigration party Sweden Democrats, and other right-wing politicians on Facebook.

He attended Lichron Teknikgymnasium, a high school in Trollhättan where he obtained a diploma in technology.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after 10am and were forced to shoot the 21-year-old attacker after he turned on police.

The assailant used 'a number of knife-like weapons' to attack students and teachers in the school cafeteria and in classrooms.

'One of my friends opened the door and there's a man dressed in black with a Star Wars mask and a large black sword,' a student witness told Sveriges Television.

The victims and the masked attacker were all rushed to the Norra Alvsborgs Lanssjukhus hospital in Trollhättan, an industrial town of around 50,000 inhabitants.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, police addressed speculation that the attack had racial motives.

'It's in the picture [potential racist attack], but it is nothing I wish to comment on at the moment,' Thord Haraldsson, who is leading the investigation said.

The wounded teacher had been stabbed in the abdomen while the boys were stabbed in the abdomen, liver and chest.

The attacker, who was also admitted to the Norra Alvsborgs Lanssjukhus, had gun wounds to the lower part of his chest, and later died from his wounds.

Kronan has around 400 students from pre-school, aged six, up to year 9, aged 15-16, but the murdered is not a former pupil.

Police responded to an emergency call saying a masked man equipped with a sword was on the premises and that a person had been attacked at or near the school cafeteria, police said


Leftist racism in Australia now largely ignored

Jeremy Sammut

At a forum earlier this year, a prominent Leftist economic commentator outlined his greatest fear that as the economy soured, politicians would shift the blame by reverting to the slogans and stereotypes of the White Australia era.

My response was that the notion of racism lurking latent in the nation's soul, ripe for electoral exploitation, did not match contemporary social and political reality. Diversity was not just a social phenomenon born of decades of non-discriminatory immigration policy.

More importantly, it was a family reality for millions of ordinary Australians who -- due to the high levels of intermarriage between different ethnic groups -- recoil from anti-immigrant sentiments promoting prejudice against family members.

I have been thinking about the commentator's statement after viewing the television ad produced by the Victorian Liberal Party criticizing the union opposition to the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The ad depicts a typical Australian -- and typically ethnically diverse -- suburban family. As Fairfax reported earlier this month, it shows an "Australian man on the couch with his arm around his Chinese girlfriend" while watching "union attack ads on TV with the man's parents."

When the girlfriend says that she didn't think Australians were racist, she is reassured by the mother that this is correct, and the father blames the Labor politicians who haven't stopped "some unions" from running a dog-whistle anti-Chinese campaign. It ends with the slogan: "Free trade is good for Australian jobs".

I take great heart from this ad that the days of White Australia are long behind us.

A century ago, politicians from all sides of politics strongly endorsed anti-Chinese and Protectionist sentiments - because there were lots of votes to be won by backing a White Australia. But times, attitudes, and Australian society have changed. Today, recalcitrant unions are called out as racist for endorsing throwback ideas that are no longer in tune with mainstream values.

Fears that politicians will resort to playing the race card are indeed exaggerated -- as is illustrated this week by the Federal Labor Party's capitulation on the ChAFTA deal. The racism of earlier times will simply not play politically in contemporary Australia for the simple reason that this is genuinely offensive to millions of Australian voters.



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

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

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


23 October, 2015

A new Liberty Hall

"This is Liberty Hall" was once a popular way for a host to put his guests at ease and encourage them to behave naturally.  It seems to have fallen out of use in recent decades, however, which is slightly odd, considering the rise of libertarianism in those same decades.  Being an old guy, I still use the expression, however.  Was there ever an actual Liberty Hall, I wonder?  There are around the globe a lot of buildings named that but I can find no claim for original ownership of the name

When Alan Bennett's wary headmaster character declares: "I am all in favour of free expression, provided it's kept rigidly under control," he articulates a central paradox in our approach to artistic liberty. We are proud to champion it but worry endlessly about the rights of different groups, about policing and enforcing.

At Dalkey Archive Press, the leading publisher of literature in translation, they are used to struggling against both tacit and open artistic suppression. But recently it has joined something bigger and even more ambitious: London's "Free Word Centre". From this month, 60 Farringdon Road houses the new charity and nine other charitable organisations from the sectors of literature, literacy and free expression, such as Index on Censorship, Article l9, English PEN, the Reading Agency, the Literary Consultancy and Booktrust.

The FWC is more than the sum of its parts — and this is more than the usual rhetoric. It also provides Concept Lab, a forum for testing risky new ideas. It has a lecture hall, meeting rooms and hot desks, and invites all comers to partake at whatever level they prefer. Above all, the FWC is unique in bringing together organisations across literature, literacy and free expression, to collaborate with each other and partners around the world. Britain is the first country to create a centre that specifically works on literature and its international and political context. Ursula Owen, the project director who brought the idea of the centre to realisation, insists that politics should not be a dirty word but, on the contrary, that it is "absolutely essential" we make this connection.

The idea of such a centre was born at a 2004 meeting held by Arts Council England. Its London head of literature, Nick McDowell, pointed out the "glaring omission" of "a centre dedicated to literature and free expression" in London, a city in every other way a world capital of culture. Where indeed would your London taxi take you if you were looking not for dance or visual art but for literature?

In 2007, Fritt Ord ("Free Word"), a distinguished Norwegian foundation with its origins in a newsstand company, agreed to buy 60 Farringdon Road for Free Word. Its primary aim is to support freedom of expression and open, informed public debate, concepts which are highly valued in Norway [as long as you don't disrespect Islam]. Erik Rudeng, Fritt Ord's director, explains: "We regard the London free expression organisations as pioneering, leading European players, and London as the most diverse metropolis, where controversies, reconciliations and other activities concerning freedom of expression are most intense."

The director of Free Word, Shreela Ghosh, says that freedom of speech and the plurality of speaking voices form a measure of a society's health. She is clear that protecting and promoting free expression does not entail protecting English. Rather, voices in every tongue should be heard — a good thing for our Norwegian partners. Although they do speak excellent English.


Twitter trolls call for boycott of new Star Wars film using #BoycottStarWarsVII because it is 'anti-white' and 'alienates core audience of young white males'

There is a lot of pressure for "diversity" in plays and movies these days so it is reasonable to see tokenism at work

A group of racist internet trolls have called for a boycott of the upcoming Star Wars film because it is 'anti-white', just hours after the release of the movie's final teaser trailer.

Using the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII, they claim the highly anticipated movie is a 'social justice propaganda piece' and 'PC anti-white diversity c***.'

But Twitter users have swiftly reclaimed the tag - pointing out the original series, and the follow up trilogy, also contain black characters.

The film features black British actor John Boyega as one its main protagonists. In the few clips of the film released so far, he is seen wearing a stormtrooper uniform but is also a Jedi.

The hashtag started trending after the poster and final teaser trailer were released for the latest installment of the film - featuring some old-timers and a few interesting new details.

Among the claims made by the trolls were accusations it should be boycotted because it was 'nothing more than a social justice propaganda piece that alienates it's core audience of young white males'.

A second person tweeted: 'While children deserve wholesome movies, not more PC anti-white diversity crap.'

However, as soon as it began trending, hundreds of supporters of the new film re-appropriated the hashtag.

Describing the trolls' claims as 'stupidity', they astutely pointed out that the past two trilogies in the film series have featured multiple black actors.

Throughout the entirety of the first trilogy, villain Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones, while the second and third films introduced Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams.

And in the second trilogy, the Jedi Master Mace Windu was played by Samuel L. Jackson, and bounty hunter Jango Fett was portrayed by Temuera Morrison.

The calls for a boycott appear to have been a response to the release of the final trailer for the film, which also marked the first appearance of Carrie Fisher, who returns as Princess Leia.

Notably absent in the new footage is Luke Skywalker as three new characters - Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron - dominate the poster.


Geert Wilders launches Australia's 'first freedom party' (and  it's anti-Islam)

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders has launched an anti-Islam party in Perth, claiming it is Australia's "first freedom party".

The Dutch politician said on Wednesday that the Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) provided hope in its commitment to "stop the Islamisation of Australia".

"At the end of the day it's all worth it as we have the truth on our side," Mr Wilders said, amid a loud protest.

He said his supporters in Holland were concerned citizens and "not extremists, they are not bigots".

'A totalitarian ideology'

The new party has been inspired by the Mr Wilders-led Party for Freedom which is currently polling strongly and holds seats in the Dutch parliament.

The Australian party's "manifesto" has detailed policies on several issues, such as support for privatising the SBS and "non-core" sections of the ABC; however it is its anti-Islam policies that dominate its political ideology.

Its manifesto reads: "Islam is not merely a religion, it is a totalitarian ideology with global aspirations. Islam uses the religious element as a means to project itself onto non-Islamic societies, which is manifest in the historical and ongoing expansion of Islam."

Mr Wilders noted that "like minded parties" were having great success in Austria, Sweden, France and Switzerland. Heated debate over immigration policies in Europe  appears to have resulted in increased support for some of the far-right parties.

The ALA is preparing to run several candidates in the next federal election.

Mr Wilders, who travels with heavy security protection, was the main speaker at the launch of the ALA conference held at a secret location in Perth on Tuesday night. Supporters met in Perth city before getting on a bus, organised by the ALA, to be taken to the event.

"Everywhere in Europe, the people, not the political elite, not the governments, but the people are saying enough is enough, let us reclaim our country," Mr Wilders said on Tuesday night.

"Stop the mass immigration from Islamic countries. No more, we say no more to the governments and the Islamisation process."

The prominent Dutch politician said he was pleased to be at the "birth" of the country's "first freedom party".


A new book about my favorite Italian

His political incorrectness is legendary and Italians have always been forgiving of his peccadilloes

With a broad smile, Silvio Berlusconi greets the handsome international football star. ‘Hey, when are you going to introduce me to your wife?’ he asks. ‘Everyone says that she is the most beautiful girl. I’d love to meet her.’

Given the reputation of the Italian billionaire and three-time prime minister of his country as an unbridled playboy with a ravenous appetite for gorgeous women, it is a loaded question.

No wonder the young player looks startled. Berlusconi protests his innocence. ‘Just to see her,’ he says. ‘I’m so old I can’t do anything any more . . .’ But the sexual innuendo is clear, and it makes the flesh creep.

The encounter, revealed in a new biography of Italy’s Lothario-in-chief, took place at the training ground of mighty AC Milan, the football club Berlusconi owns (with the property and media empires that make him the 141st-richest man in the world, according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $8 billion).

He has swept in by helicopter and with typical arrogance is instructing his soccer superstars — every one of them an international and a household name — how to play the game. They must attack more and, by the way, here’s a personal tip for you from me on how to take corners. It’s then that he turns from football to his other great love — women — and asks Sulley Muntari, a powerful midfielder from Ghana, who also played for Portsmouth and Sunderland, about his wife.

Berlusconi, the nudge-nudge, wink-wink dirty old man of Europe, can’t seem to stop himself.

Approaching 80, he has led a phenomenal life. From almost nothing, he built a vast property business in Italy and a media conglomerate of television channels.

He then went into politics, launched his own party and within months was Italy’s prime minister, a position he held for a record-breaking total of more than ten years over three terms.

On the world stage he shared the top table with international power brokers Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Merkel. He was close friends with Colonel Gaddafi of Libya — and still is with Vladimir Putin. Yet he can never throw off the stench of sleaze, which exploded into massive headlines in 2010. In what was known with a worldwide snigger as the Bunga-Bunga scandal (a euphemism for unbridled copulation), he was accused of taking part in orgies and having sex with an under-age prostitute known as Ruby.

The Italian Press pounced, describing in lurid detail allegations of sado-masochism and girls dressed as nuns and nurses doing lap dances.

There were stories of lavish presents showered on dozens of wannabe starlets and models who attended his parties and allegations that he kept a harem of 33 young girls housed in an apartment block that was part of his property empire.

As soon as the story broke, he found himself ridiculed. ‘Bunga-Bunga’ bars opened from Moscow to Manchester and Berlin to Bali. Everyone joined in the joke. David Cameron left Downing Street for a meeting with Berlusconi and apparently reassured his wife: ‘Don’t worry, Samantha, I’ll get someone to pull me out of the Jacuzzi before the whores turn up.’

Berlusconi dismissed the whole business with self-deprecating humour. ‘Though I’m definitely naughty, the idea of 33 girls in two months seems a bit much!’ he said.

It was the sort of quip he can’t help himself from making. On marital fidelity, he once said with a smirk: ‘I am not a saint. I have been faithful frequently.’ His detractors inevitably took from that aside what they wanted to hear — that he was a serial philanderer who played around and enjoyed every minute of it.

But now he has been given free reign to tell his side of the story in a major new biography by American journalist Alan Friedman, in which the old rogue affords intriguing insights into his private world and defiantly insists: ‘I don’t feel guilty about anything.’

So WHAT is the truth about this most maverick of statesmen — and is his love life really as colourful as has been claimed?

In this regard, Berlusconi would like to set one thing straight: he insists he’s always been the chased rather than the chaser. ‘When I was a teenager, my mother always used to say I was the most handsome guy on the beach. I sang, I played the guitar and I excelled in sports and so I was really attractive to the girls,’ he says.

‘In truth, I would say I was often the one who was seduced rather than being the guy who did the seducing.’

Indeed, he insists that he is actually a lot less exciting than people might think. ‘I have always been pretty much a workaholic . . . I have not devoted much of my life to the pursuit and seduction of the gentler sex.’

Rather, he’s been a husband and father. ‘I have had an orderly life. I was always a family man, trying to dedicate my free time to my kids. These other stories about me are just fantasies to damage me as a public figure.’

His wives may be forgiven for a rather different view.

First, there was quiet and assuming Carla, the hometown girl he glimpsed at a distance in the street when he was just starting up in business, followed home and whisked off her feet. He was 24 and she was 20. She lasted the best part of 20 years, until he threw himself into the open arms of an actress named Veronica Lario.

When he first saw Veronica she was on stage in a theatre he had just bought. At one point in the play she lowered her top and revealed her breasts. Berlusconi rushed backstage to her dressing room with a bouquet of roses and romanced her straight into a relationship.

They married in 1990 and she kept a very low profile for many years, bringing up their children, until in 2007, Berlusconi was shown on TV flirting outrageously at a star-studded party filled with models, showgirls, actresses and dancers and telling a shapely Venezuelan model that he would go anywhere to be with her.

Veronica went public with her hurt and thereafter took to hounding him in the Press. One particular salvo concerned an 18-year-old lingerie model he was seen with at a party and who called him by the affectionate nickname of ‘Papi’.

The wronged Veronica’s response was a Press release that stated: ‘I cannot stay with a man who frequents minors. I’m bringing down the curtain on my married life.’ Which she did.

Berlusconi is now dating 29-year-old Francesca Pascale, a stunning brunette half a century his junior — proof that he can still charm the birds out of the trees.

That charm was the secret of his meteoric rise in business and in politics. And here, he admits, he was ‘a natural-born seducer . . . I always succeed in establishing a personal rapport, a feeling, a chemistry. This is how I achieve my goals.’

When he set up Forza Italia as a Centre-Right, free-market party to challenge the Left, he kissed babies, schmoozed voters, pledged lower taxes, promised the earth.

He was a relentless entertainer putting on a good show — a skill learned as a young man whose first job was as a cruise ship crooner, singing his heart out in a natty jacket and straw boater.

During his summer holidays at university (where he read law), he entertained blue-rinsed grannies and honeymooning newlyweds on board ship.  ‘I played in the five-man orchestra and sang while the passengers danced,’ he says. ‘But from midnight until 3am I was on my own as Une Voix et Une Guitare (One Voice and One Guitar). That was me!’

Sinatra was a favourite of his, and still is. An apt choice, for like Ol’ Blue Eyes, Berlusconi has faced accusations of links with organised crime. When mention of the Mafia is made, Friedman notices ‘the slightest hint of discomfort’ at the line of questioning.

Why did he hire a man later convicted as a Mafia killer and drug trafficker as his country estate manager? Berlusconi denies knowing of the connection. Where did he get the capital to launch his many businesses?

These issues have been endlessly investigated and ‘nothing irregular has ever been turned up,’ he insists, falling back on his favourite argument — that he has been targeted over many decades by judges, prosecutors and militant magistrates determined to get him. They have spied on him, wire-tapping his homes and his friends, he declares, incensed at the violation of privacy.

The Bunga-Bunga case, he notes, is one of 61 trials he has had to go through in the past 20 years.

His outrage, however, has to be balanced against the questions that still hang in the air. How come, for example, that the first member of Italy’s tax police to investigate him found nothing and then left the police to work for Berlusconi?

‘I liked him,’ says Berlusconi and dismisses any suspicion as ‘far away from reality and absolutely false’.

What, then, of the fact that his various governments introduced laws that seemed tailor-made to suit his personal legal problems? One decriminalised the charge of false accounting, another allowed the prime minister and other top officials to avoid court appearances because of their busy schedules and high office.

This, too, is dismissed with a laugh: ‘Complete and utter nonsense.’ But the suspicion remains.

For many years, he saw off what he calls his ‘persecutors’ (though at vast cost in legal expenses), but there have been numerous close shaves.

Which bring us back to Bunga-Bunga. Faced with charges of having sex with an under-age prostitute and for abuse of office relating to her release from detention, Berlusconi was found guilty, sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from public office for life. He looked a goner.

But he appealed and, after three years, the conviction was quashed on the grounds that he could not have known the exact age of Ruby at the time, and the courts had been unable to prove they had ever had sex.

He was off the hook, but only for a while. The tenacious Milan prosecutors have upped the ante and are now claiming that Berlusconi bribed dozens of girls to commit perjury on his behalf.

His reply is that he paid them as an act of generosity and not a payment for any ulterior motives. That issue has yet to be resolved.

But a conviction for tax fraud has stuck, and only the fact that he is over 70 kept him out prison. For a year he had to live at his sumptuous 70-room Villa San Martino in a semi-curfew and semi-imprisonment, his passport confiscated, doing community service in a home for Alzheimer’s patients as recompense.

He has been thrown out of the Italian senate and been banned from public office until 2019. The verdict was a bitter blow to his psyche from which, says Friedman, he has not fully recovered.

Yet still the Great Survivor is not giving up, but plotting his latest political comeback. Friedman is a spectator at San Martino as he talks electoral politics and the resurgence of Forza Italia with members of his inner team, his so-called Magic Circle, at the centre of which is Pascale, his girlfriend.

The Italian Press see her as the villain, manipulating Berlusconi, isolating him from the world, doing irreparable damage to him with her inexperience, bad judgment and ambition.

This doesn’t ring true to Friedman. Those who know Berlusconi even a little, he says, recognise it is not easy to manipulate him. In the autumn of his years, he is still most definitely the boss.

His Bunga-Bunga days may be finished, but we haven’t heard the last from Silvio Berlusconi, the natural born seducer.



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

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

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


22 October, 2015

Breastfeeding and IQ

Breastfeeding is VERY politically correct these days.  Mothers who do not breastfeed can be harassed by other mothers over it.  Why?  Because breastfeeding is thought to be  "more natural" and hence better for the baby.  But better in what way? One claim is that is helps the child's IQ.  But the studies have not been very supportive of that. So the latest very extensive study is of great interest.  Abstract below:

Breastfeeding and IQ Growth from Toddlerhood through Adolescence

By Sophie von Stumm &  Robert Plomin

The benefits of breastfeeding for cognitive development continue to be hotly debated but are yet to be supported by conclusive empirical evidence.

We used here a latent growth curve modeling approach to test the association of breastfeeding with IQ growth trajectories, which allows differentiating the variance in the IQ starting point in early life from variance in IQ gains that occur later in childhood through adolescence. Breastfeeding (yes/ no) was modeled as a direct predictor of three IQ latent growth factors (i.e. intercept, slope and quadratic term) and adjusted for the covariates socioeconomic status, mother's age at birth and gestational stage. Data came from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), a prospective cohort study of twins born between 1996 and 1994 in the United Kingdom, who were assessed 9 times on IQ between age 2 and 16 years (N = 11,582).

Having been breastfed was associated with a small yet significant advantage in IQ at age 2 in girls (? = .07, CI 95% from 0.64 to 3.01; N = 3,035) but not in boys (? = .04, CI 95% from -0.14 to 2.41). Having been breastfeeding was neither associated with the other IQ growth factors in girls (slope: ? = .02, CI 95% from -0.25 to 0.43; quadratic: ? = .01, CI 95% from -0.02 to 0.02) nor in boys (slope: ? = .02, CI 95% from -0.30 to 0.47; quadratic: ? = -.01, CI 95% from -0.01 to 0.01).

Breastfeeding has little benefit for early life intelligence and cognitive growth from toddlerhood through adolescence.

Von Stumm S, Plomin R (2015). Breastfeeding and IQ Growth from Toddlerhood through Adolescence. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138676. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138676

The study is persuasive rather than conclusive.  I think IQ of the mother should have been controlled for.  I made the same criticism of a noted Brazilian study which did find some benefit from breastfeeding.

Another concern is that the measures of IQ used at different ages were not well correlated. They could obviously not be the same but correlations between them as low as .18 are a serious concern.

Overall, however, the general agreement of the studies on the matter leads me to agree that breastfeeding has no effect on IQ.  It may however have other benefits.

UPDATE:  Those .18 correlations in Table 1 are of course absolutely appalling so I have been thinking about that.  The simple thing to say is that the questions you ask a 4-year-old to assess his IQ and the questions you ask a 16-year old to assess his IQ are necessarily  very different -- so a high correlation is not to be expected.  There is however a conventional solution to that conundrum:  Use a spiral omnibus test -- where the questions start out very easy and gradually get harder.

The authors above, apparently, did not however have that luxury.  So their solution was a creative one which I rather admire.  They took the first eigenvector of the battery they did have and standardized that as IQ (mean 100; SD 15).

So what do we find from that?  It could be argued that they have for the first time made IQ tests that are valid for particular age groups.  And in that case what we see is that IQ is very variable  throughout the lifespan.  Being bright at 2 tells us little about  IQ at 16

And I think that is an important finding.  In particular it conforms to other findings that environment is important in early life but, as time goes by it is the genetic given that manifests itself.

Be that as it may, the measures of IQ used in the early years are clearly just not valid.  They do not correlate with well-accepted  measures from later life. Putting it more bluntly, trying to measure IQ at age 2 is just a no-go.  It fails.  It tells you  nothing.

In that case the slight effect seen at age 2 is a nonsense and not to be taken seriously.

And Table 1 in the article has another interesting implication.  It bears on the "Eleven Plus" exam used in England to filter access to Grammar (selective) schools. There was no IQ given for age 11 but there was for age 12.  And we see there that  the correlations for age 12 and up averaged around .6.  That is not ideal but, given changes in IQ throughout the early lifetime, is probably as good as can be expected. Those eigenvectors were not too bad as IQ measures!

This Top Justice Offical Is Wrong. American Culture Isn’t Racist, Discriminatory

Recently, the acting head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Principal Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta, gave a very long speech for the “Community Policing Summit,” hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey. The speech was a longer and more detailed version of remarks delivered repeatedly by Obama administration officials these days, so it is worth reading with some care.

Given the most charitable interpretation, the speech presumes a moral equivalence between the police and those arrested by them. On a less charitable reading, it displays hostility to law enforcement and makes a wrongheaded assumption that Americans and American culture are racist and discriminatory. More broadly, it accepts the progressive line that institutional racism is to blame for the ills in America’s inner cities and ignores entirely the possibility of a culture that encourages individuals to act irresponsibly.

If personnel are policy, then perhaps we should not be surprised. Gupta is a former director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, which focuses on stopping not only the death penalty, but all of the supposed systemic problems in the American criminal justice system. (In fact, ours is one of the fairest systems in the world, particularly in its due-process protections for defendants. But we digress.) As the acting head of the Civil Rights Division, Gupta no doubt felt she was being even-handed by saying some nice things about the police in a speech that proceeds to repeat baseless charges against them.

Gupta spends far more time attacking the police than defending them, and even her defense sometimes damns with faint praise. It is hard to read the speech without concluding that the police are failing either because they are well-meaning but incompetent or because they are not well-meaning at all. In either event, she certainly leaves the impression that critics of the criminal justice system are basically correct in asserting that the police have been historically discriminatory and that the whole system remains rigged against people of color. Because, after all, at least according to Gupta, the “science” shows that “we all hold biases we aren’t aware of,” and we have to identify and correct the “explicit and implicit bias” of police officers.

The speech begins by listing a half-dozen individuals killed by the police and noting what’s called “the sobering public reactions” in Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore, and elsewhere. She recounts the charges made against the police, and what the police say in their own defense, and then concludes, “There is truth in both of these perspectives.”

That is certainly not what her own division said about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Gupta’s summation is deaf, dumb, and blind moral equivalence with a vengeance. It was clear that the witnesses who originally stated that Brown had surrendered with his hands up in response to an unprovoked attack by Officer Darren Wilson had fabricated their testimony. In fact, Wilson was attacked by Brown after robbing a convenience store, and the shooting was entirely justified. So there was no “truth” in what was driving the Ferguson protesters; their perspective was completely wrong, based on false information that generated a mob mentality and mob violence.

The myth that there is “systemic inequality” and “structural barriers to opportunity” is part of the false, fashionably progressive claim that America is an inherently racist nation. But Gupta says nothing about that or how former attorney general Eric Holder and other supposed leaders of the black community such as Al Sharpton inflamed public opinion in Ferguson, assuming from the very start, without any evidence, that the police officer was at fault.

Then Gupta justifies the mistrust of the police as a result of America’s racist past and “criminal justice policies over the last few decades, and the concentrated impact they have had on poor and minority communities.” This has resulted “in mass incarceration, particularly of people of color accused of low-level crimes.” Yet she refuses to acknowledge the fact that the reason so many “people of color” are in jail is not because of discrimination or an unfair criminal-justice system; it is because, unfortunately, black Americans commit crimes, particularly violent crimes, at far greater rates than do whites, Asians, and Hispanics.

This is a tragic situation that must be attributed in large measure to the widespread absence of two-parent black families and black male role models, not racism or an inherently discriminatory criminal justice system. And while she may think that drug dealing is a “low-level” crime that does not deserve incarceration, we doubt that law-abiding citizens of inner-city neighborhoods would agree. They are the ones who have had to endure—and watch their children endure—the violence, criminality, destruction of property, and degradation of their communities caused by unchecked drug dealing.

Next she launches into a long discussion of how the Civil Rights Division is “rebuilding police-community trust” by “holding individual officers accountable for criminal misconduct.” What’s more, she boasts that the administration has “opened 22 investigations of law-enforcement agencies across the country” and prosecuted 350 law enforcement officers. She then proceeds to detail the results of these investigations.

One example is the investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department—an investigation that, according to Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was as a whole “so replete with conclusions unsupported by fact, so lacking in basic methodological rigor,” that it “is an embarrassment.” She doesn’t mention her division’s attempted prosecution of five New Orleans police officers, in which a federal judge ordered new trials because of the “grotesque” misconduct of federal prosecutors, including that of a Civil Rights Division lawyer (who was not terminated and still works in the division).

To quote former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey’s important Hillsdale College speech from last summer:

    State and local jurisdictions do not have the resources or the political will to fight the federal government. As a result, more than 20 cities are now operating under consent decrees secured by the Justice Department, with court-appointed monitors imposing restrictive standards on police officers who now think twice before they stop suspects or make arrests. The results are predictable. Shootings are on the rise in New York, as are quality-of-life crimes that create a sense of public disorder and social deterioration. Seattle is also a good example: a federal lawsuit and a court-appointed monitor followed on the heels of a publicized incident, and now homicides are up 25 percent, car theft is up 44 percent, and aggravated assault is up 14 percent.

In an attempt to be even-handed, Gupta talks about the importance of “officer safety and wellness.” She acknowledges and condemns the recent assassinations of police officers. And she says the police are asked to do too much, often “lack adequate policy guidance, supervision and even equipment,” and are sometimes “unfairly blamed for decisions made far above their rank, or even by local officials outside of the policy department.”

Gupta says the feds want to “make sure officers have the tools and specialized training to do their jobs consistent with community values,” to deal well “with the mentally ill and others in crisis, as well as to ensure respectful interactions with LGBTI [sic] persons, immigrants with language barriers and other vulnerable populations.” She concludes, “Critically, we also owe it to provide [the police] with the professional support to cope with the stress and trauma they encounter on the job.”

That is certainly not something the Civil Rights Division can provide. Both of the authors of this piece are veterans of the division, and we can attest that the militantly liberal ideologies and backgrounds of the attorneys who now work there—like Vanita Gupta—are well-known in the law enforcement community. None of the lawyers who work with law enforcement agencies and police officers and conduct the investigations into their supposed misconduct have any experience in law enforcement—including Vanita Gupta.

All, however, are “progressive” lawyers with little patience for, and more often overt hostility to, law enforcement. As was pointed out in an exposé several years ago, almost all of the division’s lawyers come from left-wing advocacy groups such as the ACLU:

    While there were numerous lawyers hired who worked as public defenders or for advocacy organizations for criminals and prisoners, not a single lawyer was hired with experience as a prosecutor or in law enforcement in a Section which has as one its main jobs investigating the practices of local police. Do local jurisdictions really think they will get a fair, nonpartisan, objective hearing from the lawyers in this Section?

Toward the end of the speech, Gupta ties up a few loose ends. Here’s one:

    We cannot have a conversation about policing in isolation of broader systemic inequality. Many of the problems in our criminal justice system reflect structural barriers to opportunity. The elevated conversation gives us an opportunity to connect these dots and address inequalities in housing, education, access to transportation, good jobs, and more. These things are undeniably related.

This is not an “elevated” conversation. The myth that there is “systemic inequality” and “structural barriers to opportunity” is part of the false, fashionably progressive claim that America is an inherently racist nation, permanently scarred by past racism. It’s not that conservatives are in denial about past racism; it’s that liberals are in denial about the last 50 years of progress. The racism we still saw in the 1950s and early 1960s has not only become illegal, but also become culturally unacceptable.

American society is not perfect—no society ever will be—but there are no racist “structural barriers” that prevent any Americans, no matter their color or ethnicity, from getting an education and making the most of their opportunities—if they are willing to work hard and not see themselves as “victims” who can’t get ahead. Of course, using and dealing drugs and committing violent crimes are huge barriers to success. For a high-ranking federal official to give a speech that repeatedly excuses law-breaking and discounts personal responsibility and opportunity is, in itself, irresponsible.

Here are the last of Gupta’s loose ends:

    If we would take the time to listen—really listen—and understand why most protesters take to the streets, why police officers risk their lives every day, we would find that, while perspectives may differ, people’s aspirations—and their values—tend to be very similar. We all want safer streets. We all want stronger communities. We all believe in justice.

We find it hard to imagine that, for example, the Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Louis—chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” right after two New York police officers were assassinated—have the same “aspirations” and “values” as law-enforcement officers who risk their lives every day. Or that the protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore, who looted and burned local shops and drugstores; shot civilians who resisted them; and threw beer bottles, rocks, and other objects at law enforcement officers trying to maintain the peace, have the same desire for safer streets, stronger communities, and justice as the rest of America.


Australia: Even an exemplary Muslim can be a wife-basher

Though some of the prior praise of him may well have been a form of "affirmative action".  The Left are all on about wife-bashing at the moment but they also heart Muslims -- so I expect great silence from them over this.  If, on the other hand,  he had been an Anglo ....

Rugby league legend Hazem El Masri has been charged over an alleged domestic violence assault on his new wife. 

A NSW police spokeswoman said the former Bulldogs winger, 39, was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault on Monday evening.

The charges relate to an incident with his 25-year-old wife around 7:30pm at his south-western Sydney home, police said.

An AVO has been lodged for the protection of his wife Douah El-Cherif for the next 28 days. He must not approach or contact her by any means, the order said.

Mr El Masri, who won the premiership in 2004 with the Bulldogs, was granted conditional bail and will appear at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday.

He split from his previous wife of 14 years, Arwa, in 2014 and has since remarried. He and Arwa had three children together.

El Masri, who was sometimes known as 'El Magic', retired from rugby league in 2009 with a reputation for being one of the game's most prolific goalkickers.

He grew up in Tripoli during the Lebanese civil war and moved to Australia at age 11 and was widely regarded as a positive role model for youth in Sydney's west.

Since his retirement, he has worked in the community service sector and spent time as an ambassador for the White Ribbon Foundation, a movement to stop violence against women.

A 2006 Fairfax profile described him as 'league's pin-up boy for good behaviour' and the 'best role model the game has'.'

In an interview with Australian Story, Nine commentator Ray Warren described him as 'one of the real gentlemen of the code'. 'In 41 years of sports commentating, I've seen a lot of footballers come and go. 'But I have no doubt Hazem El Masri will leave a lasting impression on rugby league, as he will on Australia. He's the man we call 'El Magic'.'

A Bulldogs club award for Player of the Year is named in El Masri's honour. 


British PM vows to root out Islamic extremists infiltrating the NHS, civil service and the country's education system


David Cameron last night launched a major inquiry into whether Islamist extremists have infiltrated the UK’s public sector.

The Prime Minister acted amid concerns of ‘entryism’ by fanatics into the NHS, the civil service, local authorities and the country’s education system following the Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham.

This saw Islamist hardliners attempt to take over a number of schools and radicalise children.

The inquiry was revealed during the launch of the Government’s updated counter-extremism strategy.

Mr Cameron said politicians could no longer ‘put our kid gloves on’ and hope the threat posed by extremists would go away.

As the Mail revealed yesterday, the document also contained plans to treat Islamist fanatics in the same way as paedophiles by automatically banning them from working with children.

And parents will be able to apply to have the passports of under-18s taken away if they fear they are planning to travel to Syria or Iraq to engage in jihad.

Discussing the risk of extremism in the public sector, the strategy says: ‘We will carry out a full review to ensure all institutions are safeguarded from the risk posed by entryism.

‘This will report in 2016 and look across the public sector, including schools, further and higher education colleges, local authorities, the NHS and the civil service.

'The review will clearly set out the risk posed and advise on measures to guard against entryism, for example by improving governance, inspection and whistle-blowing.

‘It will engage charities and businesses to help them identify and tackle entryist behaviour.’ Mr Cameron also announced a review into the application of sharia law in the UK and vowed to toughen the rules around gaining British citizenship.

In an article on Facebook, the Prime Minister said it was time for the Muslim ‘silent majority’ to stand up and tackle Islamist extremism in their communities.

He added: ‘The fight against Islamist extremism is, I believe, one of the great struggles of our generation.

‘In responding to this poisonous ideology, we face a choice. Do we close our eyes, put our kid gloves on and just hope that our values will somehow endure?

‘Or do we get out there and make the case for those values, defend them with all that we’ve got and resolve to win the battle of ideas all over again?’ He went on to say: ‘In the past, I believe that governments made the wrong choice.

‘Whether in the face of Islamist or neo-Nazi extremism, we were too tolerant of intolerance, too afraid to cause offence. We seemed to lack the strength and resolve to stand up.’

Yesterday Dr Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, attacked the plans – claiming they would ‘reinforce perceptions that all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a compliance test to prove our loyalty to this country’.

Dr Shafi also said he detected ‘McCarthyist undertones’ in the idea of putting people suspected of extremist views on blacklists and banning them from working in the public sector.



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

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

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


21 October, 2015

Yes means Yes and No means No -- except when you are Ched Evans

The conviction of British footballer Ched Evans for rape  has widely been decried. Because Yes does not mean Yes when you are Ched Evans, apparently. The woman concerned DID say Yes to him and made no complaint afterwards but a badly instructed British jury  in its stratopheric wisdom decided that Evans should have taken Yes to mean No. She was too drunk to give consent, apparently. Though how they know that and what is the relevant metric of drunkenness in those circumstances remains uncertain. 

So it is a relief that the British justice system has now reopened the case -- after Evans spent over two years in jail.  Sex with women who drink must be harshly discouraged, it seems.  If that pompous dictum were taken seriously among the population at large, it would at least halve the British birthrate, I would think.  Alcohol and sex have a long history together, even among married people.

And the Yes means Yes mantra is a typically stupid feminist invention anyway.  There are many men who can attest that sometimes No means Yes.  I was always too impatient to play that game myself (apparently to some confusion) but it is a common one where the woman is embarrassed, shy etc.  Many women would think less of themselves if they said "Yes" straight away.  The woman  would think that she was appearing "too easy". So men do sometimes have to decide whether a No really means Yes and they can obviously make the occasional mistake there, particularly if they are not too bright. 

So one can only hope that the feminist mantra is vigorously preached to women too so that they will be less evasive and less confusing to men.  I am not holding my breath -- JR

A case drawn up by private investigators to clear the name of rapist footballer Ched Evans is believed to question the lifestyle of his victim and failures by police to seize crucial CCTV footage.

Earlier this week, the Criminal Cases Review Commission said that new evidence had emerged in the case which 'raises a real possibility the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction'.

Now it has been reported that private investigators, hired by the father of his fiancee Natasha Massey, have spent 18 months finding new evidence and interviewing new witnesses, which they believe will help the 26-year-old have his conviction overturned.

It claims she was banned from the Zu Bar nightclub in Rhyl, north Wales, where she and Evans had been socialising separately that night and that a statement has been provided from a woman who had a 'significant 'conversation with the victim in a taxi on the way to a police station.

The dossier of evidence is also thought to criticise police for their investigation for taking Evans and co-accused Clayton McDonald to a police station in the same car and their alleged failure to seize potentially significant CCTV footage.

However, a source close to the appeal team has said the evidence is not a 'character assassination' of the woman but rather raises potential inconsistencies in her background.

The source told the newspaper: 'Some of the new ­information is being seen within Ched’s camp as highly significant.

'It would be easy to take the view that he has done his time and he should now just put it all behind him. But he has set his sights on it being quashed. 'Resuming his career is key to all his plans with his fiancée and the new baby they are expecting.'

Since being released from prison last year, Evans has been unable to find a new team, with several clubs offering him trials only to backtrack after a public outcry.

Evans applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in July 2014, and it received further evidence from his legal team earlier this year.

After a ten-month investigation, the commission is now referring the case to the Court of Appeal, based on ‘new information which was not raised at trial’ that could have supported his defence.

The court can now either uphold the conviction, quash it, or overturn it and order a retrial.

Evans denied rape in 2012, saying the sex was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court. The prosecution said the woman was too drunk to consent to intercourse.

The woman was raped in a Premier Inn in 2012 after his footballer friend McDonald, who was cleared of rape, texted Evans on the way there saying: 'I've got a bird'.

McDonald had sex with the victim, before Evans arrived and raped her, while two others filmed it through the window.

After Evans's release from jail his old club Sheffield United, who used to pay him £20,000 a week, agreed to let him train with them.

But the League One club were plunged into crisis when three patrons quit, fans threatened a boycott and its main sponsor warned it would scrap their deal if they tried to sign him.

Evans started his career at Manchester City and cost Sheffield United £3 million when he signed for the team in 2009.

He scored 42 goals in 103 league appearances for the Blades and was set to sign for Oldham Athletic in a move that triggered a huge media storm following his release from prison before the plug was pulled on the deal.

It has been reported Evans has told friends that he wants his conviction quashed so he can find another football club and gain in a place in the Welsh national team for the European Championships next year. 


Famous Australian sportsman says traditional Australian frankness is being destroyed by political correctness

He's famously been dubbed the 'King Of Spin' ever since his international cricket Test debut in 1992.  And with his success on the pitch and a string of high-profile girlfriends, retired cricketer Shane Warne has learned controversy is a word he's often linked to.

More than two decades since he made his mark, the 46-year-old says Australia is not what it used to be, with the population too reticent to push the boundaries when it comes to national conversation.

'I believe Australia was, not now, but was, the best country in the world,' the father-of-three told Sunday Herald Sun.

Explaining he believes that the country's views towards parenting and education have changed drastically, he also spoke of the dangers of social media, which allows people to speak their mind, but also share negative messages with a devastating affect.

Shane is most concerned, though, about the right to carefree commentary 'the Australian way', without giving too much thought to political correction all the time.

'I just feel that over the last bit of time everyone is being careful of what they say, everyone is really careful of saying the wrong thing or rubbing someone up the wrong way,' he told the publication. 'Australians say it the way it is and that’s the Australian way.  'I think if we lose that we’re losing our DNA of what we are.'

No doubt Shane has had his fair share of controversies over the last two decades, the sportsman choosing to retire from all forms of cricket officially in 2013, after having lost his vice-captaincy many years earlier and also being given a one-year ban in 2003 following a drug test.

Nowadays, when he isn't spending time with his kids, Shane is still out on the pitch commentating on the performance of cricket's next generation.

He also has his own charitably body called The Shane Warne Foundation, which commits to enriching 'the lives of seriously ill and under privileged children and teenagers in Australia'.


It's feminism that's been holding women back

By Edwina Currie

Lack of self-belief, not sexism, is what stops many talented women from reaching the upper ranks

So it will no longer be acceptable for a teacher to tell a child to “man up”. When boys tease little girls with “Go make us a sandwich”, a gender champion member of staff will tick them off for using sexist language.

I confess that when I read that a Tory Cabinet Minister had approved these revised guidelines, like many Telegraph readers I thought the world had gone mad. But remember the snorts of derision when racist language was condemned years ago? Today, we’d be horrified at a child calling another “a dirty P---” or using what is now delicately called “the N word”. We’d separate them and earnestly explain our great British values of Live and Let Live and Respect. So maybe Nicky Morgan has a point: she wants more girls to do science and maths, more boys to take “soft” subjects such as English. Fine – but does that sexist backchat really cause inequality?

The pay gap and the dearth of women in top jobs still produces a lot of head-scratching, generations after bras were burned in the 1960s. I loathe feminism: the sisterhood, from Germaine Greer to Harriet Harman, have a lot to answer for in my view. They carry much responsibility for hindering women from achieving their full potential; theirs are the shrieking siren voices telling women and girls they cannot succeed, as somebody – men, or “the system” – will stop them. That’s a load of rubbish. We women are not victims, as I keep telling university students. We are not martyrs. We are the majority. The only thing that’s holding you back is your belief in yourself.

Some of the gap is due to maternity: women may be able to put their babies in nurseries, but when you hold this miracle in your arms and can stay home for a while, why would you want to? To deny that is to ignore the joyous experience of women round the world. When I said so at an Oxford Union debate in 2013, one feminist Left-winger, Laurie Penny, stormed out saying the whole idea made her feel “physically sick.”

Employers with strong track records on equality are puzzled. I spoke recently at an internal event for the John Lewis Partnership, which has 58 per cent female employees, 45 per cent female senior managers, and 40 per cent women on the main board. Appoint more women, and they tend to slide away before reaching the highest levels. Men are more ambitious, more self-confident, and more persistent if they fail. A woman is more hesitant about applying for promotion, reluctant to travel, more likely to put her family first, more content with staying put. Feminists please note. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you feel that the business is missing out on their talent.

Lack of resilience makes a big difference. When I started looking for a Parliamentary seat I knew it’d be tough: an MP was a chap in trousers. Enoch Powell, however, had tried for 51 seats before getting Wolverhampton South West. OK, I decided, when we get to 50 I’ll have a rethink. Most women, assuming they wouldn’t get selected, didn’t try. When they tried and failed, they gave up. It took a quirky mindset to see each refusal as a chance to improve.

I’d phone the agent after each selection. One (male), said: “It’s not you. It’s your husband. As you were speaking, he was gazing at the ceiling, at his nails, everywhere but at you. It doesn’t matter if he’s heard this speech a dozen times, he has to gaze at your left ear’ole in total admiration.” I told hubby, who left for the pub. But next time, he obliged, and I got through to the shortlist.

Then after the 20th seat I tried for, the woman agent said: “You were too pretty. If you want to be an MP, you have to look like one. Go and buy a black suit.” She was right. South Derbyshire was next, and I became one of only 23 women in the Commons in 1983.

Nicky Morgan may not be entirely wrong, but if she really wants more female engineers and mathematicians then she should promote more single sex schools, where girls feel no pressure to be different from boys. And more grammar schools, pushing smarter kids into harder subjects. It’s the girls’ grammar school I went to in Liverpool which took me to science A-levels and a scholarship to Oxford. The rest, as they say, is history.


ISIS Fires Up Palestinians

By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.

This new "intifada" that some Palestinians are now waging against Israel should be seen in the context of the wider jihad that is being waged by the Islamic State, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda against the "infidels, Zionists, apostates, Crusaders" and against non-extremist Muslims.

The tactics employed by Palestinian youths over the past two weeks show that they are doing their utmost to copy the crimes and atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries.

Although the Islamic State is not physically present in the West Bank or Jerusalem (largely thanks to the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces and other Israeli security agencies), there is no denying that its spirit and ideology are hovering over the heads of many of our young men and women.

The current wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel and the West Bank is an attempt to imitate Islamic State terrorists who have been using knives to behead many Muslims and non-Muslims during the past two years.

Like the Islamic State, many of the Palestinian terrorists who recently stabbed Jews saw themselves as jihadis acting in the name of Allah, the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed. This was evident by the Palestinian terrorists' cries of "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"] as they pounced on their victims. Our young men and women must have been watching too many videos of Islamic State jihadis shouting "Allahu Akbar!" as they beheaded or burned their victims.

The stabbing attacks that were carried out in the past two weeks were actually attempts to slit the throats of Jews, regardless of their age and gender. In most instances, the terrorists were aiming for the upper part of the body, focusing on the victims' throats and necks. The Palestinian terrorists are now trying to replace Islamic State jihadis as the chief "butchers" of human beings in the Middle East. For now, they seem to be partially successful in their mission.

Our young men and women have learned from the Islamic State not only the practice of stabbing the "infidels," but also how to destroy religious sites. On Thursday night, scores of Palestinians attacked and torched Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, in scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State's destruction of ancient and holy sites in Syria and Iraq.

Last week, Palestinians torched Joseph's Tomb in Nablus (left), in scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State's destruction of holy sites in Syria and Iraq, such as the Armenian Church in Deir Zor (right).

The shrine was set on fire for no reason other than that it is revered as the tomb of a Jewish biblical figure. This is a site frequented by Jewish worshippers, although it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces in Nablus. It is worth noting that agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians guarantee access for Jewish worshippers to Joseph's Tomb, and there were assurances to the Israelis that the PA could be trusted to safeguard the site.

What the Palestinians did to Joseph's Tomb is no different from what the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have been doing to holy sites and archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. The Palestinians who attacked Joseph's Tomb were obviously influenced by the crimes of the Islamic State against religious and ancient sites.

What is still not clear is why the Palestinian Authority security forces, which maintain a tight grip on Nablus, did nothing to prevent the arson attack.

How can our leaders in Ramallah accuse Jews of "contaminating" the Aqsa Mosque with their "filthy feet" at a time when our youths burn a religious site such as Joseph's Tomb?

This is not the only Jewish holy site that has been targeted by Palestinians in recent years. While our leaders are screaming day and night about Jews "invading" and "desecrating" the Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians from Bethlehem have been throwing stones, petrol bombs and explosive devices at Rachel's Tomb near the city. This has been going on for several years now, in an attempt to kill Jewish worshippers and the Israeli soldiers guarding Rachel's Tomb.

The attacks on Joseph's and Rachel's Tombs in Nablus and Bethlehem are part of a Palestinian-Islamic campaign to destroy Jewish holy sites and deny any Jewish link to the land. The attacks are an attempt to rewrite history so that Jews will not be able to claim any religious ties to the land. This is exactly what the Islamic State is doing these days in Syria and Iraq: "erasing history that lets us to learn from the past."

The terror campaign that we have been waging against Israel in the past few weeks shows that the Islamic State and Islamic fundamentalism and fascism have invaded the minds and hearts of many of our young men and women. We have turned the conflict with Israel into a jihadi war, the goal of which is to slaughter Jews, erase their history and expel them from this part of the world. This is not an intifada. This is brutal killing spree targeting Jews of all ages, including a 13-year-old boy, a 72-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man.

President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders are lying to us -- and the rest of the world -- when they describe the stabbing attacks against Jews as a "peaceful popular resistance." This is not a struggle against "occupation" or a wall or a checkpoint. It is time to recognize that this is an Islamic State-inspired jihad to slaughter as many Jews as possible and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. When and if the Islamic State is finally eliminated or disappears, the Palestinians will emerge as the successors of one of the most brutal and murderous Islamic gangs that has surfaced in modern history.



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

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

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


20 October, 2015

There is no United Nations

SOMEDAY, IN A better world, countries may join together to form a global body. It would transcend atavistic nationalism and speak for all humanity. Perhaps it would be called the "United Nations." Lamentably that day has not arrived. There is no such thing as the United Nations.

A body with that name maintains a headquarters in New York. It holds all manner of meetings and often issues reports, demands, and judgments. Yet it remains what it was at its founding 70 years ago: a tool of big powers. It exists to legitimize their goals - and to maintain the global power structure as it existed when the founding charter was signed in 1945.

A true United Nations would rise above the interests of individual countries. It would place the good of the planet and its people above the good of governments. The organization now based in New York cannot do this. Perhaps no world body ever will.

All countries represented at the General Assembly in New York have one thing in common: They are sovereign states. Their overriding interest is to maintain the supremacy of the nation-state. A powerful supra-national organization would undermine that.

The world body based in New York was created to give every country a voice - but also to assure that big powers would speak loudest. It was designed to give those powers a moral and legal fig leaf behind which to promote their own interests. Often they do it in the name of promoting peace and punishing evil.

According to the 1945 charter, punishment can only be meted out by the Security Council, where the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China have veto power. The council works as intended: Nothing happens unless the masters of the world agree to act.

During the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, Iraq bombed Iran with chemical weapons banned by international law. Iran asked the world body to send fact-finders to verify what had happened. The United States objected. Iraq was then our ally, and we had sold helicopters to Saddam - possibly the ones he used to drop poison gas. Our diplomats maneuvered in New York to make sure no fact-finders were ever sent. The United Nations not only failed to ascertain the truth about these attacks. It served as a cover beneath which the United States pursued its foreign policy goals.

Several years later, the general in charge of peacekeepers in Rwanda repeatedly begged New York to send him reinforcements. He warned that genocide was looming and said he could prevent it with just a few thousand soldiers. Rather than reinforcements, he was given orders to cut his force and limit its work. That was because France supported the regime that was planning genocide and saw peacekeepers as a threat.

More recently, the United States vetoed Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's effort to secure a cease-fire in Syria. In January 2014, the secretary general invited all parties to the Syrian conflict to a peace conference. The United States objected because Iran was invited. American diplomats demanded that the invitation be rescinded, and Ban Ki-Moon had no choice but to obey. With Iran disinvited, the peace conference never happened. It was a graphic example of the secretary general's impotence when big powers see their interests at stake.

The world body in New York is an indispensable talking shop. It is the only place on earth where nearly every country maintains a strong mission and where heads of state converge each year. This contributes to the contact that reduces conflict. So do fine agencies like the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the UN Development Program.

It would be best, however, to recognize these achievements without blessing them with the misleading name United Nations. There can be no true United Nations as long as countries place their own interests first - and they always will.


Bishop at Vatican Synod: 'One Can Still Perceive the Smell' of the 'Smoke of Satan' in Vatican Document

Referencing Blessed Pope Paul VI's statement in 1972 that "the smoke of Satan" had entered the Catholic Church, one of the leading archbishops at the Vatican's ongoing synod (meeting) on the family, said the "smoke of Satan" tried to enter last year's meeting on the family and now "one can still perceive the smell of this 'infernal smoke' in some items" of the working document the bishops are using in the current meeting.

Archbishop Tomash Peta,  head of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Kazakhstan, added that this "smell" of the demonic is also evident in the presentations ("interventions") of "some synod fathers this year."

In his own intervention on Oct. 10 at the synod, as reported by the Catholic group Voice of the Family, Archbishop Peta remarked: "Blessed Paul VI in 1972: 'From some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.' I am convinced that these were prophetical words of the holy pope, the author of 'Humanae vitae' [On Human Life]."

"During the Synod last year, 'the smoke of Satan' was trying to enter the aula of Paul VI," said Archbishop Peta.

Satan was entering, the archbishop continued, in three ways:

1) The proposal to admit to Holy Communion those who are divorced and living in new civil unions;

2) The affirmation that cohabitation is a union which may have in itself some values;

3) The pleading for homosexuality as something which is allegedly normal.

Commenting on the situation today, as Church leaders meeting at the Vatican for the Synod on the Family, Archbishop Peta said, "Some synod fathers have not understood correctly the appeal of Pope Francis for an open discussion and started to bring forward ideas which contradict the bi-millennial Tradition of the Church, rooted in the Eternal Word of God."

"Unfortunately, one can still perceive the smell of this 'infernal smoke' in some items of the 'Instrumentum Laboris' and also in the interventions of some synod fathers this year," said the archbishop.  The Instrumentum Laboris is the "working instrument" or working document the clerics are using to discuss the family and faith in the world today.

Archbishop Peta then stressed that a synod must adhere to the teachings of Christ on marriage and family, and not seek to destroy that teaching.

"To my mind, the main task of a Synod consists in indicating again to the Gospel of the marriage and of the family and that means to the teaching of Our Savior," said Archbishop Peta.  "It is not allowed to destroy the fundament - to destroy the rock."

In his closing words, the archbishop said, "May the Holy Spirit, who always wins in the Church, illuminate all of us in searching the true good for the families and for the world. Mary - Mother of the Church, pray for us!"

Archbishop Tomash Peta, 64, was born in Poland. In addition to overseeing the metropolitan archdiocese of Saint Mary in Kazakhstan, Peta is the president of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan


Elizabeth and Sheldon Torquemada

Pursuing an agenda of intolerance and retribution against critics of their ultra-liberal policies

Paul Driessen         

As Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition for 15 years, Tomas de Torquemada presided over the interrogation, torture, imprisonment and execution of thousands, for the "crimes" of religious heresy and pretended conversion to Christianity. Historian Sebasti n de Olmedo titled him "the hammer of heretics."

Today Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are pursuing their own inquisition against perceived "heretics." Thankfully, they don't have Friar Torquemada's torture devices or sentencing options. But they are vindictive and effective nonetheless - abusing their congressional powers to silence critics of their policy agendas, often with the help of media, White House, Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service and Big Green allies.

Warren's latest coup was sacking economist Robert Litan from his position as a scholar with the liberal Brookings Institution, for having the temerity to criticize financial rules she was championing. The fact that Litan is a "progressive" Democrat and former Clinton administration official was irrelevant.

Whitehouse wants the Justice Department to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to investigate and prosecute organizations and individuals who challenge his view that mankind's use of oil, natural gas and coal is causing climate catastrophes. He has targeted "skeptical" organizations and scientists, while alarmists like Michael Mann and Jagadish Shukla have their own enemies lists.

Their attitudes and actions epitomize today's liberals, who cannot stomach anyone who disagrees with their views or policies. These modern "hammers of heretics" refuse to debate and instead do all they can to silence critics and destroy their careers. As Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers observes, too many liberals support tolerance only for themselves and only to advance their intolerant agendas.

More than ever before, says political analyst George Will, they are  "aggressively and dangerously . attacking the theory of free speech, the desirability of free speech, the very possibility of free speech."

They compound the outrage with double standards. Senator Whitehouse rages about climate skeptics - but utters not a peep about biased government-funded science, models and propaganda; not a word about EPA's far-fetched "social cost of carbon" estimates and refusal to even mention how its regulations kill jobs and reduce living standards, health and welfare. Senator Barbara Boxer disgraced Congress when she excoriated physician, medical researcher and author Michael Crichton, for daring to suggest that "double blind" studies be required for climate research, just as FDA does for medical research.

Senator Warren's intolerance and double standards make her colleagues look like pikers.

Former Brookings VP and economic studies director Robert Litan is highly regarded as an expert on the unintended effects of regulations on businesses, workers and families. But when he testified before Congress last July, saying a proposed regulation would deprive poor and middle class investors of valuable financial advisors and advice, Ms. Warren was livid. She had vigorously supported the Labor Department rule, even though many Democrats and virtually all Republicans in Congress oppose it.

In September, Senator Warren suddenly discovered that the Litan study behind his testimony had been funded in part by the Capital Group, a major investment management company whose business would likely be affected by the regulation. Both the study and testimony made the arrangement crystal clear.

But Senator Warren saw her chance to pound the heretic. Instead of trying to rebut his testimony, Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz observed, she decided to punish the witness. At 8:30 am September 29, the Washington Post posted her letter to Brookings criticizing Litan and claiming his funding disclosure was somehow "vague." An hour later, spineless Brookings president Strobe Talbott threw Litan under the bus, despite his loyal and productive decades of service to the institution.

The senator is on a roll. She has also prevented economist Antonio Weiss from getting a senior Treasury position, and former Harvard president and Clinton and Obama official Larry Summers from becoming Federal Reserve chairman, because their views on certain issues offended her ultra-liberal sensibilities.

She is fortunate that the lofty, inflexible standards she inflicts on others are not applied to her.

OpenSecrets.org reveals that Warren has accepted over $600,000 from securities and investment firms, including some $6,000 from Capital Group executives! Law firms that stand to benefit from her legislation, advocacy and policy interventions have lavished $2.2 million on her campaigns - and the education industry that benefits from her constant promotion of increased education subsidies has given her a hefty $1.4 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Even more outrageous is the BFF relationship Ms. Warren has with Better Markets. This tax-exempt 501(c)3 "educational" organization in Washington, DC is funded almost entirely by multi-millionaire hedge-fund manager Michael Masters, via some $3 million a year that flows from him or his Marlin Fund to his Spring Foundation charity to Better Markets - which testifies and lobbies persistently, consistently and quite successfully for legislation and regulations advocated by the progressives' favorite senator.

As political reporter Brendan Bordelon observes in the National Review, "By failing to adequately disclose its relationship with Masters to lawmakers, observers say Better Markets is doing exactly what Warren accused Brookings of doing - covertly taking money from a finance-industry player to influence regulators with the power to approve policies from which that player can earn huge profits."

Former Obama appointee to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Jill Sommers calls it a "huge" and "unprecedented" conflict of interest. It's "outrageous," says a former SEC counsel.

Masters uses market "triggers" to identify stocks whose prices may rise or fall in response to investor anxiety over political events such as proposed financial rules, Bordelon says. In spring 2015, The Marlin Fund held "call options" worth hundreds of millions of dollars in MetLife, CitiGroup and Prudential. A proposed regulation, reclassifying them as "systematically important financial institutions," would have increased federal controls and driven their share prices downward - giving Marlin and Masters big profits from "short selling" shares, and using their call options as a hedge against unexpected price increases.

Better Markets president Dennis Kelleher testified before Warren's Senate Banking Committee and filed an amicus brief supporting the rule change. But they never disclosed their obvious self-interest in the change: their sole source of income (Marlin and Masters) stood to profit enormously from the change.

Warren would have gone ballistic if an opponent of the rule had such an arrangement. But she has said nothing about this classic conflict of interest. That's hardly surprising.

She was a keynote speaker at a 2013 Better Markets meeting, wrote a laudatory testimonial for its website, and works closely with Kelleher and his group to ensure support for her legislative, regulatory and political crusades, Bordelon notes. Campaign contributions may create more ties that bind.

Meanwhile, Kelleher has testified at numerous Dodd-Frank and other Capitol Hill hearings, and is the go-to guy for many journalists who want insights on the finance industry or Senator Warren's viewpoints.

Ms. Torquemada is clearly not content to have or win debates on policy issues. She intends to prevent debates, penalize anyone who challenges her, intimidate and silence would-be critics, and impose her agenda - regardless of its impacts on the "poor and helpless" she professes to care so much about.

So much for the Senate as "the world's greatest deliberative body," or the notion that, despite disagreeing with what you say, liberals would "defend to the death your right to say it." Torquemada's reincarnation must not become the new reality for constitutional rights, robust debate, and informed decision-making.

Via email

Australian anti-Muslim group wins hearts

Plenty of abuse too -- in the usual Leftist way

An interview with the mums and dads that founded the Reclaim Australia movement has caused a fiery divide on social media.

Reclaim Australia's founders, who call themselves 'patriotic Australians' and claim to be stopping the 'spread of Islam' in Australia, appeared on Channel Seven's Sunday Night program in their first ever television interview.

But attempts to expose and challenge their controversial views may have backfired with support for the group growing on social media to 40,000 followers. 

Co-founders Wanda Marsh and John Oliver, as well as Sydney mum Catherine Brennan, explained how the movement was started by concerned parents who believed the Martin Place siege was an act of Islamic terrorism.

But the Facebook group quickly attracted aggressive anti-Islam campaigners and an Australia-wide protest turned violent when groups like the United Patriots Front (UPF) showed support.

The show on Sunday night was billed as an in-depth look at how the group began and its founders who claim to be ordinary Australians.

'I can't let my kids grow up in a country where kids are getting murdered in the streets. It's just not Australian,' Mr Oliver told Sunday Night.

Ms Brennan said: 'I'm just an everyday mum living in the suburbs doing the best job that I can for my family.'

#ReclaimAustralia started trending on social media immediately after the story aired as thousands showed support for the group's views, while others criticised Channel Seven for giving them publicity.

A viewer poll asking whether Reclaim Australia represents Australian values was sitting at 78 - 22 in support of the group before changing to 37 - 63.

'#ReclaimAustralia I will say this once how many more people will have to die before we kick Islam out of this nation,' one user wrote on Twitter in support of the group. Others were quick to condemn it.

'I'm so ashamed/embarrassed that#ReclaimAustralia is trending. I apologise profusely to my Muslim friends for the racist bs that is flying,' one wrote.

'If #ReclaimAustralia represents Aussie values, then Aussie values suck. We truly are a nation of self-righteous, xenophobic hypocrites.



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

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

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


19 October, 2015

British judges launch another attack on marriage

British men often now refuse to marry -- given British divorce laws and divorce judgements in British courts they are simply  being realistic. It's too risky.  British courts have made marriage into a form of prostitution.  British women should cease to wonder why men "won't commit"

Two designer-clad, middle-aged women posed outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, both wreathed in triumphant smiles. And little wonder: together they had won an historic victory which means they can go back to court to claim more of their ex-husbands’ money.

This is despite the fact that they had arrived at financial settlements when their marriages broke down years ago.

One of the women, Alison Sharland, 48, had already pocketed no less than £10.4 million from her software tycoon husband’s assets — as well as the promise of 30 per cent of the proceeds of any stock market flotation of his computer firm.

After the case, she said: ‘My legal battle has never been about the money, it has always been a matter of principle.’

She hoped the Supreme Court judges’ decision, which will allow anyone to contest their divorce settlement at any time in the future if they believe their ex didn’t come clean about his or her assets, will ‘send out a message to everyone going through a divorce’.

I bet it sent a chill up the spine of every divorced man. Two of my male friends called immediately after hearing the decision, asking me despairingly, ‘does this mean my ex-wife can come after me again?’

What is now to stop any bitter divorcee claiming they didn’t get their fair share, that their ex had hidden assets? How many will seek to force their former husband — or wife — into a lengthy, expensive and painful legal battle, and in doing so reopen the emotional wounds not just for them, but for any children caught in the crossfire?

Because don’t forget, when parents go to war, children are often the innocent casualties.

The question now must surely be: was this Supreme Court ruling a victory for downtrodden ex-wives everywhere, or another nail in the coffin of marriage?

In the cases of Mrs Sharland and Varsha Gohil, the judges ruled that their husbands had hidden the true values of their fortunes during divorce proceedings, hence they had a right to contest their settlements.

The head of Resolution, the organisation that represents family lawyers, put it pretty succinctly: ‘This has significant implications for other cases where assets are suspected of having been concealed and could see many other cases being reopened.’

We all know how petty people can become when divorcing, how the bitterness simmers like a slow poison. The problem is that almost everyone ends up feeling aggrieved.  They either believe they were short-changed in the settlement, or come to resent their ex’s new life or partner. They end up fighting over a dinner service.

But this new ruling will mean that bitter women and men will start to look back rather than forward.

I must admit, I feel some sympathy for one of the women who won her case this week. Mrs Gohil’s ex-husband was clearly a shady character, a lawyer jailed for money-laundering. She walked away from her marriage with £270,000 and the keys to the family car, when the Crown Prosecution Service said he was worth £35 million.

Out-and-out crooks like Bhadresh Gohil deserve all they get. But Charles Sharland is another case altogether. A self-made multi-millionaire, the son of a farmer, he worked hard to create a business which at one point was reported to be valued at hundreds of millions of pounds.

His wife says he lied about whether he was going to float his firm on the stock market, and that she lost out as a result. Which raises the question of why he felt compelled to do so.

Perhaps it’s because he, like many, felt the whole system is so damned unfair when a man — or woman — who has slaved for years to build up a business then has to part with half of it to a spouse who played no active role in creating it.

Yes, Mrs Sharland cared for their children, and of course that is tremendously important — but half of his company? Isn’t a minimum of £10.4 million more than enough to provide a very comfortable lifestyle for any mother of three?

The plight of caring for their autistic son was highlighted in court. But does an ex-wife deserve more because she cares for a vulnerable child? Does she think she should be paid millions for carrying out a duty most mothers would regard as an act of love?

Perhaps we should not be too distracted by the details of Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil’s grievances. The simple point is that this ruling is a green light to all divorcees who are convinced they were hard done by.

And, of course, it is a charter for divorce lawyers to start the meter running. The Sharlands alone are thought to have spent about £2 million on legal fees.

How long before the phones begin to ring in divorce lawyers’ offices up and down the land?

First on the line might be Heather Mills, who believed she was robbed in her divorce settlement from Paul McCartney.  She claimed he was worth far more than he declared, and in the end got only a fifth of the £125 million she was seeking (a mere £24.3 million!).

This new precedent also means that an ex-wife or husband can go back to court even if their former spouse is dead — which suggests even further legal complexities. That could be good news for Michelle Young, who has fought for years for the millions she believed her now-deceased ex, property tycoon Scot Young, had squirrelled away from her.

But I believe the true legacy of this ruling will be just another crack running through the ever-more-unstable edifice of marriage.

There was a recurring theme in the comments on Mail Online yesterday. There were many from men, who are still largely the breadwinners in relationships, saying: ‘Why would any man in his right mind ever want to get married?’

One wrote: ‘This just goes to show how [there is] one day of celebration, the wedding day, and then fighting over money through a divorce court afterwards. Very painful. I know through experience and watching someone I truly loved turning on me for money, which I had beforehand, earned through serving my country.

If I was asked to recommend marriage to anyone nowadays, I would say DO NOT DO IT.’

It’s not as though marriage is in such rude health that this legal verdict won’t do it harm. According to the Marriage Foundation, the number of people marrying has fallen from 90 per cent to 59 per cent since the Seventies. And 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce.

More frightening still is that while 90 per cent of today’s 60-year-old women have been married, it is predicted that only 52 per cent of today’s 20-year-olds will ever marry. And so the social fabric which has bound families together for centuries will grow weaker.

Too many young men don’t want to wed because they are afraid of losing so much of what they’ve worked for if it goes wrong, which it so often does.

The system seems increasingly stacked against the breadwinners, whether they be men or women.

Furthermore, many men feel that the entire judicial system is anti-male, especially when it comes to giving fathers access to their children, or in placing sole responsibility for providing for them on the man, even when the ex-wife could and should work.

All of which mitigates against harmonious separations when marriages collapse.

No one understands the bitterness of divorce more than I do. My ex-husband wasn’t a bad man, he didn’t beat me or rob me. We were in love once. Yet by the end of the divorce proceedings, which cost us each a small fortune, we were hardly recognisable as the same people. We were depressed, desperate and wanting to hurt each other. In the end, we even fought over custody of the cats.

I’ve seen the same thing with so many of my friends — the bitterness that sets in, the desire for vengeance and a belief that the only way left to hurt someone is through their wallet.

That’s why I worry so much about this new ruling being a vehicle for further acrimony.

Of course couples should not conceal their assets from each other if they are separating. My advice to anyone going through it would be to come clean, put it all on the table, accept whatever ruling the courts make or, better still, what you can agree between yourselves without legal proceedings, then move on.

Every lawyer’s letter you send drags you farther into the bare-knuckle fight that too often passes for the legal process these days.

Before this week, the end of a divorce at least meant you could start on the long road to recovery. Broken hearts mend in time, and the sooner you get on with it the better.

Now, there is a constant possibility that your ex could come back at you at any time to challenge a court judgment — and rip open the wound all over again.


Flashy multicultural lawyer closed down

John Blavo, who previously said he had several ex-Premier League stars as his clients, has had his successful legal firm closed as it is being investigated by Scotland Yard fraud team.

Blavo and Co, which had 17 offices in the UK and its headquarters in London, was closed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) last week after concerns the firm was 'acting dishonestly.'

Mr Blavo has previously worked with a several Premier League footballers, including former Arsenal right back Lauren and ex West Ham full back John Paintsil.

Originally from Ghana, Mr Blavo, built up his firm to make it the second highest earning legal practice in England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice.

This year, records for three months up until June show that Blavo's firm made £300,000 worth of profit after tax after generating an impressive turnover of £3.3million in the period.

The firm held its summer party in the impressive City Hall in central London and maintained a dedicated emphasis on charity outreach work.

Mr Blavo is well known for writing the Football Lawyer blog for The Independent and kept an array of cars, with personalised number plates outside his home in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

 'We have seen evidence of enormous expenditure next door, not only the Bentley but the Lamborghini, Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris and Maseratis - hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cars,' a neighbour told The Times.  'It seems they had no idea this was collapsing around them,' the neighbour suggested.

The firm released a statement this week, saying: 'This firm has been advised, by the SRA, that it wishes to intervene. We have not been provided with an opportunity to make representations. We are currently taking legal advice and do not wish to make any further comments at this stage.'


More contempt for the people from an elite Leftist

Leftists used to claim to speak for "the people" but that pretence is pretty worn out now.  They speak for the intellectuals now.  Although Schama's contempt for the people is reprehensible, his attitude to refugees is more forgiveable when one notes his Jewish background


Last Thursday, I, along with 2.7 million other viewers, tuned into BBC1’s Question Time, to watch award-winning historian (and BBC presenter) Simon Schama take on Rod Liddle, the outspoken columnist. It was to prove an eye-opening encounter – for reasons that go to the heart of intellectual debate in Britain today.

There was much to look forward to. Schama, the very acme of cosmopolitan sophistication, is an internationally acclaimed university professor. Liddle is a bluntly spoken Millwall FC supporter with controversial views on immigration.

Thus, about 30 minutes in, all hell broke loose when an audience member asked about the international refugee crisis. Liddle said he didn’t think it was a good idea to open our borders to those fleeing from conflict zones.

Schama gave the journalist a withering look. ‘Go back to your journalistic hackery… and turn your suburban face away from the plight of the miserable,’ he sneered. For a second, I couldn’t believe my ears.

Had Schama just dismissed someone’s views, not because they were unreasonable or unsupported by the evidence, but because they were the sort of opinions you’d expect to hear on the 7.42 from Guildford? This was the moment the mask slipped. We were given a glimpse of the snobbery that underpins so much of the metropolitan elite’s world view.

According to this high priest of the liberal intelligentsia, Liddle didn’t deserve to be taken seriously because he was a resident of that lower middle-class hinterland that people like Schama only ever see from the business-class cabin of a Boeing 747 as it soars away from Heathrow.

Liddle was suburban and, as such, he was narrow-minded and mean-spirited – quite unlike the large-hearted citizen of the world at the other end of the panel.

Where Liddle sees ‘immigrants’ with his beady, suspicious eyes, Schama sees ‘refugees’.

For a second, I experienced a pang of self-loathing. I, too, worry about the impact of millions of asylum seekers from North Africa and the Middle East arriving on our shores. Does that make me hopelessly provincial?

Should I be more urbane, like the author of Rembrandt’s Eyes? (Although it must be easier to overcome any reservations if you don’t actually live here. Schama is the Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University in New York.)

But then I reconsidered sharply. What precisely is so despicable, so morally bereft, about one who lives in the suburbs? More than 80 per cent of the British population now live in areas that can be classified as suburban. That’s approximately 52 million people. Should we all be ashamed of ourselves?

We saw this same contempt for the residents of Middle England from Labour during the General Election campaign.

I’m not just thinking of Emily Thornberry, the MP for Islington South, who sneered at the owner of a white van in Rochester for displaying the flag of St George.

I’m also thinking of Ed Miliband’s tone of moral superiority when railing about food banks and zero-hours contracts. It was as if anyone who wasn’t intending to vote Labour was small-minded and lacking in compassion – suburban, as Professor Schama would put it.

Could that disdainful attitude have played a part in why the British people awarded the Conservatives a majority last May for the first time in 23 years?

Labour might have done well in urban areas like London, but in the rest of England, the map turned blue. Perhaps the silent majority who live in the suburbs are getting a little tired of being condescended to by these Left-wing panjandrums.

To be honest, I’m fed up with being dismissed as selfish and materialistic just because I am a member of the bourgeoisie. My wife and I moved to the suburbs from Central London eight years ago. Like so many others, we sought good-quality housing, easy access to the countryside and low rates of crime. This was the environment in which we wanted to raise a family. We are now firmly embedded in the community. My wife is captain of the ladies’ second team at the tennis club. When I go to work in the morning, I take a plastic bag with me so I can pick up any litter I see on my way to the station. Carriage lights illuminate our gravel front drive at night.

I also helped set up the free school that my eldest child now attends. Professor Schama’s snobbish dismissal of Rod Liddle reminded me of the opposition I faced. I was ridiculed on Any Questions by Polly Toynbee for going to such extraordinary lengths to secure a decent education for my children. Why didn’t I just send them to the local state school?

Her criticisms might have carried more weight if she hadn’t sent her own daughter to Westminster, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country.

The same sneering contempt is detectable in the attitude of those who wish to remain in the EU towards those of us who want to leave. We are described as ‘anti-European’, rather than ‘anti-EU’, as if it is the very idea of Britain being part of something larger than itself that we’re frightened of, rather than being absorbed by a corrupt, undemocratic superstate.

Those who expressed reservations about joining the euro in 2000 were treated with the same lofty disdain. Conservative Eurosceptics were pilloried as ‘xenophobic’, ‘swivel-eyed’ and ‘mad’ by liberal commentators on the BBC. Yet 15 years later, they have been proved right.

Go further back in history to the triumph of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and the pattern repeats itself.

She was dismissed by the educated elite as an ignorant housewife who tried to apply the lessons of running a home to managing the nation’s economy.

Dr Jonathan Miller, the Simon Schama of his day, described her as ‘repulsive in almost every way’. He objected to her ‘odious suburban gentility’ – there’s that word again – and complained about her ‘sentimental, saccharine patriotism’.

By 1990, when she left office, this ‘odious’ figure had tamed the trade unions, cut taxes, got inflation under control, overseen a revolution in home ownership, restored a sense of national pride and, in partnership with Ronald Reagan, won the Cold War. Not bad for a suburban housewife.

Margaret Thatcher was the authentic voice of the suburbs, the quiet majority who don’t shout about their compassion on programmes like Question Time, but who show they care in little ways, every day.

When Professor Schama has jetted off to his next international speaking engagement, it is those of us in the suburbs and our representatives in Government who will be holding this country together.


Professor's passionate plea to repeal laws to shackle the British press

Imagine a world in which the rich, the influential and the plain malevolent are no longer subject to proper public scrutiny – where corporate executives in the luxury of chrome and glass towers are, like the landlords of uninhabitable slums, free to break the law without fear of question, let alone criticism, from the press.

It is one in which the MPs expenses scandal would never come to light, in which the threat of the libel courts would be enough to kill all journalistic enquiries stone dead.

Far-fetched as this might sound, it is the world we are about to enter. If they are not repealed, new laws will take effect next month which will undermine the tradition of free speech that has served Britain well for 300 years.

Press freedom in Britain faces a dire and immediate threat. Here in the UK we face the prospect of a state-sanctioned regulator, backed by Royal Charter, exercising ultimate control over what we can read in our newspapers. Abroad, campaigners for freedom of speech, who consider this country's tradition an example to emulate, face grotesque betrayal.

The reason? A poisonous trap, left on the statute book in the aftermath of the Leveson Report, is about to snap shut. If it closes it will impose the most severe restrictions on the freedom of the press in any advanced democracy.

A series of legal measures including clauses under the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and the consequences of the Royal Charter (all due to be implemented in the coming weeks) include imposing punitive legal costs against newspapers that refuse to submit to supervision by the State; limits on contacts between the police and journalists that may endanger the administration of justice, and new ways for the powerful to prevent reporting about their affairs.

Under the Act, judges will even be able to impose costs and damages on newspapers that win libel cases.

A paper might prove its allegations but still be punished because it has not signed up to the Royal Charter on press regulation. Of course, not a single newspaper – national or local – will sign. To do so would be such a blatant breach of democratic principle that it is simply unthinkable.

But the effect of not doing so will be chilling. Take the press exposure of MPs' expenses. Faced with the threat of hundreds of libel suits from hundreds of MPs, no newspaper could possibly think of running such a story because – win or lose – the costs would be prohibitive.

It threatens, too, the sort of work which local newspapers can and should do: investigating employers who maintain unsafe, unhealthy workplaces, perhaps. Again, the mere prospect of legal action would mean such stories are too risky to pursue.

Our newspaper industry sets an example watched closely around the world. We owe it to people struggling to win freedom of speech not to set an example that will undermine their efforts.

Yet even now, British newspapers are under assault. An appalling example – a direct result of the Leveson Inquiry – is the police's Operation Elveden investigation into payments by journalists to public officials. This cost £20million and achieved the conviction of only one journalist out of 34 arrested or charged.

It ended only when the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced a humiliating climb down. The malicious zeal with which the police pursued journalists simply doing their jobs was a national disgrace.

Britain faces a crucial choice. Since the abolition of press licensing in 1695, our newspapers have been free from interference by government. Now our Parliament is preparing to restrict editorial independence.

I do not believe a majority of MPs want this appalling outcome. The principle that journalists should work according to the law, but entirely free of supervision by the State, has been cherished since the reign of Queen Victoria.

Tragically, the moral panic created by phone hacking persuaded politicians in the last parliament to ignore hard-won freedoms. Instead of treating phone hacking as a criminal offence – which it was, and remains – they allowed themselves to be fooled by an ideological cabal determined to tame the press through regulation.

Operating under the banner of the Hacked Off campaign and helped by celebrities such as Hugh Grant, these enemies of popular newspapers insist a regulator sanctioned by the State should make the final decisions about what you are entitled to read.

Under various different flags of convenience, the same sanctimonious zealots have sought the same atrocious restrictions since 1979. They remain dangerously wrong. No matter how ostensibly well intentioned, regulation of the press by any organisation authorised by the State creates the polar opposite of true press freedom.

The threat those failed Elveden prosecutions exposed is far from dead. Leveson recommended restrictions on everyday contact between police officers and journalists. He blithely underestimated the extent to which such contacts have helped to solve crimes by encouraging witnesses to come forward. They also prevent the totalitarian horror of secret arrests.

If Parliament allows these recommendations, whistleblowers may choose not to reveal what they know. Then we will all be losers.

I pray that, instead of allowing the toxic legacy of Leveson to damage freedom of expression, Parliament will install legal protection for newspapers in, for example, a new British Bill of Rights. If they do not, Britain risks being humiliated internationally.

It is time for MPs to shake off any lingering resentment that newspapers exposed their lavish expense accounts and do their duty. Winston Churchill said: 'A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize… the vigilant guardian of the rights of the ordinary citizen.'

We cannot afford to forget 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


18 October, 2015

Larger brains do not lead to high IQs

One has to laugh.  I have often noted that people reporting research results tend to conclude what they want to conclude rather than what the data concerned actually shows.  I had a lot of fun reporting such cases in my own years as an active researcher.  See here. The heading above, taken from MedicalXpress, is another case in point.

It is politically correct.  Leftists don't like to think that there is ANYTHING inborn or hard-wired in human beings.  And, as a consequence, many of them reject ANY physical basis for IQ. And the heading above is just such a rejection. One problem: The findings they were allegedly summarizing in fact showed a stable and statistically significant correlation between brain size and IQ!

So what is going on?  Before I comment further, I reproduce the underlying journal abstract.

Meta-Analysis of Associations Between Human Brain Volume And Intelligence Differences: How Strong Are They and What Do They Mean?

Jakob Pietschnig et al.


Positive associations between human intelligence and brain size have been suspected for more than 150 years. Nowadays, modern non-invasive measures of in vivo brain volume (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) make it possible to reliably assess associations with IQ. By means of a systematic review of published studies and unpublished results obtained by personal communications with researchers, we identified 88 studies examining effect sizes of 148 healthy and clinical mixed-sex samples (> 8,000 individuals). Our results showed significant positive associations of brain volume and IQ (r = .24, R² = .06) that generalize over age (children vs. adults), IQ domain (full-scale, performance, and verbal IQ), sample type (clinical vs. healthy sample), and sex. Application of a number of methods for detection of publication bias indicates that strong and positive correlation coefficients have been reported frequently in the literature whilst small and non-significant associations appear to have been often omitted from reports. We show that although the positive association of brain volume and IQ seems to be robust, its strength has been overestimated in the literature. While it is tempting to interpret this association in the context of human cognitive evolution and species differences in brain size and cognitive ability, we show that it is not warranted to interpret brain size as a necessary cause or isomorphic proxy of human intelligence differences.


Got that?  They found that there was an association between the two variables but it was weak.  In other words, brain size was only one of the factors influencing IQ -- a conclusion which would surprise no-one familiar with the field.  Cortical complexity would obviously be a much more major influence. And cortical size considered independently of overall brain volume would also be a very promising variable for study.

The correlation (.24) IS weaker than we would expect from prior studies of head size.  Head size normally correlates over .3 with IQ.  One of the authors of this study was however the ultra-cautious Dutch psychologist Jelke Wicherts.  You can't put anything past him!  So he has ensured extensive allowance for confounding factors etc. So the figure reported above might reasonably be treated as a lower bound.  ALL correlations seem to shrink and all IQs seem to rise when the distinguished Prof. Wicherts gets hold of them! Wicherts is an Associate Professor in Psychological Methods specializing in errors with statistics and the measurement of intelligence (IQ).

The much-published Jelte Wicherts

And as further context, let me note that in psychological research generally, a correlation of .24 would be greeted with frabjous joy. My recollection is that a majority of correlations in psychological research are around that magnitude.  To have detected ANY effect of one variable on another is normally felt worthy of congratulation. And I am not entirely being mocking in saying that.  Any item of human behaviour is bound to be multi-causal so any one influence on the behaviour concerned MUST usually be small.  The behaviour will be the product of many influences, not one.

A final note:  The heading of the MedicalXpress article is not the only bit of political correctness in it.  They also state that average male and female IQs are the same. The wicked Richard Lynn's very extensive study of the data showed that women are in fact down by a couple of points. 

That's not the important point about female IQ, however. The smaller variability (SD) of female IQ has long been known and is well-accepted.  And that restricts female achievement at the top of the range.  I had better not spell that out further in case I get prosecuted for hate speech.  You can get away with saying things in academic language that would land you in trouble if you said  them in plain English -- JR

Christians living in Sweden have been told to 'convert or die' in chilling messages across Gothenburg – a hotbed of ISIS recruitment

Christians living in Sweden have been warned to 'convert to Islam or die' in a string of threatening messages linked to the Islamic State.

Members of the Assyrian community are understood to have been targeted with sinister graffiti daubed on restaurants and businesses in Gothenburg – a hotbed for jihadist recruitment.

The messages bear all the hallmarks of the chilling psychological warfare employed by ISIS in the Middle East, but as yet Swedish police have been unable to track down those responsible.

Markus Samuelsson, one of 3,000 Assyrian Christians living in Gothenburg, said he found the walls of his restaurant covered with the messages 'convert or die' and 'the caliphate is here'.

The latter is a reference to the terror group's attempt to create a warped form of Islamic government which has seen it clamp down on religious freedoms with shocking brutality across Iraq and Syria.

Mr Samuelsson, who owns Le Pain Francois, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter: 'I felt a sudden chill down my spine. It's terribly painful. We feel threatened.'

The same messages, along with the ISIS logo, were also painted on a neighbouring pizzeria, while other non-Assyrian-owned businesses were left unscathed, it was reported by Breitbart.

The warnings were also accompanied with the Arabic letter ? – a symbol which has been used ISIS in the Middle East to donate Christians.

It was painted on doors of Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, to allow militants to identify and drive them out when they seized the city last year.

At least 150 jihadists – more than from the United States – are believed to have left Gothenburg to join ISIS, according to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Meanwhile, terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp has called the city 'the Swedish Centre for Jihadists'.

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department released a report detailing how ISIS had spearheaded a campaign of attacks last year by militant extremist groups on religious freedom across the world.

In the territories of its would-be caliphate, it said ISIS militants have forced centuries-old Christian communities to convert, pay a ruinous tax or die, while kidnapping, selling and raping thousands of women and children on the basis for their faith.

Assyrians, who are indigenous to the Middle East, are one of the oldest branches of Christianity, dating back to 1AD.


City Made ‘Dangerous’ Admissions About Faith in the Workplace, Atlanta Fire Chief Lawyer Says

The city of Atlanta made “dangerous” admissions in a court hearing today, argued the lawyer for the former Atlanta fire chief who was terminated from his job after controversy related to a religious book he authored that included his views on homosexuality.

“[The city] actually argued that you’re entitled to have beliefs and opinions, but you have to keep them to yourself, inside the four walls of your house or your church—that you shouldn’t bring them out into the public, and you shouldn’t bring them out if you’re employed by a government agency,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel David Cortman told The Daily Signal.

Cortman is representing former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who after working 34 years as a decorated fire chief was fired from his job. Cortman added:

"We certainly thought that was an accurate admission in their position in the case but a dangerous one. Imagine telling people that you’re entitled to your own beliefs and opinions but you’re not entitled to share those beliefs and opinions with anybody else. Not only is that a Constitutional violation, but a dangerous proposition for the government to tell others what they cannot say to other folks."

Cochran has been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him as U.S. fire administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

In January 2015, Cochran was fired after publishing and distributing a men’s devotional book for a Baptist church group. In the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?,” Cochran addressed issues of homosexuality, gay marriage, and premarital sex from a biblical perspective.

Cochran gave his book to some of his subordinates and fellow employees, all of whom Cochran previously told The Daily Signal he had “established a prior relationship with as believers in Christ.” Eventually, according to court documents, a copy of the book made its way from an employee of the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department to City Councilmember Alex Wan, who is openly gay.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed subsequently suspended Cochran for 30 days without pay, stating, “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community.”

In a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wan said, “I respect each individual’s right to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions, but when you’re a city employee, and those thoughts, beliefs and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door.”

During his seven years as Atlanta’s fire chief, Cochran was never accused of discriminating against anyone based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic.

Upon being fired, Cochran filed his own federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta, alleging that he was wrongfully terminated and being discriminated against for his Christian beliefs.

Although Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed suggested that Cochran’s suspension was a direct result of the book, his office now argues that the religious nature of the book “is not the reason he is no longer employed by the City of Atlanta.”

Reed’s office did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment, but in a previous statement, they said:

"The totality of his conduct—including the way he handled himself during his suspension after he agreed not to make public comments during the investigation—reflected poor judgment and failure to follow clearly defined work protocols."

On Wednesday, Judge Leigh Martin May for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia heard oral arguments relating to the city’s motion to dismiss the case, which will decide whether or not Cochran’s lawsuit will move forward.

Cortman, Cochran’s attorney, said he expects the judge to issue that ruling within the next two months.

“If she grants the motion to dismiss and dismisses the case, we would then appeal that decision to the 11th circuit court of appeals and we would argue that the judge made a legal mistake,” Cortman said.

Regarding Wednesday’s hearing, Cochran said in a statement, “All across our country, people of faith are finding themselves increasingly at risk of losing their jobs, their businesses, and more because certain segments of society find them and their beliefs intolerable.”


UK: Campaigners warn state regulation endangers press freedom and puts local papers at risk

Laws rushed through in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry pose the biggest threat to press freedom in modern times, a major report says.

The report, which is backed by the Free Speech Network and lawyers behind the Libel Reform Campaign, calls for the legislation to be scrapped.

The authors claim regulation would breach the right to freedom of expression and could deny justice in libel cases.

The study is the first comprehensive examination of the royal charter railroaded through Parliament in the wake of the 2012 Leveson report into press standards and ethics. The legislation was devised over pizza at 2am with the celebrity-backed anti-press group Hacked Off.

Entitled Leveson’s Illiberal Legacy, the report makes a devastating attack on the inquiry, saying it ‘quickly became a tool for a determined group of lobbyists to use regulation to erode press freedom’.

It states: ‘Many of the recommendations which emerged demonstrated a disregard for the importance of a free press and free speech, both of which are critical to uphold in a democratic society.’

Newspapers not signing up to a state-backed press regulator could face exemplary damages in court.

The rules, which could come into force as early as next month, will also make these papers liable to pick up the costs in libel cases even if they win. No newspaper – national or local – has agreed to the state-backed system – which would end more than 300 years of press freedom.

The report warns that the exposure of the MPs’ expenses scandal would have been impossible under the new regime.

The Daily Telegraph, which broke the story, would have had to contend with the possibility of all 650 MPs taking legal action even where they had no case to argue.

The ‘chilling effect’ of this threat would have proved an ‘enormous and a significant deterrent’ to publication, the authors say. There is also an ‘imminent danger’ to local newspapers, which can ill afford the system of mandatory arbitration.

The authors call for the repeal of the sections of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 that underpin the press regulation regime and the accompanying royal charter.

They also say that when the Tories bring forward a bill of rights later this year to replace the Human Rights Act it must guarantee free speech.

The report warns: ‘Action must be taken now to protect the freedom of the press. In November, the chilling legislation will start to bite and publishers will be less free to speak truth to power.’

In the foreword, Tim Luckhurst, a professor at the University of Kent, launched an attack on press regulation campaigners such as Hacked Off.

He said: ‘Please set aside any lingering delusion that the post-Leveson debate is a confrontation between sincere reformers and rich, selfish vested interests. That misrepresentation was always cynical.  ‘Today it serves only those who would exploit the victims of phone-hacking to promote a narrow ideology.’

The report highlights the global impact of a ‘noted democracy abandoning 300 years of self-regulation for the printed press with little parliamentary debate’.

Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, who is facing criticism for police raids on opposition newspapers, has defended his actions with reference to the Leveson Inquiry. New press laws have also been passed in Sri Lanka.

The report was produced by press freedom group 89Up with financial support from Telegraph Media Group, News UK and DMG Media, publishers of the Daily Mail.

National newspapers, including the Mail, are now regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

It has the power to impose fines of up to £1million for serious and systemic wrongdoing and can require editors to publish up-front corrections. It is free of state involvement.



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

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

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


16 October, 2015

The absurd U.N. "human rights" organization again

Who is killing Muslims by the truckload?  Other Muslims.  How many Muslims has Britain killed?  None.  So who does the U.N. compare to Nazis?  Britain!

A senior UN official triggered outrage last night by comparing Britain’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis to decisions taken in 1938 which he claimed paved the way for the Holocaust.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the rhetoric being used by politicians in the UK and elsewhere in Europe had echoes of the years leading up to the Second World War.

He said that at the 1938 Evian Conference – called to discuss the growing number of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution – politicians turned their backs on German and Austrian Jews on the grounds that taking them in would destabilise their societies.

This reluctance, he claimed, helped Hitler to conclude extermination could be an alternative to deportation.

Mr Al Hussein – who appeared to take a swipe at both Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May – said the same arguments were being used today.

He said: ‘It’s just a political issue that is being ramped up by those who can use the excuse of even the smallest community as a threat to the sort of national purity of the state.

‘Closer examination of what happened in Europe in the early part of the 20th century should make people think very carefully about what they’re saying. Why is there so much amnesia? Why don’t they distil from experience that they’ve been down this road before and it’s a very unhappy road.’

Mr Al Hussein also said the use of terms such as ‘swarms of refugees’ – language used by Mr Cameron in relation to the Calais immigration crisis – were deeply regrettable.

In an interview published by the Guardian newspaper, the Jordanian took aim at comments by Mrs May that uncontrolled immigration made it ‘impossible to build a cohesive society’. Asked whether he believed Mrs May would also come to regret her choice of words, he added: ‘These are human beings: even in the use of the word migrants, somehow it’s as if they don’t have rights. They all have rights just as we have rights.’

Tory MP Andrew Percy said: ‘The idea that the debate around the Syrian issue could in any way be similar to Nazi persecution of the Jews is offensive. This kind of comparison is so overblown and so disgusting it undermines a sensible debate on how to address the migration crisis.

‘The UN would be much better targeting the massive human rights abuses in parts of the world where their members are committing them.’

Sir Bill Cash, a veteran Tory backbencher, said: ‘These remarks are abhorrent. It is an obscene comparison to make which is totally unjustified. There are realities that have to be faced up to, and these include the fact that we have to distinguish between real refugees acquiring asylum and economic migrants or those who might be hidden jihadis.’

It is the latest in a string of political attacks on Britain by the UN. In July, the special representative on migration, Peter Sutherland, said Britain’s ‘xenophobic’ response to Calais was being ‘exaggerated beyond belief’ to ‘inflame tensions in regard to the number of people coming into Britain’. And in May, Francois Crepeau, the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said Britain risks taking the path of Nazi Germany if it pulls out of the European Convention on Human Rights.


Obama Administration Bans All Pork Products From Prison Menus

 The federal Bureau of Prisons, a subdivision of President Barack Obama's Justice Department, has banished all pork products from the menus in all federal prisons, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The government says it made the decision to do this because a survey showed that inmates do not like eating pork products.

The Council on American-Islamic relations said “we welcome” the move by the government to deny pork to prisoners, but warned that it might spark “Islamophobia.”

Here are excerpts from the report by the Post:

    “The nation’s pork producers are in an uproar after the federal government abruptly removed bacon, pork chops, pork links, ham and all other pig products from the national menu for 206,000 federal inmates.

    “The ban started with the new fiscal year last week.

    “The Bureau of Prisons, which is responsible for running 122 federal penitentiaries and feeding their inmates three meals a day, said the decision was based on a survey of prisoners’ food preferences:

    “They just don’t like the taste of pork….

    “The National Pork Producers Council isn’t buying it. 'I find it hard to believe that a survey would have found a majority of any population saying, ‘No thanks, I don’t want any bacon,'” said Dave Warner, a spokesman for the Washington-based trade association, which represents the nation’s hog farmers.

CAIR told the Post that banning pork in federal prisons would accommodate Muslim prisoners:

     “’In general we welcome the change because it’s facilitating the accommodation of Muslim inmates,’ said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group. “We hope it’s not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system.’”


Claims that capitalism is fuelling illness rest on dodgy stats and hopeless politics

Does free-market capitalism foster an environment in which death and disease flourish? That is the question asked by academics Ted Schrecker and Clare Bambra in "How Politics Makes Us Sick: Neoliberal Epidemics". In this strident little tome, they argue that the infectious diseases of the Victorian age – which they claim, in a characteristically ahistorical aside, were stamped out thanks to ‘organised resistance by labour, via trade unions’ – are being replaced by an epidemic of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, as a result of ‘neoliberal’ policies. They argue that things are worst in Britain and the US where neoliberalism supposedly burns most brightly, whereas life is better, though far from perfect, in the Nordic countries because they all have a ‘strongly interventionist state’.

Schrecker and Bambra focus on four ‘neoliberal epidemics’ – obesity, insecurity, austerity and inequality – which they portray as the latter-day equivalents of cholera and tuberculosis.

Strikingly, none of these ‘epidemics’ are diseases in a medical sense. Obesity and stress are risk factors for disease; inequality is an economic variable; and ‘austerity’ is a hyperbolic term for balancing the budget through fiscal restraint. It is also notable that all of these issues predate ‘neoliberalism’ by many years and can be found in countries that have a considerably more dirigiste economy than the UK.

There is a simple explanation for why cancer and heart disease have become the leading causes of death in rich countries. When there are only two classes of disease, communicable and non-communicable, eradication of the communicable leaves only the non-communicable. Since the concept of a natural death has been defined out of existence, it is inevitable that more people die from non-communicable diseases, albeit usually at an advanced age. It is a trend that should be welcomed.

Schrecker and Bambra concede that these diseases are not confined to market economies, but they claim that ‘the changes associated with neoliberalism increase our susceptibility’ to them.

But if ‘neoliberalism is returning us to an environment in which (chronic) disease can flourish’, as Schrecker and Bambra claim, it is not readily apparent from the mortality statistics. Life expectancy continues to rise and it has risen more rapidly in Britain since 1980 than it did in what Schrecker and Bambra call the ‘“golden age” of welfare-state capitalism’, which is to say the postwar era dominated by ‘centralism, universalism and Keynesian economics’. They show a table of life-expectancy figures in the rich world and note that Sweden and Norway perform quite well, but gloss over the fact that the like-minded social democracies of Denmark and Finland are at the bottom of the list, propped up only by the US. Switzerland and Australia, both of which have lower rates of public spending than Britain, outperform them all.

While Schrecker and Bambra do not deny that life expectancy has been rising, they argue that the poor are being left behind, leading to growing health inequalities. Rich people have always tended to live longer than poor people for a variety of reasons, but the reader would have to look beyond the partial evidence provided in How Politics Makes Us Sick to discover that premature mortality from cancer and heart disease has been declining more rapidly in poor districts than in rich districts.

Life expectancy for Scottish men has increased by 3.8 years for the poorest and wealthiest quintiles alike in the past 15 years and gains in healthy life expectancy have been much greater among the poor than among the rich. Facts of this kind are conspicuous by their absence in How Politics Makes Us Sick, leaving the reader with the impression that both the incomes and the wellbeing of the poor are in free fall, not only in comparison with the rich, but in absolute terms.

Lacking a clear correlation between economic policy and life expectancy, the authors focus on obesity, presumably because it is relatively common in the US and Britain. They blame neoliberalism’s underregulation of food companies (or ‘corporate disease vectors’ as they call them) and stress-related overeating for people getting fat. In truth, there is little meaningful difference in food regulation between countries, particularly within the EU, that could explain differences in diet, and there are a number of problems with the hypothesis that unsatisfying work, unemployment and job insecurity cause stress that leads people to eat more.

Aside from the fact that stress and anxiety can only be measured by subjective self-reporting, the survey evidence shows that the rise in anxiety began long before ‘neoliberalism’ was introduced, as the authors of The Spirit Level conceded when they made a similar argument in 2009. Schrecker and Bambra find somewhat more objective evidence in statistics for antidepressant use, but it is left to the reader to spot that all the Scandinavian countries medicate themselves with these drugs at an above-average rate, with Iceland having the highest prevalence of all. Despite this, Schrecker and Bambra make the bald assertion that ‘prevalence of stress is significantly higher in the most neoliberal countries and lower in the least, as the workplace is more regulated’.

Although it is far from obvious that neoliberal countries have more unemployment than more centralised economies (the US certainly does not), it is plausible that there is more job insecurity, and therefore stress, in a fast-moving modern labour market. Schrecker and Bambra argue that work in the service industry is inherently more stressful than in the manufacturing industries of old, but this requires a rose-tinted view of jobs in factories and coal mines (the loss of which they lament). It may be true that working on an assembly line in a unionised industry induces little anxiety about losing one’s job. It may also be true that a world of wider horizons leads to less boredom and ennui but more stress and status anxiety. This is not necessarily a reason to favour the coal mine over the office.

A more plausible explanation for the rise of obesity, which the authors only hint at, is that free markets promote wealth, office jobs and car ownership. If so, obesity is an unintended consequence of economic prosperity, which would explain why it is less common under centralised economies. As the door closed on hunger, the door to obesity was opened. Obesity may or may not be a serious problem, but it is part of a trade-off between abundance and want. It is not confined to ‘neoliberal’ European economies. It can be seen wherever poverty is on the decline, including China and the Middle East.

By any objective criteria, the problems of the present pale into insignificance when held up against the problems of the past. Schrecker and Bambra go to great lengths to romanticise the postwar era while painting an unremittingly bleak picture of the present day. There is almost no acknowledgement of any progress in material living standards, health and prosperity. Instead the authors cling to a theory of immiseration that flies in the face of observed reality. People are too poor to be able to afford a healthy diet, they claim, and so obesity has risen sharply since the glory days of the 1970s. This would be plausible if incomes had fallen in that time, as Schrecker and Bambra claim, but even among the poorest groups, incomes have doubled.

Such errors and misrepresentations abound. Some are conceptual, such as their assumption that cost-saving by businesses leads to higher profits rather than lower prices. Others are factual, such as the claim that austerity has not reduced the deficit. But it is the evidence that is omitted that is most telling. For example, anyone who is familiar with Britain’s social-mobility literature knows that there is one dataset suggesting that fluidity has declined in recent decades while all the other evidence shows either an improvement or no change. Schrecker and Bambra cite the former, ignore the latter, and tell the reader that ‘social mobility has declined since 1980’.

Similarly, only a reader who knows that the gap between rich and poor has been flat or falling in Britain for the past 25 years would understand why Schrecker and Bambra’s claims about the ‘growth in inequality’ focus almost exclusively on the US. On this topic, Schrecker and Bambra rely heavily on The Spirit Level but fail to mention any of the abundant evidence to the contrary – and there is no discussion of the academic controversy surrounding the inequality-health hypothesis. To the unwary reader, it is settled science.

Schrecker and Bambra note that poverty is defined as a ‘household income below 60 per cent of the median’. Under this measure, poverty has declined in both the short-term (since the 2008 crash) and in the long-term. This evidence does not immediately support a narrative of brutal immiseration, and so Schrecker and Bambra ignore it in favour of survey-based research from a pressure group and claim that poverty rates ‘have risen substantially during austerity’, and are now ‘at their highest level for 30 years’. When they finally acknowledge the official data, they tie themselves in knots, first claiming that child poverty is at a 30-year high, then stating that ‘1.1million children were lifted out of poverty’ between 1998 and 2012.

In the final analysis, the problems that Schrecker and Bambra discuss are too trivial to be mentioned in the same breath as tuberculosis and malaria. Their claims about free markets causing obesity and stress are unconvincing, but even if they were more persuasive it would require a damnable lack of perspective to equate a society in which people die from hunger and infection to one in which people are comfortable, rich and free enough to become fat. In a world in which workers manifestly have more to lose than their chains, Schrecker and Bambra turn molehills into mountains in their attempt to convince the reader that wealthy nations are sliding into the abyss.

How Politics Makes Us Sick ends, as all such books do, with a political call to arms. But this amounts to little more than a strangely anti-climactic plea for greater public spending. Schrecker and Bambra say they want ‘to replicate the politics of the postwar settlement’, but there is no spirit of 1945, no white heat of technology, no New Jerusalem. The Marxist dream of liberating the workers is replaced by a dreary appetite for lifestyle regulation and bureaucratic expansion. Schrecker and Bambra make the unsettling recommendation that governments should ‘start by rejecting the neoliberal rhetoric of individual responsibility’, but the best they can offer in its place is a ‘reinvigorated welfare state’, more powers for trade unions and a vague aspiration for ‘democratic renewal’.

Obsessed with the alleged evils of neoliberalism, Schrecker and Bambra display remarkably little curiosity as to why the postwar settlement was swept away by so many electorates in the first place. They ignore the problems associated with powerful trade unions, nationalised industries, endemic borrowing and protectionism. They explicitly pine for the policy of full employment to be reintroduced without acknowledging that it rarely led to full employment in practice and without asking how such an aspiration could be realised in a modern global economy. There is no discussion of how much their proposals would cost, where the money would come from or what the benefits would be, even to people’s health – which is ostensibly the subject of the book. Essentially, their manifesto boils down to making out-of-work benefits more generous, but it is far from clear that this would reduce obesity, unemployment or stress.

Like The Spirit Level, How Politics Makes Us Sick attempts to harness the language of ‘public health’ for political ends. Unlike The Spirit Level, it makes little attempt to convert those who do not already believe that Britain is a Thatcherite hellhole in which all but the most privileged live off food banks and zero-hour contracts. Its cheerless tone and high price (£20 for 127 pages of text) mean that it is unlikely to reach out beyond the ghetto of left-wing sociology.


Australia: Muslim identity of Bendigo gang rapists covered up

No, this is not about the Bendigo Bank’s rapacious associates who have a financial interest in the land surrounding the proposed mega mosque. Nor is it about how the Bendigo Bank cancelled the accounts of all those who objected to the rape of their city. Nor is it about the corrupted Bendigo councillors who did not declare an interest.

And it’s not even about the Bendigo Bank’s violation of community sentiments in promoting the crass Islamification of one of Australia’s historic and iconic cities.

No, but do you recall that ghastly gang rape of a young Bendigo mother… a case that had completely disappeared under a media blackout?

Well, a whistleblower has disclosed the filthy tactics employed by Bendigo’s newly empowered  Muslims: “I was working for the DPP’s department of human services at the time and was directly involved in this case. I am reluctant to openly disclose this type of information as former colleagues have faced legal action for far less.”

The anonymous whistleblower went on to say, “Actually, they were all African Muslims and there were more than six involved in the savage rape but only six were formally charged. No adults were convicted.

“It was common knowledge at the time that the adult offenders conspired, under legal advice, to blame the younger offenders for the crime as juveniles would receive the more lenient sentences and a media blackout would be imposed on the entire case”, he said.

"As a result, details of the case have never surfaced and the adults involved, Mohammed Elnour, 19, Akoak Manon, 19, and Mohammed Zaoli, 22, walked away scot free after having raped the poor woman 14 times while her two children were present in her home.

“All three juvenile rapists spent some time in remand, yet only two were sentenced and both served no more than 12 months.

“Not one of the gang ever admitted guilt nor did they show any remorse for their actions. It was common knowledge that the offenders received financial assistance for their legal defence from the Muslim community, but only after it was confirmed the victim was a young non-Muslim Australian woman.

“DHS and Vicpol members involved in the case were absolutely disgusted by all aspects of the crime itself and the way it was handled but we all were constantly reminded that we would face legal action if found to have disclosed information to the media.

“One thing I would love to share with all Australians is the time when two of the offenders were visited by their family (a loving moderate Muslim family) for the first time since they had been in remand.

“After the offenders had informed the family that it was, ‘All okay because the victim was just an Aussie girl’, the entire family stood and hugged the offenders in relief, the mother was crying tears of joy as she knew the family would have been shunned by the Muslim community if the victim had been a Muslim girl.

“I hope you see fit to share this information with the Australian people and continue the great work.”

Bendigo’s past will hold a proud place in the hearts of Australians. Its future will hold nothing but contempt.



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

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

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


15 October, 2015

Another one of Britain's charming multiculturalists

A father-of-two killed his heavily pregnant wife after stabbing her 17 times to the chest, back and abdomen.

Tariq Khan launched the attack at their home in Manningham, Bradford while their two children, aged three and five, were in the house.

He fled the scene after the attack in June, leaving his children locked in the house and a knife in wife Nadia's chest.

He was today jailed for life at Bradford Crown Court and told he would spend a minimum of 24 years and 247 days behind bars before the Parole Board could consider whether he should be released.

Sentencing him, Judge Roger Thomas QC, the Recorder of Bradford, said it was a knife attack of particular ferocity. He said Khan had delivered five substantial blows stab wounds to Nadia's abdomen, destroying the child he knew she was carrying.

Khan had pleaded guilty to murder, child destruction, and an earlier assault on his wife.

Judge Thomas said: 'In any event within a very short time of the two of you beginning your whispered conversation in the kitchen you set about Nadia and your unborn son, who she was carrying, with extreme and ferocious violence, using a kitchen knife over and over again and driving it deep into her body and also into the body of your son.

'The prosecution therefore suggest, rightly in my judgement, that not only were you intent on killing Nadia but seemingly you were also specifically intent on destroying her unborn son.

'That is unhappily something that men such as you, who attack their wives, at times do. Destroying the child that she was so pleased to be carrying as some form of further punishment of her.'

Nadia, who was raised in Bradford, was 17 when she went through an arranged marriage to 19-year-old Khan.

But she had spent most of her married life in West Yorkshire while Khan remained in Pakistan.

Nadia had two children with Khan and he eventually received permission to come to this country in October last year, but on Christmas Day he assaulted her and after she reported an incident to the police a Domestic Violence Protection Order lasting a month was issued.

A month before the murder, Khan attacked Nadia again and after he was arrested and charged by police with common assault he was given bail with a condition not to contact his wife or go within 100 metres of her home.

In her police statement Nadia said Khan could be controlling towards her and prone to jealousy.

Three days before he was due to make his first appearance before the magistrates court, Khan took a teenage relative with him to Nadia's home and Judge Thomas said the defendant had been 'devious and cunning' in circumventing her fear of him.

Khan had suggested that his wife had initially picked up the knife, but Judge Thomas said that was questionable as there were no defensive injuries on Nadia and the first blow was to her back rather than her front.

After sentencing, the family said in a statement: 'Nadia was a caring daughter and sister as well as a loving mother, and it kills us that her children will grow up without a mum and dad.

'Tariq Khan has caused us a lot of pain and we hope he stays in jail for the rest of his life, as his sentence can never be enough for what he has done.

'We would like to thank everyone who has been there for us, including the police and their family liaison officers who have given us great support at this very sad time.'

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark McManus, said: 'Khan was clearly a very dangerous man and the community of Manningham is a safer place with him behind bars.

'Our condolences remain with Nadia's family and friends and we hope they can find some comfort in the sentence he has received today.'


Liberal Cynicism and Double Standards on Race

Fair people are disgusted with GQ columnist Drew Magary's vile denunciation of Ben Carson and his comments on the Oregon shooting, but it shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with leftist vulgarity and double standards.

Not only did GQ print the post, in which Magary wrote "f—- him," but also it titled the piece "F—- Ben Carson." So much for civility, decency, tolerance, intellectual heft and — oh, yes — racial sensitivity. GQ tweeted a link to the column, which means it wants people to read it.

Imagine the outcry if a conservative similarly described a black liberal politician in a prominent publication. Liberals would call for the heads of everyone involved — writer, editor, publisher and the publication itself — and few conservatives would defend such language.

The context of the quote is not mitigating. Magary also wrote: "You know, the only thing more alarming than Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field is the fact that Ben Carson is the guy right behind him. ... The Good Doctor made it clear this week that he is not only willing to replicate Trump's signature brand of hot-garbage-spewing, but he'll say even DUMBER s—-."

Liberals are apoplectic over Carson's comments on the shooting not because he said anything wrong but because he doesn't toe the liberal line on gun control. More than that, it's that he is black and rejects liberal dogma. Even worse, he's running for president on a platform that expressly condemns that dogma and offers a better way. Worst of all, his campaign is resonating, and this just can't be happening.

The most troublesome aspect of this phony flap is the left's delusional double standard on race. Liberals can slander a black person with impunity — because leftist culture says liberals are incapable of racism — and no evidence, not even a smoking gun, can overcome this presumption.

But conservatives are presumed racist and have the burden of proving otherwise, even if they don't say anything at all, much less something that could be distorted into a comment unfavorable to minorities.

What's maddening is that many liberals actually believe this insanity, as I've learned in various personal encounters. Others know it's not true but cynically use it for political purposes.

In a television debate with Eric Bolling, Geraldo Rivera made my point, saying: "I think that in Dr. Ben Carson's case, the people are not reacting to him as a black man" but are reacting to "ideas like the Garden of Eden is the literal place that existed long, long ago (and) that there is no such thing as evolution. ...To run for president of the United States and believe in creationism" — as opposed to "evolution — is kind of weird."

Let's put aside Rivera's statement that it's weird to believe that God created the universe and mankind, though it is duly noted, and focus on his casual assertion that people aren't being, rude, crude or demeaning toward Carson because he is black.

Ordinarily, I'd accept that statement because I believe that liberals who insult Carson mainly can't stand him because he's conservative, not because he's black. But seeing as they've established the standard, let's hold them to it.

It particularly galls them when minorities reject liberalism. It's reasonable to infer there's a bit of condescension at play here because to believe blacks must be liberal is to suggest that they are — or should be — monolithic creatures and that those who deviate are somehow inferior. Many leftists apparently believe that conservative blacks have forfeited any right to be insulted, including on racial terms.

You need look no further than leftist cartoonists depicting Condoleezza Rice as a parrot on President George W. Bush's arm and, as one commentator described, "as a semi-literate mammy" with "big lips and bucked teeth" or liberal talk show hosts calling her "Aunt Jemima." But if you want to look further, you may recall Joe Biden's reference to Barack Obama as "clean," "bright" and "articulate."

I am not a Geraldo Rivera hater and even like some things about him, but I was appalled at his comments. No, not that he assumed liberals aren't attacking Carson because he's black but his obvious implication that Republicans, in criticizing Obama, are racially motivated. Indeed, many liberals have insisted that conservatives criticize Obama because he's black, not because he is orchestrating the wholesale destruction of America.

In my view, there is no question that Rivera sincerely believes that many conservatives, by virtue of their conservatism, are racist, both toward blacks and toward Hispanics. But his sincerity doesn't make his wrongheaded beliefs true.

I have long believed that if Republicans could make inroads into the pernicious liberal lie that their principled opposition to Democratic statism is based on race, the entire political landscape would change overnight. That is why many liberals who know better will keep fanning these flames of hatred and continue slandering black conservatives, especially those they deem a threat to their hold on power.


Sorry, but DMV Closures in Alabama Ain't Jim Crow

If you’ve paid attention to the Leftmedia recently, you probably heard its cries of the return of Jim Crow in Alabama. The Left thinks that, because the state is shuttering many of its part-time Department of Motor Vehicle branch offices, the state that requires a photo ID to vote has restricted its citizens' civil rights. It’s a systematic effort to prevent the poor from voting, the Left cries.

Not so, says Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky. Alabama is closing the offices because it needs to trim its budget, and the part-time DMV branch offices distributed only 5% of the drivers licenses issued — kind of an easy line item to trim.

So where’s a voter to go? Every county in the state issues voter IDs for free, and those offices are often in the same location as the former DMV offices. Von Spakovsky writes, “So individuals who would have used one of the part-time satellite DMV offices to get an ID will be able to simply walk to another office — in the same building — to get the ID they need for voting.

And that is supposed to be the reimposition of Jim Crow?” Leave it to the Left to equate getting licensed to drive — a regulated activity not guaranteed by the Constitution — with the right to vote. Fortunately, exercising the right to vote in Alabama does not mean braving the line at the DMV.


The Case of Former Atlanta Fire Chief Fired Over Marriage Views Goes to Court

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran lived the American dream. That is, until he was fired from his childhood dream job for writing a book during his own private time.

Cochran’s book, published in 2013 and called “Who Told You That You Were Naked?,” expresses a biblical view on marriage and addresses homosexuality from his Christian perspective.

An active member in his church, he led a men’s small group Bible study and, after discussion with his group on Adam’s sin in the Book of Genesis, researched the words “naked” and “clothed” from the perspective of what the Bible says. He decided to write 162 pages about the topic in a men’s devotional book.

Cochran was reported to have asked the city’s ethics officer for permission before publishing the book and gave a copy of the book to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in January of 2014.

Fast-forward a few months, and Cochran received a 30-day suspension without pay, after an LGBT activist group started to protest the book.

“LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation, and deserve to be respected for their positions without hate and discrimination,” Cochran said, according to a January article from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “But Christians also have the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation and be respected for their position without hate and without discrimination.”

After 34 years as a firefighter, Cochran’s fairy-tale career came to a halt in January due to his personal views on gay marriage.

“I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” Mayor Reed said in a statement. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”

Cochran had worked his way up, and out from the poverty he grew up in, to be named Atlanta fire chief in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed administrator of the United States Fire Administration under President Barack Obama. Less than a year later, he was back to his position as chief in Atlanta. 

Cochran believes he was unjustly terminated by Reed and in February filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta.

Cochran’s case is slated to go to court Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Atlanta. There will be a hearing on Reed’s motion to dismiss the case.

“I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all citizens,” Reed stated after he had given Cochran a suspension.

Investigation into Cochran found that he did not show discrimination against anyone during employment, yet he was terminated anyway.

“In America, a religious or ideological test cannot be used to fire a public servant, but that’s precisely what the city did,” said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel and Cochran’s lawyer David Cortman. “That endangers everyone who works for the city who may hold to a belief that the city doesn’t like. Furthermore, the First Amendment fully protects the freedom of any public employee to distribute religious materials at work to those willing to receive them, and no city rule—written or unwritten—can override that freedom.”

“First off, do we want the government deciding that anyone that holds views that are in conflict with the government’s views can’t work—can’t make a living?” Cortman told The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness in a previous interview.

Cochran gave copies of the book in controversy to colleagues that he had previously established a relationship with as “believers,” he said.

“The part that got me in trouble was the fact that in the book I dealt with sexual challenges that Christian men have and spoke of biblical marriage and biblical sexuality,” Cochran said in August while speaking at a religious liberty rally in Iowa.

“I learned three lessons from going through what I’m going through,” Cochran said at the rally:

    “God always prepares his children for suffering.”

    “There are worldly consequences for standing for Christ and for standing for biblical truth.”

    “There are also Kingdom consequences for standing for Christ and standing for biblical truth. And the Kingdom consequences are always greater than the worldly consequences.”

“Americans should not have to choose between living out their faith and keeping their job,” he said. “But if you’re faced with the choice of living out your faith or keeping your job, living out your faith is always the right choice.”

Wednesday’s hearing will be the first oral arguments of Cochran’s case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.



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

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

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


14 October, 2015

Myths and Legends: The Reality of Rape Offences Reported to a UK Police Force

I think the findings from the academic study excerpted below speak for themselves.  They show that, contrary to feminist hysteria, rape as it is conventionally imagined is exceedlingly rare in the UK.  Such unpopular findings are probably why the paper has not made it into the journals but has remained a conference paper only. It is however available online from Research Gate or from the authors

By Genevieve Waterhouse, Ali Reynolds & Vincent Egan

The ‘real rape’ myth involves a stranger attacking a woman alone at night in a secluded outdoor area. It often includes violence, the victim sustaining serious injuries and a weapon (Du Mont et al., 2003).

The present study analysed the frequency with which each aspect of the myth occurred in rapes reported to a police force in a typical British region over two years.

Although nearly a third of rapes were committed by strangers, most of these offenders had spent some time with their victim (e.g. had been drinking with them prior to the attack). When the offender had met the victim before the offence, they had most frequently met in a pub, club, or in a town centre (40.5%), followed by in the street (19%) or through friends (12.1%).

Of 400 cases, none fit all the ‘real rape’ myth criteria. Only two cases in which a weapon was used were carried out by a stranger to the victim; one of which fits the myth except for that the victim sustained slight (rather than serious) injuries. The only correct characteristic of the ‘real rape’ myth was the timing (when the time of the offence was recorded, it was often between 11pm and 5am) and that when stranger rapes did occur, they were more likely to take place in the open-air and lead to the victim sustaining slight injuries.

Thus, the ‘real rape’ myth is a particularly inaccurate portrayal of the ‘average’ rape reported to the police in this sample. Stranger rapes were more likely to involve the victim drinking alcohol, the victim and offender having spent some time together, a young female victim and an older male offender. Additionally, they often occurred in the victim’s home.

This suggests that stranger rape may have a connection to the night-time economy, rather than the ‘stranger-in-the-bush’ scenario. However, both domestic and acquaintance rapes were reported more often than stranger rapes.


'KFC sacked me for wearing a POPPY': Fast food worker claims he was fired after refusing to remove remembrance symbol for health and safety reasons

A father-of-one claims he was sacked from his job at KFC after refusing to remove a poppy from his uniform because it could pose a 'health and safety' risk.

Stephen Colquhoun, 23, said he made a donation to the restaurant's poppy box and attached the ­commemorative flower to his shirt but was told by his manager to remove it.

The fast food worker, from Drumchapel, Glasgow, refused to take off the remembrance symbol and claims he was dismissed from the KFC branch in the city's Renfield Street.

He told the Daily Record: 'At first I thought he must be joking, but he kept on demanding I take it off.

'Eventually I told him he'd need to sack me because I wasn't taking it off. At that point he said to me, 'Fine, just leave now', and I left.'

He added that he thought it was a 'disgrace' he was told he couldn't wear the poppy, adding: 'It should be ­everyone's right to show their respect for the war dead if they want to.'

Mr Colquhoun said his name had been taken off the work rota following the dispute, so he presumed he had been dismissed from his position.

KFC said poppies were banned from the kitchen areas of its restaurants over health and safety reasons and said it was investigating the matter.

A spokesman said: 'The poppy appeal is a great cause and many of our restaurants support it through donation boxes including the Renfield Street restaurant.

'Wearing any type of badge or pin while working in a kitchen poses a foreign body risk so isn't allowed for health and safety reasons.

'The team member has not been dismissed but we are currently looking into the matter.'


Merkel’s open invite to ragbag of fanatics

THE bookies are backing ­German Chancellor Angela Merkel for this year’s Nobel Peace prize for welcoming the Islamic invasion of Europe.

She initially estimated that Germany could host about 800,000 of the so-called refugees but it would appear that with no controls, that number is likely to be closer to 1.5 million.

The majority of those who have surged northward seeking homes in nations with the most generous welfare ­programs are not genuine ­refugees. They have not come from refugee camps, they have ­destroyed their identity documents, and they aren’t even Syrian, though that’s where the current Islam-induced ­crisis is raging.

Germany is dealing with its ghastly past, showing some ­remorse for the Holocaust inflicted by its Nazi rulers, wishing to be seen to be extending a hand to people in need.

But the warm wet multi-kulti feeling is starting to drain away as services collapse under the pressure and there is a slow realisation that more than 3000 people have died this year trying to reach the Euro welcome mat.

The numbers of Green-Left Germans who were handing out toys and water to the few women and children who reached their nation are beginning to thin as less inspiring hordes of strong young men pour off the buses and trains from the south.

Even Merkel is beginning to think enough is enough and has told EU foreign ministers and their counterparts from ­Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Balkan countries worst affected by the exodus from Syria that Europe’s asylum rules are “obsolete”.

That will not be news to ­realists but it is something of a slap in the face to the EU’s gormless multi-kulti bureaucrats who have stood by for decades as Islamists established enclaves in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, the Netherlands and Britain in which crimes against women flourished and extremist teachers preached hatred of the West which sheltered them.

Even so, Merkel has still not drawn any lines — possibly realising that US President Obama’s all too frequent claims to have drawn red lines aimed at constraining Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad only fed more lines to comedians.

Feeling the backlash within Germany, still settling down after the reunification of East and West Germany 25 years ago, Merkel admitted in a ­historic understatement that the challenges will “be difficult” as German authorities said they had registered about 577,000 asylum-seekers in the first nine months of the year, just a third of whom claim to be Syrian.

In a joint statement with French President Francois Hollande to the totally ineffectual but grievously meddling European Parliament in Luxembourg, Merkel called for a “new procedure” to redistribute “asylum-seekers” through the 28-nation EU.

This won’t deter the ­"coming-ready-or-not" mob surging into the sunny uplands of the welfare states; they know which nations’ welfare systems offer the most benefits and they have shown extreme ­determination to reach those that have the best deals.

Europe’s migration disaster has again highlighted the ­age-old problem of letting well-intentioned but unmitigated dopes determine policy.

Just as the luvvies ululated their delight when the Arab Spring dawned — before the celebrating mobs in Libya and Egypt showed their true Islamist colours — and now show some regret at ushering in extremist forces like IS, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, Merkel has had some second thoughts.

History lessons

The original Dublin process, which forces Italy and Greece to process most ­migrants, “started from good intentions … but the challenges raised at our borders are from now on untenable”.

“It is exactly now that we need more Europe. We need courage and cohesion, which Europe has always shown when it was necessary,” she said.

The last time “courage and cohesion” worked in Europe was when Britain bravely kept the Nazis corralled on the Continent until the US was propelled into WWII by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

Merkel’s “more Europe” policies have only served to lure freeloaders in the past. Unless Europe can free itself of them, it is doomed.

France’s Hollande was more realistic, admitting that the EU failed to respond swiftly to the upheaval of the Arab Spring.

“I acknowledge that Europe was slow in understanding that tragedy in the Middle East or Africa could not but have consequences for Europe itself,” he said.

Injecting a note of sanity, he warned that regional conflagration in the Middle East could affect Europe if the world failed to stop the slaughter in Syria.

“What happens in Syria concerns Europe, what happens there will determine the balance of the whole region for a long time,” he said.

“If we leave these religious clashes between Sunnis and Shi’ites, they will grow. Don’t think we will be sheltered, this will be a total war.”

Europe is showing signs of slowly understanding the ­lesson that both former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott understood full well. Borders must be secure if citizens are to be protected and lives are not to be lost to people smugglers.

Thanks to Europe’s hospitable open borders, the member nations of the EU now face years of deadly Islamist ­extremism from some of the very people to whom they ­offered refuge and sanctuary.

Merkel should note that those who awarded Obama his Nobel Prize have already ­expressed their regret.


Why the UK’s Nobel Prize winner rejects foreign aid

Angus Deaton has made powerful arguments against foreign aid that expose our Government’s shallowness in the matter

Britain has just collected another Nobel Prize, courtesy of Angus Deaton, the Scottish-born economist. A brilliant thinker, he is the author of several breakthroughs in the way economists look at the world. His achievements are not merely about technical microeconomics, including areas such as consumption, poverty and welfare. As befits a great scholar, he isn’t worried about holding unpopular opinions: he is one of the most persuasive opponents of foreign aid. Why? He thinks that foreign aid - for the purposes of development, not to stave off humanitarian health catastrophes or other such emergencies - does more harm than good and hurts, rather than helps, the poor.

It is impossible to read his powerful arguments without realising just how flimsy the Tory obsession with spending 0.7pc of GDP on foreign aid really is. Deaton, unlike those who support the government’s position, masters the extensive economic literature on the subject. His takedowns of the theoretical and empirical evidence in favour of the current consensus are wonderful to read; and they expose our government’s shallowness in the matter.

“Development is neither a financial nor a technical problem but a political problem, and the aid industry often makes the politics worse”, as he put it cogently in an article.

So what were his solutions? “Reducing aid is one, but so is limiting the arms trade, improving rich-country trade and subsidy policies, providing technical advice that is not tied to aid, and developing better drugs for diseases that do not affect rich people”, he wrote in a syndicated column.

He also supports tearing up trade barriers, a liberal migration policy and making it easier for poor countries to share in inventions and new management techniques. He explains that there is no evidence that aid ever boosts growth and that in fact it damages the key legal and political infrastructure - property rights, a proper legal system, a decent, non-corrupt system of government - that is essential for economies to take off. To him, the problem with aid is that it undermines the development of “local state capacity” and makes failing governments even less accountable. He is especially scathing in his condemnation of Western financed population control, which he sees as imperialistic.

Sadly, his scholarly, fascinating fact-based destruction of the case for state foreign aid is not part of Britain’s national conversation. Instead, loudly spending taxpayers’ money on overseas assistance is now seen as a form of virtue-signalling by the Tories, a mean to (supposedly) decontaminate the brand as it is perceived by prosperous, middle class voters with liberal tendencies.

I don’t want to misrepresent Deaton’s views: he is not a free-market libertarian, and believes that there is much the government can and should do. He is, in my view, wrongly worried about the fact that some people have become very rich - though at least his argument has nothing to do with envy, and is instead partly about the danger of small groups capturing and perverting political institutions. It is obviously wrong if anybody can write the rules in their own interests, rather than in the general interest. But in my view this actually reinforces the case for trusting the market as much as possible to organise society, rather than politicians.

I also disagree with Deaton when he worries that the rich can afford to buy private healthcare and education, thus opting out of public services, and deduces from that they will have less incentive to improve state schools or make sure that banks are managed safely. I would love to live in a world wealthy enough that the vast majority of the population could afford to purchase their own education and healthcare; and the rich actually have as little incentive as the middle classes to see the banking system badly run. They have the most to lose from a financial collapse and the ensuing revolution. I also don’t buy the argument that those who have more are not interested in helping provide a safety net for those who have less.

But his understanding of government failure, in the West as well as in the emerging world, makes him a superior analyst and one who is worth reading closely, even when one disagrees with him. His The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, out recently in paperback, is a highly accessible statement of his views. I recommend it to anybody who wants to understand more about international affairs and how to solve the scandal that is global poverty.

Deaton’s triumph reminds of us of Britain’s enormous scientific and intellectual achievements - but it also acts as a warning that we need to up our game. The UK remains second-placed in the Nobel prize league table, with 94 UK-born laureates to date, against 257 US-born winners, according to a map from the Nobel Foundation. We remain ahead of Germany at 80 and France at 53. It’s not just the UK-born: Tomas Lindhal, the Swedish cancer specialist, a winner of this year’s chemistry prize, has been based in the UK since 1981.

But Lindhal is an exception, and Deaton’s prize highlights a crisis: he works at Princeton, where he has been based since 1983. Britain’s best academics increasingly work in the US; the same is true of the UK’s best PhDs. Britain is continuing to suffer from a scientific brain drain which shows no signs of reversing. Even our best universities are continuing to fall behind: when it comes to research, institutions like Stanford in California, MIT or Harvard have become astonishingly successful. The nexus between Stanford and Silicon Valley is a perfect case study in how business and academia should cooperate. If we want to stay ahead, we urgently need to learn from the way things are done in the US.



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

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

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


13 October, 2015

The slave trade was not my fault

We can’t apologise for crimes we didn’t commit – or celebrate victories we didn't achieve

Should you apologise for the crimes of your ancestors? And should the state make financial reparations to atone for such crimes?

These two questions have arisen after Jamaica’s National Reparations Commission called upon the British prime minister, David Cameron, to ‘apologise personally’ because ‘his forefathers were slave owners’. Jamaica’s president, Portia Simpson Miller, has also raised the issue of Britain paying financial reparations to Jamaica, as recompense for Britain’s role in the slave trade.

The two answers here are – obviously – no, and no. First of all, you can’t apologise for something you didn’t do. It’s an effortless and insincere gesture, serving only to make any ersatz penitent appear virtuous – saying sorry for a bad thing you have actually done takes real courage.

On the second matter: what of the material wealth accrued by Britain through the slave trade, passed down through the generations, in the form of our cities, infrastructure and state apparatus? Don’t we still feel the benefits of the slave trade?

Yet recourse to reparations is a step riddled with practical difficulties and contradictions. What of the descendants of those who fought to abolish the slave trade? What of British people today whose grandparents came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s and 1960s? Should they foot the bill for reparations? And what of the descendants of those African kings who sold their own people into slavery?

Children should never have to apologise for the sins of their fathers. But we do need consistency here. Just as you cannot be ashamed of historical crimes you didn’t commit, neither can you take pride in past glories not of your making. What with the current bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, and the ongoing commemorations of the First World War, there has recently been much revelling in Britain’s past achievements. Yet neither you nor I played any part whatsoever in beating Napoleon or the outcome of the Great War. Still, Irish republicans will no doubt use such vicarious, first-person language for the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising next year, and I imagine the Corbynities are stirring themselves likewise for the centenary of the Russian Revolution the year after.

We may allow ourselves to be grateful to our ancestors for their various struggles, but you can’t take pride in something you did not do. ‘We’ didn’t ‘win the war’, any more than ‘we’ won the World Cup in 1966. It’s like your Arsenal-supporting colleague coming into the office on a Monday morning, cretinously lording it over his workmate with the silly boast, ‘We beat you 3-0!’.

No you didn’t. Vicarious, second-hand pride is as vacuous as hand-me-down, ersatz shame.


There’s no such thing as modern slavery

Britain's Modern Slavery Act is immigration control by the backdoor

To much political fanfare, key provisions of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act came into force last week. Home secretary Theresa May described the Modern Slavery Act as a ‘landmark’ in the fight against slavery in the UK.

In truth, the campaign against modern slavery and human trafficking is a spectacular act of political hoodwinking. While most historians will tell you that the abolition of slavery in the British Empire came in 1833, some 26 years after the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, the British government and an assortment of advocacy groups are convinced that the UK still has a slavery problem. Campaign websites point out that there were 1,746 reported cases of slavery in the UK in 2013-14, with 155 convictions for human-trafficking offences – an increase from 99 convictions in 2012-13.

The kind of slavery that was abolished over a hundred years ago amounted to the use of human beings as property. So what exactly is modern slavery? Well, the law is not entirely clear. It suggests that in order for someone to be a slave, they need effectively to be owned by another person. But the current law does not recognise the ownership of people. The slave trade was so barbaric precisely because the rights of slave owners were recognised in law and could be enforced by the machinery of the state. Today, given that the law does not recognise ownership of human beings, to what extent can someone own slaves?

In the legislation, ownership is defined as exercising a significant degree of control over another person. But merely controlling someone, even to a great extent, is not the same as legally owning them. The offence of modern slavery is very broad in its possible application. Guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) indicates that whether someone thinks of himself or herself as a victim of slavery is immaterial. In fact, under Section 1 (5) of the act, even if someone consents to being held in slavery or servitude this would not preclude the prosecution of a slavery offence. So, in effect, you can agree to be a slave. Go figure.

The act also criminalises human trafficking, which amounts to arranging travel for a person into the UK in order to ‘exploit’ that person. Section 3 of the act gives a list of circumstances in which someone can be said to have been ‘exploited’. It is here, in the detail of the act, that the breadth of its reach becomes clear. The definition of ‘exploitation’ includes those who have had their services procured by ‘deception’ – that is, anyone who has been brought to the UK and misled by his or her employer could potentially be seen as a victim of trafficking. The act gives enormous powers to the police and prosecutors to decide what kind of behaviour constitutes ‘slavery’, ‘servitude’ and ‘trafficking’, and provides a mechanism for intervening in a wide range of situations.

The act also gives magistrates the power to issue ‘slavery and trafficking prevention orders’. These orders can be granted where there is a risk that a slavery offence will be committed, and can prohibit any behaviour that may lead to such an offence. So not only is the definition of slavery and trafficking extremely broad, but the powers the act grants to the courts are extremely wide-reaching and draconian.

Of course, there is not widespread slavery in the UK – one need only look into the bizarre reporting of slavery statistics to see this is the case. The National Crime Agency reported that 2,744 people were ‘potential victims of trafficking for exploitation in 2013’. Potential victims? I am a potential victim of murder, given that I am a living human being. Discussion of ‘potential’ victims merely highlights how little we know about the existence of real ones. Labour MP Frank Field estimated that there were 10,000 slaves currently in the UK, following a recent evidence-based review. The problem with the review was that there was no evidence. Instead, Field claimed that establishing the extent of slavery in the UK is impossible because it all happens ‘behind closed doors’.

The political and intellectual dishonesty of modern anti-slavery campaigners is staggering. The narrative of anti-slavery has given the government the perfect moral gloss to apply laws that are regularly used to target economic migrants. The last two significant investigations into trafficking led to the arrests of hundreds of foreigners. These arrests resulted in just 15 prosecutions for human trafficking. Seventy-three of those arrested were prosecuted for immigration offences and deported. This is because immigrants are more likely to work for free in exchange for accommodation or food while they try to establish themselves in the UK. The College of Policing’s guidance on the Modern Slavery Act even anticipates that criminal investigations could become immigration or employment investigations once they get underway.

But even to talk about ‘criminality’ in relation to this act is a misnomer. Today, the myth of modern slavery is used to give a moral gloss to anti-immigrant legislation. Those campaigning to ‘end slavery’ in the UK do not seem to realise that they are doing a great job of promoting the Home Office’s own anti-immigrant agenda. There are parts of the world where forced labour remains a problem. But this act is not about eradicating the scourge of slavery from the UK; it is about giving the authorities a moral basis to intervene almost arbitrarily in the lives of economic migrants.


Europe Begins Massive Deportation Of 400,000 Illegal Immigrants

The European Union has moved forward on deporting rejected asylum seekers to ease the pressure from the Syrian migration crisis.

The interior ministers of the E.U. met to discuss a 10-point plan Thursday and agreed to new regulations that will speed up the process of removing more than 400,000 illegal immigrants. The ultimate goal is to deter others coming in the future by sending a clear message that they won’t be able to stay if they are rejected asylum.

“We need to be better and more effective, not just at helping people and offering refuge, but also at returning those who have no right to stay,” E.U. Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said at a press conference Friday. “That is why a credible and effective return policy is also an essential component of our efforts.”

The return program will be funded by the $3.5 billion Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, with a significant portion now set aside for the next five years.

Refugees fleeing war — in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea — tend to get asylum while economic refugees from Africa and Asia often get rejected. The E.U. has faced problems with deporting the rejected asylum seekers and less than 40 percent were successfully removed in 2014, according to BBC.

A lot of people are also taking advantage of the Syrian refugee stream by attempting to slip through the cracks when the Frontex border agency fails to keep track of the situation. Libyan authorities successfully arrested a group of 300 African migrants Friday as they were about to board boats taking them across the Mediterranean Sea.

A relocation program to spread out the number of refugees across Europe proportionally was also set in motion Friday with planes filled with asylum seekers departing Italy.


After Oregon: we need to talk about narcissism

Don’t blame guns for the rise in mass shootings

In the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, hands were once again wrung, and familiar, emotive pleas issued. Tighten up gun controls. Better still, ban the sale of guns full stop. After all, as unstable, as volatile as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer was, if he couldn’t get his hands on the guns – he used six in total – then he wouldn’t have murdered those nine unfortunates. ‘It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun’, said US President Barack Obama.

To the converted, Obama’s preaching makes perfect sense. America has a problem with guns. Having enshrined the right to bear arms in law over 200 years ago, it worships them, fetishises them, sublimates them. As a result, a gun culture has flourished, drawing on the ‘allure of the settler-frontiersman and rugged individualism, [and] the profits of the gun lobby’. And now, tragically, this gun culture is turning ever-more lethal, as yet another gun-wielding nihilist – Oregon was the forty-fifth school shooting this year – fires his way to fleeting infamy. ‘Gun violence is a public-health epidemic and menace that must be met at peril to our moral as well as physical survival’, said Senator Richard Blumenthal on Friday. ‘We cannot allow another tragedy to pass with only words of grief and regret.’

Blumenthal is right. We cannot allow another tragedy such as Oregon or Charleston or Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech to pass with only words of grief and regret. We need to look the horror of these mass shootings in the face. We need to be honest with ourselves and each other. And we need to grasp what on earth is going on.

But to do that, to confront the nature of the mass shooting, we need to stop blaming guns. It’s easy to do that. Get rid of the tool, and people won’t be able to use it. It’s obvious, right? Simple. The kind of reasoning that ought to refute the Second Amendment, confound those who ‘cling to guns and religion’, and make America a safer, more sensible, more progressive place? Yes, it is obvious, and it is simple. But it is also spurious.

If guns were the problem here, if rifles and pistols were fuelling the rise in mass shootings, why have these particular acts only started to increase in frequency over the past couple of decades? It’s not as if gun ownership, or indeed the right to bear arms, is a new phenomenon. As Brendan O’Neill has noted in relation specifically to mass school shootings, ‘between the 1760s and the late 1970s, with a few exceptions, most shootings in schools were just a continuation of criminal activity in general… It isn’t until the 1960s, and then much more notably in the 1980s and 1990s, that the phenomenon of mass school shootings emerges, where the aim is to kill as many young people as possible for no obvious, discernible or even old-fashioned criminal reason.’ Indeed, the increase in mass shootings generally is marked even over the past 15 years. Between 2000 and 2006, there were on average 6.4 mass shootings a year; between 2007 and 2013, there were 16.4.

More striking still, this increase in body-count-seeking massacres, this rise in mass shootings (in and out of schools) in which the objective is spectacular rather than criminal, bucks the prevailing trend in violent crime in the US. According to government statistics, the US homicide rate declined by 49 per cent, from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 US residents in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011 – its lowest level since 1963. And the use of guns in homicides also fell by 49 per cent between 1992 and 2011. As Patrick Egan, a political scientist at New York University, put it: ‘[W]e are a less violent nation now than we’ve been in over 40 years. In 2010, violent-crime rates hit a low not seen since 1972; murder rates sunk to levels last experienced during the Kennedy administration. Our perceptions of our own safety have shifted, as well. In the early 1980s, almost half of Americans told the General Social Survey (GSS) they were “afraid to walk alone at night” in their own neighbourhoods; now only one third feel this way.’ And, for all the attention given to America’s gun culture, it’s worth noting that firearm ownership is nearly at an all-time low. In the 1970s, about half of the nation owned a gun; today only about one third do.

If the problem here was guns, if the fuel driving the rise in mass attention-seeking shootings was manufactured by Smith & Wesson, why are these empty, murderous acts increasing in frequency at a time when the rate of other gun-related crime is at or near all-time lows? Surely if firearms were determinant, all gun-crime would be on the rise? If pistols were the driving force here, then surely, given the drop in gun ownership, we should be seeing a drop in mass shootings?

To look for the main reason behind the rise in the mass shooting in so-called gun culture is to look for it in the wrong place; it is to look for it in the technology rather than the social context in which that technology is used. The problem here is not the guns. It never was. Rather, what the rise of the mass shooting touches on is a cultural problem, a societal tendency to cultivate pathological forms of narcissism, fragile characters dependent on others for constant, self-aggrandising recognition, sensitive to the perceived slights of others, craving their affirmation, and raging when that affirmation is denied; characters who obsessively want to see themselves in the world, and who are childishly angered by the world’s refusal to yield to their demands.

The shooters’ own words almost always reveal this same narcissistic, affirmation-hungry character, the same infantile determination to place oneself at the centre of the world (indeed, the very act of leaving a ‘message to the world’ speak to an urge for self-glorification). Harper-Mercer, the Oregon shooter, is reported to have written admiringly of another mass shooter: ‘So many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.’

This narcissistic craving for affirmation echoes celebrity culture’s thirst for fame, but with a nihilistic twist; the sense that one is entitled to affirmation for simply being oneself – fame for fame’s sake – drives the shooter to destroy those who rejected him. Again, the same thwarted demand for affirmation is apparent in the recorded message of Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara shooter, who swore ‘revenge on all of the hedonistic scum who enjoyed lives of pleasure they don’t deserve. If I can’t have it, I will destroy it.’ Likewise, listen to the words of one of the two Columbine shooters: ‘I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And don’t fucking say “well that’s your fault” because it isn’t, you people had my phone number, and I asked and all, but no.’

So, no, the problem here isn’t about guns, or guns’ availability. It’s the problem of a culture in which the worst narcissistic personality traits are being nurtured, a culture in which children and young people are encouraged to believe their self-esteem is paramount, that they are entitled to affirmation and praise, and undeserving of criticism and rejection; a culture in which what matters above all else is one’s self-identity, and screw those who fail to affirm and respect it. This isn’t a problem confined to the US. In the UK, too, it’s possible to glimpse a mass-shooter mentality in the young narcissists flirting with the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda before it. Their knowledge of Islam may be shallow, but their craving for affirmation, and perception of slights, of offence, is profound.

To focus on gun culture is to miss the real the problem in our midst – the rise of the militant narcissist, the individual to whom the world must be a mirror, no matter what.



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

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

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


12 October, 2015

Massachusetts surprise

It wouldn't be a surprise to anyone else.  Providing "services" to the "homeless" causes them to congregate, with deplorable results.  They should be left to their own devices.  That way they might do something to help themselves.  While they are fed, housed etc. for free they won't

An influx of services for the homeless in Boston’s Newmarket area has been accompanied by a sharp increase in some crimes and has raised concerns about knots of men and women who loiter, take drugs openly, and discard needles throughout the area.

The Best Western on Massachusetts Avenue recently hired security guards to patrol its property all day, after guests reported being harassed. Online reviews of the hotel have turned increasingly negative, warning potential guests to avoid the area.

“It’s out of control,” said Alexander Thompson, the hotel’s assistant general manager, adding that the sidewalks often smell of urine and are littered with needles. “People come here and leave. They don’t feel safe.”

In a preliminary report provided to the Globe, police found that violent crimes in Newmarket rose 30 percent in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year. Drug violations in the area jumped 55 percent, and aggravated assaults rose 47 percent, though property crimes dropped 17 percent, police said.

The rise in crime has come as 400 homeless men have moved into a new $10 million shelter in a renovated transportation building in the area. City officials moved the men there after they condemned an old bridge leading to Long Island. That decision, a year ago this week, shuttered the refuge on Boston Harbor.

Police noted that the rise in violent crime in the area contrasts with a citywide 3 percent decline in similar crimes during the same time. Police said they are paying close attention to Newmarket and have added a new squad of officers to patrol the area on bicycle.

Yamileth Pagan, a cashier who has worked for three years at the New Market Pizza & Grill, said the change in the neighborhood has been dramatic. She said she frequently sees junkies pass out in the area and calls for an ambulance nearly every day.

“I don’t call the police as often as I should,” she said, adding that someone recently stole her tip jar. “I definitely don’t feel safe here.”

Over the past year, the area has become a hub of the city’s social services for addicts and the homeless. In addition to the new shelter on Southampton Street, the city has opened new methadone clinics in the neighborhood and is renovating the Woods-Mullen Shelter to host 200 women. Several years ago, the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program moved into the old city morgue a few blocks away.

The increased patrols in the neighborhood haven’t been enough to keep Hamid Barakat from finding groups of homeless men camping out in the parking lot of his auto body shop on Massachusetts Avenue, leaving mangy blankets, refuse, and human waste.

“It wasn’t like this last year,” said Barakat, manager of C and L Auto. “Everyone in the neighborhood is complaining.”


Methodist Church Hosts Palestinian Propagandist

Against Israel "most of Palestinian resistance is basically nonviolent," stated Kairos Palestine Secretary General Hind Khoury on September 21 at Washington, DC's Dumbarton United Methodist Church (DUMC).  Such alternative reality statements from Khoury raised no visible concern from a small evening audience of over 20 mostly white and older listeners, for whom she preached progressive Palestinian gospel truth.

Various indications even before Khoury spoke confirmed that DUMC in tony Georgetown is firmly part of the religious left, such as the entrance sign proclaiming a pro-LGBT a Reconciling Congregation.  Chett Pritchett, executive director of event host Methodist Federation for Social Action and a homosexual "advocate for LGBTQ equality in the Church," introduced Khoury in his home congregation.  A yellow "Black Lives Matter" banner in front of the organ in the second-story sanctuary and several accompanying photographs of African-Americans throughout the church showed DUMC's emphasis on racism.

Despite Pritchett's introduction of Khoury with an "amazing list of superlatives to her name," such as a Palestinian Authority (PA) ambassadorship to France, her presentation offered no insight.  "We compare ourselves more and more with South Africa," she stated, evoking the original 2009 Kairos Palestine declaration's analogy between Israel and the apartheid condemned in the 1985 South African Kairos declaration.  Yet numerous analyses have criticized Kairos Palestine for one-sided condemnation of Israel as an aggressor in its conflict with Arabs, legitimation of terrorism, and anti-Semitic biblical interpretations.  As the pro-Israeli group CAMERA concluded, Kairos Palestine reflects a longstanding Arab Christian "intellectual environment where anti-Zionism is an ever-present aspect of Christian peacemaking efforts in the Middle East."

Khoury presented Israel inflicting suffering upon Palestinians every bit as dire as South African apartheid.  Rather than recognize any Israeli self-defense concerns, she stated that "it is the Palestinians who lack security, even food security," overlooking increasingly obese Gazans' fondness for weight loss programs.  She emphasized a 1988 declaration by Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat recognizing Israel's existence, yet ignored later statements by Arafat and other Palestinian leaders calling such overtures merely temporary.  She described Israelis in the post-1967 disputed territories acting as "psychopaths on the loose" brutally attacking Palestinians with "total impunity," yet Israeli law prohibits such crimes in contrast to PA terrorism glorification.

Interviewed after her presentation, Khoury paid little attention to evidence that Palestinians since the beginning of the Oslo peace process in 1993 had received per capita many times the aid of postwar Europe's Marshall Plan.  "Israel makes very good use of speaking about the corruption in the Palestinian Authority," she stated, but "there is a lot of corruption in Israel as well" like governments worldwide.  The PA has "done a lot of work" and aid donors "control every penny," she claimed despite all contrary appearances.

Many Christians would not recognize the Christianity presented in the event by Khoury, a self-described "Bethlehem girl" from where "for us every day is Christmas," a "renewal of real joy and of hope."  She decried Israel increasingly "using the Bible as an instrument" for "legitimizing its own presence and action" contrary to the anti-Semitic supersessionism advocated by Palestinian Christians like her.  Palestinian theologians "challenge that Zionist narrative," bringing to mind Kairos Palestine member and Palestinian Anglican cleric Naim Ateek, who in 1989 founded Jerusalem's Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.  Kairos Palestine urges "churches to stand alongside the oppressed and preserve the word of God and Good News for all, rather than turn it into a weapon with which to slay the oppressed," she said.  During audience comments, one man agreed that evangelicals have "been a useful tool of Zionists."

Palestinians like Khoury complement replacement theology with falsification of Jewish connection to the land of Israel, as shown by Palestinian efforts to erase ancient archeological evidence of Judaism in Israel.  Discussion of Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock mosque occupying the site of the Temple Mount elicited from her the comment "that's what they [Jews] say."  During her interview she argued that the Zionist movement had considered Jewish settlement outside of Palestine in Argentina or Uganda, although these fleeting, controversial proposals derived largely from Jewish desperation.  Contrary to her suggestion of wandering Jews with no particular interest in Israel, Palestinian resistance to Zionism showed that "attachment to the land is a very, very strong emotion."

"The Jewish people of what is the state of Israel today are not the Hebrew people from 2,000 years ago," Khoury's presentation stated, a reference to the discredited theories of Israeli professor Shlomo Sand.  Sand argued that European Jews descended from converts while biblical Jews had assimilated into the Holy Land's various populations, entailing that Palestinians like Khoury had more Hebrew ancestry than Israeli Jews.  Sand showed "how the Jewish people were created," she stated in the interview.

Khoury described how Christians were once 20% of the Palestinian population during the 20th century, but had now dwindled to one percent, yet appeared strangely more apprehensive about Jews than the Muslims.  She cited the "harm being done to our heritage and tradition" from hardly onerous Israeli security controls, like those regulating Palestinian Holy Week pilgrimages to Jerusalem.  "There is so much religious fanaticism growing even in our midst," she briefly noted with reference to Islamic State graffiti in Jerusalem threatening Christians, but then speculated that this could be Israeli intelligence at work.

Khoury completely denied during her interview any persecution of Christians by the Palestinian Muslim majority, a denial often made by Palestinian Christians fearing Muslim reprisals, yet completely contrary to fact.  The 2015 World Watch List of the world's 50 worst countries for persecution of Christians lists the Palestinian territories as number 26 due to "Islamic extremism" (Israel is the only Middle Eastern not on the list).  "We have lots of people working against us and they work with statistics as they like," was her response.

Khoury's comments are predictable given her 2012 writing on the "Arab Spring."  "As political Islam comes to power," she argued, "it is showing signs of moderation, accepting political pluralism and democracy in addition to readiness for dialogue with the West."  She also supports "Palestinian internal reconciliation" between the PA and the Muslim Hamas terrorists ruling the Gaza Strip.

Khoury's interview evinced strange understandings of Christian-Muslim conversions, although Palestinians "know for a fact that many families are originally Christian" but are now Muslim.  The possibility of Muslims converting to Christianity, though, prompted her response, "why should they?  Why create that kind of dissent?  Keep people with their religion."  The "three monotheistic religions, if you go down to values, the real core of religion, they are the same," she stated.  Rather than pursue evangelization under Jesus' Great Commission, "I would evangelize people to goodness and to the values of love."

Such goodness, however, brought no admission of Arab anti-Semitism when the interview noted the Middle Eastern Jews who fled their countries in the decades following Israel's establishment in 1948.  Denying that these Jews were refugees, Khoury angrily asserted that "there is no anti-Semitism among Arabs."  This astonishing view contrasted with her presentation remarks that "Palestinians cannot go on paying for European anti-Semitism," a Kairos Palestine theme that the West supported Israel's establishment due to Holocaust guilt.  "Anti-Semitism is a product of the West, and not of the East," she had lectured while noting Iberian Jews seeking refuge in Muslim lands from Christian persecution.  Considering anger towards Israel throughout Muslim countries, she qualified dubiously that "you can't keep on confusing anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism."

Khoury's ideological boilerplate continued throughout her interview.  She demanded a general Israeli withdrawal to the "borders of 1967 that defines the state of Israel," the infamous "Auschwitz borders" formed by the 1949 armistice lines.  This included abandoning the "occupied territory" of the strategically vital Golan Heights, even as she recognized the ravages of the Islamic State in what was once Syria.

Arabs had always defended themselves against Jews in Khoury's view, going back to the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt.  Rather than concede that Israel defended itself in the 1967 war, she stated that "certainly Israel wasn't innocent in that war.  It was planned.  There was something that was wanted" as indicated by subsequent Israeli territorial gains.  Hamas terrorists today "need to defend themselves" in a "Gaza is under siege" while the genocidal Hamas "charter, I am told, is written by one man."  The "details" of Arab attacks on Israel such as during the 1948 or 1967 wars pale in comparison to Palestinians being "ethnically cleansed from our own country."

Those pressing for Israel to seek peace with its Palestinian neighbors should remember Khoury and her audience, from which came various "Israel=Third Reich/Jim Crow" analogies during the reception.  After becoming progressively agitated under critical questioning, she announced at the interview's end to the event organizers still present that the interviewer "doesn't belong here" and momentarily tried to grab this reporter's recorder.  The would-be Christian peacemaker Khoury's stridency, shown already during past interviews, does not bode well for Israeli peace with Palestinian Christians, to say nothing of Palestinian Muslims.


Why I’m not a feminist

Ella Whelan

Several female celebrities, by publicly distancing themselves from feminism, have caused considerable upset in feminist circles.

First there was actress Susan Sarandon, who told the Observer a couple of years ago, ‘I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating’. Then, earlier this month, fellow actress Meryl Streep echoed Sarandon’s sentiments: ‘I am a humanist; I am for nice, easy balance.’ And, last week, Marion Cotillard said she does not ‘qualify’ herself as a feminist because ‘in the word feminism there’s too much separation’.

The backlash against these women has been extreme. One article dismissed Sarandon’s statement, saying ‘she didn’t mean it’. And online feminist hub Jezebel published a piece claiming that ‘Queen Meryl’ was ‘talking directly out of her butt’. It seems that it is officially unacceptable to refuse to call yourself a feminist. What these feminists don’t seem to realise is that disallowing dissent is tyrannical.

But the most insulting part of the hysterical response to these women expressing their political views is the idea that they were somehow ignorant of what being a feminist entails. In the most cringingly obsequious interview I’ve ever watched, feminist Lena Dunham asked presidential candidate Hillary Clinton if she was a feminist. Clinton replied: ‘I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, “Well, I believe in equal rights, but I’m not a feminist”.’ Dunham giggled, ‘Hallelujah’. Watching Clinton, a living symbol of establishment thinking, having a supposedly radical titter over us idiots who don’t ‘get feminism’ should set alarm bells ringing for free-thinking women.

Sarandon, Streep and Cotillard have a point about the divisiveness of contemporary feminism. It views the world through the narrow prism of gender and argues that women and men are inherently different. This is evident in the current feminist policing of sex, which rests on the assumption that all men are potential rapists and therefore women are doomed to live as victims. In this way, feminists refuse to believe in the potential for human beings to do good rather than bad, to have healthy sexual lives free of interfering rules and regulations.

Feminists believe that women should be protected from certain aspects of public life, including speech. Women can’t and shouldn’t deal with certain types of speech deemed sexist or offensive, feminists argue. Feminists do not want to engage in aspects of life they disagree with. Instead, they want to silence what they don’t like through censorship and criminalisation. Feminists believe that women need protection from words.

Finally, contemporary feminists do not believe that women are independent, free-thinking individuals. Feminists promote a cliquey, sisterhood mentality, but not through a collective and positive sharing of ideas. They’re the kind of group you’d encounter at school who would shun you if you weren’t wearing the right kind of hairband. Today’s feminism is opposed to criticism and nuance, refusing to allow women to form their own opinions or challenge preconceived ideas. And feminists call for the state to intervene when they want an opposing view silenced, and launch Twitter wars against dissenting views.

In contrast, a spiked-style humanist believes that the possibilities for humanity are endless. Our humanism is universal. We are not bothered with gender constraints and do not believe in biological determinism. Rather than assuming that all men are inherently programmed to mistreat women, we believe that human interaction should be free from constraint. Private lives are the business of private individuals, not the state.

Where feminists are intolerant in their approach to disagreeable views, calling for the silencing of offensive speech or the banning of unpleasant aspects of life, humanists actively take on opposing political views. As humanists, we believe in unequivocal and uncompromising freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas between people, in order to reach a more progressive outcome.

And finally, a spiked-style humanist believes, above all, in the strength and independence of human beings. Women are capable of facing adversarial situations and challenging views without the protective arm of the state around their shoulders. Instead, we demand greater freedom from the state. A humanist fights for freedom, whether that is for free and legal abortions for women or the right to refuse to call yourself a feminist.

But most importantly, I am a humanist, not a feminist, because I want to engage in public life. Women should be encouraged to fight back against opposing views, to engage in political battles on the street and to win the argument. I am a humanist, not a feminist, because I believe that there is nothing that cannot be changed, and more importantly, made better. The only way to do this is through an uncompromising belief in freedom.


Office gender politics

The Times reported last week that women are failing to advance in the workplace because senior male executives who could help them most are terrified of interacting with them. They fear that offers of assistance will be misconstrued as sexual harassment.

In her new book, Sex and the Office, Kim Elsesser argues that a new ‘sex partition’ has sprung up, which impedes women from building vital networks of contacts inside and outside the office. People in senior positions, who are still mostly men, will happily give help, or ask male colleagues out for post-work drinks or a weekend round of golf, but will not do so with women, for fear of legal action.

This is what is called the law of unintended consequences. Just as our hyper-concern for children and fear of paedophiles now means that most single men will avoid contact with children in public, so that deadening ideology, ‘feminism’, has led to division and has entrenched gender inequality. As it used to be said more often: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.



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

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

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


11 October, 2015

Multiply talented multiculturalist in Britain

A Mercedes driver has been jailed after filming a 'selfie' at 120mph while chasing a police car.  Princely Imara, 24, started following the vehicle at high speed after he spotted it heading toward an emergency incident, with its sirens blaring, on the A20 in Ashford, Kent, last September.

As he sped down the motorway, Imara ranted about the police force and swerved his black car from side to side, putting pressure on the responding officer and risking other motorists' lives.

He filmed the entire incident on camera, but the footage was only discovered after he was involved in another chase - this time, along the M2 at 130mph - a month later, which resulted in a crash.

In the later incident, two officers noticed Imara drive past them at high speed. He was driving 'erratically', even swerving onto the hard shoulder, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

Imara then re-joined the carriageway on the M2 near Sittingbourne, Kent, behind the officers' vehicle and overtook them. He was pulled over and spoken to by the cops, the court heard.

Simon Taylor, prosecuting, told the court: 'The officers got out and spoke to Imara who was aggressive and obstructive.

'His demeanour raised concerns after he stated he had recently been detained under the Mental Health Act - and he said this while still filming the officers on his mobile phone.'

While the officers carried out checks, Imara sped off, reaching a top speed of 130mph.  He was finally caught after he crashed into a roadside barrier, causing £2,600 worth of damage.

The footage of the earlier incident, where the convicted drug dealer and burglar had launched into a rant about the police, was discovered after his mobile phone was seized and examined.

He had admitted seven drug offences, burglary, handling stolen goods, three charges of driving dangerously, five charges of resisting a police officer and driving without a licence and insurance.

Sentencing Imara, Judge Adele Williams told him: 'This was appalling driving in which you showed no regard for the safety of others - including police officers who were doing no more than their duty.'

The defendant, of Shepway, Kent, was also banned from driving for four years.  He will have to take a re-test before he is allowed to get back behind the wheel of a car.


The nasty Left still think they have a monopoly on compassion

TOM UTLEY reports on the annual conference of the British Conservative party

Like so much else about the politics of the Left these days, the scenes of hate-filled demonstrators spitting and yelling ‘Tory scum!’ at Conservatives attending their Manchester conference took me straight back to the early Eighties.

In particular, I remembered the morning of October 10, 1980 — 35 years ago tomorrow — when a gob of phlegm landed on my shoulder as I arrived at the Brighton conference centre to hear Margaret Thatcher deliver her now-famous speech, ‘the lady’s not for turning’.

Aged 26 at the time, I was covering the occasion as the political correspondent of the Liverpool Echo. I’d noticed that one group of baying protesters was carrying the banner of the Liverpool branch of a trade union. So answering the call of duty to my employers, I went over to talk to them, in quest of quotes for their local newspaper.

It was as I approached that a youngish man at the front of the mob, puce with rage, yelled ‘Tory scum, scum, scum’, hawked and spat at me. Most unpleasant.

As his saliva dribbled down my jacket, I showed him the conference pass hanging round my neck: ‘PRESS, Tom Utley, Liverpool Echo’. Never before or since have I seen such an instantaneous change come over a man.

One second he was cursing and snarling at me. The next he was my dearest friend, all sweetness and light, throwing up his hands in abject apology: ‘I’m really, really sorry, mate. You OK? I thought you were one of them.’

He then tried to clean up my jacket with his own sleeve. It may sound an odd thing to say about someone who’d just screamed abuse and sprayed me with his muck, but he seemed quite nice.
Well, not all that nice. Reflecting that discretion was the better part of valour, and anxious not to lose my new friend as quickly as I’d found him, I judged that this was perhaps not the moment to tell him that I was, in fact, one of them.

All right, I wasn’t a paid-up member of the Conservative Party. Never have been. But I regarded myself as a Tory — and then, as now, I was an admirer of Mrs Thatcher.

Indeed, my admiration of her has grown over the years, as I’ve come to understand the full scale of the challenges she faced when she came to power and the obstacles she had to overcome (many of them in her own party) to put Britain back on its feet.

Now, you may disagree passionately with Mrs T’s politics. But I defy any fair-minded person to study the character and achievements of this incredibly hard-working and diligent woman without concluding that she was driven by a single-minded determination to serve the long-term interests of everyone in this country.

I’d go further, and say she was particularly concerned to give a leg-up to those from her own modest background, who had to make their own way in the world without any special privileges conferred by accident of birth.

Indeed, she was almost the polar opposite of the Left’s caricature of her as a stony-hearted, inconsiderate, bigoted ideologue, the personification of evil, interested only in promoting the rich and grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt.

But I’m afraid that in Brighton in 1980, it would have taken a much braver man than me to argue the case for Mrs T, in my public-school accent, to an incandescent union militant from Liverpool, whose livelihood was probably under immediate threat from her policies.

After all, most of my work for the Echo was reporting the reactions of local Labour MPs to a seemingly endless series of factory closures in their constituencies.

So in full journalist-cringe mode, I resisted the temptation to engage in political debate, forgave my assailant for spitting at me and said: ‘Not to worry. Easy mistake to make.’ And the cock crew.

Fast forward 35 years to Manchester 2015, and it seems that the spitting and the chants of ‘Tory scum’ haven’t changed. Nor has the Left’s refusal to see anything but evil in the motives of the Conservative Party.

Here, as in Brighton all those years ago, it seems not even to have flashed momentarily across the protesters’ minds that people who call themselves Tories could conceivably have the interests of the poor and vulnerable at heart.

Still less does it appear to have occurred to them, even for one second, that the policies they themselves advocate — smashing the rich, restoring the benefits trap and cranking up State borrowing still further — might just possibly hit the poor harder than anything the Tories propose.

True, nobody loves a banker on a seven-figure bonus, or a tax-dodging multinational company. But I would have thought it idiotic to suggest that smashing the rich, who pay the highest taxes (well, most of them do), is the answer to all our country’s problems.

Smash them too hard, and they’ll take their businesses and the jobs they create elsewhere. As for upping State borrowing still further, leave aside the risk of bequeathing intolerable debts to our children and grandchildren. It beats me why the spittle-flecked Left cannot so much as acknowledge the possibility that this might force up interest rates — again, jeopardising jobs, increasing prices and hammering the poor.

No, the challenge of grown-up government, I would have thought, is to achieve a fairer distribution of wealth without drying up its source or killing incentives to produce it. It’s surely no easy matter — and absolutely not a case of black and white certainties.

But armoured in self-righteousness, oblivious of the lessons of history, the militants of the Left appear to think it self-evident that they are on the side of the angels, while those who disagree with them are self-evidently ‘scum, scum, scum’. Hardly philosophical debate at its most sophisticated.

At this point, regular readers may accuse me of hypocrisy, since only a couple of weeks ago I described the new Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, as a ‘scumbag’.

Though I must say I hesitated before writing the word, my excuse is that this was the man who said that IRA murderers, whose victims included three Tory MP friends of mine, should be ‘honoured’. Only scumbag seemed to fit the bill.

But if the chanting and spitting haven’t changed since the Eighties, today’s protesters do seem to be cut from a different cloth. In Brighton 35 years ago, they were predominantly people who had either lost their jobs or feared they soon would. But if the reports from Manchester are correct (I wasn’t there), the ring-leaders today are academics and other middle-class devotees of the works of Karl Marx.

I wonder if part of the reason for this is that, with employment in Britain at a record high, the likes of those who spat at me in Brighton were too busy at work this week, earning money to look after their families.

The Left will never admit it. But I reckon that every one of us has reason to be grateful that the lady wasn’t for turning.


Homosexuality ‘may be triggered by environment after birth'

The low level of twin concordance has always been problematical for claims of genetic determinism

A controversial new twin study suggests that environmental changes could trigger homosexuality

Homosexuality may be triggered by environmental factors during childhood after scientists found that genetic changes which happen after birth can determine whether a man is straight or gay.

The finding is highly controversial because it suggests that some men are not born gay, but are turned homosexual by their surroundings. It also raises privacy concerns that medical records could reveal sexuality.

The new research by the University of California has not yet been published but is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in Baltimore.

Scientists studied 37 sets of identical male twins, who were born with the same genetic blueprint, to tease out which genes were associated with homosexuality. In each pair, one of the twins was gay.

Only 20 percent of identical twins are both gay leading researchers to believe that there must be causes which are not inherited.

They found that it was possible to tell whether a man was gay or straight by monitoring tiny changes in how his DNA functions after birth – a field known as epigenetics. Where DNA works as an overall instruction manual, epigenetics act as another layer of information highlighting which parts of the text are important and which can be ignored.

Epigenetic changes are known to be triggered by environmental factors such as chemical exposure, childhood abuse, diet, exercise and stress.

Researchers identified nine areas in the genome where genes functioned differently when a twin was homosexual. And the scientists say that they can predict with 70 per cent accuracy whether a man is gay or straight simply by looking at those parts of the genome.  "To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers," said lead author Dr Tuck Ngun.

"Sexual attraction is such a fundamental part of life, but it's not something we know a lot about at the genetic and molecular level.  “I hope that this research helps us understand ourselves better and why we are the way we are."

British scientists said the work was intriguing but should be treated with caution until the scientific paper was published.

Prof Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, said: “It has always been a mystery why identical twins who share all their genes can vary in homosexuality.

“Epigenetic differences are one obvious reason and this study provides evidence for this. However the small study needs replicating before any talk of prediction is realistic.”

Prof Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, University of Kent, added: “While there is strong evidence in general for a biological basis for homosexuality my personal impression has always been one of a multiple contributory factors, including life experiences.

“My gut feeling it that, as the complete story unfolds, the association may not be quite as simple as suggested.  “To claim a 70 per cent predictive value of something as complex as homosexuality is bold indeed. I wait with bated breath for a full peer-reviewed article.”

The US researchers are now planning to try out their genetic test on a larger population of men. They have not yet carried out any work on women.


Putin’s moral clarity on radical Islam at the UN – Did I just say that?

Last week two critically important, dare I suggest historic speeches were given at the United Nations, not that most Americans will ever hear or appreciate it, let alone acknowledge the significance of the presentations given by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian Federation President Putin.

Both Netanyahu and Putin shared a refreshing moral clarity, presenting an unvarnished snapshot of the world as it is, the threats awaiting us, and gave an unfiltered insight into the challenges they face, as well as approaches each will take in the protection of their respective nation's interests and sovereignty.  Without naming the elephant in the room, both leaders deftly made it clear that the United States had abandoned the former, and was no longer considered much of an impediment to the latter.

Putin called us out on our folly in the Middle East, and the disaster Obama wrought on the world during his failing presidency, ineffective foreign policies, including the failed Arab Spring, our mistake in abandoning Iraq, the refugee problem largely of our making, and the immoral acts of POTUS (though not named) ignoring the Christians, the Kurds, Israel, and our interests.

Consider part of Putin's speech last week:

"It seemed, however, that far from learning from others' mistakes, everyone just keeps repeating them, and so the export of revolutions, this time of so-called democratic ones, continues. It would suffice to look at the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as has been mentioned by previous speakers. Certainly political and social problems in this region have been piling up for a long time, and people there wish for changes naturally.

But how did it actually turn out? Rather than bringing about reforms, an aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.

I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, do you realize now what you've done? But I am afraid no one is going to answer that. Indeed, policies based on self-conceit and belief in one's exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.

It is now obvious that the power vacuum created in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa through the emergence of anarchy areas, which immediately started to be filled with extremists and terrorists.

Tens of thousands of militants are fighting under the banners of the so-called Islamic State. Its ranks include former Iraqi servicemen who were thrown out into the street after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many recruits also come from Libya, a country whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. And now, the ranks of radicals are being joined by the members of the so-called moderate Syrian opposition supported by the Western countries.

In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make loud declarations about the threat of international terrorism while turning a blind eye to the channels of financing and supporting terrorists, including the process of trafficking and illicit trade in oil and arms. It would be equally irresponsible to try to manipulate extremist groups and place them at one's service in order to achieve one's own political goals in the hope of later dealing with them or, in other words, liquidating them.

To those who do so, I would like to say - dear sirs, no doubt you are dealing with rough and cruel people, but they're in no way primitive or silly. They are just as clever as you are, and you never know who is manipulating whom. And the recent data on arms transferred to this most moderate opposition is the best proof of it.

We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted. This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions, especially given that Islamic State camps train militants from many countries, including the European countries."

Beyond a few glaringly obvious issues, like Russian influence in Iran, and criminal money laundering, nevertheless, Putin highlights important facts.

Yes Putin is calling us out. He has announced his role as global statesman, sheriff, and arbiter. Putin is telling us, Russia is back, and he will fill "the power vacuum. " He is saying we are foolish to arm folks who are no more virtuous than the savages they are fighting.

We would be wise to reflect upon such foolishness since Obama became POTUS in terms of "'the mythical moderate in the Middle East.' It is Obama's white whale. It truly is a fool's errand.  The Arab Spring, to which Putin refers, was a glaring example of this folly.

There are no white whales or white hats except Israel in the Middle East. The remaining players wear only shades of grey on the scale of evil and threat. Iran, arguably the most evil (and a client of Russia) wears the darkest black hat, with ISIS and Al Qaeda tied for 2nd all of which have emerged more powerful on Obama's watch, not less influential. Obama has created "the power vacuum." Israel is less safe thanks to Obama in terms of the Palestinian threat, where rockets pour in from Gaza, and thugs are rampantly knifing, stoning and killing Jewish parents, as children watch helplessly in Jerusalem. Israel, as I mentioned last week, walks the tightrope between the US and Russia. And we have created this mess. The Saudis play both ends against the middle, and we do nothing to force them into being part of the solution. Egypt is seeking closer ties with Russia given the US has demonstrated fecklessness. Yemen is for all intents and purposes an Iranian proxy. Well done Obama/Kerry. Bahrain remains targeted by Tehran. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt; the IRGC is working actively with the Shia population. Not that Obama would care. Russia might. Bahrain has a nice port that currently hosts the US Navy. 

The resulting refugees - many of which in numbers if not percentage will be ISIS or other radical jihadist members -  pose a risk to US communities, and a threat to our domestic well being if not outright security. And Obama rolls out the welcome mat. Street crime, though perhaps not terrorism, is still a homeland security problem.  Overcrowding of schools, swelling welfare rolls - expect this and more when the Middle East moves to Main Street. As an aside, Putin is correct - fix their homelands, find places in the Middle East reflective of their culture and language, not bring the refugees to the streets of Moscow and NY, London and Berlin. It is madness to import what can better be handled elsewhere - while still providing humanitarian aid.

The speech Vladimir Putin gave at the UN General Assembly was something one would expect from an American President - reminding us of mistakes made, a time when working together as a family of nations we made great things happen, and warning about the threat terrorism poses to the civilized world. Yet it was the leader of the Russian Federation who gave this speech. Who would have believed the leader of any spin off of the former totalitarian Soviet Union saying such things?

Of course we should never forget Putin is KGB, which is to say there is danger and duplicity in his words. Any more than we should forget Obama is a product of rabid anti American mentors (George Soros, a few radical domestic terrorist/bombers, a Marxist or two or three, a racist minister, and the list goes on); something the media like to overlook. Lest we think POTUS is a virtuous man with patriotic ideals, we need a reality check.

So instead of the West being perplexed by, or dismissive of the Putin speech, or actions, we ought to heed the Russian president's warnings. To be sure, this current iteration of Russia, led by Putin's Moscow is not the USSR, but neither it, nor its leaders have exactly been the progeny of Athenian democracy or acolytes of Voltaire, either. Nevertheless, Putin has emerged as the go to global statesmen on the world stage. He is the new sheriff in town. That has been his plan all along. On Putin's international remake the image of Russia tour over these last many years, he has been very savvy about mixing diplomacy with projected military influence.

For all the derision Romney and Palin received from a smug Obama, and his fawning media supporters, the former Governors were not wrong in their warnings about the rise of Russia. Russia is rising. Make no mistake about it. But I've been writing about the alliances Putin has made globetrotting these last 7 years - from Venezuela to Iran, Syria to, well, fill in the blanks. Doing what a Russian leader is supposed to do, he rightly challenges missile systems on his Western borders. He rightly challenges US hegemony in the Middle East where much of the fossil fuels lay in wait to be transited through Russian pipelines and LNG processing. Putin rightly challenges NATO and other perceived threats to his nation. And he rightly seeks out major markets and commercial alliances, as well as geopolitical, even military ones. That's his job. I don't like it or agree with it from an American perspective. But that's the point isn't it? Our job is to push back. To say "get over it" and add more missiles to Eastern European allies' defense systems, not cave in and say "OK we'll take them out if they bother you Mr. Putin." Our job is to build bigger and badder weapons, and better alliances. But we don't and we didn't. We moved aside. Pure and simple.  Obama let it happen. One might argue, made it happen! In a future article we'll discuss why I think Obama's remake of America, undermining our great nation at every juncture was planned, not a result of incompetence. Don't get me wrong. I think Obama and his band of little rascals are Kool Aid ®kids, and generally amateurish. So do military leaders, most terrorism experts, the intelligence community, and pretty much any sentient being who has had the misfortune to work with the JV that is the political leadership of this Administration.

Which brings me to the next point - Putin is correct - our enemies are not stupid; we would be wise to remember that, instead of denouncing them as the JV, the way Obama did referencing ISIS.  Obama was wrong, again.

Listening to the speech Putin gave made me think ‘welcome back to the late 1970's' when Russia was the dominant player on the world stage, where the US was pushed around (thank you Jimmy Carter) like a paper tiger, and where the Soviets were a powerful influence in the Middle East. But even under a weak president like Carter, Israel knew it had a friend in the US and even POTUS. Except we are in 2015, and Russia again is the dominant power in the Middle East, only this time Israel cannot say they have a friend in Obama. While Russians are blowing up jihadists in Syria, we may have blown up a hospital in Afghanistan. Gosh can we get anything right under Obama? 

Americans should be outraged that under Obama, the United States is weaker, less influential, and on a downward spiral in global affairs. Americans should be outraged that under Obama our allies chase commerce more than coalition - as our so called European partners against terrorism readily abandoned that role to chase Iranian money, build commercial relationships, and find alternative sources for fossil fuels this winter.

What Main Street may not appreciate is the fact that abandoning our leadership role in the world, allowing our military to degrade, capitulating to competitor nations allowing bad trade agreements or currency imbalances, in essence disadvantaging ourselves on all fronts - well these aren't merely academic distinctions, or discussions for political science wonks. This is the future of our nation. Bad business deals on a national scale are called trade deals - and Trump is correct, we are losing badly, which ultimately impacts the American worker one way or another, in our wallet, and the opportunity we give to our kids. Bad policies set the stage for war, not reduce the risk of them; and our youth will have to fight. Bad policies set the stage for our culture to be lost, our language diluted, and our borders ignored. Which portends the great enterprise known as "the American Experiment" may soon cease to exist in the form as we know it. This isn't the lamentation of someone wanting to return to Happy Days or Walton's Mountain. On the contrary; it is the warning of so many of us at FSM that, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we are a generation from losing the freedoms and greatness the US was built upon, that we grew up in, and hoped to pass on.

More is the pity that the American media effectively censor anything that reflects truthfully, which is to say badly against our current Administration. Were that not the fact, perhaps at least some US citizens might actually have facts with which to discern for themselves the truth, thereby recognizing how misled they are, and how poorly led our nation is.

Recent events reveal to all willing to exhibit some intellectual honesty, Obama has taken the final steps to destructively transform our nation, started decades ago as a slow trickle by determined adversaries of capitalism, democracy and the United States, nearly completing the undermining of our economic base, domestic security, and international influence.

Perhaps most importantly, both speeches demonstrated the reality that the US has left the building, both literally, and figuratively.

To paraphrase from the film "Troy" - Achilles, speaking to the Trojan king towards the end of epic war with the Greeks, says to him "you are a far greater king than the one that leads our army." Sadly, Putin is a far greater leader of his nation than the one who leads ours. And that is said with all the caveats and disclaimers required when discussing Russia and her leaders.

Putin's moral clarity on radical Islam at the UN - Did I just say that? And when will we, the US, provide the moral leadership needed in the world to counter the radical Islamic threat? That question will be answered in 2016; and underscores why this may be the most important election in contemporary US history.



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

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

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


9 October, 2015

British values as they were

When my dad handed me the dusty manila envelopes, I was only mildly curious about what lay inside. Dad said he'd been looking for something else when he found them at the bottom of my mother's wardrobe.

Although Mum's been dead now for more than ten years, he's left many of her things undisturbed. The envelopes were heavy and as I peeked inside, I saw they were stuffed full of faded certificates. The first one I picked up had what felt like coins inside and when I tipped it up, out tumbled two silver medals I'd won at primary school for Irish dancing.

Soon I had spread out on the table evidence of every public exam I've passed in a lifetime - starting with O-levels and ending with the professional qualification in journalism that I was awarded just before I moved out of the family home for the last time when I was 25. Then there were awards for things I only vaguely remember - public speaking and poetry recitals.

Of course, a lump rose in my throat at the realisation of how proud my mother had been of me. It wasn't that I was any kind of genius or child prodigy: just that my achievements have always seemed massive to my parents in the context of their lives.

They both left school in Liverpool at 14 without an exam certificate between them; my mother worked as a clerk and my dad on the docks. They married young and brought up six daughters on a council estate. But what struck me more forcibly was the quiet nature of that pride - in such sharp contrast to the endless roar of boastful self-promotion from social media that now forms the background noise to all our lives.

Sitting across the table, Dad must have read my thoughts. 'She never boasted about you, you know,' he said. 'It makes other people feel bad.'

She'd certainly earned the right to be proud - more for her dedication as a mother than for any triumphs I had. She always encouraged us to have a go at things. I wasn't a pretty child but she gave me the confidence to take part in the daft beauty competitions they ran in the seaside holiday camps where we stayed in the Sixties. Needless to say, I was never placed.

Those Irish dancing medals were the most evocative. They took me back to on-stage line-ups in draughty church halls on winter evenings, the flutter of nervousness before the fiddle struck up on a scratchy vinyl disk.

I was never any good at it really, but I wanted to be good, as good as the local champion who - born to dance - was lithe and graceful as a gazelle and took the gold in every class. I was much more elephant than gazelle and it took me hours of practice to get those silvers.

I couldn't have done it without my mum, travelling with me to dancing competitions on the bus because we never had a car, then sitting, wrapped in her winter coat, at the back of the hall. When I won, she didn't say anything much, just a well done and a big beaming smile, but there was a happiness that shone out from her in those moments that I now recognise was quiet pride.

As I drove away from my parents' house with those faded envelopes now in my careful possession, it struck me how dog-eared some of the certificates were. Mum certainly hadn't put them away and left them. I realised she must have been like a squirrel hiding something precious and then taking it out when her spirits needed a lift.

I saw her in my mind's eye, burying those treasures at the bottom of the wardrobe and then retrieving them, turning over the precious memories in her hands. She hadn't needed to share that pride with anyone, not even my dad.

The image forced me to ask myself, what is it about me and the rest of my generation that we boast so much at the drop of a hat? I love my garden but I can't even plant up a tub without taking a picture on my smartphone, posting it online and waiting and checking for the inevitable thumbs-ups from friends, their electronic round of applause. Those battered envelopes brought back to me my mother's modesty. It grew out of a very deep sense of what really mattered in life: duty, kindness, putting others first.

Basic kindness was what ruled out boasting, the fear that, as my dad explained it, somebody else's child might not have done so well and the negative comparison would make that person feel bad.

In my parents' book, the triumphs of your children should only ever be shared with the people who loved them and had a genuine interest - so almost no one outside the family. I thought of the people I've known who've bragged about their children and how rotten it's made me feel over the years.

I have an only child, Tony, who was born at the end of August and is always one of the youngest in class. It's not such a problem now he's 16 and an avid reader, but I remember the misery at the school gates when he was little.

He was the last child struggling with the basic reading books when other parents delighted aloud in how their kids were racing their way through the latest Harry Potter. Then there were the couple whose son was a keen swimmer - not just keen, but destined for the British youth squad.

Tony, by contrast, had no interest in sport whatsoever, just like his Mum and Dad. I'd made him take swimming lessons so he'd be safe in the water, but I usually had to coax and cajole him to the pool. There have been occasions when I've boasted about my own son, usually when he's done something I never expected and could never have attempted myself. He may have been a reluctant swimmer but dragging him to the pool certainly paid off and he was confident in the water from the age of about 12.
I couldn't have done it without my mum, travelling with me to dancing competitions on the bus because we never had a car, then sitting, wrapped in her winter coat, at the back of the hall

When we took him to California on the holiday of a lifetime, he spent hours in a surging ocean while we watched from the beach. I posted the pictures I took of him when he stood triumphantly on his surfboard for the very first time.

We don't only boast about our children, of course, but about scores of material things. We post pictures of ourselves whenever we buy anything - from a pair of shoes to a new kitchen, or a sofa or car.

Then there are the triumphs money can't buy: the flowers from loved ones, the professional prizes, the invitations to prestigious events. I blush as I write this but, yes, I have been guilty of showing off about all of those things through snapshots I've shared online with a wide group of acquaintances and friends.

Casting my mind back, I can't remember hearing my mother boasting about anything at all. For one thing, in her day most people didn't have the material goods we brag about. The War had left Britain on its uppers. Mum and Dad's childhood near the docks meant they witnessed the aftermath of the bombing raids aimed at cutting the vital supply lines from Liverpool to America. They'd both seen bodies lined up on the pavement when a shelter took a direct hit. They felt lucky to survive, to be part of what was then a huge working class.

As Mum used to put it: 'We didn't have anything but then neither did anyone else, so we didn't care.'

It's a cliche, I know, but perhaps the lack of material things can help concentrate the mind on how to develop a set of values that bring pleasure in the absence of lots of new stuff. Things do bring us pleasure, but often it's a temporary high.

The shine can wear off when we find what we've bought isn't as good as we anticipated or - worse - when we compare it with something better that someone else happens to have. All the TVs, computers and smartphones we covet so much have given us vast arrays of knowledge at our fingertips.

The huge downside is that although we may be no more likely to mix with the super-rich than my mother's generation, we know everything about them. All that they have and do is paraded before us in an endless display that is impossible to match.

No matter how lucky you are, that tour around some footballer's magnificent home featured in a glossy magazine can make you feel a little sick inside.

Even the invitations online to share a friend's views of a breathtaking sunset on holiday in Barbados can be a real downer when you can't afford a holiday this year and it's hosing down outside.

My mother's generation was spared all that. The Royal Family might crop up in the news, opening hospitals and launching ships, but they might as well have been on another planet for all the British public knew about the detail of their lives.

As it happened, the very day my dad handed me those old brown envelopes whose contents my mother had so cherished, I'd presented a phone-in about happiness on You And Yours, the daily programme I present on BBC Radio 4.

We'd been discussing whether you can learn to be happy. Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at Warwick University, was our expert guest.

He's been studying our sense of happiness for years. It's a serious business now in the peaceful, wealthy West. Our Prime Minister has even instructed the official statisticians to report on the national sense of wellbeing.

Professor Oswald had revealed an astonishing fact that morning - we haven't got steadily happier as we've become better off. 'Britain is not happier than it was in 1990 when we first started collecting careful data,' he told me. 'And in the U.S., where they started collecting happiness data in the Seventies, people are not happier than they were then.

'The standard theory about why we're not any happier is that we do so many comparisons. If you're constantly looking over your shoulder to decide how good your life is, well then unfortunately everyone is getting a faster BMW, a bigger speedboat, a bigger house at the same time as you.'

It isn't just a theory, he added. 'A lot of evidence suggests that materialism is dangerous.'

He said that in laboratory tests if you lie two strangers side by side in brain scanners, and then tell one of them that the person alongside them is richer than they are, you can read the displeasure in the activity of their brains.

Comparisons are destructive, we all know that. They were destructive in my mother's day, which is why she didn't boast.

What could Professor Oswald tell us about what makes people happy? He said that friendship is very important: my mother used to tell me that.

She modelled it over a lifetime and even when she was dying and was too frail to go out she welcomed the phone calls from friends who'd been part of her life since our childhood. I remember her face lighting up at the sound of a cherished voice.

In future, I've decided to spend a lot more time contemplating the values I regard as significant - kindness, generosity and fairness, for example. I want to forget the things I'd like to have. I plan to sit sometimes and ponder the good things I've helped to make happen, just like my mother did with my dancing medals and exam certificates.

There'll be no further need for me to post any selfies. I know I'm not the only one who'd be a lot happier for that.


Why everything you’re told about being a working mum is WRONG

By a former high-flyer who's enraged the sisterhood

The pivotal moment came one evening at a glamorous reception for heads of state and foreign ministers from all over the world. I sipped champagne, greeted guests, mingled and chatted.

But my mind kept wandering. I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son 200 miles away at home, and the urgent phone calls on an almost daily basis about his teenage transgressions.

When puberty hit, he'd become sulky, truculent and monosyllabic. He skipped homework, disrupted classes and played truant. Now he'd been suspended from school and picked up by the police for a stupid prank.

The next step was expulsion. It was unthinkable. Yet where was I when this tumult was erupting in his young life?

I was 18 months into my dream job as the first female director of policy planning for the then U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. I worked in Washington and lived there five days a week, commuting home to my husband, Andy and our two boys (the youngest was then aged 12) at weekends.

Andy was our sons' primary carer: he structured his job as a professor to fit round their routine, he ferried them to out-of-school activities, helped them with their homework, soothed them when they were sick and cooked their meals.

My parenting was relegated to a subsidiary role. When our older son was six, he drew a picture of his family and portrayed me as a laptop. Not even a woman with a laptop. Just a laptop. I shared a rueful laugh with Andy over it.

But that evening, four years ago, at the gathering of the great and the good, I wasn't laughing any more.

Instead, I had a sense of being split in two; of straddling an ever-widening crevasse. And I'd had enough. I needed to go home to my family. More than that, I wanted to.

Andy's flexibility had allowed me to be the main breadwinner, to pursue my career on its fast trajectory. But the emotional costs of my choice, I realised, far outweighed the benefits.

And although I was - and remain - a feminist, it struck me with the force of a hammer blow that, although the mantra of the movement insists otherwise, women can't have it all.

So after two years working for Clinton, I bolted for home. I'd always assumed I'd apply for a foreign policy job and stay in Washington - but the credo on which I'd built my life was shifting like quicksand.

I, a high-profile career woman - and role model - was conceding that it was impossible to juggle the demands of high office with the needs of my two sons.

I felt, too, that it would be dishonest to continue to propagate the myth that if you just try hard enough you can make it work. I wanted to point out that if I, with all my middle-class privileges - money, domestic help and a husband as main carer - could not pull it off, what hope was there for a mother struggling without these advantages?

So I wrote an article: Why Women Still Can't Have It All. What I had not anticipated was the tsunami of responses: clearly it touched a nerve.

There were women of my own age - 57 - who had delegated their child-rearing and sustained high-profile jobs, who felt I'd betrayed the women's movement.
I'd been the one telling young women they can have it all and do it all, regardless of what field they are in. But now I was on the other side

They remarked that it was ‘such a shame' I'd left my career for my kids. Others were openly aghast. ‘You of all people!' scolded one. And some were condescending: ‘I never had to compromise my career, and my kids turned out fine,' said one colleague.

But the article also gave comfort to so many young women who expressed relief at being absolved from the duty of trying to be superwoman.

All my life, I'd been on the other side of this exchange. I'd been the one wearing the faintly superior smile when yet another woman told me she had decided to take some time out to spend more time with her family.

I'd been the woman congratulating herself on her unswerving commitment to the feminist cause, chatting smugly with a dwindling number of college friends who had reached their places on the highest rungs of their professions.

I'd been the one telling young women they can have it all and do it all, regardless of what field they are in. But now I was on the other side.


Over 10,000 Attend Another MASSIVE Demo Against Migrant Invasion in Europe

Another massive rally against the Muslim invasion of Europe. The anti-islamization movement is growing every day. It is the rational response to Chancellor Merkel's vow to take in one million Muslim migrants in Germany alone.

This is Europe's version of the Tea Party.

The only mainstream media report I could find was in Japan Times. The coverage is notoriously biased - which we have come to expect. But there is nothing ‘far right' about this movement.  This is a "we the people' movement. Anyone with half a mind would oppose the destruction of their countries, economies, way of life and most of all their freedom.  -- Pamela Geller

BERLIN - Thousands of far-right protesters, many wearing T-shirts that read "refugees not welcome," gathered in Germany Monday to condemn the government for allowing an unprecedented migrant influx.

With Europe's biggest economy expecting to take in up to 1 million people fleeing war and poverty this year, anger has flared among anti-foreigner groups and backers of the anti-Islamic Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (PEGIDA).

"Merkel is guilty, commits ethnocide against the German people," read one banner at the rally in Dresden, the historic city in the former communist East where PEGIDA emerged about a year ago and is now hoping to rekindle the movement.

At their peak the xenophobic rallies attracted 25,000, but they fizzled early this year after PEGIDA's co-founder, Lutz Bachmann, 42, sparked public uproar with Facebook selfies showing him sporting a Hitler mustache and hair-do.

But a week ago, attendance again swelled to nearly 10,000 according to German media reports. The police no longer provide crowd estimates.

Bachmann - who was charged last week with inciting racial hatred by labeling asylum-seekers "animals," "trash" and "filthy rabble" - was expected to again address the demonstration on Monday night.

As the crowd swelled to several thousand people, about three-quarters of them men and many waving Germany's national flag, police in about 10 vans looked on.

A week ago PEGIDA supporters, who often condemn what they call the "liar press" assaulted a journalist.

Supporters on Monday again yelled "we are the people," co-opting the slogan used by the pro-democracy protesters whose demonstrations a quarter-century ago preceded the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"I'm not a right-winger, but I'm scared," said Frank, 59, one of the few protesters who agreed to speak to AFP, on condition he not be fully named.

"I think of my children and grandchildren," he said, voicing fears about the "Islamization" of his country. "We fought for our freedom 25 years ago, we have to demonstrate again.

"I am OK with welcoming sick and wounded refugees, but in the TV images we can see young men. Those are economic refugees," he added.

Uwe Friedrich, 46, said he had been with PEGIDA since the start, and wanted Muslims to leave the country. He was waving a sign that read: "We have a right to our German homeland and German culture.

Another placard quoted Hungary's hard-line Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who recently described the refugee influx as "a German problem" - with the placard adding the question "where are the life rafts for our children?"

Another, more ominous sign read: "Resistance has become a duty against our country's destruction by Merkel & Co.


Australia: Pauline Hanson’s Facebook post on Muslims gains support

Hanson is an independent conservative who is not afraid to broach ethnic matters

SHE once rose to power on a tide of anti-Asian sentiment and it seems Pauline Hanson is now tapping into concern about Muslims to help her get re-elected.

A Facebook post urging people to vote for Hanson at the next federal election, has been shared more than 25,000 times in just two days. The post says: “A vote for me at the next Federal Election will be your insurance, the major parties will have absolute opposition to any more Mosques, Sharia Law, Halal Certification & Muslim Refugees. NO MORE! Share if you agree”.

An image accompanying the post says “No More: Mosques, Sharia law, Halal certification, Muslim refugees”. It has been liked more than 18,000 times.

Hanson, who is planning to run as a Queensland senate candidate for One Nation, has called for tighter Muslim immigration laws in the wake of the “politically motivated” Sydney shooting last week.

“Both sides of parliament are not doing enough to address this whole issue,” she told Sunrise.

“What Islam stands for is not compatible with our country ... let the Muslim countries take them.”

She said Australians need to know what was being taught in Islamic schools and mosques.

“Get out of your glasshouses and go and see what’s happening.”

Many of the comments on the post are supportive, one said: “You have my vote Pauline. I don’t pay taxes to be shot in my own country”.

Another said: “For the first time in my life I will be voting for someone who actually says what most free thinking Australians want”.

But there are plenty of others which challenge her view. One from Omer Dautovic has been liked almost 2000 times and responds to another comment, it states: “I’m Muslim, my kind has been here for over 50 years (Bosnian Muslims) we don’t want Sharia law as this great country provides us with a just and moral system”. It goes on to list other issues such as domestic violence, the free trade agreement and violent criminals, saying “I think there’s a few more problems than just ‘Muslims’.”

Another says: “Pauline is racist and disgusting. I have beautiful Muslim friends who have human rights to be here ... She’s certainly not a traditional owner of this country either”.

Hanson once represented the Brisbane seat of Oxley as an independent after being disendorsed by the Liberal party. In her maiden speech she famously said she believed Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”.

“They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate,” she said.

Hanson opposes multiculturalism, special government assistance for Aborigines, illegal boat people and foreign investment in agricultural land and established housing.

Hanson failed to be re-elected despite a number of campaigns, including standing in NSW and Queensland elections and bids for a Senate seat in 2001, 2007 and 2013.



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

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

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


8 October, 2015

When is a riot not a riot?

Newspapers understandably described it as a riot but police insisted that it was not.  Why?  Because the participants were mostly black? It is hard to tell from the very grainy footage available but there does seem to be a lot of brown skin in it

A picture from the scene -- after police arrive

Police were forced to shut down an entire street this evening after a mass brawl broke out just outside Walthamstow Central tube station.

Grainy footage posted on social media sites Facebook and Twitter appears to show groups of teenagers - the majority of them young girls - grappling with one another outside the station at around 5pm.

Around 100 officers from the Metropolitan Police were forced to shut down Hoe Street, where the station is located, in an effort to get the 200-strong crowd of youths under control.

This evening while police claimed the group had moved on, on social media users continued to post videos and images purporting to show further fights and scuffles breaking out in the area - including a group of girls brawling inside a branch of Sainsbury's.

Dozens of police vehicles attended the incident in an attempt to break up the fights and disperse the crowd

Three people have now been arrested following the incident and police - who say the incident was not a riot - remain at the scene this evening.

One of the videos appears to show a young women ripping hair extensions from another's head.

Another video shows a group savagely beating a girl lying on the floor, and another shows a young woman being arrested.

The hashtag  #WalthamstowRiots began trending on Twitter soon after the incident. One local tweeted: 'There's basically a riot in Walthamstow rn'.

Another said: 'Police have the whole area sealed off - just been there, forget travelling down Hoe St'.

One tweeted he saw 'over 100' police in the area as they attempted to defuse the situation outside a McDonald's restaurant.

Samee Ullah, co-owners of Director's Cut in the High Street, told the Guardian Series: 'I looked out [the window] and I saw hundreds of kids shouting and screaming, they were coming from the Hoe Street end.  'It looked like someone had gone into Nandos and they were waiting for them to come out.

'They brought the whole street to a standstill. We asked some of them and they said it was "college fights."'

While the reason for the mass brawl remains unclear, hundreds of users on social media claimed it was sparked by an argument between two young women from rival colleges squabbling over a man.

One Twitter user even suggested the brawl had been pre-arranged and claimed flyers had been handed out outside a local college advertising the fight.

Most of the videos and pictures posted on social media appear to show young girls fighting each other

Waltham Forest Police said around 200 young people aged between 16 and 20 gathered in Walthamstow, adding they believe the majority are not from the local area.

A police spokesman said: 'Due to the large numbers and calls about a fight several police resources were deployed.   'At the time of the police arrival, the group were not committing offences but their presence in such numbers would be alarming to members of the public as would the volume of police vehicles.

'It is important to stress there has been no riot.

'The MPS Territorial Support Group were called and dealt with a large group who refused to leave.' 

A 23-year-old man told the Evening Standard: 'As I came out of the train station, I usually get a bus, however they had closed off the bus station and in the market area nearby there were about 20 police cars and a few riot vans blocking off the pathway, and surrounding it about 150 people who were involved in an incident which looked like a standoff with the police.'

The newspaper reports today's incident follows an alleged brawl which took place outside McDonalds on the same street last night. 

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy tweeted her disgust following the incident this evening.  She wrote: 'Furious to hear there is a fight outside Walthamstow Central station - will be following up with police but pls stay clear of area for now.'

Ms Creasy appeared to believe the youngsters seen in the footage may have attended colleges in the area.  She wrote: '[I] will be taking matter up with college heads once clear who involved.'

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'Shortly after 5pm today police were called to reports of a large group of youths causing a disturbance in the Hoe Street / Station Approach area of Walthamstow.

'Officers from Waltham Forest Borough and the Territorial Support group (TSG) attended the scene.  'The group then began to disperse. There are no reports of any persons with injuries at this time.  'Officers currently remain in the area.'


Protesting for the sake of protesting

Let’s be real: The “protest” was not so much a protest as a coordinated cry for attention

A group of playful protesters picketed outside the Museum of Fine Arts on Monday, expressing their dislike of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work.

It’s nothing personal, says Ben Ewen-Campen, he just doesn’t think French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir is much of a painter. Monday, the Harvard postdoc joined some like-minded aesthetes for a playful protest outside the Museum of Fine Arts.

The rally, which mostly bewildered passersby, was organized by Max Geller, creator of the Instagram account Renoir Sucks at Painting, who wants the MFA to take its Renoirs off the walls and replace them with something better. Holding homemade signs reading “God Hates Renoir” and “Treacle Harms Society,” the protesters ate cheese pizza purchased by Geller, and chanted: “Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin !” and “Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!”

Craig Ronan, an artist from Somerville, learned about the protest on Instagram and decided to join. “I don’t have any relationship with these people aside from wanting artistic justice,” he said.

The museum hasn’t commented on the fledgling movement, but a few folks walking by Monday seemed amused. “I love their sense of irony,” said Liz Byrd, a grandmother from Phoenix who spent the morning in the museum with her daughter and grandchild. “I love Renoir, but I think this is great.”


Cybersexism? Yet another feminist panic

The UN’s report on cybersexism is shrill and illiberal

On Friday, the United Nations released a report called Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls. Described as a ‘worldwide wake-up call’, the report was written to raise awareness about so-called cybersexism and its consequences. Calling for further surveillance and regulation of the internet, the report promotes the use of the three Ss: sensitisation, safeguarding and sanctioning.

The report gives detailed lists of the varying definitions of harassment and warns that a failure to address the supposed onslaught of cybersexism will result in women’s lives being put at risk: ‘Now that a cyber touch is recognised as equally as harmful as a physical touch, all citizens must prepare themselves to take the appropriate action.’

But the UN is precisely against citizens taking initiative and dealing with instances of unpleasant behaviour on their own. Its report calls for further government monitoring of our online interactions. This covers the UN’s first points of sensitisation and safeguarding. The final S, sanctions, will no doubt lead to more cases like that of Peter Nunn, who was sent to jail for 18 weeks for trolling Labour MP Stella Creasy. Rather than letting individuals decide what they consider to be appropriate internet usage, the UN report advocates the creation of more laws to decide what citizens can do, and what they can be exposed to, online.

Yet again, women are the main target of this victim-culture logic. The report mimics every negative view of women propagated by contemporary feminist politics. Women are presented as too weak to handle nasty words online, too stupid to report it to the website if it all gets a bit much, and perhaps even too scared to use the internet at all: ‘The respect for and security of girls and women must at all times be front and centre of those in charge of producing and providing the content, technical backbone and enabling environment of our digital society. Failure to do so will clip the potential of the internet as an engine for gender equality and women’s empowerment.’

Forgive me, but I thought the internet was for expanding our knowledge, communicating with people in different time zones, or just plain entertainment. Rather than seeing the internet for what it is – an exciting technological advancement – the UN report presents it as a tool for social engineering. It puts women on a pedestal as sacred and fragile beings who must be protected at all costs from the rest of the world. Not only is this sentiment patronising and incredibly insulting to any female with half a mind of her own — it is also extremely out of touch. As someone who grew up with the internet, I can vouch for the fact that the majority of online ‘bullying’ among young people comes from bitchy gossip – mainly produced by teenage girls.

The desire to tackle offensive speech online has become influential in discussions around crime and the law. The old playground saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ has been ditched. The UN report is explicit in its assertion that ‘cyber touch’ and ‘physical touch’ – that is, words and actions – are the same thing. But maintaining the distinction between words and actions is paramount if we are to defend our most fundamental liberty: freedom of speech. Twitter trolls can be fought with witty comebacks and hard arguments, or you can just ignore them.

The report cites examples of supposed cyberbullying – including creating fake profiles, social-media harassment and ‘technology-based violence’ – in the same breath as gang rape, suicide and child pornography. The executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, told Time that ‘cyberviolence exists on a continuum with physical violence… both problems are byproducts of a society that is inherently unequal for women’. She echoes the report’s suggestion that the murder or rape of an individual, which is out of the victim’s control, is also equitable to the decision to take one’s own life after being ‘bullied’ online. ‘Whether you are dead because your partner shot you or beat you up, or you killed yourself because you couldn’t bear cyberbullying… bottom line, we lose a life.’

This hysterical document is a wake-up call. Not to the perils of being a girl on the net, but to the way in which ridiculous feminist panics are now being taken far too seriously. Gender politics, usually confined to university societies and purple-haired reading groups, is being discussed as the potential basis for new laws. What all this misses is that women are not at risk from violence online any more than they are at risk from violence over the phone.

Trolling, 140-character threats and unpleasant posts are not the same as physical violence – because words are just words. They might make us upset, but they can always be defeated. If girls are experiencing inappropriate or unpleasant things online, this is ultimately a job for parents to sort out – or an opportunity for a group of friends to think of cutting comebacks. And if grown women aren’t enjoying their online experience, they can deal with it themselves as autonomous, capable adults. In the past, women were seen as the weaker sex, in need of protection and safeguarding. The UN wants to revert us back to that position of true inequality. We need to rip up this report.


Why I still Support Charlie Hebdo

You know the shocking story: in January 2015, two masked Islamist gunmen launched a paramilitary attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly magazine. The gunmen murdered twelve people: two police officers and ten of the magazine’s staff, including the much-loved editor and cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier (known as “Charb”).

In the immediate aftermath, many people expressed solidarity with Charlie Hebdo’s staff and their loved ones, and with the citizens of Paris. There were vigils and rallies in cities across the world. Twitter hashtags proliferated, the most viral being #JeSuisCharlie: “I am Charlie.”

Yet, as with the Salman Rushdie Affair in 1989, many Western commentators quickly turned on the victims. In an article published in Free Inquiry (warning: behind a paywall), I responded that these commentators deserved a special hall of shame.

Charlie Hebdo has more than its share of enemies. Its style is irreverent, mocking and caustic. It attracts attention from fanatics, particularly from Islamists who are incensed by its frequent drawings of the prophet Muhammad. Importantly, however, its ridicule is aimed at fearmongers and authoritarians. It is an antifascist magazine, and it treats racial bigots with particular savagery and relish. Its most despised targets include the Front National - France’s brazenly racist party of the extreme Right - and its current president, Marine Le Pen.

While the corpses of the murder victims were still warm, however, some commentators insinuated that Charb and the other victims had it coming. Most deplorable of all, perhaps, was an op-ed piece published by USA Today within hours of the attack. This was written by a London-based radical cleric, Anjem Choudary, who has publicly expressed support for the jihadist militant group ISIS (or Islamic State). Choudary openly blamed the victims, along with the French government for allowing Charlie Hebdo’s freedom to publish.

With evident approval, he stated that the penalty for insulting a prophet should be death, “implementable by an Islamic State.” He added: “However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see.”

While Choudary’s apologetics for murder were especially chilling, much sanctimonious nastiness issued from more mainstream commentators. All too often, it came from individuals who identify with the political and cultural Left, as with an article by Teju Cole published in The New Yorker on 9 January 2015.

To be fair, Cole’s contribution to the backlash was milder than some, and certainly more eloquent and thoughtful. He even makes some reasonable points about threats to free speech that are not overtly violent. But his article is worth singling out for comment precisely because of its veneer of sophistication.

Cole appears aware that much of what looks insensitive, or outright racist, in Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons could easily receive anti-racist interpretations when viewed with basic charity and in context. He alludes to the fact that one cartoon in a back issue of Charlie Hebdo was explicable, in its immediate context of publication, as a sarcastic attack on the Front National. Yet he dismisses this point with no analysis or evidence: “naturally, the defense is that a violently racist image was being used to satirize racism”.

Well, was it being used to satirise racism or not? Little research is needed to find the context of publication and discover that, yes, it actually was used to mock the racism of the Front National - so what is Cole’s point? And why the sneering word naturally? It is calculated to suggest bad faith on the part of opponents. The thought seems to be that Charlie Hebdo’s defenders would say that, wouldn’t they?

Despite his knowledge and intellect, Cole discourages any fair search for understanding. Despite his brilliance as a writer, he belongs in the hall of shame.

The refugee crisis in Europe

More controversy has come to Charlie Hebdo with the current refugee crisis in Europe. The magazine has ridiculed harsh European attitudes to Syrian refugees, but predictably there has been much moral posturing and hand wringing in the mainstream and social media. A recent report on the ABC News site summarises the international reaction and includes images of the relevant cartoons. Opportunistic, or merely obtuse, commentators allege that Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons mock the refugees themselves, particularly the drowned Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi.

That accusation is seriously and obviously mistaken, and the point of the cartoons is not especially hard to detect. They attack what they portray as European consumerism, bigotry and heartlessness.

Nonetheless, in an astonishingly clumsy article published in New Matilda,  Chris Graham takes jabs at those of us who supported Charlie Hebdo last January. He writes: “Did you hashtag ‘Je Suis Charlie’? Blindly? Without really knowing what the publication actually represents?”

Well, what does the publication actually represent? Graham hints that it’s something rather sinister - perhaps some kind of white or Christian supremacism - but if that’s what he thinks, he doesn’t spell it out so it can be refuted.

At any rate, there is no great secret about what Charlie Hebdo actually represents: it is, as I stated earlier, an antifascist magazine. It is, furthermore, anti-authoritarian, anti-racist, anti-clerical, and generally anti-establishment. In brief, Charlie Hebdo is a vehicle for radical left-wing thought of a distinctively French kind, one with antecedents at least as far back as the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.

Speaking for myself, then, I certainly did not act blindly in expressing my solidarity, and I frankly resent that suggestion. By contrast, I’ve seen many people blindly accept the claim that Charlie Hebdo is some kind of racist publication.

Graham describes the cartoons in a way that reveals his confusion. He even comments on one of them: “Apart from the fact it’s not funny, it also makes absolutely no sense. Maybe the ‘humour’ is lost in the translation.”

Maybe any humour could lose something in the literal-minded translation that Graham offers his readers. More to the point, it might be lost on someone who displays no understanding of the French tradition of satire. In any event, why expect that Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons will be humorous in the ordinary way? Why shouldn’t they be bleak and bitter and fierce, with no intent to elicit giggles or guffaws?

As this episode plays out, I welcome the newly established JeResteCharlie (“I remain Charlie”) project, and I’m pleased to see a recent contribution to the debate by Salman Rushdie.  Rushdie supports JeResteCharlie, he explains, “Because we are living in a time in which we are in danger of backsliding in our commitment to freedom of expression. That is why it is important to emphasize these values yet again right now.”

I agree, and I still support Charlie Hebdo.

Critique and its responsibilities

I don’t suggest that the ideas and approach of Charlie Hebdo are beyond criticism, though I do question how far that was a priority in early January before the murder victims had even been buried. That consideration aside, there is always room for fair, careful interpretation and criticism of cultural products such as prominent magazines.

There is certainly room for debate about whether Charlie Hebdo showed good taste in so quickly exploiting Aylan Kurdi’s death to make a political point (though, again, the cartoons do not mock the boy, whatever else may be said about them). Nothing I have stated here is meant to show that Charlie Hebdo’s approach to satire is tasteful. Then again, the magazine’s willingness to flout ordinary standards of taste frees it to make timely, appropriately caustic, comment on French and international politics.

We need good cultural criticism, but we also need some scrutiny of the cultural critics. Much of what passes for cultural criticism merely examines cultural products - whether novels, movies, video games, cartoons, speeches, items of clothing, or comedy routines - for superficial marks of ideological impurity.

This approach ignores (or simply fails to understand) issues of nuance, style, irony, political and artistic context, and the importance of framing effects. It fails to discover - much less appreciate - complexity, ambiguity, or instability of meaning.

There may be occasions when the excuse of irony is offered in bad faith. When that is the accusation, however, it needs support from careful, detailed, sensitive, honest argument. Meanwhile, authors and artists should not be pressured to create banal content for fear of dull or dishonest interpreters. There are some contexts, no doubt - e.g. in writing posts like this one - where straightforwardness is a virtue. In many other contexts, that’s not necessarily so.

Fair, useful cultural criticism should display some humility in the face of art. It should be grounded in an understanding of context and the relevant styles and traditions of expression. If we propose to engage in critique of cultural products, we had better show some complexity and generosity of response. That is how we earn our places in serious cultural conversations.



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

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

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


7 October, 2015

Study finds that daughters benefit when moms work (?)

A feminist conclusion and an improbable one so I decided to look into it.  I had a pretty good idea of what would be wrong with the finding but I wanted to be sure. I learned that the finding was from a working paper which had an inoperative link to it.  So it certainly has not been peer reviewed and may have already been taken down in response to criticism.  Not encouraging!

If ever it resurfaces, I expect to find social class variables, including IQ, to have been very poorly controlled for, if at all.  So it could be (for instance) that the small effect observed --

"daughters of employed mothers are 4.5% more likely to be employed themselves than are the daughters of stay-at-home mothers"

-- was due to smarter women being more likely to be in the workforce.  And smarter women pass that IQ on to their daughters genetically, who also find workforce access attractive.  The effect could have been an IQ effect only, in other words, with mother's occupation as such being epiphenomenal (irrelevant).

I am used to crap research like that.  It is all too common when Leftist politics are involved.  I have had many critiques published in the academic journals about politically convenient but artifactual findings

Harvard professor Kathleen McGinn believes that many working mothers feel more guilt than necessary. As the leader of a study released this May from Harvard Business School’s new Gender Initiative, she found that daughters of working mothers are more likely to be employed, work more hours, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time. The study, which examined data from 24 countries and 20,000 people, also found that women whose mothers worked are more likely to hold supervisory positions. For men, having a working mother didn’t seem to affect their professional fortunes, the researchers found, but those whose mothers worked do spend more hours each week caring for family members.

McGinn says working moms should feel good about the models they’re setting for their children. “For a long time we’ve been told that being home is the best thing for our kids,” she says. But that may not actually be the case. “Working moms affect their children’s gender attitudes, their beliefs about what is ‘right’ and ‘normal’ for women. They learn that it’s reasonable for women to work and for men to be involved at home.” They also do as well, if not better, at school, both in terms of academic achievement and behavior, as kids whose mothers stay home, McGinn says, citing a 2010 study published in Psychological Bulletin by Rachel G. Lucas-Thompson.

Of course, many parents have no choice but to work — the United States is the only industrialized country that does not mandate paid maternity leave — and for many mothers there is no alternative to earning a living. But to talk to local women in families where one parent could afford to stay home is to see a world where women continue to wrestle with their choices.

Working and raising kids is inevitably a juggling act. “I feel like I’m treading water a lot of the time,” says Megan Pesce, an Acton mother of two boys, ages 8 and 11, and an interior designer. “It can be overwhelming to wear both hats. I sometimes wonder if am I doing well enough in both jobs, or just average.” But Pesce, 41, always knew she wanted to have a career.

Pesce’s mother worked the night shift as a nurse when she and her two younger brothers were growing up. “My mom was a single mother who worked out of necessity. She got her master’s degree and became a forensic nurse,” says Pesce. “She helped me realize how valuable I can be. I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to do this without her example.”

Pesce does billing at night and often has client appointments in the evenings; her husband, an entrepreneur, is instrumental in keeping the household running. “I want to be around my kids as much as possible,” she says. “I go to their sports practices and games. They understand that I work, but they know that family is very important.”

A mother who chooses to stay home can face a different struggle: the challenge of raising a family on one income. Yet for Cambridge mother Kerry McDonald, it’s a sacrifice worth making. McDonald, 38, ran a successful corporate training consulting company. “Throughout my pregnancy, I could not have imagined that I wouldn’t go back to work. My work was my baby,” she recalls. “I thought I’d take a few months off. Then I found myself feeding my daughter on demand, wearing her in a sling, being responsive to her cries, and I realized that I wanted to be there to meet all of her needs.”

McGinn notes that amid all the change in the modern workplace, parents have found ways to remain present. “The number of hours parents spend with their children has remained steady since the 1960s. . . . Back then mothers weren’t sitting around playing blocks with their kids all day. They were doing everything around the house and the kids were off outside,” she says.

That may mean that, despite having parents who may struggle to be everywhere at once, kids themselves are getting just as much attention. “The total number of hours parents spend with kids now includes fathers, who are more involved than ever,” McGinn says. “And when working mothers are with their children, their time together is more focused.”

SOURCE (Some anecdotes omitted)

Obama Justice Department Sues Town for Nixing Rezoning Plan to Build Islamic Temple

In its latest effort to protect Muslim rights in the United States the Obama Justice Department is suing an Illinois town for denying a rezoning application to convert an office building into an Islamic temple.

Failing to approve plans for the Islamic worship center violates a 2000 law known as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit filed this week in federal court. The accused are lawmakers in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb with a population of about 60,000. In 2013 the Des Plaines City Council voted 5-3 to reject a rezoning request made by the American Islamic Center (AIC) to make a vacant office building in a manufacturing zone to an institutional zone that would allow a worship center.

The plan called for 3,661 square feet of worship space that would be used for prayer services on Fridays and Sundays as well as nightly prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast and commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. The new temple would also be used for youth group events and other gatherings, according the rezoning application. In nixing the plan, Des Plaines aldermen expressed concern about the loss of tax revenue since religious institutions are nonprofits that don't pay taxes. They also cited traffic and safety issues for voting against the project.

In its lawsuit the DOJ dismisses those issues and claims that the city's "treatment and denial of AICs rezoning requests constitutes the imposition or implementation of a land use regulation that imposes a substantial burden on AICs religious exercise." Denying a city zoning change to accommodate a Muslim temple also discriminates against the Islamic group on the basis of religion, according to the feds. Attorney General Loretta Lynch wants the court to issue an order forcing Des Plaines to let AIC construct its worship center in the city.

"The ability to establish a place for collective worship is a fundamental protection of the First Amendment and our civil rights laws," said Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ's bloated civil rights division, in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "The Justice Department will remain vigilant in its mission to ensure that all religious groups enjoy the right to practice their faiths freely." The federal prosecutor handling the case in Illinois said "the freedom to practice the religion of one's choosing is a precious right in our country" and the DOJ will continue to "enforce the laws that protect this important right."

The DOJ's enthusiasm for protecting Muslim rights is in a class of its own, however. Back in 2010 Obama's first Attorney General, Eric Holder, personally reassured Muslims of DOJ protection during an address at a San Francisco-based organization (Muslim Advocates) that urges members not to cooperate in federal terrorism investigations. It was a first for the nation's top federal prosecutor to publicly condone illegal behavior. A few years later the DOJ warnedagainst using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims and threatened that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.

One of the biggest and most unbelievable moves by the DOJ came in 2012 when it issued a broad order changing the way the U.S. government trains federal agents to combat terrorism and violent extremism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) actually destroyed instructional material that characterized Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism and hundreds of pages from the 9/11 attacks were purged because they were considered offensive to Muslims under the new initiative. In 2013 Judicial Watch published an in-depth report documenting and analyzing Islamist active measures and influence operations targeting anti-terrorism training in the U.S.


Obama at LGBT Fundraiser: Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ for Transgender Minors

Speaking Sunday at the Democratic National Committee’s “LGBT Gala,” a fundraiser held in New York City, President Barack Obama called for legally prohibiting “conversion therapy” that aims to steer minors away from being transgender.

“We’ve come a long way in changing hearts and minds so that trans men and women can be who they are--not just on magazine covers, but in workplaces and schools and communities,” Obama said at the fundraiser, according to a transcript posted by the White House.

“And to build on that progress, we should support efforts to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors,” Obama said. "So, we've got to keep striving every day to treat each other the way I believe God sees us, as equal in His eyes."

Obama was introduced at the gala by James Obergefell. Obergefell was one of the plaintiffs who sued the state of Ohio because it did not permit two people of the same-sex to “marry.” His name is now on the Supreme Court opinion—Obergefell v. Hodges—in which five members of the court declared that a right to same-sex marriage was guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.


Theresa May: Mass immigration making 'cohesive society' impossible

Mass immigration is forcing thousands of British people out of jobs and is making it “impossible” to build a “cohesive society”, Theresa May will say.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Home Secretary will say that there is “is no case in the national interest for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade”.

Mrs May, considered a potential successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, will warn that current levels of migration into the UK are unsustainable as she calls for a system “that allows us to control who comes to our country”.

Managing the consequences of immigration “comes at a high price” and means building new homes and creating school places for foreigners, Mrs May will say.

And she will attack the “open-borders liberal left” as she reaffirms the Government’s bid to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”.

Net migration – the difference between those arriving and those emigrating – rose by 94,000 last year to 330,000, breaking the record set under the last Labour government.

The Government has faced heavy criticism for failing to reach the Government’s target of getting net migration down below 100,000.

“Even if we could manage all the consequences of mass immigration, Britain does not need net migration in the hundreds of thousands every year. Of course, immigrants fill skills shortages and it’s right that we should try to attract the best talent in the world, but not every person coming to Britain right now is a skilled electrician, engineer or doctor"
Theresa May

Mr Cameron wants to use his renegotiation with the European Union ahead of the in-out referendum to reduce the “pull factors” to migrants.

Already the Governent has announced that new migrants from the EU will be banned from claiming benefits in the UK for four years.

Mrs May's intervention will be seen as a sign that the government is preparing further policy aimed at addressing public concern over rising migration.

In a significant hardening of the Government’s rhetoric, Mrs May will warns that “not all of the consequences” of mass migration “can be managed”.

“When immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society,” Mrs May will say. “It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.”

The Home Secretary will add: “Now I know there are some people who say, yes there are costs of immigration, but the answer is to manage the consequences not reduce the numbers. But not all of the consequences can be managed, and doing so for many of them comes at a high price.

“We need to build 210,000 new homes every year to deal with rising demand. We need to find 900,000 new school places by 2024. And there are thousands of people who have been forced out of the labour market, still unable to find a job.”

She will cite the migrant crisis engulfing continental Europe and will say that people “conflate refugees in desperate need of help with economic migrants who simply want to live in a more prosperous society”.

“Their desire for a better life is perfectly understandable, but their circumstances are not nearly the same as those of the people fleeing their homelands in fear of their lives,” she will say.

“There are millions of people in poorer countries who would love to live in Britain, and there is a limit to the amount of immigration any country can and should take. While we must fulfil our moral duty to help people in desperate need, we must also have an immigration system that allows us to control who comes to our country.”

In a controversial move, the Home Secretary will say that the “net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero”.

She will say: “Even if we could manage all the consequences of mass immigration, Britain does not need net migration in the hundreds of thousands every year. Of course, immigrants fill skills shortages and it’s right that we should try to attract the best talent in the world, but not every person coming to Britain right now is a skilled electrician, engineer or doctor.

“The evidence – from the OECD, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee and many academics – shows that while there are benefits of selective and controlled immigration, at best the net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero. So there is no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade.”

Map: Where are the immigrants in Britain?

The Office for National Statistics in August said that 636,000 migrants came to live in Britain in the 12 months to the end of March, a year-on-year rise of 84,000, while 307,000 emigrated.

The surge was driven by EU citizens attracted by Britain’s stronger economic recovery, as many other European economies flounder.

A record 269,000 EU citizens arriving in Britain, a rise of a 56,000, or a quarter, on the previous 12 months.

Separate figures showed the number of foreign-born people in Britain has topped eight million for the first time.



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

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

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


6 October, 2015

German Lawyers Instruct Citizens to Inform on Parents Opposed to Illegal Immigration

Urges behavior reminiscent of East Germany's Stasi

Citizens who oppose a mass influx of culturally incompatible immigrants in Germany risk having the state take away their children, according to the German Bar Association.

DeutscheAnwaltauskunft Magazine notes an increasing number of Germans are expressing “openly xenophobic” opinions and demonstrating against the presence of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and the third world.

Expressing these opinions may result in the seizure of children and summons before the Family Court.

The German Bar Association suggests family members concerned about the politically incorrect opinions of a parent should “collect screenshots and printouts” of social media pages and submit them to the Youth Welfare Office.

According to the magazine, even apolitical opinions expressed by parents may result in action by the state.

“Negative influence of the child, which can lead to the deprivation of rights, may not always be political,” DeutscheAnwaltauskunft notes.

The establishment media in Europe and the United States characterize growing opposition to illegal immigrants as the racist reaction of “far-right groups” to humanitarian aid.

“What we’re seeing in connection with the refugee crisis is a mobilization on the street of right-wing extremists, but also of some left-wing extremists,” German intelligence boss Hans-Georg Maassen said on Saturday.

Polls reveal 51 percent of Germans fear the mass immigration of refugees from Arab countries and Central Asia.

As a result, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has lost support.


Don't microwave sausage rolls - it'll upset other faiths! New guidelines on communal kitchen etiquette for the workplace are suggested

It may seem an innocent enough act to warm up your sausage roll in the microwave during lunch hour.  But think again, because doing so could seriously upset colleagues of certain faiths, new guidelines on the etiquette of using communal kitchens at work suggest.

Similarly, it would also be advisable to avoid keeping bacon rolls in a fridge shared with people whose religious beliefs prohibit them from eating pork.

Adam Dinham, professor of faith and public policy at Goldsmiths, University of London, has drawn up a religious literacy programme due to be presented to employers this week.

He said: ‘The microwaves example is a good one. We also say, ‘Don’t put kosher or halal and other . . . special foods next to another [food] or, God forbid, on the same plate.’

Halal and kosher food served at corporate events should be certified, and consideration should be given to whether to serve alcohol, the guidelines further suggest.

Professor Dinham warned that employers should consider new religions and cults, including Scientology, and beliefs such as environmentalism and vegetarianism, as well as the established faiths of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

The programme, commissioned by CoExist House, an interfaith group, will also deal with other matters including clothing, the right to wear religious symbols such as crucifixes and hijabs, and whether to allow time off on religious holidays.

Professor Dinham said: ‘We have lost the ability to talk about religious belief because of a century of secular assumptions, and most religious belief is either highly visible and we don’t recognise it, or it’s invisible and we miss it entirely.’

The guidelines are due to be presented to employers by EY, the Nprofessional services firm.

Professor Dinham told the Sunday Times: ‘We can’t be didactic. You can’t say, ‘Do this, this and this and you’ll get it right’.

‘We point out that there is no definition in law of religion and belief. The Equality Act has [made] an attempt . . . but it is so woolly as to be useless.’


The degradation of the right to petition

A once noble tradition is now used for intolerant ends

Ahead of our First Amendment conference in Washington DC, Tim Black looks at a once vital means of protest.

Thanks to online platforms, complete with auto-fill data-entry fields, and big digital buttons, the world-shaking force of the petition has been reborn. Change.org, 38 Degrees, and Avaaza, to name only the most well-known facilitators of get-online-and-do-something digital activism, have all helped to reinvigorate political life through the power of the online petition. The figures speak for themselves: over six million people from the UK have signed or started a Change.org petition since the website launched in 2012; over three million people from the UK are members of 38 Degrees; and over 1,500 Change.org petitions are launched each month.

The world’s leaders are keen to listen, too. Hence the governments of the UK and the US, and even the bureaucrats at the EU, have established their own online petitions services. That ancient right, ‘to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’ as the First Amendment puts it, has been revived for the 21st century to world-changing effect.

That at least is the digital activists’ narrative. But in the course of its revival, petitioning has changed in form and function. What was once a vital means of subjecting those in power, no matter how vainly, to the interests and wishes of a section of the people has become a means of subjecting sections of the public to the wishes and interests of other sections of the public. A tool of liberty has turned into its opposite. It has become a weapon of the illiberal, a way of soliciting the power of the authorities to prohibit this, ban that, or condemn him or her.

It wasn’t always this way. From its pre-Magna Carta origins, through the English Civil War and the American Revolution, and later still, through the Chartist movement and the Dreyfusards, up until universal suffrage and mass-party democracy, the petition was one of the most important mechanisms available for subjects to air their grievances and demands before a civil authority, be it the monarch, or, later, a decidedly unrepresentative parliament.

In its pre-Civil War form, the petitions provided those without power the ability to exert some influence over their rulers. Petitions allowed for commoners to request a change to the price of foodstuffs, or to call to account the behaviour of royal officers, or to urge a reduction in corn tariffs. The petition’s tripartite form reflected its hierarchy-reinforcing function. It was addressed to an authority, mainly the monarch; it stated a grievance; and, crucially, it prayed for relief. In a semi-feudal society, the petition was the principal means by which the ruled corrected, or attempted to correct, the course of the rulers – by praying to the powers-that-be for relief.

As parliament’s struggle with monarchical authority developed during the seventeenth century, so petitions acquired an ever-more explosive aspect. They often constituted parliament’s entire agenda, as the voice of the commons against the king. But for radicals like the Levellers, affirming the potential of petitions, as the ‘right to petition against things established by law’, also exposed the limits of petitions. As a troop of Roundheads put it in 1648, parliament could simply ‘reject and slight the just directions and petitions of the people…’. So, just as the democratic instinct bloomed in petitioning (and pamphleteering) form, so it was stymied, too, by the nature of the petition. The importance of petitioning was also an index of petitioners’ ultimate powerlessness, their dependence on the whims and decisions of others.

The American colonists were immersed in this petitioning tradition. The right to petition, enshrined in countless local assemblies, was the most potent means available to the colonists to represent their interests to their English rulers. And this sense of petitioning’s importance writes its way into the First Amendment, as the crowning last-clause glory of individual liberty.

But what’s interesting is that the importance of petitioning decreases as individuals’ liberty increases. That is, as more representative, democratic forms of government emerged from the great struggles of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so petitioning becomes less central, less vital. It’s still important, of course, but it’s important to those struggling for enfranchisement, to those without access to governance. Hence, the right to petition was important, for instance, to the Chartists in England, and to free blacks in the US – to those, that is, who were yet to enjoy the benefits of the emerging liberal polity.

But from the perspective of the committed democrat, fired up by the American and French Revolutions, petitioning was something of a sop, a consolation for those to whom the freedoms of the liberal polity had been denied. Hence Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man, slammed the paltry settlement of England’s 1689 Bill of Rights in the following terms: ‘What is [the Bill of Rights] but a bargain, which the parts of government made with each other to divide powers, profits and privileges? You shall have so much, and I will have the rest; and with respect to the nation, it said, for your share, You shall have the right of petitioning. This being the case, the Bill of Rights is more properly a bill of wrongs, and of insult.’

By the early twentieth century, the petition was increasingly seen as an obsolete form of political participation. In 1901, The Times referred to it as having only ‘sentimental value’. While that was an exaggeration, there was little doubt that the right to petition had lost much of its lustre. The struggle for universal suffrage and political challenges to the established powers were to the fore, not hierarchy-respecting petitions.

So what does that tell us about the nature of petitioning’s revival in the 21st century? It’s still called petitioning, of course, but, in a liberal polity practising formal democracy, its role has changed. Yes, there are petitions that recall that older tradition of seeking redress for particular grievances, such as the half-a-million-signed petition in 2011 that asked the UK government to reverse its decision to sell off England’s publicly owned forests. But that is an exception. More often than not, in the context of a liberal, democratic political system, the petition is being used to circumvent the democratic rights and liberties of citizens. It has become an illiberal force, a means for self-selecting cliques to ask the authorities to do something about other citizens, or to pressure individuals or companies into some illiberal course of action.

Some of them are trivial, such as the petition to make Beyoncé and Jay-Z comb their daughter’s hair. Or the petition to ‘discourage rags on head in nativity plays’ because they are a sign of ‘creeping Sharia law’. Or the petition demanding ‘No taxpayer funding for “Margaret Thatcher Memorial Museum and Library’”. But many are seriously directed at other individuals’ liberty, such as the petition last year calling for Joan Rivers’ comedy gigs to be cancelled in the UK on account of her pro-Israel views, or the petition this week calling on a student nightclub to change its name from ‘P.U.L.L’ because of ‘the expectations it creates’ for clubbers.

Petitions are no longer a way for subjects to air their criticisms of rulers. They’re a license for the censorious to call for the banning and prohibition of things and people they don’t like. They are a vehicle not for subjects to air their grievances, but for citizens to vent their prejudices. ‘How can anyone deny the world-changing power of online activism now?’, shouted a supporter of online petitions last year. And what did she claim digital campaigning had achieved? Had it overturned a particularly nasty piece of legislation, or reversed an especially restrictive new policy? Nope. It’s two crowning achievements were: getting a comedian’s TV show cancelled; and stopping an American pick-up artist from giving some talks in the UK.

And what’s more, the 21st-century petition, in all its illiberal, conformity-inducing glory, requires so little effort, beyond the click of a mouse, on the part of signatories. While illiberal cliques might be digitally active, drawing up petitions and emailing them out, the vast majority backing calls to censor a comedian, or sack a columnist, are digitally passive. As one critic notes, ‘to inflate participation rates, these organisations increasingly ask less and less of their members. The end result is the degradation of activism into a series of petition drives that capitalise on current events.’

A passive force of illiberalism. That’s the petition in the 21st century. A once vital means for subjects to protest against their rulers is now a vicious, citizen-on-citizen parody of itself.


It's time to shame 'shame culture'. All this trivial victimisation has to stop

By British actor Alex Proud

Taking offence over every little thing and forcing people to walk on eggshells is a very worrying modern phenomenon, says Alex Proud
Last week, I read a remarkable piece in The Guardian. It was by Amy Roe, an American woman who said she’d been “sweat-shamed” in Starbucks. If, like me, you were previously unaware of sweat-shaming, allow me to explain.

Ms Roe had been for a long run, prior to entering Starbucks and was sweaty. Someone else in the queue commented on this. She felt a bit awkward. End of story, right? Not a bit of it. A few minutes later, when she got into her car, she realised that this was no ordinary social interaction:

“Eventually the caffeine kicked in and it hit me: I’d been sweat-shamed. Sweat-shaming is when someone points out your sweatiness as a way to signal disapproval. Like its counterparts, slut-shaming and fat-shaming, sweat-shaming is aimed mainly at women, who are actually not supposed to sweat at all.”

I know, me too. Let’s start with the sheer solipsistic ridiculousness of this. Going into a Starbucks drenched in sweat is yucky. You created the problem. The other person in the queue was probably a bit grossed out. Perhaps they were a little bit rude. Perhaps you were a little bit sensitive. I don’t know. But what I do know is that, if anyone, male or female, was drenched in sweat next to me in a coffee queue, my natural reaction would be “eww”.

Most people shower after exercise. It’s one of those social things, like using deodorant or brushing your teeth.

But actually this had me thinking. I’m pretty sure I’ve been called out for having BO before. I’ve certainly been called out for farting. Back then, I took it on the chin and admitted liability. I’d farted. My bad. But now I realise that I was the victim. I’d been fart-shamed. Of course, if I were a woman, it would be a hundred times worse because women are not supposed to fart at all...

To most, smelling another person's flatulence is an unpleasant experience. But the world's first case study of a man who is sexually aroused by other people passing wind has now been published.

This brings us to sweat-shaming being aimed “mainly at women.” What? It has nothing to do with your gender. Nothing at all. Using your definition, I have personally been sweat-shamed a number of times. I have walked into pubs after running (or brisk walks) and had people have comment on my sweatiness. In fact, were I so inclined, I could take offence at a woman trying to “own” sweat-shaming.

As a group, men sweat far more than women and our sweat smells considerably worse. I’m pretty sure that a sizeable majority of both genders find guys’ sweat grosser than girls’ sweat. So, please, stop trying to muscle into one of the few remaining areas of legitimate victimhood left to us men.

Although, I suppose I must concede a grudging admiration for the pretzel-like logic you have used to make this utterly meaningless incident into a feminist thing.

OK, on to the important stuff because, believe it or not, there is a needle of seriousness hiding in this haystack of utter stupidity. I think The Guardian is a great newspaper – and a necessary check to the overall right-wing slant of the British press.

But I also believe that Comment is Free can be a kind of left-wing zoo full of special snowflakes, all trying to desperately to out-victim each other or find new niche reasons to get upset. Here are few samples.

Barbecue is an American tradition – of enslaved Africans and Native Americas.

I Dread The Day My Daughters Poos Get Smaller.

You Might Not Think You’re Sexist Until You Take A Look at Your Bookshelf. You get the idea.

It’s very easy to laugh these off as navel gazing, largely-imaginary rubbish. But actually, I think they are a real problem. I may not believe in sweat-shaming but I am a liberal and I support all sorts of progressive causes. The standard defence of this sort of guff is that it’s the thin end of the wedge. Yes, sweat shaming might be trivial but if we ignore the sweat-shamed today, we ignore the fat-shamed tomorrow and we’re all racists by the weekend. It’s a kind of “First they came for the socialists” argument.

However, in real life, I think it works the other way. Right-wingers had a field day with this stuff – but the trouble is, it allows them to treat huge swathes of the Left as one great big, over-sensitive PC joke. By giving things like sweat-shaming credibility you actually undermine far more important causes. So, Ms Roe’s inability to shrug off a minor, quite possibly imaginary, slight is, in fact, powerful ammunition for those who have their guns trained on things that actually matter.

More generally, taking offence over every little thing and forcing people to walk on eggshells is a very worrying modern phenomenon. Recently we saw Warwick University’s Students Union bar the ex-Muslim human rights campaigner Maryam Namazie from speaking because it was concerned she might offend Muslim students.

The ban was rescinded after a public outcry, but it’s still a very nasty development at an excellent university in a western democracy. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned but I believe that questioning religion is exactly the sort of thing that British universities should be doing.

This, of course, is one of the Left’s great Achilles heels. They often wind up allying themselves with very dubious groups and taking very dodgy positions because they worry so much about offending anyone. But by doing this they offend moderates.

Sorry guys, but the day you start arguing against free speech is the day you have people like me shaking our heads and saying, “Well, I suppose I agree with some of the Conservatives’ policies...”

Sadly, though, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a serious, evidence-based debate about obesity and health. And this is the problem in a nutshell. A fair chunk of the current Left-wing discourse (what the right often calls “resurgent PC”) seems to be about creating an atmosphere where it’s impossible to have a proper discussion for fear of upsetting someone and being cast as a bigot by their supporters. Thus, things we desperately need to debate, get ignored.

So I suppose all I’m calling for is a bit of common sense and a return to some of the resilient, take-it-on the chin attitude that we Brits used to pride ourselves on.



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

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

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


5 October, 2015

Neo-Marxist elitists in charge of the British Left

TOBY YOUNG was brought up surrounded by Champagne socialists. Hearing Labour sing their anthem brought back toe-curling memories.  Their claim to represent the worker is an absurdity.  Money insulates them from the real world.  Their anthem is "The people's flag is deepest red".  It would more frankly be: "The spoiled elite's flag is deepest red"

Frankly, I can't say I was surprised that Jeremy Corbyn had no hesitation in accepting the £125,000 salary and chauffeur-driven car that comes with his new job.

After all, this veteran campaigner against inequality was brought up in a seven-bedroom mansion and went to private school.

Like so many Labour leaders before him, it's a case of do as I say, not do as I do.

Being the son of a prominent Left-wing intellectual — and brought up in North London, not far from Corbyn's constituency — I witnessed this hypocrisy at first hand.

When I saw the footage of Corbyn singing the Red Flag at the Labour conference this week — not long after staying tight-lipped during a rendition of the National Anthem — my mind was transported back to Christmas Eve in the mid-Seventies, and a memorable supper party at the house of Anthony Crosland, then a Labour Secretary of State.

Tony was one of my father's closest friends in the Labour Party. He is probably best remembered for vowing to get rid of grammar schools, the greatest engines of social mobility this country has ever produced.

'If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to destroy every f***ing grammar school in England,' he said, shortly after becoming Harold Wilson's Education Secretary in 1965. And he was as good as his word. Today, there are only 164 grammars left.

Every Christmas Eve, my father, Michael Young, a writer and sociologist who co-authored Labour's 1945 manifesto, would drive our family over to Tony's house where the Croslands and the Youngs would break bread together and sing carols by the fireside.

Needless to say, Tony's house in Pimlico was a far cry from the cottages of his constituents in Great Grimsby, the working-class constituency he served from 1959 to his death in 1977.

It was a grand, four-storey affair, featuring six bedrooms, a beautiful dining room and a large, sweeping drawing room with a magnificent fireplace.

On the mantelpiece were stiff, cardboard invitations to various society soirees. In the lavatory, if memory serves, were framed photographs of Tony at his alma mater — the famous (and fee-paying) Highgate School in North London.

There was Tony in his cricket kit, about to open the batting against a rival establishment, and there was Tony in his tennis whites.

He was, quite literally, the picture of a privileged public schoolboy.

On this particular occasion, he'd invited his colleague Shirley Williams, then the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection and soon to become Education Secretary. Like Tony, she was determined 'to destroy every f***ing grammar school in England', and did her very best to do so, although, curiously, her own daughter went to agrammar school — just like Jeremy Corbyn's son.

Supper was pleasant enough, as always in this hotbed of socialism. Tony's American wife, Susan, was a gracious hostess and made sure guests were well fed and well watered — a selection of fine wines was on offer.

It wasn't quite Downton Abbey, but there were employees on hand to help with the cooking and the serving. Nothing but the best for these tribunes of the masses.

After supper we retired to the drawing room and Shirley Williams led us in carol singing, accompanied by one of Tony and Susan's daughters on the piano. I can picture it now — the perfect Christmas tableau. I think there were even snowflakes piling up on the window frames.

But then something happened to interrupt this chocolate-box scene. Susan broke out the 25-year-old Macallan — a favourite tipple of my father's — and as the whisky started to flow, the guests became more emotional.

Before long, the two Labour Secretaries of State, along with my father, who was a peer of the realm, were demanding something a little more 'authentic' than Good King Wenceslas.

Sure enough, they started singing The Red Flag: 'The people's flag is deepest red/It shrouded oft our martyred dead/And 'ere their limbs grew stiff and cold/Their hearts' blood dyed its every fold.'

I distinctly remember Tony Crosland, red-faced and animated, pumping his fist in the air and crying: 'Balls to the bourgeoisie.' This week, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell cut a similar figure as he raised his clenched fist while belting out the socialist anthem.

Quite what Crosland's staff made of that spectacle, all those years ago, I don't know. They hovered discreetly in the background, waiting to replenish the whisky glasses of these Left-wing firebrands. I daresay they'd seen it all before.

This was probably the most egregious example of champagne socialism I encountered in my childhood, but there were plenty of others.

I hesitate to criticise my father, whom I loved dearly, but his commitment to equality didn't extend to his choice of motorcar — a vintage Bentley.

Like Tony, he was a passionate advocate of comprehensive education, but that didn't stop him sending three of his six children to Dartington Hall, then the most expensive private school in England. He'd been there himself, paid for by a rich Australian uncle, so perhaps that was understandable.

We lived in a large, detached house in Highgate Village, and spent summers in our second home in the South of France.

No doubt my father would have been happy to share those advantages with the less fortunate if the red flag ever flew over the Houses of Parliament. He had a habit of inviting homeless people to share our Christmas lunch, so in that respect, at least, he practised what he preached.

I never asked my father about the disconnect between his socialist values and his affluent lifestyle. Every rich person I knew growing up in North London was a passionate egalitarian, so I just thought of it as normal.

It was only later, when I experienced more of the real world, that I realised how bizarre it was. Most people don't live such gilded lives, and those who do are unlikely to spend Christmas in the lap of luxury, shouting 'Balls to the bourgeoisie'.

Even today, such hypocrisy is commonplace on the Left.

For instance, Jeremy Corbyn singled out 'zero-hours contracts' in his victory speech, vowing to do away with this modern form of 'slavery' if he becomes Prime Minister.

That's a bit rich, considering 68 Labour MPs have employed staff on zero-hours contracts in the past two years. And by 'staff' I mean Parliamentary researchers, not domestic servants — although I daresay Shaun Woodward employs a few of those.

Woodward, who has a net worth of £300 million and divides his time between six houses, was the Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2010.

Andy Burnham, Corbyn's leadership rival, bangs on and on about the Tories 'privatising' the NHS, forgetting that 4.4 per cent of NHS services were outsourced to private providers under the last Labour government, while only a further 1.5 per cent have been outsourced since 2010.

Harriet Harman, Corbyn's predecessor as Labour leader, branded Chancellor George Osborne a 'posh boy' — even though they both attended exactly the same independent St Paul's schools.

The list goes on.

Perhaps my favourite moment of this year's General Election campaign was watching Ed Miliband abase himself at the feet of Russell Brand, a revolutionary socialist so committed to the cause he has a personal hairdresser on call 24/7 and travels everywhere by private jet.

Quite why the leader of the Labour Party thought turning up at the £2 million penthouse of the then 39-year-old multi-millionaire was a way to win over the 'yoof' vote is anyone's guess.

Luckily, the British public has a good nose for this type of hypocrisy.

As I discovered on that Christmas Eve in Pimlico, the red flag is made of velvet and sits on top of a corner table in a large drawing room where the expensive whisky is kept.


Political correctness causes unnecessary Loss of Life among American troops

By Walter E. Williams

War is nasty, brutal and costly. In our latest wars, many of the casualties suffered by American troops are a direct result of their having to obey rules of engagement created by politicians who have never set foot on — or even seen — a battlefield. Today's battlefield commanders must be alert to the media and do-gooders who are all too ready to demonize troops involved in a battle that produces noncombatant deaths, so-called collateral damage.

According to a Western Journalism article by Leigh H Bravo, "Insanity: The Rules of Engagement" (http://tinyurl.com/p59nlqs), our troops fighting in Afghanistan cannot do night or surprise searches. Also, villagers must be warned prior to searches. Troops may not fire at the enemy unless fired upon. U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present. And only women can search women. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said: "We handcuffed our troops in combat needlessly. This was very harmful to our men and has never been done in U.S combat operations that I know of." Collateral damage and the unintentional killing of civilians are a consequence of war. But the question we should ask is: Are our troops' lives less important than the inevitable collateral damage?

The unnecessary loss of life and casualties that result from politically correct rules of engagement are about to be magnified in future conflicts by mindless efforts to put women in combat units. In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat roles. On Jan. 1, 2016, all branches of the military must either open all positions to women or request exceptions. That boils down to having women serve in combat roles, because any commander requesting exceptions would risk having his career terminated in the wake of the screeching and accusations of sexism that would surely ensue.

The U.S. Army has announced that for the first time, two female officers graduated from the exceptionally tough three-phase Ranger course. Their "success" will serve as grist for the mills of those who argue for women in combat. Unlike most of their fellow soldiers, these two women had to recycle because they had failed certain phases of the course.

A recent Marine Corps force integration study concluded that combat teams were less effective when they included women. Overall, the report says, all-male teams and crews outperformed mixed-gender ones on 93 out of 134 tasks evaluated. All-male teams were universally faster "in each tactical movement." The report also says that female Marines had higher rates of injury throughout the experiment.

Should anyone be surprised by the findings of male combat superiority? Young men are overloaded with testosterone, which produces hostility, aggression and competitiveness. Such a physical characteristic produces sometimes-poor behavior in civilian society, occasionally leading to imprisonment, but the same characteristics are ideal for ground combat situations.

You may bet the rent money that the current effort to integrate combat jobs will not end with simply a few extraordinary women. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Navy Times that once women start attending SEAL training, it would make sense to examine the standards. He said, "First we're going to make sure there are standards" and "they're gender-neutral." Only after that will the Navy make sure the standards "have something to do with the job."

We've heard that before in matters of race. It's called disparate impact. That is, if the Navy SEALs cannot prove that staying up for 18 hours with no rest or sleep, sitting and shivering in the cold Pacific Ocean, running with a huge log on your shoulder, and being spoken to like a dog are necessary, then those parts of SEAL training will be eliminated so that women can pass.

The most disgusting, perhaps traitorous, aspect of all this is the overall timidity of military commanders, most of whom, despite knowing better, will only publicly criticize the idea of putting women in combat after they retire from service.


Navy Secretary Dismisses Risks to Women in Combat

A new study reveals the disturbing facts

For Navy Secretary Ray Mabus it would appear that progressive ideology trumps inconvenient reality. In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) Mabus criticized a nine month study revealing that women sustain injuries at a higher rate than their male counterparts and shoot with less accuracy under combat-simulated conditions. “(The study) started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea and women will never be able to do this,” Mabus told NPR’s David Greene. “When you start out with that mindset you’re almost presupposing the outcome.”

Apparently Mabus is immune to the irony that attends his own presuppositions. The study itself, known as the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force (GCEITF) and conducted with 200 male and 75 female volunteers, couldn’t have been clearer. As the executive summary reveals, all male squads, teams and crews “demonstrated higher performance levels on 69% of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews.” By contrast, gender-integrated units outperformed their all-male counterparts in two events.

In the Speed category, and regardless of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), all-male squads were faster than gender-integrated ones in each tactical movement. Furthermore, those differences “were more pronounced in infantry crew-served weapons specialties that carried the assault load plus the additional weight of crew-served weapons and ammunition,” the summary stated.

The Lethality category showed similar discrepancies. Other than the probability of hit and miss with the M4, all-male squads demonstrated greater accuracy than gender-integrated ones with a “notable difference” recorded between genders for “every individual weapons system.” All male squads had higher hit percentages, engaged targets in shorter time periods and registered more hits on those targets than their gender-integrated counterparts, with the only exception being M2 accuracy.

In addition, all male squads demonstrated superiority in the performance of the basic combat tasks that required negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. “For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top,” the summary revealed. “During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who ‘evacuated’ the casualty).”

In the Health and Welfare of Marines category, “well documented comparative disadvantage in upper and lower-body strength resulted in higher fatigue levels of most women, which contributed to greater incidents of overuse injuries such as stress fractures,” with men outperforming, or demonstrating greater degrees of strength and endurance, than women in all categories, including body composition, anaerobic power and capacity, and aerobic capacity.

The injury differences were especially stark. According to research at the Infantry Training Battalion, females undergoing that entry level training sustained injuries at six times the rate of their male counterparts. In the categories of task movements while carrying loads, males were injured at a rate of 13 percent while females sustained injuries at a rate of 27 percent. Female musculoskeletal injury rates were more than double those of males, coming in at a staggering 40.5 percent, compared to just 18.8 percent for males.

Mabus was unmoved, insisting that “empirical standards” are determined by “what you put in” the tests and that the Center for Naval Analyses have discovered ways to “mitigate this so you can have the same combat effectiveness, the same lethality, which is crucial.” He further insisted the idea that women are injured more often than men was not shown in the study, but based rather on “an extrapolation based on injury rates,” and that the Marines could have chosen women for the study better suited for the task of shouldering heavier loads. “For the women that volunteered, probably there should have been a higher bar to cross to get into the experiment,” he said, apparently ignoring what the word “volunteers” actually means.

Sgt. Danielle Beck, a female anti-armor gunner with the task force was contemptuous of Mabus’s contentions. “Our secretary of the Navy completely rolled the Marine Corps and the entire staff that was involved in putting this [experiment] in place under the bus,” she said. That sentiment was echoed by Sgt. Joe Frommling, one of the Marines acting as a monitor for Beck during the tests. “What Mabus said went completely against what the command was saying the whole time,” Frommling explained. “They said, ‘Hey, no matter what your opinion is, go out there and give it your best and let the chips fall where they may.’”

Another Marine officer took Mabus to task for the Secretary’s suggestion the test was rigged. “If you were to look at our training plan and how we progressed from October to February, you’re not going to find any evidence of institutional bias or some way we built this for females to fail,” he stated. “We consulted physical trainers from [the school of infantry] to help develop an appropriate hike plan, and we fired roughly a year’s worth of ammo for a regiment in a quarter. In the time that we had, there wasn’t a day wasted when it came to training for California … From the top down, we were trying to level the playing field.”

Congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, took it one step further, calling on Mabus to resign. In a scathing letter sent to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Sept. 17, Hunter, who served as a Marine in both Iraq and Afghanistan, criticized Mabus’s assertion that he would not support any requests for gender-related exemptions before he was even briefed on the 900-page report’s findings. “This alone underscores the fact that the Navy Secretary is biased in his judgment and should be withdrawn from any decision-making with respect to the Marine Corps' gender integration plan,” Duncan wrote. In calling for Mabus’s resignation, Hunter cited the Secretary’s disrespect for the Marine Corps as an institution and for insulting its competency “by disregarding their professional judgment, their combat experience and their quality of leadership.”

Four days later, Mabus penned an editorial for the Washington Post reiterating his commitment to diversity, and once again implying the tested were rigged. “The Marines deconstructed each job in a unit to specifically detail its requirements so that individual members could function better as a team,” he wrote. “During the study, however, the Marine Corps did not rely on the data for, or evaluate the performance of, individual female Marines; instead, it used only averages. Averages have no relevance to the abilities and performance of individual Marines.”

In its Oct. 1 release, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) refuted that assessment. “Secretary Mabus betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of statistical analysis,” CMR stated. “Data points are derived from the performances of multiple research participants – not just the highest-scoring or lowest-scoring. It matters, therefore that all-male squads, teams, and units outperformed gender-integrated teams in 93 of 134 tasks” (bold in the original).

Mabus sounded even sillier when he noted the language rescinded by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to integrate combat units had its roots in a 1992 recommendation by the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces that excluded women from combat. Mabus insisted the Marine Corps “relied on that language” when conducting its tests.

Yesterday was the deadline for armed service recommendations for gender integration into combat units by top U.S. military leaders. The Marine Corps has requested a partial exemption from the 2013 directive issued by Panetta and Dempsey. According to Reuters, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have “hinted that they will not seek exemptions.” Current Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford recommended maintaining the Marine Corps exemption. Secretary Carter, who stated he would “carefully review” reports from all four service branches and the Special Operations Command, remained noncommittal. “Everyone who is able and willing to serve and can meet the standards we require should have the full opportunity to do so,” he told reporters. “I am going to be very facts-based and analysis-based. I want to see the grounds upon which any actions that we take at the first of the year are going to be made.”

Few things are more emblematic of the fecklessness of Obama administration than its obsession with progressive pieties while Vladimir Putin and the Iranians are turning the Middle East into their personal playground. While Obama and company pursue the Holy Grail of diversity, our enemies pursue a realignment of the world in ways utterly inimical to our national security. If it continues, these doyens of gender equality irrespective of reality may get their wish: every soldier in uniform may be called upon to defend this nation from an unprecedented level of aggression. Aggression enabled by what is arguably one of the worst assemblages of clueless government officials and their military enablers in the history of our nation.


Class War vs Cereal Killer: a riot for poverty

Ignore the paint-flinging pillocks – gentrification is good. The British slang word "pillock" translates roughly into American slang as "jerk"

On Sunday night, a mob of 200 anti-gentrification protesters descended on Shoreditch in east London as part of an event called Fuck Parade. The event, organised by bedraggled anarchist outfit Class War, featured a burning wicker policeman, balaclavas aplenty and an alleged attack on a dog. It culminated with the mob vandalising the Cereal Killer café on Brick Lane and threatening its terrified customers with smoke bombs and burning torches. Cereal Killer’s crime? Well, according to Class War, the owners are part of the social cleansing of the previously run-down area.

Cereal Killer has become synonymous with the gentrification brought to Shoreditch by hipster culture. With customers happily paying up to £3.50 for a bowl of cereal, it is testament to the revival of the previously impoverished area. And it is this newfound affluence that provoked the anger of Sunday’s mob; the Facebook event claims that the community is being torn apart by the influx of ‘Israeli scumbag property developers, Texan oil-money twats and homegrown Eton toffs’. The anti-gentrification sentiment that Class War expresses indicates an aversion to economic growth, and an aversion to investment in the community, which it claims to represent. Surely the most immediate threat to the local community is mob vandalism and intimidation from within, not economic investment from without.

The café was attacked while it was still open, and the panicked customers were forced to take shelter downstairs as a smoke bomb went off and red paint and cornflakes were hurled at the shopfront. The vandals wore masks and balaclavas as they shouted abuse, and one man spraypainted ‘Scum’ on the café window. Does selling expensive cereal to happily paying customers make you scum? No. But intimidating the members of the local community that you claim to defend certainly does.

The gentrification that the café represents should be celebrated. The two men who founded the café, Irish-born twins Gary and Alan Keery, employ a number of local people and are among a number of entrepreneurs who have helped to revive the previously unpleasant area. There is no agenda of social cleansing here, as the mob’s organisers claim.

The ‘progressive’ media has helped make this small business the target of such bile. Given that gentrification represents entrepreneurship and is indicative of progress, it is ironic that so-called progressives take such issue with it. The Guardian has taken potshots at the café in the past, and it even published a piece by one of the protesters hours after the Fuck Parade took place. When I spoke to the café’s manager, Matt Moncrieff, he said the attack was definitely ‘influenced by the café’s media coverage’.

Class War claims to represent a local community that is sick of rising house prices and an influx of wealth from overseas. However, Cereal Killer employs people from the local community, and many more residents come to the café to socialise and bond over a bowl or two of Coco Pops. The café remains defiant in the face of bullying and intimidation, and locals have since rallied behind it, with other businesses dropping off care packages for the owners. Moncrieff told me that footfall has actually increased since the attack.

The Fuck Parade was made up of a small core of balaclava-wearing pillocks and a lot of posers. People who rail against gentrification are, thankfully, the minority, and they have no right to speak for residents who are probably too busy enjoying new amenities and job prospects to protest.

Gentrification is not part of some conspiracy against the poor. Opportunities for people in Shoreditch to improve their lives are growing, and that is no bad thing. Fortunately, a bunch of idiots throwing cornflakes at a shopfront won’t change 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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


4 October, 2015

Muslims can't commit hate crimes in Britain

An Asian family who converted to Christianity claim they are being driven out of their home for the second time by Muslim persecutors.

Nissar Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children said they have suffered an appalling ordeal at the hands of neighbours who regard them as blasphemers.

They claim they are effectively prisoners in their own home after being attacked in the street, having their car windscreens repeatedly smashed and eggs thrown at their windows.

Mr Hussain, 49, has even given up his career as a nurse due to the effect on his health.

Police have been called numerous times to deal with the trouble but are said to be reluctant to treat the problem as a religious hate crime.

Only one successful prosecution has been made, and Mr Hussain said he feels so let down by police he has lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

He also criticised the Anglican Church for failing to provide any meaningful support.

Now the family are likely to move from their home city of Bradford to a 'white English' area to escape the hate campaign.

Mr Hussain said his wife, 45, and children Issar, 23, Anniesa, 21, Sarah, 19, Miriam, 17, Leena and Isaaq, seven, have faced harassment and abuse on almost a daily basis.

Flashpoints include an incident in March this year when Mr Hussain ended up grappling with a man who 'threatened and confronted' his wife.

Police were called and Mr Hussain was arrested and spent 12 hours in police cells before being released without charge.

Over the last year, Mr Hussain has had his car windscreen smashed six times at a cost of £5,000. His eldest son, a final year medical student, has also had his windscreen smashed.

Although their faith remains strong, Mr and Mrs Hussain no longer attend church. 'We have given up on the Church of England, they have done nothing for us,' said Mr Hussain.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: 'We are aware of an ongoing matter involving Mr Hussain and are working closely with partners to resolve this situation. All reports of crime are taken seriously and are investigated thoroughly.'


But Muslims CAN commit hate crimes in Australia

The Australian authorities call a spade a spade -- unlike the hypocritical English

Police have released a photo of the 'admired' and 'gentle' father of two who was gunned down by a 15-year-old 'radicalised' youth Friday evening.

Curtis Cheng, 58, was leaving work at the police headquarters in Parramatta, Sydney, when he was shot in the back of the head by the Iranian-born youth.

The gunman responsible has been identified as Farad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, the ABC reported.

He had visited a mosque in the hours before the killing, which has been confirmed by the Prime Minister as an act of terrorism.

Police had searched the teen's North Parramatta family home and taken computer equipment, the ABC reported.

He was a student at Arthur Phillip High, a school less than half a kilometre from where the shootings took place, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A source told the ABC the teen's weapon was a revolver and it did not seem he knew his victim.

Witnesses of the attack on Friday afternoon said after the killing, the teen paraded in front of the police station with his weapon chanting 'Allah, Allah', it was reported.

After exchanging gunfire with police officers, the teen was killed.

Mr Cheng, a father of two and accountant for the police, was remembered as a 'wonderful' man, loved by family, friends and colleagues.

In a press conference with New South Wales premiere Mike Baird, Police commissioner Andrew Scipione said the police force was in mourning.

NSW premier Mike Baird said it was an 'unthinkable act' that ended his life.  'I want the family of Curtis and the members of his Police community to know that you don't face this loss alone. We mourn with you and we are here for you.'

The police commissioner confirmed the teen's actions were 'politically motivated and therefore linked to terrorism'.

En route to the killing the youth, originally from Iran, had visited Parramatta Mosque, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The killer, who had an Iraqi and Kurdish background, carried no identification and it was believed his brother contacted police with his identity, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The gunman, at present believed to have been acting alone, shot Mr Cheng at close range outside the Parramatta police headquarters in a targeted attack on Friday, which has been described as a 'brutal' and 'callous murder'.

The assailant, dressed all in black, fired a number of shots at special constables guarding the NSW Police station in Sydney, before he was gunned down and killed by one of the officers.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Mr Cheng was 'simply leaving work' when he was shot in the back of the head by the gunman who was wearing 'dark trousers and a flowing top'.

'A number of special constables came out of the building and as they've emerged they've come under fire.

'In the exchange that followed the gunman was shot and killed. An employee of the NSW police force has been callously murdered here today. This is a very sobering time for us.'

Police believe the gunman was not working with anyone else, but have not ruled out the possibility there may be others involved.


Truth about the rabble bringing fear to British streets: Working class warriors? No, middle class spongers and so-called academics

Age has not mellowed university graduate Ian Bone. He may now be a 68-year-old grandfather, but he is full of burning resentment. Almost all his life has been devoted to waging war on the rich while claiming benefits funded by their taxes.

His father was butler to Sir Gerald Coke, grandson of the Earl of Leicester, and the family lived in a bonded cottage on a family estate in Hampshire. Young Ian hated the rich children ‘from the big house’ for calling his father ‘Bone’ and grew up with an abiding contempt for the upper classes.

After finishing a degree in politics from Swansea University, he announced to his horrified parents that his choice of ‘career’ was to be an anarchist, and that he would fund it by claiming the dole.

‘I thought I might as well be unemployed so that I could be a full-time radical revolutionary and the State would pay me to do it,’ he explained later. ‘I never thought about having a job or a career. Jobs and material possessions have never loomed large in my life.’

He lived in Bristol, playing in a band, drinking heavily and staying in rented flats. He also became a founding member of Class War, a group dedicated to the violent overthrow of state structures, and published newspapers in support of the cause.

He moved to London in the 1990s, still claiming benefits, and now lives there in a £330,000 home with the mortgage paid off, which belongs to his partner Jane Nicholl, 64.

She, too, is an anarchist and was arrested last year for setting fire to an effigy of Boris Johnson on Guy Fawkes night. The charge was subsequently dropped.

Ian’s anger about his childhood has not been eased by his immense good fortune and charmed life on benefits. Far from it, judging by the pictures and messages he has posted on social media.

When Baroness Thatcher died in 2013, he used his blog to summon an army of followers to celebratory street parties, and published an image of the former prime minister’s head being cut open with a meat cleaver. Next to the image he wrote: ‘The best cut of all.’

In other film clips posted on YouTube, he rails against the Royal Family and urges ‘violent action’ to achieve his aims.

More recently, Bone — who has five children with two former partners — posted pictures of himself angrily brandishing a walking stick during a protest against the so-called gentrification of London.

Last week, he was the key figure behind a vicious mob attack when riot police and helicopters were deployed after more than a thousand people descended on a fashionable part of East London to protest against a trendy cafe selling breakfast cereals from around the world for up to £4.40 a bowl.

The protest was organised by Bone’s Class War group, which urged followers of its Facebook page to join in.

‘Our communities are being ripped apart — by Russian oligarchs, Saudi sheiks, Israeli scumbag property developers, Texan oil-money twats and our own home-grown Eton toffs,’ went Class War’s cry.

‘We don’t want luxury flats that no one can afford, we want genuinely affordable housing. We don’t want pop-up gin bars or brioche buns, we want community.’

The community in the part of East London that Class War targeted on Saturday night was nothing short of terrified as the mob descended.

And what was striking is that it wasn’t just unemployed ne’er-do-wells such as Bone who responded to the call, but a motley crew which included well-dressed youngsters with iPhones as well as university academics — of whom more later.

With police helicopters buzzing overhead and dozens of riot officers deployed on the ground, the mob headed for an establishment called the Cereal Killer Cafe, which is run by 33-year-old twins from Belfast.

While cafe staff locked the doors and barricaded themselves inside, hundreds — many of them masked and carrying burning torches — gathered outside, threw paint at the premises and daubed the word ‘scum’ on the window.

As families with young children cowered, the protesters managed to break in and threw a smoke bomb.

Riot police rushed to the scene while the protesters chanted obscenities, burnt an effigy of a policeman and smashed the windows of a nearby estate agent.

‘They are violent bullies and we want them prosecuted,’ says Alan Keery, 33, who founded the cafe with Gerry, his brother, last year. ‘We’re a small business. We work hard. They see us as an easy target. They see us as the face of gentrification.’

The brothers describe themselves as ‘very working-class’ boys from Belfast, who left school at 16 and worked for years in shops, pubs and clubs before opening their own venture.

Jasiminne Yip, the owner of Regimental Vintage, a nearby boutique, was caught up in the violence, which began as she was closing for the night.

‘At first I thought it was a pub crawl,’ she told us. ‘I heard some of the group, most of them in their twenties, speaking very loudly in very posh accents and shouting general profanities in every direction.

‘I barricaded myself in my shop because the situation looked dangerous. I saw a small dog running past the group and some of them were attacking it — kicking at it. One person was trying to hit it with their skateboard.’

The attack on the cafe was just one of a series of violent incidents across London this year. Bottles and missiles were hurled at police, estate agents’ windows were smashed and flames leapt into the night sky during recent disturbances against luxury developments in Camden, North London.

Similar scenes took place in April in Brixton, South London, with violent protests against the ‘gentrification’ of the area. Tear gas had to be used as protesters stormed Brixton Town Hall.

That same month, the annual Property Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London were disrupted by 200 demonstrators claiming to be angered by a lack of social housing, while branches of Foxtons estate agents have had their windows smashed because they are considered to represent the evil of gentrification.

Bone and his cronies are planning more anarchy tomorrow outside the Jack the Ripper Museum, a new tourist attraction on Cable Street, in the East End of London.

Class War has denounced the museum as being the work of ‘a rich businessman who glorifies the brutal murder of working-class sex workers. It is also a symbol of gentrification’.

But in fact this has nothing to do with ‘class war’. Besides Ian Bone, the other main agitators are also drawn from the ranks of the middle classes and the university-educated.

Perhaps the most preposterous of them is Dr Lisa Mckenzie, 47, a research fellow at the prestigious London School of Economics, where such academic posts attract salaries of about £40,000.

Denying that she is middle-class, she ludicrously compares the cereal protest to the struggles of the Suffragettes and Nelson Mandela.

This from a woman who lives in a £1,300-a-month flat in the achingly trendy Limehouse area of London and posts details on her Facebook page of holidays to far-flung destinations such as Barbados, Las Vegas and Jamaica as well as New York, Milan, Rome, Paris and Barcelona.

A mother of one with her hair dyed bright red, she studied sociology at Nottingham University and went on to gain funding for a Masters degree and a PhD.

She claims — without a hint of irony — that taking part in the riots is all part of her job. ‘I’m always on protests because I write about them,’ she says. ‘I’m there but this is research, too.’

Her research work for the LSE concerns ‘the precarious nature of particular groups in our society and the vulnerability they experience’. She is also looking into ‘social cleansing’ in East London.

The daughter and granddaughter of miners, she honed her hatred during the miners’ strike of 1984-85 in which Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher crushed Arthur Scargill, leader of the National Union of Minerworkers.

‘Our community was absolutely decimated by the Conservative government,’ she told the BBC this week. ‘I am now an economic migrant to the South East. Social cleansing is happening in London.’

In her 2009 academic thesis, called Finding Value On A Council Estate, she complained that cases such as that of Baby P — the appalling torture and killing of a 17-month-old boy by his mother and boyfriend — were ‘used by the media and politicians to make way for a barrage of accusations, suspicions and stigmatisations regarding those who live on council estates, especially mothers’.

She stood as a Class War candidate in the General Election in May this year in Iain Duncan Smith’s Chingford and Woodford Green constituency, where she won just 53 votes.

The previous month, she had been charged with criminal damage and threatening behaviour after placing a notice bearing the slogan ‘New Homes For The Rich’ underneath a picture of a cemetery on the East London home of Taylor McWilliams, a wealthy American friend of Prince Harry.

She posted on Facebook a smirking selfie of herself after her magistrates’ court hearing, at which she pleaded not guilty and urged ‘everyone’ to attend her next hearing for a ‘day out’ when it takes place later this month.

On the march against the Cereal Killer cafe, she carried a placard bearing the slogan ‘We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live’.

She insists that not all the protesters that night were academics like herself. Yet they included Dr Simon Elmer, a former professor of art history, who wore a latex pig mask to hide his identity.

Dr Elmer describes himself as poet, writer, photographer and propagandist. He has worked as visiting professor at the University of Michigan, and has taught at the universities of London, Manchester, Reading and Roehampton.

He now lives in fashionable Stoke Newington in North London, where he runs an online publication called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Poetry, Community, Sacrifice.

Asked about the aims of the protest, he was not amused. ‘Your idiotic attempts to bring the issues of gentrification and homelessness down to the supposed class origins of the protesters [are] worthy of the schoolyard at Eton.’

He added: ‘The cereal cafe wouldn’t be there if there weren’t people who could afford, and have the inclination, to spend £4 on a bowl of cereal. The cafe isn’t just a cultural symbol of gentrification, it’s an instrument of the economic colonisation of the area. The question is, will you write it? And I think we both know the answer to that.’

Another well-heeled supporter of the mob was Adam Barr, 23, who grew up in a four-bedroom house in the East Yorkshire village of Cottingham, where his father is a company director, and who now studies history and Chinese at the University of London.

Despite his privileged background and the opportunity to attend university away from home, Mr Barr was oblivious to the irony this week after he hit out at the ‘invading hordes’ who have taken over London, ‘driving up rents and driving out people who have lived here for years’.

Anybody who dares to question the motives of Class War is abused, it seems. After someone asked how the group could justify saying it wanted ‘to see the rich dead’, an un-named anarchist on its Facebook page replied simply: ‘Hah! Hah! Hah!’ and called supporters of new businesses ‘maggots’ and ‘cxxxs’.

What, then, does Ian Bone, the bitter graduate son of Sir Gerald Coke’s butler, think of the cereal cafe protest? For a man who has never worked, he professes an unerring understanding of the working classes, but his overriding message seems to be one of self-congratulation.

Attacks on business premises, he said, were ‘fxxxxxx great. We will drive the fake elements out and repopulate with the proper working-class people rather than fxxxxxx yuppies and millionaires. They can go and fxxx themselves.

‘Our idea was to parachute behind enemy lines. Our aim was to seize control of the streets in Shoreditch for six hours and we effectively did. Look, we don’t like rich people. We’d like to drive them all out of London and repopulate with the proletariat. Got it?’

Confirming that he had never had a job — ‘Why would I want to work for a capitalist? Work is boring,’ he said — he added that he was delighted ‘shops are talking about closing down and moving out’ and that ‘people are scared of us coming to the area. That’s fxxxxxx brilliant’.

Meanwhile, the cereal cafe brothers, who prefer the virtues of hard work and enterprise to living off the State, spent last week tidying up and trying to put their business back together.


Ben Carson Destroys Democrats on Race

From the getgo, Ben Carson has stressed that his campaign was going to go places where many Republicans wouldn't, in an effort to grow the party. This week, Ben Carson met with a small group of African American leaders last week and questioned the black community's allegiance to the Democratic Party. Via the Washington Times:

“The Democrat Party, of course, is the party of the KKK. Of Jim Crow laws. And perhaps just as bad right now, of servitude. ‘Now you do this, and we’ll take care of you, pat you on the head, take care of all your needs.’ Which keeps people believing that’s what they actually need,” Mr. Carson told the small group.

If anyone can attest to this it's Carson, who overcame a life surrounded by poverty and violence to become a groundbreaking neurosurgeon. Carson's story, and his message, seem to be resonating, as a recent USA Today Poll has him second to frontrunner Donald Trump.



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

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

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


2 October, 2015

Multicultural mother-of-five 'made £1.5m running a high-class escort agency while also claiming £117,000 in benefits'

A mother-of-five made £1.5million running a high-class escort agency with former TOWIE star Maria Fowler on its books while claiming £117,000 in benefits and tax credits, a court heard.

Janine Adeleke, 42, claimed state handouts while running agency Carltons Of London from her seaside home Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex.

One of her children was sent to the exclusive Roedean boarding school for girls, while her family had private medical insurance and membership to the David Lloyd gym.

She is now facing jail after being found guilty of seven counts of cheating the revenue, fraud and money laundering at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday.

At the start of the trial, Allastair Walker, prosecuting, told the jury that for eight years between November 2006 and October last year Adeleke had failed to disclose significant income - much of which came from the escort business.

'During this period she claimed state benefits including Income Support, Council Tax benefit and carer's allowance,' he said.

The jury heard that in July 2011, when she suspected that Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) investigators were on her trail ,she laundered receipts through accounts in the name of her elderly and frail mother.

The court heard that the total loss to taxpayers as a result of Adeleke's fraud was £367,000.

She had claimed benefits of £37,000, including Income Support for herself and her five children, from 2006 to 2011 - totalling £28,468.22, Council Tax Benefit, from 2007 to 2011, of £6,151.87 and Carer's Allowance, for looking after her elderly mother from October 2010, of £3,280.20.

She also claimed a total of £80,372 in tax credits from November 2006 to April 2014.

Adeleke also avoided nearly £250,000 of income tax and national insurance payments by not declaring her income from the escort agency.


Outrage as public crematorium takes down wooden cross that's been in place for more than 50 years because it might offend non-Christians

A Christian cross has been removed from a crematorium so as to avoid offending followers of different religions.

Council bosses opted to take down Accrington Crematorium's large wooden cross - the symbol of Christianity - after growing concern about how secular groups responded to it.

It will now only be put up for individual services on request, after being the centrepiece of the crematorium for half a century.

The decision has outraged many in the area, including the Anglican Bishop of Burnley, Philip North.

He said: 'This approach at Accrington Crematorium is symptomatic of actions often taken by secular authorities to strip away the outward signs of faith around us, but not for reasons the majority support.

'At the census a majority of people in Lancashire identified as Christian and many arriving at the crematorium will want, and indeed expect, the cross to be there to offer them comfort.

'Will the crematorium management proactively inform everyone they have the option to put the cross back up?

'If it's a funeral of someone of another faith or none, remove the cross by all means, but have it in place for the majority who will still expect to see it.

'I can't imagine many people would ever ask for the cross to be removed as it's a fairly traditional town.

'What I know is the power of symbol. The cross is a powerful symbol of the victory of life over death. People living with grief need that kind of symbol. The rituals around death are incredibly important.

'There are lots of people who say they are Christians but don't go to church, and the cross is even important to them. And many people wear a cross even if they don't attend church. It's a symbol of love.'

Hyndburn Tory group leader Peter Britcliffe said he was alarmed at its removal.

Councillor Britcliffe said: 'This is another example of the creeping madness of political correctness undermining the traditional Christian values of our society in East Lancashire.

'The correct default position is for the cross to be in the chapel unless those organising a funeral ask for it to be taken down.'

Since 1956, the religious symbol has been a permanent fixture at the crematorium, only removed if service organisers made such a request.

Following a £20,000 upgrade earlier this year, Hyndburn Council decided the cross should be removed and only restored at the request of a family wanting a Christian farewell for their loved one.

Hyndburn cemeteries boss Ken Moss said it reflected the growing number of humanist and non-religious funerals held at the Burnley Road venue.

Nearby councils in Blackburn, Burnley and Pendle all keep the cross in place at their funeral chapels unless asked to remove it by service organisers.

Councillor Moss said: 'The large wooden cross was taken down during the recent refurbishment of the crematorium chapel.

'General guidance for crematoria is the building should be non-denominational so that it has the flexibility to make all families welcome whatever their beliefs.

'Most people with religious beliefs have a church service first and then go to the crematorium for the committal.


Asylum bid by Libyans in sex rampage: Three soldiers jailed following night of vile assaults demand right to stay in the UK   

Three Libyans jailed for molesting women in a drunken rampage are seeking asylum in Britain.

The soldiers, who have served short sentences in UK prisons, are thought to be using legal aid to lodge their claims.

They say they risk persecution if sent home because their crimes have brought Libya into disrepute.The case shows yet again how human rights laws can scupper the deportation of foreign offenders.

In 2014 it emerged 100 war criminals had applied for asylum in the UK in the last 12 months, with nearly 800 asking the UK Border Agency to remain in this country over the last eight years.

There have been several high profile cases  - including one that may chime with the Libyan soldiers now seeking asylum.

A Libyan convicted of 78 offences escaped deportation last Febuary on the grounds he is an alcoholic. The 53-year-old man, who is protected by an anonymity order, successfully argued he would be tortured and imprisoned by the authorities in his homeland because drinking alcohol is illegal.

Iraqi Aso Mohammed Ibrahim left 12-year-old Amy Houston to die ‘like a dog’ under the wheels of his car after knocking her down in 2003 while banned from driving.  Twice refused asylum, he was never removed by the Home Office and, after the killing, was allowed to stay in the UK after serving a mere four months in jail because he had fathered two children here, which judges ruled gave him a right to a ‘family life’.

A Bangladeshi woman jailed for five years for stabbing her baby daughter with a kitchen knife in East London in 2009 won the right to stay in Britain so she could rebuild her relationship with the child.

The fiasco is also a blow to David Cameron who had said the soldiers should not be allowed to stay here.

In a book serialised by the Mail last week the Prime Minister was criticised by top brass for his 2011 Libyan intervention. That intervention led to the disastrous training scheme that brought the soldiers here and cost taxpayers £15million.

Richard Scorer, a solicitor representing one of the four women who were attacked, said: ‘She, like the other victims, assumed as soon as these men had completed their sentences they would be deported.

‘My client was dismayed and shocked to learn of the asylum applications. Like us, she is struggling to understand how men who came to this country as guests of our country and abused this hospitality could possibly be making these applications.

‘She, and we, think it is totally and utterly unacceptable.’ He said asylum applications were normally made on the basis that the applicant had a ‘general and justifiable fear of persecution in their home country’.

Lawyers representing the soldiers are also expected to argue their lives would be at risk from Islamic State fanatics in Libya.

Khaled El Azibi, Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam were among 300 recruits who came to the UK under an arrangement to train them to restore security to their country. Two other cadets were jailed for 12 years each for raping a man in a park in Cambridge on the same day the women were sexually assaulted.

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed the three men have been released from prison and are being held at secure immigration units.

Even if their applications are unsuccessful they are likely to extend their time in the UK by months and possibly years – all at great cost.

Four Libyans applied for asylum before the training programme at ex-RAF Bassingbourn was closed down, bringing the total to seven.

Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner said: ‘It does seem possible that these people may not be sent back because it is not safe for them.

‘None of this would have happened if the MoD and Secretary of State for Defence hadn’t taken a gamble with people’s safety by letting these people out unsupervised in Cambridge.’

El Azibi, El Maarfi and Abdalsalam were aged 19, 21 and 27 respectively when they stole bicycles and rode into Cambridge on October 26 last year.

During a chaotic hour beginning at 10.30pm they approached one victim outside a pub and fondled her breasts and bottom. El Maarfi also exposed himself and tried to kiss her.

They cycled off when the pub manager confronted them But they touched another woman’s bottom before finding two more victims.

El Maarfi put his hand on the leg of one of the friends and tried to lift her skirt. When she objected, Abdalsalam committed a similar assault.

She called out to her friend for help but the other woman was being attacked by El Azibi.

El Azibi was given a 12-month jail term in May and the other men were handed ten-month sentences at Cambridge Crown Court.

The training programme was given the go-ahead despite a warning from the cross-Whitehall Libya security compact delivery group. It predicted recreational visits would ‘pose significant immigration, security and reputational risks’.

The Home Office said in a statement: ‘We will seek to remove any foreign national offender who receives a custodial sentence for a criminal offence.’ In 2011, Britain conducted air strikes to stop the slaughter of Libyan civilians in Benghazi. The intervention led to the collapse of the Gaddafi regime but the country has been in chaos ever since, with militias running amok.

Last October, a devastating National Audit Office report revealed the Home Office had lost track of 760 of the 4,200 foreign criminals who had been freed back on to our streets by the end of March 2014 pending their removal. They can rely on human rights laws to thwart deportation or, in some cases, simply vanish.


'Pink Hoods': Rapper Azealia Banks Likens LGBT Community to the Ku Klux Klan

Rapper Azealia Banks has sent out a series of tweets comparing the gay community to the Ku Klux Klan and calling gays weaklings who are easily offended.

The first tweet read: "LGBT community (GGGG) are like the gay KKK's. Get them some pink hoods and unicorns and let them rally down rodeo drive."

More tweets followed: "All I had to do was say one word and I moved a whole community. What weaklings!!!" "If I am to be part of an LGBT community I want to be in it with people who aren't weaklings or easily moved ya know." "You boys gotta toughen up!!! Don't be so weak! If one word can put your entire community in distress you're DOOMED." "Words are not tangible things. You all CHOOSE to get upset."

The tweets, sent out September 27, came after Banks was recently caught on tape using gay slurs on an airplane. She also recently said that women should be limited to three abortions.


1 October, 2015

Sleepy multicultural nurse in Britain gets off lightly

A nurse who regularly took two hour naps while on duty was caught out because of her loud snoring. Perpetua Cull, 49, originally from Gweru, Zimbabwe, fell asleep nine times whilst working the night shift at the North Merchiston Care Home in Edinburgh, in July last year. 

Mrs Cull would collect a sheet and a blanket from the linen cupboard and sleep on a recliner chair 'for between one to two and a half hours at a time'.

She was reported by a colleague who heard her snoring, and now she has been given a two-year caution order by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The nurse attended a hearing in Edinburgh, where she is now living, earlier this month, to face a total of nine charges.

They included 'acting unprofessionally in that she slept whilst on duty on one or more of the night shifts' between July 9 and July 24, 2014.  The nine charges were found proven - despite Mrs Cull strongly denying that she ever fell asleep on duty.

A decision notice posted online shows that evidence was heard from another nurse who used to work the same 10pm to 8am shifts.

The nurse, who remained anonymous, stated that Mrs Cull 'would enter the residents' lounge area having collected a sheet and a blanket from the linen cupboard and sleep in a recliner chair'.

He added that 'she was sleeping not only because he saw her but because he heard her snoring'.

He told the panel that 'although he did not wake her up, he found the night shifts where he was working with her much harder because the volume of work increased'.

Despite not minding initially because the 'shift went more quickly' for him, he 'later became annoyed that this behaviour was becoming a regular pattern'.

At the hearing, which lasted three days, Mrs Cull denied that she had ever fallen asleep on duty.

Mrs Cull, originally from Gweru, Zimbabwe, was given a two-year caution order by the Nursing and Midwifery Council

She also told the panel that her colleague's version of events were 'untrue' and that she believed his motivation for making the allegations was that she had 'raised concerns about the length of his smoking breaks'.

In their decision, the panel stated that they found parts of Mrs Cull's evidence 'implausible', and it was 'more likely than not' that she had slept whilst on duty.

However, they accepted that there was 'no evidence of actual harm to the residents' as she was always on the unit, and 'by taking her breaks in the residents' lounge rather than the staff room she was more accessible should an emergency had risen'.

The panel ruled that her fitness to practice was impaired, and imposed a caution order for a period of two years.

Mrs Cull was fired from the care home following the allegations, and now works for another nursing agency in Edinburgh.

The decision notice states that she 'has made adjustments to her working practice by only working day shifts with her current employer to avoid repetition'.

Mrs Cull's husband, Robert, has slammed the decision to impose a caution order, which does not stop her from practising but is recorded on the register and published on the NMC's website.

He said: 'It's totally barbarian what they have done. She should have just received a warning at the time.  'It's not like she shot or killed anybody, she probably just closed her eyes on her dinner break.

'I used to work night shifts and I know that at two o'clock in the morning your eyes can get a bit tired - she didn't set out to fall asleep."


Academic ridiculed after she likens cereal protest to Mandela and the Suffragettes hours after claiming she wasn't middle class

Evil cornflakes?? A protest over breakfast cereal?  How pathetic can you get?

Protestor Lisa McKenzie is pretty middle class herself.  She has  enjoyed trips to the likes of Las Vegas, Ibiza, Jamaica and Barbados. She has also visited the likes of the Italian fashion capital Milan, Paris, Barcelona, Nice, New York, Rome, Naples, Athens New York, California and Chicago, and has posted photos with a pricey Apple computer and expensive SLR-type camera

The charmer herself

An academic involved in anti-gentrification protests was ridiculed last night for comparing the violent action to the struggles of Nelson Mandela and the suffragettes.

Dr Lisa McKenzie, 47, came under fire after claiming last weekend’s attack by hundreds of masked protesters on a trendy east London cereal café was akin to the battle against apartheid.

She also accused the owners of the Cereal Killer Café of taking advantage of the publicity and insisted she ‘doesn’t care’ about the plight of the small business.

On Newsnight, tattooed Dr McKenzie – who denied she was middle class and described herself as ‘an economic migrant to the South East’ – was forced to defend her comments comparing the ugly protests to the struggle for female emancipation.

She had written: ‘Suffragettes were accused of terrorism, so was Mandela. Direct actions from those most affected. Get off your high horses.’

Journalist and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer accused her of exaggerating so-called social cleansing in east London.

One social media user, Dannie Horowitz, wrote: ‘Comparing the battle against apartheid with an intellectually incoherent protest about a novelty café. Hilarious.’

London School of Economics research fellow Dr McKenzie said last night: ‘What I was trying to do with that is say direct action has been used by many, many different groups.’

She flatly denied being directly involved in the altercation, which saw paint and smoke bombs thrown at the café, terrifying customers, but defended the notion of revolutionary insurrection.

‘I think the people who have been winning the class war are the elites, the 1 per cent,’ she said. ‘I think what we have got now is working class people getting angry and frustrated at that 1 per cent.'

Earlier in the day, Dr McKenzie said the Belfast-born business owners had little to complain about after red paint was daubed across their building and smoke bombs tossed inside.

Dr McKenzie has claimed the owners have enjoyed the publicity Saturday's attack has given them.  ‘I really don’t care about the café – I have no feelings on it. I would never pay to have a bowl of cereal at four o’clock in the afternoon. I think the people who have run it have had far too much publicity. It was about gentrification in east London, not about a café.’

Hundreds of people descended on Shoreditch on Saturday night to protest against the increasing gentrification of the once working class neighbourhood.

Riot police were called in as masked thugs targeted the café, which has courted controversy for selling bowls of cereal for as much as £4.40.

Dr McKenzie was seen at the head of the protest holding a banner reading: ‘Class War – we have found new homes for the rich’ amid a skull-and-crossbones logo and a makeshift cemetery.

She also held another which read: ‘We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live.’


Hitler sometimes takes a nap and other insights from the New York Times

In 1939, with the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht matters of public record, the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps in operation, and German Jews disenfranchised and dispossessed of their properties, The New York Times Magazine published a detailed piece about Adolf Hitler.

"Hitler sometimes takes a nap," it explained.

But rest assured, the newspaper dug deeper: "Hitler can be a good listener." "Hitler is able to talk well as host." "Hitler likes an after-breakfast stroll on his mountain." "Hitler frequently has tea up here." "The Fuehrer does not always take his meals in company." "He likes well-cooked dishes," he "makes no secret of being fond of chocolate," he "walks little, but vigorously," and he "is fond of his climb above the clouds."

The article's focus on Hitler's "very green" grass, "friendly-looking" mountain home, and "excellent" tomatoes humanized the despot – which is exactly what Hitler's propagandists intended when they designed his homes and invited journalists to share his space, according an upcoming book by architectural historian Despina Stratigakos. The aim, the book explains, was "to foster the myth of the Führer as a morally upstanding and refined man."

The New York Times, then, did not only "bury" news of the Holocaust, as has been documented in recent years, but in this article was a willing, even if unknowing, participant in Hitler's propaganda.

This puff piece on Hitler evokes a much more recent New York Times article about Muqdad Salah, a Palestinian prisoner released by Israel as part of a deal meant to restart peace talks.

Salah is no Hitler. He only murdered a single Jew, albeit an elderly Holocaust survivor, and albeit in a brutal manner – 72-year-old Israel Tenenbaum was napping when Salah bludgeoned him to death with a metal rod. And the newspaper's story on Saleh did mention his misdeeds, something its feature on Hitler's house largely avoided. But the paper's empathic, back-to-nature descriptions of the two killers overlap strikingly.

About the German, the newspaper noted that he "has a habit of climbing straight up behind the house … between fir trees with heavy branches" for a vista that allows him to "look over into what used to be Austria." About the Palestinian, current Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren wrote, "Mr. Salah had run past the house to smell a favored carob tree, and then he climbed atop a sheep shed to survey the changed village."

Outside Hitler's house, crowds "are apt to congregate outside the lodge gate patiently waiting to catch a glimpse of him." Salah was described as being "welcomed before dawn by a cacophonous crowd." Hitler "decided to rebuild" his home in the mountains. Salah "remodeled and refurnished his mother's home." Hitler "likes an after-breakfast stroll on his mountain." Salah explains, "I want to breathe the air, I want to walk." (Alas, the Palestinian is described as being stymied by Israel's parole-like restrictions, just as the piece's less-flattering descriptions of Salah are often linked to his life having been "disrupted" by the Israelis who jailed him after the murder.)

Similar currents can be found in the newspapers treatment of other anti-Jewish violence. A recent piece in the New York Times Magazine was roundly criticized for romanticizing Palestinian stone-throwers. It painted a picture of heroic activists who do little but "irritate" the Israelis while overlooking the reality that stones kill Jewish civilians. (Even the piece's anti-Israel supporters delightfully agreed that the piece "featured heroic portraits" of the rioters.) A news article by Rudoren published a few months later likewise cast stone-throwing in a gentle light.

And the title of the story "Helping Hand of Hezbollah Emerging in South Lebanon," about a terrorist group that has carried out massive, bloody attacks targeting Jews across the world, speaks for itself.

The New York Times, in short, hasn't stopped putting a friendly face on violent anti-Semites.

Make no mistake: the contexts are dramatically different. No amount of contemporary terror can begin to approach the horror of the Nazi's systematic genocide. But some of the lessons are the same.

About articles on Hitler's home life, which appeared not only in The New York Times but also other mainstream media, Despina Stratigakos, the historian and author, emphasized that "stories considered 'harmless fluff' can serve as powerful propaganda." And speaking about Hitler, though she could have been referring to The Times and its treatment of the murderer Salah, she added that "we can be lulled into changing our ideas of someone through a slick presentation of their private lives."

Americans reading about the bucolic Hitler might conclude that "maybe this person was not as bad as all of the news coming out of Europe seemed to suggest," Stratigakos said. It would quickly emerge that those swayed by the pieces were wrong. And in present just as in the past, the public attitudes of American citizens, shaped by their media, matter. The whitewashing of anti-Jewish extremism and downplaying of dangerous attitudes has consequences for public understanding of the Middle East, and perhaps also for the security of Jews.


Australia: Man bashing feminists answered over domestic violence

Miranda Devine replies to the hate-filled sisters

It is a marvellous irony that the domestic violence activists who have spent the week abusing and misrepresenting me claim to be champions of “respect” for women.

My sin was to point out the incontrovertible truth about domestic violence, that it is overwhelmingly concentrated in dysfunctional remote indigenous communities and public housing estates.

The response from femi-fascists was to try to get me sacked, silenced and banned from twitter.

They called for my “sterilisation”, branded me a “murder apologist”, a “troll”, a “sicko”, an ”idiot”, “a bimbo”, “a vile creature dangerous to kids”, “nasty and vicious”, “stupid”, “a disgrace”, “rabid old hatemonger”, “a typical Australian”.

“Your victim blaming has done almost as much harm to victims of Domestic Violence as the abusers,” read one email.

Yes, the faux-rage meter was at full tilt.

But I value these intemperate expressions, because they provide evidence of a concerted attempt to cover up the truth.

Domestic violence is the last frontier of feminism. You might think women had already achieved equality in the traditional markers of status in our society, most obviously in higher education, where 60 per cent of university graduates last year were female.

But for feminism to remain relevant, it needs to extend victim status even to the most affluent, pampered women of the chattering classes.

Thus the feminist dogma about domestic violence is that all women are equally at risk and all men potential perpetrators.

In the words of Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, and the Chair of domestic violence lobbying organisation Our Watch: “Violence against women does not discriminate, regardless of ethnicity, social status and geography.”

Only, actually, it does.

This is what I pointed out in the column that has enraged the sisterhood, that domestic violence is concentrated in communities where the underclass lives, where welfare dependency has emasculated men, where drug and alcohol abuse is rife, and intergenerational social disadvantage is entrenched.

I cited the latest data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, showing the rate of domestic violence in Bourke, with its large indigenous population 60 times higher than in affluent north shore Sydney suburbs. The housing estate welfare traps concentrated in Campbelltown and Penrith are similar hotspots.

The evidence is everywhere if you care to look, that poverty, intergenerational dysfunction, mental illness and substance abuse are preconditions for a domestic violence hotspot, with chronic underreporting in indigenous communities hiding the level of distress.

Take the NSW Coroner’s Court’s annual reports of the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team which invariably involve welfare dependent couples in and out of jail, with “cumulative social issues in both cases”.

The cases are marked by “serious social disadvantage including in many cases poverty, substance abuse issues, violent coping mechanisms, intergenerational violence”.

Or take the 2011 BOSCAR report Personal stress, financial stress and violence against women which shows “risk of violence increases progressively with the level of financial stress (and) personal stress”.

For pointing out these inconvenient truths, I was accused of “blaming victims”.

Fake quotes attributed to me, such as: “Rich men don’t hit women.”

The classic modus operandi of feminist outrage sites such as MamaMia is to make up a line, pretend I said it and then attack me for (not) saying it.

This is the intolerance of the femi-fascist. They ignore BOSCAR statistics but trumpet every half-baked internet survey which makes a ludicrous claims such as that a quarter of young Australian men don’t think there’s anything wrong with beating women.

When the Our Watch group, which receives $8 million of federal funding each year to “change attitudes”, wrote a rebuttal to my column this week, it airily claimed that “the latest international evidence shows that factors such as low socio-economic status or harmful use of alcohol do not have a constant or predictable impact on levels of violence against women”.

Yet, when challenged to provide this evidence, Our Watch cited a UN report on domestic violence in other Asia-Pacific countries such as Indonesia, PNG and Bangladesh. When further challenged to provide research from comparable countries to Australia, Our Watch cited a European study which contains Australian criticism of “the lack of attention to social class and to working class community norms and pressures” in domestic violence cases; it also cited a study which found that lower socioeconomic status was more frequent among men enrolled in “batterers’ programs”.

Campaigns such as Destroy the Joint’s Counting Women project insist on making domestic violence a gender issue. It claims 66 women are victims this year, with the implication these are all “intimate partner” homicides, perpetrated by males.

In fact, only about half of the homicides cited could be classified as having a male partner or ex-partner identified as the killer.

Some of the 66 victims were killed by women, by sisters, daughters, a female neighbour or, in one case, a female ex-lover of the victim’s husband, as well as by brothers, fathers, and sons.

Domestic violence is a serious enough without exaggerating.

The activists cherrypick facts to support their dogma, rather than using statistics to better target scarce resources to help the most vulnerable victims, and to address the root causes of domestic violence.

To break the intergenerational cycle of violence, I wrote that we need to “end the welfare incentive for unsuitable women to keep having children to a string of feckless men”. This was twisted to claim that I had called victims of domestic violence “unsuitable women”.

The dishonesty is clear. The aim is to avoid the obvious, that boys brought up in an environment of chaos, dysfunction and violence, who are neglected and abused, are more likely to become abusive, violent men with poor impulse control.

But these are not facts the man-bashing femi-fascists who control the domestic violence industry want to hear.



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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

There really is an actress named Donna Air

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

Index page for this site


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"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest
Dagmar Schellenberger
My alternative Wikipedia


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

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General Backup 2
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Another picture page (Rarely updated)

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Status Quo?
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism

Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Main academic menu
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basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following: