The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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


31 October, 2016

Multicultural ethics deficit

After winning the Boston Marathon in April 2014, Rita Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in a September 2014 sample given during training for the Chicago race.

Former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo had her doping ban doubled to four years and was stripped of her 2014 Boston title Wednesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In its ruling, the CAS judging panel extended Jeptoo’s ban until October 2018 and stripped her of her prize and appearance money dating back to April 17, 2014. The Kenyan runner previously lost her 2014 Chicago victory.

The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement that it supports the CAS’s decision and that it will seek to recoup Jeptoo’s 2014 winnings. The BAA also said it will “initiate a review” of the 2014 race results.

Ethiopian runner Buzunesh Deba placed second in the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Jeptoo had been due to earn a $500,000 bonus for leading the World Marathon Majors series standings for the combined 2013 and 2014 seasons. She won back-to-back Boston and Chicago titles in 2013.

Now 35, Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in a September 2014 sample given during training for the Chicago race.

Last week, Jeptoo spoke of her intention to return to competition once her initial two-year ban expired. But on Wednesday her partner said they were expecting that the punishment might be extended after the IAAF appealed what it felt was a lenient ban imposed by the Kenyan track federation.

"They had said they would add two years and she was aware of that," said Noah Busienei, Jeptoo’s partner. "There is no other avenue available to appeal the decision and we shall decide the way forward."

CAS said it upheld the IAAF’s appeal to increase Jeptoo’s original two-year ban, which was to expire this week. Athletes can be banned for four years over a first offense if there are aggravating circumstances.

"[It] was obvious to the panel that the athlete used EPO as part of a scheme or plan," the panel ruled, citing evidence including her long relationship with the unidentified doctor and "multiple visits to see him" which she hid from her manager and coach.

The "undisputed source" of the red-blood-cell-boosting hormone was an injection by her doctor, the ruling stated.

Jeptoo was also criticized for deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the [CAS] proceedings." "The athlete provided various differing accounts of the circumstances leading up to the injection and also regarding her relationship with that doctor," the court said.

Jeptoo is the highest profile of dozens of Kenyan athletes to be banned for doping offenses over the last four years. Her case reflects a common issue in Kenya: Doctors providing athletes with banned substances for cash.

Serious problems with Kenya’s anti-doping program — including allegations of corruption among authorities — led to the country being declared noncompliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the run-up to this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF gave the East African nation until the end of the year to sort out its problems or face an international ban like Russia.

A scheduled two-day court hearing for Jeptoo in April was postponed and two lawyers withdrew from representing her.

When a hearing in Switzerland was held in July, Jeptoo initially joined by telephone but "opted to leave the hearing during the opening statements," the court said.

The Kenyan track body also pulled out of the proceedings, CAS said.

Although CAS said that Jeptoo hid her EPO use from her coach and manager at the time, Jeptoo’s former coach is currently facing criminal charges in Kenya, accused of providing Jeptoo and another athlete with banned substances.

Jeptoo’s former manager also faces doping charges, although they relate to him allegedly providing two other athletes, not Jeptoo, with banned substances. Coach Claudio Berardelli and manager Federico Rosa, who are both Italian nationals, deny the charges.


Sweden Bans Christmas Street Lights; To Avoid Offending Muslim Migrants?

Towns across Sweden have banned Christmas street lights in the name of “security,” but the real reason is almost certainly because the country has completely capitulated to Islam after importing countless Muslim migrants over the last two years.

According to an SVT report, The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) will not allow municipalities to erect Christmas street lights on light poles that the authority manages, meaning that many towns will have no festival lights at all on major streets.

According to Speisa, “The change is a victory for those who want to tone down the reminder of the country’s Christian traditions, but according to the Swedish Transport Administration, the decision for the drastic change is “security”.

“Poles are not designed for the weight of Christmas lights, and we have to remove anything that should not be there,” said Eilin Isaksson, national coordinator at the Swedish Transport Administration.

The argument that the lights are too heavy and pose a safety risk sounds like complete baloney.

Swedes are being asked to believe that lights normally held up by tree branches are now too weighty to be supported by metal poles.
Despite there being no safety issue with the street lights for decades, this new rule has been instituted right after record numbers of Muslim migrants flooded into the country – just a coincidence I’m sure.

In reality, the Christmas lights ban is almost certainly an effort to avoid offending Muslim migrants who are causing chaos in cities like Malmo, where the firebombing of cars and businesses in or near Muslim ghetto ‘no-go areas’ is becoming a routine occurrence.

As we previously reported, a top Swedish Bishop advocated removing crosses from a Christian church and replacing them with Islamic symbols in order to please Muslims.
Last Christmas, it was also announced that a Christmas Eve special broadcast on public television would be hosted by a Muslim woman.

Some areas of Sweden are even capitulating to returning ISIS terrorists by offering jihadists free driving licenses and housing benefits to help them “reintegrate into the job market”.


London’s biggest noise pollution problem isn’t Heathrow, it’s the loud whining of a bunch of rich liberals who won’t put Britain first

It must be great living in London mustn't it? They are the first to have everything; from free concerts to 5G, proper transport to world-class hospitals and city salaries.

In fact, London receives more funding from the public purse than every other English region put together; £5,305 per person, compared to UK average of £3,192 per person.

Despite having more businesses and more start-up businesses than any other region (the capital has 470 businesses and 98 start-ups per 10,000 residents) London still receives the most infrastructure investment.

You get my drift. In my native Devon, we are still communicating via coke cans and bits of string.

A lovely young electrician from an energy company came to fit a Smart Meter into my house (against my advice). He told me it would have to be a dumb meter, because we just didn't have the connectivity.

Frankly, it is surprising we even have sanitation. Most homes have made their outdoor toilet into an extra bit of kitchen.

Many of us still eat road kill to avoid a weekly trip to Sainsbury's.

But I am not complaining because I choose to live here, and commute like a crazy woman to earn a wage.

I choose to put my children in the place of my birth, because I want them to have the childhood I had; beaches, rolling countryside and plenty of smiling old people waiting patiently to die.

And that's the thing about the third runway at Heathrow. Here in the Rest of Britain, (a foreign country to London), we made our choices.

We swapped cheap public transport, for living near family and friends. And gave up decent wages for a better life, lived well.

If you bought your house at a place called Gatwick or Heathrow, expect there to be some planes. If you need a clue, when you go to a house viewing, look up.

In 1930, an aircraft builder, Richard Fairey paid £15,000 to the vicar of Harmondsworth for a 150-acre to build a private airport, the Great West aerodrome. The proposed new runway is in, you guessed it, Harmondsworth.

So I don't wish to be a stickler for detail, but unless you bought your house before 1930, I've little sympathy with your plight. You buy a home near an airport, you can expect it to expand. And if you don't like the sound or planes or the noise of them, an airport locale is not the place for you.

In fact, the government are going to be paying generous compulsory purchase sums to those needing to up sticks and relocate.

In the 13 years since the third runway was proposed, house prices in Harmondsworth have jumped nearly 75 per cent, pushing the compensation cost to home owners up £55 million to nearly £1.5 billion.

People with homes subject to compulsory purchase receiving 125 per cent of full market value for their homes, plus stamp duty, legal fees and moving costs. Where I live, that's called an opportunity.

I've spotted a lovely four bed detached house with a garage and garden in my neck of the woods is £330,000.

So if it's the countryside you're going to miss, move south and you'll be the wealthiest homeowner in the village.

We need to accept there are always going to be decisions the government makes we don't like. These are for the greater good.

My own town has allegedly block-sold social housing to councils in Birmingham, Bradford and other unsavoury places in the country, queue jumping locals desperately in need of a home.

My friends have changed the name of the new development from Cranbrook to Crimebrook in their honour.

Other parts of the country are equally impacted. Fifteen, four-hundred-foot wind turbines in Greater Manchester are either recommended for planning application approval or being built.

Local residents are furious. They bought their houses completely unaware they were near a future green energy paradise.

One minute they were walking their dogs admiring the view. The next a bunch of liberal do-gooders who recycle their used tea bags into tampons had whacked up thundering great turbines in their back yard, to meet our carbon commitment to the E.U.

A cute little village of 6,000 locals where I used to take violin lessons as a child, about as multicultural as Cornwall, has just accepted 70 'kids' from Calais (most of whom have beards and arthritis).

Stuck in the middle of nowhere without a passing truck for distraction, I am at a loss how this decision was ever made.

My point is that these things happen. To all of us. And most don't buy our house with the subtle hint of a flight taking off and landing every 45 seconds to give us due warning.

It is all very well for Zac Goldsmith to throw his teddies out of his pram and flounce off to the warm embrace of his wealthy London constituents, resigning his seat in Parliament.

I am pretty sure this has less to do with principles than swerving a tonne of wealthy widows in Waitrose, bating for his blood.

In his area, average second-hand sale prices in the year to May 2016 were £975,000, against £566,000 in London as a whole. A four bed semi-detached house near the town centre costs £2million.

So I can tell you Zac - from the Rest of England - we don't feel your pain. Your problems are more first world than Beyoncé's.

He says the airport will be bad for noise pollution, bad for air pollution and bad for London.  Tough luck Sadiq. It is time London took one for the team. Look at it as a payoff for the extra £2,000 per head of public spending Londoners receive.

The Airports Commission have estimated that Heathrow expansion will create up to 179,800 jobs and up to £211billion in regional benefits across the UK by 2050.

Finally, the Rest of Britain will see their share of the pie. Heathrow has proposed six new routes to Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley.

Given house prices in Richmond and London as a whole, I think a little extra noise in the city is a small price to pay.

And if the taxpayer is paying for your council house, then perhaps this is a good opportunity to move somewhere quieter and more affordable for hard-working Brits who pay your rent.

I asked the Rest of Britain what they thought about politicians and Londoners dithering over the third runway at Heathrow.

Seventy per cent said 'quit bleating and get it built'.

Remoaners, this is the Brexiteers speaking - build us a third runway. Put up, shut up or get up and move.


The Asian [Muslim] sex grooming scandal in Rotherham continues: Now a court has given lifetime anonymity to four men who preyed on a vulnerable girl for years. What IS going on?

A strange and troubling drama reached its conclusion behind the red-brick façade of the Civil Hearing Centre in Leeds on Tuesday, involving two QCs (both publicly funded), a High Court judge, several more barristers and solicitors, four Asian men and a vulnerable white girl in her teens known only as ‘Child G’.

The case was highly delicate: Rotherham Council was seeking to prevent this girl, who lives in the South Yorkshire town, from what it believed was the very real risk of sex abuse and exploitation at the hands of the four men. 

Child G’s tale stretched back to early childhood when she was born into a chaotic, impoverished and broken home. According to the judge, Mr Justice Cobb, she had suffered ‘physical, emotional and sexual abuse from different quarters over a number of years’.

In 2012, her situation came to the attention of social workers after she’d persistently played truant and run away from home, and was found to be regularly self-harming and taking drugs. By 2014, it was feared she was also involved in inappropriate and perhaps illegal relationships with a number of older Asian men.

In particular, the teenager (then still under the age of consent) embarked on what Justice Cobb called ‘personal and sexual relationships’ with three of the four individuals at the centre of this week’s proceedings.

Even more worryingly, the adult men soon began to be physically abusive towards her.

Police were told, for example, that two of them had assaulted her, while one had also ‘caused criminal damage’ to her home. At one point, according to Justice Cobb, Child G told officers that she was particularly ‘fearful’ of one of the men, who had a criminal record for ‘offences associated with drugs and violence’.

For a while, therefore, Rotherham Council used the Children’s Act to take her off the streets and into secure accommodation.

But matters came to a head on August 12 when Child G went missing. After a brief search, police found the teenager in a cheap hotel, alongside one of the three older men, who was referred to in court as LL.

‘Among the items found with them in the hotel were vodka, cannabis, condoms and Asian female clothing,’ said the judge.

Police quickly established that another older man, referred to as MM, had visited the hotel earlier that day, before leaving.

There was no record of the girl having previously met MM, leading to serious concerns about what he might have being doing at the hotel, and the judge said that ‘officers attending at the scene believed that she was the victim of child sexual exploitation’.

The police, he added, decided to immediately arrest both LL and MM ‘on suspicion of trafficking’.

Temporary injunctions were immediately sought and obtained preventing all four of the Asian men from seeking to contact the girl, who was taken to a safe house.

This month, some 60-odd days later, Rotherham Council was — quite understandably — seeking to have the temporary injunctions made permanent at the family court hearing in Leeds.

To that end, proceedings began last Wednesday.

However, they almost immediately took a series of odd and deeply worrying turns, and the case would soon end in disarray, at huge cost to the taxpayer, with the Asian men once more allowed to fraternise with Child G.

We shall consider these events in proper detail later. First, though, a crucial point: that on the streets of Rotherham, the troubling story of Child G happens also to be appallingly common.

For the town has been at the centre of a notorious child-grooming scandal, which since the late Nineties has seen an estimated 1,400 underage girls raped, sexually abused and, in some cases, forced into prostitution, usually by gangs of much older British-Pakistani men.

Like Child G, the vast majority of these tragic victims are white, working class, and emotionally vulnerable, with dysfunctional family backgrounds.

Typically aged 11 or 12 when first targeted, the stories of their abuse tend to be strikingly similar.

Usually they begin with the girl being befriended by an older Asian teenager in a local park or shopping centre, or even at the school gate.

Flattered by the attention, the girl agrees to exchange phone numbers. Messages are shared and a relationship — soon sexual — ensues.

Before long, the older man starts plying his underage victim with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and other ‘rewards’. After a time, he frequently decides to coerce her into sleeping with adult friends and members of his extended family.

Eventually, he may even demand payment in exchange for allowing acquaintances to sleep with her, effectively turning the girl into a child prostitute.

In case after case, young girls caught up in such relationships have ended up being subjected to more serious abuse: beaten, driven hundreds of miles to be sexually abused by groups of men they barely know, set on fire. At least one has been murdered.

Other crimes identified in official investigations, including a damning 2014 report by Alexis Jay — recently named as the latest head of the Government’s troubled inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse — have included ‘rape with a broken bottle and girls being ordered to kiss perpetrators feet at gunpoint’.

For the hundreds of victims, the trauma of such abuse was for years compounded by the apparent indifference of Rotherham Council, social services and police force to crimes happening under their nose.

Social workers first identified the problem of Asian gangs targeting troubled white girls in the late Nineties. But a climate of political correctness in the Labour-run town meant that they refused to take it seriously, for fear of being called ‘racist’.

Also, it is suspected that Labour politicians don’t want to offend the Pakistani community, who form a sizeable proportion of their voters.

Over ensuing years, evidence was shamefully withheld from official inquiries. Reports detailing the problem, including a hard-hitting one in 2002 by a lawyer called Adele Weir, were buried by the authorities. Critical case files were lost or stolen, including a crucial tranche which disappeared from the office of a local youth charity called Risky Business in an unsolved burglary.

Even when underage girls approached the police or social workers for help, they were often dismissed as ‘slags’ or — since they looked older than their years — treated as hardened prostitutes.

At times, the Labour council seemed almost complicit in abuse.

In 2013, its former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, was forced to resign after it emerged that he’d brokered a deal with police in which a violent offender who’d impregnated a missing 14-year-old girl would go unpunished provided he handed her over at a petrol station.

The offender, who was later jailed for multiple child sex offences, turned out to be a relation of Akhtar.

When Jay’s highly critical report was published in 2014 — tearing shreds out of council staff who were afraid to raise ‘ethnic issues … for fear of being thought racist’ — Rotherham found itself caught up in a national scandal.

Since then, two major court cases have seen some of the worst offenders punished, with 12 men and two women convicted so far.

In one, which ended in February, six members of a gang led by three brothers — Arshid, Basharat and Banaras Hussain (aged 40, 39 and 36 respectively) — were jailed for a total of 102 years, after being found guilty of 52 offences against 15 teenage girls.

During the trial, jurors were told of a shocking incident when police discovered Banaras Hussain receiving oral sex from a teenage girl in a town centre car park, but ignored it.

‘When, shortly afterwards, a police car pulled up alongside them and asked what was going on, Banaras Hussain shouted “She’s just sucking my c**k, mate”. The police car drove off,’ the court was told.

A fortnight ago, another eight men were found guilty of 19 charges related to the abuse of three teenagers. The main complainant, now grown up, had been 13 years old when she was ‘subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature’.

The ringleader, 30-year-old Sageer Hussain, was the brother of Arshid, Basharat and Banaras. He played a key role in ‘befriending young girls’ who were then ‘passed to his friends, elder brothers, and associates’.

Fast forward to last week and with the future of Child G, who is now in her late teens, at stake, Rotherham Council hired a QC, Frances Heaton, and a second junior barrister to argue that the four Asian men ought to continue to be prevented from contacting her.

Also in the family court that day were legal representatives of South Yorkshire Police, including Cathryn McGahey, a QC, and a second barrister, along with a second police barrister representing the vulnerable girl.

In addition to these publicly funded lawyers, there were also two journalists in court: one from The Times, the other from the Press Association.

No sooner had proceedings kicked off than Heaton, the counsel for Rotherham Council, asked for everyone apart from Child G’s barrister to be removed from the room — including, crucially, the journalists — so she could conduct a secret meeting with the judge.

This meeting, later chronicled in Mr Justice Cobb’s ruling, saw Heaton announce that ‘having considered with South Yorkshire Police the evidence filed for the final hearing, [her client] no longer considered it appropriate to pursue its applications for the injunctions’.

In other words, having brought an extremely important case to court, at huge expense to the taxpayer, Rotherham Council was, at the last minute, seeking to drop it due to a supposed lack of evidence.

So what on Earth was going on? It is hard to be entirely sure, though one possible explanation emerged after reporters were allowed back into court.

At this point, having abandoned its efforts to prevent the Asian men from seeing Child G, Rotherham Council said that it would like all four of them to be granted lifelong anonymity.

What is more, the council (supported by South Yorkshire police) wanted its arguments in support of this bid to be heard in private, with newspapers banned from reporting them.

Here, they were out of luck: Mr Justice Cobb said he regarded that level of secrecy, over a case which carried huge public interest, as ‘unnecessary’.

However, on the other count, Rotherham got its wish: on Tuesday, the judge controversially ruled that the men’s identities should be kept secret for ever, on the grounds that naming them might lead to the identification of the girl.

The judge also said there was a risk that ‘given the strength of feeling in Rotherham about those who engage in child sexual exploitation, they would be pilloried and/or targeted in their communities’.

All of which means that Rotherham Council has just spent four days in court pursuing an extremely expensive legal case which had only one substantive outcome: preventing the Press from naming four Asian men suspected of inappropriate relations with a very vulnerable teenage girl.

No one is able to explain why they so suddenly abandoned their — on paper, very sensible — attempt to prevent the four men from ever contacting this Child G.

It is a shambolic state of affairs, which cost a huge sum and may have left the vulnerable girl more, rather than less, at risk than she was previously.

Significantly, in this context, the judge criticised a ‘failure of collective responsibility’ by the police and the council to ‘work in partnership’ on the case.

‘If they didn’t have enough evidence even to try to pursue the case, or even to ask the judge to keep the four men away from this girl, why did they let it get so far?’ asks one observer of proceedings.

‘What was really going on? How much did this all cost? And why did they try to keep everything secret?

The truth is that it’s impossible to be entirely sure.

In a statement, Rotherham Council blamed the complex nature of such litigation, saying: ‘Work with young people who are at risk of or experiencing child sexual exploitation is very complex, and solutions are often difficult to achieve, particularly where the young person is at the age of consent and is unable to recognise potentially exploitative situations.’

One source with knowledge of proceedings says the bid to prevent the four Asian men contacting Child G was dropped because Rotherham’s legal team discovered, as they were walking into court, that the council’s request wouldn’t be supported by South Yorkshire Police.

‘Quite why the council’s in-house solicitors never bothered to speak about this with their colleagues from the police until moments before they turned up in court, I will never know,’ the source says.

Yet other, cynically minded observers wonder if the case was also dropped in order to avoid Press scrutiny.

Recent history in Rotherham certainly suggests a theme here.

For Rotherham Council has repeatedly smeared and undermined news organisations which have attempted to shed light on child sex grooming in the town.

The ugly scandal was first properly reported in 2010, by the Mail’s Sue Reid, who following a shocking court case in which five local men of Asian origin were jailed, wrote a report on the ‘troubling taboo’ of such exploitation.

Disgracefully, Reid was called a liar and a racist, and accused of making up stories that had, in fact, been told to her by victims and their families.

In 2012, a number of police and social service files, detailing awful abuse of girls in Rotherham, were then published by The Times newspaper.

In response, South Yorkshire police accused the paper of exploiting victims.

Rotherham Council, for its part, had previously attempted to obtain a gagging order preventing a Times story from being published.

When that failed, they complained of a ‘politically motivated’ attack on a Labour council by the Right-wing Press. They then launched an inquiry — not to examine its own misconduct, but to find and punish the source of the leak.

It was not until August 2013, when The Times published the story of a girl called Jessica, who before her 16th birthday had been twice impregnated by a convicted criminal allowed daily contact with her by Rotherham’s social services, that a proper investigation, the Jay Inquiry, was ordered.

With this in mind, the former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has campaigned against secrecy in the family courts, smells a rat about recent events.

‘Rotherham has a track record of trying to stifle Press scrutiny of what they are up to, and have often behaved as if their priority is covering their backs, rather than protecting children from sexual exploitation. Whatever their agenda in this particular case, they have spent an enormous amount of money on a legal process which achieved very little in terms of protecting a vulnerable girl.’

Following the Jay Inquiry’s publication two years ago, council leader Roger Stone, chief executive Martin Kimber and director of children’s services Joyce Thacker all quit, and councillors resigned en masse.

South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright, who had been councillor in charge of Rotherham’s children’s services from 2005 to 2010, quit three weeks later.

Since then, massive resources have been put into hunting down the men who abused girls with impunity in Rotherham for so many years. A National Crime Agency operation, Operation Stovewood, expected to run for around eight years and costing £30 million, is pursuing 91 offences involving 82 victims. A total of 69 officers were said to be on the inquiry this summer, with funding for another 48 approved by the Home Office.

Their work is supposed to ensure that girls in Britain never suffer at the hands of such evil men again.

Yet vulnerable teenagers are still finding themselves in the sights of Rotherham’s vile gangs. And this week’s court case shows that, despite everything that has happened, the local authorities would appear to be far better at gagging the Press than they are at protecting innocent victims such as Child G.



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


30 October, 2016

Do taxi-drivers have more sense than singers?  It seems likely

Singer Lily Allen today claimed a taxi driver refused to pick her and her children up and told her to 'find an immigrant to drive you, you stupid tart'.

The 31-year-old sparked outrage earlier this month when she made a tearful apology 'on behalf of her country' to a 13-year-old Afghan refugee in Calais, France.

She broke down in tears and told the refugee, who has since been reunited with his father in Birmingham: 'I'm sorry for what we have put you through'.

And today she posted a message on her Twitter account to her 5.8million followers to inform them what a black cabbie [driver of a black cab] allegedly told her.

She wrote: 'Just tried to get in a black cab with my kids. The driver looked at me and said, 'find an immigrant to drive you you stupid tart'.'

Her tweet comes after she met the young boy at the 'Jungle' refugee camp near Calais after he risked his life attempting to board a lorry heading for the UK.

The youngster had been staying at the camp on the edge of the northern French port city for two months.

But her comments led to her receiving abuse online as some people claimed her 'crocodile tears' and apology were simply 'ridiculous'.

The mother-of-two continued to say on Twitter: ‘I had both my hands full with children, couldn’t get to my phone fast enough.’

She told another person they were ‘victim shaming’ her after he said the incident ‘definitely didn’t happen’.

Another Twitter user said: ‘When you insult the country the country’s going to insult you back. It’s called “consequences” and even happens to the very rich.’

Another accused her of deliberately smearing London’s black cabs on a day when rivals Uber were criticised.

Tom at Tjab1425 wrote: ‘@lilyallen what a load of b*******... Funny how this comes out on the day #ubered are found guilty of treating their workers as slaves.’

A spokesman for Transport For London, which licenses 25,000 black cab drivers, said: ‘We’ve asked for more information about this, it’s unacceptable behaviour for any TfL licensed driver.

‘We are taking this allegation very seriously and ask anyone with more information, such as the cab number, to get in touch with us.’

The Smile singer, who has released three albums, later defended herself by adding that she was saying sorry to a 'helpless child for the part this country has played in contributing to his dire situation'.

During the meeting with the boy, which was shown on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, Allen said the English 'put him in danger'.

She said to the boy: 'It just seems that at three different intervals in this young boy's life, the English in particular have put you in danger.

'We've bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.

'I apologise on behalf of my country. I'm sorry for what we have put you through.'

After she met the teenager, the singer - whose hit Smile reached number one in 2006 - continued to post online after she received abuse following her comments.

She added: 'A lot of people saying I should be more concerned about cases of migrants raping our own citizens.

'I was talking about the 1,022 unaccompanied children in Calais, who are to be evicted next week.

'I haven't heard any cases of children raping people here, I'd imagine they're far more likely to suffer at the hands of opportunist abusers.'

And her tweet this afternoon comes just days after she said animosity towards refugees in Britain should be compared to Hitler and the Nazis.

She suggested Britons are victims of Joseph Goebbels-style propaganda and that children are taught about the Second World War from 'an early age' and 'how evil Hitler was'.

Allen added: 'You always wonder how he (Hitler) managed to get the whole country to go along with that. Now we're seeing it.'

Her comments have led to criticism from Jewish groups and broadcaster Nick Ferrari told LBC listeners: 'So, another one of these people who likens what's happening in the Calais Jungle to what happened in the Second World War.

'The last time I looked, the showers in Calais dispensed water. As I recall, the showers with Hitler dispensed gas that killed people.

'The last time I looked, people were rounded up against their will, thrown on cattle trucks and driven halfway across Europe without water or anything.

'This time they're carefully processed, details are taken and if they can, they're send to countries such as Britain.' 


A reform of rape laws that's anti-men because of our desperation to increase convictions

When Ross Poldark kicked open the door of Elizabeth’s bedroom, kissed her forcibly and then had sex with her on the matrimonial bed, many insisted it was rape.

Women’s groups said the BBC shouldn’t have shown the scene because she initially seemed to resist him and ‘No’ means ‘No’.

It sparked a national debate over predatory male behaviour and whether rape victims are let down by the judicial system.

But I have watched the scene three times. Not once does Elizabeth actually say ‘No’.

She unlocks her bedroom door when Ross arrives. She taunts him and, when he kisses her, says: ‘You wouldn’t dare.’

Next she’s swooning in his arms as he throws her onto the bed, then she’s returning his kisses.

Despite her aunt being in the house, as well as her son and servants, she never cries out for help.

When Ross finally leaves at dawn, she coyly asks when she will see him again.

May I suggest this simply wasn’t rape. Not that you’d know it from all the breast-beating the scene provoked as feminists reverted to the default position that all men are potential rapists and all women victims.

That is why 40 female MPs demanded this week that the law should be changed to protect alleged rape victims from having their sex lives revealed in court following the Ched Evans case.

Evans is, of course, the loathsome footballer who indulged with a drunken girl in a threesome.

He was acquitted of rape during a retrial in which details of the girl’s sexual history were revealed by two of her former lovers.

The MPs feel allowing this evidence will deter women from reporting rape, and want the sexual history of the victim to be inadmissible in future.

But whatever you think of Evans — and he’s clearly an amoral man — the girl’s sexual past was relevant in this case and helped prove his innocence.

So what is preferable?

The right of a woman who remains anonymous to have her past censored? Or a named man to be wrongly jailed because the jurors were denied vital information?

But then we live in a Kafkaesque world in which a draft amendment before the Lords would mean men accused of rape may not be allowed to know the name of their accusers.

This would be an appalling abuse of justice. In our desperation to increase rape convictions, the courts are tipping the scales against men. They are deemed to be guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent.


The BBC wins a landmark victory in the fight against Islamic extremism

Shakeel Begg is an influential extremist who is also chief Imam of the Lewisham Islamic Centre.  His radical views are readily available and well-known.  But despite these downsides a chap like him also possesses certain considerable advantages.  Not least is the fact that he lives in a society which is only very slowly waking up to the threat that people like him pose.

If Begg were a Protestant preacher from Northern Ireland then he would not have been able to make any public appearance for years without being forced to bake the biggest, gayest cake possible right there and then.  If he refused, the whole of civilised society would round on him to explain what a great big ‘phobe’ he was.  But Shakeel Begg is not a Protestant preacher and nor would he draw the line in his perfect society at merely not baking the cake for one’s gay nuptials.

As such, he is also lucky enough to live in a country where many people who should be in the business of investigation and inquiry fail in their obligations.  Many of them do so because they are understandably put off by being called names such as ‘racist’.  In these cases, such names are insincerely but deliberately used as a smokescreen to allow extremist behaviour to continue.

Another advantage for the Beggs of this world is living in a country where useful idiots from the other monotheisms are always on hand to play ‘interfaith’ games and in the process either wittingly or unwittingly provide further cover for some seriously bad people.

However, despite all of this, the Beggs do have a problem.  Like a bigamist dashing between their wives, he must perforce to keep two sets of books.  For although most of his interlocutors – like his beards at the interfaith councils – don’t know what they are doing or what questions to ask, he knows that were they to find out, even they may look askance at one of their peaceful members telling his audiences, for instance, to go abroad and fight Jihad.  They may even eventually recognise that the Imam in question means ‘Jihad’ in a very real sense and not in the sense of going and finding a Jew somewhere and then having a really intense personal struggle in front of them.

How to keep these two worlds apart?  Well here is where the extremists have their final advantage.  Which is that they can always revert to the law.  Not the law of Allah – immutable and all powerful though they claim to think it is – but the good old English legal system.  And unlike most of the rest of us, these chaps can generally find some low-grade legal team to represent them in their vexatious complaints.  The aim is clear.  They never really want to get to court, because they know if they do, they might be caught telling the truth on the record.  But they do want to make the cost of questioning their views exceptionally high.  Their long-term hope is that journalists get so fed up of the bother that they give up discovering stories about people who are trying to subvert our societies and report instead on what the Kardashians are doing today.

So three cheers for the BBC.  For our national broadcaster refused to give in when – in the wake of an edition of the Sunday Politics in November 2013 – Andrew Neil of this parish mentioned on air that Begg had described jihad as ‘the greatest of deeds.’  Begg sued for libel.  And while most papers and broadcasters worry about the extraordinary financial and reputational cost and try to settle when something like this comes up, the BBC fought Begg all the way.  Earlier today the judge in the case dismissed Begg’s case and his judgement is damning.  Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described Begg as ‘something of a Jekyll and Hyde character.’  He went on:

‘He appears to present one face to the general, local and inter-faith community and another to particular Muslim and other receptive audiences. The former face is benign, tolerant and ecumenical.
‘The latter face is ideologically extreme and intolerant.’
The Judge also went on:

‘The various core extremist messages which emerge from the claimant’s speeches and utterances would, in my view, have been quite clear to the audiences.
‘The claimant’s ostensible cloak of respectability is likely to have made his [extremist] message in these speeches all the more compelling and seductive. For this reason, therefore, his messages would have been all the more effective and dangerous.
‘It is all too easy for someone in the claimant’s position of power and influence as an Imam to plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind, which is then liable to be propagated on the internet.’
Happily Shakeel Begg will now face a very large legal bill.  I for one will be opening a bottle to celebrate that fact tonight.

What the viewing and reading public often do not know is that because of two-faced Imams like Begg, for every tiny piece about some Islamist nutcase that does go on air, there are now often weeks or even months of costly work behind the scenes to respond to the resulting barrage of legal claims from the Islamists who use the law cost free most of the time.  This is how they operate.  And for once that fact has been exposed.

There are now some very serious questions for a set of institutions to answer.

The first is Lewisham mosque.  How can Imam Begg remain in place?  How can an institution led by a man proved in court to be a liar and an extremist possibly retain its charitable status?  Perhaps readers would like to ask the Charity Commission themselves.  Complaints to the Charity Commission can be registered here: The Lewisham Islamic Centre’s Charity number is: 285641.

There are also serious questions to ask of the Muslim Council of Britain.  Imam Begg’s mosque is a member of the MCB.  Why are the MCB happy to continue to have an affiliate member who is now so thoroughly exposed and disgraced?  If the Imam remains in place and the mosque remains a member of the MCB there will be very serious questions to ask of the MCB.

And what, finally, of all the Rabbis and Vicars and others who have given cover to Shakeel Begg all these years?  Have they no shame?  In my experience such people plead ignorance about the extremist connections of some of their Muslim counter-parts.  Well thanks to the BBC they can claim ignorance no longer.


British government's pogrom against journalists finally unwound

'The Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service effectively made up a law on the hoof.

A news reporter who was convicted after a controversial investigation into the payment of public officials has been cleared of all wrongdoing today. 

Sun crime reporter Anthony France, 42, from Watford, was accused of having a four-year 'corrupt relationship' with a police officer but saw his conviction quashed by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London on Thursday.

He was initially found guilty at a trial at the Old Bailey last year and given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Mr France was investigated under the high-profile, multimillion-pound Operation Elveden, which was launched in 2011 to investigate payments by journalists to public officials.

The Metropolitan Police operation, which cost £14.7 million, led to 90 arrests and 34 convictions, including police officers and 21 public officials.

But, out of 29 cases against journalists brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, the only jury conviction to remain standing was that in Mr France's case.

A number of reporters were cleared by juries. Others had charges against them dropped, or they launched successful appeals following conviction.

After the ruling, Mr France said: 'I am delighted that this serious miscarriage of justice has ended today, allowing me to rebuild my life after 1,379 days of sheer hell.'

A News UK spokeswoman added after the ruling: 'Today, Anthony France's conviction has been overturned on appeal and we are delighted that these proceedings are now over for him.

'In the course of the last five years, 19 journalists from The Sun were prosecuted as a result of Operation Elveden and not one has resulted in any conviction being upheld.'

The ruling led to criticism of both the police and CPS from within the journalism and legal industries. Lawyer David Allen Green, who has a column for the Financial Times, wrote on Twitter that the CPS 'cobbled together' a piece of 'legal daftness' to go after journalists and that 'serious questions should be asked' over the decision to prosecute.

He said: 'When evidence of reporters paying public officials came to light, there was a legal problem for the police/cps. 'The problem was to identify what offences had allegedly been committed. What would be the charges? A basic point, you could say. 'The alleged offences took place before the Bribery Act was in place. So that Act couldn't be used.

'The public officials were therefore prosecuted for the ancient but vague offence of "misconduct in public office". Many pleaded guilty. 'But that left the reporters. They were not public officials and so could not be prosecuted for that (primary) offence.

'But the CPS decided to prosecute the reporters anyway: and used a strange legal means for doing so. The CPS constructed an elaborate (secondary) offence of aiding/abetting/conspiring with he public official to commit misconduct.

'The courts and juries could not make much sense of the offence - what was the requisite criminal intention? And so on. So in case after case in this "Operation Elveden", at great public expense, all the reporters (but one) were acquitted.'

He added: 'Some may say it is unfair to criticse the CPS over any acquittal. But this failure by CPS was wide-ranging and systemic.  'With France's acquittal, serious questions can and should now be asked of CPS over its prosecutions of reporters under Elveden.'

Press Gazette Editor Dominic Ponsford also wrote a column taking aim at the police and CPS over the 'shameful episode in the history of the UK criminal justice system'. He wrote: 'The Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service effectively made up a law on the hoof.

'They used the obscure offence of misconduct in public office against journalists who paid state employees for stories.'

Mr Ponsford added: 'What sort of a country puts journalists who wrote true stories about matters of public interest behind bullet proof glass at its top criminal court?'

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: 'The appeal court's decision shows why there needs to be far wider protection for journalists reporting in the public interest.

'In most of the cases in which journalists were charged, ordinary members of the public who made up juries clearly decided that journalists were working in the public interest.

'The police and the Crown Prosecution Service need to think more carefully before they charge journalists for informing the public.  'Careers and lives were destroyed by the over-long and hugely expensive police investigation.'

In May last year Mr France was given a jail sentence of 18 months, suspended for two years, after being convicted of aiding and abetting PC Timothy Edwards, who worked at Heathrow Airport in SO15 counter-terrorism command, to commit misconduct in public office between March 2008 and July 2011.

Mr France, described by the sentencing judge at his Old Bailey trial as a journalist of 'hitherto unblemished character' who was 'essentially a decent man of solid integrity', had his conviction overturned by Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice King and Mr Justice Dove.

Lady Justice Hallett said Mr France was 'one of a number of journalists and public officials whose conduct was investigated by police during Operation Elveden'.

She said: 'He was employed as a junior crime reporter at The Sun newspaper. The Sun openly advertised the fact it would pay money for stories.' Between March 31 2008 and July 1 2011, Edwards 'sold them 38 pieces of information'.

She added: 'The applicant wrote the articles that followed and submitted the necessary forms to his employers for Edwards to be paid. 'The forms had to be approved first by the news editor and then by an editor or deputy editor. In total, The Sun paid Edwards over £20,000.'

Edwards pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and was jailed for two years in 2014.

The jury at Mr France's trial heard that Edwards passed on details ranging from airline pilots being breath-tested to a drunken model flying into a rage after 'catching her boyfriend romping with a woman next to him'.

The appeal centred on directions given to the jury at the trial by Judge Timothy Pontius.

Lady Justice Hallett said: 'Taking any one of those criticisms in isolation, we may not have been persuaded the summing-up rendered the conviction unsafe. 'However, we must consider their cumulative effect and read the summing-up as a whole.

'Having done so, we are driven to the conclusion that the jury were not provided with legally adequate directions tailored to the circumstances of the case and that the conviction is unsafe.'

Mr France said afterwards: 'Having spent more than three years and nine months fighting to clear my name, this is not a time for celebration. 'Nobody has 'won' and the public are less informed.'



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, 2016

Do religious people understand the world LESS? Study claims belief in God makes you struggle with reality

Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen is a prolific publisher on religious matters but this piece suggests to me that she knows very little of Christianity:  A rather large lacuna, one would think. Her findings below sound methodologically acceptable but her interpretation of them is naive. 

She falls victim to the logical fallacy that correlation is causation.  She thinks that the unscientific thinking of Christians lies behind their poor knowledge of science.  It probably does, but not in the way she thinks.  Her clear opinion is that her findings show Christians as a bit dumb and intellectually deficient -- with those limitations also explaining their religiousness.  So once again we have Leftist academics trying to show that religion is stupid (Islam excepted, of course).

But an equally possible interpretation of the findings is that faith leads to reduced interest in science. Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen is apparently unaware that Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world" and that Christians follow on from that by slighting physical world matters in favour of an interest in what they see as metaphysical matters. 

I am an extreme atheist.  I agree with Carnap that all metaphysical statements are meaningless.  But that is just my opinion. Most of the world does find some metaphysical statements persuasive.  So we will have situations where a Christian spends his time on his knees in prayer rather than hunched over a laboratory bench. The Bible will be of interest where a  Bunsen burner is not. And both will learn different things from those different experiences

So I would argue that the results tell us only that Christians and unbelievers have different interests.  They do not tell us anything about mental inadequacies in religious believers. 

I am just speaking basic science is saying that we would need some sort of before and after experiment to isolate the causal direction. A survey cannot do that

I have added the journal abstract after the summary below

A new study has suggested that religious people are more likely to have a poor understanding of the world.

It claims that those with a belief in God are more likely to think that inanimate objects, such as metal and oil can think and feel.

Researchers say that the findings suggest people's lack of understanding about the physical world means they apply their own rules, 'resulting in belief in demons, gods, and other supernatural phenomena'.

The study comes from the University of Helsinki, where researchers went as far as comparing religious people with those with autism, after finding they struggle to understand the realities of the world.

People with strong religious beliefs tended to have a worse understanding of physical phenomenon, such as volcanoes and wind, and were more likely to believe that inanimate objects can think and feel.

For example, religious people tended to agree with statements such as 'stones sense the cold.'

Marjaana Lindeman and Annika Svedholm-Häkkinen, who led the study, told The Independent: 'The more the participants believed in religious or other paranormal phenomena, the lower their intuitive physics skills, mechanical and mental rotation abilities, school grades in mathematics and physics, and knowledge about physical and biological phenomena were.'

The study involved 258 Finnish participants, who were asked how much they agreed with the statement 'there exists an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God' and if they believed in paranormal phenomena such as ghosts and psychic visions.

They were also tested on a range of other topics, including intuitive physics skills and understanding of basic biology.

The results showed that religious people tend to base their actions on instinct, rather than analytical thinking.

A study in 2013 by researchers at the University of Rochester suggested that religious people tend to have a lower IQ.

It suggested that those with high IQs had greater self-control and were able to do more for themselves - so did not need the benefits that religion provides.

But other studies have also found the religious people tend to be happier than those who do not believe in God.


Does Poor Understanding of Physical World Predict Religious and Paranormal Beliefs?

Marjaana Lindeman and Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen


Although supernatural beliefs often paint a peculiar picture about the physical world, the possibility that the beliefs might be based on inadequate understanding of the non-social world has not received research attention. In this study (N?=?258), we therefore examined how physical-world skills and knowledge predict religious and paranormal beliefs. The results showed that supernatural beliefs correlated with all variables that were included, namely, with low systemizing, poor intuitive physics skills, poor mechanical ability, poor mental rotation, low school grades in mathematics and physics, poor common knowledge about physical and biological phenomena, intuitive and analytical thinking styles, and in particular, with assigning mentality to non-mental phenomena. Regression analyses indicated that the strongest predictors of the beliefs were overall physical capability (a factor representing most physical skills, interests, and knowledge) and intuitive thinking style.

issue TOC Volume 30, Issue 5, September/October 2016, Pages 736–742

Multiculturalist jailed for eight years for sex attacks on women as they slept at parties

An actor who played a prisoner in the hit TV show Broadchurch now faces eight years behind bars in real- life after being convicted of a series of sex attacks.

Nyakeh Kpaka, 26, whose stage name is Nakay Kpaka, was regarded as a promising young black actor with a bright future ahead of him after appearing in a number of popular crime and detective dramas including ITV's Broadchurch where he starred alongside David Tennant and Olivia Colman, playing the criminal son of a lawyer who has been locked up for six years.

But in real life he was a 'dangerous sexual predator' who targeted lone women at parties, sexually assaulting victims while they lay sleeping, it can now be revealed.

Kpaka was jailed for eight years for sexual assault yesterday at Woolwich Crown Court after being convicted of three sex attacks on two women.

Now it can be revealed for the first time that while he rose to fame starring in detective dramas, including ITV's Grantchester and Whitechapel, a series in which modern detectives in London's Whitechapel district deal with crimes which replicated Jack the Ripper, Kpaka was preying on vulnerable women off-screen.

In May 2015, Kpaka attended a house party in Blackheath, South East London where he later crept into a bed where a woman was sleeping and sexually assaulted her twice. Terrified, the victim woke up and ran screaming from the bedroom.

Police were called and Kpaka was arrested. But he claimed the victim had consented, even though she had never met him before and had, had little to do with him at the party.

Detectives released him on bail while they investigated.

But a second victim came forward in September last year claiming she had also been sexually assaulted by Kpaka in similar circumstances when she fell asleep at a different house party in Finsbury Park in December 2014.

The woman, who did not know Kpaka prior to the party, had gone to sleep in a bedroom at the house and was woken by Kpaka touching her.

Kpaka was charged with three counts of sexual assault by penetration in February 2016, but he denied the allegations saying the victims willingly took part. But after a short trial he was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court and sentenced to eight years.

Yesterday Detective Constable Peter Thompson, the investigating officer from the Met's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: 'Kpaka is a dangerous sexual predator who has attacked vulnerable lone women whilst they were sleeping in bed at two different house parties.

'Thankfully he has now been caught and convicted and is serving a prison sentence.

'I would like to take this opportunity to thank those present at the parties who came to the assistance of the victims and the victims themselves who showed a great degree of courage to report these offences and give evidence against Kpaka.'

Police believe the actor who trained at Drama Centre London and also worked as a producer, may have attacked others.

Detective Inspector Faye Churchyard, said: 'This is a very positive result for both victims and their families and all those witnesses who came forward.

'I would use this opportunity to appeal for any further victims to come forward and report to police.'


Court halts Obama contractor blacklist

A Texas District Court told the White House it couldn't enforce a proposed blacklist for federal contractors, saying that President Obama exceeded his authority when he called for the new rule.

The court's decision was a preliminary injunction, but the sharp tone of the ruling suggested the administration would face an uphill battle to preserve the rule, which was scheduled to start Tuesday.

"The executive branch appears to have departed from Congress's explicit instructions dictating how violations of the labor law statutes are to be addressed," Judge Marcia Crone said in a ruling issued Monday.

The decision involves a 2014 executive order regarding any company bidding on a federal contract larger than $500,000. Obama's order, issued by the Labor Department last year, requires bidders to report any violations within the last three years of 14 federal labor and safety laws, as well as violations of any equivalent state laws. The contractors also had to report any pending complaints made against it, regardless of whether of a court has reviewed them. If the company wins the contract, it must make follow-up reports every six months until the contract is completed.

A coalition of business groups led by the Associated Builders and Contractors challenged the rule, arguing it was unfair because it meant that companies could lose out on contracts even if the complaints against them were ultimately dismissed. Crone agreed.

"Contracting agencies [are given] the authority to require contractors to report for public disclosure mere allegations of labor law violations, and then to disqualify or require contractors to enter into premature labor compliance agreements based on their alleged violations of such laws in order to obtain or retain federal contracts," Crone wrote. "By these actions, the executive branch appears to have departed from Congress's explicit instructions dictating how violations of the labor law statutes are to be addressed."

Later in the ruling, Crone said Obama's executive order "explicitly conflict[s]" with existing federal rules for banning contractors that violate labor laws and that it "defies reason" that Congress meant to give federal agencies that power.

The National Labor Relations Board, the main federal labor law enforcement agency, reported in its 2015 performance review that it issued more than 1,200 unfair labor practice complaints and that it prevailed "in whole or in part" in 88 percent of the cases litigated.

The Associated Builders and Contractors' vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs, Ben Brubeck, said his organization was "pleased" with the ruling. "The Obama administration cannot order private businesses to publicly disclose mere accusations of labor law violations that have not been fully adjudicated," he said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, also applauded the decision. He argued that the rule would have allowed the government to "to play political favorites, picking and choosing which businesses are ineligible to receive federal contracts — even blocking them for a labor violation that hasn't been proven."


Immigration Controversies

Thomas Sowell

Despite controversies that rage over immigration, it is hard to see how anyone could be either for or against immigrants in general. First of all, there are no immigrants in general.

Both in the present and in the past, some immigrant groups have made great contributions to American society, and others have contributed mainly to the welfare rolls and the prisons. Nor is this situation unique to the United States. The same has been true of Sweden and of other countries in Europe and elsewhere.

Sweden was, for a long time, one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. As of 1940, only about one percent of the Swedish population were immigrants. Even as the proportion of immigrants increased over the years, as late as 1970 90 percent of foreign-born persons in Sweden had been born in other Scandinavian countries or in Western Europe.

These immigrants were usually well-educated, and often had higher labor force participation rates and lower unemployment rates than the native Swedes. That all began to change as the growing number of immigrants came increasingly from the Middle East, with Iraqis becoming the largest immigrant group in Sweden.

This changing trend was accompanied by a sharply increased use of the government’s “social assistance” program, from 6 percent in the pre-1976 era to 41 percent in the 1996-1999 period. But, even in this later period, fewer than 7 percent of the immigrants from Scandinavia and Western Europe used “social assistance,” while 44 percent of the immigrants from the Middle East used that welfare state benefit.

Immigrants, who were by this time 16 percent of Sweden’s population, had become 51 percent of the long-term unemployed and 57 percent of the people receiving welfare payments. The proportion of foreigners in prison was 5 times their proportion in the population of the country.

The point of all this is that there is no such thing as immigrants in general, whether in Europe or America. Yet all too many of the intelligentsia in the media and in academia talk as if immigrants were abstract people in an abstract world, to whom we could apply abstract principles — such as “we are all descendants of immigrants.”

A hundred years ago, when a very different mix of immigrants were coming to a very different America, there was a huge, multi-volume study of how immigrants from different countries had fared here. This included how they did as workers in various industries and in agriculture, and how their children did in school.

Some people like to refer to the past as “earlier and simpler times.” But it is we today who are so simple-minded that it would be taboo to do anything so politically incorrect as to sort out immigrants by what country they came from. As Hillary Clinton said in one of her recently revealed e-mails, she is for “open borders.”

However congenial the idea of open borders may be to elites who think of themselves as citizens of the world, it is not even possible to have everyone come to America and the country still remain America.

What is it that makes this country so different that so many people from around the world have, for centuries, wanted to come here, more so than to any other country? It is not the land or the climate, neither of which is so different from the land and the climate in many other places.

Nor is it the racial makeup of the country, which consists of races found on other continents. What is unique are American institutions, American culture and American economic and other achievements within that framework.

People who came here a hundred years ago usually did so in order to fit within the framework of America and become Americans. Some still do. But many come from a very different cultural background — and our own multiculturalism dogmas and grievance industry work to keep them foreign and resentful of Americans who have achieved more than they have.

Some immigrant groups seek to bring to America the very cultures whose failures led them to flee to this country. Not all individual immigrants and not all immigrant groups. But too many Americans have become so gullible that they are afraid to even get the facts about which immigrants have done well and improved America, and which have become a burden that can drag us all down.



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, 2016

British press ordered NOT to reveal which terrorists are Muslims

European human rights chiefs have told the British press it must not report when terrorists are Muslim.

The recommendations came as part of a list of 23 meddling demands to Theresa May’s government on how to run the media in an alarming  threat to freedom speech.

The report, drawn up by the Council of Europe's human rights watchdog, blamed the recent increase in hate crimes and racism in the UK on the 'worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians', although the research was done before the EU referendum campaign had even begun.

The suggestions sent to Downing Street urging the UK Government to reform criminal law and freedom of the press and in a brutal criticism of the British press, the report recommends ministers 'give more rigorous training' to journalists.

But UK ministers firmly rebutted the remarkable demands, telling the body: 'The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law.'

The report, from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) body, said there had been an increase in hate speech and racist violence in Britain between March 2009 and March 2016.

In an audacious move, the report recommends the British media be barred from reporting the Muslim background of terrorists.

And it comes after multiple terror atrocities by Muslim extremists across Paris, Brussels, Munich and other German cities over the last year.

Over the same period, there have been no major terror attacks in Britain.

The 83-page report states: 'ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent ISIS-related terrorist acts around the world, fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety.

'In this context, it draws attention to a recent study by Teeside University suggesting that where the media stress the Muslim background of perpetrators of terrorist acts, and devote significant coverage to it, the violent backlash against Muslims is likely to be greater than in cases where the perpetrators' motivation is downplayed or rejected in favour of alternative explanations.'

Theresa May's government firmly rebutted the remarkable demands, telling Brussels: 'The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law'
Theresa May's government firmly rebutted the remarkable demands, telling Brussels: 'The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law'

The aftermath of the referendum has raised tensions on both sides of the divide but the report today warned of a rise of in racism
The aftermath of the referendum has raised tensions on both sides of the divide but the report today warned of a rise of in racism .'

The ECRI regularly assesses incidents of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance across the EU's 28 member states.  It bases its analysis on 'a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources'.

ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund, said: 'It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.'

The report also claimed that June's Brexit vote 'seems to have led to a further rise in 'anti-foreigner' sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.


The Radical Turn In World Affairs

The voice of an angry populace will be heard. Recent elections in Germany, Austria, and Spain suggest the migration of displaced Syrians across the continent is leading to political convulsions rarely seen since World War II. Some will describe it as the radicalization of conventional politics. Others will describe these convulsions as a safety valve for the Europeans obliged to deal with the migration issue. For many, any party willing to say "stop" will receive a hearing.

It is not coincidental that in the U.S. that Donald Trump has ridden this horse to the nomination. There are many Americans fed up with uncontrolled immigration and its effect on the criminal justice system, the schools and the quality of city life. Trump may be a maladroit as a spokesman for a movement, but he has a remarkable instinct for unleashing the pent up frustration of a class of people left behind in the race for success.

This populism is a Western wide phenomenon that will reach the Asian shores at some point. In Japan, this political condition will translate into a demographic concern as the population decline affects everything from tax revenue to retail sales. China's disruption isn't far off either.  When the government pulls the plug on inefficient state subsidized businesses and unemployment soars, a dramatic political effect is inexorable.

Later in the fall, Italy faces a constitutional referendum seen as an up-or-down vote on Premier Matteo Renzi's pro European government. In each case, a vote represents a persistent sense of fragmentation, an antiestablishment sentiment dogging most of Europe. Clearly the possibility of the EU unravelling is real. Each populist success seems to engender the next in what detractors would describe as the "populist contagion". French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen is likely to make it into the second round of French voting for the presidency next spring, a prediction that would have seemed far-fetched three years ago.

To some degree the political turbulence is a function of the challenges weighing on Europe's economies. It is instructive that the Brexit vote did not have the catastrophic effect on the United Kingdom as was predicted. But, interestingly the EU has suffered from the British vote. The precise contours of the political debate vary from one place to the next, but the disaffection with  the so-called establishment echoes across the continent and to the other side of the Atlantic.

Clearly the major point of contention that accounted for the Brexit vote and the emergence of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate is the refugee policy. Merkel's German rivals use slogans such as "Politics for our own people" and Trump contends "we must be a country again". The meaning is clear. Many people have a diffuse feeling the government no longer has this refugee challenge under control.

With stagnant economies and the insertion of millions of refugees into the equation, Europe is facing the prospect of radical politics and the U.S. is not far behind. The globe is shaking with the realization that the assumptions of the past are not valid, that history is taking a turn into the unknown and the precarious. It is time for a reckoning; when it will end and where it will end is anyone's guess.


The latest attack on free speech in South Africa

Minister Michael Masutha: Media briefing on the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

Our nation is founded on the commitment to build a non-racial, non-sexist and human rights-based society. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution sets out the very basic rights that we all enjoy in a democratic South Africa. The recent racist utterances and many other incidents of vicious crimes perpetrated under the influence of racial hate, despite our efforts over the past two decades to build our new nation on these values, has necessitated further measures to uproot this scourge which is reminiscent of our unenviable apartheid past.

Democracy does not thrive in an environment that is fraught with divisions, hatred and violence hence social cohesion is important for the development of the country and the sustenance of stability. As the media, you are often at the pulse of developments in the country and have reported extensively on racial and xenophobic incidences including the so-called ‘corrective rape’ of LGBTI persons and violent attacks on sex workers.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce that today we have published for public comment in the Government Gazette, the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which was approved for public consultation by Cabinet on 19 October 2016. The Bill creates the offences of hate crimes and hate speech and seeks to put in place measures to prevent and combat these offences.

A hate crime is committed if a person commits any recognised offence, that is a common law or statutory offence (referred to as the “base crime or offence”) and the commission of that offence is motivated by unlawful bias, prejudice or intolerance. 

The base offences most often committed against victims of hate crimes are offences relating to the physical and emotional integrity of the person, as well as offences against the property of the victims, for instance murder, attempted murder, rape, assault in all its various manifestations, robbery, housebreaking, malicious damage to property, crimen injuria and arson.

The prejudice, bias or intolerance towards the victim of the hate crime would be because of one or more of the following characteristics, or perceived characteristics, of the victim or the victim’s next of kin: Race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, language, birth, HIV status, nationality, gender identity, intersex, albinism and occupation or trade.

Although nationality, gender identity, HIV status, albinism, intersex and occupation or trade are not expressly mentioned in section 9(3) of our Constitution it has been argued that they should be included in the Bill because of the hate crimes that have been committed on the basis of these grounds.

The Bill has been drafted after a thorough study of other similar pieces of legislation internationally, such as those in Kenya, Canada and Australia. Developing specific legislation on hate crimes will have a number of advantages. It will provide additional tools to investigators and prosecutors to hold the perpetrators of hate crimes accountable and provide a means to monitor efforts and trends in addressing hate crimes.

The Bill may be accessed on the departmental website and interested parties and individuals may make inputs until the due date of 1 December 2016.

As government, we are encouraged by the voices of those who stood to challenge the emergence of these remnants of our tragic past, an act which shows that our country is neither racist nor xenophobic. Together let us draw from that consciousness which resists any attempt to take us backward.

You will recall that that during March this year, the Department launched the National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances. The NAP provides the basis for the development of a comprehensive policy framework against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We are grateful to all who shared their inputs through various platforms and commit to speed up the finalisation of the NAP.

We are certain that the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will build on to the existing measures such as the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA), 2000 (Act No. 4 of 2000) to combat the social ills of racism, xenophobia and related intolerances. This Act has enabled government to establish Equality Courts in all magisterial districts. Currently, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is facilitating information sessions in various communities around the country to raise awareness of the Equality Courts.

Steps are also underway to amend PEPUDA. Upon approval of the proposed draft amendments, a formal public consultation process will be embarked upon. We envisage the introduction of the amendments into Parliament in early 2017. The PEPUDA Amendment Bill will be made available for a public participation process in March 2017.

The Constitutional and legal instruments are only one element of the approach that must be taken to safeguard our democracy. I call upon all South Africans to view the processes underway in a positive manner and to make their contributions to the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.

In this spirit, I would argue that we should all take the opportunity at hand to contribute towards ensuring that once sanctioned into law, the Bill will assist all of us to deal with recurring incidences of racial, xenophobic and related intolerance.

We are clear that this Bill of itself may not end racism and other intolerances but will create an instrument that will hold those guilty of committing acts accountable before the law. It is important that the final version of the Bill must represent the collective wisdom of the nation and reflect our renewed commitment to uproot these social ills


Australian judge backs wife: Islamic ‘divorce on the porch’ not on

The Family Court of Australia has refused a Muslim husband’s effort to divorce his wife under Islamic law under conditions that would have left her with 10 per cent of their million-dollar property pool.

The wife, who cannot be named but is known in court documents as Ms Basra, appealed to the Family Court for help after her husband attempted to get out of the marriage, which produced three children, for $100,000, ­despite having more than $1 million in assets.

The husband, known as Mr Ahmed, wanted the court to recognise an Islamic divorce he says took place on his porch in 2009, with a sheik and several other men as witnesses. But Ms Basra denied she had taken part in such a ceremony and produced an official document from Beirut that recorded her husband as married to two women — herself and a second wife — rather than having been divorced and remarried.

The court heard the couple was married in an Islamic ceremony in Australia, and again in Lebanon in July 1997, when Ms Basra was 18. He was 10 years older. The Lebanese marriage was recognised under Australian law.

Mr Ahmed told the court, with judge Garry Watts presiding, that he divorced his wife in 2009 in front of a sheik and “a number of other men” from the community.

He said the sheik asked his wife whether she wished to go through with the divorce, and whether she understood her entitlements under Islamic law, which were vastly less than she would have­ ­received under Australian law, as a full-time mother of three.

He said he then divorced his wife by uttering the words “I ­divorce you” in front of witnesses, and both parties signed the statement of Islamic divorce.

Ms Basra admitted she had been taking a single-parent payment from Centrelink for several years, saying she had done so only after her husband told her to “call Centrelink, and tell them we are separated but living under one roof so you receive the single parent benefit payment”.

Justice Watts said it was unclear from her evidence whether she had done so because she believed they were actually separated or was defrauding the taxpayer.

Counsel for the husband argued Ms Basra was “attempting to portray herself as this downtrodden, under-the-thumb Islamic woman”. The wife “quite candidly conceded this was exactly how she saw herself”, and she was “cynically trying to present her husband as (a) barbaric, misogynist, Arab man”. The wife presented evidence of three apprehended violence orders she had taken against him during the marriage.

The husband argued against a settlement larger than $100,000, saying his assets had been boosted more than $150,000 by compensation for an accident. He said he had given his wife more than 2kg of gold, valued at $115,000; she said it was more like four gold bangles, a necklace and ring.

Judge Watts ruled the divorce on the porch “is not a divorce that would be recognised under Australian law” and ordered a 70-30 settlement in the wife’s favour — partly because he believed the husband had access to resources beyond those he had declared.



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, 2016

Donald Trump slams ‘ridiculous’ transgender reforms in attack on ‘politically correct military’

Comments below from "Pink News"

Donald Trump today agreed with a soldier who complained about “social engineering” allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

Five years after lifting the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving openly in the military, earlier this year the Obama administration made reforms to allow trans people to also serve.

The plan altered decades-old regulations that listed “transgenderism” as a mental illness.

However, today Donald Trump hinted he would roll back the move when asked by a soldier who claimed it had harmed military readiness..

In a Q&A with the right-wing American Warriors PAC chaired by anti-LGBT hate group leader Tony Perkins, Mr Trump was asked whether he would reinstate the ban.

He was asked: “Under this administration the warrior ethos has been under attack and undermined by the forces of political correctness – the military has become an institution for social experiments, and as a result the military has undergone a number of changes with regards to women in combat, transgender rights and other issues.

“None of these PC actions were combat-effective or readiness driven… the opposite is happening. Deployability, readiness and morale are all adversely affected. What will you do about the social engineering that’s been imposed on our military?”

Trump replied: “We’re going to get away from political correctness – we’re going to have to do that.

“You’re right, we have a politically correct military and it’s getting more and more politically correct every day. A lot of the great people in this room don’t understand how it’s possible to do that. That’s through intelligence, not through ignorance.

“Some of the things they’re asking you to do and be politically correct about are ridiculous. I will say, I would leave many of the decisions about the things you mentioned to the generals, the admirals and the people on top.

“We’d get our military people to make recommendations to me and I will follow those recommendations.”

At the same event, Mr Trump was also asked about the case of anti-gay Navy chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder – who was reprimanded after homophobic rants in which he told troops that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus” and God had sent him to “save” homosexuals – and former Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, who attracted seven homophobia complaints for his actions towards trainees but claims he’s just being targeted because of his religion.

Trump said: “It’s a great question… have we ever had a time like this?

“There has to be a melding of both, we’re living in a time where there has to be a melding of both, but it’s very unfair what they’re doing to religion in this country.”

The Republican had already previously reversed his support for domestic transgender rights, siding with North Carolina over a contentious ‘Bathroom Bill’

Mr Trump was once a moderate within the Republican Party on LGBT issues, suggesting that people shouldn’t be fired because of their sexuality.

But he has reneged since, saying he would “consider” appointing ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices to repeal equal marriage, and confirming he would sign a Republican-backed law to directly permit homophobic discrimination.

On September 23, Trump confirmed he would sign the so-called First Amendment Defence Act, which bans the government from taking any “action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

The broadly written law would effectively legalise all discrimination against LGBT people in all sectors – from employment to retail to healthcare – as long as the person discriminating claims it was due to their religion.

The shocking move would require the repeal of Barack Obama’s landmark LGBT discrimination protections, which Trump also confirmed he would axe.

He said in a statement: “Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

“It is our first liberty and provides the most important protection in that it protects our right of conscience. Activist judges and executive orders issued by Presidents who have no regard for the Constitution have put these protections in jeopardy.

“If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”

Mr Perkins, who chaired today’s event, is an extreme anti-LGBT activist who made a number of extremely disturbing claims about LGBT people in the past, insisting that gays will attempt a ‘Christian Holocaust’.

Perkins also compares gays to paedophiles, insisting: “While activists like to claim that paedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.”

Trump has faced questions about his ties to Perkins in the past.

Earlier this year, when Trump was mocked for misquoting the Bible in a speech, he revealed it had been co-written by Mr Perkins.


UK: Christian bakers lose court appeal in ‘gay cake’ row

Bakery owners who refused to make a ‘gay’ cake have lost a court appeal, after claiming it is a sin to print pro-gay messages.

The owners of Ashers Bakery in Belfast were found guilty of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation and political or religious grounds, after the company in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland refused to bake a cake showing the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ above an image of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.

Despite losing its initial case, the bakery owners took their case to the Belfast Court of Appeal – with financial and legal help from the anti-LGBT Christian Institute.

However, the court today dismissed the appeal from Daniel and Amy McArthur, who claimed in their appeal that God considers it a sin to make cakes with pro-gay messages on.

Their appeal had challenges the grounds for a discrimination case – claiming the alleged discrimination was against the message on the cake, and not the person buying it.

However, in its ruling today, the appeals court upheld the initial verdict against the pair.

Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan ruled: “The fact that a baker provides a cake for a particular team or portrays witches on a Halloween cake does not indicate any support for either.”

The judgement continues: “Counsel for the appellants [claimed] that a protected characteristic could not be established by a difference in treatment in respect of a message on a cake.

“We do not accept this. The benefit from the message or slogan on the cake could only accrue to gay or bisexual people.

“The appellants would not have objected to a cake carrying the message ‘Support Heterosexual Marriage’ or indeed ‘Support Marriage’.

“We accept that it was the use of the word “Gay” in the context of the message which prevented the order from being fulfilled. The reason that the order was cancelled was that the appellants would not provide a cake with a message supporting a right to marry for those of a particular sexual orientation.

“This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community. Accordingly this was direct discrimination.”


Canada:  Hijab police uniforms were politically correct publicity stunts; no demand from Muslim officers

Earlier this year I shared with you exclusive documents from the RCMP regarding its rollout of the official uniform hijab, showing that the final product was rushed after all prototypes failed testing.

We also looked into other police departments that have taken similar action, and found that political correctness rather than officer need has been the driving force.

After the Edmonton Police Service unveiled its uniform hijab, the Calgary Police Service, despite having no requests for it and no known female Muslim police officers, wanted to get in on the action itself, setting in motion a process to include hijabs in the uniform for “recruitment” purposes.

In an email to a CPS representative, an Edmonton staff sergeant said that they needed to get their policies “up to 2015, if you know what I mean.”

In fact, as media outlets were looking into police hijabs, a CPS communications staffer said that it was a “great national story to have our voice in!”

Politically correct policing has become the norm in Canada, with some departments focused on progressiveness rather than law and order.


‘Politically correct’ being used as cudgel, but why?

A view from the Left

I get a lot of angry mail. It goes with the turf.

To work as an opinion journalist these days is to be automatically enrolled in the Suck It Up and Move On School of Insult Response. The alternative is to subject your audience to a hand-wringing treatise on the decline of civility, a sort of kindergarten teacher’s plea to the kids to talk nice and don’t bite. You may wheedle a little sympathy, but the point is probably lost on the incorrigible biters.

Only a few critics, I can truthfully say, are so dramatically and sometimes creatively awful that I’ve had to block their messages and try to hypnotize myself into forgetting what they’ve said.

But I’ve got some regular critics who routinely unload both barrels when they don’t like my political opinions. They’re the folks who use “liberal” as a blistering taunt, who see me as marching in conspiratorial lockstep with some broader progressive agenda, and who strongly feel my views should not go unchallenged.

More than any other descriptor, they accuse me, and most of my media brethren, of being politically correct. To their mind, we’re empty-headed toadies paying automatic obeisance to the lefty cause du jour.

“PC” has been around so long that it was actually becoming an hoary old chestnut, until it emerged as the white-hot kernel of resentment at the heart of this interminable death-march political cycle.

So last week, I brought it up myself. I combed through the mailbox, identified some of my most ardent-but-not-unhinged critics, and asked them to tell me: What do you mean when you say “politically correct?” What does “political correctness” mean to you?

I’m glad I asked, because I got a lot of thoughtful, candid answers. And while these are people with strong opinions who aren’t likely to change their views any more than I’m likely to change mine, the conversation we had was an interesting one.

To me, it’s an outdated term, generally lobbed as an all-purpose insult from right to left. And if you break it down, being “PC,” to me, is observing common civilities in the way we treat each other.

But by and large, these writers described a maddening brand of repressive Orwellian Newspeak that silences dissent for fear of giving offense to specific interest groups.

P.C., one gentleman said, is “excessive restrictions on free speech that, directly or indirectly, result in attempts to squash debate or limit open discussion of a topic due to under and misplaced concerns for the feelings of others.”

Another called it the “dogma of the liberal left that someone can challenge only at the risk of being ridiculed and bullied.”

These are folks deeply offended at being called “racist,” “bigot” or “homophobe.” While such hatred certainly exists, they say, they feel they’re often labeled — and dismissed — for expressing their views.

A surprising number of them mentioned that what they view as the “political correctness” movement was a necessary response to the glaring inequalities of previous generations — but they think the movement has spun out much too far and too long.

“PC surfaced as a way to influence civil discourse,” one writer said. “Quite frankly, it was probably long overdue. It became no longer acceptable to refer to or address someone based on their ethnic background, gender, or sexual orientation.”

“Being just plain insensitive is the other extreme of the spectrum,” said another. “We certainly should not offend others.”

The sticky part, of course, is who gets to define what is or is not offensive. Several of these readers said, for instance, that the Black Lives Matter movement ignores and stifles discussion of black-on-black crime, or the cumulative social disadvantages of single parent households. They believe the danger of terrorism is soft-pedaled to avoid offending Muslims. They believe we’re ignoring the social and economic toll of uncontrolled immigration.

We’re not likely to agree on these issues. But I can’t (or shouldn’t) demonize conservatives — I have one in the house, after all.

Does “political correctness” hamper legitimate debate? I don’t think so, but plenty of people do — and they’re not all alt-right pro-Trump diehards.

And I do think it’s too easy to conflate traditional Republican conservatism with the Trumpian excesses of the alt-right. The mean little schadenfreude dance a lot of us are doing over the internecine warfare in the GOP could boomerang back on us one of these days.

A lot of the frustration I heard from these dozen or so writers was not that the “progressives” or “elites” don’t agree with them, but that they feel disrespected and heckled for their disagreement. One man cited the NBA’s decision to move its All-Star game out of North Carolina after legislators there passed a law restricting transgender access to public restrooms.

“I don’t question their right to do it, but it smacks of a certain arrogance, an indication that opposing views simply deserve to be squelched,” he wrote.

Another cited what he views as the hypocrisy of coaches and athletes who want to restrict demeaning “locker room talk,” yet try to cover up bad behavior by star players. And several said that while they don’t think much of Donald Trump as presidential candidate, his lack of appeal for the mainstream press has turned us into inappropriately one-sided cheerleaders for the Clinton campaign.

Most of these folks and I are rarely, if ever, going to be in the same political camps, especially where social matters are concerned. I’m not sure I even really subscribe to the view some of them hold about being stifled or denied a right to free speech. Of course you get free speech — but you get the consequences, too. We all do.

In all honesty, though, I enjoyed reading their sincere assessments. It was surprisingly pleasant to have straightforward conversation with some of my fieriest critics.



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, 2016

Multiculturalism in Australia, success or failure?

David Forde, below seems to think there has been some sort of success of multiculturalism in Australia.  Maybe there has been, though he offers no proof of it.  But the big success with immigrants to Australia has in fact been with assimilation.  People from all over the world have come to Australia and fitted in well with the mores of the host society.  And by and large, their children are indistiguishable from other Australians.  Not much multiculturalism there!

The ARE multiculturalists here but do we call African crime and Muslim hostility a success?  I can't see it.  It's true that not all Africans commit crimes and not all Muslims wage jihad against us but the crimes and the jihad clearly come from the alien culture of the offenders.  Not many Presbyterians wage Jihad and not many Han Chinese do breaking and entering.  The culture clearly makes a difference.  The assimilated Han are no problem but who would say that of the Africans?

David Forde's big problem is that he has swallolwed the Leftist hokum that all men are equal. To him the Han and the Africans are all the same.  If only Africans WERE as civilized as the Han!  But he is quite incapable of discussing such differences. He relies totally on overgeneralizations.  He inhabits a world of mental fog.

As we read below, Forde thinks that if all are treated and made to feel equal within the rule of law, that will create "a sense of belonging and strengthening social cohesion".  So how come it hasn't?  There's certainly no "sense of belonging and social cohesion" among members of the South Sudanese Apex gang members who are terrorising parts of Melbourne these days.  But they have all been treated equally before the law.

If we look at the detail that Forde cannot see, we have to conclude that assimilation is the answer to social cohesion, not multiculturalism

RECENTLY there has been a resurgence in negativity regarding multiculturalism.

As I see it, we have two choices. We can speak up in support of inclusion where all are treated and made to feel equal within the rule of law, thereby creating a sense of belonging and strengthening social cohesion.

Or, we don’t speak up and treat multiculturalism as a concept to be avoided or scapegoated. Thereby letting the negative control the narrative while creating a sense of exclusion, where people are more readily labelled and some are considered more Australian than others. As a result, we encourage division as people retreat into various ethnic groupings and put up the barriers as they seek a sense of belonging and acceptance from within.

It also creates an environment where the more vulnerable are left open to exploitation.

Yes, there are people who don’t want to, or don’t feel comfortable associating with people outside their own given identity – this is normal and applies to people of all backgrounds.

The important thing is that it’s not about everyone agreeing or being the same, that’s simply impossible, it’s about acceptance and a fair go where everyone is treated equally. Surely everyone is entitled to that.

There are too many Australians, including many born here, who feel excluded from society and continually have to justify their “Australianness”.

Every one of us is different, but as individuals we share more in common than we realise. One of those commonalities is that everyone, except our First Peoples, is of migrant stock; it’s just that some are more recent than others.

Currently more than 28 per cent of Australia’s population was born overseas. Australia is a multicultural success story.

So scapegoating the very substance that has delivered today’s Australia is not the answer. In fact it is completely counter-productive, not least for economic reasons around trade and tourism.

I have been very fortunate to call Australia home for the past 24 years and live in one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in Queensland. I have neighbours who originate from all parts of the globe. Despite this diversity – or because of it – we have a tremendous sense of community, not least when the community, be they from the local service clubs, mosques, churches, temples or just everyday community members, rally together to assist those in need.

Creating fear of the “other” or the unknown is very easy. But rather than rejecting or scapegoating Australia’s multicultural success story, we should embrace it; there are simply too many benefits.

Go out and meet your fellow Australians, engage and replace (politically motivated) fear of the unknown with curiosity.

This leads to one simple question. What sort of Australia do we want, a weak and divided Australia or a strong and inclusive Australia?

I know what I want and what is in Australia’s long-term interests.


Britain's social work terrorists again

A mother who took her 14-month-old son to hospital after he fell and bumped his head was 'made to feel like a criminal' by doctors who summoned social workers to attend a routine appointment.

Danielle Rawes, 22, from Millom in Cumbria, took her toddler Kobey-Lee to Furness General Hospital in Barrow when he stumbled on the sloping driveway at his grandparents' house.

After checking over Kobey-Lee, medics contacted social workers and told Miss Rawes police would be called if she left the hospital.

For the next two days family were questioned and Kobey-Lee was sedated and given a CT scan and 21 X-rays to check for deliberate injuries. 

He also had blood taken and was observed by staff while Miss Rawes, Kobey-Lee's father Jamie Harvey and other members of the family were quizzed by police.

The toddler, who only started walking eight weeks ago, was allowed to go home when all his tests came back clear.

Describing the ordeal Miss Rawes said: 'I was devastated to be treated like I'd hurt Kobey-Lee when I hadn't done anything. Really gutted.

'I understand they have got a job to do but the way they dealt with it was awful.'

She said she feared her son would be taken into care when doctors warned her police would be called if she tried to leave the hospital.

Joan Rawes, Kobey-Lee's grandmother, said the incident had been a nightmare for the whole family.

They have since sought advice from a lawyer regarding their treatment by the hospital.

Mrs Rawes said: 'It's fair enough that the hospital makes sure children are OK if they spot an injury, but the way they handled the situation was absolutely appalling.

'Danielle was made to feel like a criminal and no-one explained what was going on.

'We all absolutely adore Kobey-Lee. It's been awful.'

Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, the organisation that runs FGH, said: 'On behalf of the trust, I'd like to sincerely apologise to Kobey-Lee's mother for any distress caused.

'To protect patients when any safeguarding concerns are raised, it is standard practice for staff to follow the trust's safeguarding policy and appropriately investigate the concerns.

'While we appreciate this may have caused additional distress, our staff did follow the correct and appropriate procedures.

'That said, we are committed to ensuring patients and their families are treated with dignity and respect at all times, and I can only apologise if Kobey-Lee's mother felt this wasn't the case.

'We would be keen to speak to the family directly so we can discuss the matter in full, answer any questions they may have, and share any learning with our teams too.'


Christian parents of girl, 14, who wants to change gender forced to take legal action against their local council after it backs her efforts against their wishes

The parents of a 14-year-old girl are taking legal action to challenge their local authority's backing for their daughter to transition into a boy.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is believed to want to change her gender and has received the support of her local authority.

However, the girl's parents object to the process, and believe their daughter is too young to take such a dramatic decision.

The parents will meet with teachers and social workers next month to decide whether the girl should be known in school by a boy's name rather than the one she was given as a baby.

According to the Sunday Times, the parents' solicitor, Michael Phillips of Andrew Storch solicitors said if the family failed to follow the guidance of social workers, the girl could be taken into care.

This follows the case of a young boy who has been taken from his mother's care because she tried to raise him 'entirely as a girl'.

In this latest case, the 14-year-old girl's mother told the Sunday Times: 'The rights of parents in the UK are being eroded, especially those who have traditional Christian values. It is leaving parents to feel fearful, vulnerable and intimidated.

'We were told by the psychiatrist that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services said that if the name change does not happen then she would be a high suicide risk.'

The girl's parents are devout Christians and do not accept the daughter's decision.

Social workers claim he girl has a close 'heterosexual' relationship with a 13-year-old girl. [Come again??]

The Christian Legal Centre are supporting the family and funding their legal costs. Andrea Williams of the Centre added: 'The transgender cultural movement is creating a new "conflict of rights" within the family. This is the emperor's new clothes. Authorities are forcing an agenda that is not true, and harmful to children. This case demonstrates shocking disregard for parental authority: no one is listening to what the parents want or have to say. The know the child the best, and have the child's interests at heart.' 


Ched Evans and the fury of the middle?class mob

This case has exposed the illiberalism and classism of the new elite

When snobs talk about mobs, they usually mean poor people who say things they disagree with. Brexit voters, or Trump’s angry white army. To a certain kind of sniffy commentator, these people are basically a pitchfork-wielding crowd, clueless and toothless. But if you want to see a real mob – in the classic sense of a gang with nasty extrajudicial instincts – forget the poor and take a look at the middle-class media set. Take a look at the very people who bandy about the word ‘mob’ to describe anyone they don’t like. For it is they, ironically, who are most mob-like, and nothing demonstrates this better than their ugly commentary on the Ched Evans case.

Ever since Evans, a Welsh footballer, was arrested in 2011, following a threesome in a hotel room in Rhyl which he says was consensual but the woman involved says was non-consensual, the awful illiberal strain that lurks just under the surface of 21st-century Western society has been given full voice. It burst through the polite veneer of respect for the rule of law and belief in the human value of redemption, exposing how negotiable such values now are in the eyes of the opinion-forming set. The authoritarianism, anti-democracy and outright classism of the middle-class mob has been on full display.

It started in earnest when Evans was still in jail, following his conviction for rape in 2012. Petitions emerged demanding that he should not be allowed to return to football – his career – even after he’d served his time. The main petition, which got more than 170,000 signatures, said Evans’ prison sentence was ‘only a small penance’. Men who ‘commit gross acts of violence against women’ should continue to ‘pay for what they have done’ even after they leave jail, it said, and in Evans’ case this means ‘relinquishing the celebrity [he has] attained’. It was an explicit call for extrajudicial punishment, for the extension of his ‘penance’ beyond that which had been sanctioned by law. Evans should be branded forever, they demanded, echoing the medieval view that certain sinners, certain penitents, are so wicked they can never come back.

These shrill petitions explicitly called into question one of key beliefs of the modern idea of justice: that of redemption, or at least rehabilitation – the notion that punishing people forever is wrong because people can change. The middle-class mob’s instigators in the press openly trampled on the notion of redemption. In an ugly piece titled ‘The limits of redemption’, Caitlin Moran said perhaps ‘men who have raped… need to see their lives reduced to ash’ (burn them?). Even when they’re released their lives should be made ‘publicly, endlessly awful, unrelentingly humiliating, without prospect of absolution’, she said. ‘No football club should touch Ched Evans’, said Suzanne Moore in the Guardian. The End Violence Against Women Coalition said allowing Evans back into his old line of work would ‘re-traumatise his own and many other victims’, overlooking the fact that the purpose of justice is that society, not your victim, punishes you, and once it has done so you should be allowed to show you are a changed citizen.

To understand the authoritarianism of these demands for extrajudicial punishment of Evans, just imagine if the same was said of other criminals. Imagine if a Conservative politician argued that anyone convicted of selling heroin should have their lives ‘reduced to ash’ and made ‘publicly, endlessly awful’. Or if an angry Daily Mail columnist said robbers should not be ‘touched’ by serious employers lest their rehabilitation ‘re-traumatise’ all robbery victims. We would recognise the pre-modern vindictiveness of such cries for ceaseless humiliation of ex-cons. Yet the liberal set makes these demands in relation to Evans, in relation to rape, and considers it normal, even good. Rape is a serious crime of violence, of course, but surely the same civilised, redemptive attitude should apply to this crime as to others.

The mob-like behaviour of the Evans obsessives erupted again last week when he was found not guilty of rape in his retrial. Feminists took to Twitter to say ‘I believe’ the complainant. This ‘Believe the Woman’ movement discards with the need for a justice system entirely, since every complaint of rape is automatically treated as true. It’s Salem-like. One observer says, ‘There are a few fundamental beliefs that I hold, and one of them is that I believe women [who make accusations of rape]’. There’s a Stalinist feel to this, where the pointed finger is enough to establish guilt. Some feminists now argue for an end to trial by jury in rape cases because jurors lack ‘the training and awareness-raising’ necessary to understand rape. So let a single judge decide, or better still the mob: they believe rape happened, so it must have.

Why has the middle-class mob focused its extrajudicial gaze on Evans in particular? Because of who he performs for: football fans, working-class men. Perhaps the ugliest element of the polite hysteria surrounding Evans is its naked contempt for the masses who follow football. Observers have extrapolated from Evans’ behaviour on 30 May 2011 to point to ‘how sick football culture is’. A Guardian writer bizarrely used the Evans case to indict football for having become ‘awash with money’ and being consumed by ‘attitudes [that] seem rooted in the past’. Shorter version: football followers are backward. ‘[M]en, football men particularly, are not fully understanding the abhorrence and fear women have of sexual abuse’, said one observer.

‘Football men’ – who are they? They know and you know: they’re blokes who read the Sun, who don’t have PhDs, who probably haven’t had their ‘awareness raised’. They’re Those People, who, as one columnist says, are obsessed with a sport that has ‘unpleasant, wilfully damaging and dangerous attitudes’. This is why petitioners and tweeters and columnists are so adamant that Evans not be allowed to play again: because they view his watchers, the teeming terraces, as savages, basically, with unreconstructed attitudes and a stunning disregard for the feelings of women. It isn’t really Evans they fear; it’s the masses (though now they use the PC term ‘football people’). This extrapolation from the Evans case to brand a whole section of society as rapacious is indistinguishable from when racists argued in the 1970s that instances of black men raping white women showed no blacks could be trusted in society.

There has been media fury over football fans who have cheered Evans’ not-guilty verdict and who are looking forward to his return to the game. But there is infinitely more humanism and more decency in these fans’ support of Evans than there is in the ugly petitioning and scaremongering of the middle-class mob that wants one man’s life made ‘endlessly awful’ as a means of re-educating pig-ignorant ‘football people’. Those fans understand redemption and the capacity of people to change; the middle-class mob understands little beyond its own fear of the blob and its talk of ‘ash’ and ‘humiliation’ and its corresponding desire to make educational, medieval public spectacles of men who commit certain crimes.



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

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

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


24 October, 2016

Obama Attacks 'Violent Ideologies' — Meaning Conservatives

The usual Leftist projection:  It is the Left who are violent

Does attending a Tea Party rally mean you’re part of a “violent ideology” and thus in need of an intervention? Are Muslim terrorists “right-wing” extremists, as they’re often referred to in Europe? And, closer to home, are conservatives anti-government goons seeking to march on Washington? It should concern us all that the government may soon attempt to conflate two very different ideologies — that of a peaceful movement bent on reducing the size of government with that of a violent movement bent on murderous jihad. That’s not explicitly stated, of course, but neither was the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

Reuters reports on the proposition: “A White House plan aims to convene teachers and mental health professionals to intervene and help prevent Americans from turning to violent ideologies, work that is currently done mostly by federal law enforcement. … The policy aims to prevent conversions to all violent ideologies, including the white supremacist beliefs held by a gunman who killed nine black church members inside a historic African-American church in Charleston and the other shootings and bombs [sic] were inspired by Islamist militants.”

The obvious problem is that the definition of “violent ideologies” is highly adaptable in the minds of leftists, many of whom are sympathetic to the religion whose adherents commit nearly all deadly terrorist attacks. At what point are conservatives in general — or “right-wing extremists,” as they might be called — tossed into the same category? In some cases, they already are. Just look at the number of times Democrats have used the word “terrorist” when vilifying Republican “obstructionists.”

Preposterous, you say? Rush Limbaugh notes, “We know that the Department of Homeland Security in Obama’s first term released internal documents warning of the dangers posed by violent right-wing groups.” Limbaugh believes “there’s no question that an ongoing effort to stamp out or intimidate anybody who happens to lean in any direction to the right is going to be undertaken.”

Conservatives are already being unlawfully victimized by the IRS as the agency continues to stall tax exemptions for conservative groups even years after initially being exposed. It’s little wonder no major reforms have been implemented — the agency’s behavior only exemplifies the Left’s growing hostility toward the Right. And make no mistake, it is a war — a war in which one ideology will do anything to crush the other.


A warped feminist view of masculinity

The Mask You Live In

A college professor and close friend teaches a course called "Masculinities," which claims to explore the topic in depth. Since the subject of challenges facing modern men is a favorite of mine, nothing could stop me from diving deep into the material. I began with the teaching aid developed by leading-edge researchers: a slick and tightly edited documentary, The Mask You Live In. It catalogued the experiences of boys and young men as they struggled to remain true to themselves while negotiating American societies narrowly defined notions of masculinity.

For us males, discovering our masculine selves when we are young can be challenging. When I was a boy, I experienced humiliation, teasing and bloody fights on my uninformed journey to manhood. Hence, the prospect of a new curriculum excites me; after four decades of supporting the women's and gay liberation movements, it seems like educators may finally be taking the need to address male issues seriously. By doing that, they can help destroy the inhumane school-to-prison pipeline-promulgated by public school systems-that many boys fall into. "The Mask You Live In" seemed to hold great promise and offer hope for our future.

Sadly, that is not the case. The documentary written by Jennifer Siebel Newsom begins with images and news reports, interwoven in a video collage of mass shootings, young boys committing suicide, gang rapes of college girls, and individuals being violently targeted for fun. After only a few moments, it is made clear that these acts reflect toxic masculinity.

Warning: Unlike many college students whose minds have not been trained to see through such propaganda, I recognize it for what it is: an extension of the unfair lens associated with most popular social theories. It is a biased stew emanating from the process-oriented minds of feminists, incorporating such notions as rape culture and the white male privileged patriarchy as seen from a non-male perspective.

The perspective of the documentary sets me immediately on edge. Based on my own research and analysis, it is not patriarchal males who control the levers of domination and control; rather, the culprits are the wealthy oligarchy, of no particular gender or race. This group of one-percenters employs the vast resources at their disposal to further enrich themselves and exert their will through ownership of whatever matters, relentless political influence and their ability to corrupt the system by spreading money around.

Admittedly, I saw some hopeful glimmers after watching the film four times, but they were never fully developed into tools or methods that might help boys and men. The warm embers are never given the oxygen they need for high octane combustion. Talking about a boy's pain or anger "behind the mask" is a good starting point, but it only scratches the surface. And while I absolutely loved the man who taught himself to coach the individuals he came to know-a skill all of us should learn to use-the documentary clearly falls short.

Warning: In many ways, the movie simply does not connect with the essence of genuine masculinity.  Among other things, it fails to establish an adequate link between what boys do and why. Below are six unsafe assumptions about males it seems to rest on that are worth mentioning:

1.     Boys suppressing emotions is a social construct. In showcasing stereotypes about negative male behavior-that they are defective, unemotional, dominating and violent-the film helps to perpetuate them. While it seems to come across as a grand attempt at understanding masculinity, the message is lacking at its core. It does not balance the so-called destructive elements against a multitude of masculine virtues and their contributions to society.

It also makes incomplete and false assertions. Warning: The documentary maintains that males don't share feelings as an outlet like girls do, without noting that many reduce emotional stress through physical workouts. It doesn't make reference to the fact that men and women process emotions differently, or that the former tend to be results-oriented while the latter are people-interaction-oriented. There's a timeless narrative about a couple lost in the city, where a male is studying a map while the female asks somebody on the street for directions.

Warning: In truth, these sorts of dangerously inaccurate misstatements about emotional expression can instill anxiety, anger, depression and suicidal thoughts into young boy's minds.

2.     Masculinity is a social construct. The audio track focuses on what most of us already know from personal experience: society's fixation on hyper-masculinity, whether in sports, the military, music and the arts, and the canyons of Wall Street, and the way in which they allegedly inspire a quest for power, dominance and control. We are told that these represent false goals for mastering or investing in masculinity; boys find it hard to choose wisely because of peer pressure or the wolf pack power hierarchy.

However, the film fails to take things one step further and explain how boys can be coached to navigate childhood bullying or the treacherous realities of surviving up to and throughout adulthood. In many cases, especially in some more disadvantaged locales, they are left on their own to navigate a survival-of-the-fittest ladder with nothing more than their wits and abilities. Warning: Without fully addressing both the concerns and the solutions, the film offers little in the way of assisting boys in discovering genuine masculinity.

3.     Violence is a social construct. One the film's biggest distortions stems from its exploitation of violence as the definition of who we are. We see a multitude of images of men and boys-the male patriarchy-being explosive, and a cavalcade of white heterosexual men exerting dominance throughout our culture. Worse yet, it implies that violent video games, action movies, superheroes and thugs encourage males to accept a domestic violence culture.

Warning: In reality, such perspectives can leave viewers with the false and dangerous notion that dominant men cause domestic violence and that the victims are invariably women. While most of us will probably agree that our society as a whole is much too violent, evidence suggests that the problem is different than many think. Women in same-sex relationships experience more than twice the extent of physical and sexual abuse than heterosexual couples do. If women's studies programs, for example, were serious about reducing violence, they might want to study the petri dish in their own backyards.

Sexual assault and rape are a social construct. Warning: When it comes to rape, I question why the documentary did not leverage that fact that men are raped, physically assaulted, attacked and killed at much higher rates, but masculinity protects them from seeking safe spaces or turning into traumatized victims. Women can learn this male specific virtue and live more courageously.

4.     The documentary also discusses pornography, sexual attraction and the fact that male and female interaction could not be more out of sync. This is "proof" that the sexes are nowhere near "equal." Warning: Conflating the word "equality" to imply that men and women have the same emotional drives, instincts and behavioral reactions is wrong and perilously harmful. The feelings that men have and express toward women-appreciation, adoration, desire, lust and objectification-are seen as harassment and misogyny. Warning: Somehow, natural male interest in the opposite sex has been transformed into an ideology where men believe they are superior, entitled, privileged and deserves sex.

Many women don't seem to understand our instinctual behavior, preferring instead to reprimand us for glorifying sexual conquests, or for being pick-up artists or womanizers. Many are quick to toss the male sex drive into the misogyny bucket, simply because it is not like their own. Some also demand that those they date follow a strict set of rules, in an effort to harness the wild stallion of innate male nature. The rules of monogamy are often enforced with power, dominance and violence by women.

But such notions are wholly misguided. In fact, by studying gay men-many of whom, ironically enough, have been ardent female rights supporters-women might realize that their understanding is at odds with reality. In some parts of gay culture, for instance, young males experiment with exhibitionism, cruising pickups, multi-racial lovers, fetish affairs, anonymous encounters, kink and role-playing, and multi-partner intimacy. Through sexual physicality, men can discover inner boundaries, self-esteem and love.

Moreover, in some situations, gay men grope, catcall, make lewd comments and touch one another using behavioral consent on a regular basis, which doesn't sound at all like they are seeking to dominate and demean each other. Warning: Again, the notion that male sexual behavior is bad because it is different from that of a female is another example of how the film's message is like a woman publicly spanking and scolding boys for natural masculine urges.

5.     Dropping out of school is a social construct. The film delves deep into the male failure to adjust to the educational system from pre-kindergarten on up. But once again, it misses facts well understood by others. Hegemonic masculinity is not holding boys back or leading them to drop out. The blame goes to the public schools, which do not devote the time or have the know-how necessary to engage with boys. The Federal common core one-size-fits-all directive, which mandates that everyone receives an identical serving of education, is failing young males because it does not recognize that they learn at different rates and times, and through dissimilar methodologies, than girls.

However, when young males are placed in private or charter schools for boys, they tend to thrive, readily engage with others in conversation, and take to such activities as singing in the choir, playing in the band and investigating their feminine sides, largely because they are not being shamed in front of females or don't feel obligated to "peacock" for the girls.

Simply put, the public school system's politically correct but misguided implementation of mindless diversity and a white-washed curriculum, as well as a lack of resources tailored to the needs of each child, is the root cause why many boys, especially those of color, fall by the wayside and experiment with alcohol, substance abuse, gang affiliation and criminal activity. But by rethinking the obsolete approach and considering the needs of young males in their formative-and most vulnerable-years, helping them to express their inner virtues, we can tackle what appears to be an intractable problem.

6.     Fear of masculinity is a social construct. Finally, by spiking an already exaggerated fear in girls and women, a great many of whom experience virtually continuous anxiety about male violence and rape, the documentary producers only make matters worse. A recent BuzzFeed article, for example, outlined 29 everyday activities that ordinary women avoid because they are frozen and apprehensive about being attacked or abused by a male.

By focusing on constructive solutions rather than self-serving propaganda and destructive recriminations, the now wasted efforts of women's studies programs and so-called equal opportunity initiatives could be focused instead on developing programs that could help women work through these and other unhealthy emotions. These females could then be free of the tension that is holding them back from enjoying a more fearless, strong and independent life.

Expand the Lens

As I've gotten older, I've used what I've learned to amplify my old one-way feminist lens and see what I believe is a far more diverse and inclusively humanist view of our world. While I applaud the film's attempts to explore what has become an urgently important  issue, as well as its seemingly well-intentioned portrayal of the struggles of boys-whose needs have largely been ignored and unaddressed-I am disenchanted.

Warning: In truth, the film ends up validating the women's studies perspective about the masculinity they fear. Rather than leading to the kinds of reforms that will actually help our young people to better themselves, this creative effort will likely serve as a framework for introducing more laws and policies designed to protect women by giving them greater dominance and control over men.

Most likely, the divisive fallout we have already seen will grow much worse. In Nottinghamshire, England, for example, authorities are beginning to record misogyny, which includes everything from verbal comments and wolf whistling to unwanted physical approaches, as a hate crime. On college campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere, there are growing efforts to censor speech, individuals and events, often at the expense of white heterosexual males. While bigotry, sexism and racism are supposedly frowned upon, that is not the case with what has become a despised group.


I am saddened that men do not have the same treatment and opportunities that are available to others. Why aren't there male studies programs, for instance, that can research and evaluate relevant issues and leverage genuine masculinity to lift up those of our gender. We are gifted machines, bestowed with attributes and abilities that can help us move mountains. Just as men built the pyramids of Egypt and other great wonders, we hope to continue to harness the world around us in a diverse and inclusive way.

I know my professor friend is an open-minded individual and he will not hate me for my views. Unlike many of those who have been dominating the conversation on campuses, in the media and elsewhere, we respectfully share each other's insights in an effort to move all our lives forward.


Former Black Lives Matter Leader Says Movement Is ‘on the Wrong Side of History’

An active community member and a cultural liaison in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, it was only natural for Rashad Turner to take on a leadership position with Black Lives Matter.

So when the opportunity came to organize a local chapter, he took it.

But even Turner will admit that some of the tactics he employed while heading Black Lives Matter St. Paul were controversial. His chapter caused disruption, blocked trains, and almost shut down a marathon. His actions fueled resentment among police, with some accusing him of inciting violence.

The tipping point occurred in August, when outside the Minnesota State Fair, Turner and his St. Paul Black Lives Matter chapter were caught on video chanting, “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” referring to police.

The video caused a national controversy, and at the time, Turner defended it. Today, looking back, Turner expressed a sense of regret. “I stand by every human being’s right to free speech,” Turner said, “but of course there are times when we all wish things had been said differently.”

When he joined Black Lives Matter, Turner thought he had found his calling. A criminal justice major at Hamline University, it felt like a perfect fit. But in a turn of events, just days after that controversial protest, Turner, 31, abruptly stepped away from the movement.

The reason? Turner said he caught wind that Black Lives Matter national was calling for a moratorium on charter schools. The platform was released earlier in the summer, but at the time, Turner said he “wasn’t aware of Black Lives Matter’s quietly dished out vision.”

“When I heard,” he said, “I decided to run as fast as I could the other way.”

‘The Wrong Side of History’

This summer, both Black Lives Matter and the NAACP quietly released education platforms calling for an immediate moratorium on charter school growth. Charter schools are run with public funds and are tuition-free for students, but its operators are given freedom with decisions involving curriculum, culture, budget, hiring, and firing.

Nationally, charter schools have shown a remarkable ability to outperform traditional public schools and close the achievement gap between white and black students in urban areas such as Boston, the District of Columbia, Newark, and New York City.

However, not every charter school is the same, and some are struggling to stay open.

But where they’re succeeding, Turner said, he believes parents should have that option.

“To hear Black Lives Matter national and NAACP national come out with a moratorium on charter schools put me on the opposite side of the table, and I believe it put them on the wrong side of history,” Turner said.

In early September, Turner announced he could no longer associate himself with Black Lives Matter.

“I don’t ever want to feel like I’m misleading people,” he said, explaining his decision to leave:

I know a lot of people in the community look up to me for answers, for guidance on issues of social justice, whether it be police brutality or the inequities in our educational system. I needed to be able to do what was right, I don’t want to associate myself with people who feel that parents shouldn’t have choice.

Turner says he's not scared of confrontation for the sake of his daughter, or other children. "Any person that feels like parents should be in total control of their education has to be up on this type of stuff, be very diligent, and if that means calling people out, that's what we have to do." (Photo: Rashad Turner)
Turner says he’s not scared of confrontation for the sake of his daughter, or other children. “Any person that feels like parents should be in total control of their education has to be up on this type of stuff, be very diligent, and if that means calling people out, that’s what we have to do.” (Photo: Rashad Turner)
‘The School Doesn’t Meet Their Needs’

Turner has an 8-year-old daughter, and although she isn’t enrolled in a charter school, he said other children still deserve to have that right.

“My daughter, she goes to a district school,” Turner said. “The school serves her fine. But there’s tons of kids in that school, black boys in particular, who the school doesn’t meet their needs. It’s those types of students that we need to make sure we’re serving to the highest quality school with highly effective teachers. To me, there’s no one in their right mind that should say I as a parent or the next parent shouldn’t have the greatest say and the most opportunity in choosing where their kid goes to school.”

Turner blames the teachers’ unions and their allies for convincing Black Lives Matter and the NAACP to take an anti-charter school position. On the ground in Minnesota, he said he’s seen Black Lives Matter and the unions work hand-in-hand to coup support for their education platforms.

“I can’t say [Black Lives Matter and the NAACP] is directly [receiving money from the unions], but I would definitely say that financial gains are indirectly given to Black Lives Matter, whether that be directly from the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers or its members,” he said.

The tactics employed by the teachers’ unions, he added, are sometimes questionable. “Our Saint Paul Federation of Teachers will pay for a family’s groceries and on its face, it might seem like that’s a good thing to do, but, when they pay for that family’s groceries, now that family’s wearing Saint Paul Federation t-shirts and is given a script of what to say to benefit the union.”

The Daily Signal reached out to the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Education Minnesota. Education Minnesota did not deny that its local chapter sometimes pays for families’ groceries, but neither organization agreed to an interview.

Today, Turner no longer has a relationship with Black Lives Matter. Instead, he was hired as the director of community engagement with Minnesota Comeback, an organization whose goal is to enroll all children—especially students from low-income backgrounds—in “rigorous and relevant schools that prepare them to thrive in college, career, and community.” Eventually, he hopes, groups like Black Lives Matter and the NAACP will change their minds on the charter school issue.

“We still have some time to get the truth out there and really paint a more accurate picture for families,” he said.

‘In This Fight’

When he was just 2 years old, Turner’s father was shot and killed, he told The Daily Signal, adding that his mother, who was still a teenager at the time, got caught up in drugs and abandoned Turner and his younger brother. His grandma took them in, and ever since, Turner sought revenge—not from the cops, but from criminals on the streets. After graduating college, he said he enrolled in a police training program in St. Paul “to keep other people’s fathers from being killed.”

But after going through a few months of training, Turner says he decided that policing was not for him.

Turner also had several negative experiences with police, resulting in him being charged with domestic assault, which later was downgraded to disorderly conduct when he was convicted, and misdemeanor possession of a BB gun.

“Any mistakes I’ve made in the past, I make sure that I’ve grown from it, learn from it, and pay it forward,” Turner said.

Instead of joining the police force, Turner became a cultural liaison for African-American students. It was during that time that he became familiar with the education system, and decided that poor schools were largely to blame for his community’s problems.

“Traditional public schools, they’re not meeting the needs of kids,” Turner said. “And then we’re seeing those same kids grow up and because they don’t have an education, they can’t get a job. And because they don’t have a job, now they have a higher risk of committing a crime. Because they commit a crime, now they still can’t get a job.”

Despite his passion for criminal justice and police accountability, Turner said that Black Lives Matter taking a stance against charter schools made it easy for him to step away. Because in the end, he said, education reform will initiate the greatest change.

“If we can reform our education system, if we can make sure that every student has a high quality school to attend that meets their needs, I think that we can eliminate a lot of the ills that we see in the world,” he said, adding:

I think [education] is the most important change that could happen.


The Antidote- Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood  ~  By Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson

Book Review by Martha D. Gies-Chumney

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson has lived the angry black youth experience in America with its attendant legacy of fatherlessness, poverty, and fatalistic attitude.  However, through real religious experience and with the guidance of a few wise black men, he has created a successful and fulfilled life as a true black spokesman. He is now an author of renown, a sought after speaker, a frequent guest on Fox News etc., and a passionate reverend. He is most of all a savior for young black youth with his Los Angeles based organization: BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny. Reverend Peterson is the quintessential, genuine black activist.

Peterson contrasts the difference between his black activism and the alchemy of most notorious black activists such as Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton.  These alchemists, in Peterson's view, are black activists, media, and politicians who have created generations of hate and victimhood in the black community. In this book, he chronicles some of the effects of this misguided help for the black community and the part played by the alchemists.

Peterson relates and aligns his own life with the lives of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown; all three were victims of the fatherlessness so prevalent in both white and black families of America today.  Destructive enablers from vote conscious politicians, black activists, and a slanted media are responsible for the "drugs, burglaries, guns, truancy and street style martial arts in many black neighborhoods."

Some of results of these alchemists in America are "welfare, food stamps, payouts from lawsuits and maybe one day even reparations." Further this alchemy has created the present negative environment in America which separates and denigrates the white population and makes any future cooperation an impossibility. It is Peterson's contention that if any headway is made to save the nation, black Americans "must reject the culture of blame."

Obama's presidency rather than tamping down racial divisiveness has only exacerbated it.  The president has intervened in many of the major racial controversies in the United States even before the legal results were concluded. He has jumped to conclusions consistently as have, consequently, the black activists. A narrative has been created by Obama and the media which has driven any hope of cooperation on race relations underground.  This "media spin" and "glaring double standard" have created doubt in the minds of many whites.  "The media's natural impulse is to bury stories of black-on-white crime, even those with multiple victims." Peterson regrets deeply how "paternal abandonment and abuse can fill the children left behind with murderous rage."

Peterson's belief that winning this spiritual battle between good and evil is essentially a religious one which calls for the reconstruction of the family and its attendant values. This solution will contain the antidote to the alchemists' desire for the destruction of American society. Peterson says that while many reformers may be finished with the battle with the alchemists, he, himself, is not.  "I am not done. I am in earnest-I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch... AND I WILL BE HEARD."



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, 2016

Judge orders boy, seven, to live with father after his mother raised him as her daughter and even registered him with his GP as a girl

Social workers let a mother raise her young son as a girl because they were in thrall to ‘transgender equality’.

The boy, who was made to wear a pink hairband, dresses and nail varnish, lived ‘entirely as a girl’.

He was registered as a girl with his doctor’s surgery and was referred to as ‘she’ in official documentation from the age of just four.

But despite the alarm being raised by officials and the boy’s father, council staff failed to intervene.

Details of the extraordinary case were revealed at the Family Court yesterday when a judge accused the boy’s social workers of naivety and professional arrogance.

The seven-year-old, who cannot be identified, has been removed from his mother’s care and is living with his father in the north of England.

He now regards himself as male and plays with toys such as Power Rangers. The judge, Mr Justice Hayden, said: ‘This is not a case about gender dysphoria, rather it is about a mother who has developed a belief structure which she has imposed upon her child.

‘I am bound to say that had the concerns [of school staff] been given the weight that they plainly should have, it is difficult to resist the conclusion the boy could have been spared a great deal of emotional harm.’

He added: ‘Transgender equality has received a great deal of attention in recent times. I believe that in this case the profile and sensitivity of the matters raised by the mother blinded a number of professionals from applying their training, skill, and, it has to be said, common sense.

‘They failed properly to investigate the mother’s assertions, in part I suspect, because they did not wish to appear to be challenging an emerging orthodoxy in such a high-profile issue.’

Last night, the council involved – it cannot be named – said an inquiry was under way into its handling of the case.

The boy’s 40-year-old mother had separated from her younger partner within 12 months of their son’s birth in 2009. The pair initially agreed to look after their son cooperatively.

But when the arrangement broke down in 2013 the father went to court to restore contact with his child.

By then the boy’s mother had started sending him to primary school wearing a pink headband and nail varnish. She told teachers her son was ‘gender non conforming’.

Social services received repeated warnings over the welfare of the child throughout 2013 and 2014, including a report that the mother was insisting her son was transgender.

She had reportedly claimed ‘that she was going to disappear with him and “they will never find [us]”.’

The woman had apparently reduced a teacher to tears during a confrontation in which she said the boy should be sent to a gender reassignment clinic. She also repeatedly claimed to police her son had been the victim of ‘hate crime’ due to his gender status.

Social workers failed to act despite concerns being raised by the school.

In May 2014, the council’s housing department also raised the alarm, saying that the mother was claiming her son had been diagnosed as transgender at the age of four.

Officials said the boy ‘looked dirty, had pen marks on his legs and was dressed as a girl’. No further action was taken because there were ‘no safeguarding concerns’. By August the clamour from the boy’s school, the NSPCC, a GP and the housing unit finally forced the council to act.

But a visit to the family by social workers ended with the remarks: ‘The assessment concluded that there was no evident concerns suggesting he was at immediate risk of harm.

‘The mother is very clear that she is supporting her son with whatever choices he makes and she presents with a good understanding of his needs. There were no concerns from the social worker regarding the mother’s approach to her son’s gender presentation. Upon completion of the assessment, no further action was taken by children’s services.’

The report noted that ‘despite there being a high number of referrals the concerns have not been substantiated and did not meet the threshold for further intervention’. Sitting at the Family Division of the High Court, Mr Justice Hayden demanded the head of children’s services undertake a thorough review to maintain confidence in its safeguarding policies.

The council had ‘moved into wholesale acceptance that the boy should be regarded as a girl,’ he said. ‘Once again, I make no apology for repeating the fact that he was still only four. There was no independent or supportive evidence that he identified as a girl at all, indeed there was a body of investigation that suggested the contrary.’

The mother told Mr Justice Hayden that her son had ‘expressed disdain for his penis’ and said she was absolutely convinced her son perceived himself as a girl.’

A psychologist told the court that the mother, a former mental health nurse, had become ‘locked into a rigid and unshakeable belief structure’ about her son’s gender in what was described as an ‘enmeshed relationship’.

A spokesman for the council said: ‘We take our safeguarding responsibilities very seriously and accept the judge’s comments in relation to this case. There is very clear learning for the authority and other key agencies in this matter.

‘We have already begun to review our practice and involvement in this case so that lessons can be learned and shared.’


DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Freedom of the press must not bend to blackmail

Next week an obscure quango will take a decision which could – at a stroke – undo 300 proud years of Press freedom in Britain.

You may never have heard of the Press Recognition Panel (PRP), but it has spent the last two years – and £2million of taxpayers' money – preparing to give official recognition to a self-appointed organisation called Impress, which claims to be a regulator of the Press, but is not supported by a single mainstream British newspaper.

What Impress does have, apart from the backing of a few minuscule publishers, is money – £3.8million of it, from multimillionaire motor-racing tycoon Max Mosley, who has been on a mission to 'reform' the British press ever since the revelation of his involvement in a sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes.

And if, as Mr Mosley and the zealots of Hacked Off hope, Impress does gain recognition, it will set in place a system of State licensing which would be condemned without reservation by liberals in Britain were it imposed by a totalitarian regime.

The origins of all this are murky. In 2013, after the Leveson report, a deal was stitched up by those failed politicians Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, and Hacked Off. The result was the Royal Charter for Press regulation, under which the Press Recognition Panel operates – and an appalling piece of legislation called the Crime and Courts Act.

Once Impress is recognised by the PRP, any newspaper which does not sign up faces being punished by exemplary damages in libel actions. Far more insidiously, it can be forced to pay the other side's legal costs – which can run into millions – even if it WINS its case.

This would hand a blank cheque to anyone to sue any newspaper, however risible their case, knowing it won't cost them a penny. For many local newspapers, already under immense financial pressure, having to face such court actions will be the final straw.

Put simply, this is blackmail: sign up to the phoney State-endorsed regulator or face obliteration in the courts.

The great irony is that this onslaught comes when the Press has never been more tightly regulated.

The industry responded vigorously to Leveson, setting up a powerful watchdog, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, whose board has a majority of independent members, and which regularly requires newspapers to make front page corrections, most notably on behalf of the Queen. It has not applied for Royal Charter recognition because its members believe, quite rightly, that it is the back door to control by politicians.

Ipso's chairman, the eminent former Court of Appeal judge Sir Alan Moses, warned this week that the 'essence of our Press is that it cannot and should not be forced into doing anything it does not choose to do. If it acts under compulsion it is indeed doomed.'

It is not too late for that doom to be averted.

The board of the PRP could pause, and ask themselves whether recognition of a regulator bankrolled by the egregious Max Mosley was really what Leveson intended. The punitive costs regime can only be activated by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, who has yet to make a decision.

If this were happening in any other nation the panjandrums of liberal opinion would be in uproar. But far from it, they are plotting, in the House of Lords and elsewhere, to hijack Government legislation to force through the punitive costs regime.

Two hundred years ago Thomas Jefferson said: 'Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.'

Today that danger is perilously close. The Press cannot be free if it is forced – by an immoral piece of judicial blackmail – into a system of regulation devised and imposed by politicians.


Armed forces veterans are told not to visit First World War memorial in uniform because they would be 'promoting war'

Armed forces veterans were told not to visit a memorial in uniform because they were 'promoting war'.

Former soldiers were shocked when they were told by a volunteer at the 'Weeping Window' display at Caernarfon Castle in Wales, that wearing their berets was disrespectful.

Cadw, the Welsh government's historic monuments body, is now investigating the incident and has apologised for any offence caused at the World War One memorial.

Ex-2nd Battalion Light Infantryman Richard 'Taff' Evans, from the Comrades Association, said: 'There is a garden of remembrance also at the castle and we have been there since July 7.

'They were saying we can't go to the Weeping Window wearing our berets because we would be promoting war. In my eyes it's very, very silly because we are in a castle which has seen war through the ages.

'The purpose of the exhibition in my eyes as an ex-soldier is that it represents those soldiers who have fallen in war.

'Being an ex-soldier, having to remove my head-dress is disrespectful. I have actually been told by one person that I shouldn't be in uniform.

'It was one of the Cadw volunteers, a female, who turned around and told me that I shouldn't be up there (near Weeping Window installation) wearing uniform.'

Thousands of people have been to see the exhibition of the ceramic red poppies in memory of those who died during the 1914-18 conflict.

The Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by artist Paul Cummins, which was originally on show at the Tower of London 2014.

In a joint statement they said: 'We are deeply concerned at reports that some former soldiers visiting the Weeping Window artwork at Caernarfon Castle over recent days, may have been given the impression that wearing military uniforms around it was in some way discouraged.

'This is absolutely not our policy. We strongly regret if this impression has been given, and apologise unreservedly to any visitors who may have felt this.

'We are investigating how this may have come about. The artwork is designed to commemorate the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for peace and freedom, and no one would seek to place any conditions on those attending.

'We hope that as many former and serving servicemen and women as possible will visit the work between now and November 20 - and they will be warmly welcomed.'


In which I learn from "Shelter" that my flat [apartment] is unacceptable

I have a lot of time for Shelter’s policy team, because apart from basically being in agreement with them about the evils of strict planning policies I think of them as being smart, open-minded people who are happy to debate with their opponents in good faith.

I’m not sure about their most recent report, though, which purports to show that four in ten homes in Britain don’t meet ‘acceptable’ standards. It’s not to suggest that the housing situation in Britain is all roses to question a few of the things they think are essential to living well.

Most of the 'essential attributes' are indeed pretty bog-standard – a house should have a toilet and a shower or a bath, should have plug sockets and not be easy to break into, etc. But some are dubious.

"There is enough space for all members of the household to comfortably spend time together in the same room" is important for families but not for co-habiting young people. I know lots of people who’ve had the option of a flat with a sitting room but have chosen one without, because the rent is cheaper and/or the bedrooms are bigger for the same price.

"The household has enough control over how long they can live in the home" – does this preclude assured shorthold tenancies of 12 months? I don’t know – the data is not available without emailing Shelter to ask (more on that below) – but if so pretty much every flat I’ve lived in since leaving university, even the decent ones, fails the test.

"There is enough space to allow all members of the household to have privacy, for example when they wish to be alone" – I shared a bedroom with my brother growing up, so I guess none of my childhood homes meet this standard. Well, OK, I thought they were fine. (These criteria are sometimes contradictory, because another point suggests that it’s OK for kids to share rooms.)

In many respects rental properties used by young professionals cannot hope to win. For example, to qualify as ‘acceptable’ one of these three must be satisfied: being allowed to redecorate the home (repainting the walls, etc), being allowed to have a pet, or being assured of being there for long enough to 'participate in the local community'. None of those three apply to my current flat, which I quite like and certainly do not think is an unacceptable place to live.

Remember: failing any one of these criteria would make a home fail the 'Living Home Standard'. And there are places that could fail or pass on the sole question of whether you're allowed to keep a pet hamster in your bedroom.

If I was raising a family then I would feel differently about many of these, but the point is that lots of people are not raising families. If four out of ten flats are ‘unacceptable’ by these criteria but most of those are inhabited by people who have no need for pets or redecoration, or even long-term security in that flat, then the problem is less than is suggested.

I don't need space for a dog, I don't want to redecorate, I don't care about making friends with my community. But because my flat doesn't allow me to do these things, it fails the Shelter test. How many other people are living in flats that have failed and don't care either?

I’m also a little bit annoyed because the actual data, the polling evidence that tells us how many homes are ‘unacceptable’ by Shelter’s standards, isn’t available except if you email Shelter’s public affairs team to ask.

That’s not how it should work: as I’ve written before, we cannot trust journalists to scrutinise academic or think tank research properly, and if we can’t do that ourselves conveniently we shouldn’t trust the work at all. It’s extremely bad form of the BBC to report on unpublished data like this, and bad form of Shelter and Ipsos MORI not to publish it so that ordinary Joes like me can read it without asking for permission.

I could of course make the argument that the real problem is people being on low incomes, and the solution is not to pass regulations that, in effect, force them to spend more money on housing that Shelter approves of, but to make them richer by cutting their taxes, by growing the economy, by giving them cash transfers, by cutting the costs of other expenditures like energy and childcare, or by relaxing planning laws so that land is cheaper. All of this is true but almost beside the point if Shelter's unacceptable homes include places that people are perfectly happy with regardless of their income.

To which you might say, why question this? We know the planning system makes things worse. But we don’t need to make flimsy arguments based on secret data to make this case, and doing so makes us all look bad



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, 2016

Australia's human rights record condemned by a "rapporteur" from the world's most corrupt organization

U.N. "rapporteurs" (travelling critics) also regularly single out Britain for criticism on human rights grounds.  But if Britain is deficient, so is most of the world.  Mr rapporteur is totally superficial in his report below.  He thinks it is bad that old bag Gillian Triggs was asked to resign but does not mention her egregiously biased behavior that led to that request. 

Note that she was asked to resign, not made to resign.  Most other places she wouldn't have been given the option.  Mr rapporteur doesn't mention that, of course.

But he is a theologian by background so logical twists and turns can be expected of him, I guess.  He has no discernible social science background at all.  But he is a Frenchman who teaches German so maybe that is something.  It would be amusing to see what he says about Germany.  Free speech is dead in "das vierte Reich"

Australia lacks adequate protections for human rights defenders and has created "an atmosphere of fear, censorship and retaliation" among activists, according to a United Nations special rapporteur.

Michel Forst, who released an end-of-mission statement on Tuesday after a fortnight in Australia, said he was "astonished" by numerous measures heaping "enormous pressure" on public servants, whistleblowers and ordinary citizens.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has rejected Amnesty Internationalâ??s claims that the treatment of refugees on Nauru amounts to deliberate and systematic torture. Vision courtesy ABC News 24.

Increased secrecy provisions, especially with regard to immigration and national security, were hampering the ability of journalists and human rights defenders to hold public institutions to account, he said.

The new metadata retention regime, which enjoyed bipartisan support, had "serious implications" for journalists and media outlets, Mr Forst said. He also heard evidence that freedom of information requests were being delayed and frustrated.

Mr Forst also condemned the secrecy requirements of the Australian Border Force Act, elements of which he said contravened human rights principles, including freedom of expression, and called for the laws to be reviewed.

The special rapporteur reserved particular opprobrium for ministers' attacks on Australian Human Rights commissioner Gillian Triggs, who last year resisted enormous pressure from the Abbott government to resign over alleged political bias in a report on children's detention.

"I was astounded to observe what has become frequent public vilification of rights defenders by senior government officials, in a seeming attempt to discredit, intimidate and discourage them from their legitimate work," he said. He called for an inquiry into the treatment of Professor Triggs.

Mr Forst condemned "anti-protest legislation" in Tasmania, NSW and before the West Australian Parliament targeted at environmental activists, which he said would contravene Australia's international obligations.

He also accused the Abbott-Turnbull government of targeting advocates involved in environmental, immigration and land rights causes through the "drastic defunding" of groups, such as the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples.

"Other contractors, such as Save the Children, have been subjected to raids and egregious allegations of misconduct, removed from operations and had their personal and professional reputations targeted by politicians and media," Mr Forst concluded.

Mr Forst will present his final report to the Turnbull government and the UN Human Rights Council. Australia is seeking a seat on that council and the scathing report may have implications for the bid, although Mr Forst would not personally comment on that prospect.

A spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis said the government welcomed the opportunity to engage with the special rapporteur but considered Mr Forst had "not presented a balanced view of the situation of human rights defenders in Australia".

The Turnbull government "will consider the special rapporteur's recommendations in the same way as it considers recommendations from all United Nations mechanisms", the spokesman said.

Australia has come under a barrage of criticism from international human rights observers, mainly over the offshore processing of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. On Monday, Amnesty International went so far as to accuse the Australian government of deliberate torture.



APOLOGY: I have undergone surgery and experienced a prolonged cable service outage within the last 24 hours so I am putting up less than I usually would -- JR


19 October, 2016

How the housing boom is remaking Australia’s social class structure

This is quite a sober article but it does fall into the mould of a Leftist scare story:  "We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan".  It's fault lies in its confidence that accurate prophecies are possible.  In particular, it relies on straight-line extrapolation: The really dumb belief that all trends will continue unchanged.  It does not allow for Taleb's "Black Swan" events. And just such an event is now happening.  So it is sad that the erudite academic below has not allowed for it.  He has  seen it but has not understood it.

I refer to the huge inflow of Chinese money that is behind the orgasm of apartment building which has now been going on in the big cities for a year or more. Huge apartment buildings are springing up like mushrooms all over the place.  There must be a dozen within 5 minutes' drive of where I live in Brisbane. The process has already brought new accommodation to glut proportions in Melbourne.

And the law of supply and demand tells us what must happen.  A prediction based on the law of supply and demand is as certain as a prediction based on straight-line extrapolation is not.  As the supply of apartments races ahead of the normal demand, the prices will fall and the demand will expand to take up the supply.  We are in other words looking at a major fall in the price of housing in roughly a year's time.  The apartment glut will even hit house prices as the demand for accommodation is somewhat fungible.  Some people who might have been in the market for a house will be diverted by the good value of a cheap apartment.

So the predictions below were out of date the moment they were written

The relentless housing boom in Australia’s cities, especially Melbourne and Sydney, is often framed as an intergenerational conflict in which younger generations are being priced out of the market by baby boomers. However, sociological theories of social class suggest parents’ wealth and social status will eventually be passed onto their children anyway.

So, by focusing on intergenerational inequalities that will eventually be reversed, we are framing the housing affordability question the wrong way. At the same time, the impact of the housing boom is so deep that some long-established ideas about social class may be no longer relevant.

The housing boom has blurred existing boundaries between upper, middle and lower classes that applied to the baby boomers and previous generations. New social class boundaries and formations are being produced.

This does not mean younger generations, as a collective, are disadvantaged compared to their parents. Rather, these younger generations will be subdivided differently and more unequally.

The renting class

In the industrial city, the term “working class” was defined by the experiences of low-income workers in manufacturing jobs. Yet in a post-industrial Australian city it makes more sense to talk about the “renting class”.

Not all renters are poor, and not all poor households are private renters. However, the correlation between the two is significant and strengthening. The proportion of private renters in the total population is slowly but surely increasing – from 20.3% in 1981 to 23.4% in 2011.

Simultaneously, public housing – once a symbol of the working class – is undergoing a dramatic demise.

Largely abandoned by the state to fend for itself, with weak regulation for security of tenure or rent control, the renting class faces the unrelenting burden of ever-rising rents. The average renter paid 19% of their income on rent in 1981. In 2011, this proportion increased to 26.9%.

And, in 2014, around 40% of low-income private renters were in housing affordability stress, paying more than one-third of their income on housing.

With hardly enough “after-housing” disposable income to meet basic living standards, savings for retirement is almost impossible for the low-income renter. And with little or no wealth to assist their children to buy a home, the renter’s social class status is likely to be passed from one generation to the next.

The home-owner class

More than just a status symbol, home ownership has become increasingly central to the way most Australians accumulate wealth. About half of the home-owner’s wealth is held in their own home. Each housing boom enriches them further through tax-free capital gain on their homes.

The housing boom also creates work in the construction industry, which is the third-largest employer in Australia with more than one million workers. These are no longer working-class occupations, with most skilled jobs paying average weekly earnings of close to A$1,500. So, it is arguably the home-owner class that benefits most from each construction boom.

One consequence of the housing boom is that a growing cohort of moderate-income households is now priced out of home ownership. Had they been born a generation earlier, they would have probably been able to afford a house. Now it is beyond their reach.

Over the years, as their rents rise and their wealth stagnates, the gap between the renter and a home owner will become unbridgeable. Their experience of retirement will be worlds apart.

One lifeline for this cohort is the prospect of inheriting some of the housing wealth of their baby boomer parents. But when this will happen is highly uncertain.

The housing elite

The housing elite is rewarded by the housing boom well beyond the capital gain on their own homes. Much of the massive wealth of Australia’s elite is generated through the housing market – through investment, construction and financing of housing.

Harry Triguboff, Australia’s third-richest person, earned his fortune in the apartment development business. So did the three youngest entrants into the 2016 BRW Rich List. Their entry marks the rising importance of housing in the making of Australia’s super-rich.

The top 20% of the wealthiest Australians hold most of their wealth in their home and in other investment properties. They also hold significant wealth in the sharemarket, which is commanded by big banks whose portfolios are heavily dominated by housing loans. Each housing boom significantly adds to their wealth.

Social class, however, is more than just financial wealth. The wealthiest Australians secure their social class position by living in exclusive suburbs where they are able to associate with the right people and live an elite lifestyle. The astronomical prices of houses in some of these suburbs ensure their hermetically exclusive nature.

Breaking the loop

None of these social class categories is natural or universal. These categories will not apply in some European countries, for example, that have very different housing systems.

The deepening fusion between Australia’s housing system and its social class system creates a dangerous cycle. The further house prices grow, the more important housing becomes as a determinant of social class. And when social class is increasingly defined by housing, people are willing to bid even higher to enter home ownership or the housing elite.

Unless we break this cycle, Australia will continue in its path of becoming a more polarised society, with a weakened renting class, an impenetrable elite, and a shrunken home-owner class between them.


Euro 'house of cards' to collapse, warns ECB prophet

The European Central Bank is becoming dangerously over-extended and the whole euro project is unworkable in its current form, the founding architect of the monetary union has warned.

"One day, the house of cards will collapse,” said Professor Otmar Issing, the ECB's first chief economist and a towering figure in the construction of the single currency.

Prof Issing said the euro has been betrayed by politics, lamenting that the experiment went wrong from the beginning and has since has degenerated into a fiscal free-for-all that once again masks the festering pathologies.

“Realistically, it will be a case of muddling through, struggling from one crisis to the next. It is difficult to forecast how long this will continue for, but it cannot go on endlessly," he told the journal Central Banking in a remarkable deconstruction of the project.

The comments are a reminder that the eurozone has not overcome its structural incoherence. A beguiling combination of cheap oil, a cheap euro, quantitative easing, and less fiscal austerity have disguised this, but the short-term effects are already fading.

The regime is almost certain to be tested again in the next global downturn, this time starting with higher levels of debt and unemployment, and greater political fatigue.

Prof Issing the lambasted the European Commission as a creature of political forces that has given up trying to enforce the rules in any meaningful way. "The moral hazard is overwhelming," he said. 

European Central Bank is on a "slippery slope" and has in his view fatally compromised the system by bailing out bankrupt states in palpable violation of the Treaties.

"The Stability and Growth Pact has more or less failed. Market discipline is done away with by ECB interventions. So there is no fiscal control mechanism from markets or politics. This has all the elements to bring disaster for monetary union.

"The no bail-out clause is violated every day," he said, dismissing the European Court's approval for bail-out measures as simple-minded and ideological.

Otmar Issing was a towering figure at the Euro's inception © Bloomberg Otmar Issing was a towering figure at the Euro's inception The ECB has "crossed the Rubicon" and is now in an untenable position, trying to reconcile conflicting roles as banking regulator, Troika enforcer in rescue missions, and agent of monetary policy. Its own financial integrity is increasingly in jeopardy.

The central bank already holds over €1 trillion of bonds bought at "artificially low" or negative yields, implying huge paper losses once interest rates rise again. "An exit from QE policy is more and more difficult, as the consequences potentially could be disastrous," he said.

"The decline in the quality of eligible collateral is a grave problem. The ECB is now buying corporate bonds that are close to junk, and the haircuts can barely deal with a one-notch credit downgrade. The reputational risk of such actions by a central bank would have been unthinkable in the past," he said.

Cloaking it all is obfuscation, political mendacity, and endemic denial.  Leaders of the heavily-indebted states have misled their voters with soothing bromides, falsely suggesting that some form of fiscal union or debt mutualisation is just around the corner.

Yet there is no chance of political union or the creation of an EU treasury in the forseeable future, which would in any case require a sweeping change to the German constitution - an impossible proposition in the current political climate. The European project must therefore function as a union of sovereign states, or fail.

Prof Issing slammed the first Greek rescue in 2010 as little more than a bail-out for German and French banks, insisting that it would have been far better to eject Greece from the euro as a salutary lesson for all. The Greeks should have been offered generous support, but only after it had restored exchange rate viability by returning to the drachma.

His critique will exasperate those at the ECB and the International Monetary Fund who inherited the crisis, and had to deal with a fast-moving and terrifying situation.

The fear was a chain-reaction reaching Spain and Italy, detonating an uncontrollable financial collapse. This nearly happened on two occasions, and remained a risk until Berlin switched tack and agreed to let the ECB shore up the Spanish and Italian debt markets in 2012.

Many would say the crisis mushroomed precisely because the ECB was unable to act as a lender-of-last resort. Prof Issing and others from the Bundesbank were chiefly responsible for this design flaw.

Jacques Delors, the euro's 'political' founding father, issued his own candid post-mortem last month on the failings of EMU but disagrees starkly with Prof Issing about nature of the problem.

His foundation calls for a supranational economic government with debt pooling and an EU treasury, as well as expansionary policies to break out of the "vicious circle" and prevent a second Lost Decade.

"It is essential and urgent: at some point in the future, Europe will be hit by a new economic crisis. We do not know whether this will be in six weeks, six months or six years. But in its current set-up the euro is unlikely to survive that coming crisis," said the Delors report.

Prof Issing is not a German nationalist. He is open to the idea of a genuine United States of Europe built on proper foundations, but has warned repeatedly against trying to force the pace of integration, or to achieve federalism " by the back door ".

He decries the latest EU plan for a 'fiscal entity' in the Five Presidents' Report, fearing that such move would lead to a rogue plenipotentiary with unbridled powers over sensitive issues of national life, beyond democratic accountability.

Such a system would erode the budgetary sovereignty of the member states and violate the principle of no taxation without representation, forgetting the lessons of the English Civil War and the American Revolution.

Prof Issing said the venture began to go off the rails immediately, though the structural damage was disguised by the financial boom. "There was no speed-up of convergence after 1999 – rather, the opposite. From day one, quite a number of countries started working in the wrong direction."

A string of states let rip with wage rises, brushing aside warnings that this would prove fatal in an irrevocable currency union. "During the first eight years, unit labour costs in Portugal rose by 30pc versus Germany. In the past, the escudo would have devalued by 30pc, and things more or less would be back to where they were."

"Quite a few countries – including Ireland, Italy and Greece – behaved as though they could still devalue their currencies," he said.

The elemental problem is that once a high-debt state has lost 30pc in competitiveness within a fixed exchange system, it is almost impossible to claw back the ground in the sort of deflationary world we face today.

It has become a trap. The whole eurozone structure has acquired a contractionary bias. The deflation is now self-fulling. Prof Issing's purist German ideology has no compelling answer to this.


Congress unleashes the Furies, but never at itself

by Jeff Jacoby

WHEN WELLS FARGO'S longtime CEO, John Stumpf, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren tore into him with the relish of a Rottweiler mauling a favorite chew toy.

"You should resign," a wrathful Warren told Stumpf, who was summoned to testify after Wells Fargo acknowledged that thousands of its low-level employees had opened sham deposit or credit-card accounts for customers who never authorized them. "You should be criminally investigated." For the senior senator from Massachusetts, few pleasures compare with making the leader of a great financial institution squirm, and she milked the session for all it was worth.

"Have you returned one nickel of the millions of dollars that you were paid while this scam was going on?" demanded Warren three times as the cameras rolled. "You squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket." She charged Stumpf with "gutless" leadership, and accused banks like his of routinely "cheating as many customers, investors, and employees as they possibly can." Wall Street will never change, Warren said ominously, until "executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds."

In truth, Wells Fargo mostly cheated itself. The bank's aggressive "cross-selling" strategy, which tempted employees to sign customers up for accounts they never asked for, has cost the company far more than it gained. The fraudulent accounts generated only about $2.6 million in fees, which the company has refunded. That amount is dwarfed by the $185 million penalty imposed by federal regulators. Even more costly is the hit to Wells Fargo's reputation, and the loss of some of its biggest customers — including the state of Illinois, which this week suspended its annual $30 billion investment relationship with the bank.

Meanwhile, Stumpf himself has agreed to forfeit $41 million in stock awards and serve without pay for as long as the investigation lasts. Carrie Tolstedt, head of the Wells Fargo division where the misconduct was concenterated, will forfeit $19 million. Neither will be eligible for a bonus in 2016. And who knows? If Warren and other grandstanding members of Congress get their way, there may be worse humiliations to come.

If only members of Congress were held to the same standard.

Let's agree that Wells Fargo executives deserve to be flogged around the fleet because their ill-crafted policies resulted in perverse incentives that caused harm to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Shouldn't lawmakers expect comparable treatment when they blunder? If bank CEOs must submit to public excoriation and demands for salary "clawbacks" when their bad decisions injure the public, surely senators and representatives ought to face no less.

The hounds bay for Stumpf, Tolstedt, and other Wells Fargo officials to pay through the nose for abuses caused by their high-pressure sales culture. Yet where is the penalty for those who enacted — just for example — the disastrous Affordable Care Act? That fiasco, which has caused at least 7 million Americans to lose their employer-based health insurance, was premised on a gargantuan deception that has done vastly more damage than the Wells Fargo debacle. Even Bill Clinton describes Obamacare as a "crazy system" under which some of the most exhausted workers in the country "wind up with their premiums double and their coverage cut in half."

When will clawbacks be in order for that ruinous decision?

Or, to take another example, when will restitution be exacted from those responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial devastation it triggered? As former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted in 2011, one of the key culprits in the meltdown "was, plain and simple, Congress." Obsessed with boosting homeownership rates, Congress passed laws that forced lenders to soften underwriting standards and make it easier for homebuyers with weak credit to get mortgages. When the inevitable day of reckoning came, millions of ordinary Americans suffered. But no Capitol Hill eminence resigned in disgrace or gave up a paycheck.

Time and again, members of Congress make foolish decisions that have terrible impacts. Fuel-economy standards imposed by Washington lead manufactures to make cars smaller and lighter — and therefore deadlier. Collective bargaining in the public sector forces ordinary taxpayers to bear the cost of government employees' exorbitant perks and pensions. Agricultural subsidies drive up the price of food. Federal minimum-wage hikes make it harder for low-skilled workers to get jobs. The ban on incentives for organ donors condemns hundreds of patients to die needlessly every year.

If corporate leaders like John Stumpf deserve to be raked over the coals when their business actions lead to wretched outcomes, there is no reason why government leaders like Elizabeth Warren shouldn't be subjected to equally withering denunciations when their legislative actions cause widespread harm. But it never seems to work that way, does it? Members of Congress don't hesitate to unleash the Furies on anyone whose misjudgments it is politically advantageous to attack. Of their own misjudgments they are infinitely tolerant — and voters, they know, have short memories.


Australia: Some VERY "incorrect" advice for the unemployed

Tensions flared on Monday night's Q&A when industrial relations expert Grace Collier said the unemployed could solve their problems by starting their own businesses.

On a night when industrial relations was a key focus of the program, Ms Collier's remarks sparked several on the panel into life and surprised many in the Melbourne studio audience.

The panel was discussing the future of manufacturing — namely whether governments should subsidise certain industries to keep them afloat and save jobs.

But Ms Collier, a News Corp columnist, said governments did not owe workers any favours.

"Nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn't owe you a job. The Government can't get you a job. The Government shouldn't have to get you a job. There's no such thing as Government money. There's your money and my money," she said.

"Everybody has something that they're good at … You work out what you're good at and you try and make a career out of that."

When Greens Leader Richard Di Natale pointed out there were less jobs than people in Australia, Ms Collier fired back.

"People can start their own businesses," she said, leading to several people in the audience to start heckling.

"It's terrible, isn't it? Wouldn't it be awful to have to start your own business because someone else has to give you a job?" Ms Collier said.

"Why don't you start a business and hire some people? Go on. I dare you." "I'm busy at the moment," Mr Di Natale replied.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney interjected, saying "nobody has any money in their pockets to spend in that business".

"We are losing our manufacturing industry and there's been absolutely no plan from this Government to try to reinvigorate manufacturing, to find where we can have a competitive edge in the global economy," she said.

Labor MP Tim Watts said the Coalition Federal Government had "nothing" for manufacturing industry workers.

However John Roskham, the executive director of right-wing think tank Institute of Public Affairs, said it was "desperately unfair" for the Government to have to subsidise each job in the car industry to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

Economist Judith Sloan disagreed with the whole panel, saying the Australian labour market had been strong for some time.

Has Trump killed the conservative movement?

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's lewd comments led the panel to consider what Australians would need to do to prevent a similar character taking the nation's top job.

Mr Watts labelled the Republican candidate's emergence as the death knell of the conservative movement.

"He's been able to enter the scene in the US because conservative ideology has imploded," Mr Watts said.

"There was a time when conservatives believed in things. What's happened in the US is they've invited people who have subverted these conventions, trashed these institutions into the mainstream."

Mr Di Natale said people were "fed up with establishment politics", leading them to turn to extreme candidates.

"What you're seeing, in my view, is people like Trump and One Nation and others who are scapegoating individuals, who are looking to foreigners and easy targets to blame for what are very complex social problems," he said.

But Mr Roskham said Mr Trump did not represent true conservatism because of his stance on importation tariffs.

"Trump would not have been my candidate or the candidate of a lot of conservatives of a lot of liberals and libertarians … If I was in America I would not know how to vote," he said. Ms Collier was more optimistic about the future, saying she didn't care who the US elected, provided Australia wasn't negatively impacted.

"Don't lose sleep over the stupid things Trump said, because there's going to be another one tomorrow. Don't worry about it," she said.



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

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

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


18 October, 2016

The Social Media Thought Police

Policing thought is, unfortunately, one of the realities of social media. We’ve detailed the censorship and bias of Facebook, but it’s hardly alone. Recently, Twitter suspended University of Tennessee law professor and blogger extraordinaire Glenn Reynolds (a.k.a. Instapundit) over a “controversial” tweet about Black Lives Matter protesters. He was restored upon appeal, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. This week, Twitter also suspended the account of conservative activist James O'Keefe. This time, it has to do with guns.

O'Keefe had just captured former Sen. Russ Feingold on camera saying, “Well, there might be an executive order” on gun control. A major Hillary Clinton donor also said, “Hillary wants to shut it down. If we can get guns away from everyone in this country, she’ll close the loopholes, she’ll get rid of assault weapons, she will get rid of being able to buy you know, unlimited bullets, she’s gonna make all that stop.”

Think Twitter didn’t want to suppress that? Ostensibly, this is about photos or videos without the subject’s consent, but O'Keefe has a habit of breaking inconvenient stories.

Meanwhile, YouTube has gotten in on the anti-conservative act. Prager University, which was created by conservative radio host Dennis Prager and offers short educational videos on a variety of topics from a Judeo-Christian perspective, has charged that Google-owned YouTube has been censoring a number of its educational videos by classifying 21 of them as “restricted.” Video titles such as “Are the Police Racist?,” “What ISIS Wants,” “Did Bush Lie About Iraq?” and “What is the University Diversity Scam?” have landed under YouTube’s “restricted mode.”

YouTube will restrict videos if they contain inappropriate or objectionable adult and sexual content. In doing so, the ubiquitous video sharing website is making it particularly difficult for students to gain access to their videos as most schools prevent students from accessing restricted content. Elisha Krauss, director of outreach at PragerU, said, “Based on our review of YouTube’s policies and user guidelines, none of our videos meet the requirements of being inappropriate, sexually explicit, or hate speech.”

For several months PragerU has communicated with YouTube over removing the “restricted mode” status from the videos to no avail. In fact, the number of PragerU videos being restricted has increased. In response, PragerU has created an online petition calling for YouTube to stop censoring its videos with the “restricted mode.” So far the petition has collected over 30,000 signatures.

As Facebook, Twitter and Google illustrate, social media giants are putting a finger on the scale, discriminating against conservative content.


Free Speech Champions Fight Back Against OSCE 'Islamophobia' Industry

The ‘Islamophobia' industry's all-out assault on free speech was on full display at the recent annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw, Poland. The Center's VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez and Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin attended the 26-27 September 2016 session, along with Debra Anderson, ACT! For America Chapter leader in Minnesota, Dave Petteys, ACT! Chapter leader from Colorado and key European colleagues Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf from Austria, Henrik Clausen from Denmark, and Alain Wagner from France.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is a 57-member regional security organization with representatives from North America, Europe and Asia. It describes itself as a ‘forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues' whose approach encompasses ‘politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions'. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is an office within the OSCE that claims to be dedicated to democratic elections, respect for human rights, rule of law, tolerance, and non-discrimination.

Their stated overall objective is helping governments protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and tolerance and non-discrimination, as well as to improve and strengthen democratic practices and institutions. Except that the actual theme of the two-day proceedings had a lot more to do with countering ‘hate crime,' criminalizing ‘hate speech,' and demonizing ‘Islamophobia' and ‘Islamophobes' than it did with genuinely championing the right to believe, live, and speak freely.

Of course, the campaign to shut down free speech when it's about Islam is very much in line with the top agenda item of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), which is to achieve the criminalization of criticism of Islam in national legal codes. Gagging criticism of Islam is also what the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 tries to do. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hard to make that happen in the U.S. and around the world when she promoted the Istanbul Process. The idea is to use existing laws against ‘incitement to violence,' but in a novel way that applies a so-called ‘test of consequences.' That is, if someone, somewhere, sometime decides what somebody said somewhere, sometime is offensive and then launches a ‘Day of Rage,' or goes on a lawless rampage destroying property, injuring or killing people, guess whose fault that would be? Under the ‘test of consequences' speech code, that would be the speaker.

Notably, though, the Islamophobia crowd seemed to be very much on the defensive at this OSCE meeting. Their crouch-and-whine posture most likely had to do with the accelerating numbers of horrific Islamic terror attacks, whose trail of carnage and destruction is splashed across screens around the world for all to see. Along with those visuals comes increasing awareness on the part of more and more ordinary people that when they yell ‘Allahu Akbar,' it doesn't mean ‘Hail to the Redskins': it means they are committing that attack in the name of Allah and Islam.

The ‘Islamophobia' industry has neither the ability nor actual wish to stop jihad but it sure does wish so many were not putting ‘Allahu Akbar' and Islamic terror together and then speaking out about it. The only recourse left to them is trying desperately to shut down free speech-including places like the U.S. where free speech is Constitutionally-protected. As CSP Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin puts it:

This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world-including the United States-to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.

In other words, what they're trying to do is enforce shariah's law on slander - on us, on everyone, whether Muslim or not.

That effort at the Warsaw OSCE meeting went at it by various means: there was a great deal of emphasis on equating Islamophobia with ‘racism' (but a new kind - not based on skin color), ‘bigotry,' and violation of ‘human rights.' Pouty complaints were heard about ‘feeling discriminated against,' ‘marginalized,' and the object of ‘hard looks' because of wearing a hijab. When legal eagle Steve Coughlin and Danish defender Henrik Clausen demanded a specific legal definition of the term ‘Islamophobia,' they were assailed for...you guessed it, ‘Islamophobia'! Needless to say, there was no legal definition forthcoming (because ‘everybody knows what it means').

‘Islamophobia' hysteria reached peak during the OSCE's second day plenary session, where the Turkish General Secretary of the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), Bashy Qurayshi, came unglued with a plaintive wail that ‘Islamophobes' who'd been permitted to infiltrate the OSCE were "lying, ranting and attempting to spread hatred at this conference." He even threw in a reference to such ‘Islamophobes' as ‘Nazis,' at which point senior representatives at the OSCE head table actually broke into applause.

By way of counterpoint, however, it must be added that many delegates from Civil Society organizations throughout the OSCE membership area-including atheists, Baha'is, Christians, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons-firmly pressed the case for free speech. We know that they took encouragement from our presence and outspokenness, even as we did from theirs.

The ‘Islamophobia' crown went home from Warsaw in the sure knowledge that their attempts to silence free speech about Islam have stirred a gathering force of liberty's champions who will not be silenced.


No reasoning with PC bigots

Jennifer Oriel comments from Australia

Freethinker Bill Leak is a victim of prejudice so entrenched in our legal and political system it is spar­king anti-establishment ­revolt across the West. It is the conversion of the human rights movement into a bigot rights ­industry.

The principal victims of bigot rights are heterosexual men of Anglo-European descent whose advocacy of freedom, rationality and reason places them on the Right side of politics in the 21st century. The political repression of freethinkers by the bigot rights movement is calculated. PC bigotry is so comprehensive it engulfs the establishment whose members openly celebrate the structural oppression and public humiliation of those excluded from their state-sanctified system of privilege.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is handling a complaint over the Leak illustration that depicted a drunken man neglectful of his son. Some people have chosen to take offence ­because the inebriated figure was depicted as indigenous. So too, however, was the sober authority figure of the cartoon, the police ­officer reprimanding the drunken father. Whether intentional or not, Leak’s illustration revealed a well-documented empirical truth: that some men are alcoholics, some alcoholics neglect their children and some alcoholic men who neglect their children are ­indigenous.

In a rational world where politics were divested of ideology and politicians invested in truth, complaints about Leak’s cartoon would be dismissed. In the world of the bigot rights industry, however, feelings of offence have ­superseded empirical truth as the highest standard of Western ­jurisprudence.

The Racial Discrimination Act classifies acts that people feel offended about as unlawful if they choose to feel offended ­because of their race, colour, ­national or ethnic origin. Section 18C is anti-­enlightenment revolution codi­fied as law. It effects the erosion of truth, rationality and reason as the foundations of Western law by replacing them with ideology, feelings and a consequent culture of unreason.

Following the cartoon’s publication, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane tweeted that people “shouldn’t endorse racial stereotypes of Aboriginal Australians ­— or, for that matter, of any other group”. Agreed. Nor should they endorse the censorship of truth to please the PC establishment. He wrote on Facebook: “If there are Aboriginal Australians who have been racially offended, ­insulted, humiliated or intimidated, they can consider lodging a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act with the Commission”. A ­social media storm ensued in which PC bigots vilified Leak as racist.

The AHRC notified The Australian this month of its plans to ­investigate “allegations of racial hatred under the Racial Discrimination Act” regarding the cartoon. National chief corres­pon­dent Hedley Thomas has reported that documents provided by the commission indicate a single complaint alleging a woman has experienced racial ­hatred and discrimination as a ­result of the illustration. The AHRC has advised the newspaper that “sections 18C, 18D and 18E of the Racial Discrimination Act ­appear relevant to the complaint”.

The epicentre of the bigot rights movement is the UN’s human rights office. The founding mission of the UN was to seed global enlightenment by the establishment of universal human rights. It has been replaced by minority rights politics cham­pioned by socialists and Islamists.

Contemporary minority politics is the progeny of Herbert Marcuse. As I have demonstrated previously, Marcuse reversed the idea of equality by advocating a politics founded on the principle of “not equal, but more representation of the Left”. In short, the foundational principle of neo-Marxism — the ideology of the 21st century Left­ — is that ­inequality engineered to produce the silencing of conservatives is the constitution of equality.

The Marxist dictatorship of the prole­tariat has been replaced by the neo-Marxist dictatorship of man­u­factured minorities. It is unsurprising that the perversion of universal human rights by bigot rights activists has been codified in race discrimination and affirmative action laws. In the late 1970s, law schools became ground zero for the neo-Marxist revolution against formal equality and human rights. Critical legal theory emerged as the activist successor to black letter law. ­

Kimberle Crenshaw, a critical race theorist, recounts that critical legal theory was organised by “neo-Marxist intellectuals, former New Left activists, ex-counter-culturalists”. It emerged, in part, because “civil rights lawyers found themselves fighting and losing rearguard attacks … particularly with respect to ­affirmative action and legal require­ments for the kinds of ­evidence required to prove illicit discrimination”.

Critical legal theorists attack objective inquiry, empirical truth and logical reasoning as the basis of Western law and evidentiary standards. They decry enlightenment thought and contend ­instead that subjectivity, feelings and emotions are a valid basis for legal judgment. Thanks to the radical bigotry of neo-Marxists and their determined hostility to reason, we are forced to brook the absurd proposition underlying PC gag law that feeling offended about something indicates an ­unlawful act has taken place.

Leak is entering a bastion of Left politics engineered to produce his silence. Far from correcting their agenda of inequality, bigot rights activists are pursuing it with increased irrationality and anger. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, recently demonised conservative politicians of eight countries for opposing his agenda. The UN has endorsed a new campaign to classify dissent from its open border policy as “xenophobia” and “intolerance”.

Just as Leak is vilified as racist for depicting truth, so will dissenters from UN ideology be branded xenophobic and intolerant to justify their public humiliation and censorship.

I don’t know what advice to give Leak because he is neither the problem nor the solution. Labor and the Greens will continue to defend 18C because it is their PC bigotry made manifest. So too the minority groups who receive ­unearned privileges via discrimination law and affirmative action, as well as protection under 18C from ideas that offend them. The governing Coalition should champion free speech and formal equality but it rejected Cory Bernardi’s recent call to amend 18C.

However, there is a growing grassroots movement to return the West to the path of enlightenment — a kind of counter-revolution to ­restore universal human rights and secure the sovereignty of free world states. Whether you like it or not, Bill, you’re an idea whose time has come.


Foolish Aboriginal model wants acceptance as a model only.  Is the Nordic ideal of beauty changeable? 

She hasn't got a hope.  The worldwide standard of female beauty is Nordic -- narrow faces, fine features, white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair.  Even some Japanese ladies blond their hair.  To blacks, a white wife is a trophy.  The unfortunate Magnolia has no Nordic attributes at all.  If her skin were white she would be ugly.  She has received acceptance only because many people want to be kind to Aborigines.  She is an "affirmative action" model.

We may deplore the Nordic standard but saying that people should adopt other standards for females that they like to look at is pissing into the wind.  It won't happen.  It will have zero influence.  Brown hair can be accepted in lieu of blonde but that is the only variation to the top standard.  Mr Trump has plausibly claimed that he can have any sort of lady that he wants. He can have the top standard.  So see the picture of Melania below.  Compare and contrast.

I am sure I will be called a Nazi, a white supremacist and much else abusive for saying what I have just said but I am in fact simply pointing out the obvious.  The attractiveness of Ms Maymuru is very much of a piece with the Emperor's new clothes

So why am I pointing out such obvious truths?  It's because that is what I do.  I attack popular fairy stories.  I think truth serves us best.  A full and frank discussion of beauty standards might even help a black girl to be thankful for what she's got, rather than pining for the impossible.

It's been mere months since the Northern Territory model, Magnolia Maymuru, shot to fame after becoming the first Indigenous woman from a traditional community to become a finalist in Miss World.

But already, the 19-year-old has become something of a role model for countless women and girls around Australia.

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Maymuru said she wants to go above and beyond merely being seen as 'an Indigenous model'.

'I am about breaking down barriers and stereotypes,' she said.  'And I want to get to a place where I'm not described as an Indigenous model but simply as a model.'

So far, things are going pretty well for the girl who was discovered on a Darwin street in 2014 by her now manager, Mehali Tsangari.

At the time, Ms Maymuru was working as a sports and recreation officer, before she entered Miss World Australia and had the opportunity to represent the Northern Territory.

The 19-year-old has since landed her first major gig as the face of the Melbourne shopping centre, Chadstone. She has also recently been the ambassador for this year's Darwin Art Fair.

Magnolia Maymuru, whose real name is Maminydjama Maymuru, recently said that she never believed she would have a career in fashion. Describing herself as an outdoorsy sort of girl, who was into hunting and camping, she didn't have any experience within the fashion industry.

However, these days the model's glamorous Instagram account is testament to the fact that she is as at home on the catwalk as she is outside at home.



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

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

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


17 October, 2016

Hot air from Scotland over independence

Even when oil prices were high, it was dubious that they could afford to go it alone.  If they went independent now, they would lose the English money that keeps them afloat.  They would then have to fire half of their public servants and start charging for all currently free services.  There is no way the average Scottish voter will fall for that

Next week the Scottish government will publish a bill laying the groundwork for a new independence referendum, the country’s leader said Thursday — the first step toward a new vote on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom.

Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014 by 55 percent to 45 percent, but Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union has reopened the Scotland question. By a large majority, Scots backed remaining in the EU, but they were outnumbered by a majority in England who wanted to leave.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her pro-independence Scottish National Party on Thursday that "the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week."

She said if Britain leaves the EU’s enormous single market of 500 million consumers, "Scotland will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path."

"A UK out of the single market — isolated, inward looking, hemorrhaging jobs, investment and opportunities — will not be the same country that Scotland voted to stay part of in 2014," Sturgeon said.

"If that’s the insecure, unstable prospect we face as part of the UK, then no one will have the right to deny Scotland the chance to choose a better future."

A new Scottish referendum is not a certainty. Opinion polls suggest that there is not yet a majority in favor of independence.

Sturgeon said British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government must give Scotland’s Edinburgh-based Parliament "substantial additional powers," including power over immigration, if it wanted to keep Scotland in the UK.


Mohammed is at it again

A man who deliberately mowed down two pedestrians in a 'shocking' road rage attack which was caught on CCTV has been jailed for six years.

Mohammad Abdullah, 30, of Mulgrave Street, Scunthorpe, left his victims with life-changing injuries after the 'dreadful episode' in April this year.

Footage shows the two victims, Mark Thompson, 35, and his uncle, Kevin Morson, 53, crossing the road before Abdullah ploughs into them at high speed.

Abdullah, who was said to have shown 'genuine remorse', was also banned from driving for eight years at Grimsby Crown Court.

Mr Thompson and Mr Morson,  were crossing Frodingham Road in Scunthorpe in the early hours of April 14.

The pair had been out socialising in Scunthorpe and were described by prosecutor Jeremy Evans as being 'merry'.

The film shows Abdullah's Saab driving towards the men and swerving to avoid them at the last minute.

Mr Evans told the court: 'This is nothing more, at this stage, than a road-rage spat. He had taken exception to two males that are crossing the road, safely but not at a crossing.

'He's going to give them a warning with his vehicle.'

The court heard there was an angry exchange between Mr Thompson and Mr Morson and the occupants of the car.

Abdullah then performed a 'double reversing manoeuvre' to line his car up with the men before accelerating at speed towards them.

The CCTV footage shows Mr Thompson being thrown over the bonnet and roof of the car, while Mr Morson, who has mobility issues and uses a walking stick, is hit by the corner of the vehicle.

Both men suffered fractures to their legs as a result and the footage shows Mr Thompson's leg give way as he tries to stand up following the attack.

Abdullah immediately drove away and abandoned the car, his keys and his mobile phone before leaving the area and travelling to London by public transport.

He pled guilty after watching the footage in court earlier this week.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Abdullah, who earlier pled guilty to two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent: 'This is, in your life, an isolated, albeit shocking, incident.'

He continued: 'It was one dreadful episode. It was one awful manoeuvre.

'You have lived, effectively, a law-abiding, constructive life as a family man but for 15 seconds of your life when you did this mad thing in a terrible temper.'


Media Have Enormous Tolerance for Intolerance Against Catholics

Most of the media have been delinquent in reporting on the latest Wikileaks story involving Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and Center for American Progress senior fellow John Halpin.

In a series of email exchanges, Palmieri and Halpin made patently disparaging remarks about Catholics, and showed disdain for evangelicals as well. They shared their vitriol with Podesta, who did not respond (the source we quoted from yesterday mistakenly attributed a remark by Halpin to Podesta).

Fox News was the most responsible media outlet reporting on the Catholic bashing: Fox News Website, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, and Fox and Friends all cited the bigotry. CNN's Anderson Cooper also did a good job.

CBS, NBC, PBS, and MSNBC all reported on the Podesta Wikileaks story, but failed to mention the anti-Catholic remarks; ABC News didn't report the story at all, though its affiliates mentioned the controversy without citing the Catholic bashing.

Among the most prominent newspapers and wire services that ran the story without reporting on the anti-Catholic comments were the following: Associated Press; CNN Wire; Baltimore Sun; Boston Globe; Boston Herald; Hartford Courant; Miami Herald; New York Daily News; New York Post; New York Observer; New York Times; Newsday; San Diego Union Tribune; Spokesman Review; UPI; USA Today; Washington Post; Washington Times. It comes as no surprise that The White House Bulletin also covered up the bigotry.

I have been doing this job for over 23 years, so it is no mystery why the mainstream media are hyper-sensitive about "micro aggressions," and other slights, when they are made about many protected groups, yet there is enormous tolerance for intolerance when it is exhibited against Catholics and evangelicals. It's called bigotry, plain and simple.

It would be a grave mistake to conclude, however, that an anti-religious impulse explains this phenomenon. No, when it comes to Muslims, the media will bend over backwards to show how sensitive they are to any perceived intolerance.


PM: 'To say Israel has no link to the Temple Mount is like saying Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids'

Netanyahu leads angry denunciations of ‘absurd’ UNESCO decision

UN body’s motion ignoring Jewish link to Temple Mount draws scorn from across Israeli political spectrum, including charges of anti-Semitism

Furious Israeli politicians accused the UN’s cultural arm of anti-Semitism Thursday in the wake of a resolution approved by UNESCO that erases the Jewish connection the Jerusalem holy sites.

Lawmakers from both the right and left of the political spectrum said the decision, which refers to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemns Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both places, was ill-befitting of UNESCO.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “absurd,” while President Reuven Rivlin called it an “embarrassment” for UNESCO. The Executive Board of UNESCO is next week set to approve the resolution, which passed Thursday at the committee stage.

Culture Minister Miri Regev slammed the resolution as “shameful and anti-Semitic,” and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called for Israel to increase the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, a flashpoint site governed by a tense status quo, in response.

“To say that Israel has no link to the Temple Mount is like saying that China has no link to the Great Wall or that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids,” Netanyahu said, adding that “with this absurd decision UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it still had.”

He also said UNESCO was ignorant regarding the Bible, and accused the body of taking part in a “Theater of the Absurd.”

Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the resolution Thursday afternoon, six against and 26 abstained, though ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen praised the diplomatic effort that had changed several no votes in a similar resolution in April into abstentions this time around.

it was “a significant accomplishment,” that countries like France, Sweden, Argentina and India, which had earlier supported the declaration, now abstained, he told Army Radio.

“It’s not pleasant, ”he said, “but I’m pleased by the decision, relatively, because it was clear the decision would pass but we didn’t know which countries would support it. We had the goal of gaining back French support and our friends in Europe,” he said.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he was “outraged” over the decision “which denies thousands of years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.”

“Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca,” he said in a statement.

Opposition chief Isaac Herzog accused UNESCO of betraying their mission. “Whoever wants to rewrite history, to distort fact, and to completely invent the fantasy that the Western Wall and Temple Mount have no connection to the Jewish people, is telling a terrible lie that only serves to increase hatred.”

Fellow Labor Party lawmaker Eitan Cabel called it “anti-Zionist, shameful and embarrassing.”

“You can try and throw the innumerable testimonies (of a Jewish connection) into the trash, the evidence, the prayers and the archaeological discoveries. You can try and throw into the sea the millions of Jews who have touched this place with their hands and hearts,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It won’t help you.”

MK Merav Michaeli, also from the dovish party, said the resolution was the result of Netanyahu refusing to appoint a foreign minister and holding the position for himself for political capital.

The left-wing Emek Shaveh organization, which says it seeks for archaeology to be decoupled from politics, said the resolution would only make a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult.

“Now that an international, professional entity like UNESCO has disregarded the deep relationship of the Jewish people to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, they’ve only made it easier for the Israeli right to convince the Israeli public that Jerusalem is in danger,” the group said in a statement.

Indeed, lawmakers from the right-wing Jewish Home party called on Netanyahu to use this opportunity to increase Jewish activity on the flash-point holy site.

“Especially now, it’s on us as a government to act in defiance of these decisions and to strengthen the Temple Mount and the Jewish presence on the site holiest to the Jewish people — the Temple Mount,” said Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel.

Rivlin, speaking at an event before the vote, said UNESCO was making a mockery of itself with the vote.

“No forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself,” Rivlin said at an event in his Jerusalem residence. “We can understand criticism, but you cannot change history”.

In the US, Congressman Ted Duetch called the motion “dangerous.”



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, 2016

British footballer Ched Evans cleared of rape charges, following retrial.  Feminists furious

I thought from the beginning that the conviction was a monstrous injustice so I am pleased that justice has finally been done. It took a British court to convert consensual sex into rape. The Crown Prosecutors stretched the law in order to appease feminists with a high profile conviction. Feminists had been complaining that there were "not enough" rape convictions. Evans is the victim of feminist hate

The many who condemned and shunned Evans will have egg on their faces for a long time

According to the original prosecution, Yes means Yes and No means No -- except when you are Ched Evans

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. How was Evans to know the woman was too drunk to give consent? There are no standards for how drunk a woman can be before being unable to consent.

So it is a relief that the British justice system has now got it right -- after Evans spent over two years in jail.  According to the original verdict, sex with women who drink must be harshly discouraged.  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, Yes means Yes, is vigorously preached to women too so that they will be less evasive and less confusing to men.  I am not holding my breath.

Some of the feminist comments below are very disturbuing.  Discovering the truth can be wrong:  Better for an innocent  man to remain wrongly convicted, apparently

International footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of the rape of a 19-year-old woman, but the decision to allow the jury to hear the sexual history of the complainant has sparked outrage from women’s support groups and campaigners.

As Evans was acquitted of rape at a retrial on Friday, five years after having sex with the woman in a hotel room, activists expressed the fear that an earlier appeal court ruling which allowed the complainant’s sexual behaviour to be taken into account by the jury would set a dangerous precedent, and could put off women from coming forward to report sexual offences.

The appeal court judgment – made before the retrial but which can only now be reported – allowed in new evidence from two witnesses who gave testimony about the complainant’s sexual preferences and the language she used during sex. It led to her being questioned in detail in open court about intimate details of her sex life.

Evans, who has played for Wales and Sheffield United and was a member of the Manchester City youth set-up, spent two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of raping the young woman following a drunken night out in his home town of Rhyl, north Wales.

Following his conviction, a well-funded legal and PR campaign that included the offer of a £50,000 reward for information leading to his acquittal was launched by family and friends. The campaign eventually resulted in the case going to the court of appeal in London and his conviction was quashed.

After an eight-day trial, a jury at Cardiff crown court took two hours to acquit Evans. He kept his head down as the male foreman returned the unanimous verdict. Evans then rushed from the dock into the arms of his girlfriend, Natasha Massey. They held each other for a minute and sobbed on each other’s shoulders.

In a statement read outside the court by his solicitor, Shaun Draycott, Evans said he was “overwhelmed with relief”. He thanked his friends and family, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour”.

The statement concluded: “Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”

A spokesman for Evans said he would now return to football – though he is currently nursing an injury. He may be able to sue for lost earnings, which would total millions of pounds.

Chesterfield, his current club, welcomed the verdict. Chief executive Chris Turner said: “We can now all move forward and focus on football.”

It can now be revealed that:

    During the appeal case that led to the retrial, lawyers for the crown suggested the two new witnesses may have been “fed” information by those close to Evans. This claim was rejected by Evans’s side and by the appeal court.

    The appeal court judges expressed “a considerable degree of hesitation” before allowing in the new evidence of the former partners because it would result in the complainant’s sexual behaviour being subject to forensic scrutiny.

    Evans’ girlfriend, Massey, was accused in legal argument during the second trial of offering an “inducement” to a key witness. The prosecution said this had “the flavour of a bribe”. The trial judge disagreed.

The woman told the jury she woke up naked in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011 with no memory of what had happened but fearing her drinks were spiked.

Friends encouraged her to go to the police and officers found out that the room in which she woke up had been booked and paid for by Evans. He was questioned, and both he and his friend and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald said they had consensual sex with the woman.

The prosecution said she could not possibly have consented as she was too intoxicated. She has never alleged Evans or McDonald raped her.

In court, Evans admitted he lied to get the key for the hotel room and did not speak to the woman before, during or after sex. He left via a fire exit. It also emerged that Evans’ younger brother and another man were trying to film what was happening from outside the room.

Lisa Longstaff, of the group Women against Rape, said the case seemed a “throwback to another time”. Section 41 of the Youth and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 puts restrictions on what evidence can be put before a court by the defence about an alleged victim’s sexual behaviour and questioning of the complainant.

“But it has exceptions, and clever lawyers can get round it,” said Longstaff. “Here they’ve driven a coach and horses through the supposed protection.”

Vera Baird, the barrister, women’s rights campaigner and police and crime commissioner, said the appeal court decision would “go down as a precedent that will be used and abused”. She said the exception used by Evans’ team was originally specifically about instances of sexual activity that happened “at or about the same time”, such as during sex parties.

One of the new witnesses said he had sex with the complainant on the same bank holiday weekend as the hotel incident; the second said they had sex a fortnight later. A feminist activist who goes by the pseudonym Jean Hatchet and was behind petitions asking football clubs not to sign Evans following his jail term, told the Guardian it was “deeply worrying” that evidence about a victim’s sexual history had been permitted.

She said: “This will set a precedent in rape cases to follow where defence barristers will comb through an alleged victim’s sexual past and following the alleged assault at a time when they are suffering trauma.”

Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “We are very concerned at the precedent which might have been set.

“In addition to this there are reports that the defence offered a ‘bounty’ for such testimony. This is extremely worrying. We will review the case in full and may contact the Crown Prosecution Service and the government about aspects of this case which raise concern.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “There is a big risk that this case overall has a negative impact on reporting. Only this week CPS figures revealed a quarter of women are not pursuing cases. If you look at the surrounding maelstrom about this case it’s easy to see why that is the case.

“A woman’s past sexual history bears no relevance on whether or not they have been a victim of rape. There is a need to challenge pervasive cultural assumptions that equate a woman’s former sexual history with her likelihood of being a victim of rape.”

Police reminded people that naming the complainant was a criminal offence. Supt Jo Williams, of north Wales police, said: “We are aware that once again the victim has been named on social media. An investigation is ongoing.

“People need to be aware that they could find themselves being arrested and prosecuted. This was done previously, people were prosecuted and heavily fined.”


Aint multiculturalism grand?

A South Dakota man is accused of sitting on his pregnant ex-girlfriend and slicing off her nipples with a pair of scissors.

Tony Ledbetter, 45, is charged with eight counts of domestic assault in the brutal beating of his ex-girlfriend, which started when a conversation about their relationship led into an argument, police spokesman Sam Clemens said.

'The really disturbing part is he went and grabbed some scissors and sat on top of her and used those scissors to cut off her nipples,' Clemens said told Keloland.com.

Prosecutors said the victim is pregnant with Ledbetter's child.

The woman told investigators that Ledbetter also punched her and slammed her head on the ground.

He tried to stop her screaming by putting his forearm on her throat and stuffing a blanket in her mouth. She managed to free herself and called out for help, police said.

Ledbetter called 911 to explain himself, KSFY reported.

The 39-year-old woman is hospitalized but no information about her condition has been released. The baby is doing fine, the family said.

In court Thursday, prosecutor Tom Wollman said Ledbetter wasn't under the influence of any substances but 'just lost it', the Argus Leader reported.

'We believe he presents an extreme risk to the public,' Wollman said. Police called the case 'disturbing'.

Ledbetter is assigned to public defender. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

His criminal record includes previous assault convictions as recently as 2013, according to the Argus Leader.

Ledbetter has a number of dismissed charges of stalking and domestic assault, the newspaper reported.


Thrown in jail at 71: The disturbing story of a grandmother who refused to bow to social service orders and move an OAP from the care home he loves

Authoritarian social work again

A grandmother of 71 has been jailed for refusing to move an elderly man from a care home where she believes he is happy.

Teresa Kirk was given six months in prison by a judge at the secretive Court of Protection, it emerged yesterday.

Mr Justice Newton ruled she had disobeyed orders to move the 80-year-old from his native Portugal to a care home in Britain chosen by social workers.

He jailed her for contempt of court despite conceding she was acting out of ‘deeply held sincere beliefs’ to protect the interests of the man, who is suffering from dementia.

The judge said the pensioner had lived in the south west of England for 50 years, that he had a large circle of friends, and ‘a cat of whom he was exceptionally fond’.

Mrs Kirk has become the second woman known to have been jailed by the Court of Protection in a dispute over the choice of care home for an elderly individual.

In 2013, the Daily Mail revealed that 50-year-old Wanda Maddocks had been imprisoned by the court in secret after trying to get her 80-year-old father removed from a care home where she believed his life was in danger.

Details of Mrs Kirk’s case were made public only this week – nearly two months after her sentencing.

The grandmother, who is expected to appeal, is understood to be held in Bronzefield prison in Middlesex – whose previous inmates include serial killer Rose West.

The facts of the case remain surrounded by secrecy ordered by the Court of Protection.

Mr Justice Newton’s decision and Mrs Kirk’s name have not been revealed by the court despite transparency reforms following the scandal involving Mrs Maddocks.

The Daily Mail is unable to name the elderly man or to describe his relationship to Mrs Kirk. Even the name of his cat cannot be published for legal reasons.

The elderly man – identified in court papers as MM – was born on the Portuguese island of Madeira but had settled in Devon.

When his health began to decline because of dementia in 2014, Mrs Kirk moved him into her home in Sussex. After social workers said he should live in a care home, she travelled with him to Portugal instead.

In June 2015 the court ordered that he should be returned to Britain. The man’s health declined further and he went into a care home on the Algarve in September last year.

A second ruling made by the court followed in June this year – but the managers of the Portuguese care home refused to allow him to leave without the permission of Mrs Kirk.

After she failed to yield to the court, Mr Justice Newton said he had ‘no alternative’ but to jail her.

He said at a hearing made in August but unpublished until now: ‘I acknowledge that she has deeply held, sincere beliefs as to the best interests of MM and is genuinely concerned about his welfare.

'[But] I have reluctantly concluded that ... I am left with no alternative but to pass a sentence of imprisonment, however much I have made it perfectly clear that I do not wish to do so.’

Mrs Kirk, who has a daughter and four grandchildren who she regularly cares for, is understood to have been given a last chance to change her mind after her sentencing. She refused, and was arrested at her home in Sussex a fortnight ago.

Her former husband Chris Kirk said she called him at 11pm to say police were knocking at her door.

‘After that she simply disappeared,’ he said. ‘I could not contact her. I asked the police if they could tell me what had happened, but they said they had no information and if I was worried I should report her as a missing person.’

The Court of Protection hearing in London was open to the public and Mrs Kirk was represented by a barrister. However, the ruling was only published on the court judgment website this week after an approach by the Daily Mail.

Open justice campaigner and former MP John Hemming called the decision ‘oppressive’, adding: ‘It is wrong to lose a 71-year-old grandmother in the prison system.’

‘The rules on secret jailings that were issued following the campaign from the Daily Mail are not trivial.

'They act to protect people from being abused by local bureaucrats. In this case the courts have failed to follow those rules and Mrs Kirk and an elderly gentleman are suffering.’

Former pensions minister Baroness Altmann said jailing Mrs Kirk was ‘cruel and unnecessary’.

‘How can it be right when you are trying to do your best for a loved one for the courts not to understand and respond with compassion?’ she said.

‘This is someone who has been doing her best in the face of a social care system which is in absolute crisis.’

A spokesman for the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary said the online judgment had been held back from publication ‘so an error could be amended’.

Devon Council said: ‘Any decision regarding where a vulnerable adult should live is entirely a matter for the Court of Protection.’

The court was set up under Tony Blair’s Mental Capacity Act to decide the affairs of people who cannot make decisions for themselves.

But it gained a reputation for excessive secrecy, and one judgment in 2012 ordered that a pregnant woman should undergo a forced caesarean birth following a breakdown.


It’s time for me to face the truth – I am no longer a feminist

Trisha Jha, writing from Australia

This is a big deal for someone who was heavily involved with the Women’s Collective at university and helped to organise SlutWalk Canberra in 2011 (though I attended armed with a John Stuart Mill-inspired placard).

It’s been a long time coming – no-platforming, abuse of safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggressions, you name it. Ideas that were once useful in improving understanding of gender and feminist issues are now instead being used to shut down discussion, rather than enlighten it.

So it’s with dismay rather than despair I read this morning’s Australian, which broke the news that Victorian high school students are going to learn about male privilege:

Victorian students will be taught about “male privilege” and how “masculinity” encourages “control and dominance” over women, as part of a mandatory new school subject aimed at combating family violence…

While the program refers to “gender-based violence”, the overriding emphasis is on men being the perpetrators of violent acts. Proposed lessons will introduce students to the concept of “privilege”, which is described as “automatic, unearned benefits bestowed upon dominant groups” based on “gender, sexuality, race or socio-economic class”.

“Being born a male, you have advantages — such as being overly represented in the public sphere — and this will be true whether you personally approve or think you are entitled to this privilege,” states guidance for the Years 7 and 8 curriculum,” it says.

By Years 11 and 12, students are asked to examine their privilege and ways that “equity” can be encouraged, such as catch-up programs, special benefits or entitlements for those who are not considered privileged.

As my colleague Dr Jeremy Sammut pointed out, this is indeed an example of “taxpayer-funded indoctrination” that ignores the complex social problems that inform domestic and family violence.

More than that, it’s truly sad that a program originally labelled “Respectful Relationships”, instead inspires alienation, and peddles guilt and shame, when put in practice.

Rather than telling boys and girls as young as 12 that boys are “privileged” and girls are “victims”, would it not be better to teach them how to have a healthy, independent sense of self that is more resistant to peer pressure and social messaging about what it is to be an “ideal” man or woman?

But this is more just a wasted opportunity – there is potential for real harm. A focus on ‘control and dominance’ and ‘hegemonic masculinity’, so distant from the lived experience of teenagers who have grown up around family violence where abusive behaviours are seen as the norm, is more likely to result in a dismissive attitude to the whole idea. For students whose understanding of communication and non-violent conflict resolution within intimate relationships is imperfect, this simply means they are more likely to grow into adults who struggle — and perhaps even resort to abusive behaviours themselves.

If the goal is to stop domestic violence at the start, as those federally-funded ads tell us, then it’s difficult to imagine a worse way to do it than this – cooked up by academic experts on gender theory, dished out by teachers who may not know how to effectively communicate nuance, and served to teens at a key stage in their maturation into adults.



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, 2016

The glories of English multiculturalism again

Man who attacked WPC with an axe leaving her head split open and a finger hanging off told shop worker 'I've cut two people's heads off and you're next, you crazy b*tch', court told

A man who attacked a police officer with an axe leaving her head split open screamed 'I am the King...I'm starting World War Three' when he was detained, a court heard.

Nathan Sumner, 35, brutally attacked PC Lisa Bates with the weapon after she and a colleague had tried to arrest him at his Sheffield flat, jurors were told.

He struck PC Bates with the axe almost slicing her finger off as she tried to defend herself against his 'targeted' blows, the court was told.

Prosecutors described how Sumner chased the officer down his flat screaming 'come on you f******, I'm gonna kill you'.

An officer responding to her plight heard a 'blood curdling scream' over his radio as he raced to the scene in the Gleadless area of the city on April 13.

Nathan Sumner, 35, brutally attacked PC Lisa Bates with an axe after she and a colleague had tried to arrest him at his Sheffield flat, jurors were told

PC Lisa Bates who was seriously injured with an axe wielded by Nathan Sumner in April

Sheffield Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of how Sumner was eventually arrested in a nearby Co-op store by police who first tried to subdue him with batons before he was finally brought to the ground by a Taser.

The footage showed how Sumner grabbed one of the officers' batons and fought with the police before he was stopped.

Before this, he appeared to be walking around the shop in just a pair of shorts throwing around boxes of beer and bottles of wine.

He allegedly threatened one shop worker, telling her: 'I've cut two people's heads off with an axe and you are next, you crazy b*tch.'

Footage shot on a police officer's mobile phone after he was detained showed Sumner lying in a pool of blood.

In an incoherent rant Sumner appeared to tell officers: 'I am the King. I will rule the world. I am the original faction.

'I am the best army in England, in the world.

'When I die you will all die you fools. I am the trigger, the mechanism. If you do it, you all die. I'm starting World War III. I'm going to go off in 30 minutes.'

Sam Green QC, prosecuting, said PC Bates and her colleague PC Mark Garrett were called to Sumner's flat by a concerned neighbour living below. She had heard screams and banging from the flat.

When the two officers arrived, the defendant pinned PC Garrett against a wall.

PC Bates used Pava incapacitating spray on Sumner but it had no effect on the defendant, yet 'unhappily had an incapacitating effect upon PC Garrett'.

Mr Green said Sumner then went back into his flat and grabbed the axe that he kept on a radiator.

He said PC Bates jumped down some steps, injuring her leg.

Mr Green said: 'The defendant struck PC Bates in the thigh and the head. He was swinging the weapon repeatedly, despite PC Bates putting her hands up in an attempt to protect herself.

'The defendant taunted her, asking if she was going to kill him and "smash my head in". 'He swung relentlessly, albeit pausing to get the best angles from which to deliver his targeted assault.'

The prosecutor said one witness 'graphically described the defendant hitting PC Bates anywhere he could with an axe and 'just going at her constantly'.

'He kept raising it and plunging it back down towards her.'

Witnesses then said the defendant ran off, chasing PC Garrett.

A nearby resident, Simon Ellis, came to PC Bates' aid, dragging her into his flat and bolting the door until officers arrived. 

After he was arrested Sumner allegedly had to be restrained when taken to hospital. He shouted how he was going to 'chop your head off' if the handcuffs were removed, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Mr Green said he then tried to wipe faeces into an officer's face.  

But David Brookes, defending, said it was agreed his client was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time.

He told the jury of six men and six women they would have to decide whether Sumner really did mean to seriously hurt or even kill PC Bates. 'What was really going on in this man's mind? ' he asked the jurors.

He added: 'He was mentally ill. When he was in the Co-op he was saying to various witnesses he wanted help. 'He said to them: "Help me. The aliens are coming for me. I'm the King of Sheffield. I'll buy you a house if you help me.'" 

Sumner denies attempting to murder PC Bates and an alternative count of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.

The jury heard he admits causing the officer grievous bodily harm. 

The trial, which is expected to last up to three weeks, was adjourned until Monday.


The End of Columbus Day is the End of America

Columbus may have outfoxed the Spanish court and his rivals, but he is falling victim to the court of political correctness. The explorer who discovered America has become controversial because the very idea of America has become controversial.

There are counter-historical claims put forward by Muslim and Chinese scholars claiming that they discovered America first. And there are mobs of fake indigenous activists on every campus to whom the old Italian is as much of a villain as the bearded Uncle Sam.

Columbus Day parades are met with protests and some have been minimized or eliminated.

In a number of cities Columbus Day was transformed into Indigenous People's Day, which sounds like a Marxist terrorist group's holiday.

After making a shambles of his efforts at socialized medicine, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed on to Indigenous People's Day. What began in Berkeley, spread to Denver, Pheonix and Seattle, among other cities.

No American state has followed Venezuela's lead in renaming it Día de la Resistencia Indígena, or Day of Indigenous Resistance, which actually is a Marxist terrorist group's holiday, but the whole notion of celebrating the discovery of America has come to be seen as somehow shameful and worst of all, politically incorrect.

The shift from celebrating Columbus' arrival in America to commemorating it as an American tragedy by focusing on the tribes who had settled there earlier, rather than the American settlers, is a profound form of historical revisionism that hacks away at the origins of this country.

The attacks on Columbus Day have less to do with the distant descendants of those tribes, most of whom owe more of their ancestry to the later arrivals made possible by Columbus, than with the agenda of the left.

Anti-Columbus Day protests are mounted by La Raza, whose members, despite their indigenous posturing, are actually mostly descended from Spanish colonists, but who know that most Americans are too confused to rationally frame an objection to a protest by any minority group.

The absurdity is deepened by the linguistic and cultural ties between the Italian Columbus Day marchers and the Latino Anti-Columbus Day protesters with the latter set cynically exploiting white guilt to pretend that being the descendants of Southern European colonists makes them a minority.

If being descended from Southern Europeans makes you a minority, then Columbus, the parade marchers, the Greek restaurant owner nearby and even Rush Limbaugh are all "people of color."

Italian-Americans are the only bulwark against political correctness still keeping Columbus on the calendar, and that has made mayors and governors in cities and states with large Italian-American communities wary of tossing the great explorer completely overboard. But while Ferdinand and Isabella may have brought Columbus back in chains, modern day political correctness is erasing him from history and replacing him with a note reading, "I'm Sorry We Ever Landed Here."

But this is about more than one single 15th century Genoan with a complicated life who was neither a monster nor a saint. It is about whether America really has any right to exist at all. Is there any argument against celebrating Columbus Day, that cannot similarly be applied to the Fourth of July?

If Columbus is to be stricken from the history books in favor of ideological thugs like Malcolm X or Caesar Chavez, then America must soon follow. Columbus' crime is that he enabled European settlement of the continent.

If the settlement of non-Indians in North America is illegitimate, then any national state they created is also illegitimate.

It is easier to hack away at a nation's history by beginning with the lower branches.

Columbus is an easier target than America itself, though the left considers both colonialist vermin. Americans are less likely to protest over the banishment of Columbus to the politically correct gulag  than over the banishing America itself, which was named after another one of those colonialist explorers, Amerigo Vespucci. First they came for Columbus Day and then for the Fourth of July.

The battles being fought over Columbus Day foreshadow the battles to be fought over the Fourth of July. As Columbus Day joins the list of banned holidays in more cities, one day there may not be a Fourth of July, just a day of Native Resistance to remember the atrocities of the colonists with PBS documentaries comparing George Washington to Hitler.

These documentaries already exist, they just haven't gone mainstream. Yet.

We celebrate Columbus Day and the Fourth of July because that is our history. Had the Aztecs, the Mayans or the Iroquois Confederation developed the necessary technology and skills to cross the Atlantic and begin colonizing Europe, the fate of its native inhabitants would have been far uglier. The different perspectives on history often depend on which side you happen to be on.

To Americans, the Alamo is a shining moment of heroism. To the Mexicans who are the heirs of a colonialist empire far more ruthless than anything to be found north of the Rio Grande, the war was a plot to conquer Mexican territory. And neither side is altogether wrong, but choosing which version of history to go by is the difference between being an American or a Mexican.

A nation's mythology, its paragons and heroes, its founding legends and great deeds, are its soul. To replace them with another culture's perspective on its history is to kill that soul.

That is the ultimate goal of political correctness, to kill America's soul. To stick George Washington, Patrick Henry, Jefferson, James Bowie, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and all the rest on a shelf in a back room somewhere, and replace them with timelier liberal heroes. Move over Washington, Caesar Chavez needs this space. No more American heroes need apply.

Followed of course by no more America.

This is how it begins. And that is how it ends. Nations are not destroyed by atomic bombs or economic catastrophes; they are lost when they lose any reason to go on living. When they no longer have enough pride to go on fighting to survive.

The final note of politically correct lunacy comes from a headline in the Columbus Dispatch about the Columbus Day festival in the city of Columbus, Ohio. "Italian Festival honors controversial explorer with its own Columbus Day parade".

Once the great discover of America, Columbus is now dubbed "controversial" by a newspaper named after him, in a city named after him .And if he is controversial, how can naming a city after him and a newspaper after the city not be equally controversial?

Can the day when USA Today has a headline reading, "Some cities still plan controversial 4th of July celebration of American independence" be far behind?    


Multicultural Melbourne, Australia:  A city to avoid

This is the moment a brave shopkeeper locked himself inside his store with an alleged gangland thief and fought him for ten minutes.

The dramatic footage, captured in Melbourne yesterday, shows the shop owner and suspect exchanging blows as police try to make their way inside.

Eventually the officers get into the store and are forced to use capsicum spray to subdue the struggling man before handcuffing him.

Police told Daily Mail Australia they were called to the store, on Paisley Street, at around 2.45pm to reports that two men had entered and starting taking items.

Officers said the shopkeeper had detained one man, a 24-year-old from Shepparton, who was arrested at the scene.

The second man, a 29-year-old from Footscray, managed to get away but returned to the scene a short time later armed with a knife.

Police say he fled the scene a second time before being arrested a short distance away. Both remain in custody and are assisting police with inquiries.

According to 7 News, which obtained the footage, both men were of African descent and believed to be part of a gang operating in the area.

Video of the incident shows the shopkeeper exchanging vicious blows inside the store before struggling on the floor.

Eventually two officers get inside where they are forced to use batons to get the man in handcuffs before he is pictured on the pavement outside.

Witnesses said a gang of African men were terrorising the street before the robbery, in an area where African Apex are known to operate

Melbourne's streets have been plagued in recent months by the African Apex gang, a group of largely young males of Sudanese refugee background who have left some residents terrified.

The group are believed to have been behind multiple robberies, carjackings, and violent assaults around the city, and were responsible for the Moomba riots.

It is not known if the two men filmed in the store yesterday were part of that group.

News 7 reports that at least one man was arrested following the incident. Daily Mail Australia contacted Victoria Police, but had not received a response by the time of publication.


Terror raid in Australia: Sydney cops find Muslim teens wielding bayonets

Two teenage Muslim extremists arrested in southwest Sydney yesterday were members of Islamic State and were moments from carrying out an attack, police will allege.

The pair of 16 year-olds, one the stepson of one of Australia’s most notorious convicted terrorists, were arrested in a Bankstown alleyway wielding “bayonet-type” knives yesterday afternoon.

Early this morning, they were charged with acting in preparation for a terrorist attack, and being a member of a terrorist organisation. The first charge carries a life sentence, while the second carries 10 years imprisonment.

“We will be alleging that two 16 year-old boys went to a gun shop in Bankstown and purchased two knives,” NSW Police Force acting commissioner Cath Burn said this morning.

“They’ve then caught a bus to that location in Bankstown where they were arrested and those items seized.”

“This is the 11th imminent attack we have prevented in this country, there have been four in NSW.”

Ms Burn, also the NSW Police Force’s counter terrorism chief, said three houses and a prayer hall were searched by police in their investigation.

“We did prevent what we suspect was going to be an attack,” she said. “In respect of these two, I think that they’ve probably had some degrees or radicalisation from potentially radicalised peers. “This goes to the hub of what were dealing with. We have a number of paths people follow to radicalisation. Whether it’s they have radicalised peers, it’s online , its grooming or whatever, this is what we’re facing.

While the boys had been known to police for a while, Ms Burn said the time between radicalisation and carrying out an attack is short.

“We have been aware of them, and we have been concerned about them,” she said. “What we’re seeing is that the time between the radicalisation and when they decide to do an action happens very very quickly.”

Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner Michael Phelan said it’s more difficult to track teenage terrorists.

“The activity accelerated quickly,” he said, “and had we not been in the right place at the right time, and that’s based on good credible intelligence, then certainly somebody could be without their life. That’s the problem we face every day.”

In what has become an all-too-familiar scene in the long battle against homegrown extrem­ism, the two 16-year-olds were ­arrested in the southwest Sydney suburb of Bankstown by heavily armed counter-terrorism police.

It is understood the boys were in possession of bayonets or hunting knives and carrying a note written in Arabic that indic­ated an allegiance with Islamic State.

Police are investigating whether the two were about to carry out an attack like the crude, grisly terror assaults that have ­become a hallmark of Islamic State-inspired beheadings and stabbings.

Counter-terrorism sources said both boys were under intense police surveillance at the time of their arrests.

It is understood one of the boys first came to the attention of police two years ago, after he refused to stand for the Australian national anthem when it was played at East Hills High School, then his school.

The school was also defaced with extremist graffiti, including the slogan “ISIS R coming".

At some point yesterday, surveillance officers trailing the pair noticed they had armed themselves with what were believed to be bayonets or hunting knives.

Police believe they either bought or stole the weapons from a nearby army disposal store ­earlier in the day.

Fearing a terrorist attack was imminent, the officers made plans to arrest the pair without putting members of the public, or themselves, at undue risk.

Within two hours of sighting the knives, police pounced, arrest­ing the two in a laneway outside a Muslim prayer hall.

“He was just talking about some sharia law and some terrorism act like, and some weapons,” witness Syed Irfan Ali told Seven News. “He spoke about some weapons but I’m not sure what weapons ... I was a bit ­panicked and a bit scared.”

The boys were being interviewed by police at Bankstown Local Area Command last night. As a relative left the station last night, she told the Nine Network the family believed the boys had intended “going fishing”.

Since the rise of Islamic State, police have become the target of choice for Muslim extremists, a point brought home to Austral­ians in October last year when Farhad Jabar, 15, shot and killed NSW police employee Curtis Cheng outside police headquarters in Parramatta.

Both teenagers arrested yesterday were well known to counter-terrorism authorities due to their radical views and their ­associations within Sydney’s small network of Muslim extremists. One of the boys was the stepson of a recently convicted terrorist.

The man, serving a prison ­sentence for terror offences, was notorious because of the influence he wielded over a network of ­impressionable young extremists, most of whom are behind bars.

A Bankstown local, who ­declined to be named, said he was not surprised two teenagers were arrested with knives near the ­discreetly located Bankstown Musalla. Adnum Lane, the scene of the arrest, was cordoned off by police yesterday.

“Things have changed a lot here in the last 10 years. They’ve changed a lot,” the man said.

The man said it was only a few weeks ago, after Friday afternoon prayers, that a skinny teenager with a meagre beard in traditional Islamic dress approached him — accompanied by a man in his 20s — while he was having a smoke.

“He told me cigarettes and smoking were haram (forbidden),” the practising Muslim said.

“I told him there are people killing women and children in the name of Islam, and to worry about things like that, not me smoking. He could have been one of those boys. I see the young boys around all the time, coming from that mosque.”

The man told The Australian that young men often wandered the area, close to shops, a library, and Paul Keating Park, before and after prayers. The man said the teenager became aggressive when he told the boy to focus on atroc­ities committed by Islamic State.

“He told me Daesh was doing jihad,” he said. “This is not Islam. They need education. This is ­ignorance.”

Neither of the boys had been charged last night. However, detectives executed a number of search warrants and charges are expected.



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, 2016

Limbaugh: 'Ironic That The Democrat Party Wants to Throw Down the Morality Card'

The release of an 11-year-old videotape in which Donald Trump speaks in vulgar terms about trying to seduce women has prompted outrage among Democrats, some Republicans, and the liberal media, but it's hard to believe they're really offended, Rush Limbaugh said on Monday.

"You know, I find it ironic that the Democrat Party wants to throw down the morality card. The Democrat Party, which is responsible for the dissolution of morality in this country. The Democrat Party, which is for all these progressive new attitudes in our culture, and now all of a sudden acting like a bunch of prudes, acting like, 'Oh, my God, I have never been this outraged. Oh, this is just beyond the pale.'

"These are the architects of this kind of stuff.  If Trump were a Democrat, they'd be covering it up and privately inviting him to parties and yukking it up," Limbaugh said on Monday's radio show.

"All these people on the left and the media running around outrageously offended? They're not offended in the slightest by what Trump said!  They're capitalizing on it.  They're the ones that set up this permissive society! They're the ones who have shred the boundaries. They are the ones who have erased... These are the people that take money from people in Hollywood that produce some of the most depraved content we have seen!

"And they celebrate it and they applaud it and they call it great art.  And it's far, far more destructive in terms of how it is portrayed than what Trump's talking about on some bus in a studio lot at Access Hollywood.  So the hypocrisy on this is tenfold.  They get to act like they're righteously indignant and like this is the greatest assault on morality and decency, and these people have presided over the destruction of decency!

"In song lyrics that they produce, music, in books they write, television shows that they produce, movies!  For these people to act like they've never heard these words before and never heard them used this way? It's opportunism.  It has nothing to do with the issues.  It has nothing to do with the future of this country, and my guess is that a slew of Americans are fed up with all of this kind of rotgut determining electoral outcomes, particularly this year."

After the 2005 videotape of Donald Trump caught on a hot microphone was leaked to the Washington Post over the weekend, Trump's rival Hillary Clinton tweeted, “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.” Her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), was quoted as saying,“It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Trump told the nation at Monday night's debate he is "very embarrassed" by what he said 11 years ago. "I hate it. But it's locker room talk, and it's one of those things." Later, he told the crowd, "I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law."

On Monday's radio show, Limbaugh made the point that the political/media establishment will destroy anyone who challenges their grip on power:

"If they were able to demonize Mitt Romney, and they demonized George W. Bush, they'll be able to demonize anybody. If this is the kind of way they go to win elections, they're never going to stop winning elections, if this is all it takes.  And I think a number of people have become outraged by this," Limbaugh said.

He continued: "This is what it looks like when you take on the establishment. This is exactly what it looks like. It isn't gonna be pretty.  It isn't gonna be clean.  It isn't gonna be pristine.  The establishment, with everything they are invested in the establishment, remaining the establishment and in power, they are just not gonna sit back and trust this to your votes.  They're not gonna trust this to an election, to a campaign.  Not gonna trust it at all.  They're gonna do everything they can to destroy whoever it is that wants to take control from them.

"And, in the process, they're gonna destroy that person so as to send a message to the next guy, 'Don't even think about it.  Don't even try.  Look what we did to Donald Trump. Look what we did to whoever,' is the message. 

"When this whole thing began -- when it became clear that what this was, was going to be an effort to unseat the elites, the establishment, whatever you want to call 'em -- you have to have a sober understanding of who they are and what it means to them. And they're not just going to throw it open to what they think is a fair election."


How This Nashville Tech Company Challenged a State Regulatory Board and Won

Project Belle connects beauty professionals and prospective clients, who can schedule appointments directly with cosmetologists, massage therapists, manicurists, hair stylists, fashion stylists, and chiropractors for the place of their choosing.

It’s Uber, but for beauty professionals, as the Nashville Business Journal put it.

But in July, the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners sent Lauzon and Project Belle a cease-and-desist letter after receiving a complaint from an established Nashville salon owner.

Lauzon, with the help of a lawyer, Daniel Horwitz, fought back on the grounds that Project Belle isn’t a cosmetology shop, but rather a technology company.

And on Monday, the regulatory board dropped its complaint, allowing the company to continue operating.

But even though Lauzon was successful in his challenge, his experience with the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners underscores a broader debate taking place in cities nationwide, as elected officials and regulatory boards try to grapple with a changing economy.

“That’s what this came down to, was competition,” Lauzon told The Daily Signal. “We’re growing really nicely and we’re offering people, workers really, a whole new way to work, and some established interests don’t like that competition.”

‘Highly Disturbing’

Lauzon had the idea for Project Belle after he watched his cousin, a manicurist, struggle to juggle motherhood and work after having a baby.

Beauty professionals who work in brick-and-mortar salons, Lauzon learned, have to adhere to a strict schedule, and many have to “rent” their workspace from that salon, handing over as much as 85 percent of generated revenue.

But Lauzon’s service, which launched in September 2015, eliminates the need for beauty professionals to find space in a salon. With Project Belle, customers connect directly with individual beauty professionals.

Prospective clients can schedule appointments with cosmetologists through Project Belle’s website, and the beauty professional then comes to the home or business, no salon needed.

Project Belle began accepting appointments from customers in December. So far this year, more than 200 customers have booked upward of 500 appointments.

Clients can choose from more than 50 beauty professionals—all of them licensed—listed on Project Belle’s website.

For several months, Project Belle flew under the radar, yet grew rapidly in Nashville.

But in February, the owner of a Nashville salon complained to the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, about the website.

In her complaint, Karen Kops, the owner of a natural nail salon, asked the board to investigate Project Belle, which Kops believed was operating “outside of current state law rules.”

“As a business owner with a brick-and-mortar shop adhering to all state law requirements, I find this type of competition highly disturbing,” Kops wrote in her complaint.

Five months later, a lawyer with the state Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners sent Lauzon a notice ordering him to pay a $500 fine and shut down his website.

According to the consent order sent to Lauzon, the board reviewed Project Belle’s website and determined he was allowing licensed beauty professionals to do “in-home work” without having a cosmetology shop license.

Tennessee state law requires that a salon be “placed on a permanent foundation or otherwise rendered immobile,” and because Project Belle’s beauty professionals went to their client’s locations, the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners said the company was breaking the law.

The state has some exceptions for at-home services—if a customer is sick, in a nursing home, or preparing for movie productions, photo sessions, or “similar activities,” for example—but the board said Project Belle didn’t allow customers to verify if their appointment fell into one of the exceptions.

But Lauzon says he doesn’t operate a beauty salon, nor does he perform cosmetology services.

Project Belle is a technology company, he said, one that simply connects licensed cosmetologists to customers. The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners doesn’t have jurisdiction over technology companies, his lawyer, Horwitz, wrote in a response to the board.

“Belle’s mission is to empower people to open up their own business with technology and have a flexible profession and career, while at the same time delivering convenience right to clients,” Lauzon said.

“The law in Tennessee clearly states that the board of cosmetology has jurisdiction and oversight over licensed cosmetologists and cosmetology shops. We are definitely neither,” he continued. “We’re a technology provider. We’re a software company. We’re merely a third party that connects these two parties together.”

During a monthly meeting Monday, the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners decided to drop its complaint against Project Belle, and a similar service, Stylist on Call.

The board agreed with Lauzon and said that because both are technology companies, they operate outside of their jurisdiction.

The Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners did not return The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Back Down to Earth

Though the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners ultimately decided to allow Project Belle to continue operating, city councils and local officials nationwide have been attempting to respond to the technology companies that have sprouted up in the growing sharing economy.

In Austin, city officials passed ordinances tightening the restrictions on short-term rentals, banning them by 2022 and making it difficult for residents to rent out their homes on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is currently suing the city on behalf of resident Ahmad Zaatari over its short-term rental ordinances.

Other cities decided to ban ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft as they began to grow in popularity, which some say was done to protect taxi companies.

Today, though, officials like those in Miami-Dade County, Florida, have voted to overturn those bans.

And in Baltimore, regulations make it nearly impossible for mobile vendors like food trucks to sell their products within city limits. Critics of the rules argue they exist solely to protect brick-and-mortar restaurant owners, and the Arlington, Virginia,-based Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit with food truck owners Joey Vanoni and Nikki McGowan challenging Baltimore’s mobile vending rules.

Regulations like those in Austin, Baltimore, and Nashville, which often affect new competitors entering the markets, stifle innovation and entrepreneurship, Braden Boucek, director of litigation at the Beacon Center of Tennessee, said.

“These are business models that are thinking of new ways to come at established ways of providing services,” he told The Daily Signal, referencing new companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Project Belle. “Part of the reason why they’re advantageous is because they’re a better, more creative way of thinking about it. When you just wrap the old regulations around them, you’re really just bringing them back down to earth and turning them into what they’re trying to innovate beyond.”

Boucek said that instead of addressing new companies on a case-by-case basis, as Tennessee has done with Project Belle, elected officials need to have a larger conversation about the sharing economy.

“Policymakers need to think big on this issue, otherwise it’s going to be having to address these one-by-one as they pop up,” he said. “They need to be thinking about laying the groundwork for the new economy and ushering in a new chapter of flourishment for both people and the economy.”

Following the American Dream

Since Project Belle began accepting appointments in December, Lauzon said his business has grown by 40 percent month-to-month.

For his customers, Lauzon said Project Belle is opening up access to beauty services, especially for those who are disabled or elderly.

One Project Belle client, he said, is an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair who has a hard time with mobility. But she’s able to schedule beauty services through the website, and her cosmetologist comes directly to her home.

Lauzon said that was “life changing” for the elderly woman, and that’s something the Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners didn’t realize.

“There’s a large group of people who cannot get [these services] right now,” he said. “I think what Belle is doing is really meeting and discovering this unmet need and serving it to people and helping both sides of the marketplace—the clients and the professionals—in a meaningful way.”

And Project Belle isn’t only changing the game for clients, but for beauty professionals, too.

His service allows cosmetologists, fashion stylists, chiropractors, and massage therapists to set their own schedules, determine their own pricing, and put more of the money they make into their own pockets.

Project Belle handles the marketing, payment, and bookings for each beauty professional, and keeps 15 percent of each transaction.

Lauzon said that freelancing, as those stylists on Project Belle do, brings more competition to the market, which not only pushes employees to change their business practices, but also lowers prices for consumers.

“Professionals should be able to freelance in a way that they see fit, and whether that’s with us or by themselves, we think that everyone has that right. The law as it stands does not allow that,” he said. “[Project Belle is] safe for now, but we want all professionals in the state to be safe and have the ability to follow the American dream.”

Lauzon plans to continue to grow Project Belle in Nashville and is working with state lawmakers to change Tennessee’s laws regarding mobile services, which he says gives brick-and-mortar salons the upper hand over cosmetologists.

He also recognizes that when Project Belle expands to other cities outside of the state in the future, Lauzon may be facing regulatory boards like the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners who want to keep new companies from competing against established market participants.

But that won’t deter him.

“We’re going to be proving why it’s a good thing to change and liberalize and allow more competition, allow more workers freedom, and allow consumers to choose,” Lauzon said. “At the end of the day, consumers really deserve that choice.”


Jeanine Pirro Says America Is Too Politically Correct During Steubenville Speech

Fox News legal analyst Jeanine Pirro blasted what she views as an overabundance of political correctness in America and claimed the Black Lives Matter movement was created “to rip this country apart” during a speech Monday at Steubenville High School.

During her hour-long address in the latest installment of the Herald-Star Speaker Series, Pirro — host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine” — also called Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women from a 2005 video “despicable,” but said there’s a difference between words and actual action.

“This election is about the establishment versus an outsider.

“I have never seen our country as divided as it is today,” said Pirro, who attended the presidential debate in St. Louis on Sunday night.

“The candidates walked onto the stage Sunday night. Hillary was nervous, and Bill (Clinton) was nervous. I thought Donald did a good job. He is my friend. What he said (in the video) was despicable. But he never did anything. There is a difference between words and putting them into action. What is at stake here is this country and where we are headed.”

Pirro said “what is happening in Washington is corruption personified.”

“Bernie Sanders lost (the Democratic primary) because the superdelegate system is rigged. Bernie Sanders said he was a socialist, and they loved him. If Bernie Sanders had won that election, the millenials would have put him in office because they are stupid. We have to take this country back,” she said.

Pirro is a former district attorney in New York who grew up in Elmyra, N.Y.

“I worked in the family dairy and went to Catholic schools. I knew I wanted to go to law school, but I didn’t want to be a defense attorney. I wanted to defend the victims. I went to law school to learn about truth and justice. The first thing I saw was women and children were not treated equally,” she said.

Pirro also said America must get tougher on immigration.

“We can’t ban people from our country based on their religion. But we can ban people based on their background,” Pirro said. “Local officials are not being told where the refugees are being sent in this country. You would think other Arab countries would take them but they aren’t.

“We are fighting a theology that believes they should control every part of government. … We could have identified terrorists if we weren’t so scared of being called an Islamophobe. Russia told us about the Boston bombers and the FBI didn’t listen.”

She answered questions submitted by the sold-out audience, including a request for advice from new police officers.

“I have worked with cops for 30 years. The vast majority of America loves you, appreciates you and honors you. You have to take care of each other.

“This Black Lives Matter (movement) is nothing more than an anarchist organization to rip this country apart. Michael Brown in Ferguson, (Mo.), was nothing more than a thug. He got what he deserved. Be true to the badge and be true to yourself,” Pirro said.

“It is about right or wrong and truth and justice. Cops are the line of difference between anarchy and civilization. We have to fight the heroin crisis. It is about making judges accountable and people accountable,” she added.


Is It Legal To Smack Your Child?

The Australian situation

It’s a controversial topic but there are many parents out there who prefer to give their kids a smack as a way to discipline them. Some parents find hitting a child, no matter how softly you do it, absolutely deplorable. But is smacking your kids even legal? We have the answer.

Wooden spoons were once the weapon of choice for mothers who wanted to physically punish their children. My mum was a seamstress and preferred a long, thick wooden ruler used to measure fabric. These days, time-poor parents use a quick smack, often delivered in the heat of the moment when their children are behaving badly.

In a poll of nearly 1400 Australians by News Corp, 75.7% considered it acceptable to smack children as a way to deter them from misbehaving. Meanwhile 39.5% said they would be furious if they see their friends smack their kids.

It’s definitely a controversial topic but according to the law, it’s not illegal to smack your children in Australia. However, there are conditions. According to the Australian Institute Of Family Studies:

    “In some jurisdictions a parent’s right to use corporal punishment is provided for in legislation (e.g., New South Wales), while in others it is provided for by the common law (“judge-made law”) (e.g., Victoria). All Australian states and territories condone (in principle) the use of force by a parent, by way of correction, towards a child.”

For example, in NSW, prior to 2002 it was up to judges to decide what kind of physical punishment was acceptable. Since the state introduced the Crimes Amendment (Child Protection Physical Measures Act, there is now clarification on what kind of physical punishment is permissible on a child.

According to the amendment, it’s okay to use physical force on a child provided that it “was reasonable having regard to the age, health, maturity or other characteristics of the child, the nature of the alleged misbehaviour or other circumstances”. Also, you can’t hit them above the neck or “any other part of the body of the child in such a way as to be likely to cause harm to the child that lasts for more than a short period”.



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, 2016

Donald's Boorish Comments and Bill's Criminal Actions

Hillary Clinton and her Leftmedia super PAC got their dream candidate. We warned throughout the primary that the Leftmedia wanted Donald Trump as the Republican nominee because stories like the one that broke Friday afternoon would help boost Clinton, an incredibly weak candidate. And indeed, the Left couldn’t ask for a better October surprise than to be able to run headline after headline about Trump’s awful comments coupled with GOP leaders withdrawing their support and calling for the nominee to step aside.

We’ll leave Trump’s actual lewd and despicable comments for others to repeat, but the reason they’re so devastating is, as Andrew McCarthy put it, “[T]he power of a tape to make its mark on our consciousness is simply unequaled by written and oral descriptions.”

In any case, there are a couple of primary takeaways. First, Trump is Trump, and he’s not going to change. If that wasn’t clear before, well … it should have been. Second, for Clinton and her Leftmedia allies, this is all about women voters. How they feel about Trump will either depress his support and/or increase Clinton’s. She’s depending on women to win.

But we’ll say this to Clinton and her leftist gaggle: Spare us your indignation.

What Trump said and did is horrible and inexcusable. But Bill Clinton raped several women, had an affair with another in the Oval Office itself, and Hillary Clinton viciously attacked those women in public in a craven attempt to save her own political future. This was consistent with her character, too. As a young lawyer, Clinton defended a child rapist, happily destroying the victim’s character in the process. As the nation’s top diplomat, Clinton broke federal law regarding classified information, endangering national security, and she ran a pay-to-play operation called the Clinton Foundation. And Democrats do nothing but rally around the Clintons.

(Significantly, just before the debate Trump held a press conference featuring three of Bill Clinton’s victims — Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. Also present was Kathy Shelton, who was raped as a 12-year-old girl, only to see a young Hillary Clinton defend her rapist and besmirch her character. The press event was a brilliant stroke for Trump, and set the stage for the debate in a way even the Clinton Machine must envy.)

What Trump said 11 years ago doesn’t change the fact that Clinton is manifestly unfit for office. And either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be president come January. Make your choice, America.


Menacing Situation Threatens to Set US Race Relations Back Decades

Charlie Daniels

Basically, law is just words written into a bill, approved by a legislative body, published and set on a shelf to be interpreted by judges and administered by men and women we put our trust in to dispense it evenly and fairly, without prejudice or preference.

Law has no intrinsic, physical power and is no better than the caliber of those charged with enforcement and jurisprudence, and in theory, it provides equal protection and prosecution to every citizen regardless of color, creed, the neighborhood they live in or financial strata they are a part of.

Without law there is no order, and without order there is chaos, anarchy and the complete breakdown of a society.

There is a menacing situation developing in America that endangers not only the peace but threatens to set race relations back a few decades, a situation being exploited by race baiters, opportunistic politicians and a sensationalist media.

It's high time that somebody – preferably a president – would assume the role of leadership the nation has placed on their shoulders and make it a priority to initiate some calm and sane dialogue, a common sense approach to what is happening between the African American community and law enforcement.

It seems to me that the first thing to do is admit that, as in all cases, there are two sides to this story.

To deny that there are a few cops out there who are prejudiced, quick-tempered and probably should not be carrying a firearm would be a fallacy, but to deny that they are an infinitesimal contingent overall would be an even bigger fallacy.

The last thing the overwhelming majority of police officers want is to be forced into drawing their weapon, much less having to use it.

By far, the law enforcement community is made up of men and women who just want to get home to their families safely when their shift is over. They just want to raise their children and live to draw their well-earned pensions.

They are dedicated people who potentially go into harms way every day to protect and serve and face life and death situations that require split second decisions and sometimes make mistakes.

But if you would stop and examine the recent rash of shootings you would find that, not all, but by far the most begin with a situation where a person defies instructions from a police officer refusing to yield to the authority vested in the officer and simply do what he or she tells them to.

Oftentimes the situation is exacerbated by belligerence, when a little respect and courtesy would diffuse the situation quickly. For a police officer to do their job the uniform has to be respected and recognized as a symbol of authority, and complete cooperation in any situation involving police officers and citizens would take the tension, and therefore the danger, out of the encounter. And if no crime is involved it can be quickly settled and both sides can go their ways, none the worse for wear.

Of course, I believe that officers of the law must be held accountable for their actions, but accountability goes both ways: both the officer and the citizen must be held accountable. If the citizen creates an atmosphere of distrust and imminent danger, then the officer will act in a more aggressive way, not only to defend their own lives but the lives they are charged to protect and serve.

This is a powder keg of a situation and needs a leader to step into the breach, thoroughly explain both sides of the problem to everybody and ask for calm from the police and the communities.

The more we defame our police, the more we take away their ability and their will to do their jobs, and society suffers for it.


Christians – Not the Enlightenment – Invented Modern Science

For well over a century and a half, secular intellectuals have promulgated the myth that when it came to understanding the natural world, medieval and earlier Christians were superstitious simpletons. As we mark Columbus Day today, sit back and listen to Chuck Colson as he debunks that pernicious fairy tale.  Here’s Chuck:

To paraphrase the opening of a popular ESPN show, these four things everyone knows are true: Before Columbus's first voyage, people thought the world was flat. When Copernicus wrote that the Earth revolved around the Sun, his conclusions came out of nowhere. Three, the "scientific revolution" of the seventeenth century invented science as we know it. And four, false beliefs and impediments to science are Christianity's fault.

There's just one problem: All four statements are false.

As Rodney Stark writes in his new book, "For the Glory of God," "every educated person" of Columbus's time, especially Christian clergy, "knew the earth was round." More than 800 years before Columbus's voyage, Bede, the church historian, taught this, as did Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Aquinas. The title of the most popular medieval text on astronomy was Sphere, not exactly what you would call a book that said the earth was flat.

As for Copernicus's sudden flash of insight, Stark quotes the eminent historian L. Bernard Cohen, who called that idea "an invention of later historians." Copernicus "was taught the essential fundamentals leading to his model by his Scholastic professors"—that is, Christian scholars.

That model was "developed gradually by a succession of … Scholastic scientists over the previous two centuries." Building upon their work on orbital mechanics, Copernicus added the "implicit next step."

Thus, the idea that science was invented in the seventeenth century, "when a weakened Christianity could no longer prevent it," as it is said, is false. Long before the famed physicist Isaac Newton, clergy like John of Sacrobosco, the author of Sphere, were doing what can be only called science. The Scholastics—Christians—not the Enlightenment, invented modern science.

Three hundred years before Newton, a Scholastic cleric named Jean Buridan anticipated Newton's First Law of Motion, that a body in motion will stay in motion unless otherwise impeded. It was Buridan, not an Enlightenment luminary, who first proposed that the Earth turns on its axis.

In Stark's words, "Christian theology was necessary for the rise of science." Science only happened in areas whose worldview was shaped by Christianity, that is, Europe. Many civilizations had alchemy; only Europe developed chemistry. Likewise, astrology was practiced everywhere, but only in Europe did it become astronomy.

That's because Christianity depicted God as a "rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being" who created a universe with a "rational, lawful, stable" structure. These beliefs uniquely led to "faith in the possibility of science."

So why the Columbus myth? Because, as Stark writes, "the claim of an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack of faith." Opponents of Christianity have used bogus accounts like the ones I've mentioned to not only discredit Christianity, but also position themselves as "liberators" of the human mind and spirit.


America’s Racist Baggage Today is the Legacy of the Democratic Party

By a black writer

 It is very difficult for me to understand how inefficient the knowledge base of a sizeable corpus of individuals in the generations after mine have, as it pertains to history.  No more astonishing a content area is this evident is with regards to American political history, in particular history of the Democratic Party.

What few are aware of is that it is most probable that race relations in America are a direct result of Democratic Party policy and ideology. De Tocqueville acknowledge this when he stated that a natural prejudice was evinced against Africans brought to these shores against their will yet forever through pigmentation, will carry the “external mark” of a stranger, born in degradation considered as “an intermediate between beast and man.” Taking this even further he wrote:

“So those who hope that the European will one day mingle with the Negroes seem to me to be harboring a delusion…I see that slavery is in retreat, but the prejudice from which it arose is immovable…Race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exist, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known.”

Ironically the laws that would manifest over his times and major attitudes regarding Africans in America, After the Federalist Party, would be fostered by one party in particular as it pertained to policy – the Democratic Party.

That is correct; you name it, many of the collective political  accomplishments that we as African Americans benefited from did not occur because of the Democratic Party but rather in spite of the Democratic Party.  If it were not for U.S. Representative Justin Morrill (R-VT) in 1862, who got the Land Grant Act passed, which established colleges for African Americans, there would be no state funded historically Black Colleges and Universities. Even before this, the historical record notes that the Republican Party was formed essential to counteract the pro-slavery policies of the Democratic Party during a period in the nation’s history in which we saw Democratic President Franklin Pierce signing the Kansas-NebraskaAct (which allowed for the expansion of slavery into newly acquired U.S. territories in 1854). Ironically the same year, Montgomery Blair, a republican argued in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of his client Dred Scott albeit it unsuccessfully where the record noted the only dissent with the court decision majority of seven democrats was Republican Justice John McLean.

Although many incorrectly believe that freed slaves were promised after emancipation and the 13th and 14thamendment 40 acres and a mule, this was never factually the case.  The record documents that in 1866 Republican U.S. Representative Thaddeus Stevens introduced the legislation however it was vetoed by then Democratic President Andrew Johnson. Also that same year the Republican congress was able to override President Johnson’s veto of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and his veto of the Freedman’s Bureau Act which was written to protect former slaves from Black codes put into law to deny rights granted by the 13th and 14thamendments. In addition, two times the following year, the Republican majority had to vote to over-ride Johnson’s veto of the legislation granting African Americans the right to vote.

Being unable to compete with the Republicans in the Federal legislatures, the Democratic Party, in particular southern democrats whom were former confederate veterans found the “Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee, on December 24, 1865.  To be accurate, the Ku Klux Klan was founded and formed to be the military wing of the Democratic Party and actions around the nation after its inception until this very day still supports this objective. KKK violence was aimed specifically intimidate and kill newly freed slaves and Republicans.  For example, in September of 1868 Democrats in Louisiana murdered around 300 African Americans whom attempted to defend their assault against a Republican Newspaper editor. The following month, while campaigning for re-election, Republican U.S. House Representative James Hinds was assassinated by self-proclaimed Democrats and KKK members.

Now I know many would say that this was decades ago and I would agree, but what must not be forgotten is that the plan desired (in concert with democrats) was to construt and put in place policy designed to disenfranchise and keep blacks from owing land and in a position to sustain ourselves. Moreover they wanted to defeat and keep Republicans equally at bay via terrorism.  With the use of violence by the Party’s military wing (the KKK) and separating blacks from their land and placing them in positions not being able to provide for themselves, they formulated new policy at the federal level designed to make blacks dependent on democrats and the government as opposed to truly exercising inalienable rights associated with actual liberty.

Republicans fought back with policy. In 1871 the Republican congress passed the Ku Klux Klan act which outlawed the Democratic Party military wing. Republican President even dispatched troops to South Carolina after democrats threated blacks with death around the nation for even trying to vote.  In one case, African American Republican activist Octavius Catto was murdered by democrats in Philadelphia. A few years later in 1874, nearly 30 were killed when democrats took control of the Louisiana state house because Republican Gov. William Kellogg dared to have an integrated administration.

When democrats returned to leadership, all of what had been put in place by Republicans was obviated.  It was the democratic congress and President Grover Cleveland who repealed the Republicans Enforcement Act which gave African Americans the right to vote. Two years later America would see a Democratic Supreme Court uphold Plessy V. Ferguson. In 1901, Booker T. Washington would begin his life long battle protesting against the Alabama’s Democratic Party refusal to allow African Americans to vote.

Even during the time of Franklin Roosevelt democratic policy was moving more towards the views of dependency politics advocated by the KKK in an effort to form a dependency class of Americans based on color alone.  In 1937 it was the Republicans who organized against FDR’s appointment of Ku Klux Klan member Senator Hugo Black to theSupreme Court and it was Democrat FDR, whom just three years later rejected the Republican Party’s call to integrate the armed forces.

In 1953 California’s Three-term Republican Governor Earl Warren wrote the landmark decision for Brown V. Board of Education after Assistant Attorney General of the Eisenhower administration Lee ranking argued the case on behalf of the Plaintiffs with Thurgood Marshall.  On a roll it seemed, a Republican Federal judge, under threats from Democrats the blacks in the back of the bus law and ruled in favor of Rosa Parks.

But as history outlines, democrats fought tooth and nail against all of these outcomes. After Eisenhower signed the Republican’s Party Civil Rights Act into law, he had to send the 82nd airborne division to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation amidst criticism from Democrats the likes of Future Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in 1957.

In simple terms, the legacy of racism that has it’s weighted and oppressive foot on the collective necks of African Americans today was the courtesy of the Democratic party and democratic policy that continues to day with violence in the form of police brutality and disenfranchisement via policies of dependency.  Andrew Hacker explained this in his 1992 tractate Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal. He noted that as African Americans, we must live in an existence that is far removed from free-will and free-choice. He wrote “Black Americans are Americans, yet they still subsist as aliens in the only land they know. Other groups may remain outside the mainstream but the do so voluntarily. In contrast blacks must endure a segregation that is far from freely chosen.”

The reality is, how America and Americans views race presently is a direct result of beliefs of a perverted democratic system that proffers race as its central element of contention.  This contention is, when violence was no longer acceptable after the civil rights era, was transduced to policy designed with the intent to subjugate African Americans and systematically extract wealth from our community. As a policy this has never stopped.  The most lucid view of this is the large urban cities of America.  Cleveland has been run by democrats from 1942-present (police, city council and mayor) uninterrupted with the exception of  1972-77; Chicago has been run by democratsuninterrupted since 1931; Flint, MI since 1960; Detroit since 1962; Baltimoresince 1967; DC since 1967; Philadelphia since 1952; Newark since 1953; and Milwaukee since 1960. And I would reckon if II had the time to look up a few things, I could find trend lines over the same period that would show an increase in poverty, unemployment, incarceration, high school dropout rates and poverty as well as decline in wealth, land ownership, housing and income too.

This is our biggest problem as a voting block today – Democrats running for state or national office aspiring to win black votes without appearing to give a FcK about nothing but our vote. So if we so upset about our current circumstances and conditions, why we still voting to enslave and impoverish ourselves by voting for democrats unconditionally? They gave us the politics of bigotry and oppression that is killing us currently.



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, 2016

ANU poll confirms widespread unease about Muslims in Australia

I reproduce below just the overall degree of agreement found for various relevant questions.  The authors go on to pooh pooh their own results by saying that men and women have slightly different concerns etc.  Big surprise!  They also say that education affects the results -- but end up admiting that fully 62% of the highly educated "express 'a lot' or 'some' concern about Islamist extremism in Australia.  Their attempt to spin their way out of their own results is pathetic

We set out wanting to establish the limits of Australians' support for national security policies in the face of diminishing civil liberties. To this end, we surveyed a randomly, probability-based sample of 1,200 Australians – not people who had signed up to answer survey questions for money – and explored a range of their attitudes.

We found that many adult Australians are anxious about terrorism, and that anxiety leads to support for government policies such as the retention of telecommunications data, and the justification of strict border protection regimes as a counter-terrorism measure.

For instance, 45 per cent of Australians are either 'very' or 'somewhat' concerned about either themselves or a family member being the victim of a terrorist attack in Australia.

More than half – 56 per cent – think the Government could do more to protect such an attack.

Almost half – 46 per cent – believe the Government's counter-terrorism policies have not gone far enough to adequately protect the country, compared with 28 per cent who believe they have gone too far in restricting Australians' civil liberties.

A full two thirds believe the retention of telecommunications data is justified as a counter-terrorism measure. Only one third of Australians believe the measure goes too far in violating citizens' privacy.

We also found that 41 per cent of Australians are not bothered if Muslims are singled out by increased surveillance policies as part of counter-terrorism measures. Elsewhere we found that 71 per cent are concerned about a possible rise of Islamist extremism in Australia. Asked whether current border protection policies are necessary to protect the country from Islamist extremism and terrorism, 80 per cent of respondents agree.


Diversity = Racism

Yesterday Barack Obama ordered the implementation of diversity measures for national security agencies based on standards recommended by a Justice Department report for “Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement.” The report highlighted the racial disparity within law enforcement when compared to the demographics of the communities which they served. The Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will engage with law enforcement across the country to host “Diversity Dialogues.” Clearly, this is part of Obama’s narrative about racism.

It was also learned on Wednesday that Obama is proposing a new racial category, that of “Middle Eastern,” be added to the official lexicon of races recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau. If the proposal is adopted, this new racial identity will be available for the 2020 census. One wonders if this is not a means of codifying Donald Trump as a racist for his desire to limit immigration from the Middle East. It would certainly make such restrictions more difficult to implement, because “race” would be a factor.

The continued push for the politically correct ideal of “diversity” is in reality a form of soft racism. If the means of determining whether or not an individual should be hired for a position within law enforcement is based upon that person’s race, then by definition that is racism. What makes America unique is our history of defining ourselves as a nation, however imperfect, not based upon some ethnic group, but upon a Constitution which recognizes all citizens as having equal rights under the law. This constant push by the Left to divide citizens into various racial categories and then pit them against one another by suggesting that if one group is prospering then it must be at the expense of another is absolutely un-American.

“Safe spaces” and “micro-aggressions” are merely the Left’s furthering of a divisive racial polarization of the American populous in order to fundamentally recreate the nation. The only way we as a nation get past racism is to reject the notion that our ethnic identifiers are primary and embrace as primary the ideals espoused by our Constitution. As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, the dream and goal is that “[we] are judged not by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.” How does highlighting our racial differences as primary move the country any closer to a goal of judging people not by their race but by their character and merit?


Major splits emerge within Labour frontbench on immigration as Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer defies Jeremy Corbyn's open borders policy by saying numbers MUST be cut

Major splits emerged within Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench today over Labour's immigration policy as the new Shadow Brexit Secretary said numbers must be cut.

Just two days after being appointed to Mr Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet Sir Keir Starmer admitted migration levels to the UK had been too high over the last decade - a direct contradiction to the Labour leader's view.

In his set-piece speech to Labour conference last month, Mr Corbyn said he would not seek controls on immigration as said accused the Tory government of 'fanning the flames of fear', while his spokesman said the veteran leader is 'not concerned about numbers'.

Sir Keir, the former director of public prosecutions, also failed to give a full endorsement of Mr Corbyn in a further sign of trouble for Mr Corbyn after he faced a major backlash for sacking his chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton and offering just a handful of his critics a role in his new Shadow Cabinet.

And Mr Corbyn faced yet more chaos today as two of his whips resigned. Conor McGinn and Holly Lynch quit following the Labour leader's decision to sack the party's highly-respected chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton in his controversial reshuffle.

Asked if Mr Corbyn would make a 'good Prime Minister,' Sir Keir told the Andrew Marr Show today: 'Well look, we've had a leadership election, Jeremy won that, we accept it and we respect it.

'We've had three months of internal division; everybody – on either side of the leadership debate – has hated that division over the last three months. 'We now need to pull together and work to have the most effective opposition that we can.

'Of course we want a Labour government, of course we want to support Jeremy to that end.

'He's won the membership, he now needs to win the country – he knows that, we know that and we need to work together on that.' 

Sir Keir, who stormed out of Mr Corbyn's frontbench in protest at his lacklustre performance during the EU referendum campaign, said the Government must be 'shrewd and careful' in getting the right balance between ending freedom of movement and maintaining trade links with Brussels.

But in a major departure from Mr Corbyn on immigration, he said: 'There has been a huge amount of immigration over the last 10 years and people are understandably concerned about it.

'I think it should be reduced and it should be reduced by making sure we have the skills in this country that are needed for the jobs that need to be done.'

Sir Keir also endorsed fresh demands by MPs to be given a vote on the terms of Brexit.

He is leading a cross-party group of MPs in claiming that June's Brexit referendum was not a vote to leave the EU's single market and MPs should therefore be given a veto because of 'the importance of these decisions for the UK economy'.

Sir Keir, tipped as a future Labour leader himself, said MPs should be given a vote on Mrs May's opening negotiating terms when she triggers Article 50, the formal process for leaving the EU.

He insisted the referendum was 'clear and has to be accepted' but added: 'There has to be democratic grip of the process. At the moment the Prime Minister M is trying to do is manoeuvre without any scrutiny.

'That is why the terms on which we are going to negotiate absolutely have to be put to a vote in the house.'


British ex-PM Tony Blair fearful for future of centrist politics

Blair's New Labour was NOT centrist.  But it was at the more rational end of British Leftist politics

Tony Blair worries about the ­future of centre-left political parties around the world, including the British Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party, and fears his centrist approach to governing may no longer be a viable political project.

The party that Blair returned to power in 1997, which dominated British politics for a decade, rewriting the political rule book and leaving a substantial legacy, last month re-endorsed the ultra-left Jeremy Corbyn as its leader — a man who Blair believes has probably relegated Labour to the political wilderness.

“The politics of protest is unlikely to see you elected to government, not because it’s too principled or too Left but because it’s too wrong,” Blair tells Inquirer. “You have to demonstrate leadership, set out a vision for the future and convince people of all political persuasions and none that you have the right answers to the questions facing the country. If that compelling case is not made, then the party will not only fail to live up to its founding principles but will also fail to represent the interests of those people who need a Labour government.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Blair speaks about his centrist political creed, identifies the pathway back to power for British Labour and Australian Labor, speaks about Brexit and Donald Trump, religious extremism and globalisation, and reflects on his legacy and interests since leaving Downing Street in 2007.

Blair was elected Labour leader in 1994. The party had been out of office since 1979 and had to be remade. Blair worked with other reformers such as Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell to create New Labour. Modernisation was their mantra. They looked to Bill Clinton’s New Democrats and the Labor Party led by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating as role models.

The key lesson learnt? That ­Labour succeeds when it occupies the political centre and wins over mainstream voters. Blair says this is vitally important to understand for British ­Labour and Australian Labor.

Both lost the past two elections and their support has tumbled to near-record lows.

“The lessons are very clear but there is a reluctance to learn them,” Blair says. “If you are a progressive political party you’ve got to have enough centre ground support to form a majority; otherwise you can’t win. Second, you’ve got to own the future. You can’t just be trying to recapture the past. Third, you’ve got to have solutions that are radical but seem practical to people. And finally you’ve got to be a party of government and not a party of protest.”

This logic is compelling but, as Blair says, it is often forgotten. Parties can become comfortable and complacent in opposition. But they are lessons that Bill Shorten must also learn if he is to lead the Labor Party back to power.

“The Australian Labor Party is frankly in significantly better shape than the British Labour Party,” Blair says. “I think that Bill Shorten did his very best at the last election. I think it was always a tough election to win. But I think the lessons from our respective times in government are clear. Plus you’ve got to have a leadership which appeals to the country. The leader has got to be able to carry the country.”

Blair places a premium on leadership that is able to persuade. Yet Shorten has never been popular. The last Newspoll saw his approval rating at just 36 per cent and his disapproval rating at 51 per cent. He lags Malcolm Turnbull, who is also unpopular, as preferred prime minister by 33-44 per cent.

It is unimaginable to think Corbyn could ever win over British voters. His policy prescriptions are redolent of the failed policies of the Labour Left in the early 1980s — only far worse. Yet he is popular with party members. He recently defeated the more moderate leadership challenger, Owen Smith, by 61.8 per cent to 38.2 per cent.

Former leader Neil Kinnock (1983-92) recently said the party will not return to power in his lifetime. But Labour is unlikely to split, as it did in 1981 when the breakaway Social Democratic Party was formed. The party was then led by left-wing intellectual Michael Foot (1980-83) but was under siege by more radical types such as Tony Benn. However, Blair says the party is in worse shape today than it was then.

“In the 1980s the ultra-left tried, but failed, to take over the Labour Party,” Blair explains. “When I first met Michael Foot, I was the lawyer for the Labour Party trying to expel the Militant Tendency from the party because of the damage they were doing. We had a leadership that was OK — I don’t think ever capable of winning an election — but it was basically from the traditional Labour Party. The difference today is that the Labour Party has a leadership that is ultra-left, and the Labour Party never, in its 100 years of history, has had that.”

In recent decades, globalisation and deindustrialisation have weakened the traditional blue-collar constituencies of the two fraternal parties while progressive, post-materialist, voters are shifting their allegiances elsewhere. Australian Labor’s vote at the last election was just 34.7 per cent. In the 2015 British election, Labour’s vote was a pitiful 30.4 per cent.

The task ahead, Blair argues, is not simply to balance aspiration with compassion and economic enterprise with social justice. The key is to unify around values that speak to a broad constituency but one anchored in the centre. It is a mistake to only speak to a core constituency.

“There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and aspiring to do better. Indeed, that’s what progressive parties were called into politics to do,” Blair says.

“If you don’t create the wealth you’re not strong enough as a country to help those who are most vulnerable. And if you are not reforming in a world of change — if you are not change makers — then you just become small-c conservative.”

A political party must be able to define its traditional values within a contemporary policy framework. “The risk always for a progressive party is they confuse ends and means,” Blair says. “They become locked in a certain policy view that is for one time but not for all time. The result of that is that you go backwards and not forwards. And if the country feels that about you, then they won’t elect you.”

But is a union and mass membership party structure a help or a hindrance in a world buffeted by digital disruption, vast changes to work and family life, and a society that views organisations governed by rigid procedures as archaic? Today both parties are less representative of the community than they once were.

“I’m not sure that a traditional political party operating in the traditional structures really works,” Blair suggests. “Because people are connected online, they operate quite differently. However technology changes the way we do it, any political party that wants to be elected has got to be sufficiently in touch with the people who they are seeking to represent. Otherwise, what happens? They lose.”

In Britain and in Australia, unions have become dominant in policy formulation, candidate selection and deciding who the leader is. But in workplaces, unions continue to decline. Blair says unions need to modernise.

“There is enormous insecurity in the workplace today and people need unions,” Blair says. “But if they believe that unions are quasi-political or a somewhat old-fashioned collective that don’t really speak to the new world of work, then the risk is the unions will end up becoming a bastion of the public sector where change happens more slowly and jobs are more fixed.”

Blair identifies a creeping trend: unions are no longer at the vanguard of change. “If they lose touch with the private sector that can be very dangerous because unions themselves can become a small-c conservative force. If the unions can forge a new way of representing people at the workplace they will once again become a strong force within politics, and once again their link to the Labour Party will be useful.”

The former British prime minister is clear-eyed about the challenges facing centre-left political parties around the world. And his analysis of geopolitics is as insightful as any on offer. Yet Blair’s legacy remains a matter of fierce debate in Britain.

He led Labour to three election victories and his approval rating edged up over 90 per cent in his early years. He represented a new generation leader who seemed to have the magic formula for politics. But he became synonymous with political spin, had a troubled relationship with Brown and was discredited by the Iraq war.

Blair is proud of his achievements, especially the minimum wage, introducing civil partnerships and the peace process in Northern Ireland. The Bank of England was given independence. There were reforms to health, education and child services. Crime fell. Power was devolved to Scotland and Wales, the House of Lords was reformed and Londoners were able to elect their mayor. The Human Rights Act and the Disability Discrimination Act were introduced. And London won the 2012 Olympics. Blair says his government was about turning Britain into “a modern society” and changing how “Britain sees itself in the modern world”. Yet Britain is a radically different place today, and has now voted to exit Europe.

A recent YouGov poll found most Britons regard themselves as occupying the centre of the political spectrum. The leader they placed closest to the centre was not Theresa May or David Cameron, or Corbyn or Ed Miliband, but Blair. Yet Blair recognises centrism is in retreat.

“There is a huge polarisation between left and right,” he says. “You can see this in the US with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. When I was prime minister, we were the strong players in Europe and we were the strongest ally of the United States. Today we are on our way out of Europe and we are no longer the strongest ally of the United States — or certainly there is a question mark as to whether we are.

“The Labour Party has obviously gone ultra-left and we’ve got a Conservative prime minister leading us to Brexit. The centre ground, which had been hotly contested, has now been largely abandoned. There is a risk that you end up with a country divided by two quite separate political conversations: a very right wing conversation and a very left wing conversation. And these two groups of people don’t really speak to each other very much and get constantly angry about the state of the world. Therefore, solution-driven, pragmatic, centrist politics is on the defensive.”

Slower economic growth and falling, or stagnant, living standards are fuelling a populist backlash against immigration, trade and investment in Europe, the US and Australia. But Blair says globalisation must be defended and entrenched because it, more than anything else, provides economic opportunities and brings the world closer together. This is a focus of his Faith Foundation and Africa Governance Initiative.

“What holds back globalisation?” he asks. “No 1, it is a close-minded attitude, not an open-minded attitude to the world. That is why religious extremism is such a big challenge. Much of this is based on a perversion of Islam which comes out of the Middle East, and that is why it is a major focus of my time. Secondly, the biggest inhibitor to development, and the therefore biggest inhibitor to countries taking advantage of globalisation, is poor governance. So that is why I work on the governance side in Africa and elsewhere.”

The conversation steers itself back to Blair’s faith in centrist politics. It is, he suggests, the solution to political polarisation, economic insecurity and social harmony. “I spend a lot of my time thinking about how centrist politics makes a comeback because it is only from the centre ground that you will get answers, rather than anger, about globalisation.”



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

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

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


10 October, 2016

Hate crime probe after leaflets saying those who insult Islam must be killed 'were handed out at London mosque'

Extremist leaflets ordering Muslims to kill those who offend Islam were handed out outside an east London mosque.

Metropolitan police is launching an investigation into hate crime after worshippers were given the booklets during a gathering by the Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania mosque in Walthamstow.

It has been claimed that Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani was responsible for distributing the literature, because his name appears on the front cover, although he has strongly denied this, reports the Evening Standard.

Mr Jilani is imam at the mosque and owns the place of worship.

It has been reported that the booklet was given out to more than 100 people and focused on fanatic Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer in 2011.

Qadri was serving as Taseer's bodyguard when he shot him 27 times with an AK-47 rifle, in Islamabad.

It is believed that he assassinated the politician because he had dared to speak out against the country's blasphemy laws as part of reform of the country's strict Islamic laws.

The booklet says 'all Muslims' should support Qadri and that being an apostate, someone who does not believe in religion, means you 'deserve to be assassinated'.

One worshipper who received the leaflet told the Standard: 'Two or three people delivered the leaflet. Unfortunately, I am shocked. I think it gives a bad impression.

'Islam teaches when you live here you obey the law and the rule of law, but this is not doing that.'

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'We will be assessing the contents of these leaflets to establish whether any criminal offence has taken place.

'We are committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities.'

Mr Jilani said that he had no knowledge of the booklet being distributed.

He also said he did not give permission for his face to be used on the front, that it has been falsely attributed to him and that he does not agree with its content.

Mr Jilani told the Standard: 'I am not aware of if, why or how, the booklet was distributed in Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania.'


Correctness is devastating Greece

This week’s tear-gassing of pensioners by riot police in Athens exposed rising social tensions in Greece. Twenty-one months after Syriza came to power, alongside the right-wing Independent Greeks, it’s worth taking a step back to examine what has happened in the interim. What we have witnessed is the collapse of two illusions: first, that the radical left has an alternative to austerity; and secondly, that the European Union has any real interest in helping Greece to reform.

Syriza has continued with its policies of increasing taxation and direct cuts to people’s income, including pension cuts. These are the same policies that brought down three governments during the years of Greece’s patronage by the Troika — that is, the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For most of the self-employed and SME owners — the backbone of the Greek economy — more than 65 per cent of their income now goes on taxes and pensions or insurance payments. The brain drain from Greece now totals more than 400,000 people. Almost 70,000 businesses are in the process of relocating to countries with more welcoming environments, such as Bulgaria and Cyprus. And in the midst of all this, the government boasts about its illiberal clampdown on TV stations, following its introduction of an arbitrary regulation that limits Greece to four TV licences, which means additional TV stations are having to close.

Many view Syriza’s embrace of austerity measures, including its acceptance of a new ‘memorandum’ by the Troika that further devastates rather than reforming the Greek economy, as a U-turn, a political betrayal by prime minister Alexis Tsipras. This is a misreading of what’s happened. Even in the days when the ‘erratic Marxist’ Yanis Varoufakis was finance minister, Syriza’s main plan for the Greek economy was to seek more EU assistance. Tsipras hoped such assistance would come with fewer strings attached, but he soon accepted whatever deal came his way. This touches upon a fundamental deficit in the thinking of the radical left in Greece and across Europe: its utter lack of any economic imagination beyond raising taxes or increased government spending. Decades of growth scepticism on the left, coupled with a distrust in ordinary people’s ability to run their lives for themselves, has made the left almost indistinguishable from the exhausted political centre when it comes to economics.

The other illusion that has been shattered is that the EU is keen to ‘reform’ a supposedly backward Greece. Time and again, the Troika has accepted — with minimal protest by the IMF — that the Greek economy is exhausted. This is clear from its calls for unreasonably high taxation. This shows that what matters most to Brussels is not the restructuring of Greece to improve its economic health, but rather putting Greece on continuous life-support in order to keep it in the Eurozone and avoid further compromising the EU political project. In other parts of the Eurozone, too, it’s come to be accepted that high taxation and low growth are the new norm.

What we have in Greece is political pantomime. The government pretends to negotiate hard while the EU pretends it is reforming and modernising Greece. And who loses out? Hard-working Greeks and pensioners who worked for years and years, who cannot simply leave the country and are now struggling to make ends meet.


Clarence Thomas Is Conspicuously Absent in New Black History Smithsonian

Justice Clarence Thomas, the second black man to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, is practically absent from the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, however, is given prominent billing in the museum.

The new Smithsonian, which opened in September, gives Hill pride of place in an exhibit on blacks in the 1990s. The exhibit features testimonies trumpeting her courage and the surge of women’s activism that ensued, while making only peripheral reference to the nation’s second black Supreme Court justice.

There is no showcase of Thomas’ own life and career, which ran its own harsh gauntlet of racial discrimination.

“I am not surprised that Justice Thomas’ inspiring life story is not a part of the new museum,” said Mark Paoletta, an assistant White House Counsel in the George H. W. Bush administration who worked on the Thomas confirmation. “Civil rights leaders have tried for decades to malign Justice Thomas because he actually dares to have his own views on race issues. One prominent liberal Supreme Court practitioner has called Justice Thomas ‘our greatest justice,’ but you would never know that listening to the civil rights leadership.”

The exclusion is especially odd given Thomas’ intimate experience with racial discrimination.

Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah-speakers. By his own account, he did not master the Queen’s English until his early 20s. He came of age in Jim Crow Savannah, where he was in turn ridiculed by white neighbors and classmates for his unpolished style, one of many indignities typical of his adolescence in the racist South. The startling racial injustices of his youth, by discipline and sheer force of will, gave way to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Yale Law School.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency tasked with policing discrimination in the private sector.

The EEOC of 1982 was mired in an administrative tarpit. A Government Accountability Office report issued two months into his tenure criticized years of fiscal malfeasance. The report found the absence of internal accounting controls left bills unpaid, receivables uncollected, and that federally mandated records were largely unreliable.

By all accounts, Thomas was a diligent administrator effectively completing a thankless task, reforming an inert agency for a new era. He oversaw the opening of a new headquarters, introduced new technologies like personal computers, and won one of the largest workplace discrimination settlements in the history of the agency, securing a $42.5 million award from an automaker in 1983.

His litigation methods, however, were deeply unpopular with the civil rights firmament. He abandoned class-action lawsuits and findings of discrimination based on statistics. He saw both mechanisms as tools for bludgeoning the private sector into compliance with a clientelistic agenda, in which corporate entities would agree to timetables and quotas devised by white liberals for hiring minorities, while making sizable donations to black social organizations.

Thomas feared the rot which would attend such practices over time, wherein the worthy cause of racial justice would decay to a base form of racial patronage. He instead favored bringing actions on behalf of individuals, which he saw as corresponding to the dignity of individuals in the way class action suits do not.

“What happened to the people actually discriminated against?” Paoletta said in reference to Thomas’ view. “Where was their remedy?”

He was a presence in the Reagan White House on other matters of controversy. He criticized the administration’s decision to support tax-exempt status for Bob Jones University, a segregationist institution, and openly admonished the U.S. Department of Justice for setting a “negative agenda.”

None of this work, however, let alone more than two decades on the nation’s highest court, earned a mention in the museum.

Another black pioneer of the judiciary has been excluded from the museum. Judge Janice Rogers Brown, the first black woman to serve on the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (generally regarded as the second-highest court in the land), is also not featured. Brown is a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench and is a committed libertarian jurist.


Black Lives and Sunshine Patriots

Black Lives Matter and their allies, who include the President of the United States, would have us believe that policemen are wantonly murdering black men all across America. Although blacks constitute only 13 percent of the American population, they complain, they constitute a far higher proportion of the victims of police killings.

But in her book, The War on Cops, Heather MacDonald shows that, while this claim is true, when we take into account the number of violent crimes that blacks commit, we find that the number of blacks killed by police is actually disproportionately low.

MacDonald cites a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice that says in America's 75 most populous counties blacks were charged with 62 percent of the robberies, 57 percent of the murders, and 45 percent of the assaults over a period of time. More violent crimes by blacks means more run-ins with police, and thus higher odds of being shot by the police. And yet, although blacks nationwide commit homicide at eleven times the rate of whites, almost twice as many whites as blacks are killed by the police. So, in fact, it is whites that the police are killing in disproportionately high numbers.

Are blacks stopped and questioned by the police in disproportionately higher numbers than whites? In New York City, according to a MacDonald piece in the Daily News from 2014, blacks commit about 65 percent of all violent crimes, 70 percent of all robberies, and 75 percent of all shootings. Yet through eleven months of 2014, they composed only 54 percent of all "subject stops" by police. Whites, on the other hand, who commit about 5 percent of all violent crimes, composed 12 percent of all subject stops.

Since the Trayvon Martin affair, Black Lives Matter have been searching for a police shooting of a black man that they could turn into a cause célèbre. They thought they had it in shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, but then President Obama's Justice Department exonerated officer Darren Wilson.

But BLM are bound to find their cause sooner or later, if they have not found it already.  Policemen do shoot black men with inadequate justification, just as they do white men. Some policemen fail under pressure, some are incompetent, and some might even be racist. It is important in a free society that the use of deadly force by the police always be subject to the highest degree of scrutiny, and that officers who are not up to the task of wielding their power properly be removed. But Heather MacDonald's statistics give the lie to BLM's charges of systemic police racism. On the other hand, BLM's propensity to rush to judgment before all the evidence has been examined, as they did in the Michael Brown case, suggests an indifference to the truth-or a larger agenda.

In fact, in leveling the charge of racism at the police, Black Lives Matter and their allies are using the police as a stand-in for all of white society. On their website, BLM state, "The enemy is now and always has been the four threats of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and militarism." The police are simply an easy target, since a significant portion of their contact with blacks necessarily occurs under contentious, and often violent, circumstances.

But why would Black Lives Matter, and the President of the United States, want to promulgate the idea that the police, and American whites generally, are racist? Judging by the effect this charge consistently has, their aim appears to be to de-moralize whites, to cause them to abandon their values.

Whites originated, and have been the primary practitioners of, the great principles of classical liberal governance-constitutionally limited government, the rule of law, individual rights, equality before the law, governance by consent, and their economic corollary, capitalism. This is not a racial statement; anyone of any race can practice these values. It is simply a historical fact that it was whites who developed these ideas, put them into practice, and have primarily been responsible for maintaining them in a world that is largely hostile to them. And for groups like Black Lives Matter, who are indeed hostile to these ideas, whites are the enemy. BLM's strategy is to manipulate whites into abandoning these values without firing a shot, thus the tactic of demoralization.

Guilt can be a de-moralizer. Guilt no doubt played a role in the election of Barack Hussein Obama, for whom whites voted in decisive numbers despite his lack of discernible accomplishment and his history of radical leftism (Remember Reverend Jeremiah "God damn America" Wright).

Fear also can be a de-moralizer. In the space of just two generations, the media-Hollywood-academic complex has persuaded Americans that racism ranks among the worst sins man is capable of. Today American whites today are prepared to surrender much of what they hold dear to avoid even the appearance of racism.

Consider the U.S. Congress, who have allowed a black president to engage in an unprecedented series of acts destructive of the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of powers, governance by consent, and individual rights, all with barely a whimper of protest. Does anyone believe they would have been so solicitous of a white president?

But nothing so vividly illustrates the de-moralizing effect of fear so well as recent actions (or, rather, the absence of action) by the Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, and various of the team owners. This season, a handful of players throughout the league have chosen to express support for Black Lives Matter by remaining seated, by kneeling, or by raising the clenched-fist salute of the Black Panthers during the playing of the national anthem before games.

Keep in mind that Black Lives Matter have caused, at least indirectly, the murder of at least seven police officers. They have instigated rioting, property damage, and injury and death to rioters themselves. Their efforts to delegitimize the police are undoubtedly causing more black men to enter into confrontations with the police, and this can only result in more deaths. (95 percent of "failure to comply" charges in New York City are lodged against blacks.) And they have caused police around the country to "back off" in their policing of black neighborhoods, a withdrawal that has caused an increase in the murder rate of blacks in some of these neighborhoods.

Now, I have no doubt that Roger Goodell and the various team owners of the National Football League love America. So it should go without saying that they would not permit their employees prominently and pointedly to express support, on company property and on company time, for so vile a group as Black Lives Matter. BLM occupy the same moral plain as the Ku Klux Klan, and I have no doubt that Mr. Goodell and the owners would never permit their employees to salute the KKK in the way these players are saluting BLM. Ask yourself what would be the NFL's response if some of their players were to stand on a copy of the Koran during the playing of the anthem? Can you believe for one minute that they would permit it to continue? Of course not, but under the absurd rules of political correctness whites are fair game.

So the NFL is allowing the United States itself to be disparaged in their stadiums. This is de-moralization in action. This is the surrender of a value held dear, due to moral paralysis induced by political correctness.

Mr. Goodell has said, "I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change their community." No doubt, he and the NFL have persuaded themselves they are standing for civil rights. But consider the goals of the newly formed Movement for Black Lives, who operate within the orbit of Black Lives Matter. The Movement for Black Lives has enjoyed recent coverage by the New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly. On their website, they list fifteen smaller groups who comprise their movement, and another 35 who have endorsed their efforts.

These neo-Marxists demand "a restructuring of the economy" to abolish private land ownership in favor of collective ownership by black communities. They demand "independent Black political power and Black self-determination in all areas of society"-in effect, a state-within-a-state it seems-perhaps along the lines of American Indian reservations? Are we now to Balkanize the United States according to ethnicity? And they demand money, lots and lots of money, including a "guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people." This agenda represents a repudiation of everything the United States stands for, including genuine civil rights.

In providing Black Lives Matter and their allies access to a nationwide audience, the NFL are selling out the majority of blacks, who are law-abiding and depend on the police to maintain law and order in their neighborhoods.

Since 911, the NFL has been staging moving displays of patriotism at their games. Now we are finding out who the real patriots are, and they are not Roger Goodell and the NFL owners. Mr. Goodell and company are proving unworthy of their audience. They deserve to lose 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


9 October, 2016

Is it wrong to be snobbish about snobs?

As a teenager growing up in the unfashionable North London suburb of Golders Green, the celebrated writer Evelyn Waugh refused ever to post letters from the NW11 postcode in which his family lived.

Instead he would walk a few hundred yards down the road to nearby Hampstead and put them in a postbox there. That way his friends might be deceived into thinking that he resided in the far more prestigious environs of London NW3.

As this suggests, the author of Brideshead Revisited, the much-loved novel in which social climber Charles Ryder finds himself beguiled by the aristocratic Flyte family, was himself a colossal snob. And in this he was far from alone.

We’ll consider more examples of outrageous snobbery shortly, but first let’s recall the cautionary tale of Andrew Mitchell, the Rugby-educated Tory MP who in 2012 was accused of shouting the word ‘plebs’ at the policemen guarding the gates at 10 Downing Street. The ensuing scandal forced his resignation as government chief whip.

As Mitchell discovered, one of the worst charges you can lay at anyone’s door in the early 21st century is to suggest that they are a snob. And yet, I would argue, snobbery is key to our national life, an essential part of who we are.

Without it, for example, the English novel would more or less cease to exist. Imagine Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations without the social pretensions of his hero Pip. Or George Eliot’s Middlemarch and William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair devoid of characters obsessed with putting on airs and graces.

Such affectation pervades all levels of British society. Take the Victorian sporting hero W. G. Grace, a butler’s grandson from rural Gloucestershire who delighted in the social caché of being an amateur ‘gentleman’ player when cricket was increasingly dominated by paid professionals.

Insisting that match programmes should refer to him as W. G. Grace Esquire, instead of plain W. G. Grace, he routinely claimed expenses far in excess of what the professionals earned but still saw himself as a cut above them.

On a tour of Australia in 1873 he declined to stay in the same hotels as them and, on the journey home, luxuriated in first class while they were forced to travel in steerage. When they dared to complain, he was loudly critical of what he called their ‘pretensions to equality’.

Then a century or so later, we have the damning description of Michael Heseltine by his Eighties Cabinet colleague Michael Jopling.

Dismissing him as ‘the kind of man who has to buy his own furniture’, Jopling implied that proper people come from families sufficiently well established for the younger generation to inherit the contents of their drawing rooms, thus forever branding Heseltine as an upstart.

During the same era, much of the disparagement of Mrs Thatcher had its roots in a prejudice that was as much social as political.

For example, the distinguished academic Baroness Mary Warnock took it upon herself to remark that, even if the Prime Minister’s political views changed, she would still find her unacceptable because she had once seen her on television buying outfits at Marks & Spencer and found something quite ‘obscene’ about it.

According to Baroness Mary, the clothes showed a woman ‘packaged together in a way that’s not exactly vulgar, just low’.

Before expressing too much outrage at this, let’s remind ourselves of the huge popularity of the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

It appealed partly because there is in all of us something of the curtain-twitching Hyacinth Bucket (or ‘Bouquet’, as she insisted her surname should be pronounced).

Making assumptions about a householder’s worth based on the tidiness of his box hedges, casting a suspicious eye over your friend’s child’s university application and muttering ‘Isn’t that a former polytechnic?’ or tutting when you hear Channel Four youth presenters dropping their aitches — these are examples of judgements based on arbitrary criteria. In other words, snobbery.

I knew all about such petty social distinctions from an early age. My father was a terrific snob, despite growing up on a small council estate in Norwich.

According to his recollections, this was an absolute hotbed of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, each of the 16 families in his street gamely contriving to prove that they were superior to the people next door.

Any neighbours who deviated from the standards prevailing in his mother’s parlour were deemed no better than the inhabitants of Pockthorpe, a part of the city notorious for its slums.

A half-full bottle of milk left on the dining room table rather than decanted into a jug; appearance at a social function minus a collar and tie; front room curtains still gaping open at twilight: all this was denounced as ‘Pockthorpe manners’.

Forever pining to move up the council estate ladder and live in a house with a ‘double bay front’, my grandmother urged my grandfather to quit his work as an electrician for the more ‘respectable’ job of meter reading (which, as it turned out, paid less money).

And she was, of course, delighted when my father secured a white-collar job, by way of a grammar school scholarship. After my grandfather died, she and my father, then in his early 30s, bought the type of private house she had longed for and she thoroughly commended the lease on the grounds that it forbade the airing of washing on a Sunday.

Despite, or perhaps because of, his relatively humble origins, my father was a stickler for social protocol. ‘Bikes in the living room,’ he would sometimes say when the name of a family friend he had known for 40 years strayed into the conversation, just in case anyone had forgotten that the parents of Miss Maureen Artiss, as she then was, had not enjoyed the luxury of a garden shed.

In the late Sixties, he was working for the Norwich Union Insurance Group — the company from which my maternal grandfather had recently retired — when the two of them were travelling home to Norfolk from the FA Cup in London.

En route, they stopped for fish and chips in the town of Thetford and my grandfather insisted they eat in the car rather than on a bench outside the shop, on the basis that Mr Basil Robarts, Norwich Union’s chief general manager, known to have been at the match, might be passing in his own vehicle.

My grandfather would have thought this a sensible precaution. Like many working-class men of his generation, sprung from one milieu into another where he sometimes felt slightly less at home, he became, as he grew older, increasingly conscious of the distance he had travelled.

He was, for example, furious when in the Eighties a plumber moved into the house next door and made a habit of parking his van in his drive. ‘The man is an artisan,’ my father fumed. ‘I didn’t move here for people like that to come and live next door.’

For him, buying a house in a respectable neighbourhood was a measure of how far he had come in life, not least by dint of academic achievement.

Seeing that plumber’s van, however neatly parked, was the equivalent of climbing the upper slopes of Mount Everest only to find a burger bar newly opened on the summit.

You can see his point. What, after all, is the worth of a pay rise, or an A* at GCSE, or a first class degree if everyone gets them? To want to succeed, and to delight in your success, is not necessarily a moral failing and given that so many people consciously or unconsciously practise it, snobbery is a unifying as much as a divisive force.

Indeed, to look at nearly all forms of snobbish behaviour is, however obscurely, to see yourself reflected in them.

I, for example, become a snob whenever I hear Adele interviewed on the radio, dropping her aitches, saying ‘fank you’ instead of thank you and casting glottal stops around like confetti, or walk on to the top deck of a bus to find a teenager with a can of lager.

Rather than feel ashamed on such occasions, I remind myself that we have much to thank snobbery for.

For example, the fact that we still have a monarchy, and there has never really been such a thing as working class solidarity, is because so many ordinary people are, at heart, snobs who prefer day dreaming about their individual superiority to any kind of communal action.

From the outside, my grandfather might seem to be exactly the kind of voter to whom the Labour Party of the inter-war era should have appealed: a veteran of two conflicts (Boer War and Great War) who lived in a council house, earned a pittance and disparaged the Conservatives with the question: ‘What have they ever done for the working man?’

In fact, he regarded the Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald as ‘a lot of riff raff’.

There we have the true snob attitude, bred on a Norwich council estate — and, 80 years later, it’s something I rather admire.

For however much we may deplore them, however great the nuisance they may make of themselves, one thing is for sure. There will always be snobs and, who knows . . . the following guide to modern-day one-upmanship might even help you realise that you are one of them.


More multicultural values in Britain

A lodger stabbed a mother-of-three and her partner to death when a row broke out about the temperature of the shower, a court has heard.

Mechanic Foster Christian, 54, allegedly launched a frenzied attack on Natasha Sadler-Ellis and Simon Gorecki at the home they shared in Canterbury, Kent. 

The row is said to have broken out when Christian turned on a kitchen tap while Mr Gorecki was showering, triggering a sharp change in temperature. When Mr Gorecki told him to turn it off, Christian allegedly told him: 'F*** off you mug'.

About 40 minutes later, Christian is alleged to have launched his stabbing spree, knifing Mr Gorecki five times - including four times in the back - as well as 40-year-old Ms Sadler-Ellis.

Christian is also accused of stabbing Ms Sadler-Ellis's 20-year-old son Connaugh Harris, who later tried to save his mother as she lay dying on the floor.

The defendant is also accused of seriously injuring a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons. He denies two counts of murder and two charges of wounding with intent.

Today, during the opening of the trial at Maidstone Crown Court, the court was told how the trio were at the property at around 7pm in March this year.

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC said that, when Mr Gorecki - a former fishmonger- complained about the tap being turned on, Christian retaliated angrily.

He said: 'He used a tap which caused the temperature of the water in the shower to change. Simon shouted at Mr Christian who told him to "F*** off you mug".'

The pair then began arguing with one another. The court was told how Mr Harris was on the phone to his mother at the time and rushed to the address, along with the teenage boy, to 'diffuse the situation'.

When he arrived, Mr Harris found Christian, Mr Gorecki and Ms Sadler-Ellis having a row upstairs.

The jury heard how Mr Harris tried to calm the situation but that Christian and Ms Sadler-Ellis soon began shoving one another.

When Mr Harris tried to intervene, Christian struck him, the court was told. 

The teenage boy then retaliated by punching Christian, but the alleged killer brought out a knife wrapped in a plastic bag, the court heard. Christian then allegedly began his attack, stabbing his two alleged victims to death.

Mr Bennetts said: 'They didn't know that Foster Christian was in fact using a knife at that stage.

'The knife was held in a bag and you may at some stage when you consider the evidence wonder about that and why there was a bag about the knife.'

As well as the fatal wound to her heart, she was stabbed just above her left eyebrow, with the knife plunging down internally to her lower jaw, the court was told.

Mr Gorecki, 48, died as a result of one of his stab wounds penetrating his right lung, the court was told.  

The jury heard how, after the alleged attacks, Christian called police and said the knife was his.

But he then changed his account to 'their knife', claiming he had grabbed it from them and they had taken it back.

Asked by the operator if he was okay, Christian calmly replied: 'No, I'm not, thanks.  'They hit me with a beer can. I don't know what else with. They were hitting me with beer cans and bottles so I just grabbed a knife from my rack. 'They were still doing it, just beating me and beating me and beating me. And they are still here.' 

The court heard how police arrived at the house at around 7.40pm to find the teenager lying at the top of the driveway, Ms Sadler-Ellis on the kitchen threshold and Mr Gorecki on the kitchen floor.

Mr Harris had been giving the teenager first aid on the driveway after trying to help his mother and carrying out CPR on Mr Gorecki.

The court heard how the teenager asked Mr Harris if he would die as he put him in the recovery position.

He said he initially thought he had been punched in the stomach during the violence but then saw his 'guts were hanging out'.

In an interview played to the court, the youngster told police: 'I looked at Connaugh and said "I have been stabbed".

'He said "It's alright mate". I was like "oh God" and I just remember this huge pain and I was like "Am I going to die?" and he said "No mate, no" and he lay me down on the wall just outside the house.'

The teenager also told the court that during the heated row Ms Sadler-Ellis accused Christian of 'creeping' on her at her home.

The boy said she told Christian she was 'sick of him coming past her house staring through her window'.

He also said Mr Gorecki told Christian: 'I'm going to run through you' but that it was not a threat to stab him. 

As the 16-year-old boy was cross-examined over a TV link, he broke down in tears as he told the court: 'Unless you have been in that situation... I was doing what I thought was right.'

He said the whole incident happened in about 10 seconds and although he never saw a knife, Christian made 'stabbing motions'.

In an exchange with Christian's defence counsel, Rajiv Menon QC, the teenager strongly denied the barrister's suggestion that 'all hell broke loose' and they attacked Christian, with Mr Gorecki 'rushing forward' armed with a knife and shouting 'You black b*****d'.

Having laughed in apparent disbelief at the defence suggestions that the group were armed and had attacked Christian 'four against one', Mr Menon asked if the boy thought it was funny.

He replied: 'I find it funny how you can defend this. But I told you I punched him once, a 16-year-old, punching him because I was defending Natasha.'

Told by Mr Menon that the violence resulted from them not leaving the house and going back upstairs, the teenage boy said: 'It happened because he was shouting abuse and bullying everyone. Of course we could have not gone upstairs and not confronted him but that's happened.'

The teenager was left with a wound to his right forearm, a superficial injury to his right thigh, a cut to his abdomen, a 3cm whole in his large bowel and a large bleed to the iliac vein, which returns blood from the leg to the heart.

After surgery at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, he was transferred to intensive care.

The court was told how a police officer saw Christian, who was bleeding from a cut above his right eye and speaking on his phone and she shouted at him to go back upstairs.

The alleged murderer sat on the stairs and said he did not have a knife when asked by another officer.

He said: 'They attacked me with a knife. I got it off them and fought back. They were hitting me and attacking me. They took the knife back.'

The court was told how Ms Sadler-Ellis's blood had stained the upstairs floor around the threshold of Christian's bedroom, believed to be from the wound on her left eyebrow which poured out as she stood at the top of the stairs.

Mr Bennetts said: 'One explanation for the blood distribution around the top of the stairs is that she stood or knelt on one of the upper steps facing up the stairs while blood pumped from the wound on her left eyebrow.'

The jury was told that no alcohol had been found in Christian's blood but both the alleged victims had been drinking.

Naomi Toro, 36, had arrived at the house and was seen by a police officer leaving with the knife used to inflict the injuries.

When arrested on March 30 she took officers to where she had thrown the weapon into the River Stour from a bridge.

Mr Bennetts added: 'There is no dispute that Foster Christian killed Simon Gorecki and Natasha Sadler-Ellis.

'The defence served on the prosecution and the court a defence statement. 'In short it is asserted that Foster Christian was acting in reasonable lawful self-defence. The prosecution case is what he did was not reasonable. 'At the very least stabbing with a knife demonstrates as intention to cause really serious bodily harm.'


Gross-out feminism is just plain gross

The new feminism's focus on the body is a step backwards

What does it mean to be a feminist today? Women’s liberation used to mean believing that men and women were equal, that women were more than a bag of hormones, and that we could think and act as rationally as men. Women’s liberation movements of the past argued against the biologisation of women, laughing at the idea that periods change women’s behaviour or that appearance defines a woman’s worth. Not anymore.

Behold the latest degradation of women’s liberation: gross-out feminism. This newly coined term seeks to define a new movement focused on women’s bodies rather than their minds. ‘This new movement normalises women by focusing on their bodies, warts and all’, says one supporter. ‘Its goal is to provide a kind of shock therapy to those still harbouring the notion that women don’t have bodily functions, trapped gas, or insubordinate periods.’ Lofty ambitions indeed.

‘Vaginas are so hot right now. If that sentence shocks you, then you’ve been out of the cultural loop’, one commentator writes. And she’s right. Modern feminism is obsessed with vaginas. Take the Guardian’s new ‘Vagina Dispatches’, which claims that ‘there is something particularly damaging about vagina ignorance’. The leaders of the project, two attractive young women, have started up an online hub where readers are invited to draw vulvas and discuss their genitals. They even went out on the streets of New York, one dressed as a vagina, asking people to name the bits.

If you thought that was weird, I wouldn’t recommend watching the fashion brand Monki’s latest series of vlogs. In a video titled ‘Periods are cool. Period’, another attractive woman, standing barefoot in a pool of fake blood, tells the camera ‘anyone around the world who has [a period] can relate. It’s something that crosses race boundaries, cultural boundaries, age boundaries, norm boundaries.’ Forget political solidarity, period solidarity is the new in-thing for young feminists. Other videos include an attractive young woman boasting about the length of her armpit hair; an attractive young woman talking about big girls looking good in clothes; and an attractive young woman, in knickers, talking to women about the importance of masturbation.

Remember Charlotte Roche’s novel Wetlands? The 2008 book which sought to be as disgusting as possible in an attempt to ‘normalise’ women’s bodies? The book about haemorrhoids, anal sex and farting that was hailed as an empowering breakthrough for women’s liberation? That piece of fiction has become real. From free-bleeding campaigns to the new fascination with body hair, feminism is now, often literally, staring up its own backside.

What’s wrong with all this? If it means that women feel more free with their bodies, what’s the problem? But this isn’t what gross-out feminism is really about. If it were just a superficial interest in leg hair and menstrual cups, most of us would roll our eyes and look the other way. But what this new movement is claiming is that women’s bodies should be the focus of feminist politics. Anti-body-shaming campaigns claim that society expects women to be thin, and so we must showcase bigger models to make sure all women feel beautiful. But we don’t live in the 1950s. There is no horde of sexists obsessing over women’s appearance. Today, it’s in fact feminists who are obsessed with women’s bodies.

Gross-out feminism drags women back to the state of visceral, biological creatures. This outlook defines women by their bodies, and by nature, not by their ideas or achievements. Feminists are inviting women to retreat from the outside world to their own inner world – politicising what’s going on in their knickers rather than engaging with wider society. If we argue that women are defined by their hornomal changes, their body shape and their self-esteem, we are fundamentally saying women are unable to overcome their biological differences in order to be as strong and as capable as men.

Gross-out feminism is for girls. It springs from the sort of fascination with your body that is acceptable when you’re a teenager – whinging about period pains, moaning about how your friends are skinnier than you, and agonising about shaving your legs. But women – adults – have bigger fish to fry. If we want to talk about women’s bodies, how about discussing the fact that abortion is still technically illegal in the UK? Or that women still don’t have full and easy access to contraception? Feminism should be about what women want from society, not how women feel about their bodies. This gross-out feminism – obsessed with weight, genitals and bodily functions – is a throwback to a time when women were defined by their bodies. All free-thinking (and self-respecting) women should reject this juvenile, quasi-political movement. Girls, it’s time to grow up.


Corbyn’s critics are trivialising anti-Semitism

Both of Labour's warring sides are using Jews as weapons

Nazi lady, Jackie Walker, originally from Jamaica

‘Does Labour have an anti-Semitism problem?’ This was the question posed at a fringe event, organised by the Corbyn fan club Momentum, at the Labour Party conference last week. If the event was meant to rebut the widespread accusation that Labour does have an anti-Semitism problem, no one told either those Momentum supporters distributing leaflets accusing the Jewish Labour Movement of representing a shady foreign power or Momentum’s now-sacked vice chair, Jackie Walker, who, to loud cheers, told the room that anti-Semitism was ‘no more special than any other kind of racism’, and that if there is anti-Jewish feeling among Labourites, so what? ‘The Labour Party, after all, is simply a reflection of society.’

Not that Walker’s less than wholehearted opposition to anti-Semitism was a surprise. After all, this was the woman who, earlier this year, took time out from proclaiming her Jewish and African ancestry to call Jews ‘the financiers of the sugar and slave trade’ and the creators of ‘the African holocaust’. And now, thanks to persons unknown, a video has been leaked of Walker’s behaviour at a Labour anti-Semitism training event, in which she tells the course leader: ‘I haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.’

If certain Labour members’ continued waltz with anti-Semitism is hardly a shock, even more predictable was the gleeful response of Labour’s parliament-based sect, the Anti-Corbynistas. Principal member and Labour MP Wes Streeting condemned Momentum and Walker, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘This isn’t ambiguous. This is a classic anti-Semitic trope, at our conference.’ Fellow anti-Corbynista Luciana Berger, who proudly resigned from the shadow cabinet in July in protest at the Labour leader, joined in the condemnation: ‘There are too many examples of where my Jewish parliamentary colleagues, where my Jewish council colleagues, where Jewish members have been attacked because they are Jewish. We need to stamp it out.’

This is now the pattern of Labour-on-Labour conflict. A Labour member, perhaps an MP, or even an ex-mayor of London, says something like ‘Hitler was the Zionist God’, workers are being exploited by ‘the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie’, or Israeli Jews should all be ‘transported’ to America en masse, and not only are the individuals involved condemned, suspended and sometimes expelled – they’re also taken as manifestations of Labour under Corbyn, signs of the stinking party-political fish now rotting from its head down.

Charges of anti-Semitism really do appear to be what Corbyn’s supporters say they are: part of the anti-Corbyn campaign, cheap shots taken by Labour MPs desperate to take Jezza down. So every time one of Labour’s resident ignoramuses runs off his or her mouth about the ‘Zionists’, or suggests a shady conspiracy, the anti-Corbyn brigade quickly blame it on the reign of their nemesis. ‘Thanks to Corbyn’, writes one Guardian journalist, ‘the Labour Party is expanding, attracting many leftists who would previously have rejected it or been rejected by it. Among those are people with hostile views of Jews.’ An Observer columnist went further: ‘[Corbyn is] continuing a tradition of Communist accommodation with anti-Semitism that goes back to Stalin’s purges of Soviet Jews in the late 1940s.’ And with every missed opportunity to right its course, concluded the New Statesman, ‘the more anti-Semitic Corbyn’s Labour is revealed to be’.

Listening to those exploiting every whiff of anti-Semitism to try to undermine the Labour leader, anyone would think that Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is really a Jeremy Corbyn problem. He’s seemingly the source of party members’ tin ears, the man who made it okay to talk about ‘Zios’, issue half-baked theories of Israeli imperialism, and play down the unique moral horror of the Holocaust. Get rid of him, and all will be right (or at least centre-right) with Labour again. Such is the simplistic logic of the anti-Corbyn faction.

There’s a real danger in using anti-Semitism to undermine and score cheap points against Corbyn: it diminishes and trivialises the problem of anti-Semitism. It reduces it to Corbyn and Momentum, the bad apples in Labour’s barrel, easily sorted, and easily solved. And, in doing so, it ignores the extent to which anti-Semitism, especially its cultural variant, has sunk its roots in the left, and is now flourishing, an anti-Zionist bloom on the anti-capitalist branch.

This is not to say the Labour left or the left more broadly openly advocates anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism has historically been the preserve of the political right. It was there that the conspiratorial tropes of anti-Semitism developed, its scapegoating zeal fuelled by a ruthlessly biologising nationalism, before, following a postwar hiatus, it was to find its most articulate home, complete with talk of Zionist conspiracies and blithe blood libelling, among Islamists, with the conflicts in the Middle East providing the apparent just cause. So the contemporary left has not led anti-Semitism, but, having long since sacrificed its Enlightenment commitment to universalism at the altar of identity politics, it has increasingly found itself unable to resist the political siren’s call of anti-Semitism. It has too often acquiesced to anti-Semitism.

Of course, those left-wingers, Labourite or otherwise, fingered as anti-Semitic never think of themselves as such. They’re anti-Zionist, they say. It’s the Israeli state they’re opposed to, not Jews as a whole. Yet the distinction rarely holds up, not least because their opposition to Israel, indeed the obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is so overdetermined. It’s not born of some actual, let alone vested, interest in this one particular conflict out of all the other conflicts in the world. No, it’s fuelled by their opposition to what Israel represents – its nation-building futurity, its embrace of liberal capitalism, its sheer modern-ness. And ultimately, that image of Israel, as the exemplar of capitalist modernity, both feeds into and draws on what anti-Semitism has always held Jewry to represent: the moneyed power behind the throne, and the source of the world’s problems.

Corbyn may have semi-consciously likened the Israeli state to the Islamic State, and some of his party supporters may parrot guff about Hitler being a Zionist. But the problem of anti-Semitism runs far deeper than Corbyn and Co. It touches on the political and moral disorientation of the left itself. Unwittingly, the anti-Corbyn set, by narrowly using the anti-Semitism charge to dislodge a leader they don’t like, are obscuring the breadth of the left’s flirtation with anti-Semitism today.



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, 2016

Islam = Nazism

'When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified': Muslim scholar on tour in Australia.  But local Muslims afraid of backlash disown him

A Pakistani scholar has been sent home after he was revealed to have blamed the world's troubles on Jews and said the world will be purified when they are wiped out.

Muhammad Raza SaQib Mustafai, a sunni Muslim, had been in western Sydney over the long weekend for a speaking tour of Australian mosques.

But he was asked to leave the country by Blacktown's Ghausia Masjid when an anti-semitic video sermon from 2012 surfaced, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

He spoke at the mosque, as well as Al-Madinah Masjid in Liverpool, but further talks in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide were cancelled when he was ordered to return to Pakistan.

Pakistan Association of Australia had alerted Ghausia Masjid of the video, entitled 'Jews are the enemies of Islam and the real peace', when Sydney Morning Herald informed the association of its existence on Wednesday.

Association president Abbas Khan told the paper he was shocked by the video.

'The whole Australian community has embraced Pakistanis with warm hearts and true spirits and we will not support or join anything that will deter them,' he said.

He added Mr Mustafai has given hundreds of peaceful sermons.

In his speech to about 50 worshippers in Blacktown on Monday, Mr Mustafai did not cover an controversial topics, a witness said.

He spoke about fitting Islamic rules into life in Western countries on Tuesday night.

Mr Mustafai has almost a million Facebook followers.

In the 2012 video, the Pakistani scholar said the guarantee of world peace would be 'the last Jew slain'.

'As long as there are Jews in this world, peace cannot be established in the whole world,' he said in the video, according to a pro-Israel media monitor website, Middle East Media Research Institute.

'All the troubles that exist around the world are because of the Jews. When the Jews are wiped out, then the world would be purified and the sun of peace would begin to rise on the entire world.'

Pakistani Australian leaders – including Pakistan's High Commissioner to Australia, Naela Chohan, and Greens NSW MP Mehreen Faruqi – have denounced the views in the video.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Mustafai, Pakistan Association of Australia, Pakistan's High Commissioner to Australia, Mehreen Faruqi, and Ghausia Masjid and Al-Madinah Masjid mosques.


UK: It is NOT racist to tackle immigration, Amber Rudd insists after she is slammed for 'shocking' plans to make firms reveal how many foreigners they employ

Amber Rudd hit back at fierce criticism of her new immigration policies today, insisting it was not racist to talk about and control immigration.

The Home Secretary unveiled a raft of new policies to control the number of people coming to Britain in her speech to the Tory conference yesterday.

Among a series of controversial proposals was a plan to make firms reveal how many staff are foreign - intended to encourage businesses invest in home-grown talent.

The policy - which is subject to consultation - came under heavy fire from business groups and opposition politicians today.

But Ms Rudd was unrepentant in a BBC radio interview today. 

She said: 'The fact is we should be able to have a conversation about immigration, we should be able to have a conversation about what skills we want to have in the UK and where we need to go out of the UK in order to recruit them, in order to help businesses, in order to boost the economy.

'I don't think we should have a situation where we can't talk about immigration.'

She added: 'I put this in the context of it being very clearly about boosting the economy, looking after people who are here - and yes, I am aware of the language, and when I looked at my speech and thought about how to present it, I was very thoughtful about not falling into that trap.

'But we mustn't shy away from having this sort of conversation because we know if we do it just pops up later in a more difficult way.' 

The Home Secretary cited a factory she visited recently which employed almost exclusively staff brought in from Romania or Poland.

But pressed on the criticism from business about the plan to force companies to reveal foreign staff, the Home Secretary admitted: 'This is one of the things we're going to look at in the review – I mean, the business I mentioned to you would have shown that it had 80 to 90 per cent non-UK citizens working there.

'It's not something we're definitely going to do, it's one of the tools we're going to use as a review to see if we can use it as a way of nudging people to do better behaviour. 

Adam Marshall, acting director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce said: 'It would be a sad day if having a global workforce was seen as a badge of shame.

'It does not tell you anything about what the company is doing to train up their UK workforce or the effort and lengths they have made to recruit in the UK before turning overseas.'

He added: 'Now is not the time to tell businesses they have to jump through hoops to get the talent they need from around the world.'

James Sproule, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, told Radio Four's Today programme his organisation was 'not enthusiastic' about the plan, insisting firms should be free to employ who they like.

Lord Bilimoria, the chancellor of Birmingham University told BBC Radio 4 that Rudd's plans were 'absolutely shocking'.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: 'The tone of the Conservative conference has become increasingly xenophobic. Theresa May has presided over the return of the Nasty Party. Whether it's doctors, migrants or Europe, the Tories are blaming anyone but themselves for their failure.

'The idea of British companies producing lists of foreign workers runs counter to everything that this country has ever stood for. It would be divisive, discriminatory and risks creating real hostility in workplaces and communities.

'If the Government proceeds with legislation in this area, it will face the mother of all battles.

'This week, it has become increasingly clear what the Prime Minister means by 'hard Brexit' and many people will find it disturbing. While we must respond to concerns expressed in the Referendum, people did not vote for this and fighting 'hard Brexit' must be the new frontier in progressive British politics.'


Dumping 'The Few, The Proud'

Lt. Col. John Caldwell, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, said that the Marine Corps is looking into the possibility of changing its 40-year-old recruiting slogan, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” He stated, “‘The Few, The Proud’ does a great job of distinguishing ourselves from the other branches and making us prestigious to recruits, but it doesn’t say anything about what we do or why we exist.” Caldwell said that the new slogan would be based on three concepts of “fighting self-doubt to become a Marine, fighting the nation’s battles and fighting for what’s right in our communities.”

As the old adage says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This trial balloon raises the question: What is the primary motivation for seeking a slogan change that has been highly successfully for decades? This is yet another instance of Barack Obama and NavSec Ray Mabus infusing their leftist social engineering onto military ranks. With recent examples of a plethora of “gender confusion” guidelines and this week, the Air Force’s new diversity-based demographic standards, perhaps the USMC’s new “progressive” social justice warrior slogan will be, “The Touchy, The Feely, The Marines.”


Hillary Is Commander in Chief in the True War on Women

In the waning minutes of the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton attempted to ambush Donald Trump by trotting out a two decade-old incident involving Trump and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. It worked, but it shouldn't have.

As the issue of the horrible Iranian nuclear deal was being discussed, Hillary made an awkward segue when she interrupted moderator Lester Holt so she could make a point about Trump's history with women. She ranted, "But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men. ... And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest ... he called this woman 'Miss Piggy.' Then he called her 'Miss Housekeeping.'"

In the aftermath of the debate, this exchange became the focus for both Trump and the media, who used it as a bludgeon against Trump, accusing him of being sexist, misogynistic, boorish and a bully. However, the tables were quickly turned when the bizarre history of the pageant winner saw the light of day. Machado, it seems, has a violent, troubled past. She was accused of being the get-away driver for her boyfriend, who murdered his brother-in-law at the funeral of his deceased wife. Though there was not sufficient evidence to convict her, neither has she denied being involved.

When asked about it recently in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, she deflected the question by saying "I'm not a saint girl" and pointing out that the incident "happened 20 years ago" — not much of a denial. Machado, besides being an alleged accomplice in the murder, reportedly threatened to kill the Venezuelan judge who indicted her boyfriend. She was also identified as the mistress of a Mexican drug lord by a witness who was then placed in witness protection but later killed in Mexico City.

All that makes the fact that she posed nude for Playboy and had sex live on a Spanish-language reality show seem downright boring by comparison. Though Hillary claims Trump was mistreating Machado, it seems Trump was actually trying to save her job.

Trump's history with women is, to be sure, not good. On the one hand, he is an admitted (and proud) adulterer who has made countless rude, crass statements to and about a number of women, from leftist comedienne Rosie O'Donnell to Fox News star Megyn Kelly. On the other hand, he also has a long history of hiring women at his companies and elevating them to positions of power (unlike Clinton, who paid women working in her Senate office 28% less than she paid men).

What is missing in this sensational, salacious equation is any balance in reporting by the media, and any mea culpas by the Democrats.

How can progressives, Democrats, the media, and feminists feign outrage at Trump's treatment of women while supporting Hillary Clinton and other powerful Democrats, who have a far more damning history of abusing and mistreating women?

So, we ask of those who condemn Trump while defending Hillary...

Where is your outrage at Hillary, who has spent more than three decades defending and enabling the serial rapes and sexual assaults of her husband Bill? Where is the outrage over the fact that Hillary personally engaged in the cover-up or character assassination of the victims following the rapes or sexual assaults of Juanita Broaddrick, Dolly Kyle, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Eileen Wellstone, Carolyn Moffet, Sandra Allen James and Christy Zercher?

Where is your outrage over Bill's adulterous affairs with Gennifer Flowers, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, and other women?

Where is your outrage at Hillary who, chillingly, is on tape laughing about how she convincingly portrayed a 12-year-old girl as a pre-teen slut obsessed with older men, all so that she could keep a child rapist out of jail?

Where is your outrage at Bill Clinton, who on multiple occasions ditched his Secret Service detail so he could join his convicted pedophile billionaire buddy Jeffrey Epstein on the "Lolita Express," his private jet that took him to countries that allowed him to have sex with underage girls? Did Bill join in on these rapes of little girls? Are you even curious?

Where is your outrage at Hillary for accepting huge chunks of money from Saudi Arabia and other nations where women are abused and mistreated, and where they can be beaten for being in public without a male relative, or be stoned to death for the "crime" of being raped, or committing adultery.

One thing is for sure. Hillary does have experience as commander in chief in the true war on women. She has led the assault on victims while defending her flank against those who would expose her for her hateful, callous treatment of women who have suffered enough.



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

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

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


6 October, 2016

Supreme Court rejects plea to reconsider Obama’s immigration plan

A short-handed Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from the Obama administration to reconsider a major immigration decision, dooming for now President Obama’s plan to spare millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

The court also declined to hear more than 1,000 petitions seeking review in cases that had piled up during the justices’ summer break. Among them were ones concerning what college athletes may earn, the Washington Redskins’ trademarks, and a campaign finance investigation in Wisconsin. Adhering to its custom, the court did not give reasons for turning down the cases.

The request that the justices rehear the immigration case came after a deadlock in the case in June. The 4-to-4 tie left in place an appeals court ruling that had blocked Obama’s plan, which also would have allowed the unauthorized immigrants to work legally in the United States.

The Supreme Court has been without its standard nine members since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February. The tie vote in the case, United States v. Texas, set no precedent. The court did not disclose how the justices had voted.

The administration’s petition seeking rehearing said a matter of such importance should be resolved by a nine-member Supreme Court, which “should be the final arbiter of these matters through a definitive ruling.”

The administration acknowledged that the immigration case was at an early stage and could again reach the court in a later appeal. But the petition said there was a “strong need for definitive resolution by this court at this stage.”


British PM to attack politicians who sneer at 'patriotic' working class voters concerned about migration

The establishment must stop sneering at the patriotism of ordinary Britons, Theresa May will say today.

During her keynote speech to the Conservative conference, the Prime Minister will proclaim that the Tories are now the party of working class people.

In a bid to attract millions of disaffected Labour voters across the country, she will add that concerns about immigration have for too long been dismissed as “distasteful” and “parochial”.

She will attack the condescending views of politicians and establishment figures who are “bewildered” by the fact that more than 17 million people voted for Britain to leave the European Union.

Her attack will also be seen as a coded criticism of David Cameron's government which she has suggested focused too much on "the privileged few".

Mrs May will use her speech to declare that she is putting both the Tory party and the country “on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics”.

It will be seen as an attempt to win over traditional Labour voters who were alienated by Jeremy Corbyn’s recent declaration that he is “relaxed” about the prospect of uncontrolled immigration to Britain.

“Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public,” Mrs May will say. “They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than seventeen million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.”


Now the safe spaces brigade have declared Verdi problematic too

Oh dear, here comes another operatic controversy – only this one relates not to graphic sex, gratuitous gore or violent heckling, but the no-platforming tendency that has regrettably been eating away at the principles of free speech and free expression in our universities. There is something of the Ealing Comedy about this particular case.

Earlier this year Music Theatre Bristol, a student-run institution attached to the University of Bristol, conceived a plan to stage Verdi’s epic Aida. This could be said to be ambitious bordering on the insane: a tale of passion and jealousy set in Ancient Egypt, it famously features a scene in which the Pharaoh’s army, triumphant in war against the rebel Ethiopians, returns with booty of slaves, elephants and tigers to be hailed by a chorus and orchestra of hundreds. Covent Garden and La Scala have a hard time staging this plausibly; quite how peanut-budgeted Music Theatre Bristol ever imagined they could make it convincing is a mystery.

No matter, because now the show has been summarily cancelled. Not on the grounds of cruelty to endangered animals or non-recrutiment of that chorus and orchestra of hundreds, but because of a “controversy in terms of racial diversity”.

"It is a great shame that we have had to cancel this show as of course we would not want to cause offence in any way."Music Theatre Bristol

That dire phrase “cultural appropriation” hovers in the background here, as the poor dears in Bristol appear to have got very edgy about the fact that black-skinned people are involved in the plot, albeit in an entirely flattering light – Aida herself, an Ethiopian princess, is presented as a pillar of rectitude throughout, while her father Amonasro is as an honest warrior of rough-edged Garibaldian integrity. Aida is in love with the Egyptian general Radames – so is miscegenation the problem here? Or has someone objected to the way that the brown-skinned Egyptians are shown as militantly loyal to their nation?

I guess not: I suspect that the sticking-point is not so much bristling over "racial diversity"– what could be the objection to showing that – as someone’s discovery via Google of the (now virtually extinct) tradition of Caucasian singers "blacking up" to play their part in this opera.

They have a point here: terrible make-up frequently yielded unintentionally comedic results. What probably hasn’t been registered is that Aida has also been a significant vehicle of black liberation, an opera which allowed many great African American opera stars in the Civil Rights era – Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry and Shirley Verrett, for example – the chance to take centre stage without suppressing their racial identities. How much more enlightened it would have been to honour this.

In any case, Verdi, that magnificently unillusioned liberal who detested cant and hypocrisy, would be appalled to think that his opera had fallen victim to such infantile censorship. He stood for nothing but the dignity of all humanity, and Aida is emphatically not an exercise in racism but merely a drama set in a romantic locale, to a text written by an archaeologist who ministered to the Victorian fascination with the romance of a lost civilization.

Where will the mealy-mouthed nonsense peddled by ideologues in Bristol stop? If something doesn’t laugh it to extinction, Verdi’s entire oeuvre could fall under the axe. Rigoletto could be banned on account of its unsympathetic representation of a hunchback; La Traviata shows insufficient respect for sex workers; and  most sinister of all, Falstaff could be deemed fattist, not to mention derogatory to merry wives living in Windsor. Don’t chortle. It could just happen.


World Congress of Families in Kenya: Africans 'Should Be Horrified' at LGBT Actions in USA -- 'It's Insane'

World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder, during a discussion on Kenya's Crosstalk program about the LGBT agenda in Africa and the United States, said that civil society cannot allow homosexuals "to be the role model" because it is "dangerous" and, he added, "if Africans look seriously" at how homosexuality is affecting the United States, "they should be horrified." What's happening with transgender bathroom policy "is absolutely insane," he said.

“The problem is this is a way people are living and they’re demanding that it be respected," said Feder in reference to LGBT persons in America on the Sept. 28 edition of Crosstalk, an affiliate of TBN. "They’re demanding that all of society be changed for their comfort and their convenience."

"We’re not saying that these people have to be persecuted," said Feder, an author and former Boston Herald columnist.  "We’re not saying that you can’t have compassion for them -- of course, you can. But you can’t let this be the role model. And you can’t allow Christians and other religious people to be persecuted because they refuse to go along with this agenda.”

“You know, other people have demanded minority status based on their religion, based on their race," said Feder, a graduate of Boston University Law School. "This is the first group that demands minority status based on what they do in their bedrooms. And that’s what makes it so dangerous."

"And if you look at the United States, I mean if Africans look seriously at the United States, they should be horrified by what’s going on," he said.

Turning to the transgender issue, Feder said, “We now have the latest created gender, transgender. Men who feel they’re actually women, women who feel they’re actually men. The latest front in the culture war is bathrooms, transgender bathrooms."

"The idea is, if you’re a man who feels you’re actually a woman, you should be able to use a woman’s bathroom, changing room, showers," said Feder. "This is absolutely insane."

"What about the privacy, the modesty of women and girls?" he said.  "But in our legal system that’s irrelevant because the rights of so-called transgenders are far more important.”



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, 2016

Multiculturalist is jailed for life for reducing a father-of-two to 'a vegetable' after stabbing him through the heart in a savage road rage attack

A driver has been jailed for life after brutally stabbing a father-of-two through the heart and leaving him in a 'vegetative' state following a savage road rage attack.

Leeds Crown Court heard Davern Pinnock stabbed Jumaine Miller, 33, in the chest, arm and back after he had confronted him over his anti-social driving in West Yorkshire in October last year.

Despite suffering devastating injuries, Mr Miller drove himself to hospital but he remains in a 'vegetative, minimally conscious state' almost a year later and his condition is unlikely to improve.

His family said they may never get over his injuries and Pinnock's 'lack of remorse'.

At the time of the attack 20-year-old Pinnock was on license from prison following a previous road rage attack in which he beat a father and son with a baseball bat.

Labelling him a 'dangerous man, prone to unpredictable violence', the judge jailed Pinnock for life.

Horrified motorists watched the savage attack unfold at a busy set of traffic lights.

Mr Miller bravely climbed back behind the wheel to drive himself to hospital -unaware he was close to death due to his injuries.

He survived the attack following life-saving surgery but later developed problems which led to devastating brain injuries.

Mr Miller and a friend had been driving their cars through Pudsey, between Bradford and Leeds, shortly before the tragedy on October 18 last year.

Mr Miller, from Bradford, had been angry over the way Pinnock was driving and trailed him. He demanded an apology but Pinnock, who had a female passenger in the car with him, sped off.

Mr Miller caught up with him again at a roundabout and during a second confrontation was stabbed in the chest, back, and arm.

The court heard his brain injuries have left him barely unable to communicate and totally dependent on others to look after him.

His fiancée Leanne Cox said in a victim impact statement: 'He was my world, my smile, my best friend, my security, my everything.'

A family statement from his sister added: 'The combination of Pinnock's lack of remorse, together with my brother's poor life chances is something my family are struggling to come to terms with.

Pinnock, of Huddersfield, denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm - claiming he had acted in self defence - but was convicted at a trial in May this year.

Today he was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of eight years by Judge Tom Bayliss who told him: 'You are a dangerous individual who will be prone to further episodes of unpredictable violence in the future.

'This was a deliberate, premeditated stabbing to a vulnerable part of the body and your victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

'I am quite satisfied, having observed you throughout the trial, that you have no remorse for what you did. 'You are in my judgement, a very dangerous man.'


Mother being persecuted for being normal

She wants to be with the man who fathered her child and does not want to give up her own daughter to an unrelated person

A lesbian mother who left her wife and ‘abducted’ their daughter to start a new life with a sperm donor has broken her silence to claim the two-year-old is ‘better off with me’.

Lauren Etchells, 31, a teacher who grew up in South Tyneside, is the subject of an international arrest warrant after breaking a court order to fly out of Canada with daughter Kaydance.

She was joined by a second child, born in April, and the baby’s biological father Marco van der Merwe – a sperm donor she was in a relationship with. But after publicity about the case last week, Etchells contacted a newspaper to speak out and criticise what she described as ‘political correctness’.

Her wife Tasha Brown has made desperate pleas for the safe return of her daughter to Canada.

The couple’s turbulent custody battle drew headlines when Miss Brown went public almost five months after Etchells fled on a flight to Gatwick airport.

She is thought to have moved on to France and then the Middle East, but has allegedly broken off contact with Mr Van der Merwe and 'hasn’t heard from him for months'.

In an email to The Times, in which Miss Etchells refused to give any details which would disclose her whereabouts, she tried to explain her decision to go on the run.

‘This whole case has been about gay rights and not about what is good for my child,’ she said. ‘At some point the system needs to look at the straight facts and see that Kaydance is better off with me instead of getting blinded and caught up in political correctness and bureaucracy.

‘Breaking up her family, separating her from her mother and brother and the man she knows as her father is going to do far more psychological damage to her than growing up not knowing… Miss Brown.’

Miss Brown, 43, and Miss Etchells met online in 2008 and married in Canada in 2012. Etchells had been living in the country since her father Brian emigrated for work in electrical engineering.

The couple’s turbulent custody battle drew headlines when Miss Brown went public almost five months after Etchells fled on a flight to Gatwick airport

The couple decided to have a baby together and because Miss Etchells was younger, it was decided she would carry it. Kaydance was born in 2014 using a sperm donor they found online.

However, he refused to be the donor a second time when the couple decided to have another baby in the summer of 2015.

IT expert Mr van der Merwe – a university friend of Miss Etchells – took on the responsibility, but Etchells and Miss Brown split up before the baby was born.

Speaking to the Mail last week, Miss Brown said: ‘I was such a fool. I was played by Lauren. I welcomed Marco into our life because I thought he was no threat to our marriage and it would help us have more children as we had always planned.’


'I'm quietly thrilled': Tony Abbott backflips on Brexit opposition

Former prime minister Tony Abbott appears to have backflipped on his opposition to Britain's exit from the European Union, telling a London audience he was "quietly thrilled" Brexit had succeeded.

Mr Abbott broke with conservative eurosceptic ranks to support Remain prior to the poll. "Britain's challenge now is to save Europe, not leave it," he wrote in a piece for Rupert Murdoch's The Times.

But in a speech delivered at a high-powered business breakfast on Monday, the former PM changed his tune, conceding a latent desire to see his country of birth leave the union.

"First a confession: I was one of the many luminaries to warn Britons against Brexit. Unlike most of them, though, my argument was not that Britain needed Europe but that Europe needed Britain," he began.

"And unlike most, I'm not sulking because Britons failed to take my advice. Now that it's happened, I'm quietly thrilled that the British people have resolved to claim back their country."

Mr Abbott said that while Britain's departure from the EU would certainly be felt on the continent, there was "no reason" it should be harmful for the world's fifth-largest economy and Europe's second-largest military power.

He observed that British markets had largely seen positive growth since the country's voters opted, in late June, to abandon the European project it had helped create in the 1970s.

Mr Abbott said Brexit would enable Britain to pursue free trade deals that were "absolutely free" rather than simply freer than the status quo, citing the prospect of an ambitious FTA with Australia.

Such a deal should entail the complete abolition of tariffs and quotas on all goods traded between the two countries - with no exceptions, he said. "There should be no need for tortuous negotiation and labyrinthine detail," he said.

Brexit would also allow Britain to join the North American Free Trade Agreement to create a North Atlantic Free Trade Area.

"In this way, Brexit could begin a process leading to genuinely freer global trade rather than protectionist trade blocs," Mr Abbott urged.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May imposed a March deadline for triggering what is known as Article 50, an official notification that Britain will leave the EU. The process would be completed by 2019, she told the Conservative party's annual conference.

Mr Abbott, ousted as Australian prime minister by Malcolm Turnbull in September last year, is completing a series of speaking engagements in conservative circles in Europe.

He recently told a conference of eurosceptics in Prague that Europe needed to turn back asylum seeker boats as Australia had successfully done under his prime ministership.

In that speech, Mr Abbott acknowledged he had been a "reluctant Remainer", but said that following the Brexit vote "all of us have to respect the people's verdict and make the most of it".


Biting back at the political correctness brigade in Australia

IT appears that the tide of political correctness that has engulfed Australian society in recent years (less so in Queensland than the southern states) may be in retreat.

Two recent events suggest that this is so.

The first is the debate over the use of shark nets at Ballina and on the NSW north coast.

The second is the dramatic decline in the popularity of the Baird coalition government in NSW, primarily due to Premier Mike Baird’s decision to ban greyhound racing in that state.

The genesis of both these events lies in the lobbying of so-called “animal rights activists” — a particularly fanatical branch of the political correctness brigade. (The term animal rights is a misnomer, only human beings can possess rights).

The original decisions not to install nets to protect surfers and swimmers from sharks (despite numerous attacks and deaths in the Ballina area) and to ban greyhound racing came about as a result of Premier Baird’s capitulation to the animal rights lobby.

“Animal rights” ideology has serious consequences — deaths, injuries and the destruction of people’s livelihoods — but political correctness demands that such consequences be accepted and/or ignored.

Until recently it was virtually impossible to have a proper public debate about these issues, and politicians who opposed the doctrines of political correctness were reluctant to speak out.

This is understandable. Political correctness is well entrenched in certain sections of the media, academia and in large corporations and its proponents are expert in conducting vicious campaigns on the internet designed to destroy and render unemployable anyone who disagrees with them. Even powerful media figures like Eddie McGuire cower and apologise profusely in the face of such campaigns.

The recent debates over shark nets and greyhound racing, however, have broken new ground.

These debates have actually focused on the flawed premises of the animal rights programs and, more importantly, a number of politicians have publicly joined the fray on the side of common sense.

On the shark net issue, commentators have written articles pointing out that the fundamental premise of the “animal rights” campaign — namely that there is no qualitative difference between human beings and animals and that both should be treated in the same fashion — is patently false.

They have also pointed out that the alternative taxpayer funded, high tech solutions advocated by the animal rights lobby — for example the use of drones and a shark app — are wildly expensive and ineffective. (One can just picture a young surfer off Ballina pulling his dripping wet iPhone out of his board shorts to learn from the shark app that he is to be devoured by a white pointer in approximately 10 seconds).

More importantly, a number of politicians have made public statements to the same effect. Josh Frydenberg, the Federal Minister for the Environment, stated that the safety of humans should prevail over the welfare of sharks and urged Premier Baird to install shark nets on the north coast of NSW. The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, offered to assist Baird in extending the Gold Coast shark net system (which has reduced shark attacks to nil) down the NSW coast.

On the greyhound issue, sections of the media have been even more outspoken. A substantial media campaign is being waged in Queensland and NSW to force Premier Baird to reverse his decision to ban greyhound racing. As well as pointing out the unfairness and dire economic consequences of the ban, media commentators have also pointed out that the ban may well lead to additional cruelty to greyhounds and that the compensation package will cost NSW taxpayers a fortune.

Many politicians have criticised the decision, including Prime Minister Turnbull (who pointed out that rabbits — used in live baiting — are a pest which farmers had been killing for years) and Luke Foley, the NSW Opposition Leader. Baird has also been strongly criticised by members of his own party and National Party politicians. In fact, it appears that Baird and the Leader of the National Party may well be facing a mutiny if the greyhound ban is not reversed.

The public outcry on both of these issues has also been significant.

Ordinary voters, by and large, do not subscribe to the doctrines of political correctness, and certainly not in their most extreme animal rights form. They know, as a matter of common sense, that human beings matter more than animals, and they quite rightly resent funding expensive, futile schemes to satisfy the selfish wishes of minority groups.

Recent polls show that Premier Baird’s approval ratings have plummeted dramatically, and his government may well lose the upcoming Orange by-election.

The other thing that the recent polls reflect is that voters deeply resent the unilateral imposition of policies upon which they have not been consulted and for which they have not specifically voted.

These recent events show how important it is for commentators, politicians and voters to oppose government policies based on doctrines of political correctness.

If each of the above groups, particularly politicians, forcefully oppose such policies then it is possible to prevent fanatical fringe groups from imposing their extreme views on the general community.

It remains to be seen, however, whether political correctness is sufficiently in retreat to compel Premier Baird to reverse his policies on the use of shark nets and the banning of greyhound racing.



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, 2016

Multiculturalist gets 35 years in jail for murdering his ex-wife, cutting up her body with a chainsaw and leaving her remains to disintegrate in acid

Steven Williams sat stone-faced in a central Florida courtroom Friday as he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murdering his ex-wife, cutting up her body with a chainsaw and then dissolving the remains in acid.

Williams, a former Air Force sergeant, learned his fate after pleading no contest in May to second-degree murder in the grisly killing of Tricia Todd.

He received an additional five years, to be served concurrently, for child neglect, because he left the couple's two-year-old daughter alone to dump his ex-wife's dismembered body in a park.

The sheriff's office reported that 30-year-old Tricia Todd, an Air Force veteran and mother-of-one, went missing in April, and Williams, himself an Air Force sergeant, was arrested a short time later in North Carolina. 

He eventually confessed and led authorities to her remains in Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area.

Authorities say Williams had put Todd's body parts in a tub of acid.

Todd, who worked as a hospice nurse, was last seen 'smiling and in good spirits' as she picked up groceries from a Publix supermarket in Hobe Sound on April 26, just a few hours before she vanished.

After leaving the store, the mother was told by her ex-husband that their two-year-old daughter was not feeling well.

Williams - who had traveled from North Carolina to visit the toddler - went with Todd to Martin Memorial South Hospital that night.

Williams, an Air Force airman, eventually confessed to killing Todd, cutting up her body and disposing of the remains with the help of acid

She went to the bed and breakfast where her ex-husband was staying and was said to have left at around 2am the next day.

Todd was reported missing later that morning when she failed to pick her daughter up from the hospital.

Her car was later found near her home with the keys still in the ignition. Her credit cards and phone - which was missing - had not been used.

Police and volunteers spent weeks searching for Todd until in late May Steven Williams finally confessed as part of a plea deal to killing and dismembering the woman.

During a brief sentencing hearing Friday, Williams showed little emotion, but right before he was led into the courtroom he was seen with a smirk on his face.

The station WPBF reported that Judge Lawrence Mirman called his crime ‘horrific‘ and said that the sentence was 'clearly less than full justice' for the victim’s family, but noted that without the plea deal they would never know what happened to her.


Jeremy Hunt: Let's replace foreign doctors with homegrown talent in Post-Brexit Britain

About time.  There are many complaints against overseas doctors

The number of foreign doctors working in the NHS should be cut after Brexit, with homegrown medics replacing them, the Health Secretary has declared.

In one of the clearest indications yet of the Government’s vision for Brexit Britain, Jeremy Hunt questioned why more than a quarter of NHS doctors were foreign when scores of bright Britons were turned away from medical school.

Mr Hunt, who backed Remain in the referendum, argued that leaving the EU would ‘throw into sharp relief the number of doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants we need to import every year in order to sustain our health system’.

He said: ‘I think people will ask whether it is right when we are turning away bright British youngsters from medical school – who might get three A-stars [at A-level] but still can’t get in – at the same time we are importing people from all over the world. I think it’s a debate we need to have.’

Niall Dickson, of the General Medical Council, has said patient safety is at risk because, unlike other foreign doctors, those trained in the EU were assumed to be on par with British medics.

A bullish Mr Hunt, celebrating last week’s High Court ruling backing him in his dispute with junior doctors, also took aim at Mr Johnson for saying the NHS would receive a funding boost from Brexit – sticking to the Leave camp’s claim that millions destined for Brussels could be given to the health service.

Mr Hunt said the High Court’s backing for his drive to impose a new contract on doctors had paved the way for a round-the-clock service in at least half of hospitals by March 2018.

Today he will announce an extra £12.5 million investment in the Time To Change mental health campaign. The issue is a personal passion for Mr Hunt, particularly since receiving a harrowing letter from the father of a ‘fun-loving, bright, happy’ girl who killed herself aged 15.

Mr Hunt said he was determined to reduce the stigma surrounding it, adding: ‘We still have a long way to go. One of the messages we have to get across is that many mental health conditions are completely curable.’

When Mrs May appointed her first Cabinet in July, Mr Hunt walked into No 10 without the NHS badge he normally wears – only to reappear half an hour later, beaming, with the badge on his lapel.

He said: ‘I made a very big mistake, which is to believe what I heard on the BBC, which is that I was going to be moved. So I thought I had better not wear my NHS badge. No one was more surprised and delighted than I was when Theresa told me she wanted me to stay. Literally the first thing that I did – she must have thought it was a bit odd – was to reach into my pocket, take the badge out and put it back on.’


Navy torpedoes job titles for new system; ‘airman,’ ‘fireman,’ others shelved

Sailors are going to be addressed by a bureaucratic code???

All 91 of the U.S. Navy’s enlisted job titles are headed for Davy Jones’ locker.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus prodded the Navy and Marine Corps early this year to look for ways to create gender-neutral rating titles. The Marines responded with new job titles in June, but the Navy ultimately decided to go with a complete overhaul of its system.

“We’re going to immediately do away with rating titles and address each other by just our rank as the other services do,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke toldNavy Times for a piece published Thursday. “We recognize that’s going to be a large cultural change, it’s not going to happen overnight, but the direction is to start exercising that now.”

The move, which officials say will make service members more employable post-service, does away with titles like airman and fireman in favor of Navy Occupational Specialties (NOS).

“Under this new system, for example, Gunner’s mates will be identified as B320 and quartermasters will be B450,” Navy Times explained.

The title seaman will remain the last nonrated rating remaining for those with a rank of E-3 and below.

Vice Adm. Robert Burke told the newspaper that NOS will be configured into broad career fields within 13 communities of service. The new system aims to give sailors a greater number of duty stations and more flexibility in terms of how their careers advance.

A spokesman for Secretary Mabus denied any “direct line” between the directive for gender-neutral job titles and the Navy’s decision to overhaul its system, the Washington Examiner reported.


Support for recognition of Indigenous Australians in the constitution has dropped below 60%, according to an Essential poll released today

And it will drop further the more it is politicized.  Bipartisan consensus is needed to get something like this through.  Aborigines are already recognized by the Australian consitution.  The 1967 referendum did that.  They are now just Australians.  Anything else would be racist.  And we can rely on Pauline Hanson to tell us all that.  With her opposed, a referendum would not have a snowflake's chance.  She speaks for huge numbers of Australians on ethnic issues

The poll of 1,006 respondents found 58% said they would vote yes in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian constitution.

The figure is a large decline on a poll commissioned by Recognise in 2015 which found 85% in favour of constitutional recognition but only a small decline on a JWS Research poll in July which found 60% in favour of recognition and 59% in favour of a treaty.

The poll also found 61% of respondents disapprove of the government’s proposal to allow a single company to own all three of a newspaper, TV network and radio station in a single market.

It found 18% approve of the abolition of the two-out-of-three rule, 22% don’t know, and the majority of those that disapproved of the policy did so strongly.

The Essential poll found Labor leading the Coalition 52% to 48%, echoing a Newspoll released on Tuesday that had the same 52-48 result, albeit with a slightly higher Coalition primary vote of 39%.

It found continuing high support for voluntary euthanasia, at 68%, consistent with Essential polls as far back as 2010.

The campaign for constitutional recognition is entering a fragile period. Although recognition enjoys majority support, the referendum council has not approved a particular proposal to be voted on at a referendum.

Labor has said it would consider a treaty with Aboriginal Australians in addition to constitutional recognition, a proposal which led the government to accuse it of putting at risk “meaningful but modest” change in the form of constitutional recognition.

Asked to rate a series of issues on their importance, 75% of respondents to the poll said reaching a global agreement on climate change was important, compared with 62% for a banking and finance royal commission and 59% for a treaty with Indigenous Australians.

Issues which a majority did not consider important included a plebiscite on same-sex marriage (36%) and a referendum on a republic (34%).

The Labor financial services spokeswoman, Katy Gallagher, said the poll showed the government was “out of touch” on a bank royal commission because even 59% of Coalition voters were in favour, according to the poll.



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

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

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


3 October, 2016

Leftist racism is getting worse

The BBC was at the centre of a damaging diversity row last night after one of its top radio stars was sacked for being 'white and male'.

Bafta award-winning comedian Jon Holmes was axed from The Now Show – the hit Radio 4 programme he has appeared on for 18 years – when bosses told him 'we're recasting it with more women and diversity'.

Last night, leading figures from the world of entertainment and across the political spectrum reacted with fury to the BBC instigating a policy in which it was now choosing performers based on their gender or skin colour, instead of their talent.

Mr Holmes revealed that since his sacking he has heard from other stars who have been rejected by broadcasting bosses because of 'positive discrimination'. He told how one woman presenter was given a job only later to be told 'we can't have you, because you are too white and middle class'.

Another performer was considered 'perfect' for a role but could not be employed because bosses had been told to cast someone Asian, he said.

In an article for The Mail on Sunday, below, Mr Holmes said he accepted the need for diversity but asked: 'Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?'

Damningly for the BBC, he revealed that even bosses responsible for setting up the Corporation's diversity policies had got in touch with him to say that political correctness 'had all got out of hand'.

One executive admitted: 'It was never about sacking people who already do the job and simply replacing them to tick a box.'

Reacting to the toxic revelations, racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips said the removal of Mr Holmes to make way for minority performers showed the BBC 'don't believe black or Asian people are as good as white people'.

And actress Maureen Lipman, meanwhile, called for the sacking of the executive responsible for Mr Holmes's removal.

Tory MP Conor Burns blamed the BBC's idea of diversity on its 'Notting Hill-set world view' and said it was 'ironic' the row came in the same week ex-Labour Cabinet Minister James Purnell was given the job of Director of Radio, despite being 'another middle class white man'.

Mr Holmes has been a writer and performer on The Now Show since it was first broadcast in 1997. The programme, with a weekly audience of two million, is presented by Outnumbered's Hugh Dennis with his comedy partner Steve Punt.

Mr Holmes, 47, was left stunned by the phone call a few days ago from a female producer who told him in an 'awkward conversation' that he was being sacked. He said: 'She said, 'I'm afraid for the next series we are not inviting you back'.'

He later revealed his sacking in a tweet in which he joked: 'And I didn't even punch a producer,' a reference to the reason behind Jeremy Clarkson's sacking by the BBC from Top Gear.

Holmes's axing follows the BBC's April announcement of new diversity targets to ensure that women will make up half of its staff by 2020, including on screen, on air and in leadership roles. The Corporation is also aiming to increase the proportion of its workforce from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to 15 per cent by the same date, while lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people should by then make up eight per cent of the staff.

But Mr Phillips – former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission – branded the decision to drop Mr Holmes on the grounds of positive discrimination 'idiotic'.
It's unbelievable - we're talking about a person who has done some of the best work on radio 

He said: 'They are misunderstanding what the point of the diversity drive was about. This sounds like somebody who is basically climbing their way up the greasy ladder and they think hiring black and Asian talent is part of what they have got to do to look good.

'But they don't genuinely believe black or Asian people are as good as white people.'

Ms Lipman added: 'We are talking about someone who has done some of the best work on radio. It sounds unbelievable but if someone has sacked him for not doing anything wrong, they should be sacked for being crass.

'If diversity really is an issue, than perhaps someone could be appointed to work alongside Jon and learn his skills.'

Mr Holmes has won two Baftas, eight Sony awards and two British Comedy awards. He co-created Radio 4's Dead Ringers, which later transferred to BBC Two, and has been a co-writer of the Horrible Histories series for BBC One.

Racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips criticised the move, while actress Maureen Lipman called for the sacking of the executive responsible for Mr Holmes's removal

Leading gay activist and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was also against the decision to sack the star. He said: 'Perhaps rather than giving Jon the boot, the BBC could reduce his input and give some of his slots to women and black comedians. That would satisfy everybody.'

The BBC has been at the centre of 'diversity' rows in the past. In 2001, its then director-general Greg Dyke provoked a storm for declaring the Corporation was 'hideously white'.

Ten years later, former BBC presenter Miriam O'Reilly won a case for age discrimination against the Corporation after she was dropped from BBC One's rural affairs show, Countryfile.

In 2014, then director of BBC Television Danny Cohen said the Corporation could no longer accept all-male panels on comedy series.

Since the edict, there has almost invariably been a woman comedian on shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI and Mock The Week.

A BBC spokesman thanked Mr Holmes for his 'excellent and memorable' contributions, adding: 'Our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it is time to create opportunities for new regulars as the show returns this autumn.'


Mohammed is at it again

Arabic-speaking man, 20, took selfies with 14-year-old girl in park 'before pushing her against a tree and sexually assaulting her'

Mohammed Alfrouh, 20, forced one of his victims against a tree in Leazes Park, Newcastle before groping her, the city's crown court has been told.

After his first alleged victim managed to get away, Alfrouh is said to have joined two of his friends in an attack on her 14-year-old school friend.

The court had previously heard how the Arabic-speaking men used Google Translate to communicate with their alleged victims.

The shocking allegations came to light when a recording of an interview the complainant gave to police was played to a jury today.

The girl said a group of men had approached them in May this year as the girls were by the see-saw and asked if they could 'play with them'.

The girls went back to the park the following day after school and saw the same group of men, who then followed them.

Alfrouh got her in a 'tight squeeze', put his sunglasses on her head and asked for a selfie, the jury heard.

The complainant said in her interview: 'I was a bit uncomfortable on the selfies. He pushed [me] on the tree, held [me] against it.

She said Alfrouh kissed her and groped her, adding: 'I was saying "Stop it. Get off [me]". He put his hand on my mouth.'

As he tried to undress, she managed to get away and ran to a bus stop in the city centre, she said.

There she met her friend who told police she was sexually assaulted by three men behind the hut.

The girl told the detective her friend was comforted by a woman at the bus stop, saying she had been 'raped' and that she was 'crying her eyes out'.

The girl claimed the three defendants then walked past them at the bus stop, laughing.

Alfrouh's barrister Sue Hirst cross examined the girl today and accused her of changing her story.

Miss Hirst asked why she was smiling in the selfies, which Alfrouh took on his Samsung Galaxy phone.

The girl replied: 'Because he had his arm round us, I couldn't do much. I didn't want to have an unhappy face in it.'

Miss Hirst said: 'You were quite happy to have those photos taken, weren't you?'

The girl replied: 'No.'

Miss Hirst said the girl claimed the attack happened in an area of the park 'potentially in full view of anyone who walked past', and added: 'This didn't happen did it?'

The schoolgirl replied: 'Yes, it did.'

Alfrouh, 20, of no fixed address, denies three counts of sexual assault.

Omar Badreddin, 18, of Kenton Bar, and Mohammed Allakkoud, 18, of Newcastle, deny a single charge of sexual assault, said to have been on the other girl behind the hut. The trial continues.


Massachusetts Supreme Court Says It’s Perfectly Legitimate for Black Men to Flee Police

Has it really come to this? On the heels of dramatic disagreement between the two major party presidential candidates about how to react to ongoing tension between the police and the African-American community, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has unanimously concluded that a black man fleeing from a police officer investigating criminal activity is indicative of—nothing at all.

In the wake of recent shootings of African-American civilians by police officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by violent protests in Charlotte, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had dramatically different reactions.

Clinton laid the blame on “systemic racism” and “implicit bias” and called for more community policing. Trump was equally troubled by these events, but called for more extensive use of stop-and-frisk tactics in high-crime areas. He speculated that perhaps the officer involved in the Tulsa shooting had “choked” when faced with a tense situation.

In the meantime, in a unanimous opinion issued on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts gave implicit approval for black men to run when the police ask to speak to them.

The facts in Commonwealth v. Jimmy Warren are pretty straightforward. Sometime after 9 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2011, in the Roxbury section of Boston (a high-crime area), a teenager entered his bedroom and saw a black male wearing a “red hoodie” jumping out the window. When he went to the window, he saw two more black men, one in a “black hoodie” and the other in dark clothes, running away.

The thieves had taken a backpack, a computer, and five baseball hats. The victim relayed the information to Officer Luis Anjos, who drove around the neighborhood for approximately 15 minutes looking for anyone who matched the victim’s admittedly vague description.

Because it was a cold night, Anjos did not encounter any pedestrians until he came upon Jimmy Warren and another black male. Both were wearing dark clothing, and one of them was wearing a hoodie.

Anjos decided to conduct a “field interrogation observation” (FIO), police jargon for a consensual encounter in which the officer asks someone what they are up to, and the person remains free to leave at any time. Anjos asked the two males to “wait a minute,” and they made eye contact with him before jogging away into a park.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court’s opinion will only serve to exacerbate racial tension and will handcuff the police in their attempts to rein in the crime epidemic that many of our inner cities are currently experiencing.

Anjos radioed what happened to his station and was overheard by two other officers in the neighborhood, who saw the two men coming out of the other side of the park. One of the officers said, “Hey fellas,” and one of the two men—Warren—ran back into the park. The officer observed Warren clutching the right side of his pants (consistent with carrying a gun in his pocket) as he ignored repeated requests to stop.

Following a brief chase, one of the officers drew his weapon and, after a struggle, arrested Warren. The officers found a gun near where Warren was apprehended, and he was subsequently charged and convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prior to trial, Warren moved to exclude the firearm as evidence, claiming that its discovery was the result of an illegal stop because the police lacked “reasonable suspicion”—the applicable legal standard under the Fourth Amendment to justify an investigatory stop—to stop him in connection with the breaking and entering that had occurred roughly a half-hour earlier.

The trial court denied the motion, but the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that the motion should have been granted. In doing so the court noted, correctly, that an investigatory stop cannot be based on a mere hunch. However, the court acknowledged, “a combination of factors that are each innocent of themselves may, when taken together, amount to the requisite reasonable belief that a person has, is, or will commit a particular crime.”

The court noted, again correctly, that the victim’s description of the perpetrators was extremely vague. Besides, since the victim was not sure where the thieves went, and since nearly 30 minutes had elapsed, it was hard to connect the location where Anjos first spotted Warren to the crime Anjos was investigating.

Based on those facts alone, the officers would not have reasonable suspicion to tie Warren to the crime. Warren would have been well within his rights to tell the officer that he didn’t want to speak to him and to walk away. Yet that is not what Warren did.

Instead, Warren made eye contact with the officer and then hightailed it out of there, grabbing for his right pants pocket in the process. Would that be enough to justify an investigatory stop? Not according to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which stated, “Where a suspect is under no obligation to respond to a police officer’s inquiry, we are of the view that flight to avoid that contact should be given little, if any, weight as a factor probative of reasonable suspicion.”

Noting that African-Americans are involved in a higher percentage of police-civilian encounters relative to their percentage of the city’s population, the court cited a study by the American Civil Liberties Union and an older internal study by the Boston Police Department.

According to Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, the latter study did not indicate any bias by the Boston police who were, and are, targeting high-crime areas. It is sadly a fact that violent crime rates are much higher in communities of color in and around the Boston area.

The court stated:

The finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.

So what is a police officer to do when he wants to ask someone a question, and the person simply runs away? Well, according to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, if the person doing the running is African-American and the officer does not have solid evidence tying that person to a crime, the answer is: nothing.

As has been noted, there is a lot of tension between police officers and many members of the African-American community. This is regrettable, to be sure, but asking the police to blink at reality and ignore what they see happening right in front of them is a bridge too far.

As far back as 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court in Allen v. United States stated that “the law is entirely well settled that the flight of the accused is competent evidence against him as having a tendency to establish his guilt.”

The natural and eminently reasonable reaction of police officers, indeed of most people, is that unprovoked flight by an individual who encounters a police officer strongly suggests that the fleeing individual is connected to criminal activity that has been or is about to be committed. At the very least, the inferences that can be drawn from such flight should be enough to establish reasonable suspicion to support an investigatory stop.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court’s opinion will only serve to exacerbate racial tension and will handcuff the police in their attempts to rein in the crime epidemic that many of our inner cities are currently experiencing.


Blasphemy Rights Day Is a Farce

By Bill Donohue

Friday is International Blasphemy Rights Day. On paper, its stated goal appears eminently worth defending: it is opposed to laws, such as those in Muslim-run nations, that punish the free speech rights of those who criticize religion.

For example, it says, "Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan."

No one could reasonably argue with this assessment. But upon closer examination, it is clear that those who sponsor this event are not friends of liberty: they are rabidly opposed to religion, harboring a special hatred of Catholicism. In short, the whole project is a farce.

The Center for Inquiry is the force behind International Blasphemy Rights Day. It was once a respectable organization, but that ended in 2010 when its founder, philosopher Paul Kurtz, was forced out by a new board of directors. Led by Ronald A. Lindsay, the new board was comprised of militant, religion-hating, atheists. Kurtz died two years later.

When he was a young man, Kurtz studied under Sidney Hook, the brilliant New York University political philosopher whose intellectual migration traveled from Marxist to neo-conservative. I, too, studied under Hook, though more than two decades after Kurtz did. Hook had a tremendous effect on me (though not on my religious convictions), and to this day I remember him with affection. Both of these men were atheists, but neither was a hater. In fact, they both hated the religion haters.

Kurtz founded several secular humanist organizations, and was the editor of "The Humanist," an organ of the American Humanist Association. He insisted on putting a positive face on atheism while simultaneously adhering to a religion-friendly line. Unfortunately, over time American atheists became increasingly extreme, and so, too, did those drawn to organizations such as the Center for Inquiry.

By the time Kurtz was forced to resign, he had had it with what he called the "angry atheists." He was referring to the "new atheists," writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. He properly called them "dogmatic" and atheist "fundamentalists," men whose malice toward religion was deeply offensive.

In 2010, just before Kurtz left the Center for Inquiry, he witnessed the first International Blasphemy Day. He was not happy with what happened. With good reason, he objected to a "Free Expression Cartoon Contest": top prize was given to a bishop ogling altar boys.

Two days before the event, I wrote a news release slamming it for its scheduled foray trashing Catholicism.

"Artist Dana Ellyn will wander to Washington, D.C. to show her masterpiece, 'Jesus Does His Nails,' a portrait of Jesus polishing a nail jammed into his hand. In Los Angeles, there will be a film about a gay molesting priest and another about a boy who is so angry about being sent to bed that he asks God to kill his parents."

One person who loved these displays of bigotry was PZ Meyers. He correctly said that the day was established to "mock and insult religion without fear of murder, violence, and reprisal." The University of Minnesota professor is known for intentionally desecrating a consecrated Host with a rusty nail.

In recent years, the participants at these Blasphemy Rights Day events have been better behaved—owing to the backlash—but the fundamental problem remains. The Center for Inquiry believes that "free speech is the foundation on which other liberties rest." Wrong. Freedom of religion is the foundational liberty, but to admit that would undercut its mission.

To demonstrate how committed the Center for Inquiry is to hate speech, consider that it will soon be home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. Dawkins is to Catholics what the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks. A few months ago, he said, "I'm all for offending people's religion. I think it should be offended at every opportunity."



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, 2016

CIA Director: Terrorist Groups ‘Are Driven by This Ideology That Is Not Rooted in Islam’

How interesting!  I wonder why the Jihadis keep shouting "Allah Akhbar", then.  Have I missed something?  Is "Allah Akhbar" actually a Presbyterian doxology?  And how come the Jihadis are doing exactly what the Koran and the Hadiths tell them to do?  Even the punishment for homosexuality -- throwing them off a high building -- is prescribed in one of the Hadiths. But I guess ISIS does that purely out of coincidence.  The CIA is certainly in brainless hands these days 

CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday “words or comments that taint a religion as being the source of the problem” are “detrimental to our interests” in dealing with the Muslim world.

Brennan argued incendiary remarks about Islam do not help “to arrest this cancer that has taken over so many of the communities because of a lot of the underlying conditions that exist within the Middle East and Africa, South Asia areas because of economic deprivation, political disenfranchisement, lack of opportunity.”

He said that “fanatics, extremists and terrorists ... are driven by this ideology that is not rooted in Islam.”

Brennan spoke with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg Wednesday and was asked about the impact of incendiary remarks about Islam in political discourse.

“Words and comments that taint a religion as being the source of the problem, I think, is tremendously detrimental to our interests and to a better understanding of this phenomenon,” Brennan said.

Brennan said that he has met with “princes, presidents, and prime ministers throughout the Middle East,” that are “outraged that their community, the Muslim community, has been affected by this cancer - individuals who have this distorted and very perverted interpretation of Islam that pursue these psychopathic agendas of horrific violence.”

“They recognize that they have a very important role, the leading role, to help purge their communities of these influences,” he added. “These individuals who are fanatics, extremists and terrorists, they are driven by this ideology that is not rooted in Islam. It’s a psychopathic ideology that is very absolutist that either you’re with us or against us.”

Brennan added that remarks characterizing Islam as the problem do not “help to arrest this cancer that has taken over so many of the communities, because of a lot of the underlying conditions that exist within the Middle East and Africa, South Asia areas because of economic deprivation, political disenfranchisement, lack of opportunity.

“These terrorist organizations and this perverted version of religion preys upon their sense of hopelessness and by making comments that are incendiary and are viewed as attacking a religion or a people or a community only further drive those individuals to grasp onto those extremist views,” he explained.

Goldberg followed up pointing out that some people would respond that “these are Muslims who are citing scripture who are seemingly devout people, who have broad support in parts of the Muslim world, and so it doesn’t add up when you say this has nothing to do with Islam. It looks like a form of Islam.”

“What’s the response to that?” he asked Brennan.

“Well people can take any faith, the Jewish faith, the Christian faith, and distort it and use it for violent agendas,” Brennan replied, “and we’ve seen through the course of history that individuals who think that they are the vanguard of the effort of Christianity or Judaism or even Hinduism or other religions really have distorted interpretation of their faith, and the overwhelming majority, the 99.9 percent of Muslims, do not support that type of violent agenda.”


Multiculturalist, shot his wife and left her body in their bathtub then drove an hour to kill their college student son, 19, before turning gun on himself

You would never guess his religion, would you>

A decorated ex-Army lieutenant colonel and doctor murdered his wife in their family home before driving to their son's university more than an hour away to shoot him and then kill himself.

Nasir Siddique shot his 58-year-old wife Zarqa in the head in their home in Bel Air, Maryland, on Wednesday afternoon. Her body was found in the bathtub hours later.

The 57-year-old, who retired from the military in 2010 after 30 years of service in medical branches, then drove some 60 miles to the University of Maryland where his son, Farhad, was a student.

He killed the 19-year-old, who would have been 20 on Thursday, in his beloved red jeep before turning the gun on himself to take his own life.

Police recovered their bodies in Siddique's car at around 10.30pm in the parking lot of Farhad's student accommodation. Zarqa's body was found around 15 minutes earlier at the family home.

Their daughter Laila was studying at Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania at the time.

'She is doing about as well as can be imagined,' Hartford County Sheriff's Office Major William Davis said on Thursday during a press conference.

It's not yet clear what drove Siddique to murder his wife and son but police have suggested notes found in their home may indicate his motive.

'The contents of those notes are still part of the active investigation.

'While detectives continue to work to determine a motive, the details of those notes will not be released,' a spokesman for Hartford County Sheriff's Office said on Friday.

Officers from the sheriff's office were called to the family's Bel Air home on Wednesday after receiving two calls raising concerns for the family's wellbeing.

Farhad was killed hours before his 20th birthday on Friday. The student was majoring in physiology and neurobiology and was in his junior year of college

One was from the University of Maryland's police which had received a missing report from Farhad's friends when he did not show up for class.

They found Zarqa's body in the bathtub at 10.14pm. The 58-year-old is understood to have worked for the schools system helping students with severe disabilities.

Minutes later officers from Prince George's County Police Department near the university found her son and husband. 

Friends of Farhad, who has been described as 'gentle' and 'kind' in tributes since his death, said he often visited home but never spoke of his family.

Brent McGuire, who shared a room with the victim in his freshman year, told the university's student newspaper, The Diamondback: 'I thought it was a good relationship.'

The university shared its grief in a statement which read: 'This is a tragedy that will be felt by our entire community.

'During this time of loss, we extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.'

A prayer will be held for Farhad by the Muslim Student Association of which he was a member.

'Our hearts are saddened by the loss of Farhad Siddique, a dear friend and brother to many in the University of Maryland community.

'He is remembered as a hardworking, compassionate individual who helped others in any way he could,' the association said in a statement on Thursday.

Farhad was majoring in physiology and neurobiology and was in his junior year. During his time at the university he helped other students study before exams.

The student's parents had been married for 26 years. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2014 in gushing social media posts and appeared to have a happy relationship.  

Between 2005 and 2010, Siddique was assigned to work in Washington DC. During these years he rubbed shoulders with Vice President Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. 

He even attended President Obama's with his wife. 

A proud father, regularly commented on his son and daughter's social media accounts. 

He served in the Preventative Medicine and Medical Service Corps branches.

His military record reveals he was a decorated member of the US Army with 16 awards.


ABC Keeps 'Modernizing' the Family Leftward

ABC debuted the sitcom "Modern Family" in 2009 in part to push a broader acceptance of same-sex couples. But the cultural deconstructionists cannot rest until the mission is complete, so then they pushed it even further, agitating for a broader acceptance of same-sex marriage as just as sacred as traditional marriage. Now, the deconstructionists are doing it again, this time pushing transgender acceptance ... with a transgender child actor.

This new initiative came just a few weeks after transgender actors became the latest social justice cause pushed at the Emmy Awards. When he accepted a highly politicized Emmy award for the second year in a row, Jeffrey Tambor of "Transparent" pleaded that he should be the last "cisgender" actor — an actor who "identifies" with his or her biological sex — to play a transgender on television. He said: "Please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story."

This trend was already underway. One CNN writer gushed that "'Modern Family' is truly living up to its name." It hired Jackson Millarker, an 8 year old from Atlanta, Georgia, to play a transgender boy who pressures the gay characters, Cam and Mitchell, to explore whether they are tolerant enough. Cam and Mitchell are upset when their adopted daughter, Lily, calls her new playmate Tom (formerly Tina) a "weirdo."

You read that correctly. The child is 8 years old.

When the episode aired on Sept. 28, Millarker was on screen for just seconds, and the transgender plot was a mere fraction of the half-hour. Cam and Mitchell first imagine themselves winning parenting awards for their daughter's commitment to tolerance. When the "weirdo" moment arrives, they're upset, of course. One says to the other, "One little spat, and her instinct is to go all baby bigot on him?"

Then, Mitchell's father asks how they would react if their Lily decided to become "Lou." They want to approve but struggle with the thought. In horror, Cam says, "Are we not being as tolerant as we think?" Mitchell replies, "But that's our thing, lording our tolerance over others."

That's a fitting slogan for "Modern Family" and the Emmy-awarding elite.

Gay actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell, tweeted that he was "super proud of this weeks episode." The director of the episode, Ryan Case, took to Instagram to post a photo of herself with Millarker with the caption: "This is Jackson Millarker. He's 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender. He plays Lily's friend Tom in this week's Modern Family and he's wonderful. One of the many reasons I love being a part of this show."

People magazine touted Stacey and Jen, the two lesbian parents of Jackson, who say that he "transitioned at 6 years old." They boasted: "We followed Jackson's lead from a very early age and supported him in every aspect of his transition. ... He was always a very gender-neutral child, but at the age of 4 he started experiencing intense anxiety in his daily life." They insisted that they gave the child "the freedom to express himself however he felt comfortable."

You read that correctly, as well. Four years old.

In today's oh-so-tolerant culture, it seems no one ever opposed this child's denial of actual biology. Millarker insisted on being referred to with male pronouns at age 6, and his parents said: "He entered second grade as his true self, a boy. His family, friends, and school have been very supportive from the beginning. He is now a confident, happy, healthy young man."

They loved ABC's invitation, saying, "Jackson has been a young activist in our community and he knew that 'Modern Family' would portray the role of a transgender child in a positive light."

Apparently, America's culture is unanimous. If millions of you disagree, then you're prehistoric, stuck in the dark days of ... 2009.

Question: Have you ever known a 6 year old who questioned (without any prompting) his or her own gender? We pose that question to the entire national readership of this column.

Disney-owned ABC runs a Mickey Mouse "news" operation


Identity politics no substitute for scholarly truth

American novelist Lionel Shriver stirred an international controversy during her recent visit to Australia.

Speaking at the Brisbane writer’s festival, Shriver had the temerity to suggest that novelists should not be constrained by the new rules of the identity politics game. Writers of fiction should be free to explore the experiences of ‘others’, even if they are not members of the same racial, gender or other identity groups.

Shriver’s so-called apologia for ‘cultural appropriation’ is relevant not only to works of imagination but also to the humanities and social sciences.

There is a growing trend for scholarly enquiry into certain subjects to be deemed inappropriate if the researcher lacks ‘lived experience’.

Political criteria also apply, as the social psychologist and critic of the lack of intellectual diversity in the modern academy, Jonathan Haidt, has pointed out.

Activist scholarship committed to fashionable notions of social justice that campaigns for the rights of oppressed racial and gender group is welcome.

But any work that is critical of a particular group, or which make members of the group feel bad about themselves, is unacceptable.

But the real victim of the stultifying culture of political correctness is our ability to accurately, objectively, and effectively describe and address important social problems.

Take the difficult task of overcoming Indigenous disadvantage. Activist-academic accounts perpetually blame every problem in Indigenous communities on the racist legacy of invasion and dispossession.

According to this school, research that explored the links, say, between traditional Aboriginal culture and contemporary Aboriginal men’s violence against Aboriginal women would be condemned as ‘victim blaming’.

We see similar things happening in the debates around Islamaphobia, marriage equality, feminism and gender.

Identity politics — let alone obsessing about the identity of the author — is a poor substitute for focusing on importance of good scholarship that tells the truth about controversial social issues.



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


HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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