The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

This document is part of an archive of postings on Political Correctness Watch, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America.

In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????


31 October, 2019

Right-wing Italian leader’s party triumphs in local vote

Buoyed by a far-right ally, Matteo Salvini’s euroskeptic League party triumphed in voting in an Italian region where the left had held power for some 50 years, dealing a humiliating blow to the national government’s coalition parties.

Results Monday from balloting a day earlier for the governorship of Umbria, one of the country’s smallest regions, gave a coalition headed by Salvini and including the far-right Brothers of Italy party and former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia party, a combined 57.5 percent of the votes.

Donatella Tesei, a League member and current senator who has served as mayor of a town in Umbria for 10 years, was elected governor.

A coalition anchored by the populist 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party took a trouncing with a combined 37.5 percent.

Since early last month, the 5-Stars and the Democrats have governed Italy in an uneasy alliance of rivals formed by Premier Giuseppe Conte to keep Salvini from power.

The Umbria triumph shows that ‘‘Italians don’t like betrayals,’’ said an elated Salvini.

With the victory in the central region, the anti-migrant League continues to expand its influence southward from its northern power base.

Conte insisted the dismal result won’t affect his government’s viability.

The vote was a ‘‘test that shouldn’t be ignored at all,’’ Conte told reporters. But ‘‘we’re here to govern with courage and determination.’’

For sure, the results won’t help tensions between the 5-Stars and Democrats, who shelved bitter rivalries in order to govern together. The coalition came to power after a bad miscalculation by Salvini, who bolted from Conte’s first coalition, where the League and the Movement had governed for 15 months in a fractious alliance.

Salvini had hoped that by abandoning Conte he’d trigger early elections. But the 5-Stars and the Democrats ganged up on him, shutting him out of power, at least for now.

The Umbria outcome gives Salvini fresh momentum, as he plots his comeback nationally.

The League snared 36.9 percent of the vote, a huge jump compared with the 14 percent won in the previous Umbria election, while the Democrats tumbled to 22.3 percent, compared with 35.7 in the last election.

Eclipsing Berlusconi’s party as the second-biggest party on the right was Brothers of Italy, which has neo-fascist roots

The big losers were 5-Star, taking only 7.4 percent. The Movement’s embattled leader, Luigi Di Maio, blamed the defeat on teaming up regionally in Umbria with the Democrats. ‘‘This is an experiment that didn’t work,’’ he told Sky TG24 TV.

The governor of neighboring Tuscany, Enrico Rossi, warned his fellow Democrats against linking their fate on future campaign trails with the populists. In January, another long-time regional fortress of the left, Emilia Romagna, poses the next big electoral test.

‘‘This last-minute alliance between the 5-Star Movement and the PD (Democratic Party) doesn’t work, not even to keep the spread of Salvini at bay,’’ Rossi said.


Housing, Human Dignity and a ‘State of Emergency’

The push by Los Angeles officials to get Governor Newsom to declare a State of Emergency over homelessness is like a warning light flashing.

It draws our attention to a massive problem that people closed their eyes to for too long. But like any flashing light, the “State of Emergency” idea only helps us see part of the problem but not the whole—and ultimately it would deepen the quagmire and probably result in bigger and worse emergencies later.

Where the idea points in the right direction is easy to see: proponents of the State of Emergency rightly say it would streamline red tape on construction, reduce and shorten building approval processes, and block the frivolous use of environmental review to delay housing construction. That’s needed.

But let’s face it, here’s what’s really happening: First California passes laws that generate the crisis, then we declare a state of emergency to bypass those laws. But as a State of Emergency exemption, it’s an ad-hoc fix. It doesn’t address the systemic problem with the laws it sidesteps, and in fact it politicizes the whole situation further by allowing sensible construction only if political support for a formal Emergency can be cultivated.

But it gets worse. Some of the people who favor a State of Emergency also favor a so-called “legal right to shelter” which would create a basis to sue governments if they don’t directly provide housing to the poorest citizens. This would permanently turn the homeless into wards of the state and enrich those who would litigate on their behalf.

The homeless are indeed “victims of the system,” but not the system that most people think of. They are not victims of a free market in housing, because California has built a regulatory system that killed a free market in housing at all but the top price levels. Middle-income Californians are squeezed by this, too, but the most vulnerable Californians are pushed out on to the streets. The bottom rungs of the housing market ladder—where economically marginal citizens could once afford a place to live—have effectively been removed by bad public policy.

Let me give examples from a study soon to be published by the Independent Institute.

Los Angeles currently bans any housing other than detached single-family homes on about 75 percent of its residential land. Whereas in 1960 Los Angeles was zoned for up to 10 million people, by 1990 the city “had downzoned to a capacity of about 3.9 million, a number that is only slightly higher today,” according to the New York Times.

Then there are so-called “prevailing wage” (read: union scale) laws. Prevailing-wage mandates increased average California construction costs for affordable housing projects by between 10 percent and 25 percent, according to a May 2017 report from the California Center for Jobs and the Economy. In areas such as Los Angeles, PLAs could hike market-rate housing prices by as much as 46 percent. Then there are the endless faux-environmental lawsuits against residential construction, which are invited and inadvertently enabled by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). And the list of anti-housing obstacles goes on.

What the homeless really need is a residential construction market that operates by normal rules that induce entrepreneurs to build housing all the way up and down the price spectrum—not just at the top where they can afford to overcome the regulatory and NIMBY hurdles. Don’t give the homeless a “right to shelter” by government; instead, give property owners a “right to build residential housing” on land they own. No, this would not eliminate restrictions on residential building, but it would raise a much higher bar by which to justify them. A ballot initiative amending the California Constitution would be the way to achieve this potent reform.

Less dramatic reforms would make a difference, too. Allow builders to give homeowners’ associations incentives to accept new construction, so as to counterbalance the disincentives that lead to NIMBYism. Stop suppressing housing through rent controls and so-called “affordable housing” mandates; these are the functional equivalent of taxes on housing development. What you tax you get less of. Another obvious change would be to put an end to the favoritism shown to unions through “prevailing wage” rules that swell construction costs. And why not abolish or at least vastly modify CEQA?

The people who care the most about the homeless are those who want to reintroduce a real housing market—and incentivize nongovernmental programs that treat people like people rather than like dependent clients.

How can we expect the homeless to rebuild their lives when government programs warehouse them like surplus merchandise, and when we kick the bottom rungs out of the housing market ladder so that even if they start getting themselves together, they can’t find a room or apartment they can afford to rent?


Why These 6 Towns Became ‘Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn’

Abortion clinics can change the viewpoint of entire communities, a pastor who is working to outlaw abortion locally says.

So far, six towns in Texas have banned abortion clinics with his help, and cities and towns in other states have shown an interest in doing the same.

Pastor Mark Lee Dickson says he sees a difference, for example, between Shreveport, Louisiana, a large city where an abortion clinic operates, and places such as Waskom, Texas, where abortion culture hasn’t taken hold.

“It’s a view of life as a whole,” Dickson told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If we can say a child is not worth living because they may be born in a poor environment, or a child is not worth living because their mother was raped, that encourages the idea that situations devalue us as human beings.”

Dickson, 34, is not only the pastor of SovereignLOVE Church in Longview, Texas, but also director of Right to Life East Texas. Along with Texas Right to Life, a separate pro-life group, his organization works to outlaw abortion one town or city at a time. His website is called Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.

Kathaleen Pittman, administrator at the abortion clinic in Shreveport, Hope Medical Group for Women, argues that the primary reason women get abortions is finances.

“They simply can’t afford another child,” Pittman said in an email interview with The Daily Signal. “The majority of women we see already have one or more children.”

To combat the viewpoint that life’s value comes from circumstance, Dickson helped the Texas towns of Waskom, Gilmer, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, and Omaha to outlaw creation of abortion clinics within their borders.

Combined population: about 11,815. Right now, Dickson helps lead a campaign to ban abortion in more Texas localities, including Mount Enterprise, Mount Vernon, Madisonville, White Oak, Carthage, Henderson, Greenville, and Abilene.

Dickson was born and grew up in White Oak, population about 6,500. Longview, where he is based, has about 80,000 residents.

Right to Life East Texas has yet to approach the Longview City Council about passing an abortion ban, although he says many residents there would like to see one.

Dickson, whose church belongs to the Southern Baptist Convention and East Texas Baptist Network, said that when people believe their value comes from their situation, they feel worthless when life’s troubles weigh on them.

If they think abortion is better for mothers and babies than a hard life is, he said, they also will think death is preferable to facing struggles in their own lives.

“It adds to this suicide culture. People want to end their lives,” Dickson said.

In contrast, the pastor said, he offers compassion born from a belief that all people are valuable before God.

“We’re going to support mothers. We’re going to support them in any way possible, but we won’t help them kill their child,” he said.

Since the 1990s, Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport has considered relocating to Texas if Louisiana’s abortion laws became more strict, Dickson said.

In late May, he asked the mayor of Waskom, Texas, to help prevent it.

Shreveport has more than 192,000 residents, while Waskom has about 2,190.

“I did not want to see an abortion clinic in Waskom out of fear of what that could do to the community,” the pastor said. “Of course it sounds crazy, asking the mayor to do something that’s never been done before in the nation. But what happened in that process is that the whole world heard about it.”

On June 13, Waskom became the first town in the United States to outlaw abortion after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case in 1973 that declared abortion a constitutional right.

Towns and cities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee have contacted Dickson about plans to ban abortion within their borders.

The six Texan localities all passed their own versions of the same law, which Dickson said relies on two enforcement mechanisms.

One allows family members of the unborn baby to sue the abortion doctor, the person who paid for the abortion, and the person who transported the mother to an abortion clinic taking place in a town with the law. The potential lawsuits disincentivize abortion in a town with such a law.

The second enforcement mechanism is a $2,000 fine for anyone who performs an abortion in town. That is the maximum fine for violating a local health ordinance in Texas, Dickson said.

However, the twist is that the fines won’t apply unless the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

If and when that happens, an abortion clinic that performs 100 abortions a week could face over $10 million in fines per year under the local laws.

The approach poses a dare to abortion providers: Will most Americans believe abortion is morally acceptable in the future?

If so, they won’t sue those involved in the procedure, and towns never will apply the fines. If not, then opening a clinic in a town with such a law will have severe consequences.

The abortion clinic in Shreveport performs around 20 abortions on Tuesdays, 30 on Wednesdays, and 50 on Saturdays, Dickson said.

“If 50 people died in a school shooting, it would be on the news constantly,” the pastor said. “There’s 20 innocent children dying every Tuesday at that abortion clinic. Why aren’t they doing that with the lives of unborn children?”

Dyana Limon-Mercado, interim executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, told The Dallas Morning News that Waskom’s ordinance was part of a nationwide attack on reproductive rights.

“The intent of this local ordinance passed by an all-male city council is clear: Ban abortion and punish anyone who tries to access care or even help Texans considering an abortion,” Limon-Mercado said of the Waskom law. “This is an attack on the rights of everyone who might or can get pregnant.”

Dickson’s campaign recently suffered a setback. On Oct. 14, the Omaha City Council voted to repeal the law unanimously passed Sept. 9 and make the measure a nonbinding resolution.

The council, which includes four women and two men, did so on the advice of the attorney for the town of about 1,000, according to Dickson’s Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn website.

Dickson told The Daily Signal that he has received phone calls from Omaha citizens who are “ready to elect new councilmen.”

This article has been modified to list more states where localities express interest in banning abortion, to clarify where the pastor grew up, and to correct a caption misstating the “sanctuary” status of Mount Enterprise.


Australia: Attorney-General backs senior trial lawyer over Leftist campaigning

The swamp defends one of their own.  A politicized judiciary is OK if it's Leftist.  Nobody can see anything wrong about Qld Bar Association president Rebecca Treston QC handing out Leftist propaganda on the streets

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has declared her full confidence in state Bar Association president Rebecca Treston QC amid disquiet over the silk campaigning for Labor at the federal election. Ms D'Ath threw her weight behind the first woman to head the state Bar after The Weekend Australian revealed former president Christopher Hughes QC had written to federal Attorney-General Christian Porter dissociating himself from Ms Treston's actions.

Hitting out at Mr Hughes, Ms D'Ath said: "Mr Hughes has not written to the Queensland Attorney-General, who is responsible for making Queensland judicial appointments. "It is regrettable that Mr Hughes has chosen to politicise the matter by writing to the Commonwealth Attorney-General, who has no authority over state appointments."

Ms Treston said she was acting in a personal capacity when she donned a Labor T-shirt and handed how how-to-vote cards for her friend and ALP candidate Ali France before the May 18 federal election. This happened once, for only a few hours, she said. Ms Treston insisted she did not belong to a political party and her position did not preclude her from being "supportive to my friends".

In a shot at the federal government's quasi-judicial appointments in Queensland, Ms D'Ath said the state Labor government's selection process was transparent, unlike the Coalition, which "has no concern with appointing former LNP politicians and staffers" to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

"I have full confidence in Rebecca Treston QC, her leadership of the Bar and in the members of the Bar Association in Queensland," Ms D'Ath said.

Ms Treston's critics have cited her 'responsibilities to advise the state government on judicial appointments and consult over the designation of barristers as Queen's Counsels in arguing that she has compromised the supposedly apolitical standing of the Bar president.

The annual intake of QCs can be contentious because of the valuable stakes: the investiture of silk typically bumps up a barrister's earnings and prospects of advancement, including later appointment to the bench. This year's prospective crop in Queensland is being circulated for comment among Supreme Court judges by Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, who will provide recommendations to Ms D'Ath on who should get silk. An announcement is due by November 20.

Victorian Bar president Matthew Collins QC said he was not aware of rules anywhere in the country preventing the office-bearers of a legal representative body from being actively engaged in political campaigning. Asked whether this was appropriate conduct, Dr Collins said: "My concern would be about whether any conduct had undermined the ability of the office-bearer to engage in a constructive relationship with politicians from whatever side of politics. So it would depend very much on the circumstances."

Ms Treston said she had developed strong working relations with MPs on all sides, and would continue to represent the interests of barristers.

From "The Australian" of 28/10/2019


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

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

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


30 October, 2019

Joe Biden: Cops Don't Pull Over White Girls

During the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College, a historically black college, on Saturday, Joe Biden was asked by an African American woman in the audience, “If I were your daughter, what advice would you give me the next time I am stopped by the police?”

“If you were my daughter, you’d be a Caucasian girl and you wouldn’t be pulled over,” he said.

Biden failed to realize how insulting and racist his comment was because he even tweeted a video of the exchange:

Biden wasn't the only one to suggest that police officers are racist. Bernie Sanders was also at the event, and was asked, "If I'm your son, what advice would you give me next time I'm pulled over by a police officer?"

"I would respect what they are doing so that you don't get shot in the back of the head, but I would also be very mindful of the fact that as a nation, we have got to hold police officers accountable for the actions that they commit," Sanders told him.

Because police officers have a tendency to shoot people in the back of the head when they pull people over?

This pandering to African-American voters at the expense of law enforcement is beneath anyone seeking the presidency. It is shameful to suggest that law enforcement as an institution is racist. These people put their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect the public. There is no excuse for blanketly accusing them of racism.


Homelessness 'Backlash' Isn't the Real Problem

Leftist policies that created a rash of homelessness get less focus than the "backlash."

Bad policy yields bad results, as we see time and again in Democrat-controlled California. The so-called Golden State is struggling with the overwhelming epidemic of homelessness in its largest cities. That problem is driven in part by rent control and voluminous other regulations that make housing unaffordable. It’s also driven by cultural breakdowns that lead to and include drug abuse. And The New York Times is on it.

“Homelessness [in California] is an expanding crisis that comes amid skyrocketing housing prices, a widening gap between the rich and poor and the persistent presence on city streets of the mentally ill and drug-dependent despite billions of dollars spent to help them,” the Times reports. Actually, that largely sums it up, with the exception of the mendacious class-warfare rhetoric. But the Times isn’t writing about the causes of homelessness. The paper’s story is titled, “As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash.” That’s right — the story isn’t the homelessness but the “backlash.” It begins:

Insults like “financial parasites” and “bums” have been directed at them, not to mention rocks and pepper spray. Fences, potted plants and other barriers have been erected to keep them off sidewalks. Citizen patrols have been organized, vigilante style, to walk the streets and push them out.

California may pride itself on its commitment to tolerance and liberal values, but across the state, record levels of homelessness have spurred a backlash against those who live on the streets.

The story quotes a property developer as saying, “Some people who I’d put in the fed-up category, they’re not bad people. They would describe themselves as left of center, and sometimes very left of center, but at some point they reach the breaking point.” Leftist tolerance at its finest.

To be sure, contempt for fellow human beings is wrong and unhelpful, especially when it turns to physical assaults, and to that extent it’s a story. But the root story is the leftist policies that exacerbate homelessness, and then the drug-addicted and/or mentally ill homeless population that causes a rise in crime and a breakdown in public sanitation resulting in the return of medieval diseases. Of course, Hot Air’s John Sexton is exactly right to argue, “The rule for progressive outlets is always the same: If the story helps Democrats then it’s a story. If the story might help Republicans then the reaction to the story is the story.”

A couple of final thoughts: First, the state of California has thrown exorbitant amounts of taxpayer money at the problem of homelessness, though not surprisingly without great results. That’s because most of that money is diverted elsewhere. But hey, you can trust the government to redistribute your wealth efficiently and compassionately.


The Lies the Left Tells About Lynching

Why is so-called "woke" culture so desperately worried about words?

On Tuesday, the Twitterverse came unglued after President Donald Trump’s tweet describing what we all know to be a political “lynching.”

As if on cue or command, leftists heard what they believed to be a racist dog whistle. A mob of socialites flooded the POTUS’ Twitter account to shame him for his choice of words.

To them, the weight of the term “lynching” is too heavy for anyone to bear, and its connotation to unjust black murders throughout history allows the Left to decide who can use the word.

This could be correct, if only Democrats could tell the whole truth about lynchings in American history.

Raging liberals are fuming about a practice that they understand very little about. For example, they seem to only point out how blacks were victims of lynchings, but never about whites and other minorities who were also lynched for crimes they did not commit.

On March 14, 1891, in New Orleans, 11 Italian Americans were suspected of murdering a police chief. This resulted in a negative reaction by the Italian government and the termination of diplomatic relations with the U.S. While it’s true that blacks were the victims of the majority of lynchings, whites were also lynched, if we are to be historically honest.

Knowing this, wouldn’t it be racist to automatically associate lynching with black people? If this happened to Americans regardless of race, how is it that black people have a monopoly on being unjustly murdered in light of an accusation? And why would the minds of white leftists go there? Do they wrongly believe that a “lynching” is reserved only for blacks? That would be a dismal state of mind, indeed.

Furthermore, if we are to address lynchings of blacks, then why is it the Democrat Party calling foul? Is this not the party that allowed the lynching of thousands of black slaves as well as white Republicans who helped blacks to freedom? Yet here we are today, enraged at President Trump. His choice of words in reference to impeachment proves true — at least to those of us who are politically and fundamentally literate, anyway.

However, if we are to keep things honest, then we can’t forget how those on the Left and in the mainstream media also engage in wordplay. In 2015, CNN columnist Sophia Nelson described the Benghazi hearing as a “lynching of Hillary Clinton.” And should former Vice President Joe Biden have apologized for his statement referring to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment as a “partisan lynching”?

What’s sad about this is that the Left doesn’t want its viewership to know that this incendiary buzzword is oft thrown around by political pundits, talking heads, and presidential candidates. I’m not sure which is sadder — the fact that a media mob is actively “lynching” our POTUS or that networks like CNN believe their audience is ignorant enough to not see through this sheer veil of false victimhood.

But why is it that the “Woke” society is so worried about words, but not by the state of our black and urban communities?

How can the Woke society allow the redefinition of gender, sexuality, and whether an embryo is a human baby, yet turn a blind eye to how definitions and usage for other terms — such as “lynch” — have also changed?

If there truly is a lynching, it’s an all-out assault on the minds of Americans who blindly eat the words fed to them by mainstream media. The Left is feeding its followers a full course of falsehoods while depriving them of the food for thought that is the truth.


AfD candidate compared to Hitler inflicts crushing losses on Merkel’s party in regional vote

The nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) made sweeping gains in regional elections on Sunday, inflicting heavy losses on Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Björn Höcke, a politician who has been compared to Hitler by German national television, led the AfD to second place in the eastern state of Thuringia with 23.8 per cent, according to initial projections.

The AfD was held off by the Left Party of the current regional Prime Minister, Bodo Ramelow, which came first with 29.5 per cent.

But Mr Höcke beat Mrs Merkel’s party into third place in a state it has dominated since German reunification.

Following a campaign that saw far-right death threats against its regional leader, the CDU limped in with just 22.5 per cent - by far its worst ever result in a state where it has come first in every previous election since 1990.

With the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) also recording their worst ever result in the state with just 8.5 per cent, the mainstream German parties appear to have lost control of Thuringia. Instead the state is now starkly divided between the hard-left and the hard-right.

The result will be seen as personal vindication for Mr Ramelow, Germany’s first regional Prime Minister from the Left Party, a successor to the former East German communist party.

“I see myself strengthened. My party has a clear mandate to form the next government,” a triumphant Mr Ramelow said.

But the results were also a success for Mr Höcke, the most controversial figure within the AfD, who more than doubled his party’s share of the vote since the last election in 2014.

“Gains of more than 100 per cent have never been recorded before in the history of Thuringia,” a gleeful Mr Höcke told German television. “This is a sign that a large part of Thuringia says: ‘No more!’”

Mr Höcke is under observation by German intelligence as a possible threat to the democratic order.  In the course of the campaign he was described as a “Nazi” by the regional leader of Mrs Merkel’s party, and accused by the German interior minister of personally stoking an atmosphere of anti-Semitism that led to this month’s failed far-Right attack on a synagogue in Halle.

But he shrugged all that off to inflict heavy losses on his rivals. Although he did not match the 27.5 per cent the AfD won in Saxony earlier this year, he arguably scored a more telling blow by beating the CDU into third place.

He will now be expected to look to use that success to strengthen his position against his more moderate rivals within the AfD.

For Mrs Merkel’s party, the results were disastrous. “For the democratic centre this is a bitter result,” Mike Mohring, the regional CDU leader said. “For the first time a centrist government is not possible.”

Talks on forming a new regional government are expected to be protracted. Although Mr Ramelow claimed a mandate, he failed to secure a majority and there is no obvious coalition.

With the CDU refusing to join any coalition that includes the Left Party, and all other parties ruling out any alliance with the AfD, Mr Ramelow may be forced into forming a minority government.



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

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

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


29 October, 2019

What I Learned in the Peace Corps in Africa: Trump Is Right

In 1971, Karin McQuillan became a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.  Her account of her time there was published in 2018 but has subsequently been widely circulated so I thought it deserved a place here too.  The piece was originally published as an endorsement of Trump's early 2018 comment that some migrants to the USA come from "shithole countries"

Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town.  Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health.  That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, "a fecalized environment."

In plain English: s--- is everywhere.  People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water.  He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water.  Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country.  Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism.

Last time I was in Paris, I saw a beautiful African woman in a grand boubou have her child defecate on the sidewalk next to Notre Dame Cathedral.  The French police officer, ten steps from her, turned his head not to see.

I have seen.  I am not turning my head and pretending unpleasant things are not true.

Senegal was not a hellhole.  Very poor people can lead happy, meaningful lives in their own cultures' terms.  But they are not our terms.  The excrement is the least of it.  Our basic ideas of human relations, right and wrong, are incompatible.

As a twenty-one-year-old starting out in the Peace Corps, I loved Senegal.  In fact, I was euphoric.  I quickly made friends and had an adopted family.  I relished the feeling of the brotherhood of man.  People were open, willing to share their lives and, after they knew you, their innermost thoughts.

The longer I lived there, the more I understood: it became blindingly obvious that the Senegalese are not the same as us.  The truths we hold to be self-evident are not evident to the Senegalese.  How could they be?  Their reality is totally different.  You can't understand anything in Senegal using American terms.

Take something as basic as family.  Family was a few hundred people, extending out to second and third cousins.  All the men in one generation were called "father."  Senegalese are Muslim, with up to four wives.  Girls had their clitorises cut off at puberty.  (I witnessed this, at what I thought was going to be a nice coming-of-age ceremony, like a bat mitzvah or confirmation.)  Sex, I was told, did not include kissing.  Love and friendship in marriage were Western ideas.  Fidelity was not a thing.  Married women would have sex for a few cents to have cash for the market.

What I did witness every day was that women were worked half to death.  Wives raised the food and fed their own children, did the heavy labor of walking miles to gather wood for the fire, drew water from the well or public faucet, pounded grain with heavy hand-held pestles, lived in their own huts, and had conjugal visits from their husbands on a rotating basis with their co-wives.  Their husbands lazed in the shade of the trees.

Yet family was crucial to people there in a way Americans cannot comprehend.

The Ten Commandments were not disobeyed – they were unknown.  The value system was the exact opposite.  You were supposed to steal everything you can to give to your own relatives.  There are some Westernized Africans who try to rebel against the system.  They fail.

We hear a lot about the kleptocratic elites of Africa.  The kleptocracy extends through the whole society.  My town had a medical clinic donated by international agencies.  The medicine was stolen by the medical workers and sold to the local store.  If you were sick and didn't have money, drop dead.  That was normal.

So here in the States, when we discovered that my 98-year-old father's Muslim health aide from Nigeria had stolen his clothes and wasn't bathing him, I wasn't surprised.  It was familiar.

In Senegal, corruption ruled, from top to bottom.  Go to the post office, and the clerk would name an outrageous price for a stamp.  After paying the bribe, you still didn't know it if it would be mailed or thrown out.  That was normal.

One of my most vivid memories was from the clinic.  One day, as the wait grew hotter in the 110-degree heat, an old woman two feet from the medical aides – who were chatting in the shade of a mango tree instead of working – collapsed to the ground.  They turned their heads so as not to see her and kept talking.  She lay there in the dirt.  Callousness to the sick was normal.

Americans think it is a universal human instinct to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It's not.  It seems natural to us because we live in a Bible-based Judeo-Christian culture.

We think the Protestant work ethic is universal.  It's not.  My town was full of young men doing nothing.  They were waiting for a government job.  There was no private enterprise.  Private business was not illegal, just impossible, given the nightmare of a third-world bureaucratic kleptocracy.  It is also incompatible with Senegalese insistence on taking care of relatives.

All the little stores in Senegal were owned by Mauritanians.  If a Senegalese wanted to run a little store, he'd go to another country.  The reason?  Your friends and relatives would ask you for stuff for free, and you would have to say yes.  End of your business.  You are not allowed to be a selfish individual and say no to relatives.  The result: Everyone has nothing.

The more I worked there and visited government officials doing absolutely nothing, the more I realized that no one in Senegal had the idea that a job means work.  A job is something given to you by a relative.  It provides the place where you steal everything to give back to your family.

I couldn't wait to get home.  So why would I want to bring Africa here?  Non-Westerners do not magically become American by arriving on our shores with a visa.

For the rest of my life, I enjoyed the greatest gift of the Peace Corps: I love and treasure America more than ever.  I take seriously my responsibility to defend our culture and our country and pass on the American heritage to the next generation.

African problems are made worse by our aid efforts.  Senegal is full of smart, capable people.  They will eventually solve their own country's problems.  They will do it on their terms, not ours.  The solution is not to bring Africans here.

We are lectured by Democrats that we must privilege third-world immigration by the hundred million with chain migration.  They tell us we must end America as a white, Western, Judeo-Christian, capitalist nation – to prove we are not racist.  I don't need to prove a thing.  Leftists want open borders because they resent whites, resent Western achievements, and hate America.  They want to destroy America as we know it.

As President Trump asked, why would we do that?

We have the right to choose what kind of country to live in.  I was happy to donate a year of my life as a young woman to help the poor Senegalese.  I am not willing to donate my country.


Transgender women SHOULD be allowed to compete in elite female sports, says taxpayer-funded quango after row over cyclist

Transgender women who were born male should be allowed to compete in female-only sports events without medical checks, according to a group receiving taxpayers' money to run training sessions for national sporting bodies.

Sport England, a quango that oversees grassroots sport, has paid £26,000 to controversial trans lobby group Gendered Intelligence to deliver the sessions to sports associations.

Critics last night accused Sport England of introducing new gender policies through Gendered Intelligence. It is due to clarify its official guidance on trans women later this year.

The controversy comes as male-born trans athletes dominate some women's sport, including Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon, who won a second world title in Manchester last weekend.

One training document produced by Gendered Intelligence – and seen by The Mail on Sunday – urges sporting bodies to 'challenge' the idea that trans women who were born male have an 'unfair advantage' when they compete against biological women.

At present, trans women must undergo tests to prove they have been taking hormone-blocking drugs to reduce their testosterone levels before competing in women's sport.

But the document, entitled 'A Social Inclusion Model for Trans People in Sport', asks: 'Why are we worrying about what medical intervention they may or may not have had? They are a woman, within women's parameters.'

Gendered Intelligence has previously been criticised for running trans-awareness school workshops for pupils aged as young as four.

A barrister is being investigated by her chambers over tweets that she posted about celebrating a fight-back against 'gender extremism'.

Allison Bailey declared her support for the LGB Alliance, a new lesbian, gay and bisexual group criticised for excluding the transgender community.

Ms Bailey, of Garden Court Chambers in London, tweeted: 'Gender extremism is about to meet its match.'

The group consists of former members of the LGBT+ charity Stonewall in protest against its transgender stance.

A spokesman for Garden Court said: 'We are investigating concerns raised about Allison Bailey's comments in line with our complaints policy and Bar Standards Board policies.'

Dr Nicola Williams, from the women's rights pressure group Fair Play For Women, said: 'Sport England has not yet finalised its guidance on transgender inclusion but is already sneaking it out.'

Gendered Intelligence, which registered as a charity earlier this year, claims to have delivered trans training sessions to more than 16,000 people.

Its sport seminars, which have been running since April, claim there is an 'irrational fear' of biological males pretending to be trans women to cheat in sport.

It adds that sports need to move from an 'exclusive' model where trans athletes have to provide medical evidence before competing in their chosen gender category to an 'inclusive' model that 'assumes everyone can play unless there is a clear, objective reason for them to be excluded'.

Cathy Devine, a specialist in sport policy for women, said the advice delivered by Gendered Intelligence may be in breach of the law.

She said: 'The Equality Act says that people with the protected characteristic of "gender reassignment" can be excluded from female sport categories for the purposes of fairness and safety.'

A number of athletes have expressed concerns about the inclusion of trans women athletes, arguing it is unfair to other competitors.

British cyclist Victoria Hood said: 'The science is clear and it's obvious to anyone that trans women have an advantage over women.

'All of the governing bodies are terrified of a small, aggressive group of people. For taxpayers to be paying for these training sessions is ludicrous.'

A spokesman for Sport England said: 'Sport England is committed to ensuring that everyone can benefit from the benefits that leading an active life can offer. That's why we have been working with Gendered Intelligence since April to support the sector to be better equipped to include trans people.'

Gendered Intelligence said: 'The training we have delivered will allow more trans and non-binary people to access grassroots sports and fitness.'


What This Olympic Gold Medalist & Mom Shows Us About Women’s Sports

For any new mom, coming back to work after welcoming a baby is a difficult feat. It was for professional athlete and Olympic sprinter, Allyson Felix. After giving birth to her daughter Camryn in November, getting back into running was an adjustment.

“I am just getting used to what the new normal looks like and getting my routine down and all of that,” she said in an interview.

But not only did Felix get back to work, she broke a world record!

Just eight months after her daughter was born, Felix reentered the world of competitive racing. And merely 10 months later, she beat Usain Bolt’s record for most World Championship titles and most gold medals at the World Championships. After her 4x400 meter relay team beat the competition, Felix was awarded with her twelfth gold medal.

This is an inspirational story for both athletes and mothers alike. It shows us just how much women are capable of – whether it be athletic achievement or bringing new life into the world.

But its important to pause and remember how important women’s athletics are to this moment.

Felix may have beaten Bolt’s record for most gold medals, but if she were forced to compete against him in a race, she would be left in the dust. Bolt won gold at the 2009 World Championships by running the 200-meter dash in 19.19 seconds. Felix won gold at the 2012 Olympics by running the 200-meter dash in 21.88 seconds.

Does this mean Felix doesn’t train as hard as Bolt? Of course not. Men run faster than women. This isn’t because males train harder. It’s because they have more muscle mass, greater bone size, and even more heart and lung capacity.

Men and women are different. If Usain Bolt had to give birth and then nurture a baby while training as Felix did, and he would not perform so well. That’s why men’s and women’s sports are separate – to give every athlete a fair opportunity to compete and win.

Unfortunately, this opportunity is being taken away from high school athletes in Connecticut. Since 2017, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has allowed biological males who identify as girls to compete in high school women’s athletics – automatically putting female athletes like Selina Soule and Alanna Smith at a disadvantage.

That’s why ADF filed an official Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. This past August, the Department agreed to investigate this complaint.

Please stand with these young women.

Make it clear that they should not be forced to give up athletic – and even scholarship – opportunities at the expense of a political agenda. They deserve #FairPlay.


How the world's Leftist media has reacted to the Uluru climbing ban

With hate, predictably. That the climbers might have been motivated by simple adventure-seeking hasn't occurred to them

We also get a glimpse of that unique leftist logic whereby being denied a privilege (the privilege of climbing the rock at any time) counts s white privilege.  Its like arguing with a madman.  Their seething hatred of the ordinary people doing the climbing trumps all else

Media outlets around the world have reacted to the permanent closure of public access to Australia’s most iconic landmark, Uluru.

Rangers at the sandstone monolith closed the climb — a decade’s old tradition of visitors both local and from around the world — at 4pm Friday, after the ban was unanimously voted on in 2017.

A new sign was set up at the base of the rock, notifying visitors that the climb was now permanently closed, almost 34 years to the day since the Anangu people — the traditional owners of the land — were handed back the title to Uluru.

From today, climbing will be punishable by a $6,300 fine.

The decision to ban the climb has divided Australians and those around the world for months in the lead-up to its closure.

And a final scramble of visitors yesterday hoping to be among the last to climb the rock — after months of thousands trekking to the Red Centre — has been described by a writer for The New York Times as “a reminder that a segment of the population remains resistant to some of the decisions indigenous people make when ownership of land is returned to them.”

“They have absolutely no shame,” one reader wrote on Twitter about the flock of climbers. “This is what white privilege looks like in Australia.”

“The lengthy queue of people waiting for one last crack at violating indigenous rights before the white government finally puts an end to it is pretty depressing,” wrote another commenter on the publication’s website.

While the ban is “a once-unimaginable act of deference to a marginalised population,” writes the piece’s author Jamie Tarabay, it is “a partly symbolic gesture that does nothing to address the myriad social problems endured by indigenous Australians.”

“Many of the Anangu themselves live in a trash-strewn community near the rock that is closed to visitors, a jarring contrast to the exclusive resorts that surround the monolith, where tourists seated at white tablecloths drink sparkling wines and eat canapes as the setting sun turns Uluru a vivid red.”

There a certain parts of Uluru so sacred that the Anangu people don’t want it photographed or even touched, writes Tarabay, yet tourists are welcomed to “tool around its base on camels or Segways, or take art lessons in its shadow.”

The climbers were like “a little ant trail,” tweeted one reader of The Washington Postwho published an article titled, “The last climb up Australia’s majestic Uluru”.

The Outback monolith is sacred to indigenous people, who have long implored visitors not to ascend the rock and have now imposed a ban on climbing it.

The Guardian echoed the sentiment of Central Land Council member Sammy Wilson in a cartoon posted overnight — written in the Pitjantjatjara language of the Anangu people — with the message
English. Uluru is a very important place, it's not Disneyland.

“As a result of Aboriginal people asking white people not to do something, hordes of tourists are hurrying in their thousands to do the exact opposite before time runs out,” the cartoon read.

Readers of the BBC’s coverage on the climbing ban have also reflected the world’s shock at Australian’s attitude toward climbing Uluru.

BBC News (World)

“I am truly embarrassed for these humans,” tweeted one reader, while another said, “It’s 2019, and the cultural white patriarchy still struggle with their greed. I am embarrassed for some of these interviewees — dripping in their own self entitlement and disrespect for the true landowners and spirit.”

It’s now time, Phil Mercer wrote in a piece for the publication, for the Anangu people to “rest and heal.”

“The Anangu believe that in the beginning, the world was unformed and featureless. Ancestral beings emerged from this void and travelled across the land, creating all living species and forms,” Mercer wrote.

“Uluru is the physical evidence of the feats performed by ancestral beings during this creation time.”

Independent media organisation NPR was one of the many to report on the closure. One reader tweeted, “If this was America, we would just add a gift shop on the top of it and continue to discriminate against the natives. Hopefully Australia treats its Natives better than we do here in America.”

“For the rock’s Aboriginal owners, whose tenure here goes back tens of thousands of years, this a momentous decision, one they have dreamed of and worked toward for decades,” wrote Kennedy Warne for National Geographic.

“Imagine the euphoria felt by the Aboriginal owners when the park board voted unanimously to end climbing.”



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

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

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


28 October, 2019  

It's not "men" who are to blame for domestic violence

A big study has shown that it's a few repeat offenders from poor communities who do most of the violence. The feminists are dead wrong. No demographic is a powerful predictor but the most relevant demographic is income, not sex

A recent watershed moment that sank to the bottom of the sea was a landmark study by the Australian Institute of Criminology that examined 39 quantitative studies of domestic violence over the past decade or so, entitled simply “Domestic violence offenders, prior offending and reoffending in Australia”.

Astonishingly, given the amount of publicity and so-called “research” this life or death issue has received in recent years, the study noted in its opening statement: “To our knowledge, there has been no attempt to develop a comprehensive understanding of what characterises domestic violence offenders and offending across Australia.”

In an effort to actually tackle this problem, it combed through almost 3000 records and more than 300 papers from almost every conceivable agency and source, painstakingly eliminating those that were not scientifically sound, such as sources more than 30 years old, those not from Australia and those based on non-hard data, such as focus groups and interviews.

The evidence from this comprehensive, fact-based and tragically unprecedented analysis was clear and overwhelming. There was a massive concentration of domestic violence in disadvantaged and indigenous communities and that alcohol was also a driving factor.

Perhaps most significantly, despite the prevailing narrative that domestic violence is a simple male versus female issue, it found that in fact it was a tiny minority of men who were responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of abuse.

“There is growing recognition that domestic violence offending is concentrated among a relatively small group of offenders or couples,” the AIC found.

One 2016 study it cited “found that a very small minority of repeat offenders (2 per cent) were responsible for half of all harm (50 per cent)” and another 2017 Northern Territory study “found that eight per cent of couples accounted for 27 per cent of the harm associated with domestic violence”.

The conclusion was unequivocal: “First, a very large proportion of offenders involved in domestic violence incidents attended by police, and who then move through the justice system, are recidivist offenders.”

Moreover, these were concentrated in the poorest and most long-suffering communities, as the AIC found and stated again and again.

“The likelihood of domestic violence reoffending appears to be higher in more socio-economically disadvantaged communities,” the report said.

And again: “Those in highly disadvantaged areas were also at a greater risk of violent domestic violence reoffending compared with those in the areas of least disadvantage.”

And once more: “Perpetrators of physical violence were found to have higher levels of unemployment (a 2007 study) and were more likely to be from more disadvantaged areas (another study from 2016).”

It literally could not be clearer.

And yet only four of the 39 studies the AIC analysed even looked at the socio-economic status of offenders — compared to 21 that focused on gender. Apparently most of the academic research over the past decade is either oblivious or wilfully blind to the most critical factor in this scourge.

By contrast, I and precious few others have been crazybrave enough to publicly draw attention to the fact that poorest communities are hardest hit by domestic violence. And it is a matter of public record that whenever I have said or written precisely what the evidence shows I have been summarily crucified by self-proclaimed progressives, including suggestions that I am a closet abuser myself, that I should be bashed or defiled and veiled threats from activists saying they knew where I lived or went to the supermarket.

Meanwhile these same so-called progressives are happy to consign poor and indigenous women to their deaths in their darkly narcissistic campaign to argue that they are no more at risk than upper-middle class professionals because it is simply men that are the problem, not broken communities. This is the deadliest of lies.

As a result you won’t see or hear these progressive gender warriors championing the findings of this most comprehensive and belatedly groundbreaking study, because they know they are condemned by the truth.

If they had any decency they would hang their heads in shame for abandoning the most vulnerable women in our society for the sake of a few retweets and an undergraduate ideological war. But the fact is they have no decency, nor any shame.

Still, I promised a happy story and so it is. Because, as the outrage subsides and the evidence rolls in, it will become evermore clear that the social media arbiters of social justice are mindless hypocrites far more obsessed with their own pontification than the real problems besetting society — not to mention wholly unaware of what those problems even are.

And as the outrage is constantly disproved and defrocked, not only does the emperor have no clothes but the emperor has been stripsearched at Splendour and found to be carrying not so much as a disco biscuit up the jexy.

The truth will out, the truth will prevail, and the truth will put the horseshit in the pail.


Male Runner Wins NCAA Conference's 'Female Athlete of the Week'

Earlier this week, the Big Sky Conference named a male runner as the female cross-country athlete of the week.

Jonathan Eastwood (yes, I'm deadnaming, sue me) previously competed on the men's team but joined the women's cross-country team at the University of Montana this fall. By joining the women's team and competing under the name June Eastwood, he became the first "transgender" athlete to compete on an NCAA Division I women’s running team—which is likely the only reason he was given the honor.

According to Western Journal, "Eastwood has not finished below seventh in any of the University of Montana’s races this fall."

Eastwood won the Montana Invitational in early October and finished third at the Montana State Classic last month, according to the Missoulian.

Eastwood, who had been a competitive runner on the men’s squad for three years, stopped competing for about a year and half before emerging this fall for what, in a YouTube interview, Eastwood called “the storm.”

Eastwood is aware of criticism that surrounds the issue of transgender athletes on women’s teams, but said, “I didn’t want to give up doing what I love just because of who I am.”

According to an August post on the blog Let's Run, Eastwood had an advantage over actual girls in the entire division before he even ran his first race:

When June Eastwood steps onto the start line for the Clash of the Inland Northwest cross country meet on Saturday morning in Cheney, Wash., she [sic] will make history. Eastwood, a senior at the University of Montana, will become the fastest distance runner to ever compete in an NCAA Division I women’s race. In fact, it won't even be close.

Eastwood’s personal best in the 800 meters is 1:55.23. That’s almost four seconds faster than the collegiate record of 1:59.10 set by Raevyn Rogers in 2017.

Her [sic] personal best in the 1500 is 3:50.19. Jenny Simpson’s collegiate record, unchallenged for a decade, is almost 10 seconds slower (3:59.90).

Eastwood has run 14:38.80 in the 5,000, far ahead of Simpson’s collegiate record of 15:01.70.

Despite the fact that Eastwood being biologically male gives him an unfair advantage over the girls he competes against, he's been celebrated for his "story." Just look at this absurdly glowing profile:

He's also been the subject of many other write-ups by the media and publications like Runner's World.

When biological boys play on girls' sports teams, they have an immediate advantage over their female teammates and competitors due to the indisputable biological differences between males and females. Earlier this year, I reported on a similar problem involving the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), where female high school track athletes were dominated by biological males who competed against them—robbing girls of opportunities to qualify for more races and to be scouted by college coaches.

Jonathan Eastwood has no business competing on the girls' team.


The great hate crime HOAX

Britain is one of the most tolerant places on Earth. So why, ask author DOUGLAS MURRAY, do police pretend we're in the grip of record wave of vile attacks by bigots?

Do you feel ten per cent more hateful than you did this time last year? Do you think the British public as a whole are ten per cent more unpleasant in 2019 as compared to 2018?

If you believe the latest ‘hate crimes’ stats, then you may come to such a ludicrous conclusion.

Figures compiled by the Home Office claim that there were 103,379 hate crimes committed last year. A record number, and up ten per cent on the year before. Various campaign groups disguised as charities insist that this is merely ‘the tip of the iceberg’.

To which one might say simply: ‘Of course they do.’ For if you are sane and reasonable you will realise that all of this is nonsense – nonsense, in fact, of the purest, most disgraceful kind: professional nonsense, cooked up to serve a political purpose.

It is time that purpose was identified and named.

The foundations of the hate crime hoax started 20 years ago with the Macpherson Report on the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence. As well as its good effects, that inquiry had a number of negative consequences. Two stand out. The first was that an offence against a person of sexual or ethnic minority became a crime of greater seriousness than a crime against someone of no minority group.

So if an old woman was hit over the head for her purse, that was just a crime. But if someone who was gay or black was hit over the head then that was not just a crime but a hate crime. A two-tier system of offence was created in which some crimes (with an identical effect upon the victim) were deemed worse than others.

Doreen and Neville Lawrence, the parents of murdered black teenager Stephen. Doreen Lawrence can be seen holding the Macpherson report which stated that a crime was a hate crime if it was ‘perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by malice or ill-will towards a social group’    +3
Doreen and Neville Lawrence, the parents of murdered black teenager Stephen. Doreen Lawrence can be seen holding the Macpherson report which stated that a crime was a hate crime if it was ‘perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by malice or ill-will towards a social group’

But the second development was more damaging, still: Macpherson stated that a crime was a hate crime if it was ‘perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by malice or ill-will towards a social group’.

So if I get hit over the head I might be the victim of a bog-standard crime. But if I am hit over the head and think, or pretend to think, that it is because of my homosexuality, then we are in the realm not just of crime but of hate crime. And that means the sirens of the modern police force can really go off.

In the years since the Macpherson Report, the British police have done everything they can to prove that they are on the beat with this new orthodoxy.

They don’t just want to find hate crimes. They need to find hate crimes. Some years ago a friend of mine was accosted on a train late at night by a couple of rowdy drunks. Reporting the matter to police at the next station, the officers positively begged him to report it (once they found out he was gay) as a ‘hate crime’. He insisted that there was no such element to their abuse. The police seemed desperate to persuade him otherwise.

That is just one of the reasons why the statistics on hate crimes keep going up and up. The police want them. They want to be able to report them. They positively advertise for them.

In case anyone thinks that is an exaggeration, consider the pathetic video released by DCC Julie Cooke of Cheshire Constabulary. It took the form of an online message for ‘pronoun day’, which she described as ‘a day which is particularly important to people who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming’. Cooke wittered on: ‘Being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well-being. It can also be used as a form of abuse.’

And here is one of the problems of this form of touting for business. The Home Office’s statistics claim that, in the past year, ‘transphobic hate crimes’ rose by 37 per cent. That is a pretty horrific number – like all the other rising hate crimes numbers. Until you dig one centimetre beneath the surface. What exactly constitutes a transphobic hate crime? Murder? Mugging? Burglary? Well, once again we have to remember that these crimes are in the eye of the beholder. And consider just one such beholder from only a few days ago.

DCC Julie Cooke of Cheshire Constabulary, pictured, released a 'pathetic' video for ‘pronoun day’, in which she said 'being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well-being. It can also be used as a form of abuse'    +3
DCC Julie Cooke of Cheshire Constabulary, pictured, released a 'pathetic' video for ‘pronoun day’, in which she said 'being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well-being. It can also be used as a form of abuse'

Ria Cooper is a glamour model based in Hull, who ten years ago (at the age of 15) became Britain’s youngest transgender woman. Other than that, there is no reason why the nation at large should have heard of her. Except that earlier this month it emerged that Ms Cooper recently contacted Humberside Police to tell them of a set of WhatsApp messages she had received she was reporting as ‘transphobic’. What were these messages? Well, they were from a photographer whom Cooper accuses of trying to scupper her modelling career.

The photographer reportedly pointed out that Cooper has a penis, which was not the sort of lady he was after. Cooper calls this ‘f****** disgusting behaviour’ and deemed it ‘transphobic’. So there is another ‘hate crime’ just there.

Of course, campaigning groups long-ago cottoned on to the fact that all of this suits their interests. I suspct that sometimes that interest is commercial.

The remaining LGBT organisations in Britain have relatively little to do with their time. Their battles are largely won, and presumably their careers and pension plans are at risk from this success.

So ‘rising hate crimes’ must provide a massive business opportunity for these groups. Other groups also benefit from this marketplace of grievance.

Last month, when Parliament returned to spend a couple more days bickering about Brexit, Labour MPs used the opportunity to attack the Prime Minister. On what? Why hate crimes of course. The ridiculous, fulminating MPs kept pretending that Britain is in the midst of a hate crimewave and that the PM himself is responsible.

Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and others insisted that Boris’s column last year defending the right of Muslim women to wear the burka (a column his opponents deliberately misrepresented) in fact caused a ‘spike’ in anti-Muslim hate crimes. They claim that such hate crimes rose 375 per cent in the week after his column.

Which sounds impressive until you realise this is a rise from eight reported incidents in a week to 38 reported incidents. Scepticism has been poured on these figures.

Labour MPs who were attacking the Prime Minister with these bogus statistics were only using the favoured tactic of recent years.

For the fact is that since the Brexit vote there has been a huge number of ways in which people opposed to the result have assailed the British public.

We have been called stupid, ignorant, gullible and more. But perhaps the favourite claim of all has been the claim that the Brexit vote unleashed a tidal wave of hate in the British public. Anti-Brexit campaigners repeatedly pretended that the tragic murder of a Polish man called Arek Jozwik in Harlow in August 2016 was a result of the referendum. The resulting trial found that the murder was a squalid and mundane event with no link whatsoever to Brexit. But that is par for the course.

In the wake of the referendum there have been claims that British voters celebrated the result by a wave of hate crimes against ethnic and sexual minorities. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no country in the world more tolerant than this one. Yet time and again in the past 20 years – and never more so than since the referendum – we have been slandered and smeared.

Political campaigners have used bogus statistics to push their own political and sectarian interests. It is time that people named and shamed the smear-merchants. There are bigots out there, as there are in every country. But this is not a bigoted country. And we have the right to vote how we want to vote without being defamed as such.

If there was one wave all sensible people should wish for in the near future it should be a wave of scepticism about the claims of campaigners whose only interest is in doing down this country.

A country which has justifiable pride in our tolerance and should exercise a healthy dose of scepticism towards our critics.


Qantas chairman rejects activists' demands over illegal immigration

QANTAS Airways chairman Richard Goyder says the high-profile airline is being singled out by activists who are trying to use it to change government policy around asylum seekers.

The comments were made at the Flying Kangaroo annual meeting which was again dominated by attempts to get the airline to stop carrying asylum seekers who were being forcibly transferred or deported by the government.

A resolution by activist shareholder group the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility to get the company to review its policies in this area failed to win share-holder approval. The resolution attracted a yes vote of 23.5 per cent, up from the 6.4 per cent support a similar resolution put to last year's meeting gained. The ACCR said the result was the largest support vote for a human rights resolution ever put to an Australian company. [It's a human right to enter another country illegally?]

Mr Goyder said other airlines had not attracted the same sort of attention from the ACCR as Qantas. "The ACCR, for all its good things, is using the Qantas brand to try to change government policy," he told the meeting yesterday. "I'd encourage ACCR to take up this cause with the Federal Government, and I'd like to reiterate the directors recognise the complexity of Australian immigration policy and recognise the courts are the best places to make decisions on the rights of asylum seekers, not airlines."

Mr Goyder acknowledged some parties had accused Qantas of hypocrisy for taking a stand on social issues like gender diversity, indigenous reconciliation and marriage equality but not taking up charge on asylum seekers. He rejected the suggestion, saying the airline was not duty bound to speak up on all social issues.

"We are pleased to be part of broader conversations on social and economic issues," he said. "But it's absurd to suggest that because a company speaks up on some issues, it is therefore duty-bound to speak up on all issues." Chief executive Alan Joyce said if Qantas agreed to stop transporting asylum seekers, it could disadvantage those in need of medical assistance, or transfers between detention centres due to overcrowding.

"How can the airlines be the judge on each of these individual cases?" Mr Joyce said. "You're asking us to do an impossible task and we could do more damage by not carrying these people."

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail of 26/10/2019


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

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

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


27 October, 2019

Reversal: Texas judge rules father CAN fight to stop his transgender son, 7, transiting to a girl after he argued the child's mother made him grow up wearing dresses and constantly told him 'monsters eat little boys'

A judge has ruled that a father fighting to stop his seven-year-old son from transitioning to a girl will be allowed to have a say in future medical decisions related to his child.

Jeff Younger has been battling his ex-wife Dr Anne Georgulas in a Dallas family court as part of their bitter custody fight over whether their child James has gender dysphoria.

Judge Kim Cooks ruled on Thursday that the divorced parents will have joint conservatorship over their child. It means they will have to make joint medical decisions regarding their child, which includes whether James should undergo hormone replacement therapy to transition to a girl.

They will also have to jointly agree on haircuts for the child, as well as dental and psychiatric care. 

The decision comes after a jury ruled earlier this week in favor of giving sole managing guardianship of James and twin brother Jude to their mother

Georgulas, who is a pediatrician, has argued that James is transgender and wants the child to transition to a girl named Luna.

Her ex-husband, however, doesn't believe James has gender dysphoria and that his child is just experiencing some confusion with gender. He has accused Georgulas of forcing James to socially transition into a girl by making the child wear dresses.

Just moments before the judge's decision was handed down, Younger told DailyMail.com outside court that he didn't expect the proceedings to go in his favor. 'I'm not anticipating a good result for my son,' he said. 'I think I'm not going to be able to stop the social transition of my son, which will probably lead to his medical transition.'

The judge put a gag order on both parents during the proceedings, which means neither can speak to media going forward.

As part of the judge's ruling both Younger and Georgulas will have to attend counseling. 

The bitter court battle began when Georgulas filed a court request last year to change their joint custody arrangement to include a requirement that Younger start calling their child by the name Luna.

She said three mental health professionals had diagnosed James with gender dysphoria and that therapists had recommended they start using the name Luna instead of James.

Younger, however, filed his own request with the court to obtain sole custody of the twins to prevent the gender transition.  

Georgulas and Younger married back in 2010 when they were members of the Orthodox Church.

They went through IVF to have the twins and requested their gender be male before they were born in 2012.

The couple annulled their marriage several years later.

Arguments over their child's gender began when Georgulas took James to see a gender therapist at the Children's Hospital Center.

She claims she had noticed James requesting girl-themed toys, that the child was imitating female Disney characters and had been asking to wear dresses.

The therapist recommended James start social transitioning by wearing dresses to school and going by the name Luna.

Their child currently identifies as a girl at school and is called Luna by her teachers.  

Younger claims his ex-wife has been forcing the transition ever since their divorce and has accused Georgulas of starting to manipulate their child when James was just three years old.

He has accused Georgulas of locking James in the bedroom and telling their child that 'monsters only eat boys'.

Younger also claims Georgulas has been forcing the child to wear dresses. 

In a podcast interview earlier this year with Christian political consultant Luke Macias, Younger insisted that his child is not a girl and that she 'violently refuses to dress as girl at my house'.

Younger went on to publicly accuse his ex-wife of sexually abusing their child.

'I want you to imagine having electronic communication with you son on FaceTime, and imagine that your ex-wife has dressed him as a drag queen to talk to you. He has false eyelashes and makeup. His hair has got glitter in it. He's wearing a dress,' he said.

'Now imagine how you would feel seeing what I believe is actual sexual abuse - I believe this is not just emotional abuse but is the very, most fundamental form of sexual abuse, tampering with the sexual identity of a vulnerable boy. Every. Single. Day.

'You have to see your son sexually abused, and you have to maintain your calm... because the courts are not going to be fair to you. And the only way you can survive this and get your son through this alive is to calmly allow your son to be tortured right before your eyes and outlast the opposition. That's what it's like.'

Separate from the custody court battle, Younger has been campaigning to prevent his child's gender transition.

Websites and Facebook groups called 'Save James' have been set up and there is a GoFundMe page with about $40,000 in donations to help with Younger's court costs.

As part of the judge's ruling, the websites will now have to be shut down. 


It's Back On: Christian Ministry Appeals 'Hate Group' Defamation Lawsuit Against SPLC

In 2017, the Christian ministry D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a defamation and discrimination lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Amazon after Amazon booted DJKM from its charity program (Amazon Smile) due to the SPLC accusation that the ministry is a "hate group." Last month, an Alabama district court dismissed the suit, but on Tuesday DJKM announced it would appeal the decision, breathing new life into a key legal battle.

The ministry announced it has filed a notice of appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

DJKM noted that U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson accepted the SPLC's argument that the "hate group" accusation is protected by the First Amendment "because it is essentially meaningless and cannot be proved right or wrong."

Specifically, the judge wrote that DJKM "cannot prove the falsity of the ‘hate group’ designation…Logically speaking, a plaintiff cannot prove what is not provable." He argued that definitions of the term "hate group" conflicted too much for there to be a clear standard of meaning.

"While the judge adopts wholesale the SPLC’s argument that the term 'hate group' means nothing concrete and thus cannot be defamatory, the news media, lawmakers, and Amazon, among others, have taken it as gospel," Frank Wright, president and CEO of DJKM, said in a statement. "The SPLC plays a disingenuous game, counting on a public connotation of 'hate groups' that brings to mind the KKK and neo-Nazis, while behind the scenes arguing that the term has no real meaning."

Indeed, Judge Thompson argued that DJKM should not bring a court action but instead challenge the SPLC accusation in the court of public opinion — an argument that seems to overlook the SPLC's privileged position and history.

Founded by prolific fundraiser Morris Dees, the SPLC gained its reputation by bankrupting the Ku Klux Klan in court. Its "hate group" accusations grew out of its work monitoring the KKK, and its list of "hate groups" includes a KKK section. When the SPLC accuses an organization of being a "hate group," it places that organization on a list that includes KKK groups — and targets that organization with an apparatus set up to destroy the KKK.

Corporations, Big Tech companies, the media, police, and the federal government have all used the SPLC as a resource, giving them a privileged position in the court of public opinion — a position the organization arguably does not deserve.

The SPLC cleaned house at the top amid a devastating sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal this past March. After that scandal, former employees spoke out about being "part of the con," as the SPLC used its "hate group" accusations for fundraising. Many of the groups on the list are laughable — a blog run by one person and with no impact, a local store run by a Confederate sympathizer. It seems extremely unlikely the SPLC does not know this effort is deceptive.

Furthermore, former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared that the SPLC's "aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them." Indeed, the "hate group" accusations follow a clear liberal bias. The "hate" monitor has not condemned antifa or Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that enflames anti-Semitic harassment on college campuses. The SPLC routinely publishes reports about "Hate on the Right" or "Hate in the White House."

Just last month, House Democrats held a hearing calling for the IRS to remove the tax-exempt status of organizations the SPLC accuses of being "hate groups."

In 2012, a shooter broke into the Family Research Council (FRC), aiming to kill everyone in the building. He later told the FBI he targeted the organization because the SPLC had accused it of being an "anti-LGBT hate group."

While defamation is a high legal bar, at least one defamation lawsuit against the SPLC has succeeded. The far-left group accused Maajid Nawaz, an anti-terror Muslim reformer, of being an "anti-Muslim extremist." Nawaz sued and the SPLC settled, offering a very public apology and paying $3.375 million to his nonprofit.

Megan Meier, a partner at Claire Locke, the law firm that represented Nawaz, told PJ Media that "the SPLC’s 'hate group' accusation is a financial and reputational death sentence, effectively equating organizations to the KKK. No right-thinking person wants to be associated with the KKK, so the SPLC’s 'hate group' accusation is incredibly effective at shaming organizations and causing them to be shunned by donors, fundraising platforms, service providers, the media, and others. Shaming and shunning are hallmarks of what makes a statement 'defamatory' under the common law."

Meier admitted that the SPLC's free speech defenses have proven effective at times. "The SPLC has had some success in arguing that its 'hate group' accusation is protected by the First Amendment. It remains to be seen whether the SPLC will ultimately win the day on that question or whether organizations that have been damaged by false accusations will be given their day in court," she told PJ Media.

Wright, the DKJM president, noted that the SPLC's legal defense strongly undercuts the public credibility of its "hate group" accusations.

"I hope that the media and the public will note well that the SPLC’s defense rests upon the notion that their ‘hate map’ is entirely arbitrary and artificial, and that it cannot be proved whether any group belongs on it or not," he said.

"The SPLC has admitted to a federal judge that their fear-mongering is based on nothing provable or concrete," Wright added. "Sadly, Judge Thompson has decided to let that continue. But D. James Kennedy Ministries will persevere in pressing, in the U.S. Court of Appeals, this legal battle on behalf of all the Bible-believing Christian ministries falsely labeled ‘hate groups’ by the duplicitous SPLC."

In addition to DJKM and Nawaz, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and former heroin addict Craig Nelsen have sued the SPLC for defamation and various other claims. The CIS lawsuit was struck down because it attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into racketeering, but it will likely be re-filed.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit branded a "hate group" by the SPLC, told PJ Media that more than 60 organizations are considering their own lawsuits against the SPLC.

In the Nelsen case, a judge allowed the plaintiff to enter the discovery process, giving the former heroin addict access to SPLC documents. The SPLC had falsely claimed that Nelsen "wasn't convincing anyone" that his drug recovery program was open to men of all races.

When DJKM files its appeal, it will have to bolster certain arguments about the SPLC's meaning of the term "hate group," using the SPLC's history against the KKK. Ironically, Judge Thompson ruled that "unlike the accusation of a crime, the accusation of being a hate group does not derive its meaning from 'commonly understood' social norms." The SPLC's history and broad cultural and political impact suggest otherwise — namely that opposing groups like the KKK is a "commonly understood social norm" such that a "hate group" accusation is a "reputational death sentence."

Most likely, DJKM will have to focus on the many more concrete accusations SPLC has made against them in the context of the "hate group" accusation. Nawaz, for instance, did not just complain about the "anti-Muslim extremist" label. His demand letter listed specific false statements the SPLC made about him, bolstering the case that the "anti-Muslim extremist" label and the other claims associated with it constituted clear defamation.

DJKM has a long road ahead, but the organization can prevail. The right to free speech does not include defamation of character.


Trans Provocateur Loses Legal Battle to Force Women to Wax His Genitals

I would gladly wax his genitals -- with very hot wax

On Tuesday, Jessica Yaniv, a biological male who identifies as a woman, lost his legal battle to force women to give him a Brazilian wax. After multiple female estheticians refused to wax his genitals because of his male anatomy, he filed human rights complaints, claiming that they engaged in discrimination against him due to his transgender identity.

"Human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax," the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled.

The tribunal also ruled that Yaniv "engaged in improper conduct," "filed complaints for improper purposes," and concluded his testimony was "disingenuous and self-serving." Indeed, the ruling includes sections outlining the transgender provocateur's "use of deception," "financial motivation," and "racial animus."

Yaniv presented himself as a woman when he first reached out to estheticians. As for financial motivation, he filed 15 complaints against various estheticians in the Vancouver area, seeking as much as $15,000 in damages against each one. As for racial animus, he made numerous public comments condemning immigrants. At the hearings, he argued that immigrants use their religion to discriminate against transgender people because they refused to wax the male genitals of those who identify as women.

"Self-identification does not erase physiological reality," Jay Cameron, litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the estheticians, said in a statement on the victory. "Our clients do not offer the service requested. No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies."

The Justice Centre represented Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and its Sikh owner, Sandeep Banipal, who has not been trained to wax male genitals and testified that she is uncomfortable with doing so. The center also represented Sukhi Hehar Gill, a Sikh woman who testified that it is "contrary to my faith" to provide waxing services to males. Gill was forced to shut down her business after Yaniv's antics.

The Justice Centre also represented Marcia Carnauba, an esthetician who cancelled Yaniv's appointment because she was suspicious of his behavior. She lacks the necessary training, tools, and comfort level to wax male genitals. Like Gill, Carnauba closed her business after Yaniv's complaint.

The tribunal ordered Yaniv to pay these women $2,000 each in damages.

While this ruling is a welcome victory for women's rights and for freedom of conscience in Canada, the damages awarded seem rather small compared to the harm Yaniv caused. Worse, a publication ban had identified the provocateur only as JY for most of the proceedings until the estheticians got it lifted.

Yaniv has been accused of sexual harassment against young girls. Tragically, Twitter banned Canadian journalist Meghan Murphy for merely identifying Yaniv as the provocateur in the case. Transgender activists have also gotten the Wikipedia page about Yaniv's attempts to force women to wax his genitals scrubbed from the internet.

Yaniv does not represent all transgender people, but his antics serve as an important reminder that transgender activism leaves women vulnerable to biological males invading their spaces — and even forcing them to handle their genitals.

As the Justice Centre noted in its news release on the ruling, an expert in genital waxing testified that estheticians who have not been trained to wax male genitals should refuse any such requests, as untrained attempts to wax male genitals pose "the risk of serious injury to the customer." Furthermore, "the necessary prolonged manipulation of a client's [genitals] often results in sexual arousal and a request for sexual services."

In other words, this is not just a training issue or a religious freedom issue, but also a sexual assault issue — if that were not abundantly clear already.


Australian butcher targeted by militant vegans trying to cripple his small business explains why they actually HELPED him - as he trolls them with a VERY witty comeback online

Militant vegans trying to ruin a small butcher shop by protesting outside actually helped the business by giving it publicity, the owner has told Daily Mail Australia.

Protesters lined up outside Tenderwest Meats in Perth's Belmont Forum on Sunday and shouted at passing customers with a megaphone. 'They never wanted to die for you,' the group's leader yelled while his followers held up signs showing animals in slaughterhouses.

The group was trying to stop people buying and eating meat - but the protest  backfired.  'In terms of publicity the protest has been much better for me than it has been for them,' said Mike Fielder who owns and runs the small, independent shop.

'Since the protest I have received hundreds of messages of support,' he added.

The protesters posted a video of their stunt on the Facebook group Direct Action Everywhere - and Mr Fielder chimed in with a sarcastic response.

He commented on the post with a picture of some pork cooking in an oven, and wrote: 'Here's a piece of the very same pork cooking for my dinner right now. 'Please let me know when you're coming again and I'll put more on for you. Cheers.'

Explaining why he decided to fight back, he told Daily Mail Australia: 'I just thought I'd troll them a little bit.

'They are coming for me because I'm a small, independent business and an easy target. 'I don't have lawyers or large finances behind me so they target me instead of a big company like Coles or Woolies.

'But they are totally misguided - everything I sell is free range and of the highest quality.' 

Mr Fielder said the protesters had come for him once before. On that occasion he knew they were coming and put up cloths to cover the meat displayed in the windows.

'That took the wind out of their sails and they left pretty quickly, he said. 'But this time they ambushed me and they got to make their little scene.'

During the protest, the group's leader, wearing a white T-shirt, told customers: 'We are here to shine a light on an inherently cruel industry.' 'They never wanted to participate in this, they never wanted to die for you,' the leader said of the animals killed.

'They died in a gas chamber at six months old - and all they died for is for your simple meal, your simple pleasure, needlessly.'

Personifying the animals, the leader added: 'There are thousands of babies just around this city being driven to a slaughterhouse.

'Animals do not have to die for us to survive - we don't have to be doing this.'

The leader then shouted 'it's not food' and the protesters chanted back in unison 'it's violence'.

He yelled: 'What do we want? and his supporters replied 'animal liberation'. 'When do we want it?' he asked, before the vegans replied 'now.'

The video was taken by an activist who narrated the action. She called the display cabinets a 'display of death' and said the butchers 'have no shame in what they do.' The protesters then laid flowers under the display cabinets to 'remember' the animals.

'We are here to bring light to the lie that animals can be killed and exploited and somehow this is humane,' said the narrator. 



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

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

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


25 October, 2019

Eating lots of trans fats found in fried food, cakes and biscuits 'could put you at greater risk of getting dementia'

The usual deficient control. When medical researchers categorize people they almost always show zero interest in how the categorized people got into their category.  Much is missed because of that.

In this case I don't know much about Japanese sociology but I don't think I am drawing too a long bow to suggest that keen eaters of the deplored foods were predominantly poor people. Poor people are very "incorrect" eaters generally.  And poor people are regularly found to have worse health of all sorts. So the demented people observed may have been demented because they were poor, not because of what they ate

So the research is, as usual, totally inconclusive.  It proves nothing

Fatty acids found in baked goods and takeaways may put people at greater risk of dementia.

Trans fats, which are used to make cakes, biscuits, margarine and fried food, are not banned in the UK, although they are not commonly used.

Japanese researchers have now linked these fats to dementia, in a study of more than 1,600 people over 60.

Estimating people's consumption of trans fats using blood tests, they found those with the highest levels in their body were 52 per cent more likely to get dementia.

Evidence suggests trans fats may cause harmful inflammation and the build-up of a protein called amyloid, which are both linked to dementia.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, come three years after the Government scrapped a proposed ban on trans fats in its watered-down child obesity strategy of 2016.

Scientists said the previous year that a ban on the fats, which come from partially hydrogenated plant oils, could save 7,200 lives in England from coronary heart disease over five years.

Dr Toshiharu Ninomiya, senior author of the Japanese study, from Kyushu University in Japan, said: 'The World Health Organisation has called for trans fats to be eliminated worldwide by 2023.

'These public health efforts have the potential to help prevent dementia cases around the world, not to mention the decrease in heart disease and other conditions related to trans fats.' While trans fats occur naturally in dairy products like cheese and cream, they are also found in takeaways where vegetable oils have been heated to fry foods at high temperatures.

The fats can improve the taste and shelf life of processed foods and are also used by some manufacturers in pies, biscuits and cakes.

Although they were banned in the US last year, they continue to be present in British food, although health experts say UK intakes are much lower than the recommended maximum.

The Japanese study involved 1,628 people living in a Japanese community who did not have dementia and had an average age of 70.

They were divided into four groups based on levels of elaidic acid in their blood, which is often used to measure the amount of trans fats people have consumed.

Followed up for 10 years on average, people with the group thought to consume the most trans fats were 52 per cent more likely to get dementia than those who consumed the least.

Of the 407 people with the highest level, 104 developed Alzheimer's disease or a different type of dementia, which was almost 30 per cent.

Only 82 out of the 407 in the lowest level group were diagnosed with dementia, which was just over 21 per cent.

The results showed a link between trans fats and dementia even when other factors that could affect the risk of dementia, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, were taken into account.

People with the second highest level of trans fats, based on their blood tests, were 74 per cent more likely to develop dementia than those with the lowest level.

SOURCE  Journal article is Serum elaidic acid concentration and risk of dementia

Pronoun plods: virtue-signalling police force crosses (thin blue) line

In 2017, British man Matthew Furlong, 25, applied to join the Cheshire Police Service. This was a lifelong ambition and by all accounts he was an outstanding applicant. During his interview he was told “It was refreshing to meet someone as well prepared as yourself” and that he “could not have done any more”.

To his disappointment, he was later told he had lost out to other applicants. This was perplexing, for he had performed exceptionally well in the process. His father, a detective inspector in the same force, lodged a complaint. It transpired the recruitment branch had not been forthcoming with feedback, and that a combination of three traits had held Furlong junior back. First, he is male. Second, he is white. Third, he is heterosexual. Also, he had applied at the same time the force had decided it was time for a diversity binge.

While British employment law permits so-called “positive action” for recruitment and promotion in the name of diversity, there are limitations. For example, where a man and woman have equal claims to a position in a male-dominated industry, the employer may lawfully discriminate in favour of the female. However, this would be unlawful if the male applicant demonstrated better claims to the position.

The force attempted to circumvent this by dropping its recruitment standards to an artificially low level and assigning applicants a simple “pass” or “fail” mark as opposed to rating them in order. By doing this it argued that “protected-characteristics”-classified applicants who scored a “pass” rating had equal claims to that of Furlong, who had tertiary qualifications.

In February this year an employment tribunal found the force had unlawfully discriminated against him on the grounds of sexual orientation, race and gender. As Furlong bitterly reflected, had he lied on his application form to the effect he was bisexual, he would be walking a beat by now. “The irony of the whole thing is that throughout the whole process I was required to demonstrate my honesty and integrity and they have completely undermined that,” he stated.

While accepting the tribunal’s findings, the newly appointed deputy chief constable Julie Cooke said the processes had been put in place “with the best of intentions”. That was not the smartest of responses, especially given rogue police have a long history of acting unlawfully with good intentions, but that is by the bye.

You would also think the force had more important things to think about than diversity. Two years ago, Cheshire experienced the third-highest crime rate rise in the country. Sex offences rose 34 per cent, robberies by 33 per cent, violence crime by 43 per cent, and public order offences a whopping 124 per cent. So what have been the force’s priorities since then?

Put it this way: last week the force again made international headlines for the wrong reasons, and this time Cooke was at the centre. Posting a video on her official Twitter account, the deputy chief constable, in full uniform and with her organisation’s logo in background, pontificated about the importance of observing “International Pronouns Day”.

Referring to transgender people and those who are “gender non-conforming” she stated, “Today is about raising awareness, getting people to have conversations and understanding why it’s so important to understand the pronouns that somebody wishes to be used for them. Warning of the dangers of “misgendering”, Cooke, who is also the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for the LGBT plus portfolio, added it could “have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well-being”. Judging by the intense backlash, you could say the public gave Cooke a lesson on the dangers of misjudging.

No doubt the gormless Cooke would again claim she was acting with the best of intentions. But there is something profoundly disconcerting about a high-ranking government official — especially one with the power to deprive citizens of their liberty — dictating the use of logically non-conforming pronouns.

When Cooke said this was about “getting people to have conversations” about pronouns, she was resorting to authoritarian irony. From her perspective, there is no conversation to be had and no debate will be permitted, because the social science is settled. Subjective belief determines gender no matter how ludicrous the claim, and you will validate it through express affirmation or else.

It brings to mind a certain literary excerpt. “You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you … that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?

It is hard to believe this is the same country that created the model for professional policing. Its founder, Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who formed the Metropolitan Police Service in 1829, was acutely aware of concerns this body would repress civil liberties. Accordingly, he and the inaugural commissioners instilled in the force what become known as the Peelian principles, the basis of which was providing policing through the public’s consent.

While Peel is still admired for his contribution to policing, we are forgetting something important. He is a dead white male, and as we all know they are synonymous with sexism, racism, patriarchy, and privilege. Accordingly, we should revise the Peelian principles to better reflect the functions of modern policing in Britain.

1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder. Outdated. Amend to: “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent people from being offended.”

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions. Amend to clarify that “public approval” is defined by the opinions of rainbow activists, human rights commissions, anti-discrimination boards, and disgruntled minority groups.

3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public. Amend to include “after the police service has gaslighted them no end”.

4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force. Agreed. Far better to use Orwellian terminology and monitoring to browbeat and intimidate.

5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law. Amend to “Police seek and preserve public favour by catering to public opinion (to be read in conjunction with point 2)”.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient. This one can go altogether. After all, when was the last time you saw a police officer use physical force against a lawbreaker? Think Extinction Rebellion protests.

7. Police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police. Amend to “Police at all times should maintain a relationship with a public that gives reality the heave-ho.”

8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary. Amend to clarify that the function of the police is to give instructions to the public on what is “appropriate” behaviour.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it. Amend to “The test of police efficiency is no visible evidence of action in dealing with crime and disorder.”

My apologies in advance to all the hardworking operational police out there, who no doubt are embarrassed by their virtue-signalling, desk-bound superiors. On a happier note, Cheshire Police has improved in one respect: in May this year it was announced Furlong would be entering the force in September. Let’s hope we see more of his type and less of the pronoun plods.


Christmas parties cancelled. Written consent for sex. A growing hostility between men and women. In a provocative blast, a female academic argues: Yes it had noble intentions, but it’s time we called time on #MeToo

Two small words. That’s all it took to create a new religion — one that has sparked witch-hunts, ruined reputations and fostered a climate of suspicion that shows no signs of waning.

Two years ago, actress and producer Alyssa Milano took to Twitter and told her followers: ‘If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write “me too” as a reply to this tweet.’

A week earlier, The New York Times had printed an investigation into the then most powerful man in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein. It accused the movie mogul of being a serial sexual predator who’d been paying off his accusers for decades.

Weinstein resigned from his production company days later.

But, if it were not for Milano’s tweet — from which the hashtag #MeToo was born — his fall from grace, and the ensuing legal case that prompted more accusers to come forward with shocking accusations, might have been the end of it.

Instead, within a week of Milano’s call to arms, #MeToo had been used 1.7 million times on social media in 85 countries.

It morphed into a global movement raising awareness of sexual harassment and inspired the Time’s Up protests. Soon, its influence was felt beyond the internet and the list of victims — and the accused — grew.

Household names such as Bill Cosby, convicted of multiple sex crimes, and Kevin Spacey, who remains under investigation, are just two of them.

This month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under scrutiny after journalist Charlotte Edwardes accused him of squeezing her thigh at a lunch 20 years ago — which he denies.

Leading MeToo-ers, lauded as ‘The Silence Breakers’ on the cover of Time Magazine in 2017, boasted that, before #MeToo, women kept silent about the abuse they’d suffered.

While it is true that the movement has made it easier for women — including Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne, plus many thousands more worldwide — to speak out about sexual harassment, I firmly believe that its second birthday is not something to celebrate unquestioningly.

It may have made some men think twice before behaving like lecherous idiots, but I fear it has also had a ruinous impact on everyday relationships, undermined our centuries-old justice system and led to the suicide of a British politician.

Within days of #MeToo going global, I, along with a handful of traditional feminists, expressed concern about what the movement might become.

After all, it began life on Twitter, which requires users to communicate in 280 characters or fewer. That doesn’t exactly lend itself to the nuanced tone required to discuss abuse.

That #MeToo brings genuine abusers to light is, of course, to be applauded. However, allegations soon became rumour and hearsay.

And Twitter’s group dynamic, — where users often gang up on others — ensured that often only one response was acceptable: to believe, without question or criticism, the accuser.

Forget about delivering justice — in the world of #MeToo, the accused are always guilty until proven innocent. That’s if any attempt at relying on the law is made at all.

As we in Britain know all too well, assuming that anyone accused of sexual offences is guilty before they have been able to defend themselves can have awful consequences.

In November 2017, a month after Milano’s tweet, Welsh Government minister Carl Sargeant was found dead at home. He had been accused of inappropriate conduct towards women and, after being hounded by activists without ever being told the specific details of the claims, took his own life.

No one can guess another’s mental state, and we’ll never know the full facts of this case. But had there not been such a climate of hysteria, it is possible that his wife, Bernadette, would still have a husband and their children, Jack and Lucy, would still have a father.

So far, #MeToo has resulted in sex abusers being exposed, but also ruined the reputations of innocent men. It has harmed women, too.

For #MeToo activists have made their definition of ‘sexual assault’ so trivial that vulnerable victims who have suffered genuinely traumatic experiences are undermined.

At first, #MeToo focused on accusations of rape. But, as more and more women spoke out, their allegations ranged from serious criminal offences to bad behaviour.

In December 2017, Conservative MP Damian Green, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister and Theresa May’s right-hand man, had his reputation damaged when journalist Kate Maltby accused him of ‘fleetingly’ touching her knee when she was a young Tory activist — a claim he has strenuously denied.

Across the Atlantic, the campaign of U.S. presidential hopeful Joe Biden was almost derailed after a former politician said he made her feel ‘uneasy, gross and confused’ in 2014 when he allegedly kissed her on the back of the head.

In one of the most frivolous cases to go viral, comedian Aziz Ansari almost had his career ruined after a woman he once dated complained online she felt his pattern of behaviour was coercive.

Among her claims were that he left a restaurant too early, poured her red wine instead of white and tried to kiss her when her ‘non-verbal cues’ told him she wasn’t up for it.

In hindsight, it is easy to laugh at how these #MeToo misdemeanours have been blown out of proportion. But it is also deeply concerning.

For if all these behaviours — rape, flirtation, picking the wrong bottle of wine — are thrown together under the same banner, it risks giving the appearance that serious sexual assault and knee-touching are equivalent offences.

By broadening the definition of sexual assault, #MeToo’s proponents have diluted and undermined its very meaning.

That doesn’t mean, however, that campaigners regard all victims as equal.

Over the past two years, we have read a great deal about knees being touched, and you could be forgiven for thinking that sexual predators only target middle-class legs in posh London restaurants.

But this approach has the unintended impact of erasing genuine cases of gross misbehaviour, many of which are shamefully and wilfully ignored.

When was the last time the #MeToo brigade lamented the plight of the working-class girls of Rotherham, Huddersfield and Telford — some just 11 years old — who were groomed and raped by men of Pakistani heritage?

Girls were often passed between abusers. Some were made pregnant, had abortions and were raped time and again. Three women were murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the abuse.

Of course, the scandalous treatment of these young girls did come to light some years before #MeToo was born. But do today’s campaigners really think that grooming in these areas has miraculously stopped after a handful of prosecutions?

Ever since care home managers in the Midlands warned of child sex rings in the Nineties, worrying new cases have continued to come to the surface.

In the spirit of #MeToo, one might expect activists to march through these areas, demanding financial support for the abused girls and their families. But the collective silence of #MeToo on this issue is a stain on the proud history of feminism.

A century ago, Suffragettes, in particular Sylvia Pankhurst, put their lives on the line to fight for the rights of British women — including working-class women — to vote.

Back then, the sisterhood wasn’t confined to middle-class activists. It was a universal movement dedicated to serious problems.

But now, either Northern girls don’t make for such sympathetic victims or Pakistani-heritage men are ‘problematic’ perpetrators. Whichever it is, there is a shameless double standard at the heart of the #MeToo movement.

How else can we explain the activists’ preference for policing the workplace to confronting grooming gangs?

Countless surveys over the past two years have been wheeled out to prove that sexual harassment is rife in the office.

They make for alarming reading — until we dig deeper.

Take one study, commissioned by the Trades Union Congress in May this year. Entitled ‘Sexual harassment of LGBT people in the workplace’, it claims roughly 70 per cent of LGBT workers have been sexually harassed at work. It’s a shocking statistic. But, if you look at the types of assault highlighted in the study, the most frequently reported form of sexual harassment was . . . a joke.

For the survey’s creators, intent on shining a spotlight on sexual harassment even in places where it doesn’t exist, it didn’t matter if the victim was the subject of a joke or even the intended audience — they may have just overheard a quip shared, just once, many years earlier.

So now fun has been erased in the workplace. Some firms have banned alcohol from work functions, others have vetoed hugging. A handful have even cancelled office Christmas parties.

Wherever you venture — from your place of work to your local bar — a pungent cloud of suspicion now hangs over every interaction between a man and a woman.

#MeToo’s message of fear and distrust has spread into every corner of our lives. And it shows no sign of relenting.

Almost two-thirds of universities now offer students sexual consent classes, in which they are taught that sex is a good thing as long as certain rituals are observed beforehand.

Lessons focus on how to seek consent before a sexual encounter and how to know whether or not your partner agrees.

This is an incredibly patronising development. If any student needs to be taught that rape is wrong, let alone the difference between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, then they certainly should not be allowed anywhere near a university.

Worse, in being expected to carry out a formal negotiation process detailing in advance exactly who will do what to whom, where, when and for how long, embarking on sex becomes terrifyingly over-complicated.

Forget passion and spontaneity. In a world where young adults can’t be left alone to work out how to get someone into bed with them, it’s hardly surprising that one in eight 26-year-olds today has never had sex, compared with one in 20 a generation ago.

If today’s students are tomorrow’s parents, teachers and lawyers, then the university campus offers us a terrible glimpse into the future.

It’s a world where men and women lead increasingly separate lives. It’s a world where women tremble at an unwanted glance and men carry consent forms to protect themselves in case the police are called after a night out.

It’s an unforgiving place where men are tried and found guilty after one mistake, or one imagined mistake; where relationships between men and women, once the bedrock of families and communities, are no longer forged from love and trust, but fear.

Two years is more than enough: we need to call time on #MeToo.


Australia: Fury as popular public swimming pool introduces gender segregation and women-only sessions in response to requests from Muslims

A popular public swimming pool has come under fire after introducing gender segregation.

Canberra Olympic Pool brought in new program earlier this month after a series of demands from the city's Muslim community.

The pool will now hold women-only sessions on Saturday nights from 5.30-7, and the same for men on Sunday nights.

One mother said her daughter had been left devastated after she arrived at the pool only to be turned away because it was open to 'boys only'.

'My daughter, in tears, couldn't understand why it was 'boys only'. Like many Canberra parents, my husband and I are trying to raise our child to believe that her gender is not a barrier to anything and to not be self-conscious about her body,' the mother told The Canberra Times. 

'How can we do this when public institutions blatantly turn her away because she is a girl?'

Others slammed the idea on Facebook, labelling it as 'backwards'.

'Does the government not trust males and females in the same pool. Gone crazy totally. We have fought for equality for years and the government and religions are slowly chipping away at it,' one person wrote.

'This country is heading backwards,' another said.

Despite the controversy, Tracy King, the centre's manager told The Australian that the pool has seen an increase in swimmers after the program was introduced.

'We've had two weeks of the trial so far and had extremely high attendance numbers especially for the female sessions,' Ms King said.

She said they picked certain time slots that would be the most convenient for other swimmers.

'The hour also incorporates learn-to-swim classes, which has been greatly appreciated because many are unable to swim or don't often have access to a pool.'

'Because of their culture, some can’t be around men in that setting so they really enjoyed the experience. It was like they were having a party and could relax.' 

The program will run until the end of the month where it will be reviewed over whether it will continue long term.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Canberra Olympic Pool and the ACT Government for comment.



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

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

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


24 October, 2019

Social class in speech

The article below tells us that we all speak in a way that tends to indicate our background.  In particular, whether we are upper class, lower class or in between is detectible from our speech.

The study is an American one but I doubt that many Britons will be surprised by it.  In Britain, an "Oxford" or "RP" accent is the mark of the upper class person and below that there are various regional accents of varied significance -- with Cockney (a London working class accent) being the lowest of the low. Regional accents are also well known in the USA of course.

And in both the USA and the UK, your accent has a major impact on your life chances.  The best and most lucrative jobs will normally be occupied by people with prestigious accents.  And for anyone with a humble background to break into that is virtually impossible.  It would simply "grate" on upper class people to associate daily with (say) a cockney accent.  There is a loophole, however.  You can change your accent to a more prestigious one.  Many do.

So what is new about the article below? We surely knew all along that our speech gives away a lot about us. The  relative novelty was the finding that class can be detected in your writing style as well.  And that, I think, is very interesting indeed.  Because I think that it is probably complexity that is being detected.  The lower class person can be expected to use fewer words, mostly common words and simpler sentence structure.  That should be easily detected but I cannot see what else would be.

But verbal ability is strongly correlated with IQ.  The more words you know, the smarter you generally are.  I like the word "inchoate" as a test of that.  Do you know what that means?  If you do, take a bow.

So we come back to the now well-supported generalization that social class is largely an IQ gradient. See e.g. here and here. The top people are smarter.  The recruiter who assesses a job applicant by his speech is not being arbitrary.  He is seeking more intelligent employees, which will be generally advantageous.  He is doing a good job of personnel selection.

That is a very different interpretation of the results below.  Intelligence is strongly inherited and Leftists hate that.  They hate a lot of things.  And the traditional Marxist way of coping with that is to use the word "reproduced"' -- which you will see in the heading below.

To account for the fact that some arrangement is persistent from generation to generation, Marxists don't regard that as natural in any way.  They say that the arrangement has to be "reproduced". And they go about earnestly looking for HOW it is reproduced.  They look for things that people do which  cause the same thing to emerge in a second and third generation.  And it is always due to the machinations of evil men, of course.  The idea that a smart person mostly has smart kids willy nilly is rejected by the Marxist.  He thinks that the smart man gets smart kids by sending them to private schools etc.  So if you abolish the private schools, all men will be equal.

So in the article below the authors don't regard the class-detection of the recruiter as being reasonable and natural but rather see it as an unjust strategy of devious complexity that unfairly disadvantages lower class people.  Therefore the recruiter must "unlearn" his wrong procedures and abandon his biases.

So there are two very different lessons that can be learned from the findings below.  I think that nothing needs to be done, whereas the Leftist thinks the whole thing is wrong, wrong, wrong and is in urgent need of reform.

Evidence for the reproduction of social class in brief speech

Michael W. Kraus et al.


Economic inequality is at its highest point on record and is linked to poorer health and well-being across countries. The forces that perpetuate inequality continue to be studied, and here we examine how a person’s position within the economic hierarchy, their social class, is accurately perceived and reproduced by mundane patterns embedded in brief speech. Studies 1 through 4 examined the extent that people accurately perceive social class based on brief speech patterns. We find that brief speech spoken out of context is sufficient to allow respondents to discern the social class of speakers at levels above chance accuracy, that adherence to both digital and subjective standards for English is associated with higher perceived and actual social class of speakers, and that pronunciation cues in speech communicate social class over and above speech content. In study 5, we find that people with prior hiring experience use speech patterns in preinterview conversations to judge the fit, competence, starting salary, and signing bonus of prospective job candidates in ways that bias the process in favor of applicants of higher social class. Overall, this research provides evidence for the stratification of common speech and its role in both shaping perceiver judgments and perpetuating inequality during the briefest interactions.


The long retreat from statins continues

The report below appeared under the headng: "Benefits of statins 'are marginal at best' for otherwise healthy people: Study warns taking the pills as a preventative measure is needless

Giving healthy people statin pills have benefits which are ‘marginal at best’, researchers have warned.

The NHS recommends that millions of people should take statins as a preventative measure - a policy that many people say is needless ‘medicalisation’ of the middle aged.

Statins, which cost pennies each, work by lowering harmful cholesterol in the blood.

Experts agree that for people who have heart disease - especially those who have suffered a heart attack in the past - statins are a proven life saver.

But the use of the pills is more controversial for those who have no history of heart problems, who are given the drugs ‘just in case’ they have an attack in the future.

Writing last night in the British Medical Journal, Paula Byrne and John Cullinan, from the National University of Ireland Galway, and Susan Smith, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said the benefits of statins are unclear for many people.


Statins are the most commonly prescribed drug in the world and an estimated 30 per cent of all adults over the age of 40 are eligible to take them.

The cholesterol-lowering drugs are given to people believed to have a 10 per cent or higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease or having a heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years.

They are proven to help people who have suffered heart problems in the past, but experts say the thresholds may be too high, meaning benefits are outweighed by side effects for many people. 

Nearly all men exceed the 10 per cent threshold by age 65, and all women do so by age 70 – regardless of their health.

Commonly reported side effects include headache, muscle pain and nausea, and statins can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hepatitis, pancreatitis and vision problems or memory loss.

Research published in the Pharmaceutical Journal last year found taking a daily statin for five years after a heart attack extends your life by just four days, new research reveals.

And Dr Rita Redberg, professor at the University of California, San Francisco told CNN in January that of 100 people taking statins for five years without having had a heart attack or stroke, 'the best estimates are that one or two people will avoid a heart attack, and none will live longer, by taking statins.'

They said statins can come with rare but serious side effects such as muscle problems, diabetes and haemorrhagic stroke.

They pointed to a study which found a 65-year-old man prescribed statins, who smokes, has high cholesterol and blood pressure, but no heart disease, could lower his absolute risk of heart disease or stroke over the next decade from 38 per cent to 29 per cent.

However a low-risk 45-year-old woman who does not smoke, but has high cholesterol and slightly raised blood pressure, would see her risk drop from the already small 1.4 per cent to 0.8 per cent.

They said this risk reduction is so small it may not justify taking a daily pill.

The writers said: ‘Although statins are commonly prescribed, serious questions remain about their benefit and acceptability for primary prevention, particularly in patients at low risk of cardiovascular disease.

'For most patients the benefits may be marginal at best.’ But cardiologists last night dismissed their claims.

Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘The evidence from numerous independent clinical trials going back more than two decades shows that statins are an effective way of people reducing their risk of a heart attack.

‘We already know that the benefits are even greater for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke.

‘An important area of debate here relates to the magnitude of benefit provided by statin treatment in people who are at relatively low risk and whether that benefit outweighs the risk of side effects.

‘People who fall into this category should arrive at a decision together with their GPs.’


Australian cases that raise serious issues about forensics and fundamentals of justice

Bibi Sangha and Bob Moles

It is now clear David Eastman in the ACT and Henry Keogh in South Australia both spent over 20 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Both murder convictions were based upon fundamentally flawed forensic evidence given by witnesses not properly qualified in the relevant fields of expertise. Over the years prosecutors (and others) had known about the concerns but had not disclosed them, as they ought to have done.

In addition, in recent weeks, the president of the Court of Appeal in Victoria acknowledged earlier reports emanating from the US which established that all of the forensic sciences (apart from DNA) used in criminal trials had not been properly validated. He was supported on this by a senior forensic scientist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. The Victorian Attorney-General is now calling on all of her counterparts around Australia to support a national review of the issues.

Any review might well consider the problems exposed by the royal commissions into the cases of Edward Splatt and Lindy Chamberlain in the 1980s. Each of the two murder prosecutions had used more than 20 experts at the trials. In each case, all the experts made errors in the evidence submitted to the courts. Curiously, all the errors favoured the prosecution's case.

That is a 100 per cent failure rate in two of the most high-profile cases of their day. It is clear the experts had not colluded as many of them had not met. But they did know which side to support — and the future benefits which might flow from their assistance. The Splatt commission recommended the establishment of a National Institute of Forensic Medicine to operate independently of police. When this was subsequently established, every state and federal police commissioner was appointed to its board.

The national review might also consider that in South Australia the state provided sworn evidence in civil proceedings in the mid-1970s involving the chief forensic pathologist there. It was to the effect he was not qualified to certify cause of death nor to give expert evidence in court. Yet the state continued to use him for the next 20 years to conduct more than 10,000 autopsies and to help secure more than 400 criminal convictions.

The current position of the South Australian Attorney-General is we do not need an inquiry. She says the problem cases can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis "as they arise". There is, of course, no proper process by which the "arising" can take place.

Perhaps the national review might consider how to get cases like those of Eastman and Keogh back to the courts after the deficiencies have been discovered. Eastman was fortunate that his case occurred in the ACT, which is one of only two jurisdictions-(including NSW) that have a special procedure allowing for an inquiry to review his claim to be wrongfully convicted.

He only obtained his review after struggling for years through 11 previously unsuccessful attempts. Keogh was fortunate that, after 13 years of procedural wrangling, we were able to persuade the Human Rights Commission and the parliament of South Australia that the existing appeal procedures in all states and territories were in breach of international human rights obligations.

This failed to protect the right to a fair trial and the right to an effective appeal. That led to a new right of appeal (subsequently adopted in Tasmania) which led to Keogh's case ultimately finding its way back to the courts.

There is no doubt that if either the Eastman or Keogh cases had occurred in jurisdictions other than those mentioned there would have been very little chance of getting them reviewed. That would have likely meant the rest of their lives spent in prison. The head sentence for murder is life imprisonment.

A non-parole period is merely a recommendation by the trial judge which may be considered upon its expiry. If, at that stage, the convicted person refuses to acknowledge guilt, they maybe deemed to be recalcitrant, and unwilling to accept responsibility. In those circumstances parole will most likely be denied.

In South Australia, Derek Bromley is now 13 years past the expiry of his non-parole period because he maintains he is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.

The UK has had a review com-mission which has overturned more than 400 criminal convictions during the time Eastman and Keogh spent in jail. In Australia, the states spent many millions of dollars trying to prevent those cases from being reviewed. Surely that money would have been better spent trying to prevent such wrongful convictions in the first place — and to ensuring we have proper review mechanisms to deal with those that do occur?

From "The Australian" 18/10/2019

Australia: Conservative politician had to take order out against stalker during election campaign

Liberal MP Nicolle Flint was forced to take a police order out against a stalker who followed her campaign events with a “zoom lens camera” and pursued her online launching personal attacks on his social media pages.

The 41-year-old, targeted by GetUp, the unions and Labor at the May 18 election, has also outlined the “sexist” harassment and intimidation tactics used against her during the campaign including the defacement of her campaign vehicle and office.

In a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into the federal election, the South Australian MP detailed personal safety fears and efforts to seek protection.

Attorney-General Christian Porter and leading conservative Kevin Andrews — also targeted by GetUp — also provided JSCEM submissions attacking GetUp’s “misleading” and “defamatory” tactics.

Outlining the personal attacks against her, Ms Flint revealed the windows of her campaign office were targeted with posters plastered with abuse including “skank”, “$60/hour” and “Blow & Go”. Her office was also egged.

Ms Flint’s submission described the campaigns targeting her as “well-coordinated, well-resourced and unrelenting”.

But the most serious incident involved an alleged stalker who would “appear frequently when I was at events and when I was campaigning, always with his zoom lens camera”.

“Posts about me on his social media pages appeared almost daily, as did his engagement on other sites aimed at unseating me,” Ms Flint said.

“As I often campaign alone and would not know when he would appear, this became a serious personal safety issue. Because I was driving a branded campaign vehicle I was highly visible and I was very concerned he would find out where I lived.

Ms Flint said she did “everything I could to stop his behaviour”.

“I confronted him and asked him to stop following me, photographing me and harassing me, which seemed to embolden him,” she wrote.

“I reported his behaviour to the Australian Federal Police, who confronted him, but this also failed to stop him.”

As the incidents escalated and the stalker’s “social media posts became more concerning”, the Boothby MP was encouraged by colleagues to report the matter to the South Australian Police.

“The South Australian Police took the matter seriously and issued a stalking order for my protection.”

In August, Scott Morrison attacked GetUp, Labor and the unions over the tactics used to unseat Ms Flint, saying they should be “ashamed of what they did to Nicolle Flint in Boothby” and accused them of “misogyny and bullying”.

Ms Flint said many voters “recognised and criticised the tactics used by GetUp, the unions and Labor”, citing comments in The Advertiser which described their behaviour as “dirty” and “grubby”.

She warned the JSCEM committee that similar campaign behaviour at future elections could “risk the safety of candidates and sitting MPs”.

“This will harm our democracy. If candidates and Members of parliament no longer feel safe in their electorates, whether on their own or in the company of staff, colleagues and volunteers, the free and easy access Australians currently enjoy in relation to their elected representatives will end.”

Ms Flint recommended to the committee that GetUp, unions and Labor should undertake independent reviews of their campaign tactics in Boothby and publish their findings.

“They all claim to support women’s equality and safety and so should act accordingly.”

Backing calls from other Coalition MPs, Ms Flint also called on GetUp to be deemed an associated entity under the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

In his submission, Mr Andrews, a prominent conservative and former Howard and Abbott cabinet minister, said GetUp’s defamatory tactics were withdrawn only after he threatened to issue defamation proceedings. He said the “damage had been done”.

“Countless voters had been phoned by GetUp. GetUp had not checked the veracity of their claim,” Mr Andrews said.

The Victorian Liberal MP also cited a defamatory message sent to “many constituents of an Asian background in Menzies” who received a personal letter in Chinese and lashed GetUp’s telephone script for Menzies which suggested the organisation was not a political party and that the left-wing group’s volunteers were simply giving “independent” voting advice”.

Mr Andrews, the Father of the House, also detailed harassment of voters, singling out both GetUp and Colour Code who had volunteers handing out material at polling booths.

“The GetUp/Colour Code people often harassed voters, seemingly in the belief that by thrusting materials in their face and continuing to advocate their cause as they waited in line to enter the polling booth, people would vote as GetUp/Colour Code wished. “Many voters reported feeling harassed and intimidated.”

Mr Andrews told committee members in “light of this behaviour” they should consider amending laws to restrict the “handing out of electoral materials to only authorised representatives of candidates”. He said “such authorisation should be in writing, similar to requirements for scrutineers”.

In his submission, Mr Porter — whose West Australian seat of Pearce was targeted — said assertions by GetUp that it made 180,000 calls to local constituents appeared to be a “wild exaggeration”.

The Attorney-General said if GetUp’s claims it had 5400 members in his electorate were accurate it would “be the biggest political organisation by membership in the state which seems unlikely”.

“The veracity of GetUp’s claims about the extent of its campaign activity and the extent and nature of its ‘memberships’ remain largely unverifiable,” Mr Porter said.

“GetUp claim that they are a democratic and grassroots movement of one million members from across Australia who directly control the decision making of the organisation. Yet it has been shown that there are just a handful of true members who direct the campaigns that GetUp run.

“An inspection of their register of members shows that GetUp is ultimately controlled by just nine board directors and three ‘founding members’.”

Mr Porter also singled out a number of ‘misleading’ claims made by GetUp including that he had been criticised for “gifting numerous six-figure government jobs to Liberal Party colleagues and donors, including after one of them gave him a free campaign bus”.

The Leader of the House said the GetUp claim, which they suggested was based on an ABC article published in March, was false as his campaign had “not ever been given a ‘free bus’”.

“These examples are not dissimilar to GetUp’s conduct in other electorates across Australia and parallels can be drawn to other important examples,” he said.

“A further example of deceptive conduct occurred in a targeted GetUp letter that was sent to a number of residents in the Pearce electorate during the final week of the campaign. The letter was addressed as “Dear Neighbour” and signed by “Dr Geoff Bower, WA”.

“A constituent receiving this letter would conclude that the letter was sent from someone within their immediate community or at least in the same electorate. In reality, the letter was authorised by GetUp, printed in NSW, and its signatory, Dr Geoff Bower, appears to reside far outside the Pearce electorate, in close proximity to the Perth CBD.”

Mr Porter said his campaign team had made the decision to avoid taking legal action or other avenues against the misleading claims as it was “not practical or affordable in a marginal seat campaign, notwithstanding the potential damage these false statements were likely to cause”.

“GetUp is willing to promote and publish material of a type and in a way that a mainstream party would not ever promote as a responsible political organisation.”

Mr Porter called on GetUp to be “rightly classified as an associated entity.



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

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

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


23 October, 2019

'Bigotry and Hatred': First UK Chick-fil-A to Close After LGBT Protest

Shortly after the first Chick-fil-A location in Britain opened, LGBT protesters drove it out of business. Oracle Management, the company that rented mall space to the Chick-fil-A, told Reading Pride that the American chicken joint would indeed "Cluck out" of Britain in six months. LGBT activists have made no secret that they intend to prevent Chick-fil-A from doing any business across the pond. Although the management company had already caved to pressure on Friday, LGBT groups still held a protest on Saturday.

"We don’t want you in our country because we don’t agree with the policies and the procedures that you have in place as an organization. You’re not welcome in the U.K.," Stephen Ireland, communications coordinator at UK Pride, declared at the protest.

On Monday, Reading Pride had tweeted a statement condemning Chick-fil-A as antithetical to the values of LGBT activists — and the values of Britain as a country. "The chain's ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the UK as we are a progressive country that has legalised same sex marriage for some years, and continues to strive towards equality."

In the statement, Reading Pride charged that the fast food chain's charitable foundation "still supports questionable charities." In particular, the LGBT activist group faulted the WinShape Foundation for donating $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $150,000 to the Salvation Army in 2017.

Reading Pride quoted the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' statement of faith: "We believe God's design for sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the context of marriage. God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9)"

Reading Pride also accused Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy of donating "money to a number of anti-gay charities."

Indeed, the WinShape Foundation once supported some conservative Christian organizations that advocated against legalizing same-sex marriage, such as Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council (FRC). These organizations have been demonized, with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) falsely accusing FRC of being a "hate group" — an accusation that inspired a terrorist to attempt a mass shooting in 2012. Cathy had also made strong remarks critical of same-sex marriage in 2012.

After a nationwide boycott — and a conservative rush to buy at Chick-fil-A called "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," led by former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) — the company apologized for Cathy's comments and the WinShape Foundation stopped funding the more controversial organizations.

Yet LGBT activists and liberal outlets have continued to slam Chick-fil-A, condemning the contributions to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and to the Salvation Army. Both Christian organizations require employees and leaders to live according to traditional Christian sexual morality.

Despite the controversy, Chick-fil-A became the fastest-growing restaurant chain in America last year, and it took third place among all U.S. restaurants in sales. The fast food joint sells delicious chicken at an affordable price and with great service. If LGBT activists succeed at keeping it out of Britain, Brits will seriously miss out.

Chick-fil-A is the furthest thing from hateful. The fast food joint gladly serves all kinds of people, and it provides excellent service and delicious food. It does not deserve this kind of demonization, and the first openly gay presidential candidate for a major party has supported a "peace deal" with the fast food joint. Perhaps the Brits should consider following Pete Buttigieg: Calm down, and eat some Chick-fil-A!


'Racist Watch' Website Demonizes Trump Supporters, But It Has an Upside

Some weirdos have developed a site called "Racist Watch" that identifies the names and locations of all people who have donated to the Trump campaign. I'm sure they intended this so that far left wackos can ostracize their neighbors who like Trump, and possibly protest outside their homes like crazy people.

However, when I looked up my zip code I realized that this is a great tool to find new friends near you. It's like a dating app for finding friends who aren't crippled by hatred and mental illness. Isn't it always a bummer when you think you've met someone nice and then they ruin it by telling you all their irrational fears about the president putting gay people in concentration camps?

This website can solve that problem. It's my suggestion that everyone needs to look up their address on this site right now and identify people near them who are clearly decent, patriotic Americans and go bring them a basket of muffins or something. Go make a new friend today. Thanks "Racist Watch," you demented loons.

Look how many are even in deep blue New York City! If anything, people with Trump Derangement Syndrome are going to flip out when they search their neighborhood and find themselves surrounded by "racists." I think they're going to need a bigger safe space.


The myth of rising hate crime

Britain has never been less hateful.

Hate crimes have ‘doubled’ in the past six years, if you believe headlines in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail. The BBC reports a less dramatic but still shocking 10 per cent rise in hate crime compared to last year, from 94,121 to 103,379 offences in England and Wales. Every year, the press presents terrifying figures illustrating an apparent explosion in hate crime. But there is no evidence that hate crime is on the rise.

Every year, the same, small caveat appears in the Home Office’s hate-crime report: ‘The increases seen over the last five years are thought to have been driven by improvements in crime recording by the police… These improvements are thought to be the main drivers for the increases seen.’

Every year, in contrast to the media’s frightful certainty, the Home Office report is full of ‘mights’, ‘mays’ and other bet-hedging. Take hate crime against trans people. Apparently there has been a surge of 37 per cent in these crimes on last year. But the Home Office report is much more guarded: it says that ‘improvements made by the police’ in ‘identification’ and ‘recording’ are the most likely cause of the rise, but ‘genuine increases cannot be ruled out’. In other words, alarming statistics showing a huge rise in transphobic hate crime of 37 per cent may or may not have any relation to actual crimes, according to the people who compiled the statistics.

Rises in hate crime have been blamed on everything from Brexit to Boris’s outburst on the burqa. This year, The Times and the Mail blamed uncivil language on social media for stoking hate. But the real blame for the surge is the release of the College of Policing’s Hate Crime Operational Guidance in 2014, which is still used to this day. This guidance actually demands that the numbers increase. ‘Targets that see success as reducing hate crime are not appropriate’, it says. Since then there have also been a number of awareness-raising campaigns around hate crime, particularly in the wake of the EU referendum. In 2017, London mayor Sadiq Khan launched the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Online Hate Crime Hub’. Unsurprisingly, police-recorded hate crime has gone up every year since 2014 without fail. In comparison, over the same period, the crime rate more broadly has remained relatively stable.

In fact, when you look at statistics that are, according to the Home Office, ‘unaffected by changes in recording practice’, you find the complete opposite. The Crime Survey for England and Wales doesn’t provide information on short-term rises and falls but over the long term the trend is clear: over the past decade, it shows a fall in hate crime of 40 per cent. The CPS’s prosecution statistics paint a similar picture. Despite surges in the number of reports made to the police, the number of people actually being prosecuted for hate crimes has also fallen. Hate-crime prosecutions peaked in 2015-16 with 15,442 and have fallen every year since to 11,881 in 2017-18 (the latest year available).

But the problems with police-recorded hate crime don’t end there. Police are obliged to record not only criminal actions but also all non-crime hate incidents. A non-crime hate incident is literally any event that is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility towards a so-called protected characteristic.

‘Perceived’ is the key word here. As the Operational Guidance makes clear: ‘The victim does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception. Evidence of the hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incidents.’

In other words, for an incident to appear in the police-recorded hate-crime data, there does not have to be any evidence of any ‘hatred’, nor does the incident even have to be a crime. The only real basis for establishing that a hate crime took place is that somebody reported it to the police. ‘Racist’ non-crime incidents recorded by police as hate crimes over the past five years have included a dog fouling on a neighbour’s lawn, a woman beeping a car, and a speech by Amber Rudd.

Sometimes the ‘hateful’ nature of a crime is later disproven, but that makes no difference to the statistics. Take the manslaughter of Arek Jozwik, a Polish man living in Harlow, which was leapt on by Remain commentators as evidence of a Brexit-motivated racist murder. Police also recorded it as a hate crime. And even though it became apparent in investigations that there was no racial motive, Jozwik’s tragic, accidental killing remains recorded as a hate crime.

Clearly, the police-recorded data tells us very little about prejudice in modern Britain. We should take media reports of rising hatred with a huge serving of salt. And we should be even more wary of those who use this narrative for propaganda purposes.


Germany’s anti-Semitism problem

The attack in Halle was a reminder of the persistent threat to Germany's Jews.

On Wednesday, a heavily armed 27-year-old man tried to enter a synagogue in the east German city of Halle, while the congregation had gathered to celebrate Yom Kippur. His intention, as he made clear in a recording uploaded online, was to kill Jews.

Unable to force open the heavily secured door of the synagogue, he shot dead a 40-year-old woman who happened to be passing near the synagogue. He then drove off in his car, which was filled with home-made explosives, to a nearby kebab shop, where he killed a 20-year-old man. After several hours, his rampage eventually came to a halt as he crashed his car. He was then overwhelmed by the police. The suspect has since been identified as Stefan B.

These are the facts. But it did not take long for them to be cast aside and for the blame to be attributed to wider forces. Predictably, the first recriminations were directed at the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland. Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann said it wasn’t just the perpetrator, but also his ‘supporters in spirit’ in the AfD, who needed to be considered responsible. Matthias Döpfner, head of Axel Springer SE, Germany’s biggest publishing house, spoke of a ‘system failure within Germany’s open society’, and blamed the government for fanning the flames of racism. A commentator in Der Spiegel went so far as to claim that Germany was a country in which hatred of others could effortlessly pass from the election booth to the street. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Left Party said ‘the fact that an act is committed by one person alone does not mean that there is only one perpetrator’.

There is no doubt that Wednesday’s attack was horrific and could have taken many more lives. It is a worrying reminder of the risks faced by Germany’s Jewish community. Anti-Semitism continues to be a sad fact of everyday life. For decades, German-Jewish institutions have been under police special protection. Why there were no police outside the Halle synagogue on such an important day of worship is a question that needs answering. It is one that clearly worried Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who said after the violent rampage that ‘in all synagogues that I know from personal experience, it is normal practice, if unfortunate, that there is police protection during services’.

It would be wrong to downplay this attack and its consequences for German Jews. But it would be equally wrong – and potentially dangerous – to make it look more significant than it was. That would run the risk of giving this warped and vile individual more power than he deserves. Despite what commentators say, Stefan B was the only perpetrator in this crime. Several security experts, the police, his lawyer and even his family have confirmed that he was a socially isolated individual who had planned the attack alone. He produced his weapons using a 3D printer at home, where he lived with his mother.

The one thing this nihilist hoped for was fame. But, as many commentators have pointed out, that hardly makes him special. In the words of security expert Rolf Clemens: ‘These perpetrators seek recognition. They want to make the headlines. Christchurch was an example of how to do that. That’s what [Stefan B] wanted, too.’ Or as Frank Furedi argued recently on spiked, it is likely that such homicidal narcissists spend as much time on their media strategy as on the assault itself.

It is also absurd to excuse him for his actions by blaming others, such as the AfD, the German public or the government. He alone is responsible.

What we do need to take seriously is what Germany’s Jewish community has long warned of – namely, a rise in anti-Semitism. This racism has persisted in postwar Germany, despite the official Holocaust commemorations, the frequent pronouncements of Never Again, and the strict laws forbidding neo-Nazi propaganda. And it has also frequently taken a direct, violent form.

The first major anti-Semitic attack in postwar Germany took place on 9 November 1969. During a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a bomb was left in a synagogue community centre in West Berlin. Due to a fault, it didn’t explode. The attackers – left-wing terrorists – distributed leaflets that said: ‘The Jews expelled by fascism have themselves become fascists who want to wipe out the Palestinian people in collaboration with American capital.’

A year later, in February 1970, an arson attack against a Jewish nursing home killed seven residents, all of them Holocaust survivors. In 1994, and again in 1995, there were arson attacks against a synagogue in Lübeck. And in July 2000, a pipe bomb (similar to the ones used in Halle) killed 10 people, six of them Jewish, in a railway station in Düsseldorf.

Just last month, a 23-year-old Arab man managed to bypass the police and run into a synagogue in Berlin shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and swinging a knife. He was quickly arrested.

The problem of anti-Semitism in Germany manifests itself in other ways, too. There is of course the continued existence of far-right propaganda. But in recent years anti-Semitism has informed crusades against circumcision, calls to ban the kosher slaughtering of animals, and the growth of an increasingly aggressive and one-sided criticism of Israel.

The different forms that anti-Semitism now takes show how difficult it is to attempt to contain this racism through bans and censorship. Not that we should be trying simply to suppress anti-Semitism. Rather, we need to be openly challenging it. Because it is only by engaging in open and honest debate about anti-Semitism that life can become safer again for Jews living in Germany.



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

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

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


22 October, 2019  

Former Chinese Prisoner Explains the Evils of Socialism and Communism

Jennifer Zeng was born in Sichuan province, China in 1966. Growing up in communist China meant she was taught the Chinese Communist Party was the savior of her country, but she soon learned the true nature of the party.

Court Strikes Down Obama Rule Forcing Doctors to Perform Transgender Surgery

On Tuesday, a district court judge struck down the Obama administration's since defunct mandate forcing doctors to perform transgender surgery regardless of their religious convictions or conscientious objections. The mandate, handed down by Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ironically did not apply to Medicare and Medicaid or to military doctors because the government's own research showed that transgender hormones and surgeries can be harmful.

Under Trump, the HHS finalized rules protecting religious freedom, but the Obama mandate remained on the books.

The ruling in Franciscan Alliance v. Azar struck down that mandate and upheld the religious freedom of doctors who would refuse to administer hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Some doctors have warned that even the hormones — the less invasive "treatment" — give healthy people a disease. The actual surgery often involves sterilizing a patient for life. Mandating such "treatments" would force doctors to violate the Hippocratic oath.

"It is critically important that doctors are able to continue serving patients in keeping with their consciences and their professional medical judgment, especially when it comes to the personal health choices of families and children," Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, the law firm representing the Franciscan Alliance, said in a statement. "Doctors cannot do their jobs if government bureaucrats are trying to force them to perform potentially harmful procedures that violate their medical and moral judgment."

"Today marks a major victory for compassion, conscience, and sound medical judgment," Goodrich added. "Our clients look forward to joyfully continuing to serve all patients, regardless of their sex or gender identity, and continuing to provide top-notch care to transgender patients for everything from cancer to the common cold."

After the Obama administration handed down the mandate, an association of over 19,000 health care professionals, nine states, and several religious organizations filed two lawsuits against it. In December 2016, two different federal courts issued preliminary decisions ruling the policy an unlawful federal overreach and likely a violation of religious freedom.

District Judge Reed O'Connor agreed, ruling that the mandate violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Research shows that there are significant risks with sex reassignment surgery, including hearth conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density. Children with gender dysphoria (the condition of persistently identifying with the gender opposite one's biological sex) are extremely unlikely to continue in that condition after puberty. Many realize they are not transgender, but instead gay or lesbian — like detransitioner Charlotte Evans, who launched a network for formerly transgender people.

This transgender mandate, like many other Obama-era policies, aimed to use the strong arm of the state to enforce what amounts to a new belief system. While a few people have disorders of sex development, most human beings are either male or female from the moment of conception. Men and women have key biological differences from the womb, and no amount of transgender "treatments" can alter a person's DNA, which impacts his or her development throughout life.

Erasing biological sex in order to enshrine transgender identity in medical best practices has real consequences for patients. In one particularly tragic case, a pregnant woman who identified as a man went to a hospital with abdominal pain. Because she identified as male and records listed her as male, doctors discounted the idea that she could be in labor. She did not receive the care she needed and her child died. Had the medical establishment rightly categorized her as female, her baby would have survived. Yet doctors took the opposite lesson, chiding themselves for not considering the ludicrous idea that a man could be pregnant.

The Obama administration attempted to redefine the word "sex" in federal civil rights law to include gender identity, a person's internal sense of self. This is not accurate, linguistically or scientifically. Yet the Obama HHS attempted to force doctors to adopt this view, with no protections for conscientious objectors.

Judge O'Connor was right to strike down the Obama mandate, but Democrats are leaping over one another to pledge their loyalty to the transgender movement. Should a Democrat follow President Donald Trump in the White House, he or she would likely issue a new transgender mandate.


Fact-Checking the 2020 Democrats on Abortion

During the fourth Democratic debate last week, every Democrat questioned on the issue said he or she supports abortion as a woman's fundamental right. They also suggested that most Americans support abortion and that restrictions on abortion are an attack on the poor.

Two of the Democrats repeated the claim that at least 75 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court decision that codified abortion as a woman's right. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) even claimed that pro-life legislators used restrictions on abortion to "criminalize poverty."

In these and other claims, the candidates misrepresented the views of the American people and the aims of pro-life legislators. Codifying current Supreme Court precedent on abortion is not nearly as popular as they suggested it is.

Many Democrats insisted that Americans support abortion as a woman's right.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said what she would tell President Donald Trump if he was on the stage. "You, Donald Trump, are not on the side of women. You are not on the side of people of this country, when over 75 percent of people want to keep Roe v. Wade on the book," she declared.

When former Vice President Joe Biden called for codifying Roe v. Wade into law, echoing each of the other candidates, he added, "the public is already there."

"We now have support across this country. Three out of four Americans believe in the rule of Roe v. Wade," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) insisted.

These Democrats seem to have been referring to an NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist Poll released in June. In that poll, the vast majority of Americans (77 percent) expressed qualified support for Roe v. Wade. Yet their answers were more complicated than mere support for the decision.

New Poll: 65 Percent of Americans Support Overturning Roe v. Wade
The survey asked, "In 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court established the constitutional right for women to legally obtain an abortion. Over time, other laws have expanded or restricted this ruling. Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court today, should decide to: Overturn Roe v. Wade; Keep Roe v. Wade but add more restrictions; Keep Roe v. Wade but reduce some of the restrictions; Expand Roe v. Wade establishing the right to abortion under any circumstance; or Keep Roe v. Wade the way it is.

While only 13 percent of Americans in the poll said Roe should be overturned, 26 percent said they want more restrictions on abortion. About one-fifth (21 percent) said they want to see Roe expanded to make abortion legal in any circumstances, while 14 percent said they would keep Roe and reduce restrictions on abortion. Only 16 percent said they would keep Roe the way it is, while 11 percent said they were unsure.

Yet another Marist poll, this time conducted in junction with the Knights of Columbus (KoC), found that most Americans would effectively support overturning Roe and allowing states to make their own laws on abortion. The poll asked respondents, "Which comes closest to your view of what the Supreme Court should do when it reconsiders Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling making abortion illegal in the United States?"

Most Americans either wanted the Court to make abortion illegal (16 percent) or to "allow states to make certain restrictions" (49 percent). Both of these outcomes would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade. Less than a third of Americans (30 percent) said abortion should be "legal without restriction." Another 6 percent admitted they were unsure.

Democrats point to the one poll and say, "77 percent of Americans support Roe!" while conservatives can point to the second poll and say, "65 percent of Americans support overturning Roe so states can make their own laws on abortion."

Although more Americans identify as "pro-choice" than as "pro-life," more than three-quarters (76 percent) say abortion should only be legal within the first three months of pregnancy; or in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother; or only to save the mother's life; or never a all. Even 60 percent of "pro-choice" Americans agree with these restrictions, as do 61 percent of Democrats, according to another Marist poll. Only 12 percent support the idea that abortion should be legal at any time during pregnancy.

Supreme Court precedent is far more radical than most Americans' positions on abortion.

Roe v. Wade struck down state laws on abortion, only allowing states to protect the life of an unborn baby after "viability," defined at 28 weeks gestation. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) revised that standard, allowing states to protect life at the point of viability. However, the Supreme Court decision Doe v. Bolton (1973) seems to have made it legal for a woman to get an abortion after the point of viability, so long as a doctor says the pregnancy is dangerous for the mother's health, broadly defined to include "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age."

Poll: 79 Percent of New York Residents Oppose the State's Radical Abortion Bill
For these reasons, when Democrats pass laws to "codify Roe v. Wade," they include provisions similar to this broader view of Doe v. Bolton. For instance, New York's radical abortion bill legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy — even after 24 weeks, so long as "the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or health."

According to a KoC/Marist poll conducted shortly after the bill was signed, New York State residents oppose allowing abortion during all 9 months of pregnancy. Most New York residents (79 percent) support some restrictions on abortion: 13 percent say it should be limited to the first six months of pregnancy; 26 percent say it should only be allowed during the first three months; 22 percent would restrict it to cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother; 9 percent would allow it only to save the life of the mother; and 9 percent would never permit abortion in any circumstances.

If New York's law represents "codifying Roe v. Wade," most Americans disapprove.

Yet the worst part of Democrats' rhetoric on abortion involved the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortion. Since many Americans think life begins at conception, they consider abortion a fundamental evil, tantamount to murder.

Yet Democrats suggested that restrictions on abortion — and especially the Hyde Amendment — are attacks on the poor.

Julian Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Obama, supported striking down the Hyde Amendment "because you shouldn't only be able to have reproductive freedom if you have money."

"I lived in an America where abortion was illegal, and rich women still got abortions," Warren said, suggesting that rich women simply went to counties where abortion was legal. "The people who are denied access to abortion are the poor, are the young, are 14-year-olds who are molested by a family member."

Booker went the furthest on the issue. He opposed the Hyde Amendment and characterized laws to restrict abortion as "another example of people trying to punish, trying to penalize, trying to criminalize poverty ... It is an assault on the most fundamental ideal that human beings should control their own bodies."

Yet neither the Hyde Amendment nor restrictions on abortion are intended to "criminalize poverty." Rather, the Hyde Amendment protects Americans from funding what they consider to be murder. Abortion restrictions protect the lives of unborn babies.

From the moment of conception, an unborn baby has unique human DNA. For this reason, 95 percent of biologists have agreed that human life begins at conception — and most Americans say biologists, not politicians, should determine when life begins.

Abortion is a thorny issue for Americans. Most of them support women's rights and autonomy, but they also want to protect unborn babies. Women should have the ability to decide when to become mothers — and they do have the freedom to refuse sex. This is one of the many reasons rape is considered an extremely heinous crime. Abortion should not be considered a secondary form of birth control.

While Warren may have been incorrect about Americans' support for Roe v. Wade, she did make one positive contribution to the abortion debate as a whole.

"We should not leave this to the Supreme Court, we should do this through democracy," Warren said, referring to passing a law through Congress and having it signed by the president. Abortion is one of the major areas of American law where the Supreme Court has effectively made law, usurping the authority of Congress and the president.

For this reason, Roe v. Wade should be overturned. If the states and the American people want to put a woman's right to an abortion into the Constitution, there is an amendment process for that. If the American people want laws like New York's radical abortion law, codifying Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Congress has the power to do that. The Supreme Court shouldn't have usurped it in the first place.


Justice Party-Endorsed Candidate Thinks it's a Great Idea to Disarm Police

Jamaal Bowman, a candidate for Congress looking to defeat incumbent Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has some unusual ideas on how to make his New York district safer.

"It’s time to disarm the police.."

Yes, he said that.

It's not really a novel idea, although just because it isn't new doesn't mean it isn't bat guano crazy. But Bowman, who doesn't have a prayer against Engel (first elected in 1988), is only one of three candidates challenging the incumbent.

And one of them agrees with him.

Washington Free Beacon:

A fellow progressive Democrat looking to unseat Engel from the left, educator Andom Ghebreghiorgis, echoed Bowman’s call to disarm police.

"As someone who envisions a society free of guns, I support disarming police," said Ghebreghiorgis, adding that arming police "needlessly escalates what should be non-confrontational interactions between community stakeholders."

But a third challenger with 25 years of police experience, Sammy Ravelo, disagreed, calling Bowman’s support for disarmament "outrageous and irresponsible."

Can you imagine a New York cop wading into the middle of a face off between gangs without a gun trying to be "non-confrontational"? And that's the big problem. Mentioning the London police not being armed is ludicrous. Only 4 out of a hundred British citizens own a firearm. The cops aren't armed because no one else is, either.

Bowman is also likely underestimating the contrast between the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of crime rates. According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, there were roughly 131 homicides in London in 2018, a rate of 1.6 per 100,000 residents. That figure was actually the highest in a decade, thanks to a spate of stabbings that made international news.

At the same time, London's 2018 homicide rate was less than half New York City's for that year. According to the NYPD, the city experienced 295 homicides, for a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 population. The Bronx, which lies in the 16th district, had it even worse, with a homicide rate of 6.4 per 100,000 population.

London does not even come close to the homicide rate of comparable major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, or Boston, despite a decades-long trend of declining crime in the United States. Even at the lowest rates in 30 years, the United States is simply more violent than other nations.

Mr. Ghebreghiorgis, who wants us all to live in peace and harmony and sing Kumbaya around the campfire, is delusional. Maybe he could try subduing a violent felon hopped up on meth in a "non-confrontational" way. People might pay to see that.

The police take the responsibility of being armed because it is they who must place themselves in harms way when violent sociopaths threaten the innocent. Not all of them measure up to that responsibility. Some officers who are armed have no business carrying a weapon and should find some other way to serve the people.

But the vast majority of police are cautious and responsible in the use of their firearm. That's all we can ask for.



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

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

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


21 October, 2019

Radical Liberals Harass Rand Paul During Lunch

On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul's deputy chief of staff posted a video on Twitter containing some troubling footage of him and his boss being harassed by a bunch of radical liberals.

"While having lunch with Rand Paul in California," he explains in his accompanying tweet, "we got verbally assaulted by these aggressive libs complaining about incivility."

Now, as you can see in the video, the "incivility" is actually coming from one side only... and it's not from Rand Paul and his staff:

As you can see, one of the radical liberals harassing Sen. Paul claims that he is "not being rude," while a woman flips off the camera and yells that they are not "putting up with your Republican bullsh*t!"

Sen. Paul later retweeted the video, rightfully writing that "the left blames incivility on [President Trump]. Watch this video and decide who the rude ones are..."

Think to yourself: what kind of ill-mannered person decides to harass a senator when he's having lunch? What kind of behavior is that?

That's right: it's the behavior of someone who's truly, deeply, and thoroughly obsessed. Someone who can't let go of politics, even for an hour. This person has internalized politics to such a degree, that they can no longer distinguish the private from the public. It's "the personal is political" taken to its extreme.

Sadly, there are increasingly more people like that -- and, when we're talking about radical liberals, it seems that they have a very troubling obsession with Rand Paul. After all, as The Blaze points out, the senator has been targeted by several people like these two. In 2017, his own neighbor even physically attacked him (from behind). And that's not to mention the horrific attack by "a crazed gunman" on him and his fellow Republicans when they were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The liberal establishment constantly acts as if Trump's supporters are insane, but the reality of the matter is that radical leftists are the ones who have completely lost it. They can't let anyone who disagrees with them be. Wear a MAGA hat and you're attacked. Be Rand Paul and you can't even eat lunch.


Why having a beard will damage your job prospects: Firms fear candidates sporting facial hair lack warmth and the ability to get on with colleagues

It’s bad news for hipsters – but men with beards may be harming their job prospects.

Candidates sporting facial hair at interviews may be regarded as less employable by bosses who fear they lack warmth and the ability to get on with colleagues, according to new research.

The study comes despite facial hair soaring in popularity, partly due to celebrities such as actor Tom Hardy. Nearly half of British men now sport beards or moustaches.

Psychologists at Rollins College in Florida, who asked 1,000 volunteers to judge the faces of dozens of men, said it was not clear why beards put off prospective employers. But previous studies have hinted it could be that they may make men look more aggressive.

Writing in The Journal of Social Psychology, lead researcher Marc Fetscheri said: ‘Our findings have implications for candidates for jobs in which being perceived as less warm may decrease their appeal.’

In the same study, men wearing a tie or glasses were thought more likely to succeed in a job.


Bosses going too far by gagging employees: Australian Attorney-General

Devising a law that will give Christians freedom to live and express their faith without penalty is running into a lot of opposition

Attorney-General Christian Porter has rejected a key concern from big business over the Morrison government’s draft religious discrimination bill, declaring they had gone “a little bit too far” in telling employees what they can and can’t say outside work hours.

The business sector has lashed the so-called Folau clause in the draft bill, which prevents companies with annual turnovers of at least $50 million from sacking employees for sharing controversial religious views outside work unless they can prove it was necessary to avoid undesirable financial hardship.

The Australian Industry Group has previously said the provision was “unfair and unworkable” and would create significant confusion about which categories of out-of-hours conduct employers can legitimately address in order to manage their business.

As Mr Porter attempts to come up with a final bill that balances the needs and concerns of faith groups, the business sector and the LGBTI community, he said he found the business complaints “less persuasive” than other issues that had arisen in the consultation process.

“Most Australians perhaps think that businesses have gone, large businesses in particular, a little bit too far in telling them how to live their lives and what they can and can’t say in their spare time as part of their employment contract — and particularly for people who would otherwise be prevented from making what aren’t much more than statements of scripture or doctrine or belief on Facebook,” Mr Porter said.

“We think that if a big business thinks that’s absolutely necessary to protect their finances then they should be able to show that before they’re able to do that.”

Mr Porter flagged amendments to the draft bill that could ensure religious hospitals and aged care facilities were protected for acting in accordance with their faith.

Under clause 10 of the draft laws, religious bodies “may act in accordance with their faith” and do not discriminate against a person if their conduct may reasonably be regarded as being in accordance with their doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings.

A religious body that “engages solely or primarily in commercial activities”, such as a hospital or aged care home, is excluded, which has been a chief concern of religious groups.

“In our draft, it did not include hospitals and age care at first instance, because we wanted to learn more about how those organisations actually operate, and we have learnt a great deal during the consultations that I’ve conducted,” Mr Porter told the ABC’s Insiders program.

“There are going to have to be some refinements of the drafting in that area. But those exemptions can’t extend too far, clearly.”

In its submission on the draft bill, Ai Group said businesses needed to be able to impose reasonable requirements on employees with regard to social media and regular media activity to prevent their reputations, brands and other legitimate commercial interests being damaged.

“Businesses do not impose these requirements lightly. It is often in response to past circumstances where an employee’s conduct has created serious detriment to the business in some way,” its submission states.


Australia: From stopping kite flying to bans on running and singing: How a proliferation of absurd rules and political correctness is turning Victoria into the ultimate Nanny State

Victorians are accustomed to being told what they can and can't do by practically everyone.

During this year's footy season, they were told they couldn't even barrack for their team the way they had done so all for of their lives.

Now they're being told they're not smart enough to get 13 out of 15 questions right to get a jet ski endorsement on their boating licence.

As of now, VicRoads has stopped booking in licence tests altogether and are insisting if Victorians want to ride a Personal Water Craft - Kawasaki owns the word Jet Ski - they need to see an accredited trainer.

So people who have diligently studied the guide book to get their marine licence now have to fork out anywhere up to $130 to be trained 'properly'.

A trainer contacted by Daily Mail Australia didn't even know the laws had gone live. But he assured it was happening.

When the Department of Transport was asked for comment, it claimed it was business as usual - for now.  'VicRoads is still taking bookings for PWC endorsement. Applicants are still able to take the knowledge-based test at VicRoads offices or with an Accredited Training Provider,' it stated.

But they're not. 

It's hardly worth complaining about.

Besides, who would listen?

You'll be told these are dangerous machines. 

In 2016 Ivan Maqi was jailed for five years after hooning in a swimmers-only zone off Port Melbourne.

Months later a 16-year-old boy was arrested after crashing his jet ski into a boat at Portarlington.

So a few idiots have spoiled it for the rest of us.

Victorians are a reckless, selfish and dangerous lot.

But thankfully there are many out there who know how to save us from ourselves. 

Victorian legislation is littered with crazy laws.

It is an offence in Victoria to fly a kite to 'the annoyance of any person' in a public place?  Yep. Maximum penalty is a $777 fine.

Singing an obscene song or ballad in a public place can attract a maximum fine of $1554 or two months’ imprisonment. Mess up again and its a $2331 fine or three months in jail. Do it again and you can cop six months in jail.

It is still a crime to loot a shipwreck, use a harnessed goat to pull a vehicle in public or correspond or do business with pirates. 

A few years back Victoria Police reported an individual was caught practicing hypnotism under the age of 21.

It is an offence in Victoria to make unreasonable noise with a vacuum cleaner after 10pm or before 7am on weekdays, and 9am on weekends.

The noise will be considered unreasonable if it can be heard in a ‘habitable’ room in any other residential property, whether they have the door or window open or closed.

Police or the council can direct you to stop making the noise for 72 hours and a breach of their direction can carry a fine of up to $18,655, with an extra fine up to $4,663 a day for continuing noise violations.

In Queensland kids can still buy a 'gel blaster' and shoot each other in the head with soft gel bullets. Pull one out in Victoria and cops are likely to put a full metal jacket bullet into your chest.

But the fun police are everywhere down south.

There are no less than a dozen criminal offences that can be committed by visitors to the MCG, from damaging a plant to moving a boundary marker.

'Interfering with the enjoyment' of the grand prix is also a crime, as is 'attempting to distract' the driver of a Formula One race car.

Schools in Melbourne have outlawed ‘tiggy’ or ‘tag’, with one primary school banning high-fives and hugging. Other schools in Victoria have banned running, and any games involving leather footballs 'to avoid head injuries'.

Boo someone at the footy these days and you'll be compared to Hitler. Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge had it spot on when asked about the topic earlier this year. 'We've become a bit of a nanny state,' Beveridge said.

The introduction of 'behavioural awareness' staff at AFL matches this season was another sign of 'nanny state' mentality. A fan was actually kicked out for calling an umpire a 'bald-headed flog'.

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett  went as far as to suggest the officers patrolling AFL crowds were ill-equipped because they appeared to be 'new arrivals'.

'I’m not being racist when I say this, but when I saw some of the footage, the people who are making judgments while they wear these authoritative coats, are not people who appear to have a great knowledge of our game,' he told 3AW's Neil Mitchell. 'And yet they make judgments about what’s correct and not correct.'

He doubled-down when asked by The Australian if he was sorry about what he had said to Neil. 'I’m worried I’m going to get thrown out of a match,' he said. 'I get very excited watching the Hawks. I love it. 'I don’t withdraw anything I’ve said whatsoever. I don’t make any apology for what I’ve said, because 99 per cent of the public would agree with what I’m saying.'

In a state where commentating footy can almost get you hanged - ask Eddie McGuire - you have to wonder what Hoges would make out of all of this?

The Paul Hogan Show just couldn't exist in Victoria today. It would be blocked faster than a pirating torrent site.

'The sketches were designed, not for you to perv on the girls, but to show what idiots we men can make of ourselves over an attractive woman,' Hoges told the ABC's Australian Story last month. 'So it is a bit sexist, and I apologise to the men.'

Can someone get Hoges on a plane?  Please? 



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

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

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


20 October, 2019

Barr: America's Religious Foundation Is Crumbling

The attorney general makes the case for morality while panning the "religion" of government.  

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” said John Adams in 1798. Some things don’t change, even after 221 years, and Attorney General William Barr quoted Adams to say so in a stellar speech at Notre Dame about American politics and our crumbling moral foundation.

Barr, a devout Catholic, made the case that modern Americans have replaced dependency on God with dependency on government. He also argued that modern secularists are not merely non-religious; they are outright hostile to religion.

“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided [with] — and I believe has brought with it — immense suffering and misery,” Barr asserted. “And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.”

He wondered, “Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?” Worse, he implied regression: “The secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake — social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social-media campaigns.”

In any case, says Barr, the government is a poor substitute for true religion. “Today, in the face of all the increasing pathologies, instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have cast the state in the role of the Alleviator of Bad Consequences,” he said. “We call on the state to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.”

“So, the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion. The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the state to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage. And while we think we’re solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.”

Humans were created to worship our Creator. When we refuse to do so, we don’t worship nothing; we worship something else. That explains the contentiousness over who controls the levers of power in Big Government. If it’s not the leftists’ man in power, their very religion has been infiltrated. Hence their crusade to burn the heretics


How Elizabeth Warren’s child-care plan would leave strangers to bring up America’s children

This writer says family members, friends, and neighbors play an important role in providing care to kids, and the Senator’s plans to subsidize day-care centers would discourage that

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN argues for her sweeping new government child-care program in personal terms. Invoking her days as a young working mom struggling to find reliable, quality child care for her two children, she explains that she wants to spare today’s young families similar stress.

Her story does reveal the stakes of the child-care debate—but not in the way she thinks.

Warren’s tale of unappealing day-care centers and unreliable babysitters has a happy ending. In a recent interview with the lifestyle website Romper, she described how she broke down on the phone while talking to her widowed Aunt Bee from Oklahoma about the challenges of balancing work and family life. Bee gave a life-changing response. “She said, ‘Well, I can’t get there tomorrow. But I can come on Thursday,’” recalls the presidential candidate. “And she arrived with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy, and stayed for 16 years.”

Not everyone has a family member like Aunt Bee who can step up, move across the country, and fill child-care needs for more than a decade. But extended families, friends, and neighbors do play a tremendous role in providing care to children around the country. Unfortunately, that’s a fact that Senator Warren’s child-care plan not only overlooks but would change, by discouraging the use of family caregivers.

Warren proposes equal child-care options at qualified day-care centers for all families regardless of income. Those families with higher incomes would pay a subsidized fee, and those with household incomes below about $50,000 would be covered by the federal government. Her plan also would provide subsidies, so that no family spent more than 7 percent of its income on child care.

The costs of this proposal are considerable: Economists for Moody’s Analytics estimated that it would require $70 billion per year, a sum Warren plans to cover by imposing a wealth tax on households with assets exceeding $50 million. It’s tempting to criticize the economics: Enormous subsidies for child care would encourage day-care centers to jack up their prices, such that the burden on taxpayers would continue to grow; a wealth tax would have far-reaching economic impacts as those affected by it moved their assets overseas, depriving the economy of capital; and the effects of less investment would trickle down to harm businesses, customers, and everyday workers.

Yet the economic problems aren’t the main reason to oppose the plan. Far more important would be its harmful impact on families and communities.

By making day-care centers free or very low-cost, Warren’s plan would induce more families to rely on formal child-care providers. Currently, while most families with young children have child-care needs, only a minority of them use formal daycare centers. As of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 percent of mothers with children under age six worked outside the home. But Pew Social Trends reported that just shy of half (48 percent) of children under age six with working parents were enrolled in preschool or day care as of 2015. Nearly as many (45 percent) depended on family members other than parents to take care of them, and a nanny or babysitter looked after 16 percent.

Many of these extended-family caregivers were likely living in the same home as the young children they were helping to raise. That’s an under discussed reality of today’s family life: Pew Research Center reports that just 12 percent of households were multigenerational in 1980, but that number has risen across all racial groups. Today, an estimated one in five Americans live in a multigenerational household.

There are many reasons that different generations end up living in the same household, and not all are positive: a parent’s addiction problem that leaves grandparents caring for young children; adult children’s inability to find employment that enables them to leave home; an elderly family member’s disability that requires extensive care. But Warren ought to know firsthand that these multigenerational living situations can also be beneficial, both for young families that benefit from having more caregivers and for the older caregivers, who remain more engaged and engrained in family life than they would be on their own.

Such relationships would be undermined by a government program that enabled families to replace family caregivers, whether stay-at-home parents or other relatives, at no cost. If government foots the bill for a day-care program, especially one that’s been stamped “high quality” by a federal agency, then there is no clear reason for Aunt Bee to help out, for Mom or Dad to stay home, or for a grandparent to watch the new baby. Government will have taken over that responsibility from the family

Multigenerational living situations can be beneficial, both for young families that benefit from having more caregivers and for the older caregivers, who remain more engaged and engrained in family life.

Currently, parents don’t rely on family members for child care just because they offer free labor. While cost is certainly a factor, most parents also believe that their children are better off when they are cared for by someone who has a lasting interest in their well-being.

In 2014, Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of Americans think it is best for children if at least one parent stays home. The research organization Public Agenda surveyed parents with children five and younger in 2000 and found that nearly two out of three (63 percent) disagreed with the statement “A top-notch day care center can provide care as good as what a child would get from a stay-at-home parent.” That same research found that four out of five young mothers (ages 18–29) said they would rather stay home to care for their children than work full-time.

But even if many parents believe that kids are generally better off when cared for at home by a loved one, it will be hard for many to resist the temptation to take advantage of a taxpayer-funded childcare service once the government has established it.

In Quebec’s experience with government child care provides a useful example of what we could expect under Warren’s proposal. In 2000, Quebec introduced $5-a-day child care for all children. This dramatic shift in policy—which led to an increase in child-care use of more than one-third—provides researchers with rich data to explore.

As Steven Rhoads, professor emeritus of politics at the University of Virginia, and I detailed in National Affairs earlier this year, over more than a decade, several well-respected studies have found that Quebec’s child-care policy has led to a host of negative outcomes, including increased family stress, increased aggressiveness and anxiety and worse health outcomes among children, worse parenting, reduced mental health and relationship satisfaction among adults, and even a rise in criminality

These studies challenge the popular idea that day care is good for children’s social, educational, and other outcomes. In making such claims, media tend to cherry-pick favorable findings while overlooking other research—much of it more intensive— suggesting that day care, especially when used long-term and for the youngest children, is associated with negative outcomes. Academics should continue to explore the impact of day care on individual children, families, and communities. Yet the available findings, along with parents’ stated preferences, ought to discourage lawmakers from enacting policies—such as the one advanced by Senator Warren—that would create a tremendous financial incentive to replace family-based care with day care.

Opposing Senator Warren’s plan to heavily subsidize day-care centers doesn’t mean that nothing should be done for families with young children, including those that use day care.

Currently, day-care centers are very expensive, and they are often more expensive than they need to be. According to Care.com in 2018, a third of families spent 20 percent or more of their total household income on child care. Infant care in a day-care center routinely costs more than $1,000 a month, and in some major cities it can be nearly twice that.

One factor contributing to day care’s high costs is government regulation. Economists at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center conducted an analysis of how regulations affect daycare cost and quality. They found that regulations favored by many governments because compliance is easy to monitor— such as limiting child–staff ratios and group sizes—have failed to improve quality of care but significantly raised costs. The study concludes, “Eliminating regulatory standards that do not affect the quality of care while focusing on those that do . . . will improve the quality of child care while making it more affordable to low-income families.”

Senator Warren should keep this in mind. She refers to “high quality” daycare centers, but the government has a poor record of adopting rulesthat actually lead to high-quality environments for children. Rather than layering on regulations, policymakers should eliminate those that aren’t useful and that needlessly raise costs.

The 2017 tax cut increased child tax credits, but policymakers concerned about the burden on young families could consider increasing them still more. Lawmakers could also target increases for families with children ages five and younger, since those families tend to face the biggest financial strains. Such relief would help all families, regardless of the kind and amount of child care they use.

Senator Warren doesn’t sound like she regrets that her aunt played such an important role in her family. And I’d bet that Aunt Bee, like so many family members who have stepped up to help loved ones with young children, took pride in that contribution and experienced joy in her close relationship with her grand niece and nephew. That’s something that government can’t replace and shouldn’t discourage.


Leftists Still Attacking Columbus Day

Those who have proven they can't learn from history, much less honor it, are busy rewriting it.

In another episode of “As the Offended, Politically Correct World Turns,” we’re greeted with a calendar conflict that’s emblematic of a segment of our population that has abandoned reason and the ability to strive, survive, and succeed in reality. Today, according to some, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, not the commemorative date to celebrate the historical figure who ventured to a new land and found America, Christopher Columbus, or Cristoforo Columbo.

On your “smart” device, your calendar might read, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” or even “Columbus Day (regional holiday).” Originally, the special day aimed to recognize the landing in the Americas of the Italian-born explorer who approached Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella after rejection from the royalty of England, Portugal, and France, thinking a westward exploration would result in reaching the Indies and Asia. But, in recent years, those who have proven they can’t learn from history, much less honor it, are busy rewriting it in efforts to prove themselves and their anti-American narrative correct and have encouraged the toppling of statues of Christopher Columbus and ignoring the times, the context, and the truth in their efforts.

If you’re celebrating Columbus Day, you’re honoring a man who came from a simple raising in the home of a wool weaver in the seaport, Genoa, Italy. Cristoforo Columbo had no formal education or schooling. He was self-taught. His Italian heritage and his Catholic faith drove his passion along with much of his devotion to exploration.

The mapmaker and sailor lived in a day when the Turkish Empire controlled northern Africa and blocked the fastest trade routes to the Orient, or India and China. Most educated folks, and those who referenced Holy Scripture (see Isaiah 40:22 among other verses), believed the Earth to be round, but the disagreement was on the size of the planet. Columbus believed some of the earliest calculations were too large and argued that the westward route would lead to their trading partners without the hassle and fight of the Muslim enemies.

So, in September 1492, Columbus set sail. His journey was fraught with problems, but he landed, despite near mutiny of crews aboard the vessels in his charge, on Oct. 12, 1492, on modern-day San Salvador. Believing he had arrived at his intended destination of the Indies the natives of the island were deemed “Indians.” His travels continued through the Caribbean with several subsequent journeys to and from Spain to this land he believed to be Asia.

Now, here’s where the revision of history is greatest. Academia and those devoted to a narrative of oppression have declared that Columbus introduced slavery and was a murderous tyrant. He is depicted by those desiring to lift the alleged victims, the “Indians” or Indigenous Peoples, to the place of commemoration, not the inspired explorer.

Columbus is painted as greedy — typical for a guy of white privilege. He also believed in God and His Son Jesus Christ … uh oh. You see, the crew cried, “Blessed be the hour of our Savior’s birth, blessed be the Virgin Mary who bore him and blessed be John the Baptist who baptized him” as they turned the half-hour glass, along with other observances of the Christian faith. He named one of his ships the Santa Maria — Holy Mary. He even dared (get ready for the head explosions of the godless groupies) to set up the standard of the Cross when he first touched land and named it, San Salvador — Holy Savior.

But Columbus sought gold not for personal wealth but for the purpose of evangelism and to, in his own words penned in his journal, liberate Jerusalem from the Muslim captivity: “Thus, I protest to your Highness that all the profits of this my enterprise may be sent in conquest of Jerusalem.”

And, about that slavery of the Indians, you see, Columbus wrote that there were individuals in his crew who “did not deserve water in the sight of God” for selling native girls into slavery. He can’t stand blameless for the cultural acceptance of slavery at the time, but it was also practiced among the natives, as was cannibalism.

Among the Carib tribes, indigenous to the lands that Columbus first touched, not only was slavery practiced, but also mutilation and forced reproduction of children for the purpose of cannibalism.

But that doesn’t fit the narrative that, in the pre-Columbian world slavery, exploitation, evil nor any other type of oppression ever existed. Only once a white male motivated by wealth and raw power was able to establish dominance over a minority people was America born — hence everything about these United States is morally wrong and must be destroyed as part of the restitution to victims that span the line of time.

Currently, there are over 100 cities that have banned the observance of Columbus Day to now herald the Indigenous Peoples instead. Washington, DC, is the latest to join these municipal malcontents through its passage of “emergency legislation.” But shhhhhh, don’t tell — the District of Columbia, a territory that holds the seat of the government of our United States, is the feminine form of Columbus. The original 13 colonies were even referred to as Columbia.

Let’s let “progressive” leftists continue in their embarrassment of honoring Elizabeth Warren as a Cherokee with high cheekbones dishing out her Pow Wow Chow while trying to take over the District of Columbia, which was named for Columbus, while making a mockery of everything great about America — her freedoms, our faith, and our families. While they’re busy rewriting history, let’s ensure that we write our future by defending America’s greatness and the truth.


Frenzy of shark activity in Northern Australia

LIFESAVERS blame a surge of shark sightings and beach closures in north Queensland on the ill-fated decision to remove baited drum lines. Local identities fear the latest spike in shark activity poses a threat to human safety and the tourism industry.

"They need to put those drumlines back in right now," Cairns councillor Brett Olds, a volunteer lifesaver, said. "It's not panic, it's common sense. "Why dice with death?" Eight patrolled beaches have been closed because of sharks at Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville and Magnetic Island since the removal of drum lines just over 20 days ago. It compares with a total of 15 closures last year in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters between Hervey Bay and Port Douglas.

There were a total of 56 beach closures due to shark sightings along the length of the Queens-land coast in 2018. On Sunday, a giant hammerhead shark swam about 10m off the beach through a patrolled area at Yorkeys Knob. About 28 swimmers, most of them. children, had to be called from the water and the beach shut for an hour.

The same day, an almost 3m-long shark was caught by fishers off Palm Cove jetty. Palm Cove Surf Life Saving Club vice-president Rob Pattinson said there was heightened anxiety about the looming shark threat. "We didn't expect to see this increase in shark numbers so quickly," Mr Pattinson said. "We've rarely had to close beaches up here before because of sharks.

"Now we've got big signs up on the lifeguard huts warning of stingers, crocodiles and sharks. Soon, no one will go in the water. "Why not continue with a shark control program that has worked for more than 60 years?"

Last month, a greens group won a court order to stop the lethal shark-control program in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

State Government workers were not trained to deal with live sharks, so the drum lines were pulled. Since baited drum lines were introduced in 1962, there's been only one fatal shark attack at a protected Queensland beach. Before that, there were 36 recorded cases of shark attack, and 19 deaths, dating back to 1912.

A Surf Life Saving Queensland spokeswoman said they had no evidence of a direct link between drum line removal and shark sightings.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" 16/10/2019


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

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

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


18 October, 2019

Hitler's Pope and 9 Other Anti-Catholic Myths Disproven By History

Roman Catholics have gotten a bad reputation: they're responsible for the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They're anti-science, anti-Semites, and anti-freedom. Each of these accusations is an oversimplification that perverts history.

According to a new, groundbreaking book by sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, the truth is far more friendly to the Catholic Church, and those who say otherwise are overlooking important developments in the study of history. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Stark rebuts 10 historical myths that reflect badly on the Catholic church.

Little do many of us know, Catholics actually pioneered capitalism, laid the foundations for science, abolished slavery, and denounced witch hunts. That doesn't sound so dark to me.

Stark is not a Catholic, and neither am I, but these truths are very important for everyone to know. Here is PJ Media's list of the ten anti-Catholic myths Stark debunks.

The Spanish Inquisition is synonymous with bigotry, torture, and book burning. Historians have estimated that between 10,000 and 300,000 were burned at the stake, and one claimed that it condemned 3 million.

These estimates are based on malicious lies. The myth began with "Montanus," the pen name of a renegade Spanish monk who became a Lutheran and fled to the Netherlands. Protestants longed to hear of the horrors of Catholic prisons and tribunals, and Montanus gave them an "inside view."

Luckily, the actual Inquisition kept meticulous records for hundreds of years. The beginning years were poorly documented, and historians agree those were the bloodiest -- about 1,500 people were executed (by the Spanish authorities -- the Inquisition never executed anyone). During the fully recorded period (1480 to 1700), there are 44,674 cases, and only 826 people were executed. This is a travesty, but nothing close to the horrific myths we know and love. This is about ten deaths per year, while English courts averaged 750 hangings a year between 1530 and 1630.

Also compared to other courts in Europe at the time, the Inquisition was more restrained when it came to torture. "Church law limited torture to one session lasting no more than fifteen minutes, and there could be no danger to life or limb," Stark notes. While this still allows a wide range of pain and suffering, torture was only used in about 2 percent of all recorded cases.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Inquisition actually clamped down on witch hunting. In the late Middle Ages and especially in the "Enlightenment," fear of witches led the masses to seize and kill many across Europe. Ironically, the Catholic Church allowed magic (medical science was only in its infancy, and magic seemed to work just as well), and most of those suspected of being witches were trying to use magic sanctioned by the Church.

The Inquisition actually listened to these people, and unlike other courts at the time, they made a distinction between "the implicit and explicit invocation of demons." In Barcelona in 1549, a local branch of the Inquisition ordered 7 suspected witches be burned, but the overarching authority, the Suprema, sent an investigator who ended up pardoning the women and executing those who conducted the witch hunting!

The Inquisition didn't support witch hunting, instead "it was their influence, and especially their discrediting of evidence gained by torture, that brought witch-burning to an end in Catholic areas--an effect that soon seeped into the Protestant areas as well."

More HERE 

Corporate Social Activism Is All About the Dollars
In recent years, the NBA has become famously political. During the heyday of the Black Lives Matter movement, the NBA permitted players to wear slogan-printed T-shirts in support, and stars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul spoke out loudly on the issue. The Sacramento Kings actually announced a partnership with the local branch of the movement. And NBA players have had little problem denouncing President Trump, whom James called a “bum.” In 2017, Commissioner Adam Silver actually tried to blackmail the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, by pulling the All-Star Game, all in an attempt to restore the so-called “bathroom bill” for transgender people.

The NBA has reaped the benefit from its benevolent attitude toward left-leaning social activism, too. Silver, like former Commissioner David Stern before him, has been praised ad infinitum by the press, compared favorably to that alleged corporate hobgoblin Roger Goodell of the NFL. Silver told CNN just last year that “part of being an NBA player” is social activism and a “sense of an obligation, social responsibility, a desire to speak up directly about issues that are important.” Silver stated the league wants players to “be multi-dimensional people and fully participate as citizens.” He specifically explained that the league had a role in ensuring that the situation remains “safe” for players afraid of suffering career blowback.

Then the NBA came up against its own corporate interests.

And the NBA caved.

Late last week, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted an eminently uncontroversial statement: “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” That’s about as milquetoast a statement about Hong Kong as it’s possible to make. But that didn’t matter to the Chinese government, which immediately stated that it would cut relations with the NBA and the Rockets in particular. Speculation quickly ran rampant that Morey might lose his job. Morey was forced to delete his tweet and walk it back: “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.” James Harden, star of the team, tweeted, “We apologize. We love China. We love playing there.” Silver’s NBA put out an apology in Chinese saying (as translated), “We are extremely disappointed in the inappropriate comment by the general manager of the Houston Rockets.”

So, what happened to all of that corporate do-gooderism? It simply disappeared upon contact with reality. That’s the sad truth of corporate politics: If it takes kowtowing to the Chinese communist government to earn a quick dollar, corporations will do it. Ask Google. Or Hollywood studios. Or the NBA.

All of which gives the lie to the bizarre notion that corporations are handmaidens for capitalist exploitation. They’re not. They simply follow dollars. If they can grab those dollars through cronyism with governments, they will. In fact, that’s easier than retaining a competitive advantage in a free and open marketplace.

There’s another, more important point at stake. When corporations virtue signal to the left, they’re doing so for the same reason the NBA just bowed to China: dollars. The NBA understands that American leftists are far more censorious than conservatives — and that means that openly pandering to the American left earns product loyalty from that political contingent, without serious consequences from American conservatives. It’s not about pure principle for Adam Silver and company — or for any other newly woke corporations discovering their inner social activists. It’s about the green. It always is.


Dems' Bigoted Attack on Tax-Exempt Churches

O'Rourke's comments should remind us why the First Amendment exists.

The freedom of religion is literally the first right enshrined by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution. Yet far too many Americans fail to understand that the Constitution does not grant these rights; it protects them. These rights are given to us as children of our Creator. They can only be infringed upon, but never taken away.

Yet today’s Democrats believe these rights are up for debate, with favored rights being protected and disfavored rights being restricted or denied altogether. They claim pornography is protected free speech, but political dissent (unless it is their own) is not. They relentlessly try to repeal the Second Amendment.

But maybe nowhere is leftist loathing of certain rights more evident than with the freedom of religion. From forcing nuns to pay for birth control, to banning Bibles and Christmas carols at VA hospitals, so-called “progressives” file lawsuits at every turn, opposing any display of religion in the public square. Not to mention the Rainbow Mafia’s inexorable efforts to destroy the reputation and livelihood of Christian business owners who decline to provide creative services for same-sex ceremonies.

The Left has long spun its anti-religious bigotry as tolerance for non-Christian religions and atheists. But at a CNN “LGBTQ town hall” event last week, Democrat presidential candidates enthusiastically took the opportunity to vilify people of faith in order to buttress their LGBTQ bona fides.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren decried the “hatefulness” of Christians who believe in the biblical definition of marriage. Openly homosexual South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who claims to be a Christian, lamented that such Bible-believers make “God smaller.” Sen. Cory Booker claimed people “use religion as a justification for discrimination.”

However, it was soon-to-be failed Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis “Call me Beto” O'Rourke who pulled back the curtain and displayed the dirty truth — Democrats hate Christians.

Referencing his “LGBTQ Plan,” where O'Rourke says religious freedom is a fundamental right but should not be used to discriminate, CNN moderator Don Lemon asked, “Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities — should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”

O'Rourke replied “Yes! … There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

In a follow-up tweet, O'Rourke partially walked back his bigotry, stating, “Anyone can believe what they want — but organizations that discriminate when they provide public services should not be tax-exempt.”

This is deeply disturbing.

First, it essentially reduces the freedom of religion from a constitutionally protected natural right to a grant of privilege by government, revocable if it offends politically favored citizens.

Second, it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of why churches are tax-exempt. Churches are tax-exempt because they provide a tremendous benefit for society. As the Washington Examiner editorial board explains, “Churches, like other charities, provide many public goods, educating, feeding, and providing healthcare for believers and nonbelievers alike. They also create community among citizens … particularly among the working class and the middle class.”

Churches also teach honesty, generosity, compassion, tolerance, and virtue, which benefits society as a whole.

Yet even more importantly than the churches’ social good is the Constitution’s prohibition against government intrusion into religion. The Left holds as inviolable the Constitution’s supposed “wall of separation of church and state” (which is not in the Constitution, but in a previously obscure letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut). Yet they have it exactly backwards.

The wall is meant to be one way; a wall prohibiting government interference in religion, but NOT from religious influence on government. President George Washington called religion and morality the “indispensable supports” of the republic and warned it is folly “to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Few Democrats were quick to oppose O'Rourke’s bigotry. Buttigieg later offered a tepid rebuke, saying, “I agree that anti-discrimination law ought to be applied to all institutions, but the idea you are going to strip churches of their tax exempt status if they have not found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage — I’m not sure he understands the implications of what he’s saying.”

In other words, Buttigieg is not opposed in principle, but enforcement would create political headaches.

The target of the Left’s ire is Christians and Jews, but such a prescription would unavoidably draw in Muslims, with which the Left has allied itself. It would be fascinating to see Democrats try to enforce such punitive measures on mosques that refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. People have been murdered for drawing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. We shudder to think of the reaction to the forced defilement of a mosque.

For Democrats, power lies in destroying the nuclear family and traditional social norms, creating a broken society that looks to the government as its savior. Conversely, a moral, religious, self-reliant people would be the death knell for the Democrat Party.

It’s no surprise that Democrats seek to vilify, suppress, and destroy religion. But to do so would mean the end of our experiment in self-government. Such efforts must be opposed and rejected at every turn.


LAPD told to be less active in crime prevention

By Jack Dunphy, who served with the Los Angeles Police Department for more than 30 years. Now retired from the LAPD

As one might have predicted, the Los Angeles Times has prevailed in its latest campaign against the Los Angeles Police Department. Mayor Eric Garcetti being the kind of man he is, which is to say, not particularly blessed in the spine department, it was only a matter of time before he and his equally invertebrate police chief, Michel Moore, acquiesced to the activist demands engendered by the Times’s latest hit job.

Two writers at the Times, Cindy Chang and Ben Poston, have made it their mission to rid the LAPD of the bias they believe they have proved through analysis of stop data. Their premise is that because the department’s “stop rate” for all racial and ethnic groups does not precisely mirror each group’s share of the city’s population, something sinister is surely afoot. An article appearing under their bylines from January 24, 2019, made this accusation about the officers from Metropolitan Division, 200 of whose officers are deployed to various areas of the city to address each area’s unique crime trends.

Here on PJ Media, I wrote critically of the January piece, pointing out among its defects the fact that the benchmark Chang and Poston used to reach their conclusion was the racial and ethnic breakdown of the overall population of Los Angeles rather than its pool of criminal offenders. They neglected to include in their story the salient fact that though blacks make up 9 percent of the city’s population, they commit 43 percent of its violent crime, including 52 percent of its robberies, 34 percent of its homicides, and 36 percent of its aggravated assaults. It is on these types of crimes that proactive policing of the type they decry is most focused.

Chang and Poston followed up with a story published October 8, this time expanding their examination to the LAPD’s entire patrol force, which they conclude exhibits the same type of bias. Again I took them to task here on PJ Media, pointing out that though they grudgingly acknowledge the racial disparities in crime data, the story followed a scripted formula in dismissing them while blaming the skewed stop data on bias.

Succumbing to activist pressure, Chief Moore has announced changes to the way Metropolitan Division officers are deployed, with the changes to include far fewer vehicle and pedestrian stops. On Oct. 13, Chang and Poston wrote another story in which they crowed about their accomplishment.

“In a major shift prompted by a Times investigation,” the story begins, “the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Metropolitan Division will drastically cut back on pulling over random vehicles, a cornerstone of the city’s crime-fighting strategy that has come under fire for its disproportionate impact on black and Latino drivers.”

The error of their premise is on display from this very first sentence. Police officers do not conduct “random” stops. Every stop, whether of a car or a pedestrian, must be based on articulable reasonable suspicion, something that is relentlessly emphasized to LAPD officers, none more so than those working Metropolitan Division. And note that in this most recent Times article, the authors revert to their previous deception of referring to the racial breakdown in the overall population rather than in the offender pool.

Predictably, Chief Moore buckled. “Is the antidote or the treatment itself causing more harm to trust than whatever small or incremental reduction you may be seeing in violence?” he asked. “And even though we’re recovering hundreds more guns, and those firearms represent real weapons and dangers to a community, what are we doing to the tens of thousands of people that live in those communities and their perception of law enforcement?”

With this Moore acknowledges that he is willing to accept an increase in violence, which is to say, more dead people, so as to change people’s “perception” of the LAPD and appease the staff at the Los Angeles Times. And how many more shooting victims are Chief Moore and his puppet master Eric Garcetti willing to tolerate in the name of better public relations? That a rise in violence is “incremental” is small comfort if you or a loved one is part of the increment.

In condemning the LAPD as it does, the Times takes note of the fact that though whites are searched less frequently that blacks and Latinos, they are more often found with contraband leading to arrests. This, say Chang and Poston, is further proof of differential treatment.

I grant that Chang and Poston are ignorant of the realities of police work and may therefore be excused for exhibiting that ignorance, but some education is called for here. As noted above (and in many, many of my previous columns), the demographics of crime do not reflect those of the overall population, not in Los Angeles, not in any city you could name. In L.A. as elsewhere, blacks commit far more than their share of crime, whites and Asians far less; Latinos commit crimes in numbers roughly proportionate to their share of the population. This disproportion results in more blacks and Latinos than whites or Asians being on probation and parole and therefore subject to search conditions. (People on parole and most on probation are subject to search at any time; reasonable suspicion is not a requirement.)

Metropolitan Division officers, and those from the LAPD’s divisional gang units, know they may stop many gang members, or one gang member many times, before they find someone with a gun, but it is the knowledge that they may be stopped and searched that inhibits many gang members from acting out on the neighborhood grudges that have claimed thousands of young lives since the birth of L.A.’s street gangs in the 1970s.

I know from my experience working the streets in South Los Angeles that when a squad of Metro officers was in my division, things were most often very quiet. It’s impossible to quantify how many shootings they may have prevented over the years. We can only count the shootings that do occur, and it’s all but certain that soon we’ll be counting more than we have been.

What will Michel Moore and the Los Angeles Times say then?



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

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

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


17 October, 2019  

Trump’s warnings of socialism could carry extra power with Fla. Latinos who fled it

Some comments from a Leftist source

DORAL, Fla. — In this Miami suburb, where a growing Venezuelan community has nestled amid neat condos and cozy tile-roofed homes, contempt for Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, can seem thicker than the stench of nearby garbage dumps that still sometimes cuts the air.

Like many immigrants from that volatile South American nation, Nihar Perez Rojas, 51, is so eager for an end to his socialist regime that she cheered President Trump when he first backed Maduro’s opposition in January. But nine months later, Maduro remains in power, and her family’s loyalties to Trump have split, even as his campaign touts his antisocialism stance to win support in this crucial swing state.

Although Perez Rojas’s husband is likely to vote for Trump next November for precisely that reason, she and her children probably will not.

“I’d say the majority of Latinos here support Trump because they believe he will put an end to socialism, put an end to Maduro,” she said. “Is that possibility worth turning a blind eye to everything else? I ask myself that every day.”

With an uphill reelection battle and an impeachment inquiry hanging over his head, Trump has seized on — and amplified — socialist fears, painting all Democrats as purveyors of a dangerous ideology that could spell an economic catastrophe of Venezuelan proportions for the United States. Socialism is a wedge issue that has long divided Latinos in Florida and could serve as a rallying cry for conservatives nationwide, political strategists say.

“It’s nothing new here,” said Christian Ulvert, a Democratic political consultant in Miami. “What has been interesting is that in the last two years it has been turned into a national marketing campaign and a true effort to define Democrats under this cloud of socialism.”

On the American political left, democratic socialism has become the calling card of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. It also has a powerful attraction for young activists frustrated with income inequality and a warming planet and eager for universal health care and free public college.

A Gallup poll this spring found that 4 in 10 Americans now embrace some form of socialism. But those views appear to be largely based on the European version of socialism practiced in France and Italy.

For many expatriates and exiles of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, socialism elicits fears of economic decline, authoritarian leaders — and for some, memories of the food shortages, poor public services, and rampant corruption that they hoped they had left behind.

Even if Trump’s antisocialism appeals fail to resonate nationally, the strategy still could be key to his campaign if it simply helps him win Florida, a state crucial to his reelection.

Trump has invoked the threat of socialism in speeches, rallies, and conferences — and as his reelection campaign rolled out an aggressive voter initiative in June, “Latinos for Trump.” He has cranked up the warnings of socialist doom as an impeachment inquiry has embroiled his administration.

“One of the most serious challenges our countries face is the specter of socialism; it’s the wrecker of nations and destroyer of societies,” Trump told the United Nations General Assembly last month.

For more than two decades, Republicans in Florida — home to 4.3 million Latinos and the largest US population of Venezuelans — have used the threat of socialism with mixed results to court an older and more conservative generation of Cuban-American voters. But with roughly 190,000 Venezuelans arriving in the past decade, some strategists see Republicans bidding for a new wave of supporters.

Trump followed the Republican playbook in Florida in 2016, eking out a narrow victory in part by touting an aggressive foreign policy in Latin America that helped him do better with Latino voters than he did nationally. Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Rick Scott, both Republicans, deployed the strategy again to win close races in 2018.

Grass-roots voter mobilization groups and the Florida Democratic Party have sought to punch back, putting political organizers in every major city. As Trump warns against the dangers of Maduro, they tell voters, he has rejected a temporary protection program for Venezuelans and slashed the number of refugees admitted into the United States to record lows.

“We are trying to tell people that what Donald Trump is doing is not OK,” said Luisana Pérez Fernández, who directs the state Democratic Party’s Hispanic communications.

But socialism counter-messaging also must come from national Democrats to limit the effects of the strategy, analysts said.

“We always compare it to a Bay of Pigs moment,” said Gustavo Perez, who recently rebooted the Venezuelan Democratic Club in Miami, referring to the failed US-backed invasion of Cuba under President John F. Kennedy that turned Cuban-Americans away from Democrats. “We can lose a generation of civically engaged people who are doing well and share our values but because they haven’t been contacted where they live, they won’t want to support our candidates when it really matters.”

So far, Democratic political analysts have been disappointed. The party’s presidential debates have only lightly touched on the power struggle over the legitimacy of Maduro’s government that has plunged Venezuela into economic decline and spurred a migration crisis.

“Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” Sanders said at the September debate, arguing that his own campaign platform was about treating health care as a human right, providing free child care, and giving everyone a living wage. “In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair.”

During a TV break in the debate, meanwhile, an ad played on some stations nationwide featured a burning photo of Ocasio-Cortez and images of skulls as a Republican House candidate warned of socialism, pointing to the Khmer Rouge movement in Cambodia.

Some Venezuelans saw the ad online from their homes in Doral, nicknamed Little Venezuela or Doralzuela. Once an area of empty warehouses and cow pastures flanked by two dumps, the mushrooming enclave that is home to a Trump golf resort now hosts plazas and gated communities along wide avenues lined with palm trees and gardenias.

In April, when Trump decided to back calls for military opposition from Maduro’s opponent, Juan Guaidó, hundreds of Venezuelan expats and exiles gathered to celebrate at El Arepazo, a popular diner with Venezuelan and American flags flying over its roof.

“Something that this president has done that others haven’t is defend Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from this radical communism; it’s a total backward slide against democracy,” Victor Piscano, 60, railed at the diner on a recent afternoon. That is why he said he planned “to vote for Donald — 100 percent.”


Furious British mothers boycott Flora margarine after it pulls its adverts from Mumsnet in 'transphobia' row following complaints from a 'handful' of transgender activists

The makers of Flora face a furious backlash after the company stopped advertising on Mumsnet because campaigners claimed the parenting website was transphobic.

Mothers across Britain are now boycotting the firm that owns the margarine brand, which had responded to complaints by a 'handful' of transgender activists.

Firmly denying that they are transphobic, the founders of Mumsnet insist that they are simply defending the right to free speech.

Mumsnet was set up to allow parents to share tips or stories and boasts ten million users.

Its online discussion board has been a platform for transgender issues, particularly relating to the growing number of children now declaring a wish to change sex.

Last night, dozens of women vowed to stop buying Flora or any other product sold by the company, Upfield, which also sells I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!.

Deborah Barker commented on Twitter: 'I am wholly committed to free speech and mothers/women freedom to discuss issues which pertain to them and have decided to boycott @Flora. I was a pretty loyal customer with two teenage boys, but I cannot buy from companies that support the silencing of #women.'

Another angry Mumsnet user declared: 'Well it's no great loss to Flora is it. I mean women are only responsible for the majority of the household budgeting/shopping etc. And there's only a few million of us on here.'

Upfield's decision was announced on Friday after campaigners for transgender rights said they would stop buying Flora while it was linked to the parenting website.

One activist Helen Islan, who uses the pseudonym Mimmymum on Twitter, tweeted: 'I like Flora but there is absolutely no way I am going to buy it while it is partnering with Mumsnet which platforms nasty, trans-hostile posts on its website.'

Ms Islan was previously embroiled in controversy after complaints she made to police about a transsexual, Miranda Yardley, resulted in Britain's first hate crime prosecution. The case was thrown out and costs awarded to Yardley.

Within an hour of Ms Islan's comment about Flora, Upfield responded online saying it took its 'human rights and diversity policies very seriously' and had started an investigation.

Transgender rights campaigners made claims that Mumsnet was hosting 'nasty, trans-hostile posts' and just a day later Flora had removed its adverts from the parenting site    +2
Transgender rights campaigners made claims that Mumsnet was hosting 'nasty, trans-hostile posts' and just a day later Flora had removed its adverts from the parenting site

The next day the firm released a statement telling its customers: 'We've investigated. We are wholly committed to our values, which include treating everyone equally, so have made the decision to no longer work with Mumsnet.'

Last night, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts accused the brand of bowing to pressure from 'a handful of activists on Twitter'.

She added: 'Mumsnet has turned down hundreds of thousands of pounds of advertising over the years from companies which we feel don't make parents' lives easier, so we're well used to putting purpose before profit. I do think in the end consumers will value companies which show a bit of backbone.'

Laura Perrins, co-editor of online magazine The Conservative Woman, said: 'It is a ridiculous decision that will have a chilling impact on free speech.

'Upfield are bowing to an extremist view if they think you can't discuss these matters on an internet forum. If people want to, they should make their feelings known with a boycott of their own.'


Trump Announces $50 Million for Christians, Other Minorities in Syria

After facing criticism from Christian leaders over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, President Donald Trump defended the decision in front of a largely evangelical crowd Saturday.

“This week I directed $50 million to support Christians and other religious minorities in Syria. I did it on Friday,” Trump said during his remarks at the Values Voter Summit. 

The president said his administration has so far provided more than $500 million in support of religious minorities oppressed in Syria.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was held captive in a Turkish prison for two years before the administration negotiated his release, was on the podium with Trump and prayed with the president before the speech.                

“I’ve made clear to Turkey that if they do not meet their commitments, including the protection of religious minorities, and also watching over the ISIS prisoners were captured, we will impose a very swift, strong and severe economic sanctions, like we did in my negotiations to get Pastor Brunson out,” Trump said. “Otherwise, I hate to say this pastor, you’d still be there. I hate to say this also–and this isn’t done from ego–any other president of the United States, you would still be there.”   

Shortly after Trump’s speech concluded, the White House released more details, stating the $50 million would be used for “stabilization assistance for Syria to protect persecuted ethnic and religious minorities, and advance human rights.” The money is set to go for emergency Syrian human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and reconciliation efforts supporting ethnic and religious minority victims of the conflict.       

After Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. military from Syria, exposing the Kurds and possibly Christians to danger, Christian leaders such as the Rev. Franklin Graham and the Rev. Pat Robertson called on Trump to reconsider.

Regarding the Kurds, Trump said: “Let them have their borders, but I don’t think our soldiers should be there for the next 15 years guarding a border between Turkey and Syria when we can’t guard our own borders.”

Trump called generals in Washington, “highly overrated,” and complained, “The military industrial complex came down on me.”

But, the president had a sobering tone as he recalled emotional stories of family members greeting the returning coffins of fallen soldiers.

“We’ve been in these wars now, one of them 19 years, and they didn’t fight to win,” the president said, a reference to the conflict in Afghanistan. “They fight to just stay there. And, in Syria, we were supposed to be there for 30 days and we’ve been there for 10 years. These wars, they never end.”

He added, to applause from the crowd: “We can’t stay there forever. We have to bring our great heroes home. It’s time.”

Trump also talked about the House Democrat impeachment investigation into his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which they talked about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the country–among other topics.

Trump specifically criticized two California Democrats–House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, leading the probe, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Maybe we just impeach them because they are lying,” Trump said. “What they are doing is a terrible thing to our country.”

Members of Congress can’t be impeached, but in rare instances have been expelled from Congress.

Trump said Schiff was “crooked” for making up the contents of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian leader during the opening of an intelligence committee hearing last month. After being criticized during the hearing, Schiff said he meant it as a parody.

Trump noted Pelosi had previously appeared to be staving off an impeachment effort by her more radical members.

“For those of you who think she was reasonable for the last six months, when she said, no, no, no–I said she’s going to do it. She just wants to have it carried out closer to the election,” Trump said. “Not a good person. I think she hates our country. If she didn’t hate our country, she wouldn’t be doing this to our country. It’s a fraud.”

Trump said the far left is determined to “shred our Constitution and eradicate our beliefs.”

“Frankly these people are crazy,” the president said.

He noted the contrast between the whistleblower report and the transcript of the call.

“The whistle blower said quid pro quo eight times,” the president said. “It was a little off. No times.”


Australia:  Golden skirts! It’s the social engineering ball

Affirmative action programs for women are not merely offensive and patronising but are badly targeted

In the course of one week, we had the rare good fortune to be given three penetrating insights into a single truth: namely that many, probably most, affirmative action programs for women are not merely offensive and patronising but are badly targeted.

These programs produce results the opposite of those intended, and are possibly unlawful, if not also immoral. Many are simply disguised devices to heap more privilege on already privileged women at great cost to other women, shareholders, consumers and ordinary Australians.

The first insight came last Friday when The Australian Financial Review’s Boss Magazine published its list of the 10 most powerful company directors in Australia, measured by adding the market capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies on whose boards the director sits. Lo and behold, the long-predicted consequences of quotas for female directors became clear: seven of the top 10 directo­rs are women.

That 70 per cent of Australia’s busiest company directors are women does not mean the numbers of female company director­s on ASX-listed companies overall has moved much — that figure remains stuck at about 30 per cent.

Nor does it mean that women are becoming chief executives of listed companies in greater number­s as a prelude to a career as a non-executive director.

While women fill 70 per cent of the top 10 directors list, men still fill upwards of 90 per cent of chief executive positions­ at ASX 100 companies. That is some anomaly. With some honourable exceptions, such as Catherine Livingstone, the female board members in the top 10 directo­rs list are not the corporate titans one might expect or like to see there.

These stark numbers reveal that the “golden skirts” phenomenon, first observed in Norway after gender quotas were mandated, has taken hold in Australia. The golden skirts spectacle happens­ when quotas meet shortages of qualified women. A few qualified women get swamped with offers of board seats. The combination of shortages and quotas drives up the economic value of the scarce resource.

So next time you read about lobby groups such as Chief Executive Women (whose members don’t have to be chief executives) or the Australian Institute of Compan­y Directors lobbying for female quotas for company directorships, understand that this is a naked demand for those women who are already on the lucrative company board roundabout to be given more gigs. It is a demand for more privilege for the already privileged.

Steps that would make a real difference to women in the workforce, such as getting more women into chief executive or C-suite roles, take too long and are too difficult for the quota cheer squad because they require women to have serious­ long-term business careers and build skills and experience across decades. As men do.

Even worse for the golden skirts, delivering a healthy pipeline of qualified women with chief executive or C-suite CVs would alleviate the scarcity that drives up the golden skirts’ market value. More women in the market would strip a few women of their artificially inflated market value.

The second insight came on Monday, when Australian Super repeated its threats to use its voting­ power to coerce boards of ASX-listed companies to have at least two female directors. Politic­ally activist industry super funds such as Australian Super provide the heft and oxygen to grow and enforce these programs for the privileged.

Note Australian Super adds no rider that female appointments be made only where they are the best-qualified — in other words, that appointments are made in the best interests of the company.

No, this is an unqualified, unconditional­ demand to appoint more women, or else Australian Super will vote against existing direct­ors. It is saying, in effect, that the circumstances of the particular company and the interests of its shareholders are irrelevant to them. The interests of individual shareholders will be sacrificed, if necessary, on the altar of Australian Super’s social engineering program.

And, of course, weak boards surrender to them by instructing search firms not to bother even considering male candidates. If the Don Bradman of company directors volunteered for a board being targeted by Australian Super, he would be ignored in favour of a woman. How can a gendered outcome that consciously ignores a sizeable part of the talent pool, including possibly the most talented, be a proper exercise of director’s duties? The short answer is that it is not.

By the way, shouldn’t our regulators be checking that Australian Super is meeting its “best interests” duties under superannuation legislation? Is anyone home at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and the Aust­ralian Prudential Regulation Authority? Or are “woke” causes now beyond the reach of the law?

The third illustration of the power of special pleading for the already privileged came with a whinge released on Friday by the Law Council of Australia, headed by Arthur Moses SC. The Law Council’s report complains that the “pay gap” between male and female barristers is widening.

Apparently, women conducted 25 per cent of court cases last year but received only 17 per cent of the fee pool. At least when The Australian reported this it quoted Sydney­ barrister Sophie York, who acknowledged that the results­ are more complex than a simplistic whine about a “pay gap”. For example, York acknowledged that “different life choices” may be at play here.

Let’s include more nuance from the real world. It takes a long time to deliver social change and the report­ simply reflects a fee pool dominated by, and heavily skewed to, present leaders of the profes­sion. In other words, by men who went to law school 40 years ago when the university intake was mainly male. In 40 years from now the division of the fee pool will ­presumably reflect the fact today’s university law school intak­e is mainly female.

But, for now, using affirmative action directives to favour women simply privileges an already privil­eged group of female barristers above the entitlement their numbers­, skills and experience deserv­e.

This does not appear to trouble the Law Council. Its “equitable briefing” policy demands affirmative action outcomes now, or at least by next year. It wants women briefed in 30 per cent of all matters and paid 30 per cent of all fees by then, irrespective of how many women are at the bar, how long they have been there or what their skills and experience may be.

Its briefing policy requires that when a client requests their solic­itor to prepare “a list of barristers who might be engaged, women barristers should be included in that list”.

Can you imagine choosing your neurosurgeon this way? You go to your GP and ask for a list of neurosurgeons for your life-threatening operation and your GP gives you a list chosen, at least in part, by gender. Would you be grateful to be told that your sur­gical needs should give way to sociall­y progressive outcomes?

Similarly, how can a briefing policy that subordinates the best interests of the client in that ­client’s individual circumstances to desired gender outcomes be a proper exercise of a solicitor’s fiduc­iary duty of care? How can the Law Council and its constit­uent law societies tolerate this?

Maybe woke causes are indeed above the law.



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

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

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


16 October, 2019  

BBC: OK for journalists to criticize Pres. Trump

Following a fierce backlash, the BBC has reversed its decision to censure presenter Naga Munchetty for comments that were critical of US President Donald Trump.

BBC Director General Tony Hall emailed the British network's staff on Monday, saying the organisation's complaint unit had made a wrong decision in finding Munchetty in breach of editorial guidelines on impartiality for her remarks during a show.

The original ruling said Munchetty, who presents the BBC Breakfast programme, had broken impartiality guidelines during her discussion on Trump's comment in July that four female American congresswomen of colour should return to the "broken and crime-infested places from which they came".

Coanchor Dan Walker asked Munchetty for her opinion on the July 17 programme, and she responded: "Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism ... I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean."

Questioned further by Walker, she said she was "absolutely furious a man in that position thinks it's OK to skirt the lines by using language like that".

Commenting on its initial decision on finding Munchetty in breach of impartiality, the BBC said in a statement that their editorial guidelines "do not allow for journalists to give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so - in this case President Trump - and it was for this reason that the complaint was partially upheld. Those judgments are for the audience to make."

However, after the BBC's Director of Editorial Policy and Standards David Jordan doubled down on why disciplinary measures were directed at Munchetty, a woman from a minority background, and not at Walker, her white male cohost, the Guardian newspaper said the viewer complaint had explicitly called out both Walker and Munchetty.

Journalists and celebrities had demanded that the BBC overturn its decision, and expressed support for Munchetty.

Across social media, there was disquiet over the broadcaster's decision. That sentiment was plainly put in a letter to the Guardian newspaper on Friday, in which some 40 locally prominent celebrities offered support to the presenter.

Following the BBC's u-turn, several commentators demanded the network issue a full apology.


Major health insurer releases pro–drag queen ad, tells parents ‘too bad’

For decades, the left has successfully promoted the increased sexualization of children by portraying opponents as somehow mean or intolerant. In this latest volley, those who see problems with a sexualized man dressed as a woman reading to children are once again criticized as just disliking people who are different or "too much." A drag queen reading to children is the same as an elderly woman who dresses her best or a male healthcare worker showing a softer side, in a new commercial by health insurance provider Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente promoted drag queen story hour in its recent healthcare ad, titled "To Them We Say." The ad begins with a voiceover announcing, "There are those who will say that you are too..." It then shows various positive images of people that some might unfairly call "too fat," "too skinny," "too old," etc. The ad continues along in this uplifting vein until it shows a drag queen reading and dancing for laughing children. The voiceover intones someone saying, "...too much." The drag queen performing for kids is meshed between scenes of healthcare workers, army soldiers, judges and a fashionable elderly woman, among others.

The ad ends with the voiceover telling the viewer, "...to them we say 'too bad.' At Kaiser Permanente, we believe everybody deserves the right to thrive."

According to The Drum:

In 'To Them We Say' from national healthcare titan Kaiser Permanente, the brand's message of Thrive is demonstrated through a series of vignettes that feature individuals unapologetically defying unfortunate societal perceptions. Whether it's a brazen elderly fashionista, a trio of minority cowgirls, or a man gleefully dressed in drag, this spot stands to prove that there's nothing healthier than a strong sense of self.

With the help of the American Library Association, drag queen story hours have been invading local communities, often against the communities' wishes. Children at these story hours have been exposed to convicted pedophiles, taught twerking, and placed in sexually suggestive positions with drag queens for photo-ops. One drag queen who participated in a story hour even admitted in front of his local city council that it was a form of "grooming."

This is corporate advertising once again soft-pedaling a radical left-wing sexual agenda by integrating it into what seem to be benign, everyday advertisements. Kaiser Permanente has a long history of contributing to liberal causes, like GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, and National Urban League.

To all those parents and taxpayers who are fighting this latest insidious form of child sexualization, Kaiser Permanente literally says, "Too bad." Apparently, the health insurance company thinks sexually grooming children is just another way for adults to "thrive."


Resist CSR activism

News that the eco-socialist network, Market Forces, intends to step up its campaign to choke investment in fossil fuel industries came as no surprise to those who have watched with concern the increasing activist pressure on the corporate world.

There is a burgeoning ‘social responsibility’ industry — managers and consultants employed in HR, people and culture and corporate affairs divisions, and in the major professional services firms — that is pushing companies to adopt more and more so-called socially responsible strategies and initiatives.

We are seeing pressure on businesses over a range of matters, from the use of traditional language — such as ‘she’ and ‘he’ — through to manufacturing practices, procurement and areas of investment. Even distribution can be a target, with Lego forced to stop distributing toys through service stations.

There is a legitimate business case for some CSR activities, particularly those related to core business activities and interests.

In today’s more complex business environment and questioning society, well-managed companies should use good commercial judgement to consider their activities’ social and environmental impact on relevant stakeholders in the community; thus helping protect the financial interests of shareholders.

But the notion that to earn an abstract ‘social license to operate’, companies must promote the non-shareholder interests of wider groups of stakeholders in the community, is a way of legitimising the idea that companies should take stances on social and political issues unrelated to their business activities.

This threatens to transform the business of business into politics. The approach being pushed by the CSR industry will inherently, inevitably, and inappropriately, politicise company brands and reputations.

Corporate leaders who might wish to limit CSR to appropriate business parameters are currently unable to be guided by any alternative set of principles, practices or institutional framework to counter the metastasising CSR doctrines and structures.

Inserting a ‘Community Pluralism Principle’ into company constitutions, or into ASX’s corporate governance guidelines, would remind directors and senior managers of the importance of ensuring CSR activities do not distract from the company’s core business purposes and negatively affect its brand by acquiring a reputation for being political.

This would also remind corporate decision-makers that public companies, given their special legal rights and privileges, should aspire to be pluralistic institutions that serve, respect and reflect the views and values of the whole community.


Why the British police swallowed Carl Beech’s lies

‘Believing the victim’ makes miscarriages of justice inevitable

The Metropolitan Police have published an independent review of their handling of historic sexual-abuse allegations against high-profile individuals. The report followed an investigation by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge. The Henriques report is, in part, a response to the conviction of Carl Beech, who was found guilty earlier this year of perverting the course of justice. Beech’s conviction followed the collapse of Operation Midland, which was established on the basis of Beech’s lies about a VIP child-abuse ring, which he said included politicians like Ted Heath, Lord Brittan and Harvey Proctor

The report makes for shocking reading. Detectives misled judges in order to obtain warrants to search the homes of those falsely accused. The police simply ignored the array of undermining and contradictory aspects of Beech’s evidence, which should have revealed his deceit much sooner. Labour MP Tom Watson made a now-discredited statement in the House of Commons in 2012 that he had ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and Number 10’, after meeting with Beech. Following this, a senior investigating officer made communicating with Watson one of her investigative priorities. Political pressure increased the risk of serious injustice.

What is so valuable about the Henriques report is not just what it reveals about Operation Midland but also its robust criticism of how sexual-abuse investigations more broadly have proceeded in recent years. It is deeply critical of a number of policies adopted by the police ever since the high-profile investigation into Jimmy Saville and other celebrities, which became known as Operation Yewtree.

First, Henriques recommends that police stop using the term ‘victim’ during an investigation, and instead revert to the term ‘complainant’. This practice began with Operation Yewtree’s report of its investigation into Saville, titled Giving Victims a Voice. This step was taken because Saville was dead and there was no way to test the evidence against him. The police simply assumed allegations against him to be true and therefore that all complainants were indeed victims. This then became policy for all abuse investigations. Henriques quotes guidance for officers from Operation Hydrant, written by Simon Bailey, national police lead for child protection and abuse investigations. As Henriques notes, it consistently uses the term ‘victim’ to describe those who make allegations. Henriques says ‘the entire judicial process… is engaged in determining whether or not a complainant is indeed a victim’ and using the term at the outset of an investigation ‘is simply inaccurate and should cease’.

Once complainants had been transformed into ‘victims’, it followed that police should ‘believe’ what these victims were telling them. In 2014, detective superintendent Kenny McDonald famously told the British media that Carl Beech’s false allegations were both ‘credible and true’. Henriques describes McDonald’s intervention as a ‘serious mistake’. Henriques rightly argues that the police’s blanket policy of believing the victim is a ‘reversal of the burden of proof’ which ‘imposes an artificial state of mind upon an investigator’. It ‘strikes at the very core of the criminal-justice process’ and will ‘generate miscarriage of justice on a considerable scale’.

This ‘reversal of the burden of proof’ has other consequences. Henriques discusses the statistics related to false allegations. He says the police have been proceeding on the basis that ‘only 0.1 per cent of complainants’ are likely to be false. Henriques points out that ‘the retaining of the word “victim” and the culture of “belief” appear to have been based on the supposition that the level of false complaints is so small that it can be disregarded’. Officers investigating these allegations ‘fail to appreciate that… a cardinal principle of the criminal justice system is that a complaint may be false’.

What’s more, it is simply not the case that the number of false allegations is low. This was made clear during Operation Fairbank, a forerunner to Operation Midland. In the course of this single operation, investigators received more than 400 complaints that transpired to be ‘without merit’. For Henriques, the culture of belief leads officers to ignore the possibility that allegations may be ‘malicious, mistaken, designed to support others, financially motivated or inexplicable’.

At spiked we have made these arguments time and again since the emergence of Operation Yewtree. Investigating allegations of sexual abuse must involve robust questioning. Complainants claims must be taken seriously, but not straightforwardly ‘believed’. The Henriques report is not just an illustration of specific police failings, it is a robust and welcome restatement of the principles that ought to guide our justice system.



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

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

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


15 October, 2019  

On this date, in AD732, Charles Martel led the Franks against Muslim invaders near the city of Tours and turned back the tide of Islamic advance at the Battle of Tours (sometimes called the Battle of Poitiers).

In the preceding 110 years, Islam, thanks to the diligent efforts of polite young men in white shirts and neckties on bicycles going out two-by-two, had spread from its origins in the Arabian peninsula through south-central Asia and across the north of Africa, and up into the Iberian peninsula.

Did I say polite young men in white shirts and ties on bicycles going out two-by-two?  Just kidding.  That’s Mormons.  The Muslims did it by going out conquering and to conquer, slaughtering everyone who would not submit, in a tide of blood across all their conquered lands.

It seemed that Muhammed and his successors did not understand that “Jihad” meant internal struggle over oneself and that “Islam” meant “peace” and the meaning of “submission” was one’s own submission to Allah.  They apparently thought “Jihad” meant real war against unbelievers, using real swords and spears, leaving real dead and mutilated bodies in its wake and the “submission” was forcing those not in Islam to submit to it.  But what did they know?  They only founded the religion or followed in the footsteps of the founder.

Muslims of the Umayyad dynasty, chiefly Berbers, invaded the Iberian peninsula (really, it was a military invasion, not a lot of missionaries on bicycles.  Besides, the bicycle hadn’t been invented yet).  Within a decade they had essentially conquered the Iberian peninsula and were expanding across the Pyrenees into what would eventually be part of southern France.

In the spring of 732, these Umayyad Muslims defeated Duke Odo at the Battle of the River Garonne, thus setting the stage for what was to come.

Odo, surviving the battle, asked the Franks for help.  Charles Martel, “Mayor of the Palace” (Ruler in all but name but it would wait for his son, Pepin the Short, for his line to officially claim the throne) would only promise aid in return for Odo submitting to Frankish authority.

While this was going on, the Umayyads, in apparent unconcern about possible Frankish might, advanced toward the Loire river.  Lax in scouting and unconcerned, they did not note the power massing to oppose them.

The Umayyads were mostly cavalry.  Charles, according to accounts, was mostly infantry, but heavily armed and armored infantry.  One of the Frank’s main weapons was the Francisca, a heavy-headed, short-handled throwing axe.  The Byzantine historian Procopius (c. 500–565) described the axes and their use thus:

…each man carried a sword and shield and an axe. Now the iron head of this weapon was thick and exceedingly sharp on both sides while the wooden handle was very short. And they are accustomed always to throw these axes at one signal in the first charge and thus shatter the shields of the enemy and kill the men.

And at the time of Charles Martel, the axes were still in common use.  It would be some time yet before the Frankish forces converted to being primarily cavalry under the successors to Charles Martel.

When the Umayyad’s reached the Franks and their allies, they faced off with skirmishes while waiting for their full force to arrive.

Finally, the forces were all ready and the day of battle arrived.  Abd-al-Ra?mân, the leader of the Umayyad forces, trusted to the strength of his cavalry and had them charge repeatedly at the Frankish infantry lines.  The incredibly disciplined infantry stood its ground staunchly despite (according to Arab sources) Umayyad cavalry breaking into their formation several times.

A charge of Umayyad broke through, attempting to reach Charles reasoning, probably correctly, that if they could kill Charles the Frankish army would break.  However Charles’ liege men surrounded him and held off the attack.

While the battle still raged, rumors went through the Umayyad forces that Frankish scouts were threatening the Umayyad baggage train and threatening to carry off the loot they’d already gathered in their march northward.  Arab reports indeed claim that this was the case (in a second day of battle where Frankish reports say it only lasted one day).

This, apparently was too much for many of the Umayyads.  Fight them on the field of battle.  Throw axes at them.  Stab at them with spears and slash at them with swords.  All good.  But threaten their loot?  No way.

However, they didn’t appear to make clear to their compatriots what exactly they were doing and why.  The others saw them heading back the way they’d come and thought they were in retreat.  And “if he’s retreating, maybe I should be too” is a thought soldiers have shared many a time throughout history.  The result was the Umayyad’s went into full-fledged retreat.  Abd-al-Ra?mân tried to stop the retreat and, as a result, was surrounded and killed.

The next day, Charles, fearing the possibility of an ambush, kept his troops in formation in their relatively secure position.  He did, however, send out extensive reconnaissance which discovered that the Umayyad’s had abandoned not only the field of battle but their own camp so fast that they’d left their tents behind, heading back to Iberia as fast as their horses and wagons could carry them taking what loot they could carry with them.

Had to protect that loot.

The Umayyad’s retreated south back over the Pyrenees and that remained the end of Muslim advance into Europe.  Further attempts into the European heartland were made but they came to naught in the end.  Charles Martel and his forces had broken the back of the Muslim conquest of Europe for many centuries to come.

How Charles Martel would weep to see Europe inviting in a new generation of invaders with open arms.


Citizens in a new study blame U.S. politics for stress, depression, lost sleep and other physical and mental problems

The constant outpouring of rage from the Left would be the biggest problem

AN IOWA MAN is so bothered by the political climate that his psychologist says he asked for a higher dosage of his anxiety medication. A Chicago woman is so uneasy about politics that she has needed two dental implants to deal with her teeth-grinding habit. And a New York woman says she suffered her first flare-up of multiple sclerosis in 10 years due to political angst.

Americans are stressed and politics is a major cause, according to psychologists, psychiatrists and recent surveys.

A study published in September in the journal PLOS One found that politics is a source of stress for 38% of Americans.

“The major takeaway from this is that if our numbers are really anywhere in the ballpark, there are tens of millions of Americans who see politics as exacting a toll on their social, psychological, emotional and even physical health,” says Kevin Smith, lead author of the study and chair of the political science department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The study included 800 people in a nationally representative poll and asked them 32 questions. Among the findings:

* 11.5% say politics has adversely affected their physical health.

* 18.3% say they’ve lost sleep because of politics.

* 26.4% say they have become depressed when a preferred candidate lost.

* 26.5% say politics has led them to hate some people.

* 20% say differences in views have damaged a valued friendship.

Dr. Smith notes that the survey explored people’s perceptions of their health, not actual diagnoses.

The effects seem to be more pronounced for those who are younger, on the political left and interested and engaged in politics, Dr. Smith says.

Amanda Johnson, a psychologist in Newton, Iowa, says she’s noticed the impact of politics on many of her patients.

One was so distressed recently he wanted to abstain from politics altogether.

“He identified as an independent, and when he voiced this to several family members and friends, he got some backlash from them saying he needed to pick a side,” Dr. Johnson says.

That same day she spoke with his psychiatrist about increasing his anxiety medication. The longtime patient hadn’t previously identified politics as a source of stress and had been stable and on an antianxiety medication for the past three years without needing any changes.

“I’ve seen a lot more patients like that,” Dr. Johnson says. “It’s been pretty steady since the election. It seems like there’s an uptick any time there’s a big event.”

Common problems include sleep disturbances and falling out with family members and friends with divergent views. Social media battles are another source of tension. She advises patients to take breaks from social media and watching the news. “If they want to be engaged, we work on finding ways they could have some effect on change, like becoming more involved with a campaign,” she says.

She also encourages patients to set boundaries with family and friends to avoid inflammatory conversations.

Vaile Wright, director of research and special projects for the American Psychological Association, says politics-related stress is coming up more in the organization’s annual report called Stress in America.

The annual online survey polls 3,000 to 4,000 people. This year’s results will be released in November. In the 2018 survey, 69% of respondents reported feeling stressed about the nation’s future, compared with 63% in 2017, a statistically significant increase, Dr. Wright says.

Daniel Bristow, president of the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association, says he’s had to prescribe antianxiety drugs or antidepressants for some patients for the first time and increased dosages for others.

For patients with pre-existing conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, an increase in uncertainty can make old symptoms surface. “I’ve seen that many times, the newer stress worsening older symptoms that were previously under better control,” Dr. Bristow says.

He has seen people on both sides of the aisle impacted by political-related stress.

11.5% of people in a new study say politics has adversely affected their physical wellbeing.

But those impacted most severely are those with personal concerns, like immigrants separated from their families due to immigration policies or who fear deportation.

Carol Sabransky, a Chicago resident and executive at a management consulting firm, says her habit of grinding her teeth has kicked into high gear over the past few years. The habit started years ago, after she gave birth to her children. She lost one tooth from it in 1992.

In the past year she’s lost two more teeth from grinding too much and had to get implants, which cost $7,000 each. She now wears a night guard, an appliance put in her mouth at night to help prevent grinding during sleep. She says she objects to the “ugliness that has been exposed from all the lying and corruption” in Washington, D.C.

“The cost of this emotionally wrenching political environment has certainly been physical for me, and emotional,” she says. “Maybe the positive side to this is I have been educated in civics and government to a degree I never have been before. But it’s very costly, both mentally and in my pocketbook.”

Laura Beatrix Newmark, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, says she had her first flare-up of MS in nearly 10 years after the 2016 election. “Everyone agreed that it was 100% stress,” Ms. Newmark says.

She has tried to channel those feelings by posting angry haikus on Facebook and producing a women’s resistance comedy show. She downloaded a meditation app and goes to sleep listening to it every night.

The political climate, she says, has “made me operate on a much more hyped up level and that’s not been good. I’m not a comfortable flier, and I’m that much more anxious now when I fly.”


Owning a dog may be the key to living longer, study finds

Dogs are not only man's best friend, but also may be the key to living a longer life, a new study claims. Our four-legged friends have long been praised for their ability to help mental wellbeing, reducing anxiety and loneliness, but less has been reported about how they might have a positive effect on physical health.

Combining patient data of 3.8 million people from multiple studies, including England, researchers found owning a dog can lead to better cardiovascular outcomes, especially for heart attack and stroke survivors who live alone.

Scientists at the American Heart Association say that compared to those without a pet dog, owners experienced a 24 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality and are 65 per cent less likely to die after a heart attack.

Those who had suffered cardiovascular-related issues were also 31 per cent less likely to pass away.

The results support a separate study carried out by Sweden's Uppsala University, which showed a 33 per cent reduced risk of death for heart attack patients living alone after being released from hospital if they owned a dog.

A similar drop was seen among stroke patients once they were discharged, at 27 per cent lower than those without a dog.

"These two studies provide good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality," said Glenn N Levine, from the American Heart Association.

"While these non-randomised studies cannot 'prove' that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this."

Professor Tove Fall, from Uppsala University, said keeping a dog can also help because it is a good motivation for physical activity, but warned that further research is needed.

"The results of this study suggest positive effects of dog ownership for patients who have experienced a heart attack or stroke," she said.

"However, more research is needed to confirm a causal relationship and giving recommendations about prescribing dogs for prevention.

"Moreover, from an animal welfare perspective, dogs should only be acquired by people who feel they have the capacity and knowledge to give the pet a good life."

The study was published in the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes journal.


Australia: The ABCs of race relations

ABC Chairwoman Ita Buttrose laments that the Australian media landscape is “too white” and not representative of our multicultural society. She even suggests we may need quotas.

Quotas assume employers are biased because, whether they know it or not, they might be favouring one race over another.

Using quotas to ensure representation of racial groups on the telly, or the boardroom is a move in the wrong direction and could lead to more social division as merit gives way to affirmative action.

It used to be progressive to be colour-blind –  to focus on character over skin colour. But we have flipped this over: now we see race in everything.

If Buttrose wants to “better reflect the culture of Australia” she should focus on who we are — and not what colour we are.

We are a nation of larrikins who, regardless of where we were born, or our level of income, believe this is the best country on Earth.

This was a finding of the Australian Talks National Survey that Buttrose was spruiking while complaining about our pale media.

If we want a more egalitarian, liberal society we should resist blunt instruments such as quotas.

Australia has developed a harmonious, multicultural society by accepting our differences — and sometimes even making fun of them.

Historically, this has been the argument against the introduction of federal ‘hate speech’ laws. Dividing Australians by race would threaten social cohesion.

Racism is not accepted in Australia.  On the rare occasion a politician or commentator says something even remotely racist, they are swiftly mobbed and sometimes sacked. These are not the responses of a deeply racist country. They are the responses of a nation that has long been driven by a determination to move beyond racial differences.

Buttrose needs to do the same.



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

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

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


14 October, 2019  

The Homeless Myth

It’s not about the real estate, it’s about the drug use and mental illness

Los Angeles used to be known as the epicenter of the entertainment industry, nutty health fads, and compulsive narcissism. These days, it’s ground zero for the homeless crisis and its myths.

Every underpass harbors grimy tent cities with their own colonies of rats and roaches. Schizophrenics wander the most fashionable streets shouting at the sky. Human waste and needles litter downtown streets. Typhus and Hepatitis A spread out from these oases of misery into the general population.

It’s not that the city doesn’t care. If anything, Los Angeles cares too much.  Voters have passed multiple propositions spending over $4.6 billion on the homeless. They raised their own sales tax. They built homeless housing at as much as $500,000 per unit. That’s enough to buy a mansion in some parts of America.

Did that solve the problem? Try walking through one of those tent cities and you’ll find out.

After all this, the number of homeless is up 12% to 58,936 in Los Angeles County and up 16% to 36,165 in Los Angeles. Despite all those billions of dollars thrown at the problem, only 3 districts saw a decrease in the homeless population. Fortunately, no lessons were learned from this Sisyphean exercise.

Billboards all across the city feature a multicultural cast of young activists chanting, “Homes End Homelessness”. The only problem is that homes don’t end homelessness. Homelessness is not the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem. That’s the real news in the latest homeless numbers.

While pro-homeless activists falsely claimed that only 29% of LA’s homeless had drug and alcohol problems or mental illness, the Los Angeles Times, after reviewing the same questionnaires used as the basis for the data, found that actually 67% had a mental illness or drug and alcohol problems.   

29% to 67% is a huge difference.

But, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's acting executive director explained that it was a format issue.  The difference between a majority of the homeless have drug, alcohol issues and suffer from mental illness, and only a minority do, is a formatting issue as big as a typhus outbreak.

Fudging the numbers completely transforms reality.

Pro-homeless activists blame the homeless crisis on the free market which pegs home values and rentals to what people are willing to pay, as opposed to what a bunch of non-profits think they ought to be. But most people don’t react to being priced out of housing by staying in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country and spending the day shouting at the sky. They move somewhere affordable. Homelessness does tend to overlap with high rental prices, but those overlap with lefty cities, and the social and policy problems that come from their cultures and their political agendas.

Homelessness is not the issue. It’s a symptom of the real problems of drug abuse and mental illness.

It’s not as if we didn’t already know this. The man standing outside a supermarket and shouting that they stole his spleen in Schenectady is not suffering from high real estate prices. In modern times, vagrants, the old, more accurate term, are victims of their personal demons, not capitalism.

The homeless myth is built on denying the obvious.

Or, as the LA Times headline puts it, “Are many homeless people in L.A. mentally ill? New findings back the public’s perception.” Yes, your eyes aren’t lying to you. The activists gaslighting you however are.

That 67% isn’t the result of expert estimates. It’s self-reported. The activists conducting the ‘Point in Time’ count that is used to estimate the homeless population ask each homeless person if they have "substance abuse issues" or a "mental health problem". 46% of the homeless interviewed were willing to state that they had a substance abuse problem and 51% that they were suffering from mental illness.

The two obviously overlap quite a bit.

But the actual numbers are going to be much worse than the self-reported numbers.

The University of California’s Policy Lab interviewed 64,000 homeless people nationwide and found that 50% of homeless people said that mental illness had contributed to their homelessness and 51% said that drugs and alcohol issues had contributed to their homelessness.

Whom are you going to believe, the homeless or the activists who continue to lie about them?

78% reported that they suffered from mental problems and 75% from substance abuse problems.

Among homeless women, 95% blamed mental health problems for their homelessness.

These numbers completely destroy the myth of homelessness. The issue isn’t the availability of housing. It’s a social problem caused by drugs, mental illness and broken families. The term ‘homeless’ is wrong. It perpetuates a myth in which the issue is free market real estate and neighborhood gentrification.

The myth hurts the homeless, who are actually people with mental issues and drug problems, but boosts the billions of dollars in spending passing through groups with vested interests in diverting attention from the real problems while waging the traditional lefty campaign against capitalism.

As the numbers continue to tell the truth, the homeless gaslighting has become ridiculous.

The executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority claimed that his agency's numbers were accurate and insisted that the homeless were just like everyone else. “Most people with mental illness are housed. The vast majority of people with serious substance abuse issues are housed. They’re using their substances in their bedrooms and in their living rooms and you’re not watching it.”

Even in LA, 67% of the population isn't so mentally ill or abusing so many drugs that they can't function.

The homeless myth has created the homeless crisis by enabling dysfunctional behavior by a dysfunctional population. The measures that pro-homeless activists have claimed would help the homeless have hurt them badly. Allowing people with mental illness and drug problems to live on the streets has led to unsanitary conditions and disease outbreaks that have primarily hurt the homeless.

A fortune has been plowed into constructing insanely overpriced housing units, while the homeless population continues to grow, because the cause of homelessness has nothing to do with homes.

The homeless aren’t the victims of the free market, but of the socialists using them as political weapons.

The homeless crisis is what happened when lefty cities legalized drugs, stopped institutionalizing the severely mentally ill, while legalizing street camping and pouring billions into homeless services.

Homes don’t solve homelessness. Treating mental illness and fighting drug use does.



Muslim Drag Queen in Vice Mag: Islam Is 'Inherently Queer'

Robert Spencer

Over the years many people have asked me why Leftists so love Islam as to turn a blind eye to the global jihad, despite the complete opposition of their moral perspectives. The short answer is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend: the Left, avid to destroy America, saw a group that has been trying to destroy the free world for 1,400 years and saw an ally.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cracks in the edifice. In an attempt Thursday to shore up the Leftist/Islamic alliance, a self-described “Muslim drag queen” named Amrou Al-Kadhi, also known as “Glamrou,” has published an article in Vice magazine entitled “why islam is inherently queer” (yes, all lower case; are capital letters homophobic?). It’s a dogged exercise in ignoring the obvious.

In an extract from their book ‘Unicorn’, Amrou Al-Kadhi (aka Glamrou) explains how they discovered the queerness in their faith

“Glamrou” starts off by implying that Muhammad himself would have been sympathetic to his behavior: “Prophet Muhammed once said, ‘Islam began as something strange and will return to being something strange, so give blessings to those who are strange.’ Amen Muhammed! ”

He might also have noted that Muhammad is depicted in a hadith as having said: “The revelation does not come to me when I am in the garment of any woman except Aisha” (Sahih Bukhari 54.7.2442). Was Muhammad himself the first “Muslim drag queen”? Imagine the paroxysms of joy this would inspire in the Vice magazine offices!

Their enthusiasm might end up being dampened, however, by the fact that despite the fact that the hadith collection Muslims consider to be the most reliable (Sahih Bukhari) quotes Muhammad talking about prancing around in the clothes of his child bride Aisha, the prophet of Islam is also depicted as saying this: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done’” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4462).

Unfortunately for Glamrou and Vice, the Qur’an contains numerous condemnations of homosexual activity: “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’…And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals” (Qur’an 7:80-84).

It is no surprise that Amrou Al-Kadhi doesn’t mention any of that in his Vice magazine piece. It doesn’t fit his narrative. But unfortunately for him, many of his coreligionists are well aware of these passages and others like them. The ones who are unaware of them and their implications are gay rights activists in the West.

Case in point: back in 2013, when Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), of which I am vice president, ran ads on buses in San Francisco highlighting the mistreatment of gays in Islamic law, gay advocates in San Francisco and elsewhere condemned not that mistreatment, but our ads.

Theresa Sparks, a transgender who was the chief of San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, declared that Geller was “posting these ads to suggest that all Muslims hate gays. Some cultures do discriminate, and that’s wrong. It all depends who you’re talking to. But she’s trying to generalize and cast this wide net around a diverse group of people.”

The ads actually consisted simply of quotes from Muslim leaders regarding Islam’s death penalty for homosexuality, including Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most influential Sunni cleric in the world, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former president of the foremost Shi’ite entity in the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The ads neither stated nor suggested that “all Muslims hate gays.” Sparks was not reported as saying anything about the anti-gay statements of the Muslim leaders quoted in the ads.

Instead, Chris Stedman, a proclaimed atheist who is assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard, published an article at Salon entitled “Stop trying to split gays and Muslims,” also attacking our ads. Noting with indignation the AFDI's “series of anti-Muslim advertisements in San Francisco quoting Muslim individuals making anti-LGBT statements,” Stedman declared his “appreciation that the LGBT community in San Francisco is standing up against her efforts to drive a wedge between LGBT folks and Muslims.”

As far as Stedman was concerned, the real problem was those who called attention to the plight of gays under Islamic law, not the actual mistreatment of gays under Islamic law.

Then in April 2017, when I appeared at the University at Buffalo. I say I “appeared,” because to say “I spoke” would be exaggerating. Rather, I spoke a few sentences and made a couple of points in between being screamed at by Leftist and Islamic supremacist fascists who think they’re opposing fascism. One young man held a sign that read “Queers Against Islamophobia.”

The crowd booed energetically when I attempted to read from Islamic authorities about Islam’s death penalty for homosexuality. Even to read from Islamic sources is hate, apparently, at the University at Buffalo – unless, of course, one endorses such penalties rather than oppose them.

Other gays also stand in solidarity with Muslims against Islamophobes. In April 2017, the College Republicans chapter at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, invited me to speak there. Eight days before the event, this invitation came to the attention of a young Kirksville resident who called himself Bella Waddle.

Waddle tweeted: “Truman’s College Repubs are hosting anti-Muslim extremist Robert Spencer on the 13th. I think y’all know what to do... #bashthefash,” followed by an emoji of a fist. Bella Waddle identified himself on his Facebook page as “Just another queer anarchist,” ending his Facebook bio with three symbols that were far more incompatible than Bella appeared to know: the hammer and sickle, the peace sign, and a heart. So this self-described “queer anarchist” thought of me as an “anti-Muslim extremist” who ought not to have been given a platform at Truman State University or, presumably, anywhere else.

I’m sure Glamrou would feel the same way about anyone who pointed out Islamic law regarding gays. I only hope that neither he nor Bella Waddle, Theresa Sparks, Chris Stedman or the editors of Vice magazine run into any true believers.


CNN Tries to Get Interior Department Official Fired for Opposing Jihad Violence

Robert Spencer

So it turns out that the acting director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, William Perry Pendley, has denied the Left’s “climate change” mythology, and opposes jihad violence and illegal immigration. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski is out for blood, trying to get Pendley for heresy, that is, for his dissent from Leftist orthodoxy.

My first reaction to this was, so what? William Perry Pendley is in the Bureau of Land Management. What does that have to do with “global warming,” unless Kaczynski thinks that the sea levels are going to rise and swallow whole cities, including Obama’s new beachfront estate, and we’re all going to be dead in 12 years? What do jihad violence and illegal immigration have to do with land management? Kaczynski here shows that he would have been a terrific Gestapo official: why no, sir, you cannot have a position as a grocery clerk, because you have shown insufficient ardor for the Führer.

And indeed, the left is increasingly open about its totalitarianism. Those with dissenting views will not be allowed to hold jobs, even if those jobs have nothing to do with the subject of their dissent. A few years ago I was invited to address an education conference in California that had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam; the hate-filled fascist Georgetown University thug Nathan Lean got the cowardly Catholic bishop Jaime Soto, under whose auspices the conference was being held, to cancel my appearance. (I spoke at the conference as scheduled, in a venue outside the bishop’s purview.) And also a few years ago, the Washington Post discovered that Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones was driving for Uber; they duly got him fired. I don’t approve of book-burning, but it is not illegal in the United States, and the idea that a man must be hounded forever and prevented from making a living for views that dissent from the Left’s reveals what Leftists really are.

Among William Perry Pendley’s heresies was that he “has repeatedly pushed hardline anti-Muslim views, including citing an article by anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer in a 2018 tweet to claim Islam was at war with America.”

Here Kaczynski employs the familiar smear of Leftist “journalists,” that opposing jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others makes one “anti-Muslim.” That could only be true if all Muslims endorse jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others. Does Kaczynski believe that? If so, he should accuse himself of “Islamophobia” and resign in disgrace from CNN. In reality, opposing such things doesn’t make one “anti-Muslim” any more than opposing the Nazis during World War II made one “anti-German.” I’ve only said that about ten thousand times, and have said it directly to Kaczynski in emails. He doesn’t take any note of it, because he is not a real journalist, he is a Leftist propagandist who is not interested in the truth, but only in shaping the world by imposing his narrative upon it. He may succeed for a while, but all totalitarian thought-control breaks down in the end under the weight of reality.

In this case, reality may break in on Kaczynski in a most unpleasant way, when he discovers that the Islamic jihadis he has enabled and run interference for are something less than grateful.

Kaczynski smeared Pendley with this: “‘Who knew? Islam’s war with America started just up the road in Greeley, Colorado!,’ Pendley tweeted. In the article, Spencer floats unfounded conspiracies about ‘leftists’ allying with ‘Islamic hardliners who adhere to Sharia, a system of laws that would have many of them executed.'”

The PJ Media article in question details how Leftist were banning the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Muslim Brotherhood theorist and Islamic scholar Sayyid Qutb also found objectionable. That wasn’t a conspiracy theory at all. Both the Leftist hatred for the song and Qutb’s similar hatred for it are amply documented in the article and elsewhere.

What is ironic here is that Kaczynski claims that I spread “unfounded conspiracies about ‘leftists’ allying with ‘Islamic hardliners who adhere to Sharia, a system of laws that would have many of them executed.'” Yet in demonizing me for opposing jihad terror, he enables those Islamic hardliners. In claiming that the idea that Leftists would ally with Islamic hardliners is a “conspiracy theory,” the hardcore Leftist Kaczynski allies with Islamic hardliners to try to destroy those who stand against jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others. Conspiracy theory?

Kaczynski also objects to Pendley for saying that the Department of Homeland Security should focus on jihad terror rather than “right-wing extremism”; Kaczynski quotes acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan saying that “extremism from white supremacists” is “one of the most ‘potent ideologies’ driving acts violence in the US.” He notes that Pendley said this in 2010, but doesn’t bother to inform his hapless readers that few people were worrying about “right-wing extremism” in 2010. Nor does he bother to inform them that the idea that “right-wing extremism” is a greater threat than jihad terrorism is based on studies with numerous flawed premises.

We have just learned regarding the jihad massacre last week in Paris that the jihad murderer Mickael Harpon “had caused alarm among his colleagues as far back as 2015, when he defended the massacre of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper by two brothers vowing allegiance to al-Qaeda. But even though a police official charged with investigating suspected radicalization among the force questioned the colleagues, none of them wanted to file an official complaint.”

Why didn’t they? The answer is obvious. None of them wanted to file an official complaint for fear of the French counterparts of Andrew Kaczynski. They were afraid if they did, articles like this one about William Perry Pendley would be in their future, and their career would be in ruins.

Yes, by stigmatizing and demonizing opposition to jihad terror, Leftist “journalists” are getting people killed. If CNN were a genuine news source, it would fire Andrew Kaczynski and repudiate his hit piece on Pendley. But it isn’t, and it won’t.


Australia: ABC Chairwoman Ita Buttrose laments that the Australian media landscape is “too white” and not representative of our multicultural society. She even suggests we may need quotas

Leftist racism never stops

Quotas assume employers are biased because, whether they know it or not, they might be favouring one race over another.

Using quotas to ensure representation of racial groups on the telly, or the boardroom is a move in the wrong direction and could lead to more social division as affirmative action gives way to merit.

It used to be progressive to be colour-blind –  to focus on character over skin colour. But we have flipped this over: now we see race in everything.

If Buttrose wants to “better reflect the culture of Australia” she should focus on who we are — and not what colour we are.

We are a nation of larrikins who, regardless of where we were born, or our level of income, believe this is the best country on Earth.

This was a finding of the Australian Talks National Survey that Buttrose was spruiking while complaining about our pale media.

If we want a more egalitarian, liberal society we should resist blunt instruments such as quotas.

Australia has developed a harmonious, multicultural society by accepting our differences — and sometimes even making fun of them.

Historically, this has been the argument against the introduction of federal ‘hate speech’ laws. Dividing Australians by race would threaten social cohesion.

Racism is not accepted in Australia.  On the rare occasion a politician or commentator says something even remotely racist, they are swiftly mobbed and sometimes sacked. These are not the responses of a deeply racist country. They are the responses of a nation that has long been driven by a determination to move beyond racial differences.

Buttrose needs to do the same.



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

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

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


13 October, 2019  

Racial stereotypes start as young as FIVE: Kids believe white men look 'smarter' than women or black men, survey finds

This was an unrealistic task so generalizing from it is hazardous but one should note the extensive research that shows stereotypes to be highly flexible and subject to rapid change in response to new information.  So the stereotypes below in some way reflect the experience of these grade-schoolers.  The old view that stereotypes are imprisoning has been thoroughly debunked

Children associate being 'brilliant' with white men, but not black men, a shocking new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed 200 children and found that, regardless of their own race, they linked the stereotype of intelligence with white men much more than white women.

However, by contrast, the stereotype wasn't applied to black men, as black women were seen by the children as smarter.

The New York University team says the findings feed into patterns of stereotypes that discourage children of color and women from  pursuing careers like those in science and technology, where being seen as an intelligent person is valued.

'Among adults, gender stereotypes apply differently to men and women depending on their race,' said senior author Dr Andrei Cimpian, an associate professor in NYU's department of psychology.

'That's why it is important to consider how gender and race intersect when examining children's gender stereotypes about intellectual ability.'

For the study, published in the Journal of Social Issues, the team recruited 200 five and six-year-olds from public elementary schools in New York City.

Researchers showed the children photographs of eight pairs of adults - a woman and a man of the same race - in a setting such as a home or office.

The kids were then told one of the two adults was 'really, really smart' and asked to guess which adult was the smart one. 

Overall, the results showed that children named the white men in the photographs as the 'smart person' compared to the white women.

The team compared the answers of white children to  those of minority children - mostly black, Hispanic and Asian - and the responses were largely the same.       

But when it came the pairs of black men and women, the 'brilliant' stereotype was more often linked to black women than black men. 

'Overall, these findings reinforce the conclusion that the gender-brilliance stereotype is acquired relatively early on in life,' said co-first author Jilana Jaxon, an NYU doctoral student at the time of the research. 

'But they also suggest that this stereotype may "look" different depending on the ethnicity of the women and men that children are reasoning about.' 

The researchers say that we acquire stereotypes as children where we view white men are smarter than black men.

Because of this, we therefore believe that they are more qualified to pursue careers in areas such as science and technology - and white men are more likely to get promoted in these fields.

The team says that policies that help children understand what 'intellectual ability' is might 'reverse this inequity'.

'Understanding this nuance of how race modifies gender stereotypes is important,' said co-first author Ryan Lei, an NYU postdoctoral researcher at the time of the study.

'Research such as this is essential if we want to combat the effects of these stereotypes on all children's educational and career aspirations.'      


12-Year-Old Foster Child Goes on 8-Month School Strike, Begging to Return Home; CPS Refuses to Budge

Aliyah Banta has been in thirteen foster homes over the last fifteen months in the state of California. She was a normal pre-teen girl when she was taken from her father, Justin Banta, for allegations of abuse. Since then, her father has been trying desperately to get her back. About to celebrate her second birthday in state custody, Aliyah says she has suffered the worst of America’s foster system, all because she exaggerated the details of a fight she had with her dad to a teacher at school. According to Aliyah, she lied. And the punishment she has received for it is way more than any child deserves. She has been physically threatened by other residents, forced to sleep on the floor, starved, covered in bed bug bites, had her property stolen, was kept from communicating with her father, and forced to live in substandard conditions that would get any family arrested for neglect.

PJ Media has obtained audio of Aliyah being interviewed by a new foster family that is trying to get her out of the current group home she is living in. “Me and my dad were stressed out and we started arguing,” Aliyah said. “I over-exaggerated to my teacher and so she thought he was abusing me. When I tried to tell them what really happened, no one would listen to me.”

David Adams, the interviewer and potential foster father asked, “Do you feel that CPS is protecting you from your father in any way?” Aliyah answered with a strong, “No.”

Is Child Protective Services Trafficking Children?
Perhaps most shocking is that Aliyah has gone on a school strike in protest of her situation and has missed school for the last eight months. “I told them I would go back to school when they send me home,” Aliyah told PJ Media. She has been refusing to go to school hoping that Santa Cruz County will send her back to her dad. PJ Media confirmed with Aliyah that she was indeed not at school at 11 a.m. on a school day. She says she sits in her group home and plays on her phone instead of going to school. “They said they would drag me there by my hair if I didn’t go,” she said, “but they never did.”

This is the definition of educational neglect, but when the state does it, no one gets in trouble. PJ Media reached out to Aliyah’s social worker and was told that nothing could be discussed for confidentiality reasons. Supervisors referred to us were non-responsive. Within minutes of our contact with the county, Aliyah’s father received an email from her school, Kastner Intermediate School in Fresno, for the first time informing him that she is truant. He had never received communication from them about her absence before. “I think this is interesting timing,” he said. Calls to the school from PJ Media for comment went unreturned.

Aliyah said she has tried to tell all the adults responsible for her well-being that she wants to go home, including her caseworker, Wendell Stamps, and Judge Rebecca Connolly. “I’ve said it so many times I’ve lost count. The judge just ignores me in court. No one listens.”

Aliyah’s lawyer, Bob Patterson, hasn’t been responsive either. “He’s not doing anything for me,” Aliyah said. PJ Media reached out to Patterson for comment but received no response. “I’ve told him, I want to go home. No one cares. I can’t make it here another two weeks,” she said.

Judge Rebecca Connolly has dismal reviews on The Robing Room, a site where people can leave comments about judges who heard their cases. "I watched with disbelief as she made decisions to keep a child from family for a flimsy reason," wrote one reviewer. "This causes extreme expense for our county along with the extreme distress for children kept in terrible foster conditions, made worse by the piled on months of waiting between hearings."

Another wrote, "Judge Connolly is biased and guilty of child abuse by ordering forced family separation without a requested bonding study or taking evidence in consideration. One victim appealed one of her decisions and won." Some of the words to describe encounters with this judge were: "frequently late, brusque, biased, temperamental, power-hungry," among many others. This is not unusual for families who are dealing with family court judges and county workers. The same sorts of complaints come up in a majority of CPS cases.

Since being placed in foster care, Aliyah has reported serious abuse. “At the Chamberlain home I was tackled by staff and they held me down and I could barely breathe. My dad called the police but they didn’t do anything. They looked at my bruises and then left.” Her father recalled the same story: “I have contacted the police so many times. They never do anything about the abuse she is suffering.”

Recently, Aliyah reported that she got bed bug bites all over her body because she’s sleeping on a couch, afraid to go in her room after her roommate threatened her. “Everyone here is from juvenile hall on probation. I’m the only foster child here and I’m the youngest,” she said. “My roommate threatened that she was going to beat me up and so I don’t go in my room anymore unless she’s gone.”

Aliyah's 16-year-old sister Soleil is living in Alaska with her mother and spoke to PJ Media. "My dad is not abusive. He's a good dad. We used to spend weekends with him and weeks in the summer. We had a lot of fun." Since Aliyah was taken by CPS in California, Soleil hasn't seen her dad in a year. "We were a family. My sister shouldn't be there. My dad can't come home because he's fighting for her in California. We miss him. CPS tried to get Aliyah's mom in contact with her but her mom is a drug addict and my dad has had custody of her since she was two."

Banta also reported that CPS made attempts to connect Aliyah with her mother who has had major problems with drugs. "She was actually abusive. My dad never was," said Soleil. "They should have sent her home as soon as she admitted to exaggerating what happened." Soleil worries about her sister's health. Aliyah sent photographs of moldy food, dirty kitchens, and empty refrigerators to her father, a trained chef. As a result, Banta uses his visitation time with her to grill her food in the park and store it in an ice chest for her for the week. "She was only eating once a week when she would see my dad," said Soleil. "She should not be there."

Banta has no criminal record and has not been charged with a crime. He has completed anger management classes as requested by the county and passed a psychological evaluation. Even so, the county refuses to return his daughter, changing their accusations from physical abuse (when no evidence of physical abuse was found) to mental abuse, which is impossible to prove, especially since the alleged victim, Aliyah, says it never happened.

Lawsuit: Parents Say Newborns Were Illegally Seized after They Refused Non-Mandatory Procedures
“I just want my daughter back,” Banta told PJ Media. “They’re running out the clock. They want to keep her long enough so they can adopt her out and terminate my parental rights.”

Federal laws says that after 15 months in the system terminating parental rights can be fast-tracked and the states receive federal funds for each child they adopt out of foster care. This is seen by many as an incentive to terminate parental rights.

“I’ve done everything the court asked me to do. They still won’t give her back,” said Banta.

Banta’s last hope is a federal lawsuit that is being filed against CPS for violating both his and his daughter's rights. His lawyer, Stanley Goff, spoke with PJ Media.

"The fact that Aliyah's rights are being violated is reprehensible," he said. "CPS throughout the state engages in practices where kids are abused after being removed from the care of their parents." The abusive conditions that Aliyah has suffered have gone totally unrecognized. "The abuse is heightened when Aliyah confides in her caseworker, only to be ignored. We will be filing a federal lawsuit against Santa Cruz County CPS for placing her in these conditions."

The audio of Aliyah Banta being interviewed by the potential foster parents is below. After this interview, the foster parents told CPS that Aliyah doesn't belong with them and that she belongs with her father. Even so, the county refuses to let go of her. It's interesting that in California a girl Aliyah's age can have an abortion if she wants, but cannot decide she wants to live with her own father.


Applauding Child Abuse, Denying Science — The Democrats Put Their Insanity And Cruelty On Display Last Night

Last night, a number of presidential candidates took part in a lengthy CNN town hall centered around LGBT issues. It should have been a safe event for the Democrats. Had they spent the evening shouting vapid slogans like “love is love” and “equality for all,” they would have come out looking enlightened in some people’s eyes and basically harmless to almost everyone else. Gay rights — if by that, we mean the right to get married — is (like it or not) now a politically winning issue for the Democratic Party. Polling consistently shows that an increasing majority of Americans have a generally positive attitude towards gay marriage and homosexuality. Politically speaking, the Democrats are in good shape when they stay in that lane. But last night, they veered far, far outside of it — eventually careening off the highway, over the guardrail, down an embankment, and into the river below.

Even on the issue of gay marriage, the Democrats found a way to turn a political winner into a political loser. Beto O’Rourke advocated using the IRS to punish schools and churches that maintain their belief in one-man/one-woman marriage. The carefully curated crowd of radical leftists responded to the illegal and bigoted proposal with uproarious applause. And of course the moderators, who displayed staggering levels of cowardice throughout the evening, did not follow up by asking the congressman whether this initiative would extend to mosques. Most Americans are on board with gay marriage, but they’re also on board with religious liberty. “Go after the churches” may be a rallying cry that earns you applause in a CNN town hall, but it won’t win you votes in Ohio.

The real trouble came when the discussion turned to transgenderism. All of the candidates tried their best to pretend that they actually believe in the radical Left’s various superstitions regarding sex and gender. I’m not sure if their performances were convincing to leftists, but from the perspective of sane and normal people, it teetered between awkward and downright horrifying. On the awkward side of things, Kamala Harris opened up by giving her preferred pronouns. This is a sacred ritual in gender studies lecture halls across the country, but everyone else just finds it ridiculous. Even Chris Cuomo couldn’t help but crack a joke. “Fredo” promptly apologized, but there’s a reason why he instinctively responded the way he did. Introducing yourself with your pronouns is objectively bizarre. Only those who have been thoroughly brainwashed ahead of time can manage to keep a straight face when confronted by such silliness.

On the horrifying end of the spectrum, Elizabeth Warren came out in favor of forcing taxpayers to fund genital mutilation procedures for incarcerated transgenders. This is a reversal of her position only a few years ago. Indeed, every single one of these candidates have undergone a sudden and dramatic transformation on the issue of sex and gender. They all spent almost their entire adult lives believing that sex is an immutable and biological characteristic. If you could go back in time to the year 2004 and ask any of them — Warren, Sanders, O’Rourke, whomever — whether men have penises, they would look at you with stunned bemusement and then say something like, “What? Yes, obviously.” They probably would have given you that answer in 2008, 2012, and maybe even 2016. It’s only in the last couple of years that all prominent Democrats in the country have decided that men can menstruate and woman can produce sperm.

This all raises a question: Why did they change their minds on this? What accounts for the weirdest and most dramatic flip flop in the history of politics? Well, I know the answer. So do you. But they won’t give that answer. I’d be curious to hear what answer they do give. And if we had an actual news media interested in holding liberal politicians accountable, we would all get a chance to hear it. In any case, however, they came to the conclusion that biological sex doesn’t exist — whether due to collective head injury, spiritual epiphany, vision, drug-induced hallucination, or cynical political calculation. It is doubtful that a majority of voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida agree with their current position.

Most horrifying of all was the nine-year-old “transgender” child whose abuse and exploitation was heartily endorsed by Elizabeth Warren and the audience. The poor child — a girl who thinks she’s a boy — read a question that had clearly been prepared by her mother, who was standing beside her beaming with pride.  That mother apparently works with the militant leftist Human Rights Campaign. Funny, isn’t it? Radical leftist parents who subscribe to progressive gender theory are so often the ones who end up with “transgender” children. It’s almost like “transgenderism” in children is usually a product of conditioning. Parents intentionally foster gender confusion so that they can parade their kids around as fashion statements. “Hey, look at me! My kid is trans! Beat that, you woke posers!” It’s disgusting, evil, and tragic. And I am confident that most sane people recognize it as such. But the Democratic Party has no use for sane people, and is no longer trying to represent them.


Australia: Now vegans have banned MOUSE TRAPS. Store is ordered to stop selling rodent-killing devices because they are 'inhumane'

A discount store has been ordered to stop selling glue mouse traps because they are 'inhumane'.

Cheap as Chips stores in the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia have taken the product off their shelves.

The ban comes after a customer contacted animal rights organisation PETA, which urged the business to stop selling the item.

PETA spokeswoman Emily Rice told Daily Mail Australia businesses often stock the items not because they're cruel but 'because they don't know any better'.

The company confirmed to PETA that they had officially stopped selling the traps. 

'A concerned shopper initially reached out to us after seeing the glue traps in an Adelaide store, proving that if you see something and say something, you can save lives!' Ms Rice said.

'We commend Cheap as Chips for its compassionate and swift action to help animals.'

PETA said the glue traps can cause birds and small mammals to 'endure immense and prolonged suffering as they struggle to escape'.

As a result, animals can suffer from exhaustion, injury, shock, dehydration, or blood loss. The organisation has also warned the animals could suffocate and resort to chewing through their own legs to break free. 

Cheap as Chips is among other retailers, including Bunnings Warehouse, Mitre 10, Big W and Target, which have stopped selling glue traps.   



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

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

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


11 October, 2019

That study warning men to stop drinking before trying for a baby is debunked: Chinese research actually found moderate alcohol consumption LOWERS risk of killer heart defect

A study that claimed drinking alcohol is bad for men trying for a baby actually found that alcohol can help, research claims.

Last week, scientists from Central South University in Hunan, China, published the study claiming that men should abstain from alcohol for six months.

The research stated that men who drank put the infant at greater risk of congenital heart defect (CHD) - a condition that encompasses a number of different diseases affecting heart function. 

But today, a new report casts doubts on the study's findings and argues the data shows that fathers who drank 3.5 drinks a day actually had a lower risk of fathering children with CHD compared to non-drinkers.

An investigation from ArsTechnica looked at data underlying the report, which was an analysis of 55 previously published studies looking at links between parental behavior and CHD in babies.

It turns out that the six-month figure didn't actually come from data, but a statement the study's lead author made in a press release the university sent out to announce the study's publication.

The meta-analysis only collected data from studies that looked at paternal drinking for up to three months before conception, not six.

Fewer than half of the studies analyzed contained data on parental alcohol consumption of any kind, and only nine further broke down alcohol consumption to distinguish binge-drinking from other kinds of drinking.

The authors themselves noted that they had found a statistically significant increase in only one very rare subset of CHD, which was attributed to maternal drinking, not paternal drinking.

The authors wrote that they 'did not find a statistically significant association between parental alcohol exposure and the remaining phenotypes of CHDs because of the limited number of included studies for specific phenotypes.'

As noted, fathers who didn't drink at all seemed to be at higher risk for children with CHD than those who drank moderately.  

Greater risk of CHD among drinking fathers compared to non-drinkers didn't start to appear until seven drinks or more a day.

In the past, studies that have attempted to draw a similar connection between intoxicants and birth defects have been proven unreliable.

Famously, a study of 23 babies from the 1980s inaugurated the belief that mothers who used crack during pregnancy greatly increased the likelihood of birth defects.

A later longitudinal study found that it was poverty in general and not crack-use specifically that caused birth defects.


An obviously Toy Gun Prompts Lockdown of Three Florida Campuses

Welcome to the United States of Hysteria. A toy gun that would have been easy to identify as such in a bygone era when more kids were allowed to play with such things prompted law enforcement to lock down three different college campuses on Thursday.


A security alert which resulted in three college campuses in Florida going on lockdown was later revealed to be a false alarm involving a brightly colored toy gun.

An alarm was raised after a student at Florida Atlantic University reported seeing a man with a rifle on campus on the evening of Thursday, October 3. The student said the man walked towards her whilst she was in her car and pointed a gun at her.

The incident happened at night, so that has to be taken into account. Still, she was leaving a campus parking lot, so it's a safe assumption that the lighting was decent. The other thing that needs to be taken into account is the fact that the gun didn't look anything like a real firearm:


That thing looks like it was made in a Play-Doh Fun Factory.

This kind of panic and nonsensical waste of law enforcement time is brought to you by anti-gun liberals who know nothing about guns but continue to scream "ASSAULT WEAPONS!" every chance they get just to terrorize the public.

Congratulations, it worked.

There was also a time in America when we didn't sanitize our children's play experience with political correctness. Those children grew up with basic adult coping skills, like being able to identify a toy gun.

In the effort to turn out PC automatons, public education has succeeded in creating a generation of easy-to-scare idiots.

Wait until the current generation of young kids hits adulthood after having been convinced by their elders and an unhinged Swedish teenager that the weather is going to kill them.

The politics of emotion -- which are the only politics liberals have -- only work when the emotions are kept high. There are negative consequences to that. Sadly, consequences have also been tossed by the wayside in the way we educate and bring up children.


Why we MUST keep the Ladies' loos for the ladies

In her latest column Susanna Reid has come out fighting for the Ladies' toilets

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she just needs to escape to the Ladies. And I don’t mean for the obvious.

We may need some private space to collect our thoughts at a party, fix our make-up at a restaurant or, in extremis, retreat for a cry. It’s my refuge if I’m being bothered at a gathering or need to escape from a crowd.

I once went to the Mayfair club Annabel’s and the best thing about it was the Ladies. Perfumed air, exotic wallpaper, full-length mirrors — when you’ve had enough of the bustle, it’s like having a rest in a boudoir: a female sanctuary.

The Ladies isn’t just a convenience, it’s the place I’ve always gone to give myself a pep talk. One night early in my university years, the man of my dreams arrived at the student bar. I was overcome with nerves. What to say to this god (who looked remarkably like Aidan Turner in Poldark, now I come to think about it)?

I didn’t stay to make conversation. I retreated to the Ladies with my girlfriends for a serious discussion.

After 20 minutes I emerged, confident and brimming with enthusiasm. Only the toilet paper stuck to my shoe destroyed the image of a calm, collected me. Funnily enough, he wasn’t interested.

But there are fears this week that the Ladies may be on the way out after London theatre The Old Vic became one of the first to switch to gender-neutral toilets. Olivier-nominated actress Frances Barber has joined a growing number of theatre-loving women outraged about the new set-up.

While The Old Vic has put out a statement insisting that the number of toilets available to women has risen from 12 to 24, in fact these are all shared with men — who also have a toilet block with 18 urinals at their disposal. How can that possibly make sense?

You wouldn’t have thought theatre toilets were central to the audience experience — except they often are for us unlucky women, when we’re still stuck in the queue at the end of the interval.

Missing the toilet break and having to sit with your legs crossed for the second half of the performance really takes the enjoyment out of a show.

When I went to see Hamilton at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre, I shared a seemingly never-ending queue with two magazine editors. It was a good job they were entertaining company. I found out about the entire contents of the next issues of their publications before we’d even reached the toilet door.

The move towards fully unisex toilets in schools is causing concern among parents. We all remember how body conscious we felt around the opposite sex as teenagers, and youngsters going through puberty may want somewhere more private to retreat to.

In fact, a recent report revealed some girls are so anxious about sharing loos with boys when they are on their period, they are simply staying at home rather than going to school.

Others won’t use them all day and even cut down on drinking liquids at school to avoid the need to use the toilet, which one GP said increases the risk of girls suffering urinary and bladder infections.

Yes, create a gender-neutral facility, but for young people to be comfortable they should surely have the choice. There have been times I have needed to be with my girlfriends in the loo to hold back my hair after downing too many shots. Or we’ve had enough of the noise at a club and gather to make our own gossipy row by the basins instead.

Besides all that, there’s the hygiene issue. Men leave the toilet seat up — convenient for the next man, inconvenient for the next woman.

Call me squeamish but the less your hands have to interact with a public toilet seat, the better.

Men may feel uncomfortable sharing with women, too. It goes both ways.

I believe everyone should feel comfortable using the facilities and some may want gender-neutral spaces, which I support. But not at the cost of all single-sex loos.

There is no easy answer, apart from the costly refurbishment of buildings to include Ladies, Gents and gender-neutral conveniences.

Until this happens, I’d like to keep a private female space.


Charlottesville to Hear From Native Americans in Dispute Over Statue of Sacagawea

Sacagawea, the famous member of the Shoshone tribe, was crucial to the team of explorers who blazed a trail for western expansion of the United States.

More statues are dedicated to Sacagawea, it turns out, than to any other American woman.

However, how she is depicted in one statue that has stood for 100 years has created yet another stir in Charlottesville, the hometown of Thomas Jefferson. The Virginia-born president commissioned the celebrated exploration led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from 1803 to 1806. 

The Charlottesville City Council intends to schedule a work session to hear from descendents of Sacagawea and other Native Americans about the future of the statue.

City spokesman Brian Wheeler said the tentative plan is to hold the work session in late October, though September was the original target.

The bronze statue featuring Sacagawea at the intersection of Ridge and Main streets is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city put the statue in place in 1919. It was sculpted by Charles Keck and paid for by Paul Goodloe McIntire, a stockbroker from Virginia.

McIntire also covered the original cost of the city’s controversial Confederate statues, the proposed removal of which led in August 2017 to white nationalists descending on the city, where they clashed in the streets with “anti-fascists” known as Antifa amid peaceful protesters.        

Why Some Don’t Like the Statue

The statue depicts Lewis and Clark standing and looking westward, with Sacagawea squatting at their feet as if tracking something.

Supporters and opponents of the city’s statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson are in court arguing over a Virginia state law that protects all war memorials from city interference. 

By contrast, the statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea likely wouldn’t have any legal protection and could be removed based on a decision by the City Council.

“It’s a waste of time, money, and effort. The concerns I’ve heard expressed about the position of Sacagawea, [that] she’s crouching down, no, she’s tracking,” former Councilor Rob Schilling told The Daily Signal.

During the council’s June meeting, Charlottesville resident Grace Hays said that, as a Native American, the statue pained her.

“When you get close to her face, you kind of see that she looks concerned at the very least,” Hays told the council. “Maybe afraid. She’s crouching, she’s hiding, she’s there with her baby.”

“I have my feelings about the statue,” Hays said. “I also feel like her family, her descendants’ feelings, are really the most important in terms of how she’s portrayed.”

Others called for outright removal of the statue, including Anthony Guy Lopez, a Native American alumnus of the University of Virginia and founder of the university’s Indigenous Studies Center Initiative.

“Various interpretations have been offered to explain her odd position. Perhaps she was tracking something. Or she is looking downward at the waters of the Pacific Ocean,” Lopez wrote in an op-ed for The Daily Progress newspaper

More HERE 


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

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

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


10 October, 2019

The Case for Inclusion and Diversity in the Tech Sector

This article starts out talking about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) knowledge and morphs into a discussion of diversity generally.  The authors seem to miss that what happens in STEM jobs largely contradicts what they say about diversity.

Predictably, they say that diversity in top management is a very good thing and makes more money for the firm concerned.

But as they say about hi-tech, there are very few females there and yet hi-tech flourishes.  We are supposed to believe that it would flourish even more with more female managers.

Whether that is true depends on two things:  The diversity effect being significant and STEM fields being much like any other field.  Both assumptions are very questionable.  STEM expertise -- and IT expertise in particular -- requires very high levels of IQ and such levels are mostly found among males.  So STEM is different from the start.

The evidence for benefit from diversity that the writers below quote is the much belaboured report from Kinsey & Co which first came out in 2007 and was reissued in 2015. I have read the passages in that repoprt that detail their analyses.

We can dismiss the female effect straight off.  They found that having females aboard went with a 5% improvement in performance in the UK but only a 1% improvement in the USA.  So unsexy boards are not worth bothering with in the USA but have some point in the UK.

What is different about the UK and how can that difference explain what McKinsey found? This being Britain, it almost certainly has to do with social class.  In Britain, people who went to the expensive private schools are at the top of every heap.  Britain is run by "old boy" networks.  It seems likely, however, that in searching for able female managers, that network had to be broken down to some extent.  It was only by looking outside traditional talent pools that many able females could be found.  So in Britain it was opening up to "lesser" social classes that drew in more management talent rather than opening up to women.

So the evidence in favor of female diversity is just not there.

What about ethnic diversity? Here the report is very misleading, possibly deliberately so.  They fail to discriminate between ethnicities. From reading them we would very readily conclude that whether a firm had 3 Asian or 3 blacks on its board would not matter.  But given the vast record of black educational failure we would have to conclude that the contribution of blacks to a hi-tech firm's results would be very small.  We would have to suspect that it is only in token roles that blacks are there at all.

But, when it comes to brilliant Chinese or exceptional communicators like Indians, one can readily believe that they would make a useful difference on almost any management team.  And it would in fact mostly have been an Asian presence that made a firm "diverse" in McKinsey's study. So a more precise summary of the evidence -- that having Asians in your team was beneficial -- would have been a much more helpful guide.  As they stand, the actual conclusions are politically correct rubbish

“The uncomfortable truth is that the technology industry today is not a place in which everyone, of any gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic background can thrive and succeed,” said Francesca Warner, CEO of Diversity VC, in Diversity & Inclusion in Tech’s report. In November 2018, a Guardian headline pointed to a “worrying” lack of diversity in Britain’s tech sector. Only 15% of the tech workforce are from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, while gender diversity lies at 19%—compared to 49% for all other jobs (Diversity in Tech, 2019). Meanwhile, the proportion of men and women appointed as tech directors has remained almost the same since 2000—only 22% of tech directors were women in 2018 (Tech Nation).

And this isn’t just a problem in the U.K. The European tech community as a whole is dominated by men. Research by Atomico notes that out of the 175 large start-ups they surveyed, only one had a female chief technology officer. Even roles like chief marketing officer and chief financial officer that are often held by women, were held by men 80% of the time. The report stated that the industry was failing to make any meaningful progress, and that there had only been a single percentage point increase in the level of female participation at European tech community events in the last two years.

Check Warner from Diversity VC wrote in Atomico’s report: “Europe is not necessarily tangibly better or worse than other tech hubs. However, given that Europe has such a diverse range of geographies and people this should be a key strength.”

While looking at how funding is allocated, the gender imbalance is striking. All-male founding teams received 93% of the capital invested in 2018, compared to just 5% received by all-female founding teams. The report notes that these figures have shown little to no improvement in the last five years.

Restoring gender balance to the tech sector

Today, technology is dominated by men. But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the world’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace, was a woman. In the 1940s, Lovelace turned a complex formula into simple calculations that could be fed into a mechanical computer. She was also the first person to realize that a general purpose computer could do anything, given the right data and instructions.

So how did we get here? And can we rebalance the gender gap in the tech sector? Tech Talent Charter—an initiative that drives organizations to deliver greater diversity in the U.K. tech workforce, is aiming to do just that. The CEO Debbie Forster said, “If everything is going to be digital and this huge disruption is coming in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is essential that the minds creating these technologies are minds that represent the whole population.”

The Charter has signatories ranging from tech giants like Microsoft, Salesforce and Cisco, to banks and organizations including Lloyds Bank, the BBC, Cancer Research UK, Domino’s Pizza, and a number of SMEs and start-ups.

“All of the statistics show that companies with more diverse teams are more profitable, more sustainable, and more able to survive disruption,” said Forster. “Companies are waking up and realizing that it’s not just a good thing to do, it’s not even just a smart thing to do, it’s essential.”

“The uncomfortable truth is that the technology industry today is not a place in which everyone, of any gender, race, disability, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic background can thrive and succeed.”

According to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. And it’s not just gender. The same research showed that companies with high ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability. “I’m not bothered to chase every company to join us because the market is going to reward those who do,” said Forster. “Diversity is bottom line profitability.”

More HERE 

Is cheese bad for you? You may be surprised by its health secrets

Stop cheating on cheddar. Its links to cardiovascular disease are tenuous and it may prevent diabetes

Can anyone resist a cheeseboard? Clearly not the 92 per cent of us who, according to a report on the UK cheese market, eat cheese at least once a week. Somewhat unfairly, though, the tastier a cheese, the higher in calories and fat it is likely to be, and for years we’ve been warned to resist eating much of it for the sake of our waistlines and our hearts.

Still, nutritionists tell us that cheese is a good source of magnesium and calcium, as well as vitamins A, B2 and B12. This makes it “a complete protein” food, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair the body’s tissues.

The caveat has always been the saturated fat content of cheese and its less than favourable association with the health of our arteries. Now, though, some researchers claim that cheese’s links with cardiovascular disease are tenuous. In newly published guidelines based on a two-year review of recent evidence, Australia’s national health service has relaxed its view on cheese, suggesting that it’s fine to eat full-fat dairy (unless you have heart disease) and that cheese may have particular health benefits.

In the UK the latest review by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition review, published in August, recommends that foods high in saturated fat, such as cheese, should be eaten sparingly, but for how long will this view last? Research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation has questioned the guidelines about the type of fat we eat and even the most cautious observers concede that the future for cheese lovers is brighter.

“We do now know that there are different types of saturated fat and that the saturated fat in dairy and cheese is not as bad for us as was once thought,” says Linia Patel, a dietician and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association (BDA). Some recent cheese studies have shown that it may play a preventive role, warding off conditions typically associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes.

Cheese has a low glycaemic index (GI), meaning it won’t trigger blood sugar spikes. “Adding any high-protein food such as cheese to dishes like mashed potato or pasta will lower the GI of that meal, helping to counteract the rush of glucose,” says the dietician Helen Bond, a BDA spokeswoman.

In May a team from the University of Alberta published results of a trial they had carried out on pre-diabetic laboratory rats that were fed regular and low-fat cheese. Both types were found to reduce insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to high blood-sugar levels and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “The cheese didn’t normalise the effects of insulin, but it significantly improved them,” wrote Catherine Chan, the professor of agricultural, life and environmental sciences who led the study. “And it didn’t matter whether it was low-fat or regular cheese.”

Select aged cheeses — brie, stilton and other blues, mature cheddar, parmesan and gruyère — and it’s a step towards extending your lifespan. A compound called spermidine, found in aged cheeses as well as in mushrooms and soy products, seemed to help to prevent liver cancer in a study carried out at Texas A&M University health centre two years ago. When researchers gave lab animals an oral supplement of spermidine, the animals lived longer and were less likely to have cancerous liver tumours than untreated animals. Leyuan Liu, assistant professor in the university’s Center for Translational Cancer Research, described the increase in lifespan as “dramatic”, with the animals having the cheese compound living as much as 25 per cent longer. “In human terms,” she said, “that would mean that instead of living to about 81 years old, the average American could live to be over 100.”

Even if the effect is not that impressive, your gut will thank you for it. Aged cheeses are fermented and contain a range of beneficial bacteria that boost the microbiome and in turn ramp up immunity and all-round good health.

“Most aged cheeses contain some live microbes,” says Dr Megan Rossi, a research fellow in gut health at King’s College London. “The microbes can come from various places — some are added to the milk or to help ripen a cheese, while others are from the environment in which the cheeses are aged — and can benefit our gut health.”

Cheese is also good for your teeth. A study published in the journal General Dentistry in 2013 is one of several to report that a regular consumption of cheese may help to protect teeth against cavities.

“Cheese is slightly more alkaline so it helps to neutralise plaque acids that form after eating,” says Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation. “The acid formed by sugar in foods causes the pH level in our mouths to drop for about 40 to 50 minutes after we have eaten and you can speed up the return to balance by eating a small piece of cheese following a meal.”

And there’s no truth in the belief that you shouldn’t eat cheese before going to bed. “The only very distant link,” Rossi says, “would be that if you suffer from reflux, having large amounts of a high-fat cheese before bed may exacerbate your symptoms. Otherwise it is fine to eat it with or after an evening meal. It won’t do your teeth any harm to eat cheese in the evening.” Varieties such as cottage cheese and ricotta might even help you to nod off by aiding the production of sleep hormones, Patel says.


White supremacist problem is much exaggerated

They are largely an invention of their Leftist enemies

Considering the amount of publicity they get, one could be forgiven for thinking that white supremacists are a major force on the political landscape. Their protests make international headlines, their leaders are well known, and now, without firing a single shot, they’ve managed to take over a symbol that has been used by people around the world for decades.

Yes, that’s right, the OK hand sign, that near-enough universal finger-and-thumb indication of affirmation or assent, has now been appropriated by racists. That is according to the Anti-Defamation League, a US-based NGO, which announced last week that the OK hand sign has become a ‘sincere expression of white supremacy’. The ADL says the OK symbol has become a ‘popular trolling tactic’ from ‘right-leaning individuals’, who post images of themselves, posing while making the gesture, on social media.

How have white supremacists, these merchants of hate, managed to reach such levels of prominence and power? Is it through great marketing? The promise of a fulfilling life burning crosses in the woods? Or perhaps their racist arguments now resonate with an ever-growing number of people?

If it were any of those reasons, we would be justified in seriously panicking. But the facts tell a different story.

The biggest white-supremacist protest in recent decades, in Charlottesville, Virginia, attracted only a few hundred people. Richard Spencer, the most prominent figure in the white supremacist movement, has 77,000 followers on Twitter (and presumably not all of them subscribe to his views). And the claim that the OK symbol is white supremacist started off as a joke, on an internet messageboard, intended to troll self-styled lefties.

So who is artificially inflating this movement’s strength? Who is empowering it? Oddly enough, it is the very people who are dedicated to opposing it.

Organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League, which are dedicated to monitoring and combating ‘hate speech’, need to point to instances of it in order to justify their existence. To be fair to the ADL, when adding the OK symbol to its Hate Symbols Database, it acknowledged that ‘[t]he overwhelming usage of the “okay” hand gesture today is still its traditional purpose as a gesture signifying assent or approval’. But this raises the question as to why a media blitz warning people of its other usage was necessary.

Campaigning organisations like the ADL will claim they are raising awareness of the far-right threat in our midst. But their headline-grabbing activity is having the opposite ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect. Moreover, by finding signs of racism everywhere, even in an innocuous hand gesture, they are bringing actual racists into the mainstream by proxy.

Does this mean that white supremacists don’t exist, or should be ignored? Of course not. The US Department of Homeland Security now considers domestic terrorism, in particular white-supremacist terrorism, as being as big a threat to the US as foreign terrorism. But those of us who truly oppose racism should go to great lengths to ensure that we are not giving its pathetic perpetrators free publicity. Or else there is a genuine risk that claiming white supremacists are on the rise will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


We Must Fight the Sexualization of Children by Adults

Childhood used to be a time of innocence. But as our culture has become more and more sexualized, children have become the casualties of adult exploitation.

The New York Times just reported that more than 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused were reported by tech companies, more than double what they found the previous year.

In culture, education, and health care, American children also are increasingly targeted for sexual messages, images, and themes at younger ages. Sometimes, this is even supported by taxpayer money through government-led initiatives.

Our culture is saturated with sexual content that was once considered too risqué for children, and social media has accelerated the spread of pornography to young viewers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that in the United States, 42% of children between 10 and 17 have viewed pornography online.

Social media also has become prime hunting ground for sex traffickers. In March 2019, Instagram was reportedly the leading social media platform for child grooming by sexual predators.

A recent poll of 2,000 teens found that nearly 75% had received pornographic direct messages from strangers, even if they had a private account. And 55% of victims of sex trafficking in 2015 met their abuser through a website, app, or text.

The sexualization of children is occurring in brick-and-mortar spaces too as “drag queen story hours,” in which cross-dressing adult entertainers interact with children in taxpayer-funded local libraries, have appeared across the country.

In education, the United Nations promotes Comprehensive Sexual Education around the world. In America, groups such as Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network promote “comprehensive” sexual education, which includes instruction about homosexual practices, transgender theory, and abortion.

Colorado mandates such curriculum for students in elementary school and recently considered stripping away parental opt-out provisions.

Sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum is not limited to sex education. California, New Jersey, and Illinois passed laws requiring schools to teach about the “political, social, and economic contributions of … lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” which frequently include dubious assertions about the sexual orientation or gender identity of historical figures that are irrelevant to their achievements.

The House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act, which would amend Title IV of the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. This curriculum could be required if the Equality Act were to become law.

The Department of Education under the Obama administration pressured schools to implement transgender policies that pose risks to children’s privacy and safety. In Georgia, Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in a restroom at an elementary school that adopted a gender identity-based access policy without notifying parents.

Efforts to expose children to age-inappropriate content and make parental notification and opt-out difficult or impossible undermine parents’ constitutional right to control their children’s education on sensitive topics such as human sexuality. Public schools should not become a place where children are exposed to radical sexual ideology.

Finally, the increased prevalence of transgender ideology in culture and education has narrowed the treatment options for children with gender dysphoria.

Transgender activists pressure both doctors and parents to consent to “gender-affirming medical treatment” for children who otherwise likely would grow to accept their bodies. Such treatment typically starts with puberty blockers at age 8, cross-sex hormones at 14, and genital surgery for boys as young as 17. In one case, a 13-year-old girl was given a double mastectomy.

The detrimental side effects of hormones, such as increased depression, loss of bone density, and sterility, are well-known. Yet 15 states have banned counseling for gender-dysphoric children that would help them become comfortable with their biological sex.

The Equality Act, if passed, would make medical professionals liable to lawsuits for gender identity discrimination if they declined to do “sex reassignment” procedures on children, regardless of conscientious objection or best medical judgment.

The Trump administration reversed policies under the Obama administration that created the same liabilities, but parents continue to find that the medical system and the legal system are working against them. In Ohio, a couple lost custody of their daughter because they refused to allow her to take testosterone.

Combating the premature sexualization of children by adults requires focused attention from both lawmakers and courageous parents.



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

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

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


9 October, 2019

The hateful extremism of the British government

I have just had an extensive look at "Challenging Hateful Extremism", a recent emission of the British government.

There is only one form of extremism in Britain that frequently kills people and that is of course Muslim extremism. So you would think that the report would focus heavily on that form of extremism and leave other forms of extremism to be summed up in a single chapter.  That is not remotely so.

The report does mention Musim hate speech but it is most heavily concerned with the words of British patriots who resent the favoritism shown towards Muslims by the British government.  And that favoritism is surely hateful extremism. 

The Left will deny anything so will probably deny any favoritism towards Muslims but the report itself is evidence of that bias.  It was chaired by Sara Khan, a former  president of an Islamic youth organisation.  No expectation of bias there, of course.

So rather than be preoccupied with the grievous attacks from Muslims that can erupt anywhere any time, the British government wants to muzzle citizens who are concerned about such attacks.  A more hateful form of extremism would be hard to imagine -- JR

British cops covering up for one-another

It's what cops do but it must be exposed

Five detectives were cleared of wrongdoing over their handling of bogus VIP sex ring allegations following a "lamentable and inadequate" inquiry by police watchdogs, a former High Court judge has said.

Sir Richard Henriques believes the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) carried out "no effective interrogations" during its review of Operation Midland, which focused on false allegations by fantasist Carl Beech.

He also expressed alarm at the IOPC's "lack of knowledge of criminal procedure" as it prepares to publish a report explaining why it exonerated officers involved in the disastrous sex abuse probe.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Sir Richard said he finds it "difficult to conceive that no misconduct or criminality was involved by at least one officer" involved in the Midland inquiry.

"Whilst all five, absent any proper investigation, must be presumed innocent, the responsibility of the IOPC was to carry out a high quality investigation in a timely manner," he added. 

"The delay in reaching their findings of almost three years is gross and inexcusable and goes some way to inhibiting any further investigation."

Beech was jailed for 18 years for perverting justice by claiming he had been abused by Sir Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister, Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, Lord Bramall, the former head of the Army and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.

He also claimed he had witnessed members of the gang murder three boys, prompting police to launch a £2.5 million homicide investigation.

Instead of testing the claims, the Metropolitan Police declared they were  "credible and true", something Sir Richard said had devastating consequences.

The former judge pinpointed 43 separate mistakes by officers in his own report on Operation Midland.

His scathing report says there were numerous opportunities to spot Beech's lies in the early stages of the inquiry and shut the case down.

In response, Scotland Yard's Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House admitted "mistakes were made" but said the force does not agree with "everything Sir Richard wrote in his report or indeed all of his recent statements regarding further investigations into the actions of officers".


Anger as BBC Today presenter Justin Webb says Rory Stewart should not try to be London mayor because standing against black and Muslim rivals as a white Old Etonian 'is not very 2020'

BBC Today presenter Justin Webb suggested Rory Stewart should not stand for London mayor because he is a white man and an Old Etonian.

The ex-Tory cabinet minister, 46, appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to discuss his mayoral campaign.

However Today presenter Justin Webb, 58, argued that Mr Stewart standing in the mayoral race was not 'really 2020'.  

Mr Stewart is up against Conservative Party candidate Shaun Bailey and member of the Labour Party Sadiq Khan.

Mr Webb said: 'You mention that you are proud of the diversity of the mayoral race in London, you are a white guy and Old Etonian - it's not really 2020 is it, really, to be challenging a black man who is the conservative candidate and the Muslim mayor.'

Mr Stewart added: 'You are absolutely right it is a fantastically diverse group of candidates which reflects a diverse city.'

'And you are saying don't elect them, elect a white Etonian,' said Mr Webb who was educated at private Sidcot School, Somerset.

The ex-minister said: 'I'm definitely not saying that.'

'It kind of is what you are saying isn't it because you are standing,' Mr Webb retorted.

Mr Stewart said: 'I am saying that you should not be voting for me on the basis of my ethnicity but on the basis of the fact that I feel that as an ex-cabinet minister, as someone who has run for big projects internationally, as somebody who can get things done and has proved in government that I can turn things around.

'I can make the role of mayor something bigger than it has been in the past - I think there is huge potential in the role of mayor of London.'

Mr Stewart added on the Today programme: 'I think British political parties are dragging towards the extremes. I think there is a gaping hole in the centre...'  'I'm obviously not a partisan of Sadiq Khan's or indeed of any political party - I think that mayoral roles can be done very well by independents.  'And I think the danger of mayors being part of political parties is they carry the whole damage and the baggage of those manifestos with them.' 

Mr Stewart has been highly critical of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's approach to Brexit, leading to him being sacked as a Tory MP by Mr Johnson last month - along with 20 other colleagues - for voting against a no-deal exit. 

Over the coming weeks, the Remain campaigner intends to emulate his walk across Afghanistan in 2002 - which the ex-diplomat wrote about for a travel book - by touring each borough of London on foot as part of a listening mission before the campaign kicks off.

'I can make the role of mayor something bigger than it's been in the past - I think there's huge potential in the role of mayor of London,' Mr Stewart insisted. 'I think it's something that we see in cities like New York, I don't think we've begun to see the potential of it.'

Mr Stewart insisted that he sought to position himself as the London mayoral candidate without ties to either Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.

He added how mayors who were part of political parties carried 'baggage' of their manifestos and suggested he could 'really focus' on London's interests 'rather than being tied to Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted yesterday: 'Rory Stewart wholeheartedly backed Tory cuts that have ripped the heart out of our communities and done so much damage to our police, NHS and schools. He would be a disaster for London.'

Responding to the criticism on BBC Breakfast this morning Mr Stewart told presenter Charlie Stayt: 'You have just put your finger there on the classic thing, which is we are back to party politics again. 'But I think what we shouldn't do is get into this world of everybody throwing personal insults.'

Mr Stewart said London Mayor Sadiq Khan had 'made the most' of the role and that it was 'not clear' what his dreams are for the capital.


Australia: Journalists won't face facts over false claims of abuse in divorce proceedings


Astounding as it might seem, fact can sometimes be portrayed as fiction because politicians and journalists are more interested in their own positioning than realistically dealing with the proposition at hand.

Afteryears of campaigning for reform of the Family Court system, Pauline Hanson last month welcomed the government's decision to grant her wish of a parliamentary inquiry, complete with her place as deputy chair.

In one of her first interviews Hanson told Radio National Breakfast's Hamish McDonald that women sometimes used false domestic violence claims so as to win sole custody of their children. "I'm hearing of too many cases where children, or parents I should say, are using domestic violence to stop the other parent from seeing their children. Perjury is in our system, but they're not charged with perjury," said the One Nation Senator.

McDonald, rightly, pressed Hanson for evidence to support her claim, and she, rightly, relayed cases forwarded to her, including one involving her son, as anecdotal evidence while arguing this was one of the issues the inquiry should examine in order to establish verifiable information. Hanson went on to make similar comments on Nine Media and elsewhere, dubbing some women "liars".

Cue outrage. "One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has caused outrage after making a series of comments on ABC Radio this morning, implying women who report domestic violence are often lying," reported News.com.au. "Pauline Hanson sparks fury with claim domestic violence victims are lying to family court," screamed The Guardian Australia. "Pauline Hanson slammed," opened The Project while host Carrie Bickmore said Hanson "sparked outrage taking aim at domestic violence victims" — which seemed to draw a long and inflammatory bow.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, journalist David Leser wrote Hanson "has already demonstrated her lack of fitness for the job by accusing women of fabricating domestic violence claims in order to get custody of their children". The Guardian Australia's political reporter, Katharine Murphy, opined: "Hanson has kicked off with inflammation, ventilating the old chestnut that women are making up domestic violence claims in custody battles."

In Nine Media newspapers Jacqueline Maley and Bianca Hall quoted former Family Court chief justice Elizabeth Evatt: "The first-ever chief justice of the Family Court says Senator Pauline Hanson's claim that women fabricate family violence complaints is 'appalling' and 'not true."

With such outrage afoot the safest place for politicians (especially men) to be was anywhere but agreeing with Hanson. While Labor and the Greens lined up to attack her, even Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton pushed back. "Pauline Hanson is passionate about a lot of issues and she was wrong in relation to some of the comments she made during the course of the week," he said.

Surely for journalists there was one crucial question that had to be addressed — and it wasn't whether or not you agreed with Hanson's language, supported her priorities, or whether you thought false claims were the biggest problem when it came to the Family Court and domestic violence. The question was simply whether she was right.

The ABC ran a story on the second day of this controversy saying domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty had "called out" Hanson's comments, yet in the next paragraph quoted Batty saying there are "some women who abuse the system".

The Project, The Guardian Australia and others went to journalist Jess Hill, whose book on domestic violence cited, among other things, a study showing men made false claims at three times the rate of women. Hill was keen to condemn Hanson but did she disprove her claims? On The Project, Bickmore asked Hill: "Jess, what do you make of Pauline's comments? Are false abuse claims a big problem in our Family Courts?"

The response was emphatic and fascinating. "No," said Hill, "we actually have data for a really long time telling us about the average number of false claims, or deliberately false allegations — they're at about 10 per cent"

On RN Breakfast the day after his initial Hanson interview, McDonald followed up by interviewing domestic violence expert Dr Jane Wangmann from University of Technology Sydney. Asked whether or not false claims happened, her initial response mentioned that this was "a very powerful narrative that has come from men's rights groups" and she went on to say "there is no evidence to support her (Hanson's) allegations".

Yet, live to air, Wangmann cited studies in Canada and Australia tracing false claims involv-ing child abuse and family court matters. "They have found allegations that are false are very, very small, ranging between 4 and 12 per cent," she said. Wangmann clarified that the 12 per cent figure related to the Australian study but insisted: "There is no evidence to support this is a widespread concern in which we might need to have an inquiry."

So here we had RN Breakfast and The Project persisting in their outrage that Hanson was perpetrating a falsehood about women making false claims, at the same time their chosen experts confirmed false allegation rates of 10 and 12 per cent. In neither case did the interviews note that false claim rates of 10 per cent or more only under-scored Hanson's point.

Instead the media angle was to remain aligned with their guests — that is, opposed to Hanson. This is a dear case of the media maintaining their ideological position despite the facts, journalism siding with political style over factual substance.

Judging whether someone is right or wrong is not a matter of making hierarchical comparisons with other issues. Hanson did not say false claims are a bigger issue than the number of women being killed in domestic violence attacks, or that this was easy or that it was the only issue. Hanson said there was a problem with false claims and that it might be a factor in the high rates of male suicide. And while politicians rushed to distance themselves, so did the media.

But even in their efforts to de-bunk Hanson they revealed figures suggesting one in every 10 claims put before the system is false. It seems we have cultivated such a superficial public debate that participants fear conceding any point to Hanson might see them identified with her agenda. So, figures that proved Hanson
had a point were used to pretend she was wrong.

Child psychologist Clare Rowe deals in such matters daily. "People might not like Hanson's politics, or priorities, or how she speaks about these issues, but the reality is false claims are a problem," Rowe told me. "This topic should not be taboo because, while we know the court must err on the side of caution, these cases do occur, and it means hundreds of children are being denied a parent under false pre-tences."

That sounds like an issue worthy of media examination. But it requires a bit more time and effort compared to the usual Hanson backlash angle.

Story from the Brisbane "courier Mail" of 7 October, 2019


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

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

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


8 October, 2019

Politically correct mathematics!

The article below is rather coy about it but they are clearly trying to convey that children develop high math skills by the mere presence of parents with high math skills. They want to avoid the conclusion that a kid's intelligence is all due to that nasty genetics.  There is something else there as well which can make you bright.

And it may well be true that having a bright parent cues you into strategies that are helpful in mathematics.  But their research does not prove that.  All they did was old stuff: They correlated parental math scores with offspring math scores.  And there was, as usual, a strong association between the two.  There was nothing in their findings that could not be explained by a wholly genetic transmission of mathematical ability. 

We have known for around 100 years that mathematical ability is genetically transmitted so there was really no point to the study. Its only point was its "slant" towards a politically correct conclusion.

Parents' math skills 'rub off' on their children

First evidence found of intergenerational transmission of an unlearned, nonverbal competence in mathematics

Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recent study that shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission -- the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology -- in mathematic capabilities.
Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recently released University of Pittsburgh study, which shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission -- the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology -- in mathematic capabilities.

"Our findings suggest an intuitive sense for numbers has been passed down -- knowingly or unknowingly -- from parent to child. Meaning, essentially, the math skills of parents tend to 'rub off' on their children," said lead researcher Melissa E. Libertus, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and a research scientist in the University's Learning Research and Development Center. The Department of Psychology is within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. "This research could have significant ramifications for how parents are advised to talk about math and numbers with their children and how teachers go about teaching children in classrooms."

Within the study, Pitt's researchers found that the performance levels for early school-aged children on standardized mathematic tests could be reliably predicted by their parent's performance on similar examinations. Specifically, they observed major correlations in parent-child performance in such key areas as mathematical computations, number-fact recall, and word problem analysis. Surprisingly, the researchers also found that children's intuitive sense of numbers -- i.e. the ability to know that 20 jelly beans are more than 10 jelly beans without first counting them -- is predicted by their parents' intuitive sense of numbers. Researchers determined that such close result parallels could not have been produced through similar institutional learning backgrounds because their previous research showed that this intuitive sense of numbers is present in infancy.

The findings represent the first evidence of intergenerational transmission of unlearned, nonverbal numerical competence from parents to children. While separate studies have pointed to the existence of intergenerational transmission of cognitive abilities, only a select few have examined parental influences in specific academic domains, such as mathematics.

Libertus said the study is an important step toward understanding the multifaceted parental influences on children's mathematic abilities. Her future studies will examine why this transference of mathematic capability occurs.

"We believe the relationship between a parent and a child's math capabilities could be some combination of hereditary and environmental transmission," said Libertus. "We look forward to future research endeavors that will explicitly examine the degree to which parents pass down key genetic traits and create an in-home learning environment that is conducive to producing high-achieving math students."

For the present study, the math abilities of parents and children were assessed using the appropriate subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, a nationally recognized standardized examination of baseline math ability. Children completed three subtests designed to gauge their capabilities in mathematical computations, basic number-fact recall, and word problems with visual aids. Parents completed a math fluency subtest as a measure of mathematical ability, and they were surveyed on the importance of children developing certain math skills.

The study sampled 54 children between the ages of 5 and 8 as well as 51 parents -- 46 mothers and five fathers -- between the ages of 30 and 59. In terms of racial demographics of participating children, 45 were Caucasian, five biracial, three African American, and one Asian. Forty-six participating parents had at least a college degree, and all possessed at least a high school diploma.

A Pitt faculty member since 2013, Libertus' research focuses on the understanding of how children perceive and learn mathematical concepts. The long-range goals of her work seek to identify key factors in the successful learning of mathematics. Emily J. Braham, a doctoral student with a cognitive-neuroscience concentration in the Department of Psychology, assisted in this research study.

The study "Intergenerational Associations in Numerical Approximation and Mathematical Abilities" is available in the latest edition of Developmental Science.

SOURCE .  The journal  abstract is here

UK: Now they want to outlaw non-violent political groups

A report from the Tony Blair Institute proposes some alarming new forms of censorship.

Our freedom from government interference – our freedom to speak, to campaign and to operate as we please outside of the reach of the state – is under constant assault today. A recent report from the grandly named Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, titled New Policy Responses to Stop Hate Crime, is just the latest example of this.

Its suggestions for further restrictions on what we can say about people’s religion are bad enough, and blur the line between anti-religious speech and blatantly racist speech. But the proposals about hate groups are even more disconcerting. Put bluntly, the report’s complaint is that the government does not have enough powers to make life difficult for organisations that promote views we don’t like, and so it ought to award itself some more.

The problem, as the institute sees it, is this: too many groups, such as Britain First or Generation Identity, promote odious ideas, but remain annoyingly non-violent. Which means they cannot just be summarily banned under current anti-terror legislation that allows for the censorship of violence-inciting speech. The institute’s modest proposal to deal with this alleged difficulty is a ‘new tier of hate-group designation’, which could be proudly announced as the ‘first of its kind in Europe’.

Available by Home Office fiat, such designations would be based on the fairly vague claim that a group might ‘demonise specific groups on the basis of their race, religious [faith], gender, nationality or sexuality’, or be guilty of ‘disproportionately blaming specific groups (based on religion, race, gender or nationality) for broader societal issues’. Or they might be regarded as ‘aligning with extremist ideologies, though not inciting violence’.

What would be the impact on a group that was designated as hateful? The report is short on detail, but it speaks in terms of such groups ‘not [being] allowed to use media outlets or speak at universities’, and not being allowed to ‘engage, work with or for public institutions’. They would be ‘suspended from the electoral roll’. (This is an odd phrase showing, perhaps, evidence of over-hasty writing. Presumably, it means the groups would be deregistered as political parties.) The designated groups would also be banned from holding any public marches at all.

This is all quite mild, the report insists. Group members would still, graciously, be allowed to meet in private. And any new offences to back up the proposed prohibition on hate groups would be ‘civil, not criminal’. Oh, and there would be an incitement to virtue, too. Groups might be given back their privileges, rather like errant schoolboys who showed good behaviour, if they mended their ways and became more enlightened.

Where to start with all this? The first thing to note is that these measures are envisaged as applying to organisations operating entirely within the law. What we are talking about here is the introduction of powers to impose severe restrictions on the activities of lawful groups; groups that are neither violent nor dedicated to criminal activity.

Despite the report’s protestations, the restrictions are severe. Preventing a group from taking part in any procession, excluding it from addressing students and banning it from democratic activity as a political party are essentially telling that group that it may only operate in private.

It gets worse. Consider the words ‘not allowed to use media outlets’. Are broadcasters now to be automatically penalised by Ofcom if they publicise the views of a government-disapproved body? Will we reach the position of old Eastern European dictatorships and punish newspapers for publishing material from specific groups? As for the comforting statement that any offences created would be civil not criminal, don’t be taken in. If anything, this would make it even easier to assert state control over certain political groups, as it would mean that fines could be levied and bans enforced without the need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Think about what kind of activity might fall under the ban. What about a Christian evangelical group known for its strong views on transgenderism? Could it be driven from public life until it mended its ways? On the other side, what of pro-choice activists who regularly call out what they see as the medieval bigotry of the Catholic Church on reproductive matters, or a group of gay-rights supporters who attack the Koran for its uncompromising view on homosexuality? Might they be found guilty of disproportionately blaming a religious group for societal ills and find themselves banned?

We need to criticise and challenge proposals like these long before they become law.


Parents must have the right to spank their kids

Scotland’s ban on smacking is an assault on parental freedom.

Scotland has banned smacking. MSPs decided this afternoon, by a majority of 84 to 29, to make it a criminal offence for parents to discipline their children with a slap. What a nasty, authoritarian decision. This is an outrageous intrusion into the sovereignty of the family and into parents’ freedom to decide for themselves how to raise their children. It is yet another expression of the PC middle classes’ arrogant presumption that they know better than the rest of us how children should be brought up and how households should be run. Anyone who believes in freedom and good parenting should oppose this meddling law.

The quinoa mums and blogging dads who make up the commentariat and the political elite have always looked with snobbish horror at parents who smack. Smacking offends their parenting-manual worldview, in which kids must always be surrounded in cotton wool and must be told every five minutes that they are wonderful individuals, whose self-esteem is the most important thing in the world. To these people discipline itself is bad news. They might occasionally use the naughty step against their offspring, but a clip round the ear? A smack on the bum? A stern word in the ear of the kid who plays up in public? No way. That’s fascism, right?

They look upon working-class, immigrant and religious families that tend to use traditional methods of discipline as criminal, effectively. And now, in Scotland, they will be criminal. The new law forbids even ‘reasonable’ physical force against children. It is called the ‘equal protection’ act because it will give children the same protection from ‘assault’ that adults enjoy. A mum isn’t allowed to walk into Asda and smack an adult who is doing their weekly shop, so why should she be allowed to smack her own kid during a trip to Asda? That’s the infantile thinking behind this insidious ban.

The elitist anti-smacking crusaders make a basic error. They think the smacking of children is assault, that it is an act of violence. It absolutely is not. Parents smack their children out of love, not hate; out of concern for their welfare, not as an attack on their welfare. Yes, some parents beat their children, often badly, and there are laws in place to deal with these acts of violence. But a clip, a tap, a smack or an occasional whack with a slipper are not acts of violence – they are acts of disciplinarian concern and love.

The idea that you aren’t allowed to smack adults and therefore you shouldn’t be allowed to smack children is ridiculous. Adults do many things with children that they would never do with adults. They clean their bums, send them to their room, block adult content from their computers, forbid them from wearing certain clothes. We do these things to children because they are dependants – they need guidance and socialisation and sometimes control. And smacking is, or should be, a perfectly acceptable part of that process.

The anti-smacking zealots and so-called parenting experts claim that kids who get smacked will come to think that violence is an acceptable response to difficult situations. Nonsense. I was smacked. Regularly. I needed it, too. Virtually everyone I knew in the immigrant, working-class community I grew up in was smacked. Did we become violent maniacs? Of course not. In fact, we came to a clear understanding of how one should behave. We learned self-control and respect. Our parents hit us because they loved us and wanted us to be properly socialised as boundary-respecting adults. And they were successful.

Parents should use whatever methods of discipline work best for them and their families. It ought to be none of the state’s business. Scotland is effectively disciplining its own citizens, its own adults, and that is a far more horrible thing than a kid occasionally getting a smack from a parent who loves him.


Bring back knights and dames, says Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott has stood by his decision to appoint knights and dames into the Australian honours system and suggests they be reintroduced.

In his first long post-election interview to mark the Liberal Party’s 75th anniversary, Mr ­Abbott recognised there were things that caused him “a lot of grief” when he was PM between 2013-15, including his captain’s pick of appointing Prince Philip a Knight.

But Mr Abbott stood by his decision for knights and dames in the Australian honours system, and suggested they be back on the agenda and reinstated.

“If we are going to have an honours system (then) I think that at the apex of the system we should have knights and dames,” Mr Abbott said.

“If you are a tradition-minded leader of a centre-right party, that’s exactly the kind of thing that you should do. At the heart of our centre-right tradition, it is not so much reform but restoration.

“I should have found a way of doing in this country what they did in New Zealand when John Key brought it back (by) up­grading the ACs to AKs. And I shouldn’t have made it the prime minister’s personal pick, it should have been the Council of the Order of Australia which did it.”

In 2014, Mr Abbott announced that up to four knights or dames would be appointed in any year, saying the honour would be extended to Australians of “extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit”. Mr Abbott then appointed Prince Philip a Knight on Australia Day, recognising him for his “contribution to Australia throughout the Queen’s reign.”

However, in 2015 Malcolm Turnbull dumped his predecessor’s system saying his “Cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia, in this its 40th anniversary year, and agreed that Knights and Dames are not appropriate in our modern honours system”.

Mr Turnbull said while knights and dames was “a long way from being the most important issue in Australia”, the decision reflected a modern Australia. “Knights and Dames are titles that are really anachronistic, out of date, [and] not appropriate in 2015 in Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

In his exclusive interview, Mr Abbott conceded he made mistakes as prime minister but overwhelmingly blamed Mr Turnbull’s overweening ambition for his government’s demise four years ago.

Mr ­Abbott said he wished he had longer than two years as prime minister and did not rule out a ­return to parliament.

“It wasn’t that we had a divided government, it was more that there was one person who was ­determined to get to the top by hook or by crook,” Mr Abbott said. “Malcolm always thought it was his destiny to be prime minister and I happened to be the ­obstacle to that and so he dealt with me as best he could.”

While Mr Abbott said he had “mostly” forgiven those who had turned against him and had no “lasting enmities”, he would consider returning to parliament. “If the Liberal Party ever wanted me to do that, I would be more than happy to consider it, but I find it difficult to imagine the circumstances that they would want me,” he said. “I’m not ruling it out but I’m not expecting it to happen.”

With the Liberal Party having governed nationally for 48 of its 75 years, Mr Abbott said it could reasonably claim to be Australia’s natural party of government.

“No party can represent the country as wholeheartedly as we can,” he said. “First, because no particular section owns us the way the unions own the Labor Party. And, second, because we have not succumbed to the siren song of globalism to anything like the ­extent that the political left has.”

Mr Abbott said the Liberal Party was the custodian of three principal political traditions — liberalism, conservatism and patriotism — but the key to Scott Morrison’s election victory was being more pragmatic than ­ideological.

“There’s the liberal strand, there’s the conservative strand and, above all else, there’s the patriotic strand,” he said about the Liberal Party’s philosophy. “Yes, we are the freedom party, yes we are the tradition party but above all else we are the patriotic party.

“What we always need to do is to ask ourselves what are the ­issues that are troubling people at this time and come up with ­feasible, understandable ways ­forward. We certainly looked the more practical and the less ideological of the two parties at the last election, and that’s why we won.”

The former prime minister, who was a guest at the British Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week, praised US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for putting their nations first.

“There has been a much greater sense of the nation state and of good old-fashioned patriotism in the approach of Trump and Trump’s Republicans and in the approach of Johnson and Johnson’s Conservatives,” Mr Abbott said. “I also think that one of the reasons why we succeeded in 2013 was because we had a no-­nonsense approach to border protection which put Australia first.”



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

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

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


7 October, 2019  

Politically incorrect anthropology

I have been reading about Napoleon Chagnon for many years now.  I wrote about his findings as early as 2003. So I was pleased to see a recent comprehensive summary of his work in Quillette

As I learned myself by working in two academic departments that covered anthropology, anthropologists are the most Lefist discipline in the social sciences -- and that is saying something.  Chagnon, however, was simply interested in reality and was one of the most committed anthropologists ever.  He spent years living among the people he described -- under conditions that few modern men could endure. So he knew what he was talking about.  Below is a brief excerpt from the Quillette article.  As you can see, his findings went right against the old Leftist claim that man was naturally good and kind but had been corrupted by modern civilization:

In 1966, Chagnon began working with the geneticist James Neel. Neel had had managed to convince the Atomic Energy Commission to fund a genetic study of an isolated population and was able to pay Chagnon a salary to assist his research there. Neel’s team took blood samples from the Yanomamö, and began administering the Edmonston B vaccine when they discovered that the Yanomamö had no antibodies to the measles. In some ways, the Yanomamö sounded like something out of any anthropology textbook—they were patrilineal and polygamous (polygyny); like other cultures around the world, they carved a position for the levirate—a man who married his dead brother’s wife; they had ceremonial roles and practised ritual confinement with taboos on food and sex. But sometimes this exotic veneer would be punctured by their shared humanity, particularly their mischievous sense of humour.

But for all their jocularity, Chagnon found that up to 30 percent of all Yanomamö males died a violent death. Warfare and violence were common, and duelling was a ritual practice, in which two men would take turns flogging each other over the head with a club, until one of the combatants succumbed. Chagnon was adamant that the primary causes of violence among the Yanomamö were revenge killings and women. The latter may not seem surprising to anyone aware of the ubiquity of ruthless male sexual competition in the animal kingdom, but anthropologists generally believed that human violence found its genesis in more immediate matters, such as disputes over resources. When Chagnon asked the Yanomamö shaman Dedeheiwa t0 explain the cause of violence, he replied, “Don’t ask such stupid questions! Women! Women! Women! Women! Women!” Such fights erupted over sexual jealousy, sexual impropriety, rape, and attempts at seduction, kidnap and failure to deliver a promised girl.

Internecine raids and attacks often involved attempts by a man or group to abduct another’s women. “The victim is grabbed by her abductors by one arm, and her protectors grab the other arm. Then both groups pull in opposite directions,” Chagnon learned. In one instance, a woman’s arms were reportedly pulled out of their sockets: “The victim invariably screams in agony, and the struggle can last several long minutes until one group takes control of her.” Although one in five Yanomamö women Chagnon interviewed had been kidnapped from another village, some of these women were grateful to find that their new husbands were less cruel than their former ones. The treatment of Yanomamö women could be particularly gruesome, and Chagnon had to wrestle with the ethical dilemmas that confront anthropologists under such circumstances—should he intervene or remain an observer? Men frequently beat their wives, mainly out of sexual jealousy, shot arrows into them, or even held burning sticks between their legs to discourage the possibility of infidelity. On one occasion, a man bludgeoned his wife in the head with firewood and in front of an impassive audience. “Her head bounced off the ground with each ruthless blow, as if he were pounding a soccer ball with a baseball bat. The head-man and I intervened at that point—he was killing her.” Chagnon stitched her head back up. The woman recovered but she subsequently dropped her infant into a fire as she slept, and was later killed by a venomous snake. Life in the Amazon could be nasty, brutish, and short.

Chagnon would make more than 20 fieldwork visits to the Amazon, and in 1968 he published Yanomamö: The Fierce People, which became an instant international bestseller. The book immediately ignited controversy within the field of anthropology. Although it commanded immense respect and became the most commonly taught book in introductory anthropology courses, the very subtitle of the book annoyed those anthropologists, who preferred to give their monographs titles like The Gentle Tasaday, The Gentle People, The Harmless People, The Peaceful People, Never in Anger, and The Semai: A Nonviolent People of Malaya.

The stubborn tendency within the discipline was to paint an unrealistic façade over such cultures—although 61 percent of Waorani men met a violent death, an anthropologist nevertheless described this Amazonian people as a “tribe where harmony rules,” on account of an “ethos that emphasized peacefulness.”  Anthropologists who considered such a society harmonious were unlikely to be impressed by Chagnon’s description of the Yanomamö as “The Fierce People,” where “only” 30 percent of males died by violence. The same anthropologist who had ascribed a prevailing ethos of peace to the Waoroni later accused Chagnon, in the gobbledygook of anthropological jargon, of the “projection of traditional preconceptions of the Western construction of Otherness.”


Britain looks to Australia on immigration as it seeks to 'end the free movement of people'

Britain's government says it is moving ahead with plans to adopt an Australian-style points-based immigration system.

Addressing supporters at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government is working hard to make it happen. "I have a particular responsibility when it comes to taking back control: It is to end the free movement of people once and for all," she said to rounds of applause.

"Instead we will introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system."

Immigration officials in Australia assess skilled worker visa applications awarding points for proficiency in English, work experience and age. The screening system was first rolled out in 1979 and has in the years since been adjusted to better consider the preferences of employers.

Last month, Ms Patel wrote to the Migration Advisory Committee asking it to review if Australia’s points-based migration system could work in Britain. The committee has been asked to report back by January.

Ms Patel said she believes leaving the EU will provide Britain with a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to change the country's immigration system for the better.

"One that works in the best interest of Britain. One that attracts and welcomes the brightest and the best. One that supports the brilliant scientists, the finest academics and the leading people in their fields. And one that is under the control of the British government."

Canada and New Zealand have also adopted a points-style system for skilled migration.


Adults 'fail by giving in to trans teenagers'

Adults fail in their duty to children if they just give in to the "instant gratification" demands of transgender teenagers who protest they cannot wait until 18 for irreversible sex-reassignment surgery, clinical psychologist Paul Stevenson says.

Mr Stevenson, well known for helping trauma victims after the Bali and Jakarta terror bombings of the 2000s, said psychologists should not "disenfranchise" parents of trans teens, nor "drive a wedge" between child and family. He was commenting on a submission by the Australian Psychological Society that doctors should be able to go ahead with under-16 trans surgery, with both parents opposed and no mandatory counselling for the adolescent, as long as the clinicians were "competent" in assessing the teen's capacity to make the decision.

The APS claims 24,000 members but Mr Stevenson said his breakaway body, the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc, had picked up 2000 new members in the past year, taking the total to 8000, partly because of discontent with the APS.

The AAPi appears to be the first health or medical pro-fessional body in Australia to go public with scepticism about the "child-led" affirmation approach to trans, which critics say discourages thorough investigation of a young patient's history and too readily puts them on a path to risky medical treatment, including puberty-blocker drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgery, such as mastectomy for trans boys.

Gender clinicians claim children are experts in their identity and going along with their transition is best for mental health. Mr Stevenson said the sudden decision of a teen to come out as trans brought grief and stress not just to parents but to the extended family, and for everyone's long-term interests the crucial relationship between teen and parent had to be supported.

 "Psycholo-gists are not in the business of splitting up families," he said. He said the teenage years brought rapid and confusing development, and conflict with parents. Some neuroscience studies suggested the decision-making brain might not fully mature until a person reached their 30s, making it unwise to allow teens under 18 to consent to irreversible medical treatment.

"We've got to help parents get their children through this period of time when the (teenager's) frontal lobe is 'out for renovations'," he said. "Parents are the best-placed people to get their kids through this, we shouldn't be driving wedges between them."

Some parents have reported a pattern of teenagers, typically girls, suddenly declaring trans status with scripted lines from social media about the immediate need for hormones to stop them committing suicide.

Mr Stevenson said suicidal ideas — like any other mental health issues —should be treated directly. Flinders University's Damien Riggs, co-author of the APS submission, claims it is "scientifically, incorrect" to suggest social media or peer pressure might influence a trans teenager's stated identity. He has argued that Medicare should fund a trans mastectomy just as it does for a healthy woman with a genetic risk of breast cancer.

Online forums suggest trans mastectomy costs about $10,000. Dr Riggs, who won a $694,514 federal grant to study "family diversity", is cited as an authority in the 2018 treatment standards for children and adolescents issued by the gender clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (which does no trans surgery).

Yesterday, the APS said the courts already allowed trans surgery for patients under 18. Where parents opposed it, "minors should have the right to access the opinion and guidance of suitably qualified medical professionals, including psychologists".

From "The Australian" of 4 Oct., 2019

What ‘The Times’ Got Wrong About Slavery in America

The New York Times recently drew a lot of attention for its “1619 Project” initiative, which has been criticized for misrepresenting the role of the slave trade as the central core to the development of the United States. The Times “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

The project name purportedly refers to the date the first African slaves were brought to the English colonies that later became the United States. Like much else in the Times’ version of the role of slavery in American history, even the project name is rooted in distortion. Although the institution of slavery is a stain on national history, the true story is much more complex than the Times represents, and the United States plays a role both as a country that exploited the slave trade as well as a leader in the movement to end the African slave trade, and was not the primary instigator or beneficiary of the brutal trade.

1619 was not, in fact, the date of the first African slaves in the English colonies — those Africans were brought in under indenturement contracts, not bought as slaves. They were contracted to a fixed period of labor (typically five years) to pay for the cost charged by the Dutch slavers, at which point they were freed with a payment of a start-up endowment.

Indenturement Contracts, Not Slaves

This was not unusual or limited to Africans – approximately half of the 500,000 European immigrants to the thirteen colonies prior to 1775 paid for their passage with indenturement contracts. Anthony Johnson, a black Angolan, was typical – he entered Virginia as an indentured servant in 1621, became a free man after the term of his contract, acquired land, and became among the first actual slaveholders in the colonies.

The first actual African slave in the colonies was John Punch, an indentured servant sentenced to slavery in 1640 in Virginia by the General Court of the Governor’s Council for having violated his indenturement contract by fleeing to Maryland. In 1641, the Massachusetts Assembly passed the first statutory law allowing slavery of those who were prisoners of war, sold themselves into slavery, or were sentenced to slavery by the courts, but banning it under other circumstances.

Early slavery, like indenturement contracts, was not specifically targeted at those of African descent. The Massachusetts law was primarily intended to allow slavery of captured Indians in the aftermath of King Phillip’s War. The 1705 Virginia Slave Codes, for example, declared as slaves those purchased from abroad who were not Christian. A Christian African entering the colony, for example, would not be a slave — but a captured American Indian who was not a Christian would be.

Black vs. Black

Ironically, a freed black man initiated the court case that moved slavery to a race-based institution. The Angolan immigrant Anthony Johnson was the plaintiff is a key civil case, where the Northampton Court in 1654 declared after the expiration of the indenturement contract of his African servant John Casor that Johnson owned Casor “for life,” nullifying the protections of the contract for the servant and essentially establishing the civil precedent for the enslavement of all African indentured servants by declaring that a contract for such servants extended for life, rather than the fixed term in the contract.

It was not until 1662 that the children of such slaves became legally slaves rather than free men, in a law passed in Virginia. The African slave trade itself was minor until King Charles II established the Royal African Company with a monopoly on the slave trade to the colonies. As late as 1735, the Colony of Georgia passed a law outlawing slavery, which was repealed due to a labor shortage in 1750. The boom in the import of slaves actually began around 1725, with half of all imported slaves arriving between then and the onset of the American Revolution in 1775.

Relatively speaking, the United States was a minor player in the African Slave Trade — only about 5% of the Africans imported to the New World came to the United States. Of the 10.7 million Africans who survived the ocean voyage, a mere 388,000 were shipped directly to North America. The largest recipients of imported African slaves were Brazil, Cuba. Jamaica, and the other Caribbean colonies. The lifespan of those brought into what is now the United States vastly exceeded those of the other 95%, and the United States was the only purchaser of African slaves where population grew naturally in slavery – the death rate among the rest was higher than the birth rate.

While the institution, even in the United States was a brutal violation of basic human rights, it tended on average to be far more humane than in the rest of the New World.

The World Slave Trade

The Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean African slave trade, which began by Arabs as early as the 8th Century AD, dwarfed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and continued up to the 20th Century. Between the start of the Atlantic Slave Trade and 1900, it is estimated that the eastern-bound Arab slave traders sold over 17 million Africans into slavery in the Middle East and India, compared to about 12 million to the new world – and the Eastern-bound slave trade had been ongoing for at least 600 years at the START of that period.

The Western-bound Atlantic slave trade, contrary to the misrepresentation in “Roots,” did not involve the capture of free Africans by Europeans or Arabs, but by the trading of slaves (already a basis for the economy of the local animist or Muslim kingdoms) captured in local wars to Western merchants in exchange for Western goods. The first such slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere were brought by the Spanish to their colonies in Cuba and Hispaniola in 1501, almost a century and a half before the first slave in the English colonies that became the United States.

The last African state to outlaw slavery, Mauritania, did not do so until 2007, and if the institution is illegal on the continent de jure, it still is widespread de facto in Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Sudan, as well as parts of Ghana, Benin, Togo Gabon, Angola, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Libya, and Nigeria.

The contradictions slavery posed on the rebel colonies during the Revolution sparked a backlash against slavery and the slave trade. Colonel John Laurens, son of a large South Carolina slaveholder, noted the contradictions in 1776, stating that “I think we Americans at least in the Southern Colonies, cannot contend with a good Grace, for Liberty, until we shall have enfranchised our Slaves. How can we whose Jealousy has been alarm’d more at the Name of Oppression sometimes than at the Reality, reconcile to our spirited Assertions of the Rights of Mankind, the galling abject Slavery of our negroes. . . . If as some pretend, but I am persuaded more thro’ interest, than from Conviction, the Culture of the Ground with us cannot be carried on without African Slaves, Let us fly it as a hateful Country, and say ubi Libertas ibi Patria.”

The US Constitution Banned the Slave Trade in 1808

More shared that sentiment and the first law in the European world to outlaw the slave trade was, in fact, the US Constitution, which in 1787 banned the slave trade as of 1808. In Massachusetts, a 1783 court decision ended slavery, and all of the Northern States had passed emancipations laws by 1803. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 outlawed slavery in territories north of the Ohio River. Other countries followed suit. Denmark-Norway banned the slave trade in 1803, but not slavery until 1848. Britain passed a law abolishing the slave trade in 1807, and enforced it with the Royal Navy, and abolished slavery itself in 1833.

In 1807, Congress passed legislation making the import of slaves to the United States a federal crime, and in 1820, Congress passed the Law on Slave Trade, which went beyond the British law in declaring slavers as pirates, punishable by death instead of mere fines – and the US Navy joined the Royal Navy in active interdiction of slave ships.

Economically, the institution of slavery, rather than develop the economy of the new nation, stunted its development. Although bonded labor, whether slave or indentured servant, clearly played an important role in developing a labor force in the early colonial days, its role in the advancement of the economy in the newly established country is questionable. Gavin Wright, in his classic book The Political Economy of the Cotton South, shows in fact that slavery hindered the development of the economy in those states where it remained legal. The artisans, tradesmen, and unskilled labor pool necessary for developing a thriving, diverse economy was discouraged by competition from bonded labor, and the slave-owning class showed little interest in such an economy.

How Slavery Stalled the Economy of the New Country

Increasingly, the economy came to be dominated by cotton monoculture, boosted by the invention of the cotton gin, and the value of the capital invested in slaves. In order to maintain the value of this capital investment, demand for slave labor needed to be maintained, which led to the slaveholding states demanding the opening of new lands for slave cultivation. Wright shows that, contrary to the assertions of many modern critics who try to claim that slavery was responsible for the development of the US economy and to the mistaken belief of secessionists prior to the Civil War, cotton was not King, but rather the greatest return from slaveholding was the capital increase from the reproduction of slaves.

Without new lands to be worked by the expanding slave population, the price of slaves would fall, and the wealth of the ruling classes in the Southern states would have plummeted. Thus, issues like the Wilmot Proviso or Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to close off the expansion of lands to be worked by slaves, posed an existential threat to the wealth of the slaveholders. Meanwhile, unencumbered by the institution of slavery, those states that abolished the institution and emancipated existing slaves embraced other forms of generating wealth, including a manufacturing economy that rapidly outpaced that of the slave states. The Civil War was, in large part, won because the economy of free labor produced at rates that the economy of slave labor could not imagine. In fact, it was not until the abolishment of the Jim Crow laws preserving vestiges of the slave system that the economy of the New South truly began to take off.

While undoubtedly the issue of slavery and conflicts over its contradiction with the ideals of the new Republic shaped the political debates of the new country through the Civil War, it is going too far to assert that the slave trade and slavery were the central core of the development of the United States. Rather, it is more true to state that the ideals of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment and political beliefs shaped by the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution created an environment that exposed the immorality of slavery and established the political grounds for ending the slave trade, and eventually the institution of slavery in areas of Western European influence.

It was not a simple process, and required painful conflict to negotiate the conflicts and contradictions between the liberal ideal and the self-interest of those who owned human chattel, but ultimately rather than allow slavery to drive the growth of the nation, the new United States became a leader, along with their cousins in the Anglosphere, in the efforts to end the brutal and illiberal practice of slavery.

The New York Times does a disservice to its readers with the 1619 Project by presenting a simplistic and misleading story of the complex role that the institution of slavery played in the history of the United States, and it largely ignores the role that the underlying values of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment that undergird the new nation played in ending slavery and the slave trade.



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

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

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


6 October, 2019

‘Big Bad Trusts’ Are a Progressive Myth

Today’s tech titans, like yesterday’s industrial giants, will diminish in time thanks to competition

The resurgence of progressivism in America has brought growing support for a return to Progressive-era trustbusting. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a plan to break up tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Berkeley professor Robert Reich, once the resident progressive of the Clinton administration, opines, “Like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age, those of the second”—the tech giants—“have amassed fortunes because of their monopolies.” Even in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, a newspaper headline declares, “Big tech needs to face a Theodore Roosevelt -style trust busting.”

According to progressive legend, when trusts and cartels in the late 19th century exploited consumers, trustbusters rode to the rescue. Today’s progressives are ready to reincarnate yesteryear’s remedies. The problem with this narrative is that it has little basis in fact.

If the Gilded Age was plagued by anticompetitive behavior, the data should show output falling and prices rising in monopolized industries. In a 1985 study, economist Thomas DiLorenzo tested this hypothesis for industries accused of being monopolistic during the debate on the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. He found that output in those industries actually increased by an average of 175% from 1880-90—seven times the growth rate of real gross national product. On average, prices in the so-called monopolized industries fell three times as fast as the consumer-price index. When it comes to the progressive itch to attack large firms, a famous line comes to mind: “Ignorance lies not in the things you don’t know, but in the things you know that ain’t so!”

Steel output grew by 242% from 1880-90, but during the 10 years after the Sherman Act, it grew by only 135%. Other “monopolized” industries with large differences in growth rates in the decades before and after the Sherman Act include copper (330% vs. 133%), petroleum (74% vs. 39%), refined sugar (65% vs. 48%) and cigars and cigarettes (121% vs. 40%).

Prices tell a similar story. On average, in the industries for which data are available, inflation-adjusted prices fell at a faster rate, or rose at a slower rate, in the decade before the Sherman Act than in the decade after it. The real price of steel rails fell by 43% from 1880-90, but fell by only 0.7% from 1890 to 1900. The wholesale price of sugar fell 22.4% from 1880-90 but fell by only 6.1% from 1890-1900. A similar pattern played out for copper, pig iron and anthracite coal.

In reality, the turn of the 20th century was an era of vigorous industrial competition driven by the implementation of new technologies, new sources of supply, and improved management. Economies of scale produced industrial concentration. Most of the trusts and cartels that subsequently formed to keep out competition gradually failed without any government intervention.

The history of the American Sugar Refining trust, which formed in 1887, illustrates this pattern. The Sugar Trust had only fleeting success at limiting production or raising prices over the ensuing 20 years. U.S. refined-sugar production more than doubled from 1887 to 1907. Despite the trust’s efforts to keep them out, competitors built factories and undercut its prices in less time than it took to prosecute a major antitrust lawsuit. In 1893, when the Grover Cleveland administration filed its first Sherman antitrust suit against American Sugar, the margin between the prices of raw and refined sugar was 1.15 cents a pound. By the time the Supreme Court decided the case in 1895, new competitors had driven the margin down to 0.88 cent a pound—a 23% decrease.

Unlike the trusts, tariffs and regulations actually succeeded in squelching competition in the Gilded Age. Standard Oil benefited from tariffs on oil and refined products. Henry Havemeyer, the first president of American Sugar, stated at a congressional hearing in 1899 that “the mother of all trusts is the customs tariff bill. . . . Without the tariff, I doubt if we should have dared to take the risk of forming the trust.”

The first legislative action of the trustbusting era came with the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 to regulate rail freight rates. Economist George Hilton and historian Gabriel Kolko found that railroads supported federal regulation because their attempts to stabilize rates through cartels had repeatedly failed. Real rail freight revenues fell 17.7% per ton-mile from 1870-90. The Interstate Commerce Act banned price rebates, the mechanism the overbuilt railroad system had used to reduce prices. When trucks began to compete with the railroads, Congress brought trucking under ICC regulation. Whatever its initial impact or intent, over time evidence mounted that transportation regulation actually impeded competition.

By the 1970s, the anticompetitive effects of economic regulation, especially in transportation, were acknowledged by progressives from Ralph Nader to economist Alfred Kahn. In the greatest deregulatory effort of the 20th century, President Jimmy Carter led the opening of competition in the railroad, airline and trucking industries. Peer-reviewed economic studies have consistently shown that the transportation deregulation of the Carter era produced significant price reductions and improvements in service.

The rise of Big Tech is virtually a replay of the rise of scale-driven industrialization at the turn of the 20th century. We’ve seen rapid growth of large firms fueled by technological innovation and economies of scale accompanied by declining prices. This time around, extraordinarily, the new “monopolies” are giving many of their products away.

There are legitimate policy concerns involving Big Tech, such as claims of censorship. But history shows little evidence that breaking up big tech companies or regulating them as monopolies will benefit consumers. Before policy makers repeat the failed experiments of the past, they should determine whether trustbusting is really about protecting consumers or merely about expanding the power of government.


Book Review: ‘Order Without Design,’ by Alain Bertaud

An Urban Planner Describes the Flaws of His Profession

Who should run cities, economists or urban planners? This is a trick question: the answer is that neither group can fully know how to run such complex systems. But if planner Alain Bertaud had to choose, he’d vote against his own profession.

In his recent book Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities, Bertaud writes that planners have largely botched urban growth worldwide, and should approach it by using more insights from economics. For decades, Bertaud has trotted the world to study and help plan cities himself. He worked first for the United Nations, then the World Bank, then as a private consultant. He’s now a research scholar at NYU, where he’s learned from that school’s renowned economists.

Economics would be useful to planners, he writes, because it’s scientific. It uses technical, real-world data to create models on how cities behave, and how they would behave if given variables change. This means economists can better understand markets, predict outcomes, and determine best practices based on a defined set of goals.

Planners, by contrast, are “normative”, meaning they shape their premises not through empiricism, but norms and fads from their micro-culture. Their use of terms like “quality of life”, “neighborhood character”, “livability,” and “sustainability” are not technical, but derive from how they and their peers subjectively define these words. This means that planners depend on truisms and pseudo-science to shape policy.

One example Bertaud describes comes from his time spent in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which in the 1970s was exploding in population, as rural Haitians migrated there to escape poverty. Bertaud was part of a team of U.N. bureaucrats who visited the city to advise on its growth. Many of his colleagues thought the growth should be dispersed nationwide, rather than concentrating in Port-au-Prince.

“At the time,” writes Bertaud, “planners were debating about the optimum size of cities, usually advocating for a size between half a million and a million people.”

Yet the economics literature had already debunked this notion. Economists back then were saying (as they do now) that cities get more productive the more they grow, due to agglomeration benefits, and there was no reason to cap population at one million people. Bertaud didn’t understand these benefits until he met an economist for the first time, while in Haiti. From then on, he became convinced that economists should have a bigger role in educating planners.

If that happened, planners would then be less prone to view cities as tabula rasas that should be designed based on their own cultural tastes, and more prone to view cities as what they actually are: labor markets. This “cities as labor markets” theory is the second big premise of Bertaud’s book.

A city’s fundamental raison d’etre is that it’s where people go to find jobs. Cities grow based on their ability to provide economic opportunity, and decline if that opportunity vanishes. The key role planners should play is not to choose which industries bolster these labor markets, but to set the conditions for growth, by allowing the development of housing and transportation that lets people access and expand these labor markets. Housing and transportation is where Bertaud thinks planners could better apply economic thinking. For example, rather than mandating zoning laws that are arbitrary and fixed, planners should observe the price signals in their markets, and use it as feedback to adjust the zoning. Every few years, zoning regulations should be subject to cost-benefit analyses, to ensure they’re accomplishing their stated goal, not just inflicting financial hardship and high home prices.

For transportation, planners should ignore their preconceived biases about the “right” transport modes and layouts, and instead focus on what will actually shorten commutes and improve mobility. This too can be done through price signals – namely tolls and congestion charging – that more efficiently delineate road space and ease traffic flow. Whether or not this leads to the overwhelming use of rails, buses, carpools or single-occupancy vehicles will vary by city, and depend on how those respective modes are priced.

One flaw of Order Without Design is that Bertaud never really defines “planner”, which causes him to isolate planners for unfair blame. Globally speaking, planners from the U.N. or federal governments may have power over land-use decisions. But in the U.S., policy is made less by professional planners—who graduated from planning schools and have AICP certification—than by politicians. The anti-economic thinking that drives our land-use policy is really more a reflection of the American people and who they vote for than of urban planners, who are largely powerless (if still misguided) advisors.

But the basic message of Bertaud’s book holds. Cities are often viewed and treated like aesthetic or cultural objects, rather than labor markets where people go to work. Their housing and transport grids are planned as such, ignoring this functional role of cities. Introducing economics to the urbanization process would help solve the problems now common in cities worldwide.


Jeff Jacoby: Instead of resurrecting the 'People's Pledge,' let's bury it for good

REPRESENTATIVE JOE KENNEDY, the youngest member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, announced last week that he would run against Senator Ed Markey, the oldest member, because, he said, "I've got new ideas and a new approach." Really? In nearly seven years in Congress, Kennedy has emitted few whiffs of originality or unconventional thinking. Why would that change if he replaced Markey in the Senate? In any case, as skeptics promptly pointed out, on political issues there are no meaningful differences between the two left-wing Democrats.

As if to validate the skepticism, Kennedy's first big campaign proposal, delivered in a press release on Tuesday, was a so-called People's Pledge to keep third-party advertising out of the Senate race. That was anything but a new idea: Markey had proposed the exact same thing when he first ran for the Senate in 2013 — and he was only recycling a gimmick from the race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown a year earlier.

But the People's Pledge isn't just a tired, old idea. It's a tired, old, bad idea. It is arrogant and antidemocratic, and its purpose is to squelch free speech — in particular, the form of speech most valued in the American constitutional system: speech about politics, candidates, elections, and issues.

Kennedy wants his rivals (who include attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and businessman Steve Pemberton, in addition to Markey) to repudiate in advance any "outside" advertising — that is, any advertising from any source other than the candidates' own campaigns. The purpose of the "People's Pledge" is to put teeth into that repudiation. It provides that if an outside organization spends money on TV, radio, or online ads in support of any candidate in the race, the campaign being helped would pay a penalty: It would have to donate half the value of the ad buy to a charity named by the other campaign. Political groups wanting to weigh in on the Massachusetts Senate fight would thus be dissuaded, since the more they spent to assist any candidate, the more cash that candidate would have to forfeit.

Warren and Brown were extravagantly praised when they agreed to this arrangement in 2012. Their pledge was welcomed as a victory for "civility," and the candidates were awarded props for coming up with a way to reduce the influence of money on their high-profile Senate race.

But the "People's Pledge" proved a bust. When all was said and done, the 2012 Brown/Warren race, far from restoring civility to politics, was among the nation's nastiest. And the candidates' agreement did nothing to diminish the importance of money. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Brown and Warren battle turned out to be the most expensive Senate campaign in the country. As Rosie Gray reported in BuzzFeed, Brown and Warren's much-admired pledge "appears to have accomplished roughly the opposite of its goal."

So when Markey, running for the Senate a year later, attempted to revive the pledge, his Republican opponent sensibly declined. When Secretary of State Bill Galvin tried the same ploy during his reelection fight in 2018, his Democratic challenger, calling it an "empty gesture," likewise refused.

Now that he's facing a serious challenge to his Senate seat, Markey no longer seems quite so enamored of the idea that third-party advertising should be kept out of the race. His campaign manager agreed only to "review the proposal" made by Kennedy. It's hard to imagine that Markey, facing the toughest reelection fight of his career, will spurn the help of independent groups. One such group, Environment Massachusetts, has already said it will raise $5 million for a campaign "to promote the senator's remarkable record" to the state's voters.

"Remarkable" isn't the word I would choose to describe Markey's congressional career. But if Environment Massachusetts and its supporters want to spend money to sing Markey's praises, why should they be stifled? If the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which has endorsed Kennedy, wants to run ads promoting his virtues, why shouldn't it do so? For that matter, why should any group with strong opinions about the Senate race – charities, corporations, political parties, advocacy organizations, houses of worship, or simply an ad hoc amalgam of interested citizens – be deterred from weighing in?

The winner of the Massachusetts Senate race will have power to influence the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans, here in the commonwealth and around the nation. Health care, housing, taxes, immigration, foreign policy, judgeships, war and peace — senators have a say in all of them. Which means that virtually everyone has an interest in who gets elected, and compelling reasons, perhaps, to influence the voters' decision. Should they be silenced? Of course not!

Anyone with something to say about the Massachusetts Senate race should be encouraged to say it. No group with strong views on the issues or the candidates should be denounced for spending money to disseminate those views. Robust political expression is the very quintessence of free speech, and in an election campaign, "outside" and "third party" voices are just as legitimate as those of the candidates themselves.

The "People's Pledge" is a terrible idea. Let's hope we've heard the last of it.


Australia: Evidence of Cardinal Pell's innocence suppressed by the police.  They were always out to "get" him

Cardinal Pell was convicted of pedophilia on uncorroborated evidence

There was an interesting report in The Australian yesterday about two women of irreproachable standing whose testimony was sidelined by Victoria Police during its investigation of George Pell. Inexplicably, the women were not called by the defence. Jean Cornish and Lil Sinozic are not run-of-the-mill observers or blow-ins. Church office-holders and former senior school teachers with a hawkish concern for the safety of children, they were arguably the most authoritative eye-witnesses of all. Like everyone else who was at St Patrick’s Cathedral, they dismiss the claims against Cardinal Pell as impossible nonsense. By now the revelation is not surprising.

At the committal hearing for the case in March 2018, Detective Christopher Reed admitted he didn’t bother taking statements from “nuns, choir members and other church officials which he told the court were favourable to Cardinal Pell.” He also failed to obtain the exact dates the Cardinal presided at mass in 1996. Asked why, under cross-examination by Robert Richter QC, Reed admitted that he executed a warrant at the wrong address. “I didn’t know where the archives were,” he said. It is a concern when a detective in a case of this magnitude doesn’t have the skillset of a Dominoes delivery driver. Surprisingly, Reed and Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan managed to find their way to Rome to interview Cardinal Pell.

From the start, VicPol’s decisions about whose statements to heed, whose to avoid, who to pursue and who to disregard have been peculiar; some would say suspicious. Remember “the swimmers”? They were the public prosecutor’s B Team. If the “choirboys” failed, the swimmers would be beckoned forth from the red-brick shed of times gone by to regale a second jury with tales of surreptitiously brushed buttocks and sneakily squeezed privates beneath warm waves of sun-drenched, chlorine-flavoured play contemporaneous with the last Shah of Iran. There were, of course, no corroborating witnesses for this malarkey but there were many exculpatory witnesses. Alas for the pool accusers, their case was thrown out by County Court chief judge Peter Kidd in February.

Having hoisted them aloft to make a splash, the ABC (also known as the Keli Lane channel) subsequently abandoned the swimmers. Both video and transcript of its bizarre special on their accusations have been deleted. That’s understandable. As well as actionable, the 7.30 Report episode is embarrassing. The transcript can still be found online, however. If the men were so credible that they merited the combined power and treasuries of the ABC and Victoria Police, why were recollections of “repeated abuse by a female relief teacher” and a “vicious teacher who made him masturbate and perform oral sex” not pursued? Robert Richter asked police if they scorned these allegations (at the high end of seriousness) because officers were only interested in ‘getting’ Pell. “Detective Superintendent Sheridan rejected the assertion, telling the court there could have been a viable explanation.” But he didn’t say, and apparently didn’t know, what it was.

One of three possibilities logically follows: one, the supposed culprits are dead. Two: that Victoria Police allowed two hard-core child rapists to remain unsought so as not to imperil their manic Pell operation. A public failure to find or successfully charge “female relief teacher” and “vicious teacher” would have been fatal to the more banal charges against the Cardinal. Or three: that police concluded the accusations against the mystery teachers were either false or indemonstrable but charged Pell using the complainant duo’s other ‘evidence’ anyway. Whether the latter two scenarios would be justiciable as perversions of the course of justice is for legal officials in Victoria to determine. I’m sure they’ll be all over it any day now.

Were it a leftist beloved of leftists and not Cardinal Pell in solitary confinement – I should say, being tortured in solitary confinement (cf. the UN Special Rapporteur and the ABC, 2014) – the calls for a royal commission would be frenzied and incessant.



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

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

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


4 October, 2019

MAGA Hat Wearers Harass the Elderly (Kidding, It Was Antifa)

Antifa's special brand of bullying madness has arrived in full force in Canada. Left-wing thugs can be seen on video chanting, "Nazi scum! Off our streets! Nazi scum! Off our streets!" at an elderly couple trying to do nothing more than use a public crosswalk. As you can see, the woman can apparently get around only with the aid of a walker, yet still poses some kind of threat to Antifa.

The reason for Antifa's appearance was to "protest" an event at Mohawk College sponsored by Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, and American libertarian political commentator Dave Rubin.

ASIDE: Pardon the scare quotes above, but a in my mind it isn't a protest when you're there to harass private citizens. That's nothing better than a temper tantrum at best.
The local Hamilton Spectator reports that more than 100 Antifa showed up at the sold-out event. The school allowed Sunday's show to go on, despite "concerns" raised by various students and faculty members' about PPC's supposed "far-right" agenda.

Bernier is a former Canadian cabinet member under PM Stephen Harper's Conservative party government, but left to form the PPC last year. Bernier complained that the Conservatives had grown too "intellectually and morally corrupt" to take on "extreme multiculturalism," which he believes creates division among Canadians.

Sunday's event sold out the 1,000-seat McIntyre Art Centre at $50 per ticket. Not a bad showing at a school of 30,000 students, and the extra security the administration had to provide wasn't to keep the conservatives and libertarians in line.

Meanwhile in Seattle, Major League Soccer caved to Antifa hooligans, agreeing to allow the black flag to fly during a Seattle Sounders games at CenturyLink, and elsewhere.

Give in to thugs, get more thuggery.

I was about to say things are going to get ugly, but they already have. The question is, how much uglier we'll let things get before the inevitable backlash.


Another false accusation of abuse from a female

It's been a running gag at Instapundit for years now that if it weren't for fake hate crimes, there'd be hardly any hate crimes at all. So it probably shouldn't come as a huge surprise to learn that yet another fake hate crime allegation has been proven false.

It was all over the major papers late last week, when 12-year-old Amari Allen, a black student, claimed that three white boys held her down and forcibly cut some of her dreadlocks at their Christian school.

Wiser bloggers demurred from covering the story until more information could come to light.

Yet the NYT and other outlets breathlessly reported the sixth-grader's accusation in a phone interview. "They put me on the ground," she claimed. "One of them put my hands behind my back. One put his hands over my mouth. One cut my hair. They were saying that my hair was ugly, that it was nappy." And Twitter was all lit up because of the supposed Mike Pence connection -- his wife Karen teaches at the Immanuel Christian School where the assault never happened.

DailyKos is on it! Let's see if A) They retract this tweet, or B) double down on stupid.

No, they didn't. The girl recanted. Nevertheless, school principal Stephen Danish released a statement this morning bemoaning the "tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict."

Both sides? Did Allen's feelings get hurt when she had to retract her false accusation?

Well, we almost have all the daylight we need on this one, thanks. I do have one question still unanswered: Will Allen face anything like the discipline the boys would have (and should have) if her accusations hadn't been lies?


Who Cares About You?

Walter E. Williams
During my student days at a UCLA economics department faculty/graduate student coffee hour in the 1960s, I was chatting with Professor Armen Alchian, probably the greatest microeconomic theory economist of the 20th century. I was trying to impress Alchian with my knowledge of statistical type I and type II errors. I explained that unlike my wife, who assumed that everyone was her friend until they prove differently, my assumption was everyone was an enemy until they proved otherwise. The result: My wife’s vision maximized the number of her friends but maximized her chances of betrayal. My vision minimized my chances of betrayal at a cost of minimizing the number of my friends.

Alchian, donning a mischievous smile asked, “Williams, have you considered a third alternative, namely, that people don’t give a damn about you one way or another?” Initially, I felt a bit insulted, and our conversation didn’t go much further, but that was typical of Alchian — saying something profound, perhaps controversial, without much comment and letting you think it out.

Years later, I gave Alchian’s third alternative considerable thought and concluded that he was right. The most reliable assumption, in terms of the conduct of one’s life, is to assume that people don’t care about you one way or another. It’s an error to generalize that people are friends or enemies, or that people are out to either help you or hurt you. To put it more crudely, as Alchian did, people don’t give a damn about you one way or another.

Let’s apply this argument to issues of race. Listening to some people, one might think that white people are engaged in an ongoing secret conspiracy to undermine the achievement and well-being of black people. Their evidence is low black academic achievement and high rates of black poverty, unemployment and incarceration. For some, racism is the root cause of most black problems including the unprecedentedly high black illegitimacy rate and family breakdown.

Are white people obsessed with and engaged in a conspiracy against black people? Here’s an experiment. Walk up to the average white person and ask, “How many minutes today have you been thinking about black people?” If the person isn’t a Klansman or a gushing do-gooder liberal, his answer would probably be zero minutes. If you asked him whether he’s a part of a conspiracy to undermine the achievement and well-being of black people, he’d probably look at you as if you were crazy. By the same token, if a person asked me: “Williams, how many minutes today have you been thinking about white people?” My answer would probably be, “Not even a nanosecond.” Because people don’t care about you one way or another doesn’t mean they wish you good will, ill will or no will. They just don’t give a damn.

What are the implications of the people-don’t-care vision of how the world works? A major implication is that one’s destiny, for the most part, is in one’s hands. How you make it in this world depends more on what you do as opposed to whether people like or dislike you. Black politicians, civil rights leaders and white liberals have peddled victimhood to black people, teaching them that racism is pervasive and no amount of individual effort can overcome racist barriers. Peddling victimhood is not new. Booker T. Washington said: “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” In an 1865 speech to the Anti-Slavery Society in Boston, abolitionist Frederick Douglass said that people ask: “‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!” Or as Patrick Moynihan urged a century later in a 1970 memo to President Richard Nixon, “The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of ‘benign neglect.’”


Teaching girls to fear boys

Bettina Arndt

I’ve long been contacted by parents and teachers concerned about anti-male bias in school curriculums – I’ve made a previous video  with an Australian teacher about this issue.

So, I was really delighted to be contacted by a South Australian teacher, Christopher Vogel, who told me he’d just finished his Masters thesis showing his state’s school curriculum is systematically teaching children that males are the abusers with females as their innocent victims.

Christopher analyzed Keeping Safe, the mandatory child protection curriculum taught in all public schools in SA from kindergarten to year 12.

He talks to me about his fascinating results in my new video.

I hope you will help me promote this important research. We need to expose this education department for teaching girls to fear boys.

His research reveals systemic bias against boys. The curriculum provides 84 examples of males being aggressive to females (including child rape and abuse) and only one instance of a female being aggressive to a male (looking in his room without permission). See examples in the graphic below.

The introduction to the curriculum reveals the clear bias against boys, quoting from feminist advocacy groups like White Ribbon which are known to distort violence statistics, presenting only males as aggressors. Here’s a breakdown of the proportion of male to female aggressors in the introduction.

The bias against boys increases with the older age groups, as you can see here.

It wasn’t so long ago that our society realised, to our shame, that we’d failed victims of sexual abuse by choosing not to hear their stories. But now we have an entire school curriculum which deliberately ignores male victims of abuse, denying their experiences and making them reluctant to seek help. In Australia we have recently had hundreds of victims of child sexual abuse paraded in the media, as part of the Royal Commission into institutional sexual abuse. It was startling how many of these were boys.

It’s just one example of the dangerous grip of feminist ideology on our institutions, including school curriculum. South Australia certainly isn’t the only state where this is happening. I hope this inspires parents and teachers to check out whether children in your schools are being fed similarly dangerous nonsense. I’ll post Christopher’s thesis on my website to give the detailed information you might need to ask tough questions. You’ll be pleased to hear Kit received an HD for his thesis and was asked to present his results to senior education bureaucrats. We need to be writing to education ministers across the country seeking more balanced treatment of our children.    

Here are some of the curriculum’s examples of male aggression:

Via email from Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


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

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

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


3 October, 2019

Transgender Players Disrupt Women’s Rugby Football in Britain

Biological males who identify as transgender women are wreaking havoc in women’s rugby in Great Britain.

Women’s rugby referees in England are quitting their jobs over the inclusion of the male athletes, according to a report in The (London) Sunday Times.

“Being forced to prioritize hurt feelings over broken bones exposes me to personal litigation from female players who have been damaged by players who are biologically male. This is driving female players and referees out of the game,” one referee told the British newspaper under the condition of anonymity.

“If you even ask the question, you are told you are a bigot,” another referee told the Times, recounting that five different players with beards played with women’s teams over the course of half a season.

Former Olympic athlete Sharron Davies told the newspaper that allowing biologically male athletes who identify as transgender women to play on female rugby teams is nonsensical.

“My daughter Grace was told at the age of 11 she could no longer play with the boys because it was no longer safe. How can they have that rule in place and … say it is perfectly OK for a transgender woman who is a biological man to play with the girls, but girls who are girls are not allowed to play with the boys because it is dangerous?” Davies said.

Elsewhere in Great Britain, transgender rugby player Kelly Morgan is laying waste to opponents in a Welsh women’s rugby league.

“She’s going to be a good, good player for the next few years, as long as we can stop her injuring players in training,” Morgan’s coach, Brian Minty, told the BBC last month.

The team’s captain, Jessica Minty-Madley, told the British network that Morgan “folded a girl like a deckchair during a game, which was quite funny, but they’re still friends.”

“I do feel guilty, but what can you do?” Morgan told the British network in an interview. “I don’t go out to hurt anybody. I just want to play rugby.”

Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail have rallied behind the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination law.

The bill passed in the House with unanimous Democratic support in May, but it hasn’t come up for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. [Nor will it]


UK: Councils must do more to crack down on the illegal conversion of flats and houses to bedsits to stop young renters from being exploited, according to an influential MP

So it's going to help the poor to throw them out of their cheap accommodation??

Crowded accomodation arises because not enough homes are being built.  The huge influx of migrants into Britain has to be housed somewhere and in the absence of government action, private enterprise comes to help.

Home-owners see large market who need housing but can't pay much.  So they see a profit in subdividing.  They provide small living spaces for small sums in rent.  But those small sums add up to more that what the property was getting before subdivision. So eveyone is happy.  The migrants have a roof over their heads and the property owner has more income than before.

What the do-gooders want is impossible unless as many as a million new modern apartments are built -- and that is not going to happen.  Only a new city's worth of new apartments could house the migrants in the style that the do-gooders want. If they succeed in their meddling and close down the subdivided houses, where will the occupants go? It will simply throw poor migrants onto the streets.  Is that good?

Clive Betts, the [moronic] chairman of the housing select committee, questioned whether some local authorities have the political will to deal with rogue landlords after a Times investigation found that unlicensed bedsits are being advertised with impunity online.

Analysis of 100 rooms offered in five-bed properties on the most popular house-share websites found that only 12 per cent were listed on council registers of approved Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

An HMO licence is mandatory for all rental properties where five or more unrelated people live. Every council has to publish a list of licensed properties so in most cases a check would be as simple as entering an address into a website.

Mr Betts said: “I know local authorities have suffered staff shortages and huge cuts but nevertheless these websites are easy and obvious places to go looking for these problems. Money is a big issue but political will is also important.

“This piece of work by The Times is very helpful. Every local authority should now be looking at these sites and taking action. Councils need to start enforcement. Once they do, compliance increases as well because word gets around.”

The investigation found that websites, such as spotahome.com, which is part owned by a founder of Uber, are offering rooms to rent as small as five square metres in converted houses and flats as the housing crisis encourages landlords to turn even upmarket properties into glorified bedsits. A consequence is that “generation rent” is facing the end of the sitting room with nine out of ten house shares in some areas being offered with no communal living space.

Mr Betts said: “These websites should also be answering questions about facilitating illegality. I think it is disgraceful if a company is making huge amounts of money out of the housing crisis.

“We might need to follow up our committee’s report on the private rented sector and see how much progress councils are making on taking action, and what the government is doing to drive this issue.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, added: “Solving this problem demands a two-pronged approach: councils need more funding to be able to clamp down on law-breaking landlords and we also need a decent alternative to private renting. That alternative must be social homes – three million of them in the next 20 years.”

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, insisted that local authorities are doing what they can to raise standards in the private rented sector..

David Renard, the organisation’s housing spokesman, said: “Enforcement would usually be a last resort for councils, who have to weigh up whether or not the fines available would be a significant deterrent to rogue landlords, or whether expensive prosecutions are a cost-effective use of taxpayers’ money at a time when councils are under significant financial pressures.

“It can take more than a year to prosecute a rogue operator and in many cases paltry fines are handed out to criminal landlords.

“There are things that central government can do to help – granting councils further banning powers for the minority of landlords not prepared to offer up-to-standard accommodation, and powers to levy more substantial fines on the worst offenders would be powerful incentives to bring the best out of the private rented sector and ensure it delivers quality accommodation for our residents and communities.”


Maybe you should NOT buy online

Bill O’Coin was cutting a tree stump in his daughter’s backyard last summer when the gas powered chain saw he was using stalled and wouldn’t restart, no matter how hard or how many times he pulled the starter cord.

Eventually, to finish the job, O’Coin grabbed one of the three other chain saws he owns.

But it bothered him that the chain saw his children gave him as a Christmas gift 18 months earlier had conked out. He hadn’t used it much, maybe 20 times, so he figured it was defective and that the Swedish manufacturer, Husqvarna, would quickly fix or replace it because it was still under warranty.

But that’s not what happened.

O’Coin, 67, of Leicester, is a retired department store manager. His wife recently retired after 36 years of teaching second-graders in the next town over. They live on a big, wooded spread where O’Coin spends a lot of time outside, sweating over chores and projects.

If you count all the hours O’Coin has put into getting his chain saw fixed or replaced, you might think he’s gone overboard for a $345 piece of equipment. But he insisted he’s not going away.

“Sometimes it comes down to the principle of the thing,” he said when we met.

The Husqvarna warranty is pretty standard. For two years, it covers anything that breaks, unless the customer is deemed to be at fault for damaging the product.

When his chain saw died, O’Coin contacted Husqvarna, which directed him to City Power Equipment, a retailer and authorized Husqvarna dealer in Charlton. Store owner Mark Mitchell found a small crack in the crankcase of O’Coin’s chain saw and concluded it was damaged by O’Coin, based on O’Coin’s account of getting it “stuck” in a tree stump.

O’Coin told me that was a misinterpretation of what he had told Mitchell. The stump he was cutting was half rotted, and the blade easily slipped out after it stalled.

But Husqvarna sided with Mitchell. “After speaking with the dealer they informed me that this is not” covered under “warranty,” Husqvarna wrote in an e-mail to O’Coin. “City Power had diagnosed that the saw had gotten pinched, and was damaged while attempting to remove the saw.”

When I visited Mitchell at his shop one of the first things he said was that O’Coin hadn’t purchased the chain saw at his store — and that “I don’t love the Internet.”

I’m convinced that’s a big part of O’Coin’s problem. The saw was purchased online, rather than at a store. Stores may charge a little more, but many, especially smaller ones, have sales people willing to lavish attention on walk-in shoppers they hope to retain as repeat customers.

Some of that attention comes into play when a warranty is invoked, I learned last week in interviews with people in the industry. Customers claiming warranty protection typically get sent to a store designated by Husqvarna as an authorized dealer, where the store owner makes the all-important recommendation on coverage to the manufacturer.

If that authorized dealer is the place where you bought your saw (and maybe other stuff, too), then you’re likely to get the benefit of the doubt.

That’s important because it’s often difficult to determine, based on the evidence (or lack of it), whether a malfunctioning chain saw is the result of a manufacturing defect or damage caused by the consumer.

“The dealer is in the middle, between the consumer and the manufacturer,” one store owner said.

No such personal relationships exist on Amazon. While a manufacturer’s warranty is just as valid on a purchase made on Amazon as one made at a local hardware store, there’s no one at Amazon to put in a good word for you with the manufacturer.

(You can return defective or damaged items directly to Amazon for a refund or replacement, but only within 30 days after purchase, according to its policy posted online. After 30 days, Amazon recommends contacting the manufacturer directly.)

By the time I got involved, O’Coin and Mitchell were at an impasse. Denied warranty coverage, O’Coin said he wanted Mitchell to return his chain saw, which by then had been reduced to a box of parts by a technician looking for the problem. But Mitchell refused unless he got $100, which he said was fair compensation for his time and effort. O’Coin refused to pay it.

After I contacted Husqvarna, the company reversed its position and promised to replace O’Coin’s saw at no cost (and without further explanation to me). I think that was the right thing to do.


Australia: A Christian private school principal has blasted Greta Thunberg in a newsletter, labelling her a “little girl with mental problems”

Rodney Lynn, head of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, wrote the letter to pupils and parents on September 26. In the letter, seen by news.com.au, he implored his students to put their faith in God and “not in the predictions of a little girl”.

He did not refer to Ms Thunberg by name, but he made reference to “a little girl from Scandinavia” who was promoting “doomsday waffle talk”.

“No one knows when the final wind up of the world will be,” he wrote. “Jesus said no one, only the Father God, knows about that day or hour.”

He said Ms Thunberg was a “little girl with self declared various emotional and mental problems that she thinks give her a special insight into a pending doom”.

“She says she is anxious. You too can be anxious. My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters,” he said in his September 26 newsletter.

The letter was published the same week the 16-year-old made an impassioned speech at the United Nations in New York — hitting out at world leaders for failing to take strong measures to combat climate change.

Galvanised by Ms Thunberg, young people around the world have taken to the streets to demand stronger action on climate change, but Mr Lynn questioned their actions in his letter.

“You can skip school. Hold up a piece of cardboard in the streets and call out for the government to ‘do something to stop it all happening’ … really???” he wrote.

“Do not be afraid. Your word’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets,” he wrote before signing off.

“God’s promises have never failed yet.”

Mr Lynn’s letter has been met with some local opposition, with the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group writing on Facebook that “we don’t like amplifying the toxic words of this Coffs Harbour principal”.

However, the statement went on to say “other more responsible church leaders are calling out his dangerous comments and talking about the need to protect our planet’s climate for younger generations”.



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

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

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


2 October, 2019

Marriage and the So-Called Gender Pay Gap

This has become something of an old chestnut.  But it is rubbish.  Because of the larger standard deviation of IQ in males, there are far more men than women in the upper ranges of IQ -- and IQ is a strong determinant of income.  So high income, high IQ women in fact have an objective surplus of compatible men to choose from.

So why the beef?  It's just the latest excuse for an old, old problem: Women in their 30s and 40 asking "Where are all the men?"  So where are they?

Women with good juices grab a desirable man in their teens and 20s, while there are plenty of men in their age-range still single.  So fussy women who fail to do that grab in their 20s find that all the desirable men are married.  They are left with other women's rejects.  IQ is not the problem. The lack of a strong sexual motivation is.

A strongly motivated woman will make allowances for the inevitable male inadequacies while the less motivated ones are more fussy and wait for perfection. But perfection seldom comes so all too often that fussiness will lead to a lonely old age.

Highly educated professional women are finding fewer well-suited men available to marry.

In this era of “equity equals justice” radicalism where the gender pay gap is regularly trotted out by leftists as an example of social injustice, a recent study provides an interesting twist. According to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, the number of women in higher income brackets is increasing … and these women are running into a shortage of marital partners. In other words, these unmarried women are having trouble find men to marry who match or exceed their own income level.

The study concludes that there are “large deficits in the supply of potential male spouses,” and that “one implication is that the unmarried may remain unmarried or marry less well-suited partners.” The study’s lead author, Daniel T. Lichter, notes that while women do indeed seek to marry for love, “it also is fundamentally an economic transaction.”

Fox Business observes, “It seems many men aren’t getting up to the income level that women prefer in a potential marriage partner.” Evidently, no matter what the social justice warriors may claim, there is an innate expectation in the minds women that values men as husbands who will be the primary bread winner. Who knew that gender roles were so ingrained?


Media lauded a paper about religious children being mean, less eager to admit it was debunked

Nothing like a good piece of confirmation bias.

Do you remember that paper from a few years back that reported religious children were meaner than their secular peers? It was shared by outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the Guardian, none of whom, at the time of this writing, have issued updates to their breathless recitations of the conclusions of this now-debunked paper.

Slate concluded, piously, “Perhaps the thing to take away from this is that studies that tout the moral authority of a certain community should be taken with a grain of salt. Or, more biblically: Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

It was clear all along that something was not right with the paper, published in 2015 by Current Biology. First, it measured altruism through subjective metrics such as how mean children thought actions such as pushing were and how harshly they’d punish the perpetrators. Another one of the tests measured how many stickers they were willing to share with others. On average, nonreligious children gave away four stickers, while religious children only gave away a mere — three.

Some writers expressed an initial skepticism about the findings, but it didn't take long before they were debunked entirely. Azim Shariff, a social psychologist who studies the intersection of morality and religion, found the results particularly odd. They didn’t match up to the findings he’d discovered in his own work. His study had indicated that religious participation typically increased generosity.

Upon looking more closely at the data, Shariff found something wrong. Due to a coding error, the paper’s authors factored in country of origin in a totally nonsensical way. Once that coding error was fixed, the correlation disappeared.

This all happened in 2016, but the journal that published the paper didn’t formally retract it until just last month. Now that the paper has a giant red “RETRACTED” stamped on it, hopefully it won’t continue to be cited as fact, as it was in another article in August.

Some news outlets, though, still haven't changed their reporting. The science journal made the (very belated) right call to formally retract the article, but it’s also important that those who disseminated it correct the widely shared and false findings. The outlets that published the results of the paper ought to update their articles, even if that's painful for their confirmation bias.


Puberty Blocking Drugs Used On “Trans Kids” Have Killed More Than 6,000 People

Here’s a horror show of a story that you’re probably not going to see on CNN anytime soon. A report emerged on Thursday indicating that the puberty-blocking drug Leuprolide Acetate (Lupron) has resulted in tens of thousands of serious “adverse reactions” in patients, including more than six thousand deaths. That’s bad enough, but it’s even more significant when you consider that this is one of the drugs being administered by doctors to so-called “transgender children” to unnaturally prevent their normal sexual development. And the testing done on the drug by the FDA for such applications appears to be thin at best. (Daily Wire)

More than 6,300 adults have died from reactions to a drug that is used as a puberty blocker in gender-confused children, Food & Drug Administration data reportedly shows.

“Between 2012 and June 30 of this year, the FDA documented over 40,764 adverse reactions suffered by patients who took Leuprolide Acetate (Lupron), which is used as a hormone blocker. More than 25,500 reactions logged from 2014-2019 were considered ‘serious,’ including 6,370 deaths,” The Christian Post reported on Thursday.

“Lupron is being prescribed off-label for use in children who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria despite the lack of formal FDA approval for that purpose,” the outlet explained.

You can do a search of the FDA’s incident reports here and enter the name of the drug (Lupron) to see their data.

Despite the possible adverse side effects, there are approved uses for Lupron, but it tends to be administered only for serious conditions. It’s useful in treating prostate cancer in men and endometriosis in women. For children, it is sometimes used to treat precocious puberty, a condition where children begin puberty at an unusually early age, but only for a short time.

The list of potential side effects for the drug is alarming. It includes breast disorders, malignant neoplasms, and psychiatric and nervous disorders. Stop and think about that for a moment. If you have a child that is already so confused that they are questioning their “gender identity” before they’ve even reached the age where their body is dealing with such issues, do you want to give them a drug that can produce psychiatric or nervous disorders?

To top it all off, the FDA has never formally approved the use of Lupron for treating gender dysphoria in children. Two years ago the agency announced that it was beginning a study of “nervous system and psychiatric events in association with the use of … a class of drugs including Lupron, in pediatric patients.” We don’t know the results of that study yet.

What adults, including transgender individuals, choose to do with their own bodies is their business as long as they’re willing to take responsibility for the results. But the experiments being performed on confused young children who have been convinced that they were somehow born the “wrong gender” are simply monstrous.

Blocking the natural arrival of puberty in otherwise healthy children should be considered child abuse and medical malpractice to begin with. All of the questions raised in this report about one of the drugs being administered to do such things makes it all the worse.


You DON'T need to cut out red meat: Scientists say official advice on eating less beef, pork and lamb is based on bad evidence and having it four times a week poses 'NO cancer risk'

There is no reason to cut back on red meat for health reasons, according to a controversial claim by a group of leading scientists.

Researchers in Canada, Spain and Poland have cast a shadow over eating advice adopted by health organisations around the world. In a landmark paper, the academics analysed past studies of how eating meat affected the health of more than four million people.

They found no evidence that eating beef, pork and lamb could increase the rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke or type 2 diabetes – despite fears.

And the team also said they found nothing strong enough to signal that people should cut down on red meat, adding that the quality of evidence was too low for findings to be concerning.

Officials have for years tried to encourage diet changes – the NHS suggests people limit themselves to 70g of red meat a day, about 1.5 rashers of bacon.

Scientists in the UK are torn over the research, describing it as 'very good quality' but hesitating to agree with telling people to cut back on meat.

The study was a series of five reviews of past research, carried out by scientists from the Dalhousie and McMaster universities in Canada as well as the Cochrane research centres in Spain and Poland.

It considered 61 studies which had monitored the health of more than four million people, as well as 12 which trialled changing the diets of about 54,000.

The team found the results of past research were of too poor a quality to make any suggestions about the way people lived their lives. As a result, a panel of 14 experts from seven countries said people should continue to eat the current average amount of red meat.

This was between three and four portions per week for North Americans and Europeans, they said.

In an editorial published alongside the papers, Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Tiffany Doherty, from Indiana University, wrote: 'The overall recommendations, contrary to almost all others that exist, suggested that adults continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat, unless they felt inclined to change them themselves.

'This is sure to be controversial, but it is based on the most comprehensive review of the evidence to date. 'Because that review is inclusive, those who seek to dispute it will be hard pressed to find appropriate evidence with which to build an argument.'

The Indiana researchers even suggested scientists should stop doing studies trying to work out the effects of meat simply by watching people.

The reason the previous results were so weak, they said, was that studies were so vague there was no way of proving a direct link between meat and health.

Experts are divided on whether to agree with the paper or to err on the side of caution.

Professor Tim Key, from the University of Oxford, said: 'There's substantial evidence that processed meat can cause bowel cancer – so much so that the World Health Organization has classified it as carcinogenic since 2015.

'Today's new publication reports results essentially identical to the existing evidence, but describes the impact very differently, contradicting the general consensus among cancer research experts.

'Recent estimates suggest over 5,000 people in the UK develop bowel cancer due to the consumption of processed meat each year, which is why the government recommends that people keep their total intake of red and processed meat to no more than about 70g per day.'

This amount - 70g - works out equal to about one lamb chop, one pork sausage, half a beef burger, or one-and-a-half rashers of bacon.

Dr David Nunan, also a professor at Oxford, said: 'A recommendation to reduce consumption will at best move more people to the average.

'And if that also means some move from average to below average this is unlikely, for most, to lead to harm in terms of health outcomes.

'But again, that is if we believe the findings, which the authors of the current studies put little belief in.

'All this says nothing about individual risk, as even if we believe that at best 12 out of 1,000 people who consume slightly less red or processed meat will be saved from a bad health outcome, no one can ever predict if you will be one of those 12.'

Dr Marco Springmann, an environment and health expert at Oxford, added: 'The recommendation that adults continue current red and processed meat consumption is based on a skewed reading and presentation of the scientific evidence.

'By presenting the evidence for a change in consumption that is less than half of what is customary (for a change of less than half a serving a day compared to a change of one serving per day as is customarily used), it was perhaps inevitable that the authors would report only small potential health benefits of reductions in red and processed meat consumption.

'Even with this skewed way of presenting the evidence, the reviews clearly indicate the benefits of reducing red and processed meat consumption.'

The research was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.



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

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

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


1 October, 2019

I Was Cursed Out of a Coffee Shop for My Views

Marilyn Synek

I never expected my weekly morning ritual of coffee and crepes at a popular local coffee shop would be interrupted by a vulgar, verbal attack that would make national headlines.

On Sept. 11, a cafe employee in Lincoln, Nebraska, named Natalie Weiss recognized me from across the room as an employee of the Nebraska Family Alliance. We’re a local nonprofit that winsomely seeks to protect the unborn, combat human trafficking, support families, and champion everyone’s First Amendment freedoms.

As I soon learned, Natalie, who is transgender, disagrees with many of our views.

After seeing me, Natalie approached me without provocation and began to curse at me for who I am, what I stand for, and the work I do. As other patrons in the crowded shop watched, Natalie called me “f—-ing bigoted trash,” demanded I leave, and shouted that if I tried to return, I’d be refused service.

I was stunned by those hateful words. I’ve always treated the employees of this cafe with respect and courtesy and never broadcast my political beliefs in the shop.

During my lunch break, I shared my experience with my Facebook friends. Within hours, my story had attracted hundreds of comments and made the local news. I soon learned Natalie had been fired for that outburst.

I received considerable support and an apology from the coffee shop owners, but I also received hateful messages, including graphic death threats from complete strangers.

This isn’t the Nebraska I know, love, and proudly call my home. This isn’t the best our diverse and tolerant country can offer. We can do better. We have to.

People who know me can tell you I believe in God, hold a conservative worldview, value the dignity of every human being, and treat people with care. These personal values are why I chose to study political science and spent my undergrad years working in political, government, and policy-related internships, leading to my current job.

Nebraska Family Alliance has received unfair slander in recent days. If even a fraction of the negative stories about our group were true, I wouldn’t work there.

I joined this team because it advocates—carefully and kindly—for policies that serve all Nebraskans. I don’t expect everyone to share my beliefs, but I do welcome rational debate and reasonable discussion.

Some people have suggested that a barista berating me and threatening to deny me future service is no different from a cake artist or a florist declining certain requests that contain messages they would prefer not to celebrate, design, or promote. But it’s incredibly different.

The artists in recent major court cases simply didn’t want to speak messages that violated their convictions. The cafe employee in my case, however, had no such burden.

Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman are business owners who treat all clients with respect and kindness. They serve everyone who walks through their doors. And, like any other business owner, they run their small businesses consistent with their mission and values.

Jack will sell you anything he has made, but he won’t custom-design cakes celebrating Halloween, bachelor parties, or same-sex weddings.

Barronelle happily served a gay customer for nearly 10 years before she told him she couldn’t create custom floral arrangements to help celebrate his wedding. To this day, she says she’d gladly welcome him back.

Both of these business owners, and others like them, have been dragged through long legal battles and repeatedly threatened simply because they don’t want to be forced to create messages or celebrate events they don’t agree with.

If I asked a printer to design a poster for a Nebraska Family Alliance event and they objected to the message, I would understand their decision and go to another business. Tolerance goes both ways, and civil disagreement and discourse on important issues facing our country is a necessary component of a pluralistic society like ours.

I know what it’s like to serve people who don’t agree with me. During high school and college, I worked for a restaurant for seven years and served LGBT patrons. I enjoyed serving delicious barbecue to all my guests.

If I had the chance to serve Natalie, I would do so—and happily—regardless of our differing worldviews.

As Americans, we will inevitably disagree on political and policy issues. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom to peacefully express our ideas and promote what we believe. It also protects our freedom not to participate in speech and events that promote things we don’t believe.

This freedom and the ability to have civil discourse is what makes our country the best nation on earth. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect and not suffer unjust discrimination.

But disagreement isn’t discrimination. We have to be able to discuss our disagreements without cursing, threatening, or banning each other from communal spaces.

I know this kind of shared, diverse society is possible because I’ve participated in it. I have friends who believe I’m wrong in my convictions. We not only coexist and tolerate each other’s differences, we grow and learn from each other.

These are the friendships that make democracy thrive, ones that I hope we all value and pursue.

I enjoy sipping coffee and savoring crepes surrounded by my neighbors who may believe differently than I do. That’s a wonderful thing, and I hope we never lose it.


In California, the Right to Gender ‘Transition’ Is Threatening Religious Liberty

In the age of transgenderism, the right to medically transition is threatening some of the most basic freedoms we’ve known, such as religious freedom.

Consider a recent case out of California, where a state appeals court ruled that a transgender man can move forward with a lawsuit suing a Catholic hospital for discrimination.

In April 2017, Evan Minton sued Catholic medical provider Dignity Health after one of its hospitals refused to give her a desired hysterectomy, because doing so would have contradicted Catholic teachings against sterilization.

Originally, the San Francisco Superior Court ruled in Dignity Health’s favor and dismissed the case on the basis that Minton received the desired procedure from another Dignity Health hospital with a less restrictive policy.

But now, a state appeals court has reversed that decision, and tossed the case back to a lower court.

This could pave the way for any person, via the court, to compel a religious organization to violate its religious convictions.

As one might expect, Minton applauded the decision. “I feel that this appeals court let [Dignity Health] know that they can’t do that, that they have to treat transgender people with dignity and care. That means the world to me,” he told KCRA, a local news channel.

Minton added: “The fight’s not over because what this appeals court has done has affirmed transgender people, but now we go back to the Superior Court and we make our case there.”

In 2016, Minton scheduled a hysterectomy with a surgeon at the hospital to aid in the transition process from female to male. A couple days before the surgery was set to occur, the hospital became aware of the situation and cancelled the procedure, citing its core religious beliefs.

In a statement last week following the appeals court decision, the hospital said, “Catholic hospitals do not perform sterilizing procedures such as hysterectomies for any patient regardless of their gender identity, unless there is a serious threat to the life or health of the patient.”

Even though Dignity Health offered to find another hospital willing to do the hysterectomy, and another non-Catholic, Dignity Health hospital ended up doing the procedure, Minton went forward with the lawsuit.

With the help of the ACLU, Minton filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health claiming that it had denied medical care on the basis of gender identity, which he said qualified as “sex discrimination in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.”

But this is not what actually occurred.

Dignity Health did not deny Minton care on the basis of gender identity; it simply refused to carry out the sterilization procedures it considered harmful, and would never perform on any patient.

Dignity Health’s faith-based policy means its doctors vow to “protect and preserve the bodily and functional integrity” of patients, and that the patient’s “functional integrity … may only be sacrificed to maintain the health or life of the person when no other morally permissible means is available.”

As such, Dignity Health forbids sterilization procedures since they go against Catholic moral teachings about what is good and conducive to flourishing.

The Court of Appeals decision is especially egregious because it acknowledges Dignity Health’s religious freedom as a Catholic hospital, but goes so far as to say the exercise of that freedom in this case—particularly under California law—amounts to discrimination.

To provide a sampling, the court wrote:

The pleading alleges that Mercy allows doctors to perform hysterectomies as treatment for other conditions but refused to allow Dr. Dawson to perform the same procedure as treatment for Minton’s gender dysphoria, a condition that is unique to transgender individuals.

Denying a procedure as treatment for a condition that affects only transgender persons supports an inference that Dignity Health discriminated against Minton based on his gender identity. This is true even if the denial was pursuant to a facially neutral policy.

Another portion of the ruling essentially states that forcing the hospital to violate its religious principles does not actually violate its free exercise of religion because California has a “compelling interest in ensuring full and equal access to medical treatment,” which purportedly supersedes any religious liberty claims and makes any compulsion claim null and void.

This not only seems like a blatant violation of the free exercise clause, but would pave the way for courts to violate all kinds of organizations’ religious rights if the state holds there is a greater interest at stake than religious liberty.

It remains to be seen how this case will shake out—and whether federal courts will pick it up and, perhaps, strike down the state court’s ruling.


Maher: Rachel Maddow Wouldn't Shut Up if Don Jr. Did What Hunter Biden Did

We've played a lot of games of political "what if?" and "whataboutism" in the three years that we've been through the looking glass in America. On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, the host explored a hypothetical, wondering how the media would be reacting if Donald Trump Jr. were engaged in the kind of cronyism that Hunter Biden was in Ukraine.

The Hill:

"The more I read about this ... no, I don't think he was doing something terrible in Ukraine," Maher said of the younger Biden during a panel discussion on "Real Time" on Friday night.
"But why can't politicians tell their f---ing kids, 'Get a job, get a goddamn job!'" he continued. "This kid was paid $600,000 because his name is Biden by a gas company in Ukraine, this super-corrupt country that just had a revolution to get rid of corruption."

The liberal comedian and host added that it "just looks bad."

Personally, this kind of stuff doesn't bother me much. I'm old fashioned, I think the real corruption happens while politicians are in office, not after they leave and get rich from all of that "public service." Heck, I'd love it if my kid could walk out of college next year and into a pile of money using nothing more than her last name. Unfortunately, that's more likely to bring up law enforcement red flags than job offers.

Still, the media does have very selective outrage about such dealings. It's the epitome of greed, graft, and post-political corruption when a Republican does it, and business as usual when it's a Democrat.

Maher touched on that as well:

"It does sound like something Don[ald] Trump Jr. would do," Maher later added on his show Friday. "And if Don Jr. did it, it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about."
The all-around sleazy optics of the Bidens' end of this has largely been glossed over in the mainstream media this past week. Conservative blogs write about it, of course, but that's it.

Thankfully, POTUS has been all over it as well.

In the end, there will more than likely be more questions about the Bidens than Trump's phone call. None of which will ever be asked by our intrepid political journalists.


Australia: Same-sex unions divide what used to be the Methodist church

Uniting Church ministers who ­oppose same-sex marriage say they are being “pushed, harassed and bullied” out of the church by progressives at the helm of Australia’s third-largest denomination.

The Reverend Lu Senituli, minister of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations of the Uniting Church Sunnybank on Brisbane’s south side, said a fissure in the church was widening between large conservative congregations such as his mostly Tongan church, and inner-city churches and leadership “who want to drive us out to make way for the new church”.

Mr Senituli said the issue had come to a head since the “yes” vote in the national plebiscite on same-sex marriage. “They are using church procedures and withholding of funding and all sorts of tactics to get us to toe the line,” he said. “I have people sitting in my congregation taking notes so they can report on me to the church and have disciplinary measures enacted against me.”

However, the Uniting Church says ministers have freedom to refuse to conduct same-sex mar­riages and can continue to teach their belief that marriage may only be between a man and a woman.

Mr Senituli’s church is a member of a breakaway body in the Uniting Church established in 2004 called the Assembly of Confessing Congregations, set up for congregations that reject the progressive line on accepting gay ­clergy and same-sex marriage.

“The church now has two faith statements, or integrities on marriage,” Mr Senituli said. “One is that marriage is between a man and a woman, as according to holy scripture. But the second integrity is the covenant of love between two persons, regardless of sex.

“In practice it’s impossible to live our faith under these two integ­rities as they are contradictory. When a minister makes a statement to a presbytery to say we will not celebrate same-sex marriage, from that point the presbyteries, the regional body, begin to put the pressure on in every way.

“They start turning off the funding tap if you don’t toe the line. Life becomes extremely difficult. Regional bodies are working in collusion with liberals in congregations who find orthodox preaching offensive.

“I was removed from the nat­ional body on doctrine because my views didn’t represent the diversity of the Uniting Church. But I represent a thriving church with hundreds of members who hold traditional, scriptural views and my church has six services every Sunday.”

The president of the Uniting Church, Deirdre Palmer, was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman for the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly and the Synod of Queensland said ministers and celebrants authorised by the Uniting Church had the freedom to conduct or to refuse to conduct same-gender marriages.

“They can continue to teach their belief that marriage may only be between a man and a woman, and can continue to use a marriage liturgy that reflects that conviction,” the spokesman said.

“At the same time, we expect all our members to respectfully engage with those who may hold different biblical and theological views to their own, and to show respect to LGBTIQ Uniting Church members, who are full members, exercising a variety of ministries, both ordained and lay within and through the life of the Uniting Church.

“All parts of the church are accountable to our governance and regulations and when matters of concern arise in particular congregations, the Uniting Church has systems in place to manage those concerns.

“The matters raised with The Australian are known to the Uniting Church and are being addressed through appropriate processes, with ongoing consultation and support provided to the congregations. They are entirely un­related to the minister’s or the congregation’s Christian understanding of marriage.”

Mr Senituli’s church adopted its current name last month, changing its signage from Sunny­bank Uniting Church in defiance of church leadership to make clear its opposition to same-sex marriage and as a protest against allegedly being bullied on the issue.

The national chairman of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations, Hedley Fihaki, backed Mr Senituli’s claims, saying about 150 of the Uniting Church’s 800 congregations were ACC members.

He said ACC assemblies that had changed signs and logos to distinguish themselves from progressive congregations had received letters warning them they would no longer be under the protection of the church for issues such as insurance.

“The Uniting Church doesn’t see the dilemma we are in. The push to embrace diversity is an oxymoron, the two statements on marriage — you can’t have these two doctrines co-­existing together, in our opinion,” Dr Fihaki said.

“The Bible is very clear on this. Assembly doesn’t get why we can’t exist in this diversity framework. They are forcing us to accept it, but we can’t.”



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

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

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


HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

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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