The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. Email John Ray here. See here or here for the archives of this site.

For a list of blog backups see here or here.

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

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

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

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


28 September, 2018

Politically correct culture at Grant High

As the last school year came to a close, and likewise my time in high school, I was left with a couple concerns regarding the priorities and provided education throughout Portland Public Schools.

In my time at Grant we settled into a new sociopolitical age in America, Portland, and our own school community. This new age is one in which safe spaces, trigger warnings, and a cognizance of personal comfort have become a priority.

This is certainly a good thing in how it provides an environment that normalizes issues like mental health, gender identity and sexuality, and past trauma. The converse to this, though, is that the quick rise of this climate in Grant has made the school feel like a place in which learning comes second to emotion.

Various events over the last few years have brought this to my attention. From minor comments in the halls to larger issues that impact the entire student body, a new culture has arisen, seemingly inextricable from the prioritization of political correctness above learning. This phenomenon poses a danger to the students, the administration, and the community in how it bars students from learning how to think critically about the ideas that saturate the world around them.

The culture of the school has made a shift away from learning and towards a preservation of a homogeneous group mindset that is not conducive to valuable life learning. I cannot imagine that this is desirable from an administrative perspective. During Race Forward, 'courageous conversation' is one of the precedents that is set, but this feels like a taboo attitude in any other context at school. Bringing up controversial, painful, or even different perspectives is met with silence or forcible shushing, which creates a taboo around effective and valuable conversation. The purpose of high school is to educate a new generation of young people to be capable of conducting intelligent, thoughtful, and mature conversation and thus being contributing members of society. This goal seems nearly impossible when we as a student body are not given a space in which beliefs can be contested and mature debate can be demonstrated or practiced.

My time at Grant has been rewarding in countless ways. I am grateful for so many opportunities I've been given, but I feel that our community is being held back. Adolescence is a time in which group mindset is the natural fallback and to this point Grant has not only been allowing this alienation of beliefs which are 'other,' but encouraging it.

We cannot possibly hope to become a mature, cogent, and articulate people without having an opportunity to adopt and practice these skills. An aversion to honest conversation seems to dominate Grant and the first step to rectifying this is with the administration. More than just a token effort, the school must begin to value and encourage critical, nuanced thought if it hopes to instill this value in its students.


Voters Aren’t Politically Correct And Say Neither is Trump

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Voters view so-called political correctness as a problem and see it as a wedge used to silence opposition. President Obama was politically correct, they say; President Trump is not.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 14% of Likely U.S. Voters think Trump is more politically correct than most recent presidents. Seventy-four percent (74%) say he is less politically correct than his recent predecessors, while 10% rate his level of political correctness as about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By contrast, 62% say Obama was more politically correct than most other recent presidents. Only 19% feel he was less politically correct, and 17% think his level of political correctness was about the same.

How do voters define political correctness? For 37%, it protects groups that have historically been discriminated against. But a plurality (47%) says political correctness is a tool used to silence political and social opponents. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided.

Most (61%) agree, though, that political correctness is a problem in America today. Only 26% disagree. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all Americans said political correctness is a problem in this country when Trump raised it in the first Republican candidate debate in August 2015.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 17-18, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters believe that school textbooks are more concerned with presenting information in a politically correct manner than in accuracy.

Most voters in all age groups consider political correctness a problem, but those 65 and older are the most likely to view it as a political tool. Blacks are less critical of political correctness than whites and other minority voters are.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of conservative voters and 59% of moderates see political correctness as a problem. Just 39% of liberals agree. But then 65% of liberals believe it protects groups that have historically been discriminated against, a view shared by only 16% of conservatives and 39% of moderates.

Most Democrats (54%) say political correctness protects those who have been discriminated against. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans and unaffiliateds by a 45% to 34% margin regard it as a political tool instead.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters who see political correctness as a political tool regard it as a problem for the country. Interestingly, even among voters who see political correctness as a protection, a sizable 42% feel it is a problem.

One thing the majority of voters in nearly demographic category agree on, however, is that Trump is less PC than most recent presidents, while Obama was more politically correct.

Forty-four percent (44%) of Democrats - and 51% of all voters - agreed with a former Wisconsin Democratic state party chairman in June when he said that "our party right now ... is pickled in identity politics and victimology. ... There is no assimilation of the party anymore."

Nearly half of Americans think college students have less freedom of speech these days, and few think professors and administrators promote the free exchange of ideas.

Eighty-five percent (85%) think giving people the right to free speech is more important than making sure no one is offended by what others say. But only 28% believe Americans have true freedom of speech today.

Despite calls by some politicians and the media for erasing those connected to slavery from U.S. history, it looks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are going to be with us awhile longer. Voters strongly believe it’s better to learn from the past than erase it.


Doug Casey on the 'Politically Correct' Movement

An interview

Justin Spittler: Doug, I want to ask you about political correctness. Obviously, PC culture’s nothing new, but it kind of seems like it’s spreading like cancer these days. Terms like “gender inclusivity,” “cultural appropriation,” and “white privilege” are everywhere.

A good example is last year’s announcement by the University of Minnesota… saying it was dropping the names “Homecoming King and Queen” in favor of “Royals.” It did this in the name of “gender inclusivity.”

Doug Casey: Parts of the culture are borderline insane. There’ve been news items regarding this on scores of different colleges and universities across the US. What you mentioned at the University of Minnesota was just part of a greater movement. Although I’ve got to say that I find the use of “Royals” objectionable. I dislike the idea of a hereditary aristocracy—kings and queens and royals. They’re basically just successful, silk-clad gangsters. Why the royal family in Britain is looked up to is a mystery to me. They, like all royals in the world, historically are just descendants of successful thugs.

But that’s not the point that the PC people are making. They don’t want to see people identified by their birth sex. They would rather that people “identify” as whatever gender—and I understand there are supposed to be about 40—you feel you belong to. You can say you are whoever you think you are. And oddly enough, I’m somewhat sympathetic to that. I think you should be able to call yourself what you want, do what you want, say what you want, this is all fine. And let people judge you by how you identify yourself. Say that you’re a hermaphrodite dinosaur who was born on Mars, if you want. I don’t care; it’s your problem. But these PC types want to legislate that people have to treat the psychologically aberrated as if they were normal. They want laws and punishments governing what you can and can’t do and say and even feel. They want to force you to respect, and pay for, the fantasies of a minority. And change—overturn actually—the whole social culture of the country. It’s a very disturbing trend. It’s likely to end in violence.

I believe I first heard the term “political correctness” used on a Saturday Night Live show back in about 1980. And I thought it was just a joke—like most of the things on SNL. But it turned out to be a real thing, and it’s been building momentum, for at least the last two generations. Where is it going to end? I’m not sure, but it’s just one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself. People that go along with this stuff aren’t just crazy. They’re actually evil. They’re the same types who rallied around Robespierre during the French revolution, Lenin during the Russian Revolution, Hitler in ‘30s Germany, and Mao in China. It’s a certain personality type.

The fact that the average American still puts up with this kind of nonsense and treats it with respect is a bad sign. PC values are continually inculcated into kids that go off to college—which, incidentally, is another idiotic mistake that most people make for both economic and philosophical reasons. It’s a real cause for pessimism.

Justin: I agree 100%, Doug. But here’s something our average reader might not realize.

The PC “movement” is actually happening across the world.

For example, Cardiff Metropolitan University in the U.K. banned words like “mankind,” “homosexual,” “housewife,” “manmade,” and “sportsmanship” in an effort to “promote fairness and equality through raising awareness about potentially discriminatory vocabulary.”

Here are some of the University’s approved alternatives…

Instead of “manpower,” students and faculty should say “human resources.”

Instead of “mankind,” “humanity.”

Instead of “sportsmanship,” “fairness.”

Instead of “polio victim,” “polio survivor.”

So here we have another university trying to legislate what people can and cannot say in the name of fairness and equality.

But I really don’t see how this accomplishes anything. Would you agree?

Doug: Completely. The words you use control the way you think. These people don’t have good intentions, they have bad intentions. Destructive intentions. They’re opposed to all the things that, starting with Ancient Greece, made Western civilization unique, and better than any other on Earth. They’re opposed to the concepts of individualism, personal freedom, capitalism, economic liberty, free thought, and the like. And it starts with controlling the words you use. George Orwell pointed that out in 1984 where he created “Newspeak,” which was a new version of the English language that used all kinds of different new words in order to change the way people think. And to make it impossible for them to think clearly, because the words were purposely misdefined, often to the opposite of the meanings that they actually have. So, sure, this is part of the continuing corruption of Western civilization itself.

And you’re right, it’s not just in American universities. It’s in universities everywhere, because the culture of universities everywhere has been controlled by this whole class of progressives, social justice warriors, cultural Marxists, socialists—they go under a number of names. I don’t know what’s going to be done about it, quite frankly, because the average person doesn’t have A) the backbone and B) the philosophical knowledge to counter these people. So there’s great cause for pessimism, watching this happen and accelerate. It’s not slowing down, it’s accelerating everywhere.

For instance, some years ago I sat on the Board of Trustees of two different universities. The other trustees weren’t academics, but normal, successful middle-class people. And they were completely snowed by these crazy trends. They were of good will, but they’d been brainwashed by their own educations, and the culture around them, into thinking that although perhaps the SJWs and such were going “too far,” they didn’t actively oppose them. I’m afraid the intellectual and psychological battle has been lost.

Justin: Exactly, it seems people across the world are waging a war on their own freedom of speech. Meanwhile, you have the government waging a war on people’s privacy…

Facebook and internet service providers are hawking private browsing data, Google is listening in on our conversations, the CIA is hacking people’s smartphones…

As disturbing as this all is, I can’t say I’m surprised. Are you?

Doug: No, I wasn’t at all surprised by it. But people’s reaction to these horrible things is that, “Well, the CIA should be reined in a bit, they should be brought under control.” But this is the wrong reaction. The CIA—along with the NSA, the DEA, and a bunch of others—should be abolished, because the CIA has become an actual Praetorian guard. It’s become a government within a government. They have their own armed forces, they have their own sources of income. You can go rogue within the CIA, and if you’re powerful enough or clever enough you can basically do what you want because you’re an armed government agent that’s a member of a very powerful group.

These people are completely out of control. And they have a powerful propaganda machine that works around the clock to convince ignorant and paranoid Boobus americanus that they’re actually good guys, working for his interests against the rest of the world.

The CIA should be abolished because it’s dysfunctional, but also because it serves no useful purpose. It’s never ever predicted, through its so-called “intelligence gathering,” anything of value—ever. The Korean War, the rise of Castro, the fall of the Shah, the rise of Islam, the fact that the Soviet Union was just an empty shell—you know, they thought the Soviet Union was actually competing with the US from an economic point of view. They’re always absolutely wrong on everything. It defies the odds of pure chance. They’re not just useless, but extremely dangerous. All the coups and revolutions they’ve plotted were disasters.

Can you abolish them? Can you get rid of them at this point? No, they’re far too powerful. And anybody that tries is either going to be killed and/or discredited by their black propaganda. At this point the situation’s completely out of control, and we just have to see where it ends. As an individual American, you should try to insulate yourself from these people. Because they’re not going away; they’re going to become even more powerful.

Justin: How can the average American do that? Should they flee to another country? Delete their Facebook? Is this something people can even escape?

Doug: It’s now a very small world, so it’s very hard to escape. But you just mentioned something to consider. I spend two-thirds of the year in South America, and travel a lot. Believe it or not, I don’t personally have a cell phone, because I don’t like to feel tethered to an electronic device. Societies down here aren’t nearly as electronically oriented as they are in the US. Though my internet connection in Cafayate, Argentina is much better than the one I have in Aspen. So, yes, that’s one thing. It’s easier to be out of sight and out of mind of the bad guys if you’re out of the US, which is the epicenter of all of this. I think that’s important. And being physically absent and trying to limit your use of electronic devices and be careful when you do use them. That’s about all you can do at this point.

Or you can be a good little lamb, and never think out of the box. To mix metaphors, you can act like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, believing you have nothing to hide, because you’re one of the herd who never does anything wrong. Too few people have read Harvey Silverglate’s book where he points out how the average American often commits about three felonies a day.

But that book is surely inaccurate. It’s 10 years old. Now it’s probably like five felonies a day.

Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.


Proud to be a racist: Australian senator claims immigrants come from 'broken s***holes' and Islam 'is on a mission to take over Australia'

Some realism at last

A rogue senator who called for a 'final solution' to Muslim immigration has now declared he doesn't care if he is called a racist.

Katter's Australian Party lawmaker Fraser Anning released a video declaring all non-European migrants moving to Australia were from 'broken down s***holes'.

'We're finding that more and more people are apologising for being white but it was the whites who built these nations,' he said.

The Queensland senator said people from poor countries wanted to move to Australia 'because we have what they don't have'.

'We don't need to turn our countries into those same broken down s***holes that they come from. Otherwise we'll just become one of them,' he said.

On Tuesday, Senator Anning tweeted a meme equating Muslims with failed states in the Middle East and Africa to argue why they should be banned from Australia.

'If being a racist means I don't want my country turned into a pile of rocks and goat s*** ruled by a barbaric cult, then I'm a racist,' he said on Facebook and Twitter.  

Senator Anning told Daily Mail Australia he was specifically referring to Muslims in the social media post. 'Make no mistake Islam is on a mission to take over the Western world and implement sharia law,' he said today.

'Islam is an ideology of hate. Look at the appalling conditions and the treatment of women in countries like Somalia, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authorities, Iran and Afghanistan.'

Senator Anning said that like other Western nations, Australia's immigration intake was undermining a society with European institutions.

The 2016 Census shows that 49 per cent of Australians were either born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas.

'Look at the fundamental changes that are occurring in countries with indiscriminate immigration policies,' he said. 'We cannot avoid the subject for fear of being called racist.

'The question all Australians need to ask themselves is do they want to see the nation changed and not for the better?'

The 68-year-old Brisbane-based senator, who defected from One Nation in January after being sworn in as a federal member of Parliament, was condemned by both sides of politics in August after using a Nazi Germany phrase to demand an end to Muslim immigration. 'The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote,' he said in his maiden speech.

Treasurer and deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg, who is Jewish, and Labor frontbencher Ed Husic, a Muslim, joined together as friends from across the political divide to condemn Senator Anning.

His speech was even condemned by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who maintains Australia is in danger of being 'swamped by Asians' and is also an Islam critic.

Senator Anning had also told Parliament Australian society was better before the formal dismantling of the White Australia policy in 1973 ended a bias in favour of European migrants.

His latest social media post has divided Twitter, with one woman questioning how it was racist to criticise Islam, who make up 2.6 per cent of the Australian population. 'Religion has nothing to do with race,' she said.

A supporter of Senator Anning said white people were being silenced. 'Racism is white people thinking or feeling about race the way that people of other races remain free to feel and think about it,' he said.



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

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

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


27 September, 2018

Girls are better than boys at reading AND writing by age 10 because 'language is seen as a feminine skill', scientists claim

Politically correct rubbish! Girls have always shown up as better on verbal skills in IQ tests while boys are better at math.  It's innate

Girls are better than boys at both reading and writing as early as age 10 - a gap that only widens as they head towards adulthood, according to a new study.

Researchers came to their conclusion after reviewing the test scores of four-million American high school students, spanning a period of almost three decades.

They suggest reading and language are largely seen as feminine skills, meaning boys are less likely to work hard to improve them in a bid to conform to 'masculine ideals'.

Research shows that girls typically score better than boys in standardised literacy tests.

The trend is seen as early as age 10 and continues until the age of 18.

Previous research has shown women and men use their brains differently.  Girls use both brain hemispheres for reading and writing, while boys typically rely on just one.

Boys are also exhibit more disruptive behaviours than girls in the classroom. They are more likely to be inattentive and interrupt teachers.

Scientists also suggest that reading and language are seen as feminine skills, even from a young age.

This means boys are less likely than girls to push to improve these skills.

The finding also challenges the idea that boys and girls enter secondary school at roughly the same level, said the researchers, from Griffith University in Australia. 'It appears that the gender gap for writing tasks has been greatly underestimated,' said study lead author David Reilly. 'Despite our best efforts with changes in teaching methods, this gap does not appear to be reducing over time.' [Because it is innate]

Mr Reilly and his team crunched data on 3.9 million literacy test scores stored in the US National Assessment of Educational Progress database. Scores were from high school students in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades - a period that spans ages 10 to 18.

Across 27 years of test scores, girls ranked significantly better in both reading and writing in the fourth grade, a gap that only widened in the eighth and twelfth grades.

'The common thinking is that boys and girls in grade school start with the same cognitive ability, but this research suggests otherwise,' Mr Reilly said. 'Our research found that girls generally exhibit better reading and writing ability than boys as early as the fourth grade.'

The team believes the shock discovery could be a result of boys being more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability than girls.

Behavioural problems seen more commonly in boys, such as inattentiveness, may also contribute, as could the difference in the way the genders use their brains.

Girls use both brain hemispheres for reading and writing, while boys typically rely on just one, according to previous studies.

The authors also suggest the peer pressure boys face to follow 'masculine norms' could make reading less of a priority for some.

They argue that expressive writing exercises should be pushed on boys earlier to help them catch up with the other sex.

'The magnitude of the writing gender gap was really quite surprising,' Mr Reilly said. 'Many boys are highly proficient in reading, and yet really struggle when it comes to writing tasks.

'This study shows the need for a greater focus on writing beginning in primary continuing throughout high school.

'In an ever-crowded curriculum that is focusing more on STEM [Science Technology Engineering and Medicine], it highlights the increased need for further work.'

The study was published in the journal American Psychologist.


Feminist blogger's billboard defining 'woman' as 'adult human female' is removed after complaint from Twitter activist who claimed it would make transgender women feel unsafe

A billboard with the definition of a woman written on it has been removed after a Twitter activist complained it was 'transphobic.'

Feminist blogger Kellie-Jay Keen- Minshull raised £700 for the poster to be put up in Liverpool for a fortnight to coincide with the Labour Party conference, The Times reports.

The poster, on the side of the old Gaumont cinema on Gredington Street in Toxteth, Liverpool, bore the Google definition of a woman – 'adult human female.'

But it was removed after Dr Adrian Harrop, 31, who is not transgender, complained to billboard company Primesight that it would serve to make transgender women feel unsafe.

'This is a reminder to them that this transphobic hate group is observing them and scrutinising their presence in public life,' Dr Harrop, who lives with his husband in sunderland, told the newspaper.

'It creates an atmosphere that makes transgender citizens of Liverpool feel unsafe and unwelcome in their own city.'

In a tweet to Primesight CEO Naren Patel and other company executives on Saturday, he accused them of being complicit in 'the spread of transphobic hate speech.' He also alleged that the group behind the campaign is a 'transphobic hate group.' 

Standing for Women is a pressure group which maintains that only people born as women can be called women.

'Are you aware that 'Human Females' - aka 'Standing For Women' - is a transphobic hate group, disguising itself in an adulterated version of feminism in order to spread its propaganda & hate speech w/ impunity?' he wrote in another tweet to Primesight.

Hours later, Primesight confirmed the billboards would be taken down that evening. In a statement in response to Dr Harrop, Primesight said they were unware of the motive behind the campaign and said the order had been placed through their automated booking system. 'At first glance, this copy did not raise a red flag the way it should have done,' it added.

'Hands up, we have been misled by this campaign's messaging.

'Thanks to you, this campaign has been halted and the poster would be removed from our billboards as soon as possible.

'As you pointed out, we are proud to support the LGBTQ+ community and remain fully committed to equality for all.'

But Mrs Keen- Minshull, 44, who blogs under the name Posie Parker, blasted the decision as 'absurd' and 'Orwellian' and accused Primesight of breaching their contract with her.

'We're in a new realm of misogyny when the word 'woman' becomes hate speech,' she told The Times. 'I wanted it to be a conversation starter but this is a new level of absurd.'


New Research Confirms We Got Cholesterol All Wrong

A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication. Just don't hold your breath.

The study, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people.

"No evidence exists to prove that having high levels of bad cholesterol causes heart disease, leading physicians have claimed" in the study, reports the Daily Mail. The Express likewise says the new study finds "no evidence that high levels of 'bad' cholesterol cause heart disease."

The study also reports that "heart attack patients were shown to have lower than normal cholesterol levels of LDL-C" and that older people with higher levels of bad cholesterol tend to live longer than those with lower levels.

This is probably news to many in government. But it's not news to everyone.

"In fact researchers have known for decades from nutrition studies that LDL-C is not strongly correlated with cardiac risk," says Nina Teicholz, an investigative journalist and author of The New York Times bestseller The Big Fat Surprise (along with a great recent Wall St. Journal op-ed highlighting ongoing flaws in federal dietary advice). In an email to me this week, she pointed out that "physicians continue focusing on LDL-C in part because they have drugs to lower it. Doctors are driven by incentives to prescribe pills for nutrition-related diseases rather than better nutrition—a far healthier and more natural approach."

Cholesterol in our diets comes from animals and animal products—including eggs, meat, fish, and dairy. The government told us for decades that these foods were, to varying degrees, dangerous.

Federal dietary policy is shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which meets every five years to update its findings. The government touts the DGAC and the dietary guidelines it develops as "an important resource to help our Nation reach its highest standard of health."

The federal government's war on cholesterol, as early DGAC recommendations suggest, dates back decades. For example, the 1995 DGAC report stressed the dangers of dietary cholesterol.

"Most people are aware that high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are linked to increased blood cholesterol levels and a greater risk for heart disease," it declares. "Choosing foods with less cholesterol and saturated fat will help lower your blood cholesterol levels."

Only in 2015 did federal dietary guidelines (mostly) halt the assault on cholesterol. Many hailed the news, while still stressing that high cholesterol levels in our bloodstreams is still a danger.

"There's a growing consensus among nutrition scientists that cholesterol in food has little effect on the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream," a Harvard Medical School blog post noted that same year. "And that's the cholesterol that matters."

"The government's new stance on dietary cholesterol is in line with that of other nations, which do not single out cholesterol as an issue," the Washington Post reported following the release of the most recent dietary guidelines in 2016. "Yet it should not be confused with officials' continued warning about high levels of 'bad' cholesterol in the blood—something that has been clearly linked to heart disease."

But this most recent study is throwing cold water on many of those continued government warnings about blood cholesterol.

What's more, if bad cholesterol isn't so bad, then the benefits of so-called good cholesterol are also under assault. Recently, *HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol, was itself deemed suspect in some cases.

Dietary fat also appears not to be the danger the government says it is. Another new study, reported on by Ron Bailey this week, suggests, as he writes, that the federal government's warnings to avoid dairy products that are high in fat "is bunk."

I'm not a nutritionist. I don't know if the science on cholesterol is settled. But the federal government has warned us for decades about cholesterol in our bodies and in our food. The fact those warnings are now changing means the government has, despite what I'm sure are the good intentions of everyone involved, been handing out poor dietary advice and developing regulations that reflect that poor advice.

I'm one of many who has called out the DGAC and the federal government for foisting "decades of confusing and often-contradictory dietary advice" upon the American public. I also suggested, in a column last year, that one way the government might back up its claims to possess invaluable and unparalleled expertise in the areas of food policy and nutrition would be stop regularly reversing or altering its recommendations.

"The reason that we don't know about these huge reversals in dietary advice is that the nutrition establishment is apparently loathe to make public their major reversals in policy," Teicholz says. "The low-fat diet is another example: neither the AHA or the dietary guidelines recommend a low-fat diet anymore. But they have yet to announce this to the American public. And some in the establishment are still fighting to retain the low-fat status quo."

I am not your doctor, nor your nutritionist. I have no idea what you should eat. Maybe the government should adopt that mantra, too.


OUCH! Michael Moore’s Anti-Trump Propaganda Film Absolutely TANKED On Opening Weekend

Early indications are that the new Michael Moore movie “Fahrenheit 11/9” may be a box office bomb of unmitigated proportions.

The leftist filmmaker who has become extremely wealthy from producing anti-capitalist propaganda has been in his heyday since President Trump unexpectedly won the last presidential election and has appointed himself as a leader of The Resistance.

But for all of Moore’s visibility and especially how heavily promoted that “Fahrenheit 11/9” has been on the late-night television circuit and cable “news” shows it has to be a stunner that opening weekend has so far been a mega-flop.

Unless traffic picks up, Fahrenheit 11/9 is headed for an eighth-place finish with only $3 million from 1,719 theaters (pre-release tracking had suggested at least $5 million-$6 million).

Moore’s satirical, anti-Trump film marks the first release from Tom Ortenberg’s new company, Briarcliff. (Ortenberg worked with Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 while stationed at Lionsgate.) It earned just north of $1 million on Friday.



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

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

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


26 September, 2018

Feminism according to Daisy Cousens

America has many great conservative women.  I particularly like Kellyanne Conway and Monica Crowley.  But Australia produces talented conservatives too.  Claire Lehman, creator and editor of Quillette has come to international attention in recent times. And Daisy Cousens is very prominent these days in Australia.  She appears on all sorts of shows vigorously promoting conservative views. 

Her great asset is that she uses irreverent humor to punch holes in Leftist nonsense.  And the fact that she is very pretty and ultra feminine does undoubtedly help.

As far as I can tell, however, she is virtually unknown in America.  So I hope that the video below might go some way towards introducing Americans to her. After the video I reproduce an abridged version of a story about her.

For Daisy Cousens, there is more than one reason to celebrate the ascendancy of Donald Trump – or "Uncle Donny", as she refers to the US president.

First and foremost, it is good to wake up in the morning and know that a man of his calibre is in the Oval Office. The bonus? Knowing lefties worldwide are still sobbing into their pillows. "Hilarious," is her summing-up of the situation.

Cousens, 28, is a right-wing political pundit, frequently invited to air her opinions in print and on television talk-shows.

Besides being forthright, she is "smart, hard-working, and extremely well-educated" – at least, that is how she described herself in an article she published online late last year. In the same piece, she attributed her professional success in part to her sparkling personality and attractive appearance.

"Funny and conventionally pretty is a winning combination," she pointed out, "and although looks and charisma won't help me do the task, they assist immeasurably in gaining me the opportunity."

On a warm afternoon, I visit Cousens on Sydney's North Shore, where she lives with her parents and two younger sisters in a pleasant house surrounded by towering gums.

She comes to the door wearing a fulllength dress with a fitted bodice. Her skin is pale, her hair dark, her smile coquettish: she reminds me of Vivien Leigh playing Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. We take cups of tea to an outside table and I ask how she got into punditry. "I've always been conservative," she says. And confident, obviously. Also – she doesn't mind admitting it – contrarian. "I kinda like arguing with people. I like to talk."

She laughs when I mention that I saw her make a determined effort to speak over the top of host Tony Jones on ABC TV's Q&A earlier this year.

"I was just really annoyed," she says. "I'm like, 'No, let me talk, dammit!' It was very funny." On ABC's The Drum, Cousens was even more assertive. "No-no-no-no-no-no-no," she told a fellow guest who tried to get a word in edgeways. "Don't interrupt me." Both performances drew a big response online. "I didn't read any of it," she says. "But my friends were like, 'Er, Daisy, people are calling you a Nazi.'"

There's nothing like the presence of a Trump supporter to spice up on-air debate.

While I am working on this story, Cousens accepts requests to appear on Sky News' The Bolt Report, Paul Murray Live and Jones & Co, Channel Ten's The Project, as well as Q&A and The Drum. No one could accuse her of shrinking from the spotlight, but even she is surprised by how much screen-time she's getting. "They keep calling me," she says.

I think nowadays, being conservative, it's kind of like the new rebellion.

Daisy Cousens' parents are actors. (Her father, Peter Cousens, is also a producer and director whose film credits include Freedom, starring Cuba Gooding jnr.) "I think they're a bit more centrist than I am," says Daisy, as we sit drinking tea in their sun-dappled garden. She herself dreamed of becoming a musical-theatre star, and spent the best part of a year trying to conquer Broadway. She says she had $10 in her pocket when she returned from New York. What's nice, from her perspective, is that she has ended up in the spotlight any way – even if she finds herself playing to tougher crowds than she encountered in her song-and-dance days. "They booed me!" she says of a section of the Q&A audience. A small pause. "I was really pleased."

CONTROVERSY IS, of course, the pundit's stock-intrade. When Cousens says things like, "I called myself a feminist before I started, you know, thinking," you get the impression she is hoping for a sharp collective intake of breath. She tells me that she and fellow members of the cohort she calls the "millennial Right" aim to be "very, very outrageous … We like to shock people".

In the Trump era, conservatism has lost its fuddy-duddy image, she says. "I think nowadays, being conservative, it's kind of like the new rebellion."

Cousens, who likes that Trump is "very anti-politicalcorrectness", was just 15 the first time she gave us the benefit of her assessment of a US president. It was 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq, and US president George W. Bush was visiting Canberra. Cousens, in the national capital on a school excursion,was one of 40 students selected to sit in on his address to federal parliament ("You had to be the worst kind of teacher's pet to get picked for that," she admits).

Interviewed for the next day's newspapers, she said Bush had convinced her that starting the war was the right thing to do: "When he talked about Saddam's torture chambers, I thought, 'Oh my God, this man is trying to defend all of us.' "

Looking back, she is impressed by the chutzpah she showed when the press pack approached. "They said, 'Do any of you girls have anything to say about the speech?' And everyone was quiet except me. I just kept talking and talking." She beams. "Nothing has changed."

After Cousens accepted that her future was not on the stage, she obtained a master's degree in creative writing and began contributing articles to an online women's magazine, SheSaid. She also started writing about tennis, a sport she has always adored. Then she knocked out a piece called "Islam and Sexual Slavery", which the conservative journal Quadrant published in November 2015 under the pseudonym Victoria Kincaid (because it was so "controversial", she says). This was her break. She landed a job as an editorial assistant at [conservative magazine] Quadrant, later joining The Spectator Australia's stable of columnists.

Cousens' political pieces invariably excoriate the Left. "I wait to write things until I'm in a terrible mood," she says. "It's usually 2am and I have a block of chocolate and I'm irrationally annoyed because Rafael Nadal, who's my favourite tennis player, has lost in the early rounds." Her objective when she composes a column is "to make people think, and to make them laugh, and to punch a hole in something that hasn't had a hole punched in it before".

Factual accuracy isn't necessarily a top priority. "The single mother, popping out children at 16 for government benefits, is hailed as a 'working-class hero'," she writes. (Really? By whom?)

In spoken commentary, too, Cousens can seem to have an airy disregard for detail: she has claimed, for instance, that Trump's Democrat rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, "sort of like robbed Haiti of all this stuff after the earthquake".

Sometimes, Cousens' main aim looks suspiciously like self-promotion. In a widely derided Spectator article last month about the late cartoonist Bill Leak, she wrote that he referred to her as "beautiful Daisy" and ended their only face-to-face meeting by predicting: "You'll go far, my girl."

"I'm happy to have a political discussion with people who disagree with me, because that's interesting and I don't take it personally," Cousens says. "But the psychology of the Left is different. They get very, very emotionally attached to what they believe."

At my first meeting with Cousens, she says becoming a political provocateur has lost her about a dozen friends. "It's a shame," she says, sounding not particularly despondent. And yes, she gets plenty of online abuse from strangers, but she doesn't allow that to upset her: "It's an occupational hazard."


UK: Modern marriage only for the rich, says former judge Sir Paul Coleridge

Marriage rates have halved in 50 years and the institution is now only for the rich, a former High Court judge said last night.

Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of the Marriage Foundation, said that marriage must be modern and relevant to combat the “scourge of family breakdown”. Marriage was not made more attractive to the disaffected “by encasing it in divorce and marriage laws which have their roots in Victorian Britain”, he added.

Sir Paul was addressing a debate on reforming the divorce laws at The Times’s offices in London, organised by the newspaper and the foundation as part of their “family matters” campaign. He said that family breakdown in Britain was worse than in any developed country in the western world. Only 50 per cent of 15-year-olds are living with both parents and, of those, 93 per cent of the parents were married.

“The reduction in marriage rates is mainly a feature of the lives of the less well off, so they suffer far higher rates of family breakdown,” he said. “However that was not always so: it is a serious social justice issue which should not be ducked.”

Each reform urged by The Times and the Marriage Foundation was aimed at making marriage more relevant. The first involved reforming the process of divorce, to which ministers are committed and have published a consultation paper. Couples could divorce without alleging fault but had to wait at least two years. So they “cook up false facts and courts do not have the time or inclination to interfere”, he said.

Sir Paul advocated other reforms including civil partnerships for all, pre-nuptial contracts and changes to the law on financial arrangements on divorce — both “long overdue for proper attention by parliament” — and rights for long-term cohabitants.

Fault-based divorce laws should be abolished as they increased conflict at a time when children needed support and not “animosity and blame”, Lucy Frazer, QC, the justice minister, said. Conflict over fault is at odds with the approach taken in the rest of the family law system, which aims to put the child at the centre and be non-adversarial, Ms Frazer said at the debate.

A recent YouGov study found that 27 per cent of divorcing couples who asserted blame said that allegations of fault were not true.


Rally in Washington Will Urge Disillusioned Democrats, Leftists to ‘Walk Away’

The founder of the movement that showcases stories of why people are walking away from leftist ideology and the Democratic Party is bringing a march and rally to Washington next month to send a message he hopes the mainstream media won’t be able to ignore.

It’s a milestone for what he calls the #WalkAway Campaign.

“We are only just over 3 months old, and at this point on all social media platforms, we have over 370,000 people who are members of the #WalkAway Campaign who have created testimonials that are a part of it,” Brandon Straka, founder of the campaign, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“No one from the left-wing media has ever even reached out to me for a comment, let alone an interview or to have me on to talk about it,” Straka said, adding:

What they have done instead is put out stories saying it is a fake campaign, that it’s Russian bots, that it’s Russian propaganda, that it’s paid actors, that the testimonials are fake, that they’re stolen images from Shutterstock with fake testimonials attached, just anything you can imagine.

The march and rally will be held Saturday, Oct. 27. The event will start near the Democratic National Committee headquarters building on Capitol Hill and end on the lawn of the Capitol. The date is 10 days before the midterm congressional elections.

The event includes a gala dinner the night before and a closing brunch the next day.

Some venues and speakers have yet to be finalized, Straka said, but he hopes the rally, march, and related events will send a message that the mainstream media will be forced to recognize.

“We are going to fight back, and that’s when I came up with the idea for the march on Washington, because we are going to get [tens of thousands] … of people together to walk away from the Democrat Party, and we are going to do it in a live demonstration that they cannot dispute,” he told The Daily Signal.

Straka, 41, who calls himself a “gay conservative,” did not always describe himself as such.

“In 2017, I had what is commonly referred to as a ‘red pill experience’ because I was a lifelong liberal and a lifelong Democrat,” he said of his ideological epiphany.

A “red pill experience” is a term some use to describe finding the truth behind a situation, even if it’s hard to accept.

“I voted for Hillary Clinton and I was devastated when Donald Trump won the election, because I had completely bought into the liberal media narrative that Trump was a racist, a bigot, a homophobe, the second coming of Hitler, and that his followers were no better,” Straka told The Daily Signal. “I literally believed the left-wing narrative—hook, line, and sinker.”

Then his onetime babysitter challenged Straka about a post he shared on social media about Trump allegedly mocking a handicapped reporter.

“After I posted about the disabled reporter, she just came to me, and she said, ‘Have you seen this?’ It was a clip from YouTube called ‘Debunking That Trump Mocked the Disabled Reporter,’” Straka said, adding:

It was a compilation of footage showing Trump doing that same exact voice and gesture as he did that day, in numerous circumstances over the years, imitating numerous people, but the commonality was that he was imitating someone who was caught in a lie, or someone who had done something shady, or somebody who was groveling, but … it became clear when you watched it that he wasn’t imitating someone’s disability.

He was imitating someone who happened to be disabled who was caught in a lie.

A self-described actor, singer, and hairstylist turned political activist, Straka told The Daily Signal that the dishonesty of the left was a significant factor in his conversion:

I started doing a lot of research and discovering how dishonest they had been time and time again throughout [the Trump]  campaign, but also just in general.

I really started to see, finally, things started to make sense. Because as a liberal, I was always concerned with social justice and equality and all of these things. But at the same time, a lot of it wasn’t making sense to me because … it’s like the news, and the liberal society would have you believe that black people can’t go to their mailbox without being attacked by police officers and fighting gunfire, and I am not seeing it. …

And I started to really understand that they use race, they use homophobia, they use a war on women, they use all of these things as divisive, wedge issues to further their narrative.

Once again, it all started to make sense to me what was happening.

On May 26, Straka released a video of himself explaining why he was walking away from the Democratic Party and building a platform for folks who shared similar experiences.

“I realized that there is something larger here, because I know I am not the only person who is feeling this way. I know I am not the only person who is having this experience and feeling isolated and lonely and fearful,” Straka said.

He said he hopes the #WalkAway Campaign will foster a supportive community for those who want to leave the Democratic Party.

“There is more of us. I know it,” Straka said. “So I decided rather than just make this about me putting out a video, I am going to create a campaign, and I am going to encourage other people to make their own videos and kind of build this network of support.”

Christopher Wright of the Potomac Tea Party said his organization, which wrote an open letter in support of the #WalkAway movement, will be represented at the October event. He said he hopes those in Straka’s movement will find a home in his.

“Our message is, you have friends in the tea party. Please look at our open letter. It’s on our website,” Wright said. “Our main message is: Take a look at America’s founding principles and consider the tea party. You’ve got friends here.”


Swedish PM voted out by parliament after losing confidence vote

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats threatening to block any new government unless they are given a say in policy.

The rise of the far right across Europe has forced many traditional parties into an uncomfortable choice of sharing power with populist forces or reaching out to long-standing opponents to keep them out.

Sweden, long seen as a bastion of liberal values and political stability, now faces the same choice with its centre-left and centre-right blocs evenly balanced after the September 9 election and the Sweden Democrats holding the balance of power.

"Now the excitement will really start," said Ulf Bjereld, a political scientist at Gothenburg University. "The parties will have to show their true colours now."

The Sweden Democrats have been shunned by all other parties since entering parliament in 2010, making any tie-up unlikely.

But if there is no viable government after four attempts by the speaker, then a new election would have to be called within three months, with the main parties likely to face a similar dilemma again.

Voters delivered a hung parliament in the September 9 election when Lofven's centre-left bloc won 144 seats, one more than the centre-right opposition Alliance.

The Sweden Democrats, a party that has its roots in the white supremacist fringe, got 62 seats and backed the Alliance in Tuesday's vote, which was an obligatory test of the prime minister's parliamentary support after an election.

A new government could take weeks or months - as was the case in Germany and Italy - to thrash out. The speaker will start discussions with party leaders on Thursday.



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 September, 2018

A test to predict Alzheimer's?

This finding is not terribly surprising. Verbal ability is the biggest single component of IQ and mechanical ability is quite highly 'g' loaded too.  And we have long known that high IQ peole have better health across the board.  So finding that people who are bad with words are more likely to develop Alzheimer's fits with that.  It's another part of the syndrome in which IQ is an index of general biological fitness

A test given to hundreds of thousands of students, including rock stars Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, nearly 60 years ago could hold the answers to whether a person will develop dementia.

Researchers at the Washington-based American Institutes for Research, which administered the test to some 440,000 high school students across the US in 1960, have been studying the teen's answers and believe they have found a link to student's who scored low on the test and Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Washington Post, researchers compared results for more than 85,000 testers with their 2012/2013 Medicare claims and expenditures and found that warning signs of memory loss may present itself as early as adolescence.

The study found specifically that those who scored low on mechanical reasoning and memory for words had a higher risk of dementia later in life. Researchers found that low-scoring men were 17 per cent more likely to get dementia, while low-scoring women were 16 per cent more likely.

The test, called Project Talent, was administered to high school kids from 1,353 public and parochial schools across the country. It was funded by the US government.


MeToo tyranny claims another undeserving victim

The ousting of the NYRB editor confirms MeToo is now a witch-hunt.

MeToo has officially entered its McCarthyism stage. The ousting of Ian Buruma from the New York Review of Books is confirmation, for those who still needed it, that this hashtag movement is more about vengeance and censorship than justice. For Buruma’s crime was not to touch a woman without her consent or verbally harass his female workforce. It was merely to publish an essay by a man (Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi) who was accused of sexual assault and then acquitted in a court of law. When an esteemed editor can be expelled from polite society for publishing the words of a man who has not been found guilty of any crime, you know we live in dark, ugly times. MeToo is the midwife of this medieval-style policing of dissenting speech.

More than any other incident so far, the Buruma affair sums up the illiberal excesses and outright hysteria of the MeToo moment. Buruma’s speechcrime was twofold. First, he dared to give space to Ghomeshi to write about the accusations made against him and, sin of sins, even to make some jokes about today’s sexually straitened climate that is chewing up and spitting out men like him. Ghomeshi, who was accused by various women in 2014 of having non-consensual ‘rough sex’ with them — accusations that either didn’t make it to court or, in the cases of three women, were thrown out of court — says in his NYRB piece that he is a victim of ‘mass shaming’. And secondly, Buruma gave an interview to Slate in which he said Ghomeshi’s previous behaviour is not ‘really my concern’.

For this — for commissioning an essay and defending the right of an individual to continue to have a public presence after he has been acquitted of criminal offences — Buruma has been driven out of New York’s literary circle. It is unclear whether he resigned or was sacked, but it’s clear that he’s out because he dared to suggest we need nuance in the discussion about sexual misdemeanours and harassment. Nuance is tantamount to a sin in the binary moral universe of the MeToo witch-hunt. One of the things that most outraged feminists is that the cover of the NYRB that featured Ghomeshi and others mulling over MeToo ran with the headline ‘The fall of men’. That is ridiculous, men-pitying tripe, they said, even as they helped to bring about the fall of Buruma. Buruma’s fall, for mere editorial daring, proves his cover story was all too apt.

This affair confirms that any questioning of MeToo is not allowed. Witness also the rage against Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Anne Robinson and comedian Norm Macdonald, all of whom simply uttered heretical doubts about this new movement in which men can be cast out of work and into the shadows of shame simply upon the accusation of one woman. A couple of weeks ago, Macdonald made the blasphemous comment that it is about time the MeToo movement ‘slowed down a little bit’ and the even more sinful suggestion that the likes of Louis CK — the comic whose career was destroyed following accusations that he masturbated in front of some women — should be allowed to come back. Macdonald was due to appear on The Tonight Show but he pulled out after producers told him to make a public apology for his comments at the start of the show. ‘Publicly retract your comments, or else…’ — what century is this?

The Macdonald and Buruma incidents show how difficult it is for public figures to criticise MeToo. And in turn, they show how necessary it is to criticise MeToo. Any movement that becomes this arrogant, this punishing of challenge or rebuke, must be urgently subjected to the light of serious, reasoned debate. Sean Penn was dead right this week to express ‘suspicion’ of a movement that is consumed by ‘great stridency and rage’ and which is ‘without nuance’. ‘And even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance itself is attacked’, he said. This is precisely what has happened to Buruma: he has been expelled from literary society for calling for nuance. Nuance is not allowed in the MeToo era. You must simply point and scream and revel in people’s downfall.

The truth is that Buruma, in keeping with his intellectual output of recent decades, is making a very humanist argument. His comments to Slate are being taken out of context. Everyone is referring to his remark that Ghomeshi’s previous behaviour is ‘not really my concern’. What he actually said was: ‘I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be? All I know is that in a court of law he was acquitted, and there is no proof he committed a crime.’ Here, Buruma is doing something very civilised: he is refusing to act as a one-man mob and conspire in the permanent exclusion of Ghomeshi from public life because he prefers to believe that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. And Ghomeshi has not been found guilty. Of anything. It used to be considered socially conscientious to treat acquitted people, and even ex-cons, fairly and humanely. Now it is seen as a social crime. MeToo wants everyone who is merely accused to be punished forever. That is a nasty, Stalinist and utterly unjust approach to public life. Buruma is defending the pillars of the free, civilised society; MeToo is attacking them.

Not content with conflating everything from a hand on the knee and actual rape; not content with presenting women as the frail victims of male wickedness; not content with instituting a situation where accused individuals can lose their careers and in some cases their lives (there have been four MeToo-related suicides) — now MeToo wants to shut down criticism, shut down nuance. Buruma shouldn’t be ousted, he should be cheered, for he has helped to start a very important discussion about the dire impact MeToo is having on freedom, justice and sex. We should defend him, and the other MeToo heretics, before it’s too late. Before we end up in a world where anyone who wants a job in journalism, culture, politics or entertainment is first asked: ‘Are you now or have you ever been a critic of MeToo?’


Trump Expected to Advance Religious Liberty at the UN
Every year, without fail, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for religious freedom. Persecution of religious minorities is rampant and deeply ingrained in government institutions, and Christians are high on the list of those who are at risk, especially Christians who have converted from Islam.

The most recent State Department report on International Religious Freedom notes that between 2010 and 2017, more than 600 Christians were imprisoned solely for the practice of their faith. The same report points to an upsurge in anti-Christian sentiment within Iranian state media, accompanied by more frequent and aggressive raids on home-based churches.

International human rights groups can naturally be counted on to back up the State Department’s findings and to push for activism on behalf of at-risk individuals and populations in the Islamic Republic.

Of course, this goes to show how deeply Islamic extremism is ingrained into the identity of Iran’s theocratic regime. Every time that regime prosecutes someone for national security crimes on the basis of membership in a religious minority, it is effectively admitting that the regime cannot survive in the presence of religious freedom. As such, the mullahs tacitly admit this fact almost every single day.

There is no sensible reason for any modern, democratic government to dispute that fact. And yet the previous White House did just that when it joined the European Union in pursuing negotiations with the Iranian regime on the expectation that this would promote “moderation” among the leadership. More than three years after the signing of a nuclear deal that was supposed to usher in this moderation, the naïvety of this view has been clearly exposed.

As was revealed recently, some of the Obama administration officials have not given up hope for keeping this deal afloat. John Kerry, for instance, has met with his Iranian counterparts and advised the ayatollahs to wait until the Trump administration is out. His conduct is hard to fathom, and it is very damaging to U.S. national security imperatives as well as prospects for promoting religious liberty in the Middle East.

Fortunately, the current presidential administration has no such impulse to turn away from systematic violations of religious freedom and other human rights while waiting for Tehran to correct its own behavior.

In fact, the Trump administration has commendably made religious freedom a major focus of its foreign policy. This was demonstrated in July when the State Department hosted its first ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. And it will be demonstrated again this week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the Values Voter Summit to participate in a discussion of international religious liberty. None of his predecessors in the office has done the same.

The significance of these gestures is amplified, particularly where Iran policy is concerned, by the fact that the Trump administration has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to assertive foreign policies that will actually hold Tehran and other repressive governments accountable for violations of the rights of Christians and other minorities. The U.S. is now in the midst of reimposing the sanctions that were suspended in the wake of shortsighted international negotiations, and this is being done with the express purpose of compelling the Iranian regime toward a comprehensive change of behavior.

To complement its correct policy, the White House should publicly recognize that there is a viable alternative to the clerical regime, which has already specified unqualified religious freedom as part of its vision for Iran’s democratic future. The 2018 Iran Uprising Summit to be held this week will echo this message.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran — the coalition of Iranian opposition movements with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) at its core — is that alternative. The longstanding pro-democratic Resistance has made itself known in recent months as the driving force behind a far-reaching protest movement that speaks for the economically disenfranchised, for the wrongfully imprisoned, for persecuted minorities, and so on.

In January, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime credited MEK with facilitating the rapid spread of the protests, and used that fact to spur a more aggressive crackdown. But even after 8,000 arrests and 50 deaths, the Iranian public remained ready to take to the streets again, and the protest movement showed a significant resurgence in March, following a message from NCRI President Maryam Rajavi calling for “a year full of uprisings” in pursuit of “final victory” over the Iranian regime. In August, protests erupted in more than two dozen cities and towns. Anti-government protests have become a new feature of the Iranian political landscape.

The Trump administration has done something very admirable by giving international religious freedom a place of prominence in its foreign policy. But it can only truly follow through on its commitment to that principle if it partners with local actors who share the same commitment.

Although Iran is presently one of the world’s most troubled areas in terms of religious liberty and human rights, it is also home to one of the most active, organized, and well-established movements in favor of Western-style values and democratic governance. There is no better or more obvious way of promoting those values in Iranian society than by endorsing and supporting MEK and its allies. President Trump presiding over the UN Security Council session on Sept. 26 provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. to make a stand for universal values including religious freedoms and to make a clear case for greater multilateral pressure on Iran.


A hate group sets out to co-opt major corporations

Color of Change, a radical leftist group campaigning to censor conservatives and right-leaning groups, exploited the 2015 Charleston church shooting to go after the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The Freedom Center’s investigations had exposed Color of Change, but the leftist group’s campaign to silence the Center briefly succeeded last month.

“Bloodmoney,” Color of Change’s smear campaign, seeks to shut down the fundraising abilities of conservative organizations by pressuring credit card companies and payment processors to deny access to conservative groups blacklisted by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Color of Change falsely accuses all of these groups of promoting violence and white supremacy.

Two weeks ago, the group’s pressure campaign successfully misled Mastercard into refusing to process donations for the Freedom Center, until an outcry forced the company to change course. Though the battle may have been won, Color of Change’s censorship campaign continues.

Color of Change’s “Bloodmoney” campaign is a blood libel. The effort falsely links conservative organizations targeted by the SPLC—including some run by African-Americans and Jews—to the Charleston church shooting and the violence in Charlottesville. The leftist group founded by CNN’s Van Jones and funded by George Soros is out to censor conservative organizations by choking off their fundraising.Color of Change’s blood libel accuses credit card companies and payment processors of taking “blood money” and financing “violence” and of complicity in “white supremacist murders” if they process donations for conservative organizations, including the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

“Financial service companies doing business with white supremacists are profiting from hate,” the campaign alleges.

The truth behind the blood libel is that Color of Change is a racialist partisan group trying to cut off financial services to mainstream conservative groups using shameless lies.

The Freedom Center previously had exposed Color of Change’s malicious dishonesty. Its list of “white nationalist groups” appears to be based on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s thoroughly discredited list of hate groups, while excluding black racist groups, such as Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, from the list. Even so, the list of “white supremacists” that Color of Change had tried to force credit card companies to stop doing business with included a black church, organizations run by Jews, Arabs, and former Muslims, not to mention the American College of Pediatricians.

James Rucker, the executive director and co-founder of Color of Change, is a board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Color of Change’s list is just the SPLC wearing political blackface.

Some companies were smart enough not to fall for Color of Change’s censorship scam.

Bloodmoney lists Amazon, Stripe and Discover as not “engaged,” which means those companies aren’t taking orders from an organization founded by Van Jones, who called the 2016 election a “whitelash,” and tarred 62 million Trump voters as racists.

But American Express and Visa are “engaged.” That means Color of Change has an open door to them. And Mastercard, PayPal, Apple Pay are listed as “proactive.” And that proactive censorship is why MasterCard made the mistake of blocking payments to the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Fueled by Shoddy, Antisemitic Research

Yet the only research that Color of Change presents in its attack on the Freedom Center is one quote that the SPLC, in its haste to score points against political foes, even fails to attribute. And the source of the SPLC’s smear appears to be a recycled Center for American Progress attack on the Center.

That attack, which claimed that a Jewish conspiracy was spreading Islamophobia, was put together by a team that included Matt Duss and Eli Clifton, whose Center for American Progress work was described as “infected with Jew-hatred” by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and led to a rebuke from the Obama White House. CAP also includes Faiz Shakir, who had co-chaired Harvard events that included a Hamas charity front fundraiser, and Wajahat Ali, whose blog had included a defense of Sami Al-Arian, a senior member of Islamic Jihad.

This is the rotten foundation of bigots, extremists, and antisemites upon which Color of Change’s blood libel against the Freedom Center rests. This was why Mastercard cut off the Freedom Center.

Mastercard has since reversed its decision, but the damage has already been done.

The message has been sent that a recycled seven-year-old smear put together by bigots and terrorist sympathizers on behalf of a partisan organization is enough to incite immediate action by a major corporation. Mastercard used “Bloodmoney’s” list to put the Freedom Center on a list of organizations “advocating for violence”.

The partnership of corporations and lefty groups trying to force conservatives off the internet claim that their work is based on research. The only research here consisted of an unsourced claim (because it’s derived from discredited sources) treated as fact with no further diligence.

That’s not only a profound failure. It’s a profound threat.

The Danger at Hand

Conservatives are being censored, deplatformed, banned, demonetized and kicked off services based on the mere word of a leftist group. No actual evidence necessary. The SPLC in June paid $3.375 million in a settlement after falsely accusing a Muslim of being an anti-Muslim activist. It inspired an actual domestic terrorist attack. Yet companies keep taking its word.

Color of Change didn’t even pretend to provide evidence. Mastercard took its word anyway.

Why are Mastercard, PayPal, Apple Pay, Visa and American Express “engaging” with a group whose sole purpose is to censor its political opposition without even providing evidence for its easily disproved lies?

Color of Change also fields Color of Change PAC, which endorses candidates for public office. They share office space and staff. Color of Change PAC-endorsed candidates include Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a former member of the Nation of Islam racist hate group, whose bigotry has been criticized by the Freedom Center.

Money has poured into the Color of Change PAC from George Soros, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz’s dark money machine, the Accountable Justice Action Fund, MoveOn, Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together, and Color of Change itself.

Many of these were exposed and criticized by the Freedom Center. Silencing the Freedom Center and organizations like it would help Color of Change elect its own slate of candidates. And those of its wealthy partisan backers. That’s why Color of Change wants to take down the Freedom Center.

“White Supremacy” as All-Purpose Cudgel

When Mastercard did the bidding of Color of Change, it provided a partisan advantage to the far Left.

James Rucker, the executive director of Color of Change, started out as the director of grassroots mobilization for MoveOn. He’s also a co-founder of Soros’s Secretary of State Project.

David Horowitz and the Freedom Center long have been critics of Soros and his organizations. Last year, MasterCard announced that it was teaming up with Soros on a “philanthropic” project.

Did this influence Mastercard’s willingness to collaborate with Color of Change, also funded by Soros?

Color of Change is just another one of many interchangeable and intertwined front groups. James Rucker, its executive director, is married to Heidi Hess, a white co-director at CREDO Action. Hess helped found COC and served as its board secretary. Rucker also sits on the board of MoveOn. The organizational structure and finances of Color of Change look strange, but the tiny group wields outsized influence.

Hess led one of the infamous harassment protests outside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s home. The white and uncivil leftist insisted, “the civility and respectability politics are also just maintaining the institutionalized white supremacy that it is at the core of Trump’s agenda.”

To Hess, civility is white supremacy. To her husband, the Freedom Center, a black church and counterterrorist groups run by Middle Eastern immigrants are also examples of “white supremacy.”

Rucker, Hess, and the rest of the Left recklessly use “white supremacy” as a smear directed at their political opponents and at anything that gets in their way. It’s the responsibility of companies like Mastercard to look beyond the smears of partisan leftists and radical scam artists to get the facts.

Blood libels succeed because companies allow leftist politics to overcome their standards. The Freedom Center won the freedom to fundraise again because it fought for the facts. And when it did, Color of Change’s blood libel quickly fell apart. But the real fight is just beginning. As long as the Southern Poverty Law Center, Color of Change and other partisan groups continue to have an open door into major corporations, the censorship, and the blood libels will go on.

And the Freedom Center will go on fighting them.

“What those of us who care about free speech must do now is form a coalition across party lines and ideologies in defense of free speech. Freedom of speech is the most basic freedom we have because all our other freedoms are dependent on it,” the Freedom Center’s David Horowitz said. “If we cannot preserve freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, we cannot defend any of our freedoms, and we will have lost everything.”



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 September, 2018

The stupidity of modern anti-racism

Smearing everyone who disagrees with you as far right only helps the far right

According to a New York research institute known as Data & Society, there exists a sinister ‘Alternative Influence Network’ (AIN) which enables far-right radicalisation through YouTube. Via a ‘six degrees of separation’-style flowchart, one that wouldn’t look out of place on David Icke’s notice board, a researcher called Rebecca Lewis has somehow managed to join the dots between political worldviews opposed by the liberal-left – conservatism, libertarianism, classical liberalism – and white-nationalist extremism. It is the most egregious example of guilt by association and the continuum fallacy I’ve seen for a long time. The camel has its nose well and truly under the tent.

If ever you needed evidence that critical thinking should be reinstated in schools, Lewis’s absurd study is a good place to start. The AIN is described as ‘an assortment of scholars, media pundits, and internet celebrities who use YouTube to promote a range of political positions’. Incredibly, Data & Society perceives collaborative influence to include ‘debates and disagreements’, which will surely provide succour to those who favour regressive No Platform policies on university campuses. Each figure on Lewis’s chart is assigned a ‘node’, which differs in size and colour depending on ‘their total connectivity within the network, or how close the influencer is to all other influencers’. It really has to be seen to be believed.

There was a time when educated adults would have dismissed this kind of nonsense out of hand, but increasingly it feels as though infants are dictating the terms of debate. I’m reminded of Richard Brome’s play The Antipodes (1640), which depicts a chaotic topsy-turvy society where children are able to discipline their parents and send them back to school. Does Data & Society have any idea how unhinged it appears to anyone with even the slightest appreciation of political nuance? In Hollywood, whenever a character draws up this kind of conspiratorial flowchart, we know that the filmmaker is signalling a dangerous fantasist. How is it that such a trope is being mimicked in reality by those who should know better?

The suggestion that watching Jordan Peterson lectures on YouTube is a gateway drug to fascism is not only ignorant, but also deeply irresponsible. Sadly, the tactic is now common. When Twitter smeared Candace Owens as a ‘far-right media personality’ for the crime of being a black conservative, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey eventually felt compelled to issue an apology. Inevitably, many leftist activists who seemingly have no understanding of what ‘far right’ means were quick to ‘call out’ Dorsey for his statement. Activists used to agitate for social progress, now they demand apologies for apologies.

According to Data & Society, Owens is a part of the AIN, and by implication is complicit in laying ‘breadcrumb trails to more extreme ideological content’. So too is Ben Shapiro, a conservative broadcaster whose Jewish heritage hasn’t prevented radical leftists from branding him a Nazi collaborator. All of this tells us that concept creep is now the norm, and behaviour which would once have been written off as hysterical, or at the very least ill-informed, is now being entertained by the mainstream media. It is a damning indictment of the educational system in the West that it can produce adults who are this narrow-minded.

Dave Rubin, political commentator and host of The Rubin Report, has rightly slammed Lewis’s study as ‘absolute garbage and bordering on defamation’. For Rubin, talking and listening to those whose opinions differ to one’s own is an essential aspect of political and social progress. (Watch Dave Rubin’s interview with spiked editor Brendan O’Neill, in which they explore this principle, here.) For the likes of Lewis, the world is to be viewed through an ever-shrinking Overton window, and those who advocate free-thinking are engaged in a form of radicalisation.

Resentment is a powerful emotion. To suggest a direct continuity between someone like Jordan Peterson – whose opposition to fascism and tyranny could not possibly be better documented – to major figures in the white-supremacist movement, will only further alienate the many thousands of people who admire his work. If activists are insistent on blurring the important distinctions between conservatism and white nationalism, they shouldn’t be surprised when more and more gravitate toward extreme positions. Data & Society is effectively rendering the term ‘far right’ meaningless, and as such is reducing its stigma. This is a dangerous game.

Neo-Nazism has been in a state of terminal decline for some time now. Disturbing scenes in Chemnitz earlier this month, where protesters were seen giving Nazi salutes, should not detract from the reality that such movements are far from mainstream. But there can be no doubt that far right groups benefit hugely from the kind of concept creep and guilt by association advocated by Data & Society, whose analysis generates the illusion of widespread global support for their cause. By adopting this misguided approach, Data & Society has buoyed the very fringe groups it seeks to bring down.


UK: Christian prison chaplain who claimed Bible meetings were being 'hijacked by Islamic extremists' says he faces being kicked out

Pastor Paul Song has been suspended while Brixton prison examine his claims that prisoners behaved 'inappropriately' in Bible meetings at the South London jail

A Christian prison chaplain who revealed how his Bible meetings were hijacked by Islamic extremists has been warned he may be barred from working at the jail.

Pastor Paul Song last week detailed his fears to The Mail on Sunday over the influence of Muslim extremist gangs at Brixton prison.

He has been suspended while an investigation is held but claims the governor of Brixton told him the outcome could mean permanent exclusion.

Mr Song has worked there for 19 years.

He was only recently reinstated to the South London jail after a year-long investigation cleared him of calling a prisoner a ‘terrorist’ and acting aggressively towards the imam head chaplain.

Brixton governor David Bamford said the new investigation would examine the pastor’s claims that Muslim prisoners behaved ‘inappropriately’, including disrupting chapel meetings by praising the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

It will also decide if Mr Song compromised the privacy or safety of staff or prisoners by speaking to this newspaper without permission.

Mr Song said: ‘I can’t believe this is happening after David Bamford himself invited me for a meeting to tell me that my name had been cleared, that I would now be reinstated.’

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, which has been supporting Mr Song, said: ‘It was very brave of Pastor Song to tell the public the appalling truth about what was happening in Brixton.

‘Astonishingly, we now find that instead of sorting out the Islamists’ domination of the prison, the authorities have chosen to shoot the messenger.’

The Ministry of Justice confirmed a member of the jail staff had been suspended, adding: ‘There is absolutely no evidence to support claims of extremist behaviour.’


‘Stop Islamization’: AfD supporters march through Germany’s Rostock amid massive counter-protests

Supporters of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have staged a rally to protest against the alleged “Islamization” of Germany’s city of Rostock. Thousands of people took part in counter-protests.

The protesters carrying German national flags and holding banners and placards that read “Come, we save Rostock!” and “Stop Islamization!” marched through the city center to the square outside the city hall.

The event was organized by the AfD under the slogan “For our country and our children!” The rally was attended by Bjoern Hoecke, a regional MP and the leader of the AfD branch in the German state of Thuringia. Hoecke is known for his hardline anti-immigration stance and is considered to be one of the leaders of the nationalist wing of the party.

Some 700 people took part in the AfD rally, according to police. The AfD itself put the number of demonstrators at 400, according to German media. At the same time, the rally sparked a series of counter-protests, which were joined by almost ten times as many people.

 As many as seven counter-protests had been announced in the city. Some 4,000 people joined the rallies organized by various anti-fascist groups, NGOs and trade unions. Between 2,500 and 3,500 people took part in just one such protest organized by the groups “Rostock Helps” and “Rostock Nazifrei” (Rostock free of Nazis). A sit-in organized by some 150 counter-protesters forced the AfD march to change its route.

Yet all demonstrations were peaceful, although the police, reinforced by officers from other German states, were ready to deploy water cannons in case of any riots.

The protest came just a day after a far-right pro-Chemnitz group staged another rally in the German eastern city of Chemnitz. The demonstrators were protesting the release of an Iraqi, who was earlier suspected of fatally stabbing a local German man.

The incident triggered a wave of far-right and right-wing rallies, some of which escalated into skirmishes between riot police and protesters, resulting in multiple arrests and injuries. The right-wing rallies were also met with counter-protests from the left, who opposed “hatred” against the migrants. The rival protesters clashed with each other on several occasions.

This time, some 2,000 people took part in the rally, which was mostly peaceful. The rally was met by a 400-strong counter-protest while some 800 police officers were deployed to protect the public order in the city. At the same time, a group of people, suspected of being part of the far-right demonstration, reportedly chased a journalist covering the event and attacked a local center, hosting offices of various left-wing organizations, including the local office of the German Left Party. The assailants threw eggs at the doors of the building and broke a window, according to German media.


Undergraduate-style bias from Australia's major public broadcaster

Imagine if you had been stranded on an island for the past few years with nothing to watch, listen to or read from but Australia’s public broadcaster.

You would be under the false apprehension that our navy tortured asylum-seekers who were then raped on Nauru. You would think the people-smuggling trade was impossible to stop and that if boats were turned back there would be a conflict with Indonesia. You would think climate change was the greatest threat to the country, region and the world, and that it was already making our lives worse; on the bright side you would have faith that a carbon tax, emissions trading scheme or national energy guarantee would put an end to droughts, floods and bushfires while saving the Great Barrier Reef. You might be under the impression that our dams were dry and $12 billion of desalination plants were supplying us with water.

For a moment, you would have believed that the Donald Trump “nightmare” ended on the day he lost the election. But now you would be confused as to how he fired up conflicts on the Korean peninsula and in Iran without any hostilities eventuating.

There is a good chance you would be unaware of the US’s economic recovery but you would know the ins and outs of every crackpot allegation about Russian interference in American politics. Julia Gillard and Hillary Clinton would rank among your pantheon of political winners and role models. Profit and revenue would be interchangeable business terms and you might not comprehend that businesses must recoup losses before paying tax.

The Liberal Party coup that toppled Tony Abbott would stand as an example of a sorely needed and democratically orthodox leadership switch while the felling of Malcolm Turnbull would rank with The Dismissal as a repudiation of all that was acceptable in political affairs. While you would recognise Abbott as the “most destructive” politician of our time, you would see Turnbull as a victim who was knifed for no apparent reason. Still, that confusion would have ended this week when you heard that the real reason we changed prime ministers was because a couple of media moguls decided they wanted to — all you need the ABC to tell you next is why they did it, and how.

This update falls a long way short of an exhaustive list of the public broadcaster’s litany of errors and unrepented deceptions. To be fair, all journalists and media organisations make their mistakes. It is the unrelenting and undisclosed ideological bent of the ABC’s errors that is so infuriating. The lack of intellectual integrity is less than we might demand of ­undergraduates.

The transgressions are so regular that to consume ABC news and current affairs is to enter an ­alternative reality of facts and expectations. Take the 7.30 interview this week with West Australian businesswoman Catherine Marriott, who had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce. Leigh Sales declined to press her for any details about her claim. Allowed — nay, encouraged — to smear Joyce’s reputation without even a hint of what allegedly transpired, Marriott was not interrogated about why she did nothing for almost 1½ years before lodging a complaint with the Nationals in February this year, when Joyce was at the eye of a political storm over his personal life.

There was no scrutiny, no natural justice, no accountability — just a free opportunity to claim victim status and attack someone else’s reputation. Issues around the reporting of alleged sexual transgressions and how we treat alleged victims are difficult and sensitive, to be sure, but common decency and fairness demand that public allegations need to be sufficiently detailed to allow rebuttal, provide context and be tested.

An ABC News Twitter account this week circulated a picture of a delegation of six men and two women at Parliament House with the comment: “A ­visiting Saudi Arabian delegation has a higher proportion of women than the Coalition.” Really, the Coalition falls behind the Saudis on women’s rights? What an ­insult, not just to the Coalition, but to the women who suffer in that country. The ABC later deleted the tweet.

On Radio National’s Big Ideas this week, Paul Barclay spoke with US journalist David Neiwert, ­author of Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump. “I think he’s frankly too stupid to be an ideologue,” Neiwert said of Trump. And so it went.

Barclay invoked Germany in the 1930s and talked about white extremist terrorism as the greatest threat in the US at a time we are “obsessed by Islamic terrorism”. According to Neiwert, “fake news and alternative facts” were all part of a plan to create “chaos” to “introduce fear” so that “fear induces this authoritarian response”. He said there was a “crisis for democracy”, overlooking the fact Trump was elected democratically.

This taxpayer-funded media world sure is a topsy-turvy one, full of conspiracies, evil far-right groups, climate threats, misogynist conservatives and governments talking up terrorism to increase their power and authority. It is what you might hear at a meeting of university activists, a GetUp sub-branch or perhaps a Greens protest. Thousands of adults on dozens of television, radio and online platforms propagate this stuff at our expense, 24/7.

Still, the story this week about Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes dictating the prime ministership of this country takes the cake. It was laughable when it led ABC TV news bulletins on Tuesday night, extraordinary when it was presented prominently online and humiliating that the reports came not from some eager kid but from the ABC’s political editor, Andrew Probyn.

Apart from the teenage silliness of pretending that Murdoch and Stokes could just phone a few underlings to create a false media dynamic and force serious journalists to conjure up stories and commentary that then swung the votes of more than 40 MPs to change the leadership of the Liberal Party, Probyn had obvious facts wrong. In these pages during the week I detailed how his claim that this newspaper had been “unabashed in its advocacy for an end to the Turnbull prime ministership” was not only wrong but the opposite to what transpired.

Across three years of the Turnbull prime ministership and about 936 editorial columns, Probyn will not find a single editorial calling for this outcome.

Nothing else in Probyn’s piece rang true either, detailing as it did third-hand accounts of alleged conversations that only could have taken place after the leadership trauma was already playing out, and ­ignoring all the events that led to that denouement.

This was the sort of conspiracy theory that belongs on Twitter or intheGreen Left Weekly. It is not the sort of reporting that can be taken seriously or should be promoted to grown-ups. Naive, jaundiced and implausible, it also was wrong. To lead major bulletins with this was to seriously mislead the public and plunge the ABC’s reputation to new lows.

But it soon got worse. Stokes denied the communications, comments and interventions attributed to him. Probyn’s piece served only to demonstrate how the ABC’s reaction to Turnbull’s demise has started to mirror the reaction of liberal media in the US to the election of Trump: indignant denial triggering irrational and misleading reportage.

The worry is that this goes much deeper than one ill-advised and poorly edited piece by Probyn. It is the latest in a series of ideologically convenient false reports. Intriguingly, it acted as an irresistible lure, drawing praise and endorsement from other journalists and demonstrating how their political bent distorts their journalistic scepticism. Radio National host Hugh Riminton declared it was “good, detailed reporting” and another RN voice, Paul Bongiorno, retweeted the story, claiming it shed “more light on dark places”.

MediaWatch host Paul Barry retweeted the story with this recommendation: “Read this and weep. Australia’s media moguls plotting who should be PM. Important story from ABC News and Andrew Probyn.” Even ABC News director Gaven Morris pushed the story around, noting that Probyn had “worked for these two guys” and that his version of events was “worth a read”.

Interviewing senator Eric Abetz on Melbourne ABC radio, Jon Faine said, “We’ve got Scott Morrison as Prime Minister ­because Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes decided.”

Oh dear. The Left loves conspiracy theories. Gore Vidal said he wasn’t so much a conspiracy theorist as a conspiracy analyst. The ABC ought to be wary of conspiracies lest its wishful thinking reveals too much about a corporate view of the world that, according to its charter, should not exist.



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 September, 2018

Majority of Swedish Moderate Party Politicians Open to Governing Agreement with Populists

The majority of Swedish Moderate Party politicians would like to see party leader Ulf Kristersson open a dialogue for a potential governing agreement with the populist, anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats.

Moderate Party politicians across Sweden were asked Monday: “Do you think the Moderates will take power through negotiations with the Sweden Democrats if required?” Out of the 609 elected politicians, 324 advocated Kristersson reaching out to Sweden Democrats (SD) leader Jimmie Åkesson, newspaper Expressen reports.

Some respondents noted that it was worthwhile to talk to Åkesson as past exclusion had not worked to prevent the growth of the SD. Another said: “We Moderates want the party in the Riksdag to actively pursue moderate policies and counteract socialism. If this is only possible with SD, it is worth negotiating with Åkesson.”

Ulf Adelsohn, former leader of the Moderates, has also pushed for talks with the populists saying: “I am far away from sharing the views of Communists, but we can still talk to them. The same goes for the SD. But according to the Swedish establishment opinion, it’s only okay to talk with the left.”

Hanif Bali, an outspoken critic of social justice progressives and one of the party’s most popular figures, has also advocated ending the cordon sanitaire around the populists.

“I’m such a person who does not think I’m becoming a fascist by talking to a Swedish Democrats,” he said and noted that he would be willing to cooperate on issues the two parties agree on.

Both parties have proposed policies that are tough on crime, including the option of using the Swedish military to aid police in vulnerable “no-go” areas and both want tougher laws on radical Islamic extremism.

A potential conservative-populist alliance could potentially form a majority in the Swedish parliament if other members of the centre-right Alliance also agree to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats.

Such a government would closely resemble the conservative-populist coalition in Austria in which the Austrian People’s Party led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz formed a government with the populist Freedom Party led by Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.


The desperation of the British elite

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the interesting question of whether or not the former chief strategist to the President of the United States is too fringe a figure to be allowed to speak in public. A lot of very prominent people seem to think that Steve Bannon shouldn’t be given a platform. And among two venues to have recently invited him, the New Yorker promptly disinvited him from their festival under fire from political heavyweights including former ‘funny man’ Jim Carrey.

By contrast, the Economist managed to hold firm, surviving the withdrawal of a British blogger and going ahead as planned with their live interview. The video of the resulting event is well worth watching:

Not because Steve Bannon says anything new, or anything he hasn’t said many times before. And certainly not because the Economist has its finger on any unfamiliar pulse. But rather because it is such a fascinating meeting of worlds.

Zanny Minton Beddoes herself could almost have been dreamed up by Bannon. She is his ideal foil. The Economist’s editor-in-chief is the epitome of a certain hectoring Davos type. From the moment she kicks off her interview she is as sharply rude as possible to her guest, making it clear to her audience from the get-go that her attitude towards Bannon is akin to that of someone who, having trodden in excrement, must perforce adopt some attitude towards its removal.

Of course anyone not from the world of the Economist might look on this with a certain odium of their own. Why are these people still doing this? Why are they still calling out those names (‘populist’, ‘racist’, ‘far-right’) about opinions held by large tracts – and in many cases the majority – of the public across our continent?Why even now, all these years in, don’t they ever try to listen or learn anything – to adapt and nuance their own views in order to come up with better policy prescriptions of their own? Why the jabbing, the hectoring, the lecturing and deafness? In its own way the Economist demonstrated what has caused some of the movements it itself abhors. Because even when the Davos types present themselves as listening they immediately demonstrate that they are in fact just putting their fingers in their ears and stamping their high, and noticeably well-heeled shoes.


Faith Is Good for You, Harvard Finds

The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). So often what passes for “news” is really nothing more than a refresher. A case in point is a new study from published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology about the link between religious upbringing and subsequent health and well-being.

One not-so-surprising finding of the study, which was done by Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is that, “Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction and positive affect, a number of character strengths, lower probabilities of marijuana use and early sexual initiation, and fewer lifetime sexual partners.” Additionally, among the studies' participants:

“Compared with never praying or meditating, at least daily practice was associated with greater positive affect, emotional processing, and emotional expression; greater volunteering, greater sense of mission, and more forgiveness; lower likelihoods of drug use, early sexual initiation, STIs, and abnormal Pap test results; and fewer lifetime sexual partners.”

These findings aren't a surprise to us here at FRC. For years, we've seen this in practice, and in data like those published by our friend Pat Fagan at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. It is a demonstrable fact that when faith is allowed to flourish, good outcomes are in store for society at large.

The study's author observes, “These findings are important for both our understanding of health and our understanding of parenting practices. Many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviors, mental health, and overall happiness and well-being."

Of course, we know that “faith” in a generic sense doesn't always guarantee a comfortable outcome, but an abiding faith in Jesus Christ can anchor a person's soul for whatever he or she may face in life. A study like this won't necessarily cause people to embrace faith, but it does show that a society in which religious liberty thrives will be a healthier society. And any government that wants to promote the well-being of its people should give ample space for people to have the freedom to believe and to live out those beliefs.


New Study on Transgender Suicide

A new study is out that examines the risk of suicide among transgender teens. The results confirm a long pattern of data: Transgender teens attempt suicide more frequently than adolescents generally.

Unfortunately, this data may be used to pressure parents to put their children through radical transition-affirming therapies.

This would be a serious mistake.

The new study assumes the unproven belief that all gender identities are equally healthy and fixed in all children and teens. This is an ideological premise touted by professional medical and psychiatric guilds, not scientific fact.

The study also offers no proof that these radical therapies—puberty-blocking drugs, double mastectomies for girls, and so on—will prevent adolescents from attempting suicide.

If anything, the findings of the survey reinforce the dire need for serious scientific research into the potential environmental causes of gender dysphoria and the risks—both physical and psychological—of medical transition.

The Study’s Findings

The study, titled “Transgender Adolescent Suicide Behavior,” made national headlines upon its release on Sept. 11 in the journal Pediatrics. It revealed that among adolescents who identify as transgender, female-to-male youth have the highest suicide risk.

The researchers examined data collected between 2012 and 2015 from the “Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors” survey. The survey was administered to 120,617 adolescents across the nation between the ages of 11 and 19 years old and focused on 40 developmental strengths known to predict healthy development, as well as risk behaviors, such as depression and suicide.

The survey also asked students to indicate which of the following best described them: female; male; transgender, female to male; transgender, male to female; transgender, nonbinary (neither male nor female); or questioning. It also asked them whether they had ever attempted suicide.

The team found that adolescent girls who identified as male had the highest rate of ever having attempted suicide: 50.8 percent. Adolescents who identified as nonbinary were next at 41.8 percent. Among male adolescents who identified as female, 29.9 percent had attempted suicide at least once. Those who were questioning their gender identity were next with a rate of 27.9 percent.

These stand in stark contrast to significantly lower rates of attempted suicide among the girls in the sample without gender dysphoria (17.6 percent) and the boys without gender dysphoria (9.8 percent).

The authors state that further research into this risk differentiation may help to develop strategies for preventing suicide among trans-identifying adolescents. Ideally, this would include an analysis of suicide attempts based upon adolescents’ biological sex, not just their gender identity.

This is important because overall, biological girls are more likely than boys to attempt suicide—a fact demonstrated by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given the current data, my hypothesis is that such a survey would reveal that the majority of nonbinary and questioning teens are in fact biological girls.

In other words, it is possible that the much higher rate of attempted suicide among female-to-male, nonbinary, and questioning transgender youth has more to do with factors relating to their biological sex (i.e. being a girl) than it does with anything related to gender identity.

If confirmed, this may help explain the causes, since it is possible that common underlying psychological and environmental factors may be at play triggering both gender dysphoria and suicidal tendencies in a subset of these adolescents.

Unfortunately, the authors of the latest study assume that these disparities primarily (if not exclusively) are owing to adverse treatment of trans-identifying youth by society and by their families—a theory called minority stress theory.

They say more research needs to be done to “comprehensively examine the factors (e.g. gender minority stress) that explain why transgender adolescents experience higher odds of suicide behavior.” Thus, they rule out from the start the possibility that the actual transition from female to male might play a role in aggravating stress and provoking one to suicide.

To support this, they cite a seriously flawed study that alleges trans-identifying youth receive mental health benefits when affirmed by their families. That study’s sample size was very small, it was short-term, and—critically—relied solely upon parent assessment to rate the children’s mental health.

What’s Ultimately at Stake

It looks as though this study, and the future research the authors seem to encourage, will be used to continue pressuring families to affirm their children’s gender identity in lieu of their biological sex, lest they drive their children to commit suicide. Parents will be sent a clear message: Help your child transition, or you may lose them to suicide—and it will likely be your fault.

The result of this will be scores more children needlessly sterilized, placed on toxic cross-sex hormones, and maimed by a double mastectomy as young as the age of 13, and potentially given other mutilating surgeries—none of which have been proven to prevent suicide in the long term.

In fact, evidence suggests that sex reassignment surgery does not improve rates of attempted suicide.

The largest and most rigorous study to examine the rates of suicide for adults following their medical gender transition was conducted in Sweden, an LGBT-affirming country. The study followed participants for 30 years after their transition and found that the suicide rate was 19 times higher among transgender adults than among the non-transgender population.

Clearly, these results do not support the alleged curative effects of transition.

There is another possible explanation for the high suicide rates that has received little attention. As Ray Blanchard and J. Michael Bailey, two LGBT affirming psychologists, have pointed out, it is quite possible that underlying traumas, mental health, and personality issues combine to cause both gender dysphoria and suicidality in vulnerable youth.

And there is reason to suspect this may be especially true for girls. Multiple studies document a dramatic rise in adolescent gender dysphoria throughout the Western world that is particularly prominent among young women. Many of these young women have a history of severe psychopathology or a neurodevelopmental disability that predates the onset of their gender dysphoria.

A recent peer-reviewed study of rapid onset gender dysphoria, in which nearly 83 percent of the youth were female, lends further credence to this possibility. Yet that study was quickly silenced by activists and by Brown University, the university of the author—despite the author’s own liberal leanings and her emphasis on the need for more research. After transgender activists called for censorship, Brown University disconnected its link to the study and issued an apology. The journal that published the study, Plos One, is now submitting it to further scrutiny.

The Brown study pointed to a possibility that challenged the assumptions of transition-affirming ideology. While that study was silenced, the most recent study is being embraced as evidence in favor of transition-affirming therapy, even though it offers no scientific support for it.

More Research Needed

In brief, the new study does not suggest that transition will reduce suicide risk in adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria. It does suggest further research is necessary regarding potential causal factors for gender dysphoria among adolescents.

If anything, the survey reinforces the urgent need for scientists to take a sober look at possible environmental factors that contribute to gender dysphoria among youth, how these may influence the suicide rate within this population, and conduct an honest inquiry into how medicine can help.

Physicians take an oath to first do no harm. Based on this principle alone, all of us should demand a halt to the medical transition of minors until rigorous non-agenda-driven, long-term research is completed.



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 September, 2018

Political nonprofits must now name many of their donors under federal court ruling after Supreme Court declines to intervene

This will hit fundraising for conservatives as Leftists sometimes attack conservative donors.  Even as eminent a man as  Brendan Eich lost his job over a donation to a conservative cause

Advocacy groups pouring money into independent campaigns to impact this fall’s midterm races must disclose many of their political donors beginning this week after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene in a long-running case.

The high court did not grant an emergency request to stay a ruling by a federal judge in Washington who had thrown out a decades-old Federal Election Commission regulation allowing nonprofit groups to keep their donors secret unless they had earmarked their money for certain purposes.

With less than 50 days before this fall’s congressional elections, the ruling has far-reaching consequences that could curtail the ability of major political players to raise money and force the disclosure of some of the country’s wealthiest donors.

In an interview, FEC Chairwoman Caroline Hunter said that the names of certain contributors who give money to nonprofit groups to use in political campaigns beginning Wednesday will have to be publicly reported.

Hunter and other conservatives warned the decision could have a chilling effect just as the midterms are heating up.

“It’s unfortunate that citizens and groups who wish to advocate for their candidate will now have to deal with a lot of uncertainty less than two months before the election,” said Hunter, a Republican appointee.

Advocates for stricter regulation of money in politics celebrated the move.

“This is a great day for transparency and democracy,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which brought the case, said in a statement, adding: “We’re about to know a lot more about who is funding our elections.”

The ruling last month by Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell will be challenged on appeal. But in the immediate, the decision forces major groups on the left and the right to scramble and reassess how they plan to finance their fall campaigns.

Nonprofit advocacy groups — which do not have to publicly disclose their donors, as political committees do — will now have to begin reporting the names of contributors who give more than $200 per year toward their independent political campaigns, campaign finance lawyers said.

“Moving forward, these groups will need to disclose to the public any donor that gave money for the purpose of influencing a federal election, regardless of whether they want to sponsor a particular race or specific communication,” said Matthew Sanderson, a Republican campaign finance attorney. “Some groups will not need to adjust their approach to raising funds, but this will be a significant change for others.”

The change could affect heavyweight groups across the political spectrum, including the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity on the right and the League of Conservation Voters on the left.

The case began nearly six years ago when CREW filed a complaint to the FEC, arguing that it should require Crossroads GPS, a major conservative nonprofit, to disclose the names of donors behind a $6 million effort it ran in 2012 against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The FEC deadlocked on whether to open an investigation into Crossroads and then dismissed the complaint in 2015. The following year, CREW sued the agency.

In her ruling last month, Howell sided with CREW. In her 113-page opinion, Howell wrote that the FEC’s regulation “blatantly undercuts the congressional goal of fully disclosing the sources of money flowing into federal political campaigns, and thereby suppresses the benefits intended to accrue from disclosure.”

She delayed the disclosure requirement for 45 days to give the agency time to adopt a new rule.

Crossroads GPS unsuccessfully sought to stay the ruling, pending its appeal.

On Tuesday, Chris Pack, spokesman for Crossroads GPS, said in a statement: “While we are disappointed the Supreme Court did not take this opportunity to ensure regulatory clarity for nonpolitical organizations that lawfully engage in election activity, we are confident we can navigate through the current morass and comply with the law, as we always have.”

The FEC must now create a new rule for the nonprofits, but it is unlikely to be in place before the midterms. New regulations must be considered by Congress for 30 legislative days before they go into effect — meaning the FEC would have needed to finish drafting a new rule before the court issued its opinion, for it to go into effect by Sept. 17, the court’s deadline.

Ellen Weintraub, the Democratic vice chairwoman of the FEC, said there is “great interest” among the commissioners to provide guidance ahead of the midterm elections, but said it was too early to specify what that would entail.

Tuesday’s development set off a frenzy among nonprofit groups as they tried to make sense of what the ruling would mean for fundraising and spending activity for the 2018 election.

David Keating, president of the Institute for Free Speech, which opposes campaign finance restrictions, predicted many nonprofit groups will turn to super PACs as a solution.

“They may just take the money they have allocated for this and then decide to just give contributions to super PACs that are going to be active in the races and on the issue that they agree on,” Keating said.

Earlier this month, in the wake of Howell’s ruling, the Koch network launched a new super PAC to serve as a sister organization to Americans for Prosperity.

Conservatives said the decision to throw out the FEC rule raises First Amendment concerns about donor privacy.

“If speakers can’t rely on regulations as written, that chills speech. Additionally, it’s unfair to change rules about political speech in the middle of a campaign, and many organizations have already run [independent expenditure ads] during the current campaign,” according to the Institute for Free Speech.

But Jessica Levinson, an election law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the Supreme Court’s order is a “huge win for the public.”

The now-thrown out rule “was a huge gaping hole in our system and it allowed for so much undisclosed money to be pumped through our electoral system. Disclosure is really all there is left,” Levinson said.


'Believe Women' Is Perilous Baloney

Michelle Malkin
I have a message for virtue-signaling men who’ve rushed to embrace #MeToo operatives hurling uncorroborated sexual assault allegations into the chaotic court of public opinion.

Stuff it.

Your blanket “Believe Women” bloviations are moral and intellectual abominations that insult every human being of sound mind and soul.

A certain class of never Trump-harumphers are leading the charge on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s memory-addled partisan accuser Christine Blasey Ford — who cannot recall the year she was allegedly traumatized, where it happened, who threw the party that paralyzed her for nearly four decades, how many were in attendance during her claimed assault, how she got there or how she left.

No matter! Bush campaign hack-turned-ABC News analyst Matthew Dowd doesn’t need any data to analyze. “Enough with the ‘he said, she said’” storyline,“ he declared this week. "If this is he said, she said, then let’s believe the she in these scenarios. She has nothing to gain, and everything to lose. For 250 years we have believed the he in these scenarios. Enough is enough.”

Clinton/Kerry flack Peter Daou echoed the unthinking sentiment: “To everyone on the right who says I’m being selective, I BELIEVE WOMEN whether the accused is a Republican or Democrat. And yes, that includes all the names you’re throwing at me. My default in these situations is to BELIEVE WOMEN.”

Ivy League poobah Simon Hedlin asserted: “Accusers go public not because of any supposed benefits but despite the immense costs.” He argued: “When somebody is credibly accused of sexual misconduct, the default should be to believe the accuser.”

That is a dumb and dangerous default. The costly toll of “believing women,” instead of believing evidence, can be seen in the hundreds and hundreds of cases recorded by the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations involving innocent men falsely accused of rape and rape/murders.

One of those men whose plight I’ve reported on for CRTV and my syndicated column, former Fort Worth police officer Brian Franklin, spent 21 years in prison of a life sentence after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 1995 who had committed perjury on the stand. Franklin vigilantly maintained his innocence, studied law in the prison library and won a reversal of his conviction in 2016. The jury took less than two hours to acquit him. But his name is still not clear. He recently submitted a 200-page application for a pardon for innocence and cannot do what he wants to do — return to law enforcement — unless the members of the Texas board of pardons and paroles (along with Texas constitutional conservatives who pay lip service to truth, justice and due process) do the right thing.

In Philadelphia, Anthony Wright also served more than two decades behind bars like Franklin. He was convicted in 1993 for a brutal rape and murder of an elderly woman. It was a female prosecutor, Bridget Kirn, who “failed to alert the Court or the jury to what she personally knew was the falsity of (police detectives’) testimony, or otherwise honor her ethical duty to correct it,” according to Wright’s lawyers with the Innocence Project. They have filed a lawsuit directly aimed at the prosecutor this week to hold her accountable for her criminal falsehoods.

And just this week, Oregonian Joshua Horner, serving a 50-year sentence for sexual abuse of a young girl, was exonerated after a dog that the accuser had claimed he shot dead was found alive. There had been no DNA, no corroborating witnesses and no other forensic evidence — just the word of girl whose contradictions and memory problems were explained away as “post-traumatic stress” while an innocent man nearly drowned.

The idea that all women and girls must be telling the truth at all times about sexual assault allegations because they “have nothing to gain” is perilously detached from reality. Retired NYPD special victim squad detective John Savino, forensic scientist and criminal profiler of the Forensic Criminology Institute Brent Turvey, and forensic psychologist Aurelio Coronado Mares detail the myriad “prosocial” and “antisocial” lies people tell in their textbook, “False Allegations: Investigative and Forensic Issues in Fraudulent Reports of Crime.”

“Prosocial deceptions” involve specific motives beneficial to both the deceiver and the deceived, including the incentives to “preserve the dignity of others,” to gain “financial benefit” for another; to protect a relationship; “ego-boosting or image protection (of others);” and “protecting others from harm or consequence.

"Antisocial” lies involve selfish motives to “further a personal agenda at some cost to others,” including “self-deception and rationalization to protect or boost self-esteem;” “enhance status or perception in the eyes of others;” “garner sympathy;” “avoid social stigma;” “conceal inadequacy, error, and culpability;” “avoid consequence;” and for “personal and/or material gain.”

Let me repeat the themes of my work in this area for the past two years to counter the “Believe Women” baloney:

The role of the press should be verification, not validation.

Rape is a devastating crime. So is lying about it.

It’s not victim blaming to get to the bottom of the truth. It’s liar-shaming.

Don’t believe a gender. Believe evidence.


California Poised to Pass Bill Cracking Down on ‘False Information’

California is one step away from going down the unconstitutional road of government-mandated censorship of Internet speech. The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. This fake news advisory act is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

According to Section 3085 of the legislation:

The Attorney General shall, subject to the limitations of subdivision (d), establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars, to do both of the following:

(a) Study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms.

(b) Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through their platforms.

It’s hard to imagine those voting for the bill were motivated by good intentions. In any case, good intentions are not enough. Is it hard to imagine the results of the law will be censorship of views that politicians disagree with and views critical of politicians?

Most likely, Californians are not concerned about “fact-checking” content like “a mile is 5290 feet” or an appeal to form a flat Earth Facebook group; such content poses no threat to entrenched interests. Instead, “fact-checking” will be deployed against those who express doubt, for example, about climate change, vaccine safety, or “educating” children about gender dysphoria.

In a world where most scientific studies can’t be replicated, a consensus should not be confused with an immutable fact.

If you doubt that censorship is the aim of the bill, consider the even more draconian measures that an earlier version of the bill required. Social media sites would have needed to develop “a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.” 

The First Amendment makes no provisions for government judging the validity of speech either directly or through mandated “fact-checking.” In legitimate cases of defamation, legal remedies are available, but the bar for a successful lawsuit is high.

Concern Over Fake News is Old News

Concern over “fake news” is not new. Elbridge Gerry, who became the fifth vice president of the United States, despaired at the Constitutional Convention about the impact of “false reports”:

"The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massachusetts it had been fully confirmed by experience, that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions, by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute."

There have always been “false reports,” but Thomas Jefferson believed in the wisdom of the public to discern the difference:

"It is so difficult to draw a clear line of separation between the abuse and the wholesome use of the press, that as yet we have found it better to trust the public judgment, rather than the magistrate, with the discrimination between truth and falsehood. And hitherto the public judgment has performed that office with wonderful correctness."

What Jefferson observed in his time is no less true today. It is impossible to “fact-check” the limitless amount of Internet speech. It is no more possible to “fact-check” than it is to centrally plan; in either case, the power of reason is not able to deal with the unforeseeable complexity one would encounter. Knowledge, by its nature, is vast and decentralized.

In Conjectures and Refutations, philosopher Karl Popper observed: “There are no ultimate sources of knowledge. Every source, every suggestion, is welcome; and every source, every suggestion, is open to critical examination.”

In contrast, California’s politicians seem to believe only some ideas are welcome—if those ideas have been “fact-checked” by the heavy hand of government-sponsored boards. 

Why Authoritarians Always Suppress Speech

In his new discussion paper, “The Mirage of Democratic Socialism,” economist Kristian Niemietz of the Institute of Economic Affairs counts “more than two dozen attempts (not counting the very short-lived ones) to build a socialist society.”

“They all,” Niemietz writes, “led to varying degrees of economic failure.” With that economic failure always came “varying degrees of repression and political authoritarianism," as well as severe limitations on “freedom of choice and personal autonomy in the economic sphere.”

Authoritarians, including so-called “democratic socialists,” must always suppress speech. Why? Human beings have boundless preferences and competing goals. These preferences and goals are sorted out by either socialist planners or impersonal market processes. 

As central planning fails, a scapegoat must be found. If only the people were united and working towards the same goals, our plans would succeed, reason the planners. Thus, observes Niemietz, all socialist regimes seek to enforce compliance with their plans:

One of the most persistent features of socialism is the paranoia about imaginary saboteurs, wreckers, hoarders, speculators, traitors, spies and stooges of hostile foreign powers. These phantoms are always accused of ‘undermining’ the economy (although it never quite becomes clear how exactly they do that), which would otherwise work just fine. More generally, the oppressive character of socialist societies was generally linked to the economic requirements of a centrally planned economy. Socialist states did not oppress people for the sake of it. They did so in ways that enforced compliance with the aims of the social planners.

In a future dystopian “democratic socialist” California, the search for “false information” could be weaponized against those arguing for free markets. After Google provides a censored search engine in China, they can no doubt use their new expertise in California to keep up with the latest laws.


What your suburb says about you - and your children's chance of having a successful future: Maps show the divide between Australia's rich and poor

This is as it must be.  There are of course exceptions but most people will choose to live in as good a suburb as they can afford. So suburbs will be reasonably homogeneous in the incomes of their inhabitants -- with the poorest living in the least attractive suburbs.  And economically unsuccessful parents will tend to have economically unsuccessful children. It's not the suburb that makes your poor.  Its the poor who have to choose less attractive suburbs

Australia ranks at number 12 of the most expensive countries to live – but new data has revealed the shocking divide between the country's rich and poor suburbs.

Experts have released a report examining the most advantaged and disadvantaged areas across the nation - and how the suburb where you grow up can significantly impact on your success in later life.

The Children's Geographies report by Senior Research Fellow at the UNSW Jennifer Skattebol and Flinders Associate Professor Gerry Redmond has found that poverty across generations is a major issue in Australia, according to News.com.au.

'A significant number of young Australians who grow up in poverty find it difficult to engage with formal education; they leave school early or cannot navigate from education to the world of work,' the report states. Because the poor tend to have lower IQs

The authors said their research found that children from poorer suburbs have less access to recreational, sporting, and academic facilities, and experience social exclusion across neighbourhood facilities and social networks.

They claim that youths from affluent suburbs are less likely to participate in activities they perceive would be attended by disadvantaged children and, conversely, disadvantaged youths avoided using facilities in affluent suburbs, concerned they would be worse-off if a conflict arose.

A research program titled Dropping Off the Edge identifies advantaged and disadvantaged areas across the country.

In New South Wales, the areas in the north and west of the state were generally more disadvantaged, while regions along the coast and near the southern border fared much better.

Disadvantaged areas included Inverell in the north, and Bourke, Wilcannia, and Broken Hill in the far west.  The more affluent areas were around Sydney, Canberra, and Albury.

In Sydney itself, the north shore and eastern suburbs fared well, but suburbs in western Sydney including Blacktown, Cabramatta and Liverpool are considered disadvantaged.

In Victoria, around Melbourne and parts of the northeast and southwest of the state fared well, but Lakes Entrance in the east, and Red Cliffs in the far north were identified as disadvantaged.

In Melbourne city, areas around Hurstbridge in the north and Flinders in the south were considered affluent

In Melbourne, areas around Hurstbridge in the north and Flinders in the south were considered affluent, while areas around Yarra Junction, Cranbourne, and Sunshine were considered poorer.

In southeast Queensland, areas around Noosa, Moreton Bay, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast were the most advantaged.

Areas to the west such as Beaudesert, Ipswich, and Esk were classified as disadvantaged. The Sunshine Coast fared well, with Maroochydore one of the most advantaged areas.



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 September, 2018

Walter Williams: Reasoning About Race

So much of our reasoning about race is both emotional and faulty. In ordinary, as well as professional, conversation, we use terms such as discrimination, prejudice, racial preferences and racism interchangeably, as if they referred to the same behavior. We can avoid many pitfalls of misguided thinking about race by establishing operational definitions so as to not confuse one behavior with another.

Discrimination can be operationally defined as an act of choice. Our entire lives are spent choosing to do or not to do thousands of activities. Choosing requires non-choosing. When you chose to read this column, you discriminated against other possible uses of your time. When you chose a spouse, you discriminated against other people. When I chose Mrs. Williams, I systematically discriminated against other women. Much of it was racial. Namely, I discriminated against white women, Asian women, fat women and women with criminal backgrounds. In a word, I didn't offer every woman an equal opportunity, and they didn't offer me an equal opportunity.

One might be tempted to argue that racial discrimination in marriage is trivial and does not have important social consequences, but it does. When high-IQ and high-income people marry other high-IQ and high-income people, and to the extent there is a racial correlation between these characteristics, racial discrimination in mate selection enhances the inequality in the population's intelligence and income distribution. There would be greater income equality if high-IQ and high-income people married low-IQ and low-income people. But I imagine that most people would be horrified by the suggestion of a mandate to require the same.

Prejudice is a perfectly useful term, but it is used improperly. Its Latin root is praejudicium — meaning prejudgment. Prejudice can be operationally defined as making decisions on the basis of incomplete information. Because the acquisition of information entails costs, we all seek to economize on information cost. Sometimes we use cheap-to-observe physical attributes as proxies for some other attribute more costlier to observe. The cheaply observed fact that a person is a male or female can serve as a proxy for an unobserved attribute such as strength, aggressiveness or speed in running.

In the late 1990s, a black taxi commissioner in Washington, D.C., warned cabbies against going into low-income black neighborhoods and picking up "dangerous-looking" passengers whom she described as young black males dressed a certain way. Some pizza deliverers in St. Louis who were black complained about delivering pizzas to black neighborhoods for fear of being assaulted or robbed. In 1993, the Rev. Jesse Jackson was reported as saying that he is relieved when he learns that youthful footsteps walking behind him at night are white and not black.

Here's the question: Does the wariness of Washington's predominantly black cabbies to pick up "dangerous-looking" black males or black pizza deliverers' not wanting to deliver to some black neighborhoods or Rev. Jackson's feeling a sense of relief when the youthful footsteps behind him are those of white youngsters instead of black say anything unambiguous about whether cabbies, pizza deliverers and Jackson like or dislike blacks? It's a vital and often overlooked point — namely, that watching a person's prejudicial (prejudging) behavior alone can tell us nothing unambiguous about that person's racial tastes or preferences.

Consider policing. Suppose a chief of police is trying to capture culprits who break in to autos to steal electronic equipment. Suppose further that you see him focusing most of his investigative resources on young males between the ages of 15 and 25. He spends none of his investigative resources on females of any age and very few on men who are 40 or older. By watching his "profiling" behavior — prejudging behavior — would you conclude that he likes females and older males and dislikes males between the ages of 15 and 25? I think that it would take outright idiocy to reach such a conclusion. The police chief is simply playing the odds based on the evidence he has gathered through experience that breaking in to autos tends to be a young man's fancy.


Christian-Bashing Emmys' Ratings Hit New Low

Ratings for Monday night’s politically-charged, Christian-bashing Emmys program fell to a new low for the annual awards show telecast.

The overnight ratings posted a double-digit percentage decline from the previous year’s poor performance, Deadline Hollywood reported Tuesday:

“Snagging a 7.4/13 result in metered market ratings, the NBC broadcasted and Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted 70th Primetime Emmy awards fell to an all-time low on Monday.

“In the early metrics, the Lorne Michaels executive produced and Saturday Night Live alum thick ceremony was down 10% from last year’s Stephen Colbert fronted show of September 16, 2017 on CBS.’

The 2018 Emmys program is also expected to hit an all-time low among a key audience demographic, when the final numbers are released, Deadline says:

“In the final numbers, last year’s Emmys snared 11.8 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. That translated into matching the previous viewership low of the Jimmy Kimmel hosted 2016 Emmys and a new low among the key demographic. Those are records, based on the first set of numbers we are looking at today, appear very likely to be broken – and not in a good way.”

This year’s Emmys program didn’t waste any time before attacking Christians – comparing them to ex-drug addicts – as the opening monologue declared that:

“The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.”


British Food tyrants victimize a schoolkid

They can only preach to adults so they love to exercize power over kids

A MUM was furious when a school deemed her child’s lunch box “too unhealthy” — despite it being packed with nutritious food.

Meal time assistants found the food unacceptable, but the baffled mother couldn’t see why.

It turned out the problem was with the three mini cookies included in the box, The Mirror reports.

Mum Laura Lee said that staff at the school stopped her son from eating the chocolate chip biscuits.

She posted a picture of the offending meal on Facebook in a comment thread where teachers had shared stories about the worst school lunches they had seen.

Teachers had seen everything from kids only turning up with Red Bull and Monster Munch to cold McDonald’s leftovers.

But Laura said of her lunch box: “I thought it was pretty balanced — evidently not.”

Others replied to Laura’s lunch box story and were outraged at the assistants’ decision.

Susan McGowan wrote: “Absolute rubbish that he wasn’t allowed to get those small cookies. “Everything in moderation surely.”

Martin Harry said: “I would kick the f**k off big time! “Food is taken off a child and made to be hungry rather than the child eating. Since when was that healthy.”

Some people thought that the blame lied higher up the school’s food chain. Stephanie Hughes commented: “I would be requesting a ‘lunch date’ with the headmaster asking him to provide a proper packed lunch as a way of example!”


White do-gooder sees pervasive racism towards Australian Aborigines

I don't know why I occasionally put up rejoinders to Leftist screeches.  I guess I feel that a full picture of the matters concerned has to be available.  And Leftist writing usually leaves out such an enormous amount of the full story that I really feel annoyed at such deception.

The woman writing below, Caitlin Prince, apparently works in some sort of welfare role among Aborigines and appears to do so largely as a result of her political convictions.  And a big part of those convictions is that Australians generally are racist.  But what evidence does she muster for that conviction?  Just three anecdotes.  But you can prove anything by anecdotes.  I could report far more anecdotes that prove Australians generally to be racially tolerant.  So she falls at the first hurdle in her rant.

So her claim that "defensive anger" is the common response to  accounts of the deplorable situation of Aborigines is also just another anecdote.  That she is a racist is however clear. She criticizes "white men of Anglo-Celtic or European background."  Why does she have to bring their race into it?  Why can she not outline the words and deeds of particular people in her criticisms?  Instead she resorts to lazy generalizations with no detectible substance in them.

Another of her broad brush strokes is to say that "mostly racism is unconscious  and internalised".  How does she know?  Does she have a mind-reading machine?  She does not. Instead she relies on her deductions about the motives behind various words and deeds that she has observed. There is a very long history in psychology of failed attempts to read minds but she is not humbled by that.  She knows better.

One of her observations, however, is probably right.  She says that the poor state of Aborigines evokes feelings of powerlessness in whites.  She does not however confront a major reason why.  Successive Australian governments, State and Federal, Left and Right have all set in train big efforts to improve the situation of Aborigines -- but nothing works. If anything, the situation of Aborigines has gone downhill since the era of the missionaries.  People of all sorts have racked their brains to come up with solutions but none have succeeded.  People feel powerless in the face of Aboriginal degradation because they really ARE powerless.

She says that the problem for Aborigines is "the thick walls of indifference, denial, and defensive anger that characterises so much of our country’s response to our First Nations".  If that were so, how come that so many government programs have over a long period been tried in an attempt to help Aborigines?

So the sad state of Aborigines is NOT the result of racism.  It is something in Aboriginals themselves.  And that something is not too mysterious.  They have over many thousands of years adapted brilliantly to a hunter-gatherer life -- but that life is no more.

So what is her solution to the undoubted problems of Aborigines?  It is pathetic.  It is a "national conversation".  She is completely oblivious of all the conversations that have gone before.  She lives only in the present, as Leftists usually do.

As it happens, the lady in my life spent many years among Aborigines providing them with real professional services -- medical services  -- paid for by one of those "racist" Australian governments. She tells me something that the angry sourpuss below gives no hint of.  She tells me that she LIKES Aborigines.  And having seen much of what has been done to and for Aborigines by well-intentioned governments, she is firm in her view that no outside help will do much for Aborigines.  She believes that any solution for their plight must arise from among Aborigines themselves.  I think she is right.

Last week, a nine-year-old refused to stand for the national anthem to protest its lack of recognition of First Nations, and the country erupted in anger. High profile, fully grown adults publicly called her a brat and threatened to “kick her up the backside”.

In the same week, Mark Knight’s cartoon of Serena Williams was criticised internationally as racist, and Australian media doubled down to defend it. “Welcome to PC world” the Herald Sun published on its front page, while Knight accused the world of “going crazy” and suspended his Twitter account.

Meanwhile, two Aboriginal teenagers died in Perth running away from police, and communities pushed again for government action on the high rates of Aboriginal deaths in custody. Yeah — how dare people suggest Australia is racist!

I can’t imagine how it felt to be Aboriginal during this (not atypical) week. Although I don’t have to imagine — Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana), the Aboriginal writer and activist, tweeted:

"We’re constantly stuck trying to remind white people of the humanity of Aboriginal people – particularly Aboriginal women and children. It’s tiring, devastating and as we continually end up back in the same place, clearly not working. Sort your shit out, Australia"

— Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana) September 17, 2018

Emotions run high when it comes to the topic of racism and First Nations people. The fact that a nine-year-old can elicit such a venomous rebuke from senators and media personalities is testament to that. In my experience though, it isn’t only alt-right conservatives who have strong emotions about this topic. In the past eight years that I’ve worked in remote Aboriginal communities, every non-Aboriginal person I’ve worked with has experienced a strong reaction to the interface of Australia’s race relations.

Defensive anger is a common reaction to having your worldview challenged. Researcher Megan Boler believes it’s an attempt to protect not only one’s beliefs but one’s “precarious sense of identity”; a defence of one’s investment in the values of the dominant culture.

The problem with growing up within the dominant culture is that it’s easy to be oblivious to anything outside of it. As Tim Soutphommasane, the outgoing Race Discrimination Commissioner, recently pointed out in The Griffith Review, Australia’s media and political structures are still dominated by white men of Anglo-Celtic or European background. While in reality, Australia is far more culturally diverse, the positions that shape both the nation’s policies and stories we tell about it, are still dominated by Anglo-Australians.

When voices from outside the dominant culture do reach us, their perspectives are unexpected, drawn from life experience beyond our shared frames of reference. Their criticism can feel like it’s come out of the blue.

Knight said his cartoon wasn’t about race. Perhaps he was naive to the history of caricature that represented black people as infantile sambos. His intention may not have been racist. As white people, we often mistakenly believe that racism requires a conscious belief that black people are less human than us, but mostly racism is unconscious  and internalised.

It’s all the more bewildering to be accused of racism when it isn’t your intention, such as a health professional who wants to help, discovering they’ve unknowingly offended their Aboriginal client; or a well-intentioned teacher, who had no idea teaching only in English to a community with a different first language, might cause harm. Or perhaps a cartoonist, who prided himself on insightful social commentary, but had his blind spots pointed out.

Frequently, we react defensively and insist our actions aren’t racist when we’d be better served by realising we didn’t know it was racist  and listening to people of colour to understand why, without minimising or denying their concerns.

Anger is not the only emotional response I see in non-Aboriginal people when confronted with our country’s racism. Some people respond with grief and sadness, others with guilt and shame. Nearly always, there are feelings of helplessness that easily flick over into dissociation, numbness and denial. Megan Boler writes that denial “feeds on our lack of awareness of how powerlessness functions, effects, feeds on, and drains our sense of agency and power as active creators of self and world-representations. By powerlessness I mean a state that is usually silent and mutates into guilt and denial that gnaws at us….”

Our country struggles with meaningful recognition of our First Nations, in part due to these feelings of powerlessness and being overwhelmed. We are divided, black from white, by the privilege of being able to drift off into denial. Aboriginal people remain pressed up against the painful consequences of racism with the daily deaths, incarceration, and illness of their family members. Non-Aboriginal Australians on the other hand, bump along, failing to grapple with the overwhelming task of reckoning with our genocidal history and its ongoing legacy.

People of colour refer to “white fragility”, and while I think the term is fair (if the suffering could be weighed, there would be no competition), unless we respond wisely to emotions triggered by discussions of racism, we’re not going to progress the national conversation. Emerging from denial is like thawing from ice; it comes with the pins and needles of moving out of a long-held, contracted position. It’s painful, and people react emotionally.

I’ve worked for eight years now in remote health. I often feel paralysed, at a loss as to how to break through the thick walls of indifference, denial, and defensive anger that characterises so much of our country’s response to our First Nations.

How can I, as one voice, possibly affect it? I want to run away, to not face it. And right there, in the choice to not confront racism, is white privilege.

The moment I choose to do nothing, the moment I stop wrestling with my emotions and slip instead into denial and avoidance, I act out the privilege that has and continues to cause so much harm to our First Nations.

To do nothing is to be complicit.

What a painful thing to have to face.



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

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

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


19  September, 2018

A defence of political correctness

I like to see how the other half thinks so I do often read Leftist writing.  It is mostly, however, so devoid of facts and reason as to defy comment.  It is mostly just assertion, rage and abuse. But the article below has the feel of saying something coherent so I am putting it up. 

The article, however, seems to be a combination of mere assertion and one-sidedness. A peculiarity  of the essay is that it starts out with a long and reasonable presentation of what critics of political correctness say. It's not until her 9th paragraph that the author is overtly critical -- and her opening blast there is a an attack on the character of President Trump.  That is however an "ad hominem" argument and as such is not worthy of a scholar.

Let us look at in detail anyway.  She asserts that political correctness is no danger because a bad egg like Trump became President.  Her characterization of Trump is however extremely tendentious.  She says, for instance, that Trump "stereotypes Muslims as “terrorists” and Mexicans as “rapists”". 

That is however a very unbalanced assessment of what he has done in the course of his attempts to get America's immigration policy more in America's interests. America has indeed suffered a lot of terror attacks from Muslim Jihadis  --- and horrible crimes, often against women, committed by illegal Hispanic immigrants come to light almost daily. 

Many Americans would therefore quite reasonably see Trump's comments on the matter as simple realism.  They would see his election as a triumph of realism, not as an triumph of political incorrectness.  One does hope that realism is not politically incorrect.

In sum, the woman's comments on Trump are just Leftist boilerplate designed to appeal to anti-Trumpers rather than the balanced assessment we would hope for from a real scholar. Her colleagues at the LSE would resoundingly applaud her viewpoint but it is just one viewpoint with little claim outside similar circles.

Ms Symons then goes on to critique the words of Lionel Shriver and immediately offers a dishonest interpretation of Shriver's words.  She treats Shriver's comments about “gay transgender Caribbean primary school dropout" as a serious proposition, when it is obviously just comedic exaggeration.

Not content with one misrepresentation of Shriver, Symons goes on to another.  She says: "the dichotomy she draws between demographic diversity on the one hand and worthwhile literature on the other implies that writers who are not white and heterosexual produce inferior literature."  That is utter rubbish.  Shriver says nothing of the sort.  She simply says that literature should be judged in a colourblind way -- and accepted for publication solely on its literary merits. 

Symons then trots out the claim that third world writing "enriches" us in some unspecified way. That may be so but it would be nice to see examples of minority literature of an enriching kind that has come to us via preferential treatment.  I know of none and Ms Symons's silence on the matter tends to suggest that she also does not.

Her comments on Tony Abbott also lack context. What Abbott was referring to was the energetic attempts by the Left to suppress comment from conservative Christians.  It was an attack on free speech in deed and in truth.  Ms Symonds is an Australian so it is likely she was aware of that but has decided that omitting it makes a better story. So her judgment of Abbott's orientation is that it "indicates the illiberalism in which anti-PC reactionaries are steeped".  That may be so but it is a mere assertion untethered from any balanced argument.

Ms Symons then goes on to comment on knife crime in London and what she says is reasonable enough but I do not see that she is talking about political correctness

She then asserts that opposition to political correctness "indicates the illiberalism in which anti-PC reactionaries are steeped".  She undoubtedly believes that but I cannot see where she has made a case for that judgment.

She ends by implying that opposition to political correctness is wrong because Mr Trump and Mr Farage oppose it.  And with no apparent awareness of irony she then goes on to condemn "ad hominem" argument!

She is just another of the one-eyed intellectual lightweights I constantly encounter in my readings of Leftist writing. I would be inclined to dismiss her as just a silly little girl but that would of course make me a patriarchal misogynist Fascist and a secret admirer of Hitler so I had better not.  If her defence of political correctness is the best the Left can do, they are a very sad lot indeed

I note that "The Economist" gave the essay below a prize.  They were once a reliable sources of factual reportage and argument.  It seems those days are long gone.  They would now seem to be part of the English establishment, with its arrogant dismissal of people's politicians like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

Julia Symons, author of the article below. She is an MSc candidate in Global Health at the London School of Economics.

“Drunk on virtue.” Thus did Lionel Shriver, an American author, damn a commitment made by the British arm of Penguin Random House, a publisher, that “its new hires and the books it acquires reflect UK society by 2025.” A conscious effort to ensure diversity is, says Ms Shriver, wholly incompatible with the publisher’s raison d’être of acquiring and publishing good works of literature. If an agent were to receive a manuscript from a “gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter” it would be published, even if its quality were execrable, warned Ms Shriver.

Her screed suggests that the unthinking application of political correctness (PC), in this case in the form of a diversity target, will threaten liberal, Western culture and produce small-minded individuals. Like some of Ms Shriver’s previous interventions on this topic, this one was met with outrage online, with thousands of tweets and column-inches devoted to criticising the author.

Welcome to the culture wars. Welcome to “political correctness gone too far”.

The notion that political correctness has “gone mad” is familiar to anyone who follows even vaguely any aspect of modern political or cultural life. The phrase, ostensibly referring to language or action that is designed to avoid offence or harm to protected groups, has become a sharp criticism. It is synonymous with a sort of cultural McCarthyism, usually committed by the left.

In its modern iteration, it pops up in a couple of different forms. First, there is the use of the word “snowflake” to criticise younger generations—those more likely to be in favour of affirmative action and gender-neutral bathrooms, for instance, who are perceived as thin-skinned and less resilient than their forebears. The second invocation of PC gone mad is “freedom of speech”: specifically the idea that the use and enforcement of politically correct language will endanger it and by extension freedom of thought.

Regardless of how it is labelled, its underlying idea is the same: that measures to increase “tolerance” threaten the liberal, Enlightenment values that have forged the West. Self-styled opponents of political correctness and proponents of free speech may find themselves (mis)quoting Voltaire: “I disapprove what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

When framed like this, it seems utterly reasonable to think that political correctness has the potential to be a menace. Moreover, some aspects of tolerance culture, particularly the actions of students—who frequently draw the ire of such culture warriors—are, in many cases, cloying and precious.

Britain’s National Union of Students, and campus politics generally, is rife with such examples: at one conference, it urged its delegates to use the “jazz hands” motion to express their appreciation, lest the noises made by clapping “trigger” other delegates. Meanwhile Facebook, in its own efforts at tolerance, has made a list of 71 genders from which its users may choose to identify, including genderqueer neutrois and bi-gender. This is farcical and arguably trivialises the very real struggles that transgender individuals face.

However, some easily-dismissed examples aside, the notion that political correctness has gone too far is absurd. That a man who boasts gleefully about grabbing women by their genitals, mocks disabled reporters and stereotypes Muslims as “terrorists” and Mexicans as “rapists” was able to become the leader of the free world should disabuse anyone of that notion. Indeed those who invoke “political correctness” often use it for more cynical means. It is a smoke screen for regressivism.

Let us return to Ms Shriver’s argument. It is untethered from reality. If a “gay transgender Caribbean” primary school dropout were able to gain a book deal with such ease, then where are all of the books by such people? Worse yet, the dichotomy she draws between demographic diversity on the one hand and worthwhile literature on the other implies that writers who are not white and heterosexual produce inferior literature. Moreover, Ms Shriver seems not to have considered that drawing upon the full spectrum of the human experience, particularly by seeking out voices and stories that have been hitherto silenced or under-represented, can only enrich our literature.

It is an illiberal argument masquerading as the opposite. This is common whenever the term “political correctness” is bandied about. Another example comes from Australia’s pugilistic former prime minister, Tony Abbott. During that country’s 2017 plebiscite on marriage equality, Mr Abbott—a devout Catholic, social conservative and ardent ‘No’ campaigner—urged the Australian public: “If you're worried about...freedom of speech, vote no [to single-sex marriage.] If you don't like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

By wilfully conflating several unrelated issues, Abbott managed to frame depriving same-sex couples of the right to marry (and of the rights that accompany it) as a bold and defiant declaration of freedom. That “stopping political correctness” was, for him, not only synonymous with but contingent upon the continued subjugation of certain minorities, indicates the illiberalism in which anti-PC reactionaries are steeped.

Not only is “political correctness” invoked to reinforce prejudices, it is often simplistic and reductive. A 22% increase in knife-crime in England and Wales, largely concentrated in London, has seen alarmist headlines about London’s murder rate eclipsing that of New York’s (true only if one squints hard enough at very particular statistics.) The reasons for this are complicated, but largely to do with significant cuts to the police (whose numbers have fallen by nearly 20% since 2010) and also other social services: in the absence of youth services and clubs, for example, children are more vulnerable to recruitment from gangs. Many experts, including Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick, see this through the lens of public health, in which strategies for prevention are needed, not just enforcement.

For opponents of political correctness this is another consequence of political correctness run amok—and another convenient excuse to attack the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. During her tenure as Home Secretary, Theresa May (hardly a bleeding heart) rightfully placed significant restrictions on the use of the policing tactic known as “stop and search,” which disproportionately targeted ethnic minorities. There was no evidence that it reduced crime in any statistically significant way. However, the reactionaries ploughed on, impervious to facts, with right-wing media outlets such as the Sun and the Daily Telegraph calling for the return of stop-and-search to restore order on London streets.

These phenomena—invoking “political correctness” as a fig-leaf for naked prejudice, and in spite of evidence to the contrary—find their most troubling embodiment in political figures like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage. Mr Trump once stated that “the problem [America] has is being politically correct,” and sees himself as a corrective to that. Mr Farage, too, sees himself as a crusader against political correctness.

Both consider themselves to be “taking back” their respective countries from a varied cast of bogeymen: among them elitists, social justice warriors, Muslims and immigrants. Both seem to want to undermine the very institutions that preserve our rights and liberties.

At best, the notion of political correctness having gone too far is intellectually dishonest; a fallacy similar to a straw-man argument or an ad hominem attack. At worst, it serves as a rallying cry to cover up the excesses of the most illiberal in our society.


The truth about IQ

As a psychometrician, I can vouch for the fact that Peterson is simply reporting what the research shows.

Angela Merkel is learning.  She announces new bid to tackle migration alongside Austria's anti-immigration chancellor as she continues to turn away from her open-door policy in wake of protests

Angela Merkel has said she will work with her Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz to secure Europe's borders, in her latest move away from the open-door policy which has sparked a wave of protests in Germany.

The German chancellor met Mr Kurz in Berlin ahead of a crunch EU summit on migration later this week.

Mrs Merkel, who has faced a backlash since she allowed a million refugees into Germany in 2015, agreed to work with African countries to stop the flow of migrants.

She and Mr Kurz also welcomed the European Commission's plans to increase the staff of Europe's border agency to 10,000 people by 2020, DW reported. 

Merkel told reporters in Berlin as she and Kurz prepared to sit down for their one-to-one talks that 'migration is, of course, a very important issue.'

They were also expected to discuss Brexit. 'We have the same view that we must do all we can to avoid a hard Brexit,' Kurz said in a statement before the meeting.

The German chancellor opened Germany's doors to more than a million refugees fleeing North Africa in the Middle East at the peak of Europe's refugee crisis in 2015.

Mr Kurz, 32, has taken a hard-line stance on immigration since he came to power last year after striking a deal with the right-wing Freedom Party.

The two clashed in June when Mr Kurz resisted German plans to share migrants out between EU countries.

Mrs Merkel said she would not allow EU countries to say that 'we don't want to participate in European solidarity'.

Austria has sided with countries such as Hungary and Italy - under its new government and interior minister Matteo Salvini - who have pushed to tighten Europe's borders. 

Mrs Merkel's immigration policy has sparked a fierce backlash in Germany, as the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party made historic gains at last year's election.

The issue has flared up again in recent weeks after a German man was allegedly stabbed to death by two Iraqi and Syrian migrants.

His death prompted major protests in Chemnitz, in former East Germany, the part of the country where the AfD is strongest.

Mrs Merkel's interior minister Horst Seehofer has pushed for a tougher immigration policy to prevent the ruling CDU/CSU being outflanked by the AfD.

The Austrian leader next travels to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

He and Mrs Merkel are set to join other national leaders at the two-day summit starting on Wednesday in Salzburg, Austria. 

The border agency, Frontex, said last week the number of people crossing the entire Mediterranean had fallen by 40 per cent from last year.

However the number of migrants crossing the western Mediterranean into Spain more than doubled in the first eight months of this year.

The divergence was due to a sharp drop in people leaving strife-torn Libya for Italy, a main migrant route to Europe in recent years.


Some irritating cases of lunatic political correctness in Australia

Have you heard the latest? Some council, somewhere in Australia, is removing the wire fencing around council playgrounds just in case children playing there feel trapped and encaged! I would guess it would have only been a few years ago they insisted on putting up the self-same fences to keep vandals and other undesirables out! I really don’t know why I get so wound up about stories like this, after all it is just another case of lunatic political correctness that we have to put up with these days, but it does get me a little mad myself.

Another recent politically correct move is the drive to delete sexual references completely from university campuses, so any notices, posters, letters or signs can’t refer to ‘him’ or ‘her’, ‘he’ or ‘she’, etc. They apparently will only be able to use the words ‘them’ or ‘they’ or other suchlike non-sexual pronouns. The people insisting on this are supposed to be our most intelligent, clever, forward-thinking young individuals, the people who are going to lead us into our bright new future. God help us is all I can say!

Worse still, this silliness is taking root and growing everywhere, from its early start in feminism, when, amongst other things, a woman I knew at that time, insisted I should not call her ‘luv’ (you’ll notice the spelling, that’s important), because it was sexist. I tried to point out to her that the word, spelled as I’ve indicated, had nothing to do with sexual relationships nor did it indicate that I had fallen for her, in which case I might have used the spelling ‘love’ instead. It was, I tried to say, merely a friendly form of address to someone you might not know the name of or who was familiar to you and was (usually), a woman. It carried precisely the same sexual meaning as the term I use to speak to a bloke — ‘mate’! This doesn’t mean I want to have sex with him or give him my children, it was, and still is merely a friendly term of communication. You’d hardly find a person in England, male or female, who doesn’t use the term ‘luv’, but this politically correct lady was deeply offended. As I have said, it’s a great pity she and the other people like her, can’t grow up and find something more useful to occupy their minds.

I agree there are some rules created by these people that do have some worth, like cycle helmets and car seat belts, but the good ideas seem to be in a tiny minority when compared to the irritating and silly ones that bear little contact to reality. Like the student who, a recently demanded that any reference to men should be removed from the English language — she thought the words containing ‘man’ or ‘men’ was offensive to all women, wherever it was used and for whatever purpose, which naturally made me wonder what she would do with such words as ‘human’, ‘menstrual’, ‘manager’, ‘hymen’, or ‘manufacture’, to name but a very tiny proportion of words containing those three offensive letters!

The trouble, and the worry, as far as I am concerned, is why and how did these people get into a position where they can impose all this stupidity on us? There was a time, not so long ago, when Aussies (is that offensive to these people?), of either sex were bright, reliant, strong and cheerful; they were capable of handling almost any situation of their own and they never griped about it — in fact the Aussie personality was the envy of the world. For instance, English soldiers used to gulp at some of the things Australian soldiers were quite happy to say to their superior officers, should it be called for, but now there is a breed of ‘namby-pamby’ young people coming along, who couldn’t change a light bulb, let alone repair a car engine or help a cow give birth to a calf, but that are very quick to complain if things aren’t laid on for them, exactly as they require!

I’m afraid space does not permit me the luxury of delving deeper into this very interesting, if irritating subject, but thank goodness there are still youngsters in this country who do know the score and can look after themselves and others less fortunate than themselves — I pray nothing will happen to destroy that very necessary breed of individual!



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 September, 2018

PC fail: AD and CE are both based on the life of Christ

No one likes to be criticized; and some people seek a way around one of the fundamental guarantees provided in the U.S, Constitution - the First Amendment.

As a fervent believer in free speech, and an aversion to busybodies, PC be damned.

So here, we are – in the land of PC. In this case, the focus being on one, specific attempt to impose Political Correctness in regard to the use of BC and AD. Who came up with the ridiculous idea of changing BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini -- Latin for "The Year of our Lord") to BCE and CE?

The answer, brief and blunt: an idiot. Some guy - a gut full of righteous indignation - sitting in his office at some university, contemptuous of Christianity (any religion for that matter).

Do not take this as an attempt on my part to paint universities as full of nutty professors. I am not. Sanity generally rules in our nation’s colleges and universities.

In any case, the malignancy spread like wildfire, and legions of Americans were easily persuaded to agree with things they do not agree with. You know the type; they say something; observe that you disagree, and retreat.

There is no denial from the advocates of this ill-considered action. There is hilarity to be found in the fact BCE and CE mean the same thing: They mark history in the dates of the birth and death of Jesus.

Political Correctness is not only an end-run around free speech, such as in the case with BC and AD. Increasingly, it has evolved into a subtle attack on, among others things, Christmas. Not directly, mind you, but a chipping away at edges.

The corporate world, terrified by the prospect of offending some customers, instead hawks “Happy Holidays!” as a substitute for “Merry Christmas!”

Compared to the American Atheist Society, the bending of the business world is mild. Atheists, so determined to wipe the Christian religion from the earth, spend lavishly on its relentless campaign to kill the holiday.

Who needs a Grinch when we have atheists raving and plastering posters on buses and billboards bashing you-know-what?

On one occasion, a guy said something innocuous; stopped, looked at me and said, “I hope this is Politically Correct.” Showing great restraint, I did not murder him on the spot.


Nigel Farage attacks political correctness, the ABC and the Left generally in rousing Sydney speech

British politician Nigel Farage has told a convivial Sydney audience they are living in the “most exciting political time” in decades, no matter how much the Left refute it.

Speaking at Doltone House, in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Pyrmont on Thursday night, Mr Farage told the audience of 1200 that Brexit had marked the beginning of a global political revolution.

“We are living through the most exciting political times we have seen in decades,” Mr Farage said. “It doesn’t matter how much protesters scream, it doesn’t alter how much negativity we get from the state-sponsored peasants. Are you here, ABC?”

The co-founder and former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who was a driving force behind Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, told the audience: “We are now living through a global political revolution, and we the people will bring down the Establishment.”

The controversial politician, who is in Sydney as part of a week-long speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand, was met by an energetic round of applause at several points during his speech. Many in the audience gave the British MP a standing ovation as he took his position on centre stage.

Throughout his talk Mr Farage discussed issues such as Brexit, populism, immigration and political correctness.

“I’m not going to bow down to political correctness or be told I can’t do this or can’t do that,” Mr Farage said. “We need politicians to reflect the same values and, you know what, the same flaws we have too.”

Mr Farage also lamented the leadership of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and said in comparison many modern leaders were “as dull as dishwater” and “so politically correct they’re too scared to say what they think.”

At one point Mr Farage joked that despite “current political turmoil across Europe”, “things were arguably even worse” in Australia.

He warned that if the Liberal Party, which recently ousted Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister in favour of Scott Morrison, didn’t “sort itself out” Australia would experience “real, radical change too”.

He later said he was struck by the disconnect between Canberra’s politicians and the Australian people, and hoped Brexit would give Britain the chance to reconnect with their “real friend,” Australia.

He said despite being unpopular with many British politicians “riding the gravy train”, YouTube had cemented his support base. He said he shared US President Donald Trump’s view that Twitter was the future.

Some members of the audience called “lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton when Mr Farage discussed a Mississippi speech he gave in favour of Mr Trump prior to the 2016 US presidential election.

“I’m the only human in the world who was involved in the campaign for Brexit and in the election of Donald Trump,” Mr Farage said. “I’m pretty proud of that.”

Mr Farage said he became disillusioned with British prime ministers after Margaret Thatcher’s leadership.

“I thought the hell with open door immigration, the hell with being ashamed of being patriotic, I’m going to stand up and fight them, that’s how I got involved with politics,” Mr Farage said to cheers from the audience.

There was a large police presence outside the venue but unlike events in Perth and Auckland, the Sydney show didn’t draw any protesters.

During a question and answer session run by tour promoter and publisher of porno mag Penthouse, Damien Costas, Mr Farage nursed a glass of red wine in his hand as he criticised the “baying mobs” for obstructing his event.

“They want to shut down free speech,” Mr Farage said. “They’re not just undemocratic they’re anti-democratic and it’s a monstrous thing to see in a free society. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.”

“In Perth they were blaming me for all that has gone wrong with the aborigines, what the hell has that got to do with me?”

When asked by a man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap what kind of future ethnically British people could expect in England due to an influx of non-white migrants, Mr Farage said it wasn’t a case of “Black v White.”

He said that while immigration in Britain had blown out of control, only “a few cultural groups” and terrorists were trying to destroy the British way of life.

He said many immigrants had successfully integrated into British society and adopted British values. “It’s not about people’s skin colour it’s about who they are how they feel,” Mr Farage said.


UK: Nannying health chiefs want to stop your children eating All-Bran because sugar content makes it a 'junk food'

It has a decades-old reputation as a cereal that families eat to boost their health. Yet now, the ‘nanny state’ is set to label All-Bran as a junk food that should be avoided by children – alongside Special K and Shreddies.

Fruit yogurts made by organic brands such as Yeo Valley and Rachel’s may also be categorised as unhealthy by Public Health England – and banned from being advertised on children’s TV.

The net has been widened after experts reduced the recommended daily sugar limit in a bid to tackle the obesity crisis. A UN report last week found Britain was the third fattest nation in Europe.

But last night Chris Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said PHE’s ‘puritanical’ foods assessment model would also lead to pure orange juice – which counts as one of your five-a-day fruit and veg portions – being classified as junk food.

He said: ‘The Government has allowed the nanny state lobby to write policy and this is the outcome. It is worrying how little thought seems to have gone into it.’

Until now only breakfast cereals such as chocolate covered rice pops and sugar-coated cornflakes have been banned from children’s TV ads. However, the independent Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has concluded we should get no more than five per cent of our calories from sugar added to food – half the previous maximum.

The new rules have drawn in Kellogg’s All-Bran, which has 18g of sugar per 100g. All-Bran is also high in fibre (27g/100g) and protein (14g/100g). Fibre helps cut the risk of bowel cancer, while protein helps build and maintain muscles. But this counts for little under PHE’s model.

It is a similar story with other breakfast brands The Mail on Sunday tested, which were also classified as ‘less healthy’ under the new model. They included Kellogg’s Special K, Nestle Shreddies, Alpen Original and Jordan’s Raisin & Almond Crunchy Oat Granola. PHE said the ‘nutrient profiling model’ was a draft which has not been finalised. If, however, it is adopted, all ads for these products will be banned from children’s TV. Cereals which passed the test included Weetabix Classic and Nestle Shredded Wheat.

The British Dietetic Association said the public risked being confused ‘about what is and isn’t a junk food’ while the Food and Drink Federation said the proposed model could ‘demonise’ foods that are ‘a healthy component of a child’s diet’.


Only the 'best and brightest': Australian government cracks down on poorly skilled migrants and welfare parasites amid plan to axe more visas

Poorly skilled migrants will struggle to receive immigration visas amid the government's plan to crackdown on dole bludgers.  Only the 'best and brightest' immigrants will be welcomed into Australia, according to the Saturday Telegraph. Scraping through the 99 different types of visas, those that attract welfare-dependent migrants could face the firing line.

The government has already made steps to weed out poorly skilled migrants by axing the 457 visa in April 2017. The decision almost halved the number of foreign workers and raised the average salary.

Foreign workers were paid an average of $110,000 in the past financial year - an increase of $15,000 - while almost half the amount of skills visas were approved. Almost 70,000 skills visas were approved at the height of the 457 visa program.

Less than 35,000 were approved in the past financial year.



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 September, 2018

The EU’s shameful crusade against Hungary

Hungary is being punished for one reason only: it takes its sovereignty seriously.

For some time now, Hungary has been the target of a witch-hunt led by an alliance of Euro-federalists and cosmopolitan politicians. The aim of their propaganda campaign has been to delegitimise the Hungarian government by portraying it as a xenophobic, quasi-fascist entity that threatens to undermine democracy across the continent of Europe.

This campaign of vilification against Hungary has to some extent proved successful. Hence a significant section of the European Parliament voted today to punish Hungary. For the first time ever, this institution has unleashed the EU disciplinary process, known as Article 7, against a member state.

The anti-Hungary motion passed by EU parliamentarians is based on a report by a Dutch parliamentarian, Judith Sargentini. Anyone reading this report without being familiar with the real situation in Hungary would indeed be horrified by the picture it paints. According to Sargentini, freedom and democracy are under threat in Hungary; she and others insist Hungary has become a human-rights disaster area.

In truth, Hungary is nothing like the horror story promoted in the Sargentini Report. Like other countries it has its share of problems, of course. Some of the policies pursued by Viktor Orban’s government can be criticised. However, for all these problems, Hungary is no less democratic and no less free than other European nation states.

In line with the current political fashion, Hungary stands accused of failing to respect the rights of its Roma and Jewish minorities. This accusation is fundamentally flawed. Yes, Roma people face considerable socioeconomic problems in Hungary, but their position is far better than it was under the previous Socialist regime. In fact, the current government is the first to send a Roma woman to the European parliament.

If the prevalence of anti-Semitism in a nation is going to be the criterion by which we judge a government, then the Hungary should come way behind France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. In France and Belgium, Jewish restaurants are often guarded by the police; there is no need for that in Budapest. In Berlin, Jews wearing kippahs face threats and even violence. Not in Budapest. Jewish life and culture is flourishing in Hungary, and the government has a robust zero-tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism.

So why the mean-spirited anti-Hungarian polemics? Why hold Hungary to a different standard to that which is applied to other European countries? The driving force of this anti-Hungarian crusade is a fear that Hungary’s strong affirmation of its sovereignty and national values will encourage people in other parts of Europe to follow suit. The Hungarian government’s values are very different to the technocratic outlook of the EU federalists. The best way to describe the Hungarian government’s outlook is conservative, traditional and Christian. It is also democratic and very human. These are values that the EU oligarchy is determined to abolish, to erase from the European landscape and history, in order that it might replace them with its own technocratic cosmopolitan outlook.

There is no need for Europeans to sign up to the values of the Hungarian government, of course. But if you are genuinely democratic and tolerant and believe in pluralism, you will uphold the right of a nation to live according to its values, and you will be very worried indeed when powerful external institutions seek to punish a nation for doing so. The EU parliamentarians who voted to punish Hungary should be ashamed of themselves. They have betrayed the real values of Europe: those values of humanism and tolerance that were best expressed by the Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers.


Google Executives Applauded Employee’s Rant About ‘White Privilege’

Google executives including the CEO, CFO, the VP for People Operations, the VP for Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, and both co-founders can be seen applauding a speech on “white privilege” in a video leaked to Breitbart News by an anonymous source.

The video is a full recording of Google’s first all-hands meeting following the 2016 election, featuring CEO Sundar Pichai, co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and several other Google executives.

“Speaking to white men, there’s an opportunity right now to understand your privilege in this society. Take the opportunity to go through the bias-busting training, read about privilege, read about the real history of oppression in this country.”

The employee told his colleagues to “discuss the issues you are passionate about during Thanksgiving dinner and don’t back down and laugh it off when you hear the voice of oppression speak through metaphors, and I promise to do the same”

Instead of challenging the employee for singling out members of a particular gender or race for “bias-busting,” the Google executives on stage instead chose to applaud him.

The talking points used by the employee are characteristic of the “privilege-checking” tendency of the left-wing identity politics, which identifies straight white males as being at the top of the totem pole of oppression.

In a previous story, Breitbart News reported that Google distributes training materials to employees that identify a set of traits including “objectivity” and “meritocracy” that are unfairly valued by “white dominant culture.”

The company is currently facing a class-action lawsuit from former employees alleging that the company discriminates against Asian and white males, as well as conservatives and libertarians.

Update — After Breitbart News published this article, a Google spokesperson replied to a request for comment with the following statement:

“At a regularly scheduled all hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season. For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.”


No basis to bias science

I have been pointing to the invalidity of the IAT for years

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training (UBT) courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test?

The course uses the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT), which employs image and word association to determine the level of ‘unconscious bias’ an individual has towards those of a different race, sex, and so on. My colleague Dr Jeremy Sammut highlighted the socially destructive nature of this test, but the origins themselves are equally disturbing.

The IAT was introduced into the scientific literature in 1998 by researchers Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee and Jordan Schwartz. However, not only does the test suffer a replicability problem — meaning that some of the results have not been successfully replicated — a number of psychologists have come out and challenged its efficacy.

A 2009 report by psychology professor Hart Blanton demonstrates the evidence between IAT scores and real world behaviour is virtually non-existent. A Kirwan Institute Study on implicit bias found such tests can be damaging because the range of responses are limited. And a paper published by Gregory Mitchell and Philip Tetlock argue the claims made by proponents of the IAT are exaggerated, and the test fails to consider alternative factors that could influence an individual’s responses.

After the IAT was introduced in 1998, many private companies such as McDonalds and Google started teaching their employees about unconscious bias. But now, in the era of diversity bureaucracy, the adoption of pseudo-scientific programs that place feelings over facts has sadly also become the new norm for taxpayer funded institutions.

The Australian Public Service Commission dedicates a page to ‘unconscious bias.’ The Queensland Government claims the IAT can be used to bring awareness to organisational and individual biases. And many more government agencies now cite ‘unconscious bias’ in their diversity programs.

The idea that a government agency would want to test the unconscious thoughts of its employees and try to change them, is disturbing enough. But when a test is this flawed, it is also an egregious waste of taxpayer money.


Demonising Israel and the hijack of language

If there’s one refrain which gets me chewing the carpet, it’s the plaintive question, “Why is Israel unable to get its message across?”

The naivety behind this question is itself a large part of the answer. It’s not just the fact that – as has now become all too obvious – the demonization and delegitimization of Israel is inextricably linked to the ineradicable poison of antisemitism.

More pertinently, Israel has been up against a black propaganda exercise which has inverted truth and lies with devastating effect. Its only equivalent in scale, skill and evil intent is the manipulative mind control practiced by totalitarian regimes.

No coincidence: This strategy of psychological warfare deployed by the Palestinians was devised by Yasser Arafat in cahoots with the Soviets, who knew a thing or two about subverting the values of an entire culture. And the war against the Jews is part of the broader war against the free world and the core tenets of Western civilization.

The attempt to counter this by Israel’s defenders has been woefully misjudged. There’s the defensive-crouch response (“Hey guys, why are you dumping on us – can’t you see we’re the victims here?”) which, by responding on the enemy’s own distorted grounds of purported Israeli aggression, is itself halfway to conceding defeat.

Or there’s the attempt to persuade the world of Israel’s elevated standards of ethical behavior (“Hey guys, look at all the Palestinians we’re treating in our hospitals, even including the ones who’ve just tried to murder us!”)

Since the one thing the Western world does not want to hear is the perceived moral superiority of the Jews – of which it is pathologically, irredeemably and sometimes murderously jealous – this particular approach turns abject stupidity into an art form.

Given that the demonization of Israel is the key strategy in the war of extermination being waged against it, “getting Israel’s message across” is the equivalent to using a leaky bucket to ward off a tsunami.

The essence of such psychological warfare is as simple as it is seismic. It is the manipulation of language.

Words have been hijacked so that they come to be understood as the opposite of what they really signify. The importance of this tactic can hardly be overstated.

Many people know little or nothing about the Middle East and have even less interest in finding out. For them, it’s just background noise. But if the language which forms that background noise is hijacked, then the story of the Middle East is hijacked too.

Key concepts have been presented as if in mirror writing so that Israel, the victim of aggression, has been turned falsely into the aggressor while its would-be exterminators are transformed into its victims.

And that’s been achieved not just by telling lies about what’s going on today or happened in the past. Crucially, those falsehoods have been framed by language which conditions the listener to accept them because the language itself has been turned into a lie.

Consider, for example, the word “colonialism.” In left-wing ideology, colonialism is the crime of crimes that defines Western iniquity: the subjection of indigenous peoples in the developing world by white-skinned westerners who occupied their lands and ruled, enslaved and oppressed them.

Left-wingers believe that white, Western Israel has occupied the lands of the indigenous Palestinians whom it is proceeding to rule, enslave and oppress.

Every element of this is demonstrably false. Israel is neither predominantly white nor Western. More than three quarters of its population, Jews as well as Arabs, are brown-skinned and originally hailed from the Middle East.

Crucially, the Jews are the only extant indigenous people of the land which today comprises Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza. The Arabs merely formed one of the many waves of conquerors, including Romans, Persians, Greeks, Christians and Turks, who first drove out the Jews and then colonized their rightful and historic home.

It is therefore not the Jews who are colonizing, and thus enslaving or oppressing, anyone at all. It is the “Palestinians” who are would-be colonizers threatening again to dispossess the indigenous Jewish people of the land.

So Israel and its defenders should talk routinely about “Palestinians” as colonialists.

Many other words which have been turned into weapons of war against Israel need similarly to be reclaimed from their hijackers and restored to their true meaning.

Israel and its defenders should replace the term “peace process” with “appeasement process.” The “occupation” of the disputed territories should be replaced with “liberation.”

Because of its lethal attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as the abuse of their own civilians as human shields, Hamas should routinely be termed “Palestinian war criminals.”

Similarly, Mahmoud Abbas should always be tagged not just as a “Holocaust denier” because of his infamous doctoral thesis. On account of his continued hero-worship of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem who was Hitler’s chief ally in the Middle East and planned to exterminate the Jews of the entire region in Auschwitz-style crematoria, Abbas should be described as a “neo-Nazi sympathizer”.

Some may say this is merely to hijack the language in the opposite direction. Not so. This is using it to express truths backed by evidence rather than lies. To claim the Israelis are Nazis is an obscene lie; but Abbas really is a sympathizer with the would-be leader of the Nazi extermination program in the Middle East.

And truth and evidence cannot ever be said to be hijacking the language.

As a result, background verbal noise composed of truth would begin to permeate the collective Western brain in place of the current background verbal noise of lies.

The consequence would be that the verbal conditioning which is so essential to influencing the collective mind would produce a very different outcome. The falsehoods and distortions about Israel would begin to jar badly against the story implicitly understood by the term “Palestinian colonialists.”

Totalitarian regimes understand the connection between language and thinking. The Soviet communists repeated formulaic slogans over and over again.

In his book The Language of the Third Reich, Victor Klemperer wrote that the Nazis used language to indoctrinate virtually the entire population. Through their repeated use of particular words in propaganda, speeches and publications, they changed their meaning and context to serve their purposes.

Exactly the same tactics of language control and the hijacking of meaning are being used by today’s “progressive” cultural totalitarians against both Israel and the West – where words and phrases such as “liberal,” “social justice” or “equality” have been turned into their precise opposite.

Language and thinking are linked. The issue is whether that link is to be used to service truth or lies.

Words are being used to twist and enslave the Western mind and to empower the destroyers of the innocent. Language has to be reclaimed from its hijackers and restored to its real meaning if truth, justice and collective sanity are to be restored.



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 September, 2018

Is feminist hate and anger justified?

Prominent American feminist Robin Morgan thinks it is justified. One of her well-known sayings is: "The oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them."

That does make some sense.  If someone was oppressing you, you might well hate them. Though Christians of course would say "Turn the other cheek".

So what are the problems with that saying as it applies to feminists?  One problem is that chronic hostility is bad for your heart.  It leads to a greater risk of heart attacks and is probably bad for your mental health as well.

The major problem, however is the assumption that a particular group is being oppressed.  Before they became open elitists, Leftists were always of the view that the workers were oppressed and that they should "cast off their chains".  And the lesser income of the workers gave that some plausibility.  One needs fairly elborate arguments to dispute that claim.

But is that the case with women?  Are women oppressed?  Feminists wholeheartedly think so but are they right?  The formal evidence most often  advanced is the lower average pay of female employees.  But there have been any number of demonstrations that the lower pay of women is wholly due, not to injustice but to the different choices men and women make.  And each sex is of course fully entitled to their divergent choices.

After that, the main evidence put forward by feminsts is anecdotal.  They point to instances when men have treated them badly. But when I look at such instances, it seems to me that in many cases the attribution is not clear.  Were you treated badly because you were a women or were you treated badly because of one other of your characteristics? 

Many of the women who think they got a bad deal may in fact have been treated badly because they were, for instance, hostile people.  Everybody shies way from hostile people and the woman concerned may have been a feminist.  And feminists are usually readily seen as doing a slow burn. They are not pleasant people.  They are angry people.  As such they bring rejection down on their own heads. 

And there are many other reasons that might lead a woman to be rejected.  Was she too shy? Did she have bad breath? Did she speak too loudly? Did she speak a lot more than she listened? -- etc.  There may still be some organizations that reject women qua women but they would be very rare these days. I have listened to many tales of rejection from women and minorities and it has never been clear to me that the things they complain of are securely attributed.  The possibility of false attribution is not even considered usually.  For an excellent example of false attribution by a feminist, first read this and then this

A common form of misattribution occurs when a meeting is being held to discuss some issue and the contribution of a woman or women present is ignored.  This is routinely taken as contemptuous of women.  It rarely is.  It is usually a polite form of disagreement.  It may be a way of saying, "That raises too many new issues for us to consider here" or it may be to say, "You are way off beam here but we don't like to criticize you for that".   Silence can be a form of politeness.  It is used in lieu of open criticism.  Women need to learn that.  It is a way of conflict minimization that comes naturally to men.  Women have their own methods that come naturally to them

And what about women being kept out of frontline service in the armed forces?. Obama allowed it. Trump has stopped it. Does that refusal express contempt for women?  Far from it.  It expresses an especially high value for women.  The thinking is that a healthy society protects its mothers.  It does not deliberately expose them to danger.  In a war many men may be lost but if the mothers are safe, the men can be replaced.  So, yes, it is discrimination but it is discrimination with a benevolent aim and effect.

And what about some balance?  Are there some men who treat women more favourably than they would a man?  I think to ask that question is to answer it.  Some men may treat women badly just because they have a low view of women generally but many others find women attractive and as a consequence treat women very well.  So are women oppressed overall?  Many men would argue that womenn get unfairly FAVORABLE treatment.

I will not dispute that there were once rather wooden-headed ways that society treated women.  They were discriminated against in access to education etc.  But is that true now?  I can't see it.  A majority of university graduates is now female. By the sort of logic feminists use, that would be evidence that men are now discriminated against and that men should now be angry. Fortunately men in general are more mature than that.  They can "take their lumps".

So I think it is clear that women and their feminist minority may once have been oppressed but they are no longer.  Their hate and anger is unjustified and wrong.  At best, they are living in  the past -- JR

Serena Williams exposes limits of identity politics

Tennis careers are defined by moments. The right shot on the biggest points. The shadow of a ball catching a line instead of falling wide. Finding purpose amid the cacophony. Calming your mind when everyone else is losing theirs.

There was a moment Serena Williams could have altered the course of her US Open final against Naomi Osaka. It wouldn’t have saved the match but she could have salvaged far more.

It came as Williams was seated at the change of ends, a set and a break down. She was furious at the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, for an earlier call he’d made when he had warned her for receiving coaching. Her breathing was ragged. Her blood and a parochial New York crowd was roaring in her ears.

“For you to attack my character, something is wrong, it is wrong’’ she upbraided him. “You are attacking my character. Yes you are. You owe me an apology. You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar.”

She takes a sip of water. It does nothing to sate her.

“When are you going to give me my apology?’’ she continued. “You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. Well then, don’t talk to me. Don’t talk to me.’’

Ramos, an experienced umpire who had tried many times to explain to Williams why he had made the call, took her advice. For 20 long seconds, they sat silently in their respective chairs, staring into the middle of a mutinous Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams nibbled something to eat. She wiped her face with a towel. She searched for composure. This was her moment.

Had Williams said nothing more, picked up her racquet and played out the match, her feud with Ramos would have receded and tennis would have celebrated a new star. Instead, she rose from her chair and delivered Ramos a final, fateful spray. “You stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too.’’

In a US Open final, little goes unseen or unheard. There is no question Williams’s coach was signalling to her during the match. There is no quibble about whether she earned a second code violation for smashing her racquet a few games later. There is no ambiguity about what Williams said to Ramos. The grand slam rule book defines anything that implies dishonesty on the part of an umpire as verbal abuse.

The only question left is why Williams did and said what she did. It is here that reason, common sense and simple observation have been consumed by a pervasive cultural ideology. This, in turn, has exposed the limits of identity politics. A week after Williams sought to portray herself as a victim of sexism, her unlikely cause has been taken up by some of America’s most ardent cultural warriors. Along the way, the facts of what happened in New York have been buried beneath a polemic that reduces Williams, one of the most successful and powerful women in world sport, to the sum of her sexual and racial grievances.

This is how Toni Van Pelt, the president of the National Organisation for Women, describes the interaction between the game’s greatest women’s player and one of its most respected umpires:

“In what was a blatantly racist and sexist move, tennis umpire Carlos Ramos unfairly penalised Serena Williams in an abhorrent display of male dominance and discrimination. This would not have happened if Serena Williams was a man.

“Ramos claimed he was just following the rules, but in actuality, men stretch the rules all the time and are lionised for being ‘bad boys’ while women are benched. This is also a prime example of how racism and sexism are two of the biggest obstacles that black women in America face. NOW is calling on the US Tennis Association to cancel any contracts with Carlos Ramos to umpire tournaments in the future.’’ Van Pelt’s statement picked up where Williams left off in her post-match press conference where, instead of apologising to Ramos, she positioned herself as a champion of women’s rights. In this construct, abuse of an umpire becomes a right to self-expression.

“I have seen other men call other umpires things and I am here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff,’’ Williams said. “The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that wants to express themselves. They want to be a strong woman and they are going to be able to do that because of today.’’

The Williams argument was backed by Katrina Adams, chief executive of the US Tennis Association, the sport’s governing body in America. The women’s tour also sided with Williams. Billie Jean King, a pioneer of the women’s professional tour, accused Ramos of an abuse of power.

By this stage, an unstoppable, irreversible narrative had taken shape. Kimberle Crenshaw, a civil rights advocate, University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia University academic and a leading figure in the US identity politics movement, drew a parallel between Williams being penalised a game and a black woman being pulled over for a busted tail-light.

“If even Serena gets over-­policed, on the world stage, with millions at stake, for the world to see, in a grand slam final, just think (what) happens to many of us every day,’’ she tweeted.

The meltdown became a politically charged hashtag: YouOweMeAnApology. Maxine Beneba Clarke, an Australian author who has written extensively about racism, saw the incident through the same lens. “Maybe Serena got cranky and yelled at an umpire. Or maybe a black woman dared to stand up against two male colleagues in positions of power, about being treated less than fairly, in front of the entire world, and people just don’t like the New World Order,’’ she tweeted.

It took Martina Navratilova, renowned as an independent thinker and straight talker, to question these arguments. Why, in the name of equality, would women wish to be judged according to the worst standards of men? “In fact, this is the sort of behaviour that no one should be engaging in on the court,’’ she wrote in The Washington Post.

The problem here should be apparent to anyone who steps back from their keyboard long enough to consider the actors in this unfortunate drama. Identity politics would have us believe that Ramos, a white man, is in a position of privilege and Williams, a black woman, struggles daily against ­racism and sexism. In any confrontation, Ramos must be the oppressor and Williams the victim. The truth is rather different.

Williams has dominated her sport for nearly 20 years. She has amassed 23 grand slam singles ­titles, just one behind the record of Australia’s Margaret Court. She is the most marketable female athlete on the planet, with a personal wealth recently estimated at $230 million. She earned $2.6m for finishing runner-up to Osaka. Her family and sporting story, from the gangland streets of Compton, California, to centre court at Wimbledon, is known and celebrated across the world. In world tennis and popular culture, she is an influential figure and powerful voice.

Ramos has been an umpire for 40 years. He has umpired men’s finals in all four grand slam tournaments and is described by the International Tennis Federation as one of the most respected umpires in the sport. What does Ramos say about all this? A condition of his ITF contract prevents him from saying anything at all. He has no voice. He was paid $1450 to officiate the women’s final in New York. If there is sexism in tennis, Ramos was a victim of sorts last Saturday; umpires are paid considerably more to officiate in men’s finals than women’s.

Has Serena Williams experienced racism and sexism in tennis? Of course she has. No tennis player has done more to tear down racial barriers in the sport, both real and perceived, than Williams. But consider what took place last Saturday night in New York. A black woman played the daughter of Haitian and Japanese migrants in a stadium named after another black athlete, Arthur Ashe. They played for the same prizemoney as the men. They played before a global television audience. If only all workplaces were so riddled with sexism and racism.

Bella d’Abrera, an author with the Institute of Public Affairs, says this is the weakness of identity politics, a movement that requires every action to be analysed according to race, sex and gender differences. “Even though the evidence tells us and the facts tell us that she is the most powerful sportswoman in the world and clearly not oppressed, they need to stick with this narrative that because she is black she is oppressed,’’ says d’Abrera. “Whatever the truth about how the match went, it is too late now. They have taken this up as their cause.’’

Let’s try to look at what Williams did not as the actions of a black woman but, rather, an ageing tennis player returning to the game after giving birth, chasing an elusive grand slam title to equal Margaret Court’s record.

When Williams was 10 years old, her father, Richard, predicted that Venus Williams would be a grand slam champion and Serena would be even better than her sister. At the time, she didn’t hit the ball as hard as Venus but had an amazing ability to work the angles on a tennis court.

She was also, already, an intensely fierce competitor. “Serena is something like a pet bulldog,’’ Richard Williams explained. “Once she gets a hold of you, she won’t let go.’’

Williams is a remarkable athlete. Beyond the power of her groundstrokes, the speed of her court movement and her punishing serve, she has an unyielding self-belief. This has been critical to her success. It can also manifest in poor sportsmanship. Williams believes every match is hers to win or lose off her own racquet. She gives no thought to the notion that the other woman on court might be better on the day. When she loses, she will often seek to blame instead of crediting an opponent.

Last Saturday in New York, Williams was decisively outplayed by Osaka. The shifting tone of her exchanges with Ramos can be charted against the scoreline. At 3-0 up in the second set, she was courteous and controlled. When she double faulted to give back the break, she smashed her racquet and started to vent against Ramos. By the time Osaka broke serve again to lead 4-3, Williams was in a rage.

It is not the first time New York has seen this side of Williams. In 2009, she stormed off the court after she was penalised a point, on match point, for abusing a lineswoman in her semi-final against Kim Clijsters. “I swear to God I’ll f..king take that ball and shove it down your f..king throat,’’ she reportedly said. In the 2011 US Open final, after Williams lost the first set, she was docked a point for yelling out while her opponent, Sam Stosur, was trying to hit the ball. At a change of ends, she berated the umpire. “You’re a hater and you’re unattractive inside. What a loser.’’

In both these matches, the central chair umpires were women. In both these matches, Williams was well beaten in front of her home fans.

Williams turns 37 this month. Osaka is 20. Margaret Court, who won three grand slam titles in the year she returned to the tour after giving birth, understands as well as anyone the pressure building on Williams. “She knows there are some young ones coming through who are very capable,’’ Court says. “She will be sensing that.’’ Anyone who understands sport should be sensing that as well. The career of Williams is approaching its end. Her greatest fight is not against sexism or racism in her sport, whether real or imagined, but sporting mortality. This is something every athlete must confront, whatever their sex and colour.


Why Sweden’s populist moment matters

The rise of the Sweden Democrats is a blow to Europe’s elites.

The outcome of the parliamentary elections in Sweden represents a significant setback to the Swedish political establishment. Though still the largest party, the Social Democrats suffered their worst electoral result in over a century. Sweden now faces political gridlock as neither the Social Democratic Party nor its centre-right Alliance rivals is in a position to assume power.

The biggest winner of the night was the anti-establishment, right-wing nationalist party, the Sweden Democrats, which increased its vote from 12.9 per cent in the 2014 elections to 18 per cent. More significantly, perhaps, this ‘outsider’, populist party ensured that its political agenda became the focus of debate throughout the election campaign.

What’s happened in Sweden?

Long before voters cast their ballots, the electoral campaign in Sweden had already been transformed into an anti-populist morality play. The Sweden Democrats were accused of harnessing the politics of fear to turn otherwise secondary issues – migration, integration, crime, loss of community cohesion – into the main event. This accusation quickly mutated into scaremongering about the existential threat posed by such an anti-elitist movement. It was a message reinforced by parts of the Western media, which focused almost entirely on the Sweden Democrats. What, wondered incredulous commentators, were Swedish voters thinking? How could they possibly think of voting for unambiguously pro-Swedish, anti-EU nationalists, especially at a time when the Swedish economy is doing so well.

Concerned about the rise of the Sweden Democrats, numerous EU leaders came out in support of Sweden’s Social Democrat-led ruling coalition. French President Emmanuel Macron focused his fire on Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, telling Swedes that ‘[Akesson] is not compliant with your story and your values’. Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, even joined his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Lofven, on the campaign trail. ‘Your economy has grown’, Sanchez told voters, ‘and your government has been on the frontline against all forms of inequality’.

As is the case with almost all elections these days, the elite-dominated media class raised concerns about fake news and Russian trolling. Sweden’s state-run SVT channel made no attempt to hide its hostility towards the Sweden Democrats, taking the unprecedented step of rebuking Akesson after a televised leaders’ debate. Akesson’s crime was to argue that the reason many immigrants cannot find a job is because ‘they are not Swedes’, and have not succeeded in fitting into Sweden. He then called for more opportunities for immigrants both to assimilate into the Swedish way of life and to integrate into the labour market.

The significance of the election

The most important feature of the election was that it exposed the fragile foundation on which the authority and legitimacy of the Swedish political establishment rests. It is important to note that the Social Democratic Party has possessed a virtual monopoly over political and institutional power since 1917. And now it finds itself wrongfooted not by a strong, long-term rival, but by the resource-poor, upstart Sweden Democrats.

The defensive and insecure campaign of the Social Democrats has important implications for the West’s other globalist political leaders. For if there is one party that embodies technocratic managerialism and cosmopolitanism it is the Swedish Social Democrats. It represents the gold standard of illiberal social engineering, otherwise known as political correctness.

In the middle of the 20th century, the Social Democrats’ grim social-engineering project was devoted to the promotion of eugenics. During a near 40-year-long programme, between 1934 and 1970, the Swedish government’s eugenics policy resulted in the sterilisation of between 60,000 and 70,000 women. All in a bid to ‘improve’ Sweden’s ethnic purity. Today the Social Democrat-led coalition has a new crusade: to re-engineer relations between the sexes and, in particular, to rid boys of their masculinity. So, during the election campaign, Gustav Fridolin, co-leader of the Green Party in coalition Social Democrats, promised that, if re-elected, he would ‘reform’ the preschool curriculum to promote gender neutrality. In particular, Fridolin pledged to stop boys behaving like boys. His distrust of boys is justified on the grounds that there is a connection between the naughty behaviour of boys in preschools and ‘men’s behaviour at their workplaces’.

The Social Democrat-led coalition government’s obsession with social-engineering projects such as gender neutrality plays well among international NGOs and cosmopolitan political circles, but less well with ordinary Swedes. The gap between this elite worldview and the cultural and national aspirations of many voters has allowed the Sweden Democrats to move in and expand their influence. As the historian Lars Tragardh explains:

‘A lot of people still think Sweden exists, that citizenship is a legitimate idea and that national community and national culture matter. Like in many Western countries, Sweden has an elite that has overinvested in globalism and underinvested in ordinary politics at the national level – the elite has forgotten that the only democracy we have takes place within the nation state.’

Arguably one of the most significant outcomes of this election is that it has opened up a debate about a hitherto taboo subject – immigration and multiculturalism.

As Jonathan Friedman, a Sweden-based American anthropologist, explains that until recently anyone who raised questions about immigration policy was shut down with the remark, ‘you are a racist’. But thanks to the growing momentum behind the Sweden Democrats’ campaign, many of the other parties have been forced to discuss and debate the immigration issue. At least for now, it will not be possible to de-legitimise attempts to challenge prevailing immigration and integration policies.

The problem of integration

Contrary to hysterical media reports, Swedish citizens, including supporters of the Sweden Democrats, are not hardline xenophobes and racists. They are principally concerned not with immigration, but with multiculturalism and its negative impact on community cohesion. Even many immigrants and their children recognise that far more needs to be done to integrate newcomers in Sweden. The policy of multiculturalism impedes such efforts. Instead, it creates a segregated society in which people lead parallel lives.

Even Ahmed Abdirahman, a Somali-born ‘integration expert’ at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, concedes that the Sweden Democrats’ focus on integration may create an opportunity to forge a greater sense of ‘togetherness’ in Sweden. However, those immigrants who see the downside of multiculturalism are often shunned and silenced.

Take the case of Amineh Kakabaveh, an Iranian-Kurdish ex-Peshmerga fighter who gained asylum in Sweden in the 1990s. Though she is a member of the post-communist Swedish Left Party, and a member of parliament since 2008, she is a vociferous opponent of Sweden’s integration policies. She has been especially vocal in criticising Sweden’s handling of the 400,000 asylum seekers taken in since 2012, including 160,000 in 2015 alone, the highest number in Europe per capita. She argues that the failure to integrate such a large number of immigrants has led to a rise in Islamic fundamentalism in Sweden’s suburbs. Though she dislikes the Sweden Democrats, she recognises that many see the party as ‘heroic because the others don’t rise to the challenge’. But for daring to raise questions about integration, she has been punished by the leaders of the Left Party, who refused to put her on their list of recommended candidates for this weekend’s election.

The experience of Kakabaveh shows that even a self-declared socialist cannot question Sweden’s failed immigration and integration policy without being ostracised by the political establishment.

The beneficiaries of the populist moment

As I have argued previously, the populist moment has arrived. Throughout the Western world, a growing section of the electorate is reclaiming national and popular sovereignty. They want their status as citizens to be taken seriously and not undermined by a globalist elite that regards national loyalties and attachments as a 19th-century hangover.

In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats have been the beneficiaries of the populist moment and the crisis of legitimacy of the mainstream political parties. But who are they?

Critics of the Sweden Democrats have accused them of running a negative electoral campaign. Yet it is precisely opponents of the Sweden Democrats who have proven themselves expert in negative campaigning. They continually drew the electorate’s attention to the fact that when the party was formed 30 years, some of its founders had links with neo-Nazi movements. Yes, some of its founders did have unsavoury pasts, but the Sweden Democrats’ critics ignore the party’s ‘zero-tolerance policy’ on racism and the expulsion of several members and officials for making racist comments on social media.

Moreover, the Sweden Democrats have accepted Sweden’s welfare institutions, although party leaders have remained critical of the social-engineering policies directed at citizens’ family lives. Though its politics are still unformed, many are traditionally associated with a nationalist brand of conservatism. But it is a conservatism with a distinctly 21st-century flavour. For example, the party supports gay rights and sexual freedom.

The most important contribution the Sweden Democrats have made to political life is to draw attention to the importance of encouraging all members of society to become Swedish, both culturally and linguistically. Because unless Sweden learns to integrate its immigrant population, it will face further conflict and disorder

Whether the Sweden Democrats can thrive in post-election Sweden is an open question. But whatever the party’s future prospects, it has succeeded in giving voice to the concerns of many Swedes, who, until now, were scared to question the anti-national outlook of the political establishment. That is one discussion the incoming government will not be able to close down.


Top geneticist claims he can prove a child's character is fixed at birth

Plomin is THE expert on the genetics of IQ and behaviour generally

Now, one of the country’s top psychologists and behavioural geneticists, Professor Robert Plomin, of King’s College London, offers an emphatic conclusion.

It is drawn from 45 years of research and hundreds of studies. He says the single most important factor in each and every one of us — the very essence of our individuality — is our genetic make-up, our DNA.

The basic building blocks of life that we inherit from our parents are what determine who we are — not how much they loved us, read us books or which school they sent us to.

DNA accounts for at least half the variance in people’s psychological traits, much more than any other single factor. Put simply, ‘nature’ trumps ‘nurture’ every time, and not just marginally, but by a long, long chalk.

Our DNA, fixed and unchangeable, determines whether we have a predisposition not just to physical traits — from how tall we are to how much we weigh — but also to our intelligence and our psychology, from a tendency to depression to having resilience and grit.

Plomin’s revolutionary conclusion — outlined in a challenging and thought-provoking new book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are — is a game-changer, he claims, with far-reaching implications for psychology and for society.

He turns much conventional thinking on its head, controversially calling into question many basic assumptions, such as the value of formal education to change people’s lives.

It also undermines the parenting advice industry, the basis of all those groaning shelves of manuals telling us the right way to bring up our children and the disasters that will ensue if we get it wrong.

These sell because every parent wants to think they can make a difference to their child, that they can help him or her with reading and arithmetic or teach them how to be kind or conscientious. But, says Plomin, there’s no hard evidence that this is true.

On the contrary, our ability to read, to learn, to empathise and so on are all ruled primarily by our genes.

Being a tiger mum (or dad) and laying down a strict regime of learning won’t be of the slightest use unless those tendencies already exist in the child’s DNA.

The raw material of our natural selves is what overwhelmingly determines what we can — and cannot — achieve, not how we are brought up. And all those parenting books that promise to deliver developmental outcomes for children are, he maintains, merely ‘peddling snake oil’.

Chicago-born Plomin’s startling conclusions come from two of his long-term studies. Over the course of 40 years, he tracked 250 adopted children in Colorado along with the birth parents who gave them their genes, and the adoptive parents who raised them. After moving to London in 1994, he launched a 20-year study of more than 12,000 pairs of twins.

From these studies, it was possible to unravel the relative importance of genes as opposed to environment when it came to their development.

Millions of pieces of data were amassed from the parents, teachers and the children themselves, about psychological traits such as hyperactivity and inattention, talents such as school achievement and the ability to learn languages, and physical characteristics, such as the propensity to put on weight and become obese.

From all this, he found overwhelming evidence that adopted children are similar to their birth parents, not the parents who raised them. Identical twins (ie, from a single egg and therefore with the same DNA) develop much more similarly to each other as compared with non-identical twins (from separate eggs and with different DNA).

The conclusion was clear — DNA makes us who we are. In the long term, the environment you grow up in has little impact on the way you turn out.

Even stressful life events such as relationship break-ups, financial difficulties and illness don’t have the impact that people generally assume.

In fact, what really matters in such situations is our genes, because it is our genes that determine how well or badly an individual deals with such setbacks. And whether we’re resilient to life’s catastrophes or cave in is determined by our DNA, too.

Take divorce. Even though the children in a family are all affected, how each individual deals with it often differs. It is often harder on one sibling than the other(s) — and that difference is because of their different DNA.

In fact, Plomin argues, there are genetic influences in virtually everything we do. Those differences determine how we perceive and interpret the world we grow up in, and how we modify our behaviour accordingly.

In school, genetic differences in children’s aptitudes and interests, inherited from their parents, affect the extent to which they take advantage of educational opportunities. Similarly, genetic differences in our vulnerability to depression affect the extent to which we interpret experiences we undergo positively or negatively.

The blueprint of our DNA even affects seemingly unrelated events such as road accidents. Car crashes are often caused by reckless driving, driving too fast, taking chances, or driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. Genetic differences in personality can increase the likelihood of accidents happening.

As his research developed over the years, Plomin was taken by surprise by the all-pervasiveness of genetic influences he discovered in almost every aspect of human behaviour — even down to being a nice person or not.

Altruism, caring and kindness are components of what personality researchers call ‘agreeableness’, and for years it seemed logical to him that these traits had to be the result of the environment we live in and the influence of those around us.

But his research showed this was not the case. Being nice is also something in our DNA. The same goes for grit and determination. Nurture and example do not teach some children to be tougher than others, their genes do.

All this leads Plomin to a conclusion that is hard to take: the family, he tells us, far from being the monolithic determinant of who we are, the bedrock from which we learn and grow, actually makes little difference to our personalities and the way we turn out.

There are exceptions.

Abuse, for example, can make huge differences to individuals, but because these instances are comparatively rare they do not alter the general finding that overall it is DNA that rules the roost.

This, too, explains why siblings are often so different in personality and temperament from each other even though they grow up side by side — something that often has parents shaking their heads in frustration. ‘Why can’t you be hard-working like your sister?!’

For example, Boris Johnson, is chaotic and boisterous, a flamboyant extrovert — the opposite of his rather more restrained and quiet little brother, government minister Jo Johnson, though they were brought up in the same household went to the same school and the same college at the same university. This indicates that nature, not nurture, makes the difference

So what, then, is the role of parents if they can’t make much of a difference in their children’s development beyond the genes they provide at conception?

This is, Plomin concedes, a ‘shocking and profound’ issue and many parents will see the suggestion that all their efforts are useless as untrue, insulting even.

After all, they devote their time and love to encouraging their children to learn, to play sport or a musical instrument, to manoeuvre their way through life. Surely that’s not wasted? The answer is that at one level it is, because children are not blobs of clay that can be moulded to their parents’ wishes.

All the parental input in the world can’t make a tone-deaf child musical. Similarly, children who are wired by their DNA to be sporty or artistic will badger their parents to let them pursue their interests.

Parents, he insists, need to realise ‘that they are not carpenters building a child from scratch. They are not even much of a gardener, if that means nurturing and pruning a plant to achieve a certain result.

‘We can try to force our dreams on them, that they become, for example, a world-class pianist or a star athlete. But we are unlikely to be successful unless we go with the genetic grain.’

That, though, still leaves an important role for parents — to find out what their children do well and provide the opportunities for them to do it. What we should not do is try to change them into something they are not.

‘Each child is their own person genetically. We need to recognise and respect their genetic differences. If we go against the grain, we run the risk of damaging our relationship with them.’

This has positives for parents, too, relieving them of the anxiety and guilt piled on them in how-to parenting manuals. ‘These can scare us into thinking that one wrong move can ruin a child for ever.’

Plomin hopes his findings will ‘free parents from the illusion that a child’s future success depends on how hard they push them’.

And the same, he insists, goes for schools — a theory that challenges the principles on which our education system is based.

Schools, he says, matter in that they teach basic skills such as literacy and numeracy. They also dispense fundamental information about history, science, maths and culture. But choice of school makes very little difference to a child’s achievement.

‘Genetics is by far the major source of individual differences in school achievement.’

This suggests we should ignore all those league tables of exam results and Ofsted ratings. Plomin argues that differences in schools have very little effect on outcome.

This conclusion will inevitably trigger a great debate about the comparative merits of selective grammar schools and non-selective comprehensives.

On average, GCSE scores for children in selective schools are a grade higher than in non-selective schools, and this difference is usually assumed to be because selective schools provide better schooling. Genetic research, however, shows that if the best pupils are selected according to the abilities they showed at primary school, they’ll inevitably get better GCSE results.

This is because of who they are, not what they’ve learned in the classroom or the way they’ve been taught.

Those higher grades are simply a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Once you discount genetic factors, generally speaking there is little difference between school achievement at age 11 and GCSE results at 16.

The ‘value added’ — a measure used by many top schools — turns out to be very small.

What all schools should aspire to, he maintains, is to be places where children can learn to enjoy learning for its own sake, rather than frenetically teaching pupils to pass the exams that will improve the school’s standing in league tables.

Not that the influence of our DNA is confined to our early years when we’re growing up.

Indeed, Plomin shows that it gets stronger as we get older. More and more, we revert to type. Yes, other factors impact on us, such as our relationships with partners, children and friends, our jobs and interests. All contribute to give life meaning.

But they don’t fundamentally change who we are psychologically — our personality, our mental health and our cognitive abilities. Good and bad things happen to us, but eventually we rebound to our genetic trajectory. Many people, Plomin acknowledges, will be aghast at his ‘bold conclusion’.

It seems to make us automatons, devoid of free will, victims of our DNA. And, indeed, this level of determinism could be an excuse for apathy, a refusal to take responsibility for oneself: ‘Not my fault, guv, it’s my genes!’

However, he categorically rejects this notion. Just because you have a genetic propensity to put on weight, for example, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to lose some pounds. You may have the devil inside you, but you can keep it at bay.

Plomin found that his own genetic mapping threw up a surprise. ‘I am genetically predisposed to put on the pounds and find it hard to lose them. ‘It means I can’t let my guard down and, in those weak moments, give in to those siren snacks in the cupboard whispering to me.’

The same applies to anyone with a genetic propensity to depression, learning disabilities or alcohol abuse.

‘Genes are not destiny,’ says Plomin. You don’t have to succumb.

There was a telling example this week when former England captain Alastair Cook retired from Test cricket. In tribute, commentator Mike Atherton declared: ‘He made himself the best player he could be; he extracted every last ounce of his talent.’

Plomin’s radical new world may force us to bow to our genetic limits but, on the plus side, it will encourage us, like Alastair Cook, to do the best we can with the talents we’ve been given.



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 September, 2018

That "leptokurtic" really is important

Grumble, grumble.  In my attempts yesterday to explain why the distribution of female IQ is narrower than for males, I approached it from the wrong angle.  I followed Ted Hill's approach and tried to explain the male distribution rather than the female distribution.  That was crazy and I want to point out why.

The normal or Gaussian distribution is a mathematical construct which shows most instances of anything as being clustered around the mean (average).  A remarkable thing about it, however, is that most natural phenomena tend to scatter in that pattern.  The normal distribution really is normal!

A normal distribution is however rather "fat".  It covers a fair range.  There is a pic of one below

And male IQ follows that pattern fairly closely.  The female IQ does not quite follow that pattern, however.  It is leptokurtic, meaning narrower.  It is not so spread out. See the example below:

So we don't have to explain the male distribution.  It is normal.  What we have to explain is why the female distribution is narrower. And that seems fairly easy to me.  No algebra is required! As I said yesterday, men are very uniform in what they like in a woman.  A lot of it is physical: Long legs, a slim figure, some bosom, long hair etc. If a lady with those characteristics is kind to a man he will be in love! And high IQ in a woman is not a big priority for men. It may even be a negative for some.

So women have evolved to maximize the fairly narrow range of things that men like, with other characteristics falling by the wayside -- including IQ.  Men have made women less varied.  Won't the feminists like to hear that!

So how does male selectivity explain the low frequency of really dumb women?  That is pretty straightforward.  Men require some minimal level of IQ in order to find a woman attractive.  So women below that level will not mate and not reproduce.  Men have also set the lower bound of female intelligence

So how do we account for the fact that dumb men seem to proliferate without restriction?  Should not the general female preference for high IQ cause such men to die out? I dealt with that yesterday but I think I should repeat my remarks here for the sake of convenience. 

The fact that low IQ women are often FAT comes into it a lot in our society but the handicaps that low IQ women have will of course vary from society to society.

In summary, I think we have to conclude that quite dumb men can still be of some use to some women. How?  In all mate selection, what you will overlook as well as what you get is important. And some women will apparently overlook low IQ.  I suspect that it is a simple case of similarities attracting.  Low IQ women will be attracted to low IQ men even if the IQ levels are not exactly the same.  Low IQ women take what they can get in order to reproduce and low IQ men get some acceptance that way.  The very strong female urge to have babies drowns out other considerations. And that is in fact one thing we do clearly know about low IQ women:  They do have lots of babies.  And it is their babies that pump up the low IQ male population

So we have to look not only at what men and women like but also what they will do without.   I remember a related phenomenon well.  I have done a lot of things in my life and I once ran a large boarding house in a poor area.  It was very instructive in a number of ways, not all of them bad. 

And one thing I remember is the partnerships I observed among my clientele and their friends.  In particular, I observed that even pumpkin-shaped women had partners.  Fat is a huge social handicap so how did they manage that?  By being very tolerant, by overlooking a lot.  Their partner might be a boozy, smoky, scrawny loser but he was a male -- and the pair did seem to be reasonably supportive of one-another most of the time.  Both were aware of their low level of attractiveness and felt glad to have someone, anyone, in their lives of the opposite sex.


A reader offers another explanation:  "I believe the simple explanation for the narrower range of females in general is to do with the XX chromosomes they have. There are relatively less genes on the male Y chromosome than the X.  In many cases this means men have nothing to balance any bad genes on the X Chromosome they get from their mother. Basically this means men get to throw one die whereas women get to throw two.  The distribution reflects this"

Catholic Bishop: 'The Vast Majority of the Abusers are Homosexuals'

Contrary to the spin by the liberal media, the overwhelming majority of sexual abusers in the Catholic Church are homosexual priests, said Catholic Bishop Marian Eleganti in a recent statement.

Eleganti is the auxiliary bishop of Chur, Switzerland, and he posted his statement about the ongoing scandal in the Church on his Facebook page on Sept. 5. It is translated there and an English translation was also published by LifeSiteNews.com.

As the bishop explains, "The John Jay Report of 2010 concerning the sexual abuse in the Church in the U.S. shows that, in the time range of the last 60 years, 81% of the victims were male. Therefore, the vast majority of the abusers are homosexuals. The Final Report of the [Australian] Royal Commission of the year 2017 has come to similar results."

"These are facts which may not be discussed in public, they are a taboo to which many leaders in the Church now bow down, pointing instead to clericalism as the root problem of the phenomenon," said Bishop Eleganti.  "No one denies that clericalism plays a role, but nevertheless it is in the Church proven that the abusers are mainly homosexual."

"The silencing of this fact is an additional form of cover-up which unfortunately is being committed also by Church representatives in Switzerland," he said.  "Whoever speaks about this fact in public, is being defamed and psycho-pathologized as being a homophobe."

He continued, "In a document published in 2016, Pope Francis maintains not to accept into the seminaries practicing homosexuals, men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies, nor those who support the so-called 'homosexual culture.' This instruction had already been established in 2005 by Pope Benedict."

"I expect that those responsible in the Church will follow this instruction and take actions accordingly," said the bishop.  "Part of it is the public admittance that in the clergy of the Church, we have been dealing for decades now with mainly homosexual criminals."

"With all respect toward people with a homosexual inclination who do not commit any sexual assaults, it does not help to close the eyes in front of the facts when dealing with sexual assaults," he said.  "Without full transparency and truthfulness, there will be no credible investigation, nor any effective prevention."

That the homosexual subculture in the Catholic Church is the fundamental source of the abuse problems is well documented. Numerous bishops and lay person have commented on this fact but it is a politically incorrect phenomenon that the leftist media and the homosexuals in the Church do not want to discuss.


Pennsylvania Agency Goes Around Legislature to Impose Gender Ideology

A Pennsylvania agency has made an end run around citizens to impose gender ideology.

Last month, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission released new guidance reinterpreting the category of “sex” in state anti-discrimination law to include “sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender transition, and/or gender expression.”

The commission circumvented the state Legislature, which never added categories like sexual orientation and gender identity into law, thereby circumventing voters as well.

This new policy could significantly curtail the First Amendment rights of citizens, as a similar policy has already done in Philadelphia.

But what does this change in policy mean for the average Pennsylvanian?

Look no further than what is happening to adoption agencies in Philadelphia.

Back in March, Philadelphia put out an urgent call for 300 families to provide foster care to help the flood of children coming into the system due to the opioid crisis. Just a few days later, the city halted the child placements of Catholic Social Services.

The reason? To investigate whether Catholic Social Services had violated the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance, a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity—categories that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission now considers to be “built in” to the definition of sex in state anti-discrimination law.

Catholic Social Services, like many other religious adoption agencies, opts to place children in homes with both a mother and a father in accord with their religious convictions.

Now, the city is effectively shutting down Catholic Social Services for its beliefs about marriage and the family. As a result, several hundred children will be displaced and the city will have one less agency available to meet the dire needs of the city’s children.

In response to concerns that similar incidents of hostility toward religion might happen across the state, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission argued that citizens would have recourse to Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Protection Act.

Yet given the situation in Philadelphia, the commission should not be so confident that the religious rights of citizens will be respected by the government.

The agency shutdown in Philadelphia gets at the heart of why expanding anti-discrimination law to include categories like sexual orientation and gender identity so often poses a threat to citizens’ First Amendment rights. Oftentimes, these laws conflate disagreements over sexuality and marriage with discrimination, and stigmatize traditional beliefs as bigoted.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission committed this very fallacy when it responded to the concerns of citizens who were concerned about free exercise.

The commission described their concerns thus: “Commenters who believe their religion gives them the right to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and/or believe businesses should be able to discriminate in hiring and service based on the owner’s religious beliefs.”

The very phrasing of this text presumes that what is at stake in these conflicts is a “right to discriminate.”

However, as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion for Obergefell v. Hodges, many people who uphold the traditional view of marriage do so “based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises.”

Not every disagreement over controversial issues like marriage and gender identity is discrimination. In most of these disputes, at stake is citizens’ First Amendment right not to be compelled to communicate messages that violate their religious or moral beliefs.

As LGBT advocate Andrew Koppelman notes, blanket denial of service for LGBT people is rare. He states:

Hardly any of these cases have occurred: a handful in a country of 300 million people. In all of them, the people who objected to the law were asked directly to facilitate same-sex relationships, by providing wedding, adoption, or artificial insemination services, counseling, or rental of bedrooms. There have been no claims of a right to simply refuse to deal with gay people.

The commission is wrong to assume that religious concerns deal with a “right to discriminate.”

The commission is also wrong to assume the government will apply these laws in a neutral, unbiased manner. Look at what is happening to Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado.

Phillips just scored a major win for religious liberty at the Supreme Court, which found that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown manifest hostility toward his Christian beliefs about marriage when it ordered him to create custom cakes for same-sex weddings.

However, Phillips is now in court again, this time for declining to create a cake celebrating an individual’s gender transition.

“The state is doubling down on its hostility against my beliefs, even though that’s what the Supreme Court said they couldn’t do,” Phillips said. “It seems I’m the only person in the state of Colorado who can’t live out my beliefs.”

All of this controversy is entirely unnecessary. Anti-discrimination laws can and should be interpreted in a way that protects people from unfair discrimination on the basis of their identity. They should not be used instead as a weapon to target people for their beliefs.

That is what is happening to Catholic Charities and Phillips—and now might become a part of the political landscape across Pennsylvania.

This new guidance in Pennsylvania simultaneously undermines the role of state legislators by robbing them of the power to legislate on such matters and threatens the rights of average Pennsylvanians.

Lawmakers should continue to oppose the legislative counterparts to this new guidance—House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 613—and citizens should make their voices heard when it comes to the dangers of this kind of policy.

Until formal changes can take place, the commission should maintain the distinction between disagreements and discrimination when applying state anti-discrimination law.

Pennsylvanians must remain free to disagree on controversial topics like marriage and human sexuality. It is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to respect that freedom.


No basis to bias science

I have been pointing to the invalidity of the IAT for years

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training (UBT) courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test?

The course uses the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT), which employs image and word association to determine the level of ‘unconscious bias’ an individual has towards those of a different race, sex, and so on. My colleague Dr Jeremy Sammut highlighted the socially destructive nature of this test, but the origins themselves are equally disturbing.

The IAT was introduced into the scientific literature in 1998 by researchers Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee and Jordan Schwartz. However, not only does the test suffer a replicability problem — meaning that some of the results have not been successfully replicated — a number of psychologists have come out and challenged its efficacy.

A 2009 report by psychology professor Hart Blanton demonstrates the evidence between IAT scores and real world behaviour is virtually non-existent. A Kirwan Institute Study on implicit bias found such tests can be damaging because the range of responses are limited. And a paper published by Gregory Mitchell and Philip Tetlock argue the claims made by proponents of the IAT are exaggerated, and the test fails to consider alternative factors that could influence an individual’s responses.

After the IAT was introduced in 1998, many private companies such as McDonalds and Google started teaching their employees about unconscious bias. But now, in the era of diversity bureaucracy, the adoption of pseudo-scientific programs that place feelings over facts has sadly also become the new norm for taxpayer funded institutions.

The Australian Public Service Commission dedicates a page to ‘unconscious bias.’ The Queensland Government claims the IAT can be used to bring awareness to organisational and individual biases. And many more government agencies now cite ‘unconscious bias’ in their diversity programs.

The idea that a government agency would want to test the unconscious thoughts of its employees and try to change them, is disturbing enough. But when a test is this flawed, it is also an egregious waste of taxpayer money.


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 September, 2018

The leptokurtic distribution of IQ in women is due to sexual selection

OK.  I will translate that into plain English.  The academic article below has become immensely controversial because of foolish feminist attempts to suppress it (They have in fact assured it of widespread attention) -- so I will just try to translate the controversial part.

For a start, I disagree with the article.  I think it assumes what it has to prove.  It starts with what may be a true premise: That women in general are fussy maters.  They are much more fussy than men about who they will partner with long term. That's the "sexual selection" part.

And the "leptokurtic" part refers to the fact that female IQ scores tend to be bunched around the average, with few very dumb women and few very bright women when compared to men.  That's the bit that fires feminists up with rage. That there are fewer women than men at the top of the IQ range is totally against their ideology.  They are, however, barking at the moon in their rage -- because the leptokurtic distribution of IQ among females has been found repeatedly for around 100 years.  It is as firm a finding as any in science.  It is a fact and no objecting to it will make it go away.  So they are wasting their breath in condemning it.

But, given the finding, where do we go from there?  The theory below is heavily mathematical and I cheerfully admit that I am a mathematical dunce.  I get by but only barely. So, maybe I have got the theory below all wrong, but what I get from it is that women will only accept the upper end of male desirability.  Low desirability males will never find a reproductive partner.  The theory then goes on to assume that desirable men come from a more varied distribution and that mating with them will reinforce that varied distribution.

That seems nuts to me.  As far as I can see, the only effect of women discriminating heavily in favour of desirable men should be to raise the average level of desirability.

The authors below set out their basic premise as follows:

"In a species with two sexes A and B, both of which are needed for reproduction, suppose that sex A is relatively selective, i.e., will mate only with a top tier (less than half ) of B candidates. Then from one generation to the next, among subpopulations of B with comparable average attributes, those with greater variability will tend to prevail over those with lesser variability. Conversely, if A is relatively non-selective, accepting all but a bottom fraction (less than half ) of the opposite sex, then subpopulations of B with lesser variability will tend to prevail over those with comparable means and greater variability"

So I think their very starting point is wrong.  Where they say: "those with greater variability will tend to prevail over those with lesser variability", I would say that "variability will gradually decline".  I would be delighted if someone could explain where I am wrong.

So let me set out my own theory. It also has its difficulties, as we will see, but I think it explains more.  It seems to me that although some women are very picky -- to the point of not finding a mate until they are past childbirth -- they are very diverse in what they are picky about -- which is something of a Godsend for us men.  It gives hope to us all.

Although there are some things that are generally popular among women -- tall, well-built men with smooth skin tend to have an easy ride -- there is a variety of views in women about what is important.  Some women, for instance rather despise the "Jock" stereotype and go for more "sensitive" men. And a really big factor in mate selection is getting similar levels of IQ. Few women can tolerate a man who is dumber than them, for instance.  They mostly want one who is as bright or brighter. They may be unaware that they are looking for intelligence but the things they do consciously look for are often correlated with higher intelligence -- higher income, better education, better health  etc.  And lots of "defects" will be tolerated by a high IQ woman if that is the only way she can get a high IQ man.  That is my theory about how I managed to get married four times!

A man, on the other hand, is much more uniform in what he likes in a woman.  A lot of it is physical:  long legs, a slim figure, some bosom, long hair etc. If a lady with those characteristics is kind to him he will be in love.

So, in sum, my simple theory is that men are more diverse than women because women are more diverse than men in what they will accept in a mate. And a lot of women like a higher IQ in a man, whereas high IQ in a woman is not a big priority for men. It may even be a negative for some.

My theory would even account for men being taller.  If you have ever got to know short men to any extent you will be aware of how irate they are that most women look right over their heads.  That makes them determined that their sons will not be so "handicapped".  And the only way they can have tall sons is to get a tall woman as a mate.  So they go all-out for that, regardless of most other criteria.

It ends up that you often see a dapper short man with a rather odd looking lady -- but one with long legs.  If a woman is tall she will always be able to get a mate -- even if he is a bit short.  So there is heavy sexual selection for tallness in men.  Female long-leg genes get attached to whatever genes short men have.  Short men tend not to have short sons

But now we come to the difficulty I alluded to at the outset.  How do we account for the fact that DUMB men also proliferate?  Should not the female preference for high IQ cause such men to die out?

I think we have to conclude that dumb men are of some use to some women. How?  In all mate selection, what you will overlook as well as what you get is important. And some women will apparently overlook low IQ.  I suspect that it is a simple case of similarities attracting.  Low IQ women will be attracted to low IQ men even if the IQ levels are not exactly the same.  Low IQ women take what they can get in order to reproduce and low IQ men get some acceptance that way.  The very strong female urge to have babies drowns out other considerations. And that is in fact one thing we do clearly know about low IQ women:  They do have lots of babies.  And it is their babies that pump up the low IQ male population

So we have to look not only at what men and women like but also what they will do without.   I remember a related phenomenon well.  I have done a lot of things in my life and I once ran a large boarding house in a poor area.  It was very instructive in a number of ways, not all of them bad. 

And one thing I remember is the partnerships I observed among my clientele and their friends.  In particular, I observed that even pumpkin-shaped women had partners.  Fat is a huge social handicap so how did they manage that?  By being very tolerant, by overlooking a lot.  Their partner might be a boozy, smoky, scrawny loser but he was a male -- and the pair did seem to be reasonably supportive of one-another most of the time.  Both were aware of their low level of attractiveness and felt glad to have someone, anyone, in their lives of the opposite sex.

And in case what I have just said sounds too derogatory, I must also note that they were all fairly pleasant people, at least while sober.  They had a relaxed attitude to life that many smarter people could well learn from.

There is however a remaining difficulty in my theory. What I have so far proposed would seem to imply that the male offspring of low IQ women will take after their father while the female offspring of low IQ women will take after the slightly higher IQ of the mother.  But it doesn't work like that.  Children can take after either parent.  So am I back to square 1 in explaining the lesser variance in female IQ?  It looks like it.  My theory accounts for a lot but something more is needed.

Abstract only below.  Full article at the link

An Evolutionary Theory for the Variability Hypothesis

Theodore P. Hill


An elementary mathematical theory based on “selectivity” is proposed to address a question raised by Charles Darwin, namely, how one gender of a sexually dimorphic species might tend to evolve with greater variability than the other gender. Briefly, the theory says that if one sex is relatively selective then from one generation to the next, more variable subpopulations of the opposite sex will tend to prevail over those with lesser variability; and conversely, if a sex is relatively non-selective, then less variable subpopulations of the opposite sex will tend to prevail over those with greater variability. This theory makes no assumptions about differences in means between the sexes, nor does it presume that one sex is selective and the other non-selective. Two mathematical models are presented: a discrete-time one-step statistical model using normally distributed fitness values; and a continuous-time deterministic model using exponentially distributed fitness levels.


Arresting women for their crimes isn’t sexist – it’s justice

The discrimination industry seems to dwell in a fantasy world we could simply refer to as “Alt Reality”. In this fantasy world, equal positive outcomes for females or blacks are a sign of progress, but equal negative outcomes are a sign of sexism or racism. Facts are entirely irrelevant to the narrative that white men are always powerful and privileged and therefore always the oppressors of people who are not white or male.

The myth of “the patriarchy” is easily evidenced – in their minds – by the fact that more men choose higher paying careers, are more likely to assertively negotiate promotions and pay rises, and less likely to take several years off in their twenties and thirties for family reasons. They call it the “gender pay gap” and completely fail to account for the possibility that empowered and independent women may actually prefer and freely choose careers that aren’t as financially profitable such as the human services sector or homemaking. Women voluntarily often have several less years industry-specific experience by age 30 due to the whole womb and breastfeeding gender differences, and are also generally more agreeable to lower if reasonable offers when negotiating.

The reality of the differences between men and women is entirely lost on the discrimination industry, and therefore they are free to misrepresent this reality as the deliberately malicious construct of a white male-dominated society determined to subjugate the perpetual victims of every minority group and the intersectional members thereof.

Also lost on these unicorn-chasers is the complete failure of “the patriarchy” to remedy the fact that men account for 99.9 per cent of combat deaths, 94 per cent of workplace deaths, 76 per cent of homicide victims, 75 per cent of successful suicides, 71 per cent of homelessness and 93 per cent of prison populations. If they were inclined to logical consistency they would call this evidence of the “feminarchy”. But they don’t, because equality of outcome is not a sincere pursuit, just a slogan useful for emotional manipulation of people unwilling to think for themselves.

Take for example yesterday’s Daily Telegraph report:

"A Sydney law lecturer and a feminist lawyer have blamed sexist cops and judicial officers for the rise in women being arrested for violent crimes.

The pair said that the number of women being arrested for domestic violence offences was increasing five times faster than male figures, blaming the increase on “pervasive systemic gender bias”."

I’d like to posit a different theory of why there’s a rise in women being arrested for violent crimes. I think it’s less to do with “sexist cops and judicial officers” and could possibly be because women are committing violent crimes. I know the feminists and Sydney Uni academics may find this incredibly hard to comprehend, but there’s a historical correlation between violent crimes and arrests for violent crimes that does suggest at least some causation.

My next premise may also cause all kinds of cognitive dissonance for the esteemed professionals at the Feminist Legal Clinic, but I suspect there may even be – finally – an increasing rate of equal outcomes in investigations of domestic violence offences. Either that, or there’s an increase in the rate of those offences by women. To conclude that the increases cannot be the responsibility of the women involved but is solely attributable to “pervasive systemic gender bias” is manifestly misandrist in itself.

The only arguments offered in defence of their improbable conclusion are the usual lyrics to the discrimination industry choruses that stereotype men as chronic abusers and women as powerless victims. They even whined about the equality of a system not discriminating between men and women:

This approach [not discriminating] fails to acknowledge the distinct characteristics of female defendants and the inherent dynamics of domestic violence — including women’s lower reoffending rates, their histories of trauma, increased suffering in custody and greater caregiving responsibilities.

Ms Kerr told The Daily Telegraph the police and judiciary lacked understanding of power imbalances in domestic violence cases.

“The significant disparities in physical strength and resources between parties are not being taken into account.”

Hang on – wasn’t equality (and by “equality”, they always mean equal outcomes) precisely what feminists have been demanding for decades? If they really believe all discrimination is always bad, then isn’t it a tad hypocritical and insincere to now point out the obviously universal differences in addition to the contextually subjective ones?

Yes, women have distinct characteristics including greater caregiving responsibilities and less physical strength. So do these feminists and academics finally agree the gender wage gap is a myth easily explained by obviously universal differences? No, because they dwell in “Alt Reality” where only men are chronic abusers and empowered women never choose to be full-time mothers.

I’m all for equality under the law. So if these toxic post-first wave feminists really want equality of outcome let’s hear them advocating for equality in combat and workplace deaths, homicides and successful suicides, homelessness and, yes: prison populations. If not, they’re just nagging and should simply be ignored.


It’s shameful what US Open did to Naomi Osaka

She wasn't black enough.  Asians don't count

Naomi Osaka, 20 years old, just became the first player from Japan to win a Grand Slam.

Yet rather than cheer Osaka, the crowd, the commentators and US Open officials all expressed shock and grief that Serena Williams lost.

Osaka spent what should have been her victory lap in tears. It had been her childhood dream to make it to the US Open and possibly play against Williams, her idol, in the final.

It’s hard to recall a more unsportsmanlike event.

Here was a young girl who pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever, who fought for every point she earned, ashamed.

At the awards ceremony, Osaka covered her face with her black visor and cried. The crowd booed her. Katrina Adams, chairman and president of the USTA, opened the awards ceremony by denigrating the winner and lionizing Williams — whose ego, if anything, needs piercing.

“Perhaps it’s not the finish we were looking for today,” Adams said, “but Serena, you are a champion of all champions.” Addressing the crowd, Adams added, “This mama is a role model and respected by all.”

That’s not likely the case now, not after the world watched as Serena Williams had a series of epic meltdowns on the court, all sparked when the umpire warned her: No coaching from the side. Her coach was making visible hand signals.

“I don’t cheat to win,” Williams told him. “I’d rather lose.”

She couldn’t let it go, going back multiple times to berate the umpire. At one point she called him a thief.

“You stole a point from me!” she yelled.

After her loss, Williams’s coach admitted to ESPN that he had, in fact, been coaching from the stands, a code violation. The warning was fair.

Everything that followed is on Williams, who is no stranger to tantrums. Most famously, she was tossed from the US Open in 2009 after telling the line judge, “I swear to God I’ll take the f—king ball and shove it down your f—king throat.” John McEnroe was taken aback. Even Williams’s mother, Oracene Price, couldn’t defend her daughter’s outburst.

Serena has mother of all meltdowns in US Open final loss
“She could have kept her cool,” Price said.

On Saturday, she also could have tried to be gracious in defeat. No matter how her fans try to spin this, Williams was anything but. Upon accepting her finalist award, she gave parsimonious praise to her competitor while telling the crowd she felt their pain.

“Let’s try to make this the best moment we can,” she said in part, “and we’ll get through it . . . let’s not boo anymore. We’re gonna get through this and let’s be positive, so congratulations, Naomi.”

Osaka accepted her trophy while choking back tears. She never smiled. When asked if her childhood dream of playing against Williams matched the reality, she politely sidestepped the question.

“I’m sorry,” Osaka said. “I know that everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this.”

She turned to Williams. “I’m really grateful I was able to play with you,” Osaka said. “Thank you.” She bowed her head to Williams, and Williams just took it — no reciprocation, no emotion.

Osaka, a young player at the beginning of her career, showed grit, determination and maturity on that court and off.

She earned that trophy. Let’s recall that this wasn’t Osaka’s first victory over Williams — she beat Williams back in March, causing a hiccup in that great comeback narrative.

Osaka earned her moment as victor at the US Open, one that should have been pure joy. If anything was stolen during this match, it was that.


Attack of the Offendotrons: Tyranny of the Flash Mob

by Helen Dale

It’s impossible to ignore the story of Greig Tonkins, the Taronga Park zookeeper who punched a giant roo to save his dog.

However, the aftermath — where animal activists and offendotrons of various stripes mobbed him and tried to get him sacked, ultimately necessitating police involvement — was, if anything, more extraordinary.

These days, it seems people will be sacked from their job — with their life and that of their family ruined — if they do something a big enough and loud enough mob doesn’t like.

Somehow, we’ve decided it’s reasonable to consign people to unemployment and poverty over trivialities: how a zookeeper spends his weekends, dressing in bad taste, donations to a charity considered non-U in certain parts.

Maybe it’s because tarring and feathering is illegal.

We seem to have forgotten that employees are allowed to be ‘ordinary members of the public’ — people are not automatons and not the property of their employers. One of the union movement’s achievements was preventing employers from policing their employees’ extracurricular activities, as long as those activities were legal.

Granted, there are things wrong with modern trade unions, but I think stopping the Company from sacking a miner because he’s secretary of the local Labour Party branch is a good thing.

I mean, the list is getting rather long. Tim Hunt, Brendan Eich, Justine Sacco, remember them? Remember when Clementine Ford got a bloke sacked because he called her a slut? Remember when legions of whingers reduced Matt Taylor to tears for committing the heinous crime of wearing a paint shirt gone terribly, terribly wrong in public?

It’s well known the offendotron phenomenon started on the left. I experienced an early version 20 years ago. Nonetheless, social media mobbing has become thoroughly bipartisan — even Donald Trump has joined in with glee, lining up union leaders and Twitter interlocutors from what is surely the world’s biggest bully pulpit.

Yes, being called a slut or exposed to uncontrolled experiments in dreadful fashion is unpleasant, but by the same token if I had a buck for every rude word I’ve been called since turning 18 (since everyone is roundly abused at school I’ll leave that out), I’d have bought my own Caribbean island by now. Sane people get over it.

Mobs are historically salient. It’s not so long ago that ‘lynch mob’ was more than metaphor. Righteousness — the belief that moral correctness of belief and action is so pressing and important that it transcends law and custom — is dangerous even in isolated individuals. When it infects a mob, it threatens everyone and everything in its path.

This, at least, has been known for a while, partly because it’s psychologically satisfying for those who indulge. Aldous Huxley observed that the surest way to work up a crusade in favour of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behaviour “righteous indignation” — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.

We need to pull the offendotrons up short. They’re undermining civil society, wrecking lives, and making it impossible for people to maintain any distinction between public and private life.

That said, it’s worth investigating why long-established principles — like not mistaking employees for their employer unless they are directly engaged in the performance of duties for their employer — are under threat.

Oxford philosopher Jeffrey Ketland points out mobs amplify their power or strength in three ways. First, they use social media to increase their number, a form of proxy recruitment; second, they deliberately seek institutional power in universities, corporate HR departments, and unions; and third, they generate emotional and moralistic outrage about trivialities because humans are prone to instantaneous, furious responses. The individual who says ‘ask me what I think tomorrow’ is rare.

Combined, Dr Ketland’s three elements strengthen mobbers’ ability to punish their target. Ordinary liberal constraints that have long protected individuals against mobs — accuracy or evidence, or notions of individual justice and procedural fairness — are rendered irrelevant.

This makes mobbing near impossible to resist, as huge asymmetries of power mean the victim can almost never escape or fight back. An individual may defend himself from a single person, or perhaps three or four. No individual can defend himself from a mob of 1000 or more. Small wonder companies, universities, political parties, and associations buckle.

Even Taronga Zoo — although it commendably resisted the offendotrons and kept Mr Tonkins in post — conceded to the tyrannical flash mob that descended on him that it ‘strongly opposes the striking of animals and does not support the practice of using dogs to hunt’ and that it ‘continue[s] to work with Mr Tonkins on his conduct in regards to this incident’.

Excuse me, but hunting wild boar with dogs is legal, and not just legal — many conservationists positively endorse it. Pigs are pest animals in Australia and not only very dangerous but extraordinarily destructive of native wildlife and habitat.

John Stuart Mill famously spoke of two constraints on freedom. The first is the obvious one, when the State exerts control by passing laws against speech or conduct at the behest of the ‘tyranny of the majority’.

The second is less obvious, but Mill believed it to be just as dangerous. ‘There needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling,’ he argued, ‘against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent’.

Mill also argued fixing the second is not the State’s role — ‘there ought to be a law’ is fraught with unintended consequences. It’s a job for civil society. The only way to head mobs off at the pass is for individuals and institutions to resist them. And at least some of the time, this will involve extending two fingers and making a vertical movement.



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

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

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


12 September, 2018

First ‘red heifer’ born in Israel for 2000 years triggers Armageddon fears

A BIBLE prophecy predicting the End of Days is feared to come true after the first “red heifer in 2000 years” was born in Israel.

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the calf’s birth on YouTube, saying it would undergo “extensive examination” to determine if it is red all over.

According to The Sun, if the female baby cow is found to be “blemish free”, the Institute will declare that the calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world”.

In both Christianity and Judaism, the red heifer is central to the prediction about the “end of times”. After sacrificing the red cow, construction can begin on the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple Institute and other groups worldwide were set up with the goal of building the Third Temple on Mount Moriah, or on the Temple Mount.

The red heifer (also known as the red cow) was a cow brought to priests for sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. Jewish and Christian fundamentalists believe that once a red heifer is born they will be able to rebuild the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But in order to do this, they would have to demolish what stands on the hill today — the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic holy temple.

In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, once the Temple is rebuilt the world will welcome the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Humanity will then face the Last Judgment. Everyone who was moral and believed in God will have the privilege of having their name written in the Book of Life. Everyone whose name isn’t in there will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8)

But some theologians say the building of the Third Temple is linked to ‘Judgement Day’ or the “end of times”.

This apocalyptic event will bring what Christians call “the rapture” — where all Christian believers (living and dead) will rise into the sky and join Christ.

The fate of nonbelievers isn’t quite so promising. For them the rapture means everlasting punishment of their souls in hell.

Rabbi Chain Richman, director of the Institute, believes the time is ripe to build the Third Temple, following the birth of the red heifer.


Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility

A current school of thought urges a legal approach to stop public companies becoming involved in politically-contentious social debates via the means of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) that are only faintly, if at all, related to their business.

The thinking is that company directors and senior managers may be breaching their duty to shareholders under the Corporations Act, and abusing company’s commercial powers and resources, by failing to “pursue only the proper purposes of the company and to maximise profits within reason.”

The first problem with this approach, as explained in my new report Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility: Preventing politicisations – and preserving pluralism – in Australian business, is that (in general) CSR is legal.

Under existing company law, corporate decision-makers have a wide discretion over the consideration of non-shareholder interests, so long as the proper purpose is to protect shareholder’s interests in general.

The second problem is that even if the courts deemed CSR illegal — probably via protracted and expensive litigation — this outcome would be counter-productive.

The burgeoning CSR industry — consisting of the multitude of ‘social responsibility’ managers and consultants employed across the corporate landscape — is pushing for greater corporate involvement in politics, by urging government action to introduce mandatory CSR laws.

Such laws would revolutionise company law and corporate governance, by explicitly defining the competing and conflicting non-shareholder interests that directors could consider.

Such a regime would leave directors effectively unaccountable to shareholders — and would make the current level of corporate meddling in all kinds of social and political debates just the tip of the iceberg. .

The fear is that if a legal challenge to CSR succeeded, this would only fuel the campaign for mandatory CSR laws.

All things being equal in the present politically-correct political environment, this campaign would more than likely succeed, and give the CSR industry what it wants — a license to play politics with shareholder’s money.

Because the legalistic approach to curbing CSR is fraught with danger, this issue can be best addressed through the existing channels of corporate governance.

However, the major problem is that corporate leaders looking to push back against the ‘social responsibility’ trend are not currently guided by any alternative set of principles, policies or institutional framework to counter the well-established CSR doctrines and structures across business.

That’s why my report has proposed introducing a new principle into the language and practice of corporate governance, which would overly qualify existing CSR philosophies.

The ‘Community Pluralism Principle’ would remind directors and senior managers of the need to ensure that company involvement in social debates does not politicise their brands and reputations.

Inserting this principle into company constitutions — or into the Australian Stock Exchange’s good corporate governance standards — would also empower corporate decision-makers to ensure that companies remain pluralistic institutions that respect, reflect and serve the whole community equally

This means ceasing to meddle in politically-charged social issues on which there is no community consensus, in these increasingly polarised times.


California aims to experiment with a gender boardroom quota law that has been tried in countries all over Europe

From making war on straws to policing speech, California leads the nation in adopting half-baked ideas from Europe.

The latest craze is a bill that would force publicly held companies to put women on their boards by 2019. The legislation passed through the California Legislature and awaits signature by Gov. Jerry Brown.

If Brown signs the measure into law, it would make California the first state to have such a mandatory quota.

The legislation likely runs afoul of the California Constitution and the Constitution of the United States, but it’s also a terrible idea on its own merits.

Over the last decade, numerous European countries—France, Germany, and Italy, among others—have adopted similar laws with generally negative results.

Norway was the first country to do so, and the results have been lackluster to say the least. Norway adopted a gender boardroom quota in 2006, requiring 40 percent of publicly traded corporate boards be comprised of women.

The result, according to The Washington Times, is that numerous Norwegian companies have either left the country or changed their practices to skirt the law.

“The number of public limited firms in Norway by 2009 was less than 70 percent of the number in 2001, according to the study, while the number of privately held firms not subject to the gender quotas jumped by more than 30 percent,” according to The Washington Times.

This won’t be good for California, which already has a problem with businesses pulling up stakes and moving elsewhere.

Though proponents of the law claimed it would improve businesses by forcing them to include more women in the upper echelons of power, there is little evidence that’s the case.

A 2012 study found that the “constraint imposed by the quota caused a significant drop in the stock price at the announcement of the law.”

“The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards,” the study found.

In a review of the gender quota laws across Europe, The Economist concluded that they have not “proved their worth.”

Among The Economist’s findings was that the law has failed to open up jobs for women in the “lower levels of the corporate hierarchy.” The women who are succeeding in this system are typically from a limited pool that now receives additional opportunities and higher pay from multiple companies that want their services.

So, the women in the thin slice at the top do great because companies need to fill their quotas.

The fact that the quotas have had either negligible or negative impact on businesses is already problematic, but it’s also worth considering the message that’s being sent to women. The policy essentially amounts to affirmative action, which can provoke doubt in the actual capabilities of those who are promoted to high positions, whether that doubt is warranted or not.

As Carrie Lukas, managing director of the nonprofit Independent Women’s Forum, argued in The New York Times, gender quota laws are a bad way to ensure more women get into corporate boardrooms, regardless of intent.

“Board quotas may seem like a convenient shortcut to workplace equality, but they are not—nor are they a long-term solution,” Lukas wrote. “A distraction at best, they may undo women’s historic gains by suggesting that we cannot succeed on our own.”

One of the things that infuriated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his career as a lawyer was the condescending attitude insinuating that he got to where he is only through an affirmative action boost. In some ways, he saw it as worse than open bigotry.

California’s law will create the same perception of female executives, even for those who rose on merit alone—especially if the quotas foist underqualified candidates onto boards that only increase the perception that women aren’t up to the job.

Even some feminists recognize that using government power to force companies to hire more women is counterproductive regardless of end goals.

The evidence is clear. Boardroom quotas are simply a bad idea that should be left in Europe.


Globalism Undermines Patriotism

Are patriotism and corporate multinationalism mutually exclusive concepts? In an age where socialism, despite its disastrous historical track record, is more popular than capitalism among Millennials, that question can no longer be ignored. Yet as columnist Steven Chapman, who extols capitalism as the “most dynamic force for economic progress in history,” further warns, “economic systems have to retain their moral and political legitimacy if they are to last.”

Political legitimacy is a loaded term. Barack Obama’s administration had a penchant for politically legitimizing certain industries and companies that aligned with its ideological agenda, even when it proved utterly disastrous for Americans. Taxpayers were left holding the bag for “clean” energy companies like Solyndra, and nothing drove up the costs of health care — and insurance company profits — more than ObamaCare.

The Trump administration also plays the political legitimacy game, but in a different manner. His America First agenda may be equally intrusive, but it smacks of the moral legitimacy to which Chapman refers. While the 2016 election was about many things, what helped push Trump over the top were “flyover country” Americans disgusted with corporate multinationalism, a.k.a. globalism. These were the Americans whose jobs were outsourced and their futures marginalized, even as they endured bicoastal elitist lectures about the “net plus” of such a system.

While this was occurring, members of the nation’s globalist-dominated Ruling Class also made it crystal clear that they are calculatingly indifferent to both the ravages of illegal immigration and unchecked legal immigration. As recently as last week, 146 suspected illegals were arrested at the Fresh Mark meatpacking plant in Ohio. The same plant was sued — in 2001 — for knowingly hiring illegals.

E-Verify has existed since 1996. Last June, the latest effort to make it mandatory for every employer was rejected by the GOP-controlled House after members bowed to the “concerns” of the agricultural lobby that claimed it would produce a worker shortage.

A combination of higher wages and conditional welfare for able-bodied Americans to address that shortage? Not part of the equation. Moreover, businesses willing to hire illegals seemingly have a government ally: According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), there were as many as 39 million cases where names on W-2 tax forms did not match corresponding Social Security records — meaning millions of Americans have had their identities stolen, potentially by illegal aliens.

This gargantuan level of mismatches occurred during the last four years of the Obama administration, and one is left to wonder whether the Social Security Administration was grossly inept — or quietly complicit.

The legal immigrant part of the equation? While Bernie Sanders’s muddle-headed “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act,” (Stop BEZOS Act) would force companies like Amazon to fully fund federal welfare programs used by their low-wage workers — ultimately incentivizing those companies not to hire anyone from low-income families — it cannot be ignored that the retail giant has been one of the foremost champions of H-1B visas, importing more foreign tech workers in 2017 than Facebook and Google combined. And while American STEM workers languish, research by the Seattle Times reveals that 71% of Silicon Valley tech workers are foreign born.

In stark contrast to Obama, Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order has limited the use of H-1B visas. No doubt by sheer “coincidence,” America’s warehouse workers, including those who toil for Amazon, have won a 9.7% wage increase between February 2017 and April 2018.

Regardless, the globalist agenda, and the seeming lack of patriotism that attends it, remains alive and well. Last May, shares of Boeing Airlines dropped when Trump announced America was withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran. The company had a $20 billion deal to sell jetliners to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Boeing claimed the deal would support 100,000 American jobs.

Providing America with jobs and cheap consumer goods, along with the idea that we can de-escalate tensions, is the rationale behind trading with communist China — while tolerating its tariffs, currency-manipulation, and intellectual property-stealing proclivities. That rationale is a globalist-minded status quo Trump is addressing, much to the globalists’ consternation.

And well he should. In 2017, America’s trade deficit with China was $375 billion. In 2018, an increasingly belligerent China’s military budget is $175 billion. Money is certainly fungible, cheap consumer goods are attractive, and additional jobs are welcome. But is any of it a “reasonable” tradeoff for what amounts to facilitating a suicidal national security policy?

The innumerable benefits of One World-ism in general, and free trade in particular, have been communicated to Americans with an almost religious fervor. Shouldn’t the potentially disastrous pitfalls get an equal hearing?

Americans should also be more fully informed about behind-the-scenes corporatist machinations. Those wondering why a company like Nike would potentially alienate half of its American customers with its Colin Kaepernick branding campaign might be surprised to learn that Nike fits in with Apple, Starbucks, and Boeing as being among a number of multinational corporations that could have as much as $158 billion at risk in a trade war with China. That would be the same China “increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border,” Reuters reports.

Nike’s potential loss of American customers is nothing compared to the loss of a supply chain that includes slave labor. Moreover, Levi-Strauss has jumped on a customer-alienating, anti-gun bandwagon, just as the NFL has jumped on an equally antagonistic anti-police bandwagon. The common thread? To defeat the Trump trade reset by supporting anti-Trump domestic policies that obscure that horrible PR optics openly siding with China would engender.

Who abets the multinational elitists’ efforts? “At the present rate, America will soon resemble the dystopias of novels such as 1984 and Brave New World in which all aspects of life are warped by an all-encompassing ideology of coerced sameness,” writes columnist Victor Davis Hanson, who rightly holds the nation’s censorship-abetting tech titans, and their corporate media allies to account. Hanson further notes that “some $3 trillion in global capitalization is pledged to ensure that the nations’ computers, pads, and smartphones will not be polluted by traditionalist thinking.”

Few things are more traditional than patriotism.

“Despite origins steeped in sovereign favor and national interest, the modern corporation has increasingly seen its capacity for civic duty and engagement diminished,” columnist Yishai Schwartz explains. “Over time, concern for the national interest has been squeezed out by the twin forces of profit maximization and cosmopolitanism.”

Cosmopolitanism? A lack of moral legitimacy that fuels increasing calls “fundamental transformation” is more like it. A lack of moral legitimacy that has produced repugnant reactions. “Fear of nuclear war, violent revolution and pandemics has seen San Francisco’s finest start commissioning multi million pound underground bunkers in New Zealand,” The Sun reports.

Better post-apocalyptic isolation than rediscovering patriotism and morality? If that contemptuous worldview doesn’t change, it won’t be the communists or any other external enemy that hangs capitalists with the rope they’ve sold them.

More likely they’ll be hanging themselves.



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 September, 2018

Another mad Muslim rampages in Paris

Two British tourists are said to have been injured by a knifeman who went on the rampage in the centre of Paris before locals playing petanque tried to stop him with boules.

French police have arrested the knife-wielding attacker who injured seven people in the capital, four of them seriously.

The man, who was reportedly carrying a knife and an iron bar, is said to have stabbed three people outside a cinema.

The attacker, who was described as an Afghan national, went on to target other victims in the head and chest, Le Parisien reports.

One of the Brits was particularly badly hurt by 'a stab in the head', while the other was 'cut in the chest'.

The attack reportedly unfolded around 10.45pm local time (9.45pm BST).  A witness playing petanque is said to have made an attempt to foil the attack by throwing a boule at the assailant.

Four of the people are said to be seriously injured, while the suspect is an Afghan national. 

The victims were all rushed to local hospitals, where their conditions were described as 'serious but not life threatening'. The attacker is not thought to have been badly injured by officers.


Leftist hate backfires again

A small town in Virginia made the news after one of its restaurants, the Red Hen, refused service to the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The owner then chased Sanders’ in-laws across the street to another restaurant and reportedly harassed them there. it appears that the small town may be suffering the consequences of the image sent out by that owner’s actions.

Lexington, Virginia has suffered a tourism hit, ever since the Sanders incident in June.

From Fox News:

The area’s regional tourism board is pulling together emergency funds to boost its digital marketing campaign, the Roanoke Times reported Sunday. The money is normally saved, however, officials agreed the region is in desperate need of positive coverage after the Sanders controversy.

The tourism board serves Lexington, Va., where The Red Hen is located, and other communities that are about three hours from Washington, D.C.

Following the incident, the tourism board was flooded with thousands of calls and emails — and the complaints are still coming. The office received a letter Thursday from a Georgia family that wrote to say it would never return because of what happened.

That’s a lot of negative reaction for a small town to recover from, said Patty Williams, the director of marketing said, saying it had a “significant impact.”

People dinged the Red Hen restaurants in reviews. Protesters even came out to the restaurant and it was shut down for a couple of weeks.

And the owner had to resign from the local business board that she was on after her actions because harassing people was not the look they wanted.

From PJ Media:

Local businesses were reportedly appalled by Wilkinson’s “small-minded and intolerant” decision to boot Sanders from her restaurant and at the time, some called on her to step down from her position as executive director of the volunteer-based organization Main Street Lexington.

Wilkinson resigned from the position on June 26.

“Considering the events of the past weekend, Stephanie felt it best, that for the continued success of Main Street Lexington, she should step aside,” said Elizabeth Branner, president of the Main Street Lexington Board of Directors.

Sanders dealt with it with great dignity, just getting up and quietly leaving when the owner asked her to leave.

But maybe the town should invite her back and try to remediate the negative with a positive, showing they want to be welcoming to all.


Massachusetts Republican beats trans driver’s license bill by forcing votes on all 73 genders

Legislation to add a “Gender X” option to driver’s license should have been a straightforward task in the far-left state of Massachusetts, but one Republican lawmaker managed to derail the bill by taking transgender ideology to its furthest extreme.

The state Senate voted in June to approve the measure, which would have also extended the option to learner’s permits and state identification cards. No documentation would have been required to prove an applicant is neither male nor female.

“It’s a milestone,” bill sponsor Sen. Karen Spilka, a Democrat, said at the time.

Despite the state House of Representatives being just as heavily Democratic as the Senate, however, it never got the chance to send the bill to liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.

In a column for the Boston Globe, New England radio host Howie Carr details how Republican Rep. Jim Lyons adopted a unique strategy for defeating the bill: forcing it to live up to its supporters’ own logic.

“Since all Democrats must admit that the number of genders is endless, how dare the commonwealth lump all the new genders together as ‘Gender X’?” Carr writes, summarizing Lyons’ facetious reasoning. “Every gender, he declared, must be listed on Massachusetts driver’s licenses! That was Lyons’ non-negotiable demand. No justice, no peace.”

Lyons told Carr he settled on demanding recognition for 73 different “genders,” as that was the number he reached by tallying the number of custom gender options Facebook offers.

Knowing that his liberal colleagues couldn’t rule any of the genders out of order without undermining the logic of transgender ideology, Lyons introduced each as a separate amendment to the bill the evening of July 31, each requiring 10 minutes of debate and three minutes to vote on.

“Number 6 added as a gender ‘cis.’ Amendment 9 — cis female, 13 — cis woman, 14 — cisgender female, 18 — cisgender woman,” Carr details. “Amendment 21 — gender fluid, 22 gender non-conforming, 23 gender questioning, 25 gender variant, 26 genderqueer.”

Six hours in, Lyons had only filed 35 of the amendments, at which point House leadership realized he was running out the clock and there wasn’t enough time before the midnight deadline to pass both the bill and the other legislation on the docket. At 10:45 p.m., they withdrew the bill.

“By now, the few remaining sane Democrats in the Legislature realized that Lyons had done them a solid, sparing them from being recorded on a roll call vote on whether to recognize the genders of pangender, polygender and cisgender,” Carr wrote, “not to mention intersex, intersex man, intersex woman and intersex person.”

“One way or another, progressivism is always a death sentence. So we may as well turn it around and use it on its perpetrators whenever we get the chance,” Conservative Review’s Steve Deace said of the incident. “That doesn’t mean becoming like them, but understanding their con and endlessly harassing them with its real-world applications.”

Deace added, “We need legions more like” Lyons, following his example to make progressives “face the full foolish force of the filth they shove down our throats with barely any resistance (if not a subsidy). Lyons called their bluff, and they called it a day.”

Legislative deadlines recently thwarted another pro-LGBT bill in the Bay State, as well. The Senate failed to reconcile different versions of a bill banning reparative or “conversion” therapy for minors before the August 1 deadline, thanks to a controversial amendment that would have required teachers and doctors to report hearing about such treatments to social services.


Australian Federal conservative politicians admit gender equality issue but reject setting quotas

Coalition MPs are shying away from quotas to boost female representation in their federal party while leaving the door open to get there by other means.

The Liberal backbencher Trent Zimmerman argues the Coalition needs more structures, mentoring and training to get more women into politics.

“Whilst I don’t support quotas, it is worthwhile for the party to be setting targets so we can measure our success,” he told the ABC on Saturday. “And that becomes a performance measure, a KPI [key performance indicator] against which we can be judged.”

He said targets aimed at locking in a set proportion of male and female MPs, whereas quotas gave a “leg up” to female candidates during preselection.

Only one in five federal MPs within the Coalition are female, compared with nearly half within opposition ranks.

“I don’t think we’ll be at the right place until we have parity,” government frontbencher Greg Hunt told Nine News. “That’s 50%, plus or minus 5% in either direction over time because these things will ebb and flow.”

The Nationals MP and government minister Darren Chester acknowledged his party needed to encourage more women to take part in politics.

“I am not a big fan of quotas but I feel we have to be more actively seeking to recruit women to seats that are safer,” he told the ABC. “I think parliament is better when there is more diversity, and there is a challenge on our side to make that happen.”

But quotas were the answer for Labor MP Linda Burney, who said he had been a beneficiary of such a policy.

“One of the reasons that the Labor party is almost at 50% is exactly because of affirmative action policies,” she said. “Something deliberate like quotas or affirmative action is the answer, in my view, to bringing some equity about in terms of numbers.”

Last week, the Morrison government frontbencher Sussan Ley said the Liberal party needed to consider adopting quotas to boost female representation in parliament because “if you look at our party, the picture tells its own story”.

Ley told the ABC on Thursday night the Liberal party needed to do more to recruit women and ensure they were able to be preselected for safe seats.

She said she had not, historically, been a fan of quotas, “but I must say recently I’ve wondered whether we should consider them”.



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 September, 2018

Can you give Scouts canoe lessons while wearing a full Islamic veil?

Can you give Scouts canoe lessons while wearing a full Islamic veil? Absolutely not, says Brian, who devoted a lifetime to the Scouts but was kicked out after saying a Muslim Scout leader looked like Darth Vader

As a devoted Scout master, Brian Walker has spent decades teaching children how to canoe and climb hills, abseil down cliffs, pitch tents, build fires and cook bangers.

But last year – after more than half a century since he first joined the movement – he was thrown out, he says, like ‘an old slipper’.

What had he done to deserve summary expulsion?

Well, in an outburst which may be considered incendiary in our politically correct times, the British Canoe Union instructor had dared to suggest that a fellow leader, a Muslim woman, might endanger children by taking them out on the water in her niqab face veil.

How could she jump in to rescue a Scout in difficulty? How could she navigate her own canoe properly beneath her veil? How could she be sure her instructions were being seen and heard?

They’re questions many people might reasonably ask.

But Mr Walker went on to say Zainab Kothdiwala, the respected head of a thriving all-girl Scout pack in her home town of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, looked like Darth Vader.

And he added that the sight of someone doing adventure sports in a full face veil would be incongruous enough to scare children and animals.

Clearly, Mr Walker, 63, is a man with robust opinions and a ripe turn of phrase, a trait he shares with former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who recently compared women in burkas to ‘bank robbers’ and said they looked ‘like letter boxes’.

The Scout Association did not approve, declaring Mr Wilson to be in breach of its diversity and equality rules.

 He was dismissed from his post as assistant leader of an Explorer Scout pack in his home city of Bristol by a letter, which stated that his views ‘do not fit within the Equal Opportunities Policy’ or the Scout values of ‘integrity, respect, care and belief’.

He was forbidden from wearing his uniform and badges or having anything to do with Scout Association paperwork, never mind children.

But now, 18 months later, he has won an unexpected reprieve.

As a county court judge prepared to rule on the row, the association capitulated, paying him damages and costs. He is donating the cheque to charity. The victory, which owes much to the help given to Mr Walker by the Christian Legal Centre, is a pyrrhic one for him personally. The Scout Association won’t apologise and has publicly said it still doesn’t approve of his comments.

But more broadly, his story once again raises the impossible question of where the fault line lies between civilised opinion and unacceptable prejudice.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday in the semi-detached home he shares with his wife, Annie, near Bristol, he says the whole experience has left him feeling bruised and sad about the direction he feels the Scouts are heading. ‘This was never, ever a personal attack,’ he says. ‘The very fact that this woman is a Scout leader means she shares my values, my belief in volunteering and giving something back society. But her outfit says a lot more about Islam than it does about scouting.

‘You can’t go abseiling in a niqab, I’m not sure about hiking and I don’t agree with canoeing. ‘She’s at risk of drowning herself, not to mention the fact that it compromises her ability to keep Scouts safe.

‘The movement is about to implode under the weight of its own dogma and absurdity. I took a stand for freedom of thought and freedom of speech.’

The quite extraordinary saga traces back to March 2017, when Mr Walker took umbrage at the spring edition of the Scouts quarterly magazine, Scouting.

He and his wife Annie are evangelical Christians – just like Chief Scout Bear Grylls – and Mr Walker was unhappy with a gushing profile of Mrs Kothdiwala ‘in her full Islamic veil’.

The magazine, which included a faith calendar, said: ‘Zainab cuts a striking figure when she takes the girls out canoeing or goes hiking through the Yorkshire hills.’

The calendar promoted Islam, Buddhism and even the Indian faith of Jainism with brief mentions of Christmas and Easter.

Mr Walker sent the editor a private email, never intended for circulation or publication, asking him to reconsider this kind of coverage. He doesn’t think of himself as a bigot or as a xenophobe, having travelled extensively in more than 60 countries, learned Spanish in Ecuador and karate in Japan, been up the Amazon and survived a military coup in Paraguay.

He was, however, angered by the drift from what he sees as core scouting values and beliefs that trace back to Lord Baden Powell, who founded the movement on Christian principles while wishing it to welcome people of all faiths.

‘How sad and disappointed I am,’ Mr Walker wrote, ‘that the whole Scout mission is to push a politically correct agenda of multi-faith brain washing, anything that denigrates Christianity. In the magazine, children are encouraged to visit a Sikh temple or a mosque yet for a St George’s Day celebration are told “choose your venue carefully, the use of non-religious buildings can ensure the event is welcome to all”.

In the faith calendar, no mention is made of the real meaning of the two biggest Christian festivals, Christmas or Easter.’

Then came his ‘Darth Vader’ comments and criticism of the association’s commitment to LGBT education – unwisely saying ‘camp takes on a whole different meaning’ – and told the editorial team he didn’t like the magazine’s cover picture either. ‘It was a child in a new age unicorn suit blowing bubbles with bubblegum. Just irrelevant. Scouting has gone fluffy. I don’t make any apology for saying so.’

His email was passed to Tim Kidd, the association’s chief commissioner, who sent it to Mr Walker’s local group, setting in motion the train of events that would see him expelled.

He appealed against the decision but found himself still barred. Then, with the help of the Christian Legal Centre, Mr Walker brought a claim against the association, accusing it of discrimination against his own religious beliefs.

The Scout Association agreed an out-of-court settlement but for the moment he remains barred.

Mr Walker is one of life’s volunteers, having been in 21 SAS, the Territorial branch of the Special Air Service, and the RAF Auxiliary. When he lived in Australia for 15 years, he was a reservist military medic and army engineer there too. Three years ago, to mark his 60th birthday, he spent two weeks and £3,000 of his own money – he is an electrician by trade, so that was a significant sum – in Uganda building an orphanage.

So what are the thoughts of his wife of 28 years, Annie – a former police officer and now full-time carer to their eldest son Liam, who is severely disabled?

‘I’m proud of Brian,’ she says. ‘I think he was brave to take a stand but I have never doubted my husband’s courage, whether he was hopping on a helicopter to Kosovo or climbing this particular political mountain. I backed him going public with the court case because I felt that if this could happen to us it could be happening to others too. I wanted us to have a voice.’

Throughout the controversy, Mrs Kothdiwala, has retained a dignified silence. In the magazine, she described herself as bossy and adventurous and made a powerful defence of her choice to be veiled: ‘I am who I am with or without the veil. It’s not a barrier, it doesn’t stop me from doing anything.’

Today, she declines to elaborate on those comments.

Mehwish Siddiqui, a fellow leader at 1st Heckmondwike Ansaar Scouts, said: ‘Zainab is a very conservative Muslim and wears the niqab all the time. She’s always up for anything and wears her niqab for the sports activities like canoeing. It doesn’t get in the way.’

Last night, the Scout Association declined to say whether it agreed the niqab was safe for taking Scouts canoeing and hiking.

A spokesperson confirmed it had settled out of court but added: ‘This does not imply that we accept Mr Walker’s claim made against us or his view of the world.

‘The Scouts do not accept Mr Walker was right when he made his offensive comments. As a charity, we had to weigh up whether it was worth using our limited time and money on a costly and prolonged legal dispute. ‘In this case, we decided it was in our best interests to settle this matter out of court.’

Mr Wilson is, characteristically, unrepentant saying: ‘I don’t regret my Darth Vader quip because it has brought the issue to the fore and begun a debate.’

As a Scout master he’s long been an expert in knots. It looks like he’s got the Scout Association tied up in a big one for some time to come.


Historian Lars Tragardh on the rise of the Sweden Democrats

Sweden is celebrated internationally for its stable social democracy and its humanitarianism. But as Sweden goes to the polls this weekend, it could be the latest country to experience a populist revolt. The ruling Social Democrats, the most successful centre-left party in Europe, are expected to win, but with a significantly reduced vote-share. Meanwhile, populist upstarts, the Sweden Democrats, who gained their first seats in parliament just eight years ago, are expected to have their best-ever showing. Polling figures vary wildly, but with no mainstream bloc likely to command a majority, an upset is on the cards.

spiked caught up with Swedish historian Lars Tragardh to discuss what lies behind Sweden’s populist moment.

spiked: How do you account for the rise of the Sweden Democrats?

Lars Tragardh: The big story is the decline of the left-wing Social Democrats. From the 1930s onwards, they were an extraordinarily successful party. In part, this was because they embraced the nation.They were able to produce an effective narrative of democratic nationalism. They also dropped the language of class struggle and took up a much broader notion of a country of citizens, who belong together. [i.e. Fascism]

But in recent years a perfect storm has emerged in relation to the nation state. All the mainstream parties are occupied by globalists of one sort or another. On the right, the Moderate Party went in a neoliberal, globalist direction. The Centre Party, which began as a party for farmers, is now borderline libertarian. On the left, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the influence of the 68ers was in decline and there was a general sense of exhaustion with the Social Democrats’ economic policies. A new kind of left-wing idealism started to emerge in the name of human rights and global civil society. The nation started to be demonised as racist, xenophobic and exclusionary. The left also wedded themselves to identity politics.

Over time, this has opened up a gap for the Sweden Democrats to fill. A lot of people still think Sweden exists, that citizenship is a legitimate idea and that national community and national culture matter. Like in many Western countries, Sweden has an elite that has overinvested in globalism and underinvested in ordinary politics at the national level – the elite has forgotten that the only democracy we have takes place within the nation state.

spiked: How central is the issue of immigration to the populist moment?

Tragardh: It is important to have some nuance here. The fact is that attitudes to immigration, in particular to economic immigration, are generally positive. Sweden has a very long history of successful immigration since the 1940s. But in the postwar period, immigration was always linked to the labour market. Effectively, even those who came to Sweden nominally as refugees were treated as economic migrants. Pretty much the day after they arrived, they were in work and their employers paid for language instruction. There was no discussion of multiculturalism – everybody understood that when you come to a new country, you learn the language and try to figure out the customs and do your best to adjust to it.

But things are very different today. After the 1970s oil crisis, lots of restrictions were placed on economic migration. This was at the behest of the trade unions, who wanted to limit immigration to control the supply of labour and keep wages up. Over time, there was a slow erosion of successful economic immigration, which came to be replaced with a humanitarian-led policy which prioritised refugees. In 2015-16, there was an acute sense of crisis. But the numbers arriving are much lower now and we are seeing more and more integration into the labour market, so I’m optimistic.

I currently head a research project on social trust, and when I look at our data Sweden stands out as a country where national identity is not coupled to ethnic notions, but instead is more civic and citizenship-based – it prioritises demos, not ethnos. This creates a context of openness. But at the same time, our data on Swedish values tells us that work is absolutely crucial. There is no tolerance for people who don’t work. Sweden is not a country of free lunches. We have a social contract based on citizens who work, pay taxes and thus – and only thus – earn social rights. National identity is open, but it’s also very demanding.

spiked: Did that social contract break down in the wake of the refugee crisis?

Tragardh: Yes. Over 160,000 people arrived over the space of a few months, some of whom were illiterate and very few spoke the language. They entered a country with a high-octane labour market that requires all sorts of skills. Of course this creates problems in the short-term.

After the Second World War, Sweden adopted a secondary national identity as a ‘moral superpower’. So, internally, there’s a very tough attitude towards work. We hate charity – the whole welfare state is built to get away from charity. We don’t want to stand cap-in-hand, we want to work, earn our own rights and not be beholden to middle-class do-gooders. But when it comes to people abroad, that logic seems to no longer apply.

There’s been a long tradition in Sweden of giving money to the starving children in Africa. But when you have a large number of refugees, that relationship becomes domesticated. Suddenly, you have these two different logics operating within the same country. On the one hand, we expect our own citizens to work and to work hard. But for others, it is enough to just exist. You arrive with human rights and that means that you should be given certain privileges. I’m exaggerating, of course, but you get my point.

The tension between being a moral superpower and the social contract has bothered a lot of people. You have pensioners who are poor, there are problems in schools, there are queues in our hospitals. People are asking where are the rights of citizens who have been paying into this system for years – why doesn’t anyone care about them? That’s where the Sweden Democrats have very effectively stepped in.

spiked: Sweden is often celebrated by British politicians for its model of consensus. Has the populist surge disrupted that consensus?

Tragardh: You’ll see lots of articles saying that Sweden is facing the end of social democracy and the Swedish model. But it is too hasty a conclusion. All the mainstream parties are still refusing to talk to the Sweden Democrats – they say that they are Nazis. But the fact of the matter is that the Moderates and the Social Democrats have started to agree with the Sweden Democrats on immigration. If you start to add up on the numbers, it looks like a consensus!

Everything in Sweden basically works. Of course, our public services have problems. But there is no party that is seriously considering dismantling the welfare state. It is very popular and it works well. Sweden’s economy is doing really well and there is virtually no unemployment. Something is clearly working, so it is not as if you need a revolution. And if you actually look at the Sweden Democrats’ policies, they might be flirting with some conservative ideas about the family and gender relations, but they are enthusiasts for the welfare state like everyone else. I understand the needs of journalists abroad to dramatise what’s going on in Sweden, but Swedish society is not breaking down.


Why young white men are abandoning the Democrats

The Democrats’ embrace of identity politics is turning off a generation of voters.

A shock poll by Reuters/Ipsos reveals that the Democrats are shedding millennial votes, with support dropping by nine percentage points since 2016. This shift is most pronounced among white millennial men, who now favour Republicans over Democrats by 11 percentage points. In 2016, Democrats led Republicans in this group by 12 percentage points. There has been a staggering swing of 23 percentage points in just two years.

The poll shatters a number of widely held assumptions. Firstly, that young people are naturally drawn to the Democrats. Secondly, that the chaos and incompetence of Donald Trump’s rule are enough to turn voters blue. While two thirds of those polled dislike Trump, that distaste does not translate into either a rejection of the GOP as a whole or into support for the Democrats.

Democrats are clearly yet to come to terms with their defeat in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the party has devoted a great deal of energy to pushing allegations of Russian meddling – a story of little interest to ordinary voters, who have long since accepted the outcome of a fair and free election. Similarly, baseless and shrill accusations that Trump is a fascist have clearly been ineffective in drumming up support for an alternative. Opposition to Trump is one thing, but most voters are none the wiser as to what the Democrats actually stand for.

But while the Democrats may be uninspiring to millennials as a whole, the party is actively alienating young, white men. Today’s identity politics is impossible for millennials to avoid, whether they are confronted with it on campus or through clickbait comment pieces. In the identitarian worldview, ‘white men’ are responsible for all the world’s woes – the phrases ‘white people’ and ‘white men’ are practically shorthand for evil. Listicles reveal the ‘37 things white people need to stop ruining in 2018’, magazines declare that ‘white men must be stopped’, while even respectable outlets like the Washington Post ask ‘why can’t we hate white men?’.

But rather than reject the divisive politics of identity, the Democratic establishment and its cheerleaders have embraced it. During the election, Hillary Clinton namechecked and explicitly targeted a number of demographic groups. At the same time, her team told the media they were confident they could win without the support of white men. Many commentators agreed. ‘Hillary Clinton doesn’t need white men’, insisted the Washington Post – supposedly because they make up a declining share of the electorate and can therefore be ignored. Of course, we all know what the result was – white voters were crucial to Trump’s election upset. Nevertheless, liberal commentators are still urging the Democrats to ‘get over’ white working-class voters in the upcoming midterms. They are surplus to electoral requirements, outsiders to the ‘progressive coalition… in all its multicultural, multiracial splendour’, according to one writer.

Democrats insist that white voters are electorally irrelevant. But when they disappoint the party and decide not to vote for it, they are painted as backward and irrational. Clinton’s defeat was rationalised by her allies as a ‘whitelash’ – not a rejection of a wildly unpopular candidate, but an outburst of racist rage. Clearly, white male millennials are picking up on this kind of language and are beginning to think that they are not wanted by the party.

A truly progressive party ought to be able to give voice to concerns that bridge racial and gender divides. It ought to have a more honest understanding of its past failures and a clear programme for the future. But if the Democrats continue to shirk responsibility for their electoral defeats, and continue to embrace identity politics, it won’t just be young, white men who abandon them.


A recipe for trouble: Australian Girl Guides to let 'boys who identify as female' join and share bedrooms, bathrooms

After being female only for more than a hundred years Girl Guides is allowing boys who identify as girls to join the ranks.

Anyone who is transitioning or identifies as a girl is now allowed to join - and there are already three girls who previously identified as boys already in the guides.

Those who are biologically female but identify as male are not allowed to join Girl Guides.

Girl Guides Victoria CEO Amanda Kelly told the Herald Sun: 'It's not a big deal, it's more of an explanation of what we already do.'

Girl Guides is for females between five and 17, which means that those who as 'non-binary/neutral/gender fluid' because it is an 'explicitly female organisation', the publication reported.

While only three young women in Victoria have disclosed Ms Kelly believes there are more in the organisation who are.

She said in one case the girl had not disclosed and they had helped her do that.

Another has been happy and open to talk about her transition.

The policy stated: 'An individual is to be considered the final authority on their own gender identity. The only way to know if a person is a transgender person is if the person discloses this to you.

'It is not appropriate to judge who is and who is not a girl, nor is it appropriate to approach a person to ask if they are transitioning.'

The new policy guidelines mean that any child is able to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

In the event that a parent is concerned about this the Girl Guides Victoria has set strict guidelines.

'This is often raised in conversations about denying transgender people access to bathrooms and is recognised as a form of discrimination. Advise the parent that you expect all girls to behave in respectful and appropriate ways,' they state.

Those involved in a unit will also participate in the same activities, including sleeping in the same area.

Kristen Hilton, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, said she welcomed the new policies.



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 September, 2018

White privilege

I have just been watching one of Jordan Peterson's videos (below).  It is very wide ranging and quite long so I thought It might be useful for me to write something briefer using his thoughts as a starting point

The first and most obvious point is that howls about white privilege are a form of racism. If it is bad to treat blacks according to their skin colour, why is it not bad to treat whites according to their skin colour? Both blacks and whites include a large range of different people so it is crass to treat them as all the same.  Leftists of course have an answer to that.  They say you cannot be racist unless you have power.  Black racism, for instance, is OK because blacks have no power.  Leftists actually condone most racism

But who is railing against whites?  Leftists.  And Leftists DO have power.  The entire governing elite seems to be behind them, as Mr Trump is finding out. Many of the things he wants to do are thwarted by Leftists, Leftist judges in particular.  So the real racists in the world today are the Left.  They have power and they pour out hate at whites.  Whites as a group, on the other hand, systematically oppose racial discrimination.

The second point is that what is mistaken for white privilege is in fact usually majority privilege. If you are a member of a majority, a lot of things in the society will be easier for you.  But that does not apply to whites only.  Being Chinese in China, Indian in India and Hispanic in an Hispanic country will be similarly advantageous.  So it is pissing into the wind to try to abolish that.

So if you want maximum ease in your interactions with others, you have to associate mainly with people like  yourself.  But  what if you are a minority?  You will of course have it harder if you step outside your ethnic boundaries.  So all groups self-segregate.  But if they cannot completely self-segregate, they should ask why.  And the answer will usually be  money.  It's to your monetary  advantage to associate with people unlike yourself.  So Mexicans will leave the society of people like themselves in Mexico to live among "Gringos' in the USA -- because Gringos pay more.  You quite deliberately sacrifice familiarity for money.  And that is a perfectly reasonable decision that deserves no criticism

Peterson rightly locates the whole white privilege story within  the Marxist and post-modernist obsession with power.  Leftists hunger for power. But being white in a white society facilitates the acquisition of power.  And Leftists hate it when someone other than themselves has any kind of power.  And the Leftist  power hunger is an ugly thing.  From the French revolution to Stalin to Mao to Kim Jong Un, they use that power savagely, brutally and murderously.  They hate other people and their actions display that.  Giving Leftists power is very dangerous.  They are regularly Satanic.  Satan is a Leftist telling you what to do.

So we should be glad that there are "privileges" that keep Leftists from gaining access to all power.  Being comfortable among people like yourself isolates you from the brutally different people that Leftists are. "White privilege" is a good thing

Note, in closing, that power jealousy is also behind the strange phenomenon of anti-Israel Jews. Daniel Greenfield in his survey of their thought, says that Jewish Leftists hate any power that is not being used to "correct" and equalize society -- and Israel is undoubtedly powerful. But it uses its power for self-preservation only.

Postmodernism is a major element in current Leftist discourse and postmodernists claim that there is no such thing as right and wrong.  There is only power.  They reveal their own dismal motivations in saying that.  Power is the only thing that motivates them.  Forget all the deceitful claims about their "compassion".  That's just propaganda.

“Minor” migrants set fire at refugee hot spot in Greece, because they didn’t like the food

Greek food is pretty good.  If it were British food ...

A fire was started at the minors’ refugee camp of Pylaia, Thessaloniki last month, in a protest against “poor living conditions” and low quality of food provided.

The protest was organised in the early hours of the morning. During this protest the “minors” started self harming with razors and setting mattresses alight. The Greek fire brigades fought the fire immediately to prevent spreading to other areas of the camp.

The injured migrants were transported to the local hospital where they received first aid.

It seems the camp’s catering is considered very low quality by the refugees, who are used to high quality catering services in the valleys of Iraq and Syria.

At the same time a large percentage of Greek citizens do not have the financial ability to cover even their most basic needs, like food and shelter, due to the deep economic crisis that Greece has faced for the past eight years.


Fat white cop stands by while woman is harassed

A Chicago woman became the center of a national controversy in the U.S. during the summer of 2018, after she posted a video online showing a man berating her in a public park because she was wearing a t-shirt bearing the flag of Puerto Rico — all while a local police officer stood by, unresponsive to her pleas for assistance.

An edited version of Mia Irizarry’s video was posted to Facebook by the viral content page “Now This,” garnering more than 33 million views within two days. The video’s caption proclaimed that it captured: “A man [who] harassed a woman wearing a Puerto Rico shirt because she ‘should not be wearing that in the United States of America.'”

The original 36-minute Facebook Live video, which Irizarry streamed on the social networking site on 14 June 2018, depicts an interaction between herself and an older man, later identified as 62-year-old Timothy Trybus. Though it’s not clear exactly what led up to the events shown in the video, Trybus can be seen and heard persistently harassing and criticizing Irizarry for her choice of attire, challenging her American citizenship, and approaching her in an aggressive manner.

The incident took place at a picnic area in Caldwell Woods, in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, eleven miles northwest of Chicago. Also on the scene was a Forest Preserves District Police Deputy, later identified as Patrick Connor (or Conner, the spelling in reports has been inconsistent).

On three separate occasions, Irizarry can be seen asking for Connor’s assistance and expressing her discomfort with Trybus’s harassment. Trybus does not appear to be aware that Puerto Rico is a United States territory, and that Puerto Ricans are United States citizens:

Connor can clearly be seen watching in the background as this exchange takes place.

Irizarry: Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable. Can you please grab him? Please? Officer?

In response to this exchange, Connor looked away and moved back toward his patrol car.

Later, Irizarry’s brother arrived at the scene and intervened, telling Trybus to “calm down” and insisting that he not follow Irizarry. At one point, Irizarry’s brother approached Connor while the deputy stood next to Trybus, and Connor could be clearly heard saying, “Hey don’t you dare walk over here, okay?”

Mia Irizarry responded, “How come you’re saying something when he’s [my brother’s] going up, but when he [Trybus] was coming up to me you didn’t do anything?”

In the end, several other Forest Preserve Police District officers arrived on the scene and arrested Trybus, charging him with assault and disorderly conduct.

At a 10 July press conference, Forest Preserve District Police Chief Kelvin Pope said the force had started an internal investigation into Connor’s conduct on the day of the incident, and that Connor had been placed on desk duty since 24 June pending the outcome of the probe. Connor had been on the force for around 10 years, Pope said, and had been disciplined in the past for “working a part-time job and not carrying proper credentials.”

The Forest Preserves of Cook County announced on 11 July that Officer Patrick Connor had resigned the previous day.


Inside "66 Records", the music label that saw its launch end in a brutal Australian street brawl

Why on earth has Australia allowed these hostile and aggressive people into the country?

IT’S barely a year old but 66 Records, the Melbourne-based rap label whose launch ended in a bloody street brawl involving more than 100 people, is already making waves in the Victorian capital.

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill said the record label had been on the radar of Victoria Police for some time.

“Record 66 is a concept group we’ve been well and truly aware of and we’ve been monitoring,” Mr Hill said.

“I do understand that they had a premises where they had a rental agreement with someone and because of our police attention, the attention we were applying to them, the person that owned the premises rescinded the rental agreement. “That just gives you some appreciation of the fact that we are monitoring these groups and these people.”

The artists signed to 66 Records often refer to police and crimes in their songs.

A song called Make It Out, by Axon, QRF Nelly and King Ace, has been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube and features a group of men walking through graffitied streets of Melbourne.

“In the hood yeah we got our own politics cause white folks don’t know we’re on some gutter s**t and the ops (slang for cops, those in the legal system) don’t know we are some other s**t, frame our brothers ain’t that some bulls**t,” they rap.

“My n***ers try to get the paper but they end up on the news. Prosecutors trying to get a n***er f**ked up but I still run the money up.”

In another video, a group of three youths freestyle rap to the camera.

“Real n***ers in my squad, no fakes. Rule number one, never talk to the Js (slang for law enforcement).

“If we go to war, we releasing the ace, them bitch n***ers talking all over the state.

“Like hold up, one piggy, two piggy, big bad wolf. I’m a menace to society, wanna smoke that kush (high quality marijuana).

“Middle finger to the feds, kill them all if I could.”

A number of artists who performed at the 66 Records launch on Saturday night have previously recorded “drill” rap songs.

The drill rap genre has been linked to a number of stabbings and gang violence across London.

In August, rapper Siddique Kamara was stabbed to death in London, less than six months after he had been cleared of murder himself.

After his trial, Mr Kamara linked the music genre and violence. “The crime that’s happening right music does influence it. You’ve got to put your hands up and say drill music does influence it,” he said.

But added, “Knife crime and gun crime has been going on way before drill music … 10 years, 20 years, people were still getting cheffed up (attacked with knives)”.

In an invitation to the event, 66 Records warned people coming to the launch to be on their best behaviour.

“There will be hired security so trouble makers be aware, we all looking to have a good time,” the event invite read.

A day before the launch, the event’s organiser known as J-Nelly also warned revellers on Facebook that, “violence will not be tolerated”.

“A moment of anger isn’t worth a lifetime of bad labeling (sic),” he wrote in all capitals.

J-Nelly said organisers had also met with "federal detectives, who are very concerned with the energy, which they have related to the latest sparks of new reports degrading the African community”.

Police have pledged to speak to every one of the 200 people that attended the 66 Records launch in an attempt to figure out how things turned so violent.

In a statement sent to news.com.au, J-Nelly said fighting was “instigated” by attendees not associated with the label.

Dozens of people were involved in the brawl. An 18-year-old man is still in hospital with severe leg injuries after a car pinned him against another vehicle and a further six people were also hospitalised from the all-in street brawl.



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 September, 2018

Britain's SFO gets another black eye

They were nearly wound up when they cost the taxpayer a bomb over their failed prosecution of the Tchenguiz brothers.  They are full of themselves, with no good reason.  They should have learned from the Tchenguiz affair that the have to be meticulous about keeping within the law but instead they took a punt -- and lost again. 

In their bureaucratic arrogance they thought they could overturn legal privilege, one of our most zealously guarded freedoms.  The only thing surprising about that is that they got as far as they did.  In the end, however, the Court of Appeal did its job of overturning perverse judgments from other courts

SFO = Serious Fraud Office

The mining group ENRC has won a Court of Appeal case that protects advice it was given by a law firm in connection with claims of fraud and corruption at the company.

The ruling will relieve corporate legal divisions and white-collar crime lawyers, who feared that material stemming from internal investigations of alleged wrongdoing would have otherwise been open to prosecutors.

In May a high court judge, Mrs Justice Andrews, ordered that communications and advice to ENRC from the law firm Dechert, which carried out a lengthy internal investigation for the company after a whistleblowing email, should be turned over to the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO opened a formal investigation into ENRC’s activities in Kazakhstan — the home country of its three founders — and Africa in 2013 following Dechert’s internal inquiry into allegations of bribery, fraud and corruption at the mining group.

The high court ruled that Dechert’s investigation was not covered by legal privilege, which would make it confidential, stunning the legal community.

But the Court of Appeal overturned that decision on Wednesday, ruling that documents prepared by ENRC during the internal probe were in fact protected. That means the SFO will not be able to review them as part of its investigation.

Michael Roberts, partner at Hogan Lovells, the law firm that now represents ENRC, called the ruling historic, saying it was significant “not just for ENRC but for any company faced with undertaking an internal investigation in response to a whistleblower or other allegations of wrongdoing”.

He added: “Following this ruling it will remain for the company to decide whether, and to what extent, it is prepared to waive privilege.”

The Law Society, which made an intervention in the appeal, called the decision “a shot in the arm” for justice. “Maintaining confidentiality and trust between a client and their legal adviser is fundamental to our legal system,” said Christina Blacklaws, president of the society.

Colin Passmore, senior partner at Simmons & Simmons and author of a leading textbook on legal professional privilege, gave a “wholehearted welcome” to the ruling. He called it “a vast improvement on where we were a few weeks ago”.

The SFO said it would study the ruling carefully. It is unclear whether the anti-fraud agency will charge ENRC or any of its employees.

The Court of Appeal’s decision came sooner than expected, a sign of the importance the legal profession attached to the issue. Elaina Bailes, senior associate at the law firm Stewarts, said: “The quick delivery of the judgment is telling. There was a sense of urgency in resolving the issue and the court took on board concerns?.?.?.?that privilege was being eroded, particularly in criminal investigations.”

However, while the Court of Appeal’s ruling reinforced privilege in relation to corporate investigations, it left open a broader issue of who, within a large organisation, is authorised to deal confidentially with a law firm.


Immigration and welfare fears merge as Sweden lurches to the right

The great Leftist icon is going the way of Trump

Those wondering why Swedish politics are set to lurch to the right in Sunday’s election need look no further than Ljusnarsberg, a tiny central county of dense pine forests and glistening lakes.

Many inhabitants of this once-booming region are uneasy about asylum seekers after a large number arrived here in 2015. Some also feel that Sweden’s widely admired tax and welfare model has left them behind.

Fears over globalization’s effect on industrial jobs, the pressure of an aging population and a failure to integrate minorities have boosted right-wing and anti-establishment parties from Italy and Germany to Britain and the United States.

Polls indicating one in five voters in Sweden are likely to back a party with roots in the far-right fringe on Sept. 9 show that even seemingly successful political systems are vulnerable.

Several online surveys indicate the anti-immigration, anti-European Union Sweden Democrats could become the largest party, overtaking the Social Democrats, who have dominated politics for the last 100 years.

They are likely to do particularly well in Ljusnarsberg where they won a quarter of the vote in 2014, double their national score.

“I think people here want to see a change, they want society to be like it used to be,” said Mats Larsson, the Sweden Democrat’s top politician in Ljusnarsberg.

Most people in the county live in Kopparberg, where the 17th century church, with its blood-red, wooden facade and spires, hints at the region’s rich past, built on copper and iron mines.

For many years, the area was a heartland of the ruling Social Democrats. Its swing to the right highlights election themes of asylum and a split between poor rural or suburban areas home to immigrants and wealthy places like Stockholm.

Ljusnarsberg’s mines have gone - the last closed in the mid-1970s. Unemployment at the end of last year was nearly 13 percent, almost double the national level. Many live on sickness benefits, masking the figures of those relying on welfare.

As jobs have disappeared, so have people. The population has roughly halved in the last 50 years and many services have been centralized to Orebro, an hour’s drive south of Kopparberg.

“The 1970s and 1980s were a fantastic time to grow up here in this county. Now everything is falling to pieces,” said Leif Danielsson, 53, a businessman in Kopparberg, the county’s only sizable town.

“Houses are rotting, some places are overgrown with weeds. If you have any education or contacts, you leave.”

While Kopparberg retained its health clinic, it has been unable to recruit permanent doctors, with temporary staff filling the gap.

Decades of closures have left Kyrkbacks school in Kopparberg as the only school for 6-15 year-olds in the region. It has also had problems recruiting staff and was rated as one of Sweden’s worst by the teachers’ union, long before asylum numbers jumped.

When Sweden took in 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 as hundreds of thousands fled war in Syria and Afghanistan, Ljusnarsberg was assigned around 1,200, the highest concentration compared with its population.

Many of the new arrivals were unaccompanied minors, and the influx stretched services to the limit.

Anne-Marie Hagglund, assistant headteacher of Kyrkbacks school, said families just showed up with their migration papers. “They came back day after day until we could take in their children,” she said.

All but 260 of the refugees have now gone - mostly assigned to other areas by the Migration Agency - yet the unease remains.

Sitting in a cafe on the town green in Kopparberg, personal assistant Ulrika, 44, said that since the arrival of so many asylum seekers, women are afraid to walk the streets at night.

“There are lots of robberies. I think a lot of it is to do with immigration,” she said, declining to give her surname.

Police say the number of reported crimes fell in 2017 compared to the previous year, though they admit that many crimes go unreported. After cutbacks, the nearest police station is in Lindesberg, 40 km away.

“Of course, we should help people,” said Staffan Myrman, 53, who works at the Kopparberg brewery, one of the two major employers in the Ljusnarsberg region.

“But when 25-30 percent of the population are refugees, we need to be able to cope with that and we can’t.”

Sweden took in more asylum seekers than any other European country per capita in 2015. But while worries over immigration explain some of the Sweden Democrat’s gains, unease about economic and social change also plays a role.

“It is a target to point your anger at,” said Ljusnarsberg Liberal party politician Hendrik Bijloo. “Of course there are racists voting for the Sweden Democrats, but they are not even close to a majority.”

It is not just rural areas like Ljusnarsberg where the Sweden Democrats have thrived.

A spate of gang killings and car-burnings have sharpened concerns that authorities are losing control in poorer city suburbs where immigrants make up the majority of the population.

But welfare is also a big theme, despite that fact that Sweden is one of Europe’s richest countries, with strong growth and low unemployment.

“This election is a referendum on welfare or whether we have continued asylum immigration. I choose welfare,” Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson said in a televised election debate.

The center-left government and main opposition Moderate Party both plan to spend an extra 20 billion Swedish crowns ($2.19 billion) over the next four years.

Despite those plans, and already higher spending, many Swedes believe the welfare system is in crisis.

Sweden scores highly in the quality of healthcare - for example more Swedes are alive 30 days after a heart attack than in other European countries, according to a 2015 study.

But a growing and ageing population means waiting lists for operations have grown and half of health centers have to cover doctor shortages with temporary staff, according to a report by the Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis.

Since 2000, 16 percent of maternity units have closed, a Swedish television report showed. Many women travel more than 100 km (62 miles) to give birth, while schools need to recruit around 77,000 teachers over the next five years.

Inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient, has grown faster in recent years in Sweden than in any other industrialized nation, although the country remains among those where income is most evenly distributed.

This partly explains why mainstream parties’ shift to tougher immigration policies after the 2015 crisis has failed to win back disillusioned voters.

Many locals in Ljusnarsberg are resentful about what they see as preferential treatment for immigrants.

“They get a better deal, all of them, at the dentist, with the doctor, they are first in the queue always,” said 65-year-old pensioner Torbjorn Lundgren. “That makes me angry.”

Asylum seekers get subsidized welfare, housing and 71 crowns ($7.79) a day for food and other essentials, including healthcare. Healthcare costs are capped at 400 crowns over a 12 month period. For Swedish citizens the cap is 1,100 crowns.

“It’s not the immigrants fault, it’s the politicians,” said pensioner Torbjorn Lundgren, who backs the Sweden Democrats.

“I’m going to vote for them, then we’ll see if things change or not.”


Make misogyny a hate crime, British politician urges

Great news. The Qu'ran and all those preaching its doctrines would be outlawed overnight. Sharia Law, the Burqa and the Hijab would become instantly illegal

A Labour MP is trying to change the law so that misogynistic behaviour is treated as a hate crime.

Stella Creasy wants to amend new legislation that would ban taking unsolicited pictures under someone's clothing.

Her changes would mean someone convicted of the crime could get a tougher sentence if it was "motivated by misogyny".

MPs are currently debating the draft legislation.

May 'disappointed' at upskirting law block
'Upskirting': It happened to me
Misogyny hate crime pilot 'shocking'
The government legislation seeks to ban what is known as upskirting, because there is not currently a specific law against this in England and Wales.

It has been an offence in Scotland since 2010, when it was listed under the broadened definition of voyeurism.

Ms Creasy's amendment to the draft law has been backed by MPs including former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Writing for the Metro, Ms Creasy called for an extension of a pilot project by Nottinghamshire Police, which has been recording misogynistic behaviour as either hate crime or hate incidents, depending on whether or not it is criminal.

"Crimes like upskirting don't happen in a vacuum," she said.

"They happen in a world where we don't see violence against women as a priority for action; where we tell young women to not walk around late at night as a way of staying safe, rather than those who hassle them that their behaviour is unacceptable."

Misogyny involves showing dislike, contempt or ingrained prejudice against women.

The amended law would allow a sentencing judge to take into account if the offender "demonstrated towards the victim of the offence hostility based on the victim having (or being presumed to have) a particular sex characteristic".

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said of Ms Creasy's amendment: "We already have robust legislation that can be used to protect women from a range of crimes.

"We are determined to see the upskirting bill passed as soon as possible, to better protect victims and bring offenders to justice."


Italy: Interior Minister Accused of Kidnapping Migrants

"Being investigated for defending the rights of Italians is a disgrace."

"The investigation notice sent to [Interior Minister Matteo] Salvini could in fact be seen as a direct attempt to prevent a minister from carrying out his political activity in accordance with the vote expressed by the majority of Italians on the basis of precise electoral commitments." — Gianni Alemanno, former Mayor of Rome, denouncing the investigation into Salvini as unconstitutional.

"I am amazed at the astonishment of a political left that now exists only to challenge others and believes that Milan should not host the president of a European power, as if the left has the authority to decide who has the right to speak and who does not — and then they wonder why no one votes for them anymore." — Matteo Salvini, Italian Interior Minister.

Opinion polls show that Salvini's anti-immigration stance has boosted his League party's approval rating.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is under formal investigation for "kidnapping" after he refused to allow illegal migrants to disembark from a ship at a Sicilian port. The investigation, a political move aimed at blunting the government's hardline stance on illegal immigration, has threatened to plunge Italy into a constitutional crisis over the separation of powers.

Sicilian Prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio said that the investigation into Salvini, the head of the anti-immigration League party, would focus on "kidnapping, illegal arrest and the abuse of power."

Salvini responded:

"If he wants to interrogate me or even arrest me because I defend the borders and security of my country, I am proud and I look forward to it with open arms. Being investigated for defending the rights of Italians is a disgrace."

Salvini added that we could not be "cowed" and that he would not reserve his right to immunity from prosecution: "I only did my job as minister and I am ready to do it again."

The investigation was initiated after Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister, prevented 150 mostly Eritrean migrants from leaving the Italian Coast Guard ship Diciotti unless other European Union member states agreed to take some of them in.

On August 15, the Diciotti rescued approximately 190 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea, and on August 20, the ship docked in Catania, Sicily. Roughly 30 unaccompanied minors were allowed to disembark, and subsequently another 13 women and men were allowed to leave the ship for medical reasons.

Salvini refused to allow the remaining passengers to disembark, arguing that other EU member states should share the burden of mass migration. More than 600,000 migrants arrived in Italy over the past four years. Under EU rules — known as the Dublin Regulation — migrants must seek asylum in their country of arrival, which, for reasons of geography, places an inordinate burden on Italy.

On August 22, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio tweeted: "Italy is no longer the refugee camp of Europe. On my orders, no one disembarks from the Diciotti."

On August 23, Di Maio threatened to withhold Italian payments to the European Union if a top-level EU meeting in Brussels scheduled for August 24 failed to find a long-term solution to the issue of migrant rescues. In an interview on Italian TV, which he also posted on his Facebook account, Di Maio said:

"If tomorrow nothing comes out of the European Commission meeting, if they decide nothing regarding the Diciotti and the redistribution of the migrants, the whole Five Star Movement [Di Maio's party] and I will no longer be prepared to give €20 billion euros ($23 billion) to the European Union every year."

On August 24, after the EU meeting failed — predictably — to produce a solution for the Diciotti migrants, Di Maio wrote on Facebook:

"Today the European Union has decided to turn its back on Italy once again. At this point, Italy must take unilateral measures. We are ready to cut the funds we give to the European Union. They want €20 billion paid by Italian citizens? Let them demonstrate that they deserve it by taking charge of a problem that we can no longer tackle alone. The borders of Italy are the borders of Europe."

European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein responded:

"Let's not engage in finger-pointing. Unconstructive comments, let alone threats, are not helpful and they will not get us any closer to a solution. The EU is a community of rules and it operates on the basis of rules, not threats."

In a subsequent interview with the public broadcaster RAI, De Maio said:

"The EU was born of principles like solidarity. If it is not capable of redistributing 170 people, it has serious problems with its founding principles."

On August 26, the Italian government announced that the remaining 150 migrants would be allowed to disembark after a deal was struck with the Roman Catholic Church, Albania and Ireland. Under the agreement, Italian bishops pledged to take most of the migrants under their care. The migrants will go to a Catholic center at Rocca di Papa near Rome. Albania, which is not an EU member, and Ireland, which is an EU member, would each take 20 people.



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 September, 2018

Masculinity Is Good

Male and Female God created us. That means He created masculinity and femininity as well. Lose one or the other, and bad things happen.

At UCLA, students recently formed the Toxic Masculinity Committee—designed to help men understand, among other things, that their innate drive for aggression is a bad thing.

But is it? The women of Cypress, California, might disagree.

While shopping at the local Target store, Ismael Duarte noticed a man following his teenage daughter. When Duarte blocked him from getting any closer, the stranger walked away. Minutes later, Duarte spotted him again—this time the man was using his cell phone to try to film up the skirt of another young woman.

And that’s when Duarte went into “protect mode.” Duarte kicked the cell phone away, and pounced on the man, knocking him to the floor. The man scrambled to his feet and fled. But Duarte and his wife raced after him and used their own phones to photograph his car and license plate. Duarte called the police, and the man was arrested.

Now, as the father of a teenage daughter, I’m cheering Ismael Duarte’s “aggression.” You see, what gets lost in all the complaints about “toxic masculinity” is the fact that the very traits feminists associate with it—aggression, ambition, and violence—can and often are used in a good cause. My concern is that we are going to end up with fewer men like Ismael Duarte because boys as young as five are being taught that there is something wrong with the biologically-influenced traits associated with masculinity.

As my friend and radio host Dennis Prager notes in a column titled “Is America Still Making Men?” one of the questions every society must ask in order to survive is, “How do we make good men?” If we fail to answer this question properly, we end up with men who “will likely do much harm.” But men who are tutored from early childhood on how to “channel their drives in positive directions make the world a much better place.” They learn to take responsibility for themselves, their families, their houses of worship, their communities, and their country.

But this doesn’t take place automatically, Prager warns: Turning boys into good men takes work.

Tragically, Americans appear to have forgotten this lesson. For instance, modern feminism has attacked the very concepts of femininity and masculinity, insisting that boys and girls be reared in exactly the same way. Prager says boys are no longer allowed to have “masculine” toys such as play guns and toy soldiers. On the school playground, rough games like dodgeball have been banned.

Second, America has gone from a responsibility-centered culture to a rights-centered one. The result? Fewer men are willing to take on the life-long job of caring for a wife and children. Why should they, if life is all about them?

And sadly, cultural changes over the past 50 years mean that fewer boys have important male mentors in their lives to teach them how to be men.

If you’re the father of sons, I hope you spend lots of time with them, teaching them what being a man is all about—and maybe doing challenging stuff together, like hiking the Grand Canyon. And I recommend giving your sons a copy of Bill Bennett’s “The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood.”

Instead of trying to make men more like women, or labeling typical male traits as “toxic,” we should help boys harness characteristics such as aggression, ambition, and yes, even violence, into proper channels—such as working hard to support a family, racing into burning buildings to save children—or protecting their daughters from predators in retail stores.


Women dressed like prostitutes confuse men, claims Maureen Lipman

Women celebrities who dress like prostitutes but complain about male attention are to blame for “confusing” men, Maureen Lipman has claimed.

The actress said that the #MeToo movement was “going too far” in vilifying men for incidents that took place decades ago when standards of behaviour were different.

“We mustn’t wipe out men,” she told Radio Times. “I know men have brutalised women over centuries, but I don’t think the message we’re giving out with #MeToo is right.”

Lipman, 72, is not the first well-known woman to express misgivings about the backlash against inappropriate male behaviour. She said that women celebrities who appeared in public in “all this bondage clothing — dressed a bit like a prostitute would have dressed” were sending mixed messages. “Young female pop stars, for example, are saying: ‘It’s my body, and I’m empowered to show it to you’. But then: ‘Don’t touch it, don’t come near it, don’t flirt with it.’ That is a bit of a shame because flirting is some of the best fun you’ve ever had in your life. We’re batting our eyelids and clenching our teeth at the same time. That is confusing.”

Lipman also indicated some sympathy for Roman Polanski, the film director who fled the US after pleading guilty to the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski, 85, has never served time in jail, but Lipman, who starred in his 2002 film The Pianist, said that his decades-long exile in Europe was “probably enough” punishment. She also suggested that the circumstances of Polanski’s crime during a “photoshoot” at the Los Angeles home of the actor Jack Nicholson, were not considered so problematic in the era in which they occurred.

“We’ve got to stop judging everybody now on the mores of then,” Lipman said. “In the Sixties it was plausible for a young girl to be brought to Jack Nicholson’s house and left with Roman Polanski. It wasn’t an unusual thing.”

She made it clear that she supported the progress made in encouraging sexual abuse victims to come forward but said that #MeToo was leading to “kneejerk” and “all-inclusive” condemnation of men for relatively minor historical offences.

Lipman is perhaps best known for playing the Jewish grandmother Beatrice Bellman in a series of British Telecom adverts. She has just signed to play Evelyn Plummer, an “outspoken battleaxe”, in Coronation Street.

She ended her long-standing support for the Labour Party in 2014 and has repeatedly criticised Jeremy Corbyn’s record on antisemitism.

In her Radio Times interview, the actress implied that the low profile adopted by Mr Corbyn’s Mexican wife, Laura Álvarez, reflected a broader marginalisation of women by political leaders. “Where’s Mrs Corbyn? She’s a Mexican in a peaked cap following two paces behind . . . Is he hiding her?” she said. “Where is Mrs Putin? Where has she gone? Can you trust a man like that? Trump grabs pussy as a way of saying, ‘How do you do, madam?’ We know that; he’s a misogynist and a vulgarian. And he’s on the third Mrs Trump, who hates him.”

In January, 100 prominent French women signed an open letter claiming that seduction was being criminalised by the #MeToo campaign. Mary Beard, the classicist, has spoken of the tendency to “cherry pick” isolated incidents of misbehaviour out of context, urging the movement to focus on the protection of women working now rather than past misconduct.


States Must Stop the War on Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

Yet another adoption agency is closing its doors, at a time when thousands of young victims of the opioid crisis flood America’s foster care system.

This time, it’s Catholic Charities of Buffalo, New York. The agency can no longer cooperate with the government there because the state will not allow Catholic Charities to operate consistently with its religious mission.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo represents another example in a disturbing trend toward driving out faith-based agencies from America’s child welfare system entirely—a trend that could cause children immeasurable harm.

Catholic Charities places children in homes with both a father and a mother in accordance with Catholic teaching on marriage and the family.

Unfortunately, the state now considers that belief to be discriminatory against LGBT individuals. New York issued an ultimatum: Abandon your beliefs, or quit your ministry. Catholic Charities is unable to comply with these rules and now must shut down, leaving the state with even fewer agencies to meet the needs of kids.

The state of New York is wrong to treat Catholic Charities’ religious mission in this manner.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges that those who uphold a traditional view of marriage do so “based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises.”

And as Kennedy made clear in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a religious belief in traditional marriage is not equivalent to discrimination on the basis of sexual identity, and the government cannot target people for their religious beliefs.

Americans must remain free to disagree on the definition of marriage if our civil liberties are to mean something. A government that can pick winners and losers in a debate on important cultural issues retains the power to silence debate on any topic. Everyone is vulnerable to lose their freedom when the state is given license to repress viewpoints it disfavors.

The situation becomes even more dire when children hang in the balance, as in New York. Kids become the collateral damage when the government shuts down agencies over their beliefs.

Unfortunately, what has happened in Buffalo is no isolated incident.

Earlier this year, the city of Philadelphia canceled its contracts with Catholic Social Services due to its religious beliefs about marriage, displacing hundreds of children in the process.

Meanwhile, the ACLU and Lambda Legal are litigating in Michigan and Texas in hopes of making these shutdowns the new normal nationwide.

Shamber Flore, a young woman who was adopted through St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities in Michigan—the agency being sued by the ACLU in Michigan—is speaking out on the real cost of shutting down faith-based agencies.

St. Vincent’s changed Shamber’s life. Her mother was a prostitute and her father was abusive and largely absent. Then, St. Vincent’s placed Shamber with the Flore family, and her new home enabled her to heal.

“I grew up exposed to prostitution, poverty, and drugs, but thankfully and fortunately my story didn’t end there,” she said in a statement. “I have had the privilege of having my story rewritten and I know this wouldn’t have been possible without the help and aid of St. Vincent.”

“[Foster children] deserve more people, more agencies, more open hearts to fill the shortage of families willing to care for kids like myself. If the ACLU has its way, there will be less helping hands, less homes and ultimately less hope for foster kids, and we can’t let the ACLU take that away.”

What the ACLU hopes to achieve in Michigan has already come to pass in other states.

California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., have already driven out religious providers through similar policies. They did so even though religious agencies are unique assets to the child welfare system, with great track records for overall recruitment and for finding homes for difficult to place children.

Some states and localities have gone beyond canceling contracts with religious agencies and simply refuse to license them altogether. With these agencies unable to even do pro bono work, states lose agencies whose private donors have helped subsidize the already-strained system. These shutdowns have left states with fewer hands to meet the needs of kids. The timing could not be worse, as the opioid epidemic has sent 92,000 children and counting into the system.

Closing down these agencies did not help a single child find a home. Nor did closing these agencies prevent a single LGBT person from adopting, as such adoptions are legal across all 50 states.

There is nothing to gain from closing down faith-based agencies, but there is much to lose. When religious agencies go out of business, children suffer.

A line must be drawn in Buffalo. No more agency shutdowns. The future of our children depends on it.


Real Blackfellas Don’t Complain

Leftists seem to be dimly aware that the name "Aboriginal" is not actually an Aboriginal name (It's Latin) so put on a big turn about using old tribal names (Murri, Boori, Boong etc.).  There are hundrdds of such names so the practice does nothing for clarity or anything else.  And Aborigines don't in fact use such names very much anymore.  They ordinarily refer to one another in  English -- as "blackfellas".  So you can see that the writer below is unusual in being really in touch with Aborigines

On 26 January 1788 when the First Fleet ships unloaded their 1200 convicts, Royal Marine guards and officials, not a shot was fired.

As they looked around what’s now Circular Quay they saw nothing other than bush. Not a single building, planted field, domesticated plant or animal – nothing at all. It was the same across the continent. It was "terra nullius" – a vacant land.

There was no Aboriginal Army to defeat in battle. There was nothing to claim as the spoils of victory.

There was just wild bush. The few Aborigines who came out to have a look at these strange people were completely illiterate and innumerate and those on the south side of the harbour spoke a language completely unintelligible to those on the north side of the harbour and they’d been constantly at war with each other for as long as anyone can remember. There was no "invasion".

Captain Phillip was instructed by the government in London to treat the natives "with amity and kindness" and he did. No Aborigines were shot; no platoon of Marines fixed their bayonets or loaded their muskets or took a shot at anyone who emerged from the bush to see what was going on. Instead they offered them gifts and friendship.

Most people now "identified" as "indigenous" – like myself and my children and grandchildren have European – mostly British – ancestry to a greater or lesser extent.

I recently had a DNA test done that shows I’m 48% Irish, 20% English, 30% Scandinavian, 1% Spanish and 1% Aboriginal. The absurdity is that, in this time of identity politics, I am an "Aborigine" by virtue of the fact that one of my Irish ancestors married an Aboriginal woman 6 generation ago.

There is no reason to change Australia Day. It was the day "Australia" came into being and had it not been for those British coming ashore on 26 January 1788, I wouldn’t exist and neither would Mr Mundine. The name "Mundine" is as English as a cold pork pie or fish-n-chips wrapped in newspaper.

It’s time for all indigenous people take a spoonful of cement, harden up and to get over what happened 229 years ago and stop playing the victim.

If it were not for the Australian, American and New Zealand soldiers, sailors and airmen defending Australia from the swarming Japanese in 1942, there would be no Aborigines living in Australia today. The black power mob should be holding street rallies to thank ordinary Aussies for keeping them alive today in more ways than one. We owe them nothing!



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

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

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


5 September, 2018

Men and women are not the same:  Women are better with words

As evolutionary biology would lead us to expect from their traditional roles.  Interesting that the researchers did not look at mathematics, though.  Similar data was available

Gender Difference in Verbal Performance: a Meta-analysis of United States State Performance Assessments

Jennifer Petersen


A comprehensive, statistical review of gender differences in verbal performance has not been conducted in several decades and the majority of previous work on this topic used published studies that often include small, non-representative samples. The introduction of national legislation in US public schools required schools to assess and publicly report verbal performance, thus providing verbal assessment data for millions of American students. The current study presents a meta-analysis of gender differences in US state verbal assessments. Data were collected from the departments of education in 16 states representing more than 10 million US students in grades 3 through 11. Results indicated a small gender difference favoring females for overall verbal performance (d?=?0.29). However, when type of assessment was considered, the female advantages in reading (d?=?0.19) and language arts (d?=?0.29) were smaller than in writing performance (d?=?0.45). The small gender differences in verbal performance increased in a linear pattern from grades 3 to 8 and then remained steady in high school.


Explosive Ivy League Study Repressed For Finding Transgender Kids May Be A Social Contagion

“Rapid-onset gender dysphoria” among teens and young adults may be a social contagion linked with having friends who identify as LGBT, an identity politics peer culture, and an increase in internet use, finds a study out this month from a Brown University professor. The study was quickly yanked from Brown’s news releases after a transgender activist feeding frenzy, and the journal it was published in is reconsidering the publication. There is a parent and researcher-driven petition to stand behind the publication of the first study to look in detail at rapid-onset gender dysphoria.

The petition includes the following graph about gender referrals in the United Kingdom. Anecdotal and news reports, as well as the rapid recent growth in transgender treatment centers, indicates a similar phenomenon inside the United States.

“[T]he parental reports in this study offer important and much-needed preliminary information about a cohort of adolescents, mostly girls, who with no prior history of dysphoria, are requesting irreversible medical interventions, including the potential to impair fertility and future sexual function,” says the petition. “In any other group of children, these grave consequences would be seen as human rights violations unless there was significant and overwhelming evidence these procedures would be beneficial long-term.”

Despite these facts on the ground, Brown issued a statement Tuesday effectively apologizing for publicizing their own professor’s research because, “Brown community members express[ed] concerns that the conclusions of the study could be used to discredit efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate the perspectives of members of the transgender community.”

“The spirit of free inquiry and scholarly debate is central to academic excellence,” said the statement from Bess Marcus, the dean of Brown’s School of Public Health. “At the same time, we believe firmly that it is also incumbent on public health researchers to listen to multiple perspectives and to recognize and articulate the limitations of their work.”

Hm, I wonder if she would worry about “invalidating the perspectives of members of the alternative  health community” after a Brown researcher published a study indicating a vaccine is effective and anti-vaxxers went crazy about it on Twitter. Doubtful.

The reason trans activists went nuts is that the study reinforces what plenty of parents, public health experts, and doctors have been saying: Transgenderism looks a lot like a dangerous fad. It’s telling that their response was to demand suppressing the results. It’s also telling that Brown chose to prioritize the unreasonable demands of a tiny minority above the potential well-being of children and the process of scientific inquiry.

How This Study Came About

The study is authored by Lisa Littman, a behavior and social sciences professor at Brown, and an OB-GYN whose publications are mainly in reproductive health and abortion. Here’s the phenomenon that caused her to conduct the study to learn more:

Parents have described clusters of gender dysphoria outbreaks occurring in pre-existing friend groups with multiple or even all members of a friend group becoming gender dysphoric and transgender-identified in a pattern that seems statistically unlikely based on previous research. Parents describe a process of immersion in social media, such as ‘binge-watching’ Youtube transition videos and excessive use of Tumblr, immediately preceding their child becoming gender dysphoric. These descriptions are atypical for the presentation of gender dysphoria described in the research literature…

Littman recruited for the study by posting on the transgender-critical websites 4thWaveNow, Transgender Trend, and YouthTransCriticalProfessionals, seeking parents of adolescents who had quickly come out as transgender. She recruited 256 parents of children ages 11 to 27. They filled out a 90-question survey that took about 30-60 minutes to complete. Eighty percent of their transgender-identifying children were female, and on average the kids came out at age 15.

While the author and any social scientist will tell you the study design has many flaws — self selection and self reporting among them — it is comparable in quality to studies that LGBT activists amplify when it serves their narratives. For example, a recent study that found kids of lesbians had outcomes as good or better than that of married biological parents also had self-selected participants who self-reported outcomes. Even though that had only one-quarter the sample size of Littman’s study, it was widely celebrated and published about in prominent outlets.

Littman found a number of things that make transgender narratives look terrible. For example, she explored the horrifyingly irresponsible lies anonymous internet users frequently offer to confused kids who were apparently free to browse for this information online. The below graph from the study quotes common “advice” transgender activists gave children over these kinds of forums.

It is also notable that 86 percent of the parents who took this survey said they support same-sex relationships and 88 percent “believe trans people deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else.” Similar numbers supported their kids’ decision to adopt opposite-sex hairstyles, clothes, and so forth. Of the children who told their parents they wanted to see a gender therapist, 82 percent took them.

In other words, this is a highly open and supportive sample of parents who are largely fine with cross dressing and non-heterosexuality but not on board with chopping off their daughters’ breasts or giving their sons female hormones. It’s really hard to see how they can be fairly faulted for wanting other options and more thought before rushing to mutilate and sterilize their children. Instead of harming transgender people’s best interests, instead this study amplifies the concerns of people who clearly care deeply about gender dysphoric kids.

Here’s What the Study Found

The study offers insights into how gender dysphoria seems to develop among those who declare it suddenly. Among the children studied, 59 percent identified as heterosexual prior to expressing gender dysphoria. This is a disproportionately high percent of non-heterosexual kids (41 percent), although homosexuality and especially lesbian activity is highly fluid and tends to dissipate, especially for teens and females. Eighty-seven percent of the children studied became gender dysphoric after friends did, after increasing their time online, or both.

Eighty-seven percent of the children studied became gender dysphoric after friends did, after increasing their time online, or both.

None of the young people Littman studied would have met the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for diagnosing childhood gender dysphoria, the study says. However, a very high rate, 62 percent, had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before their gender dysphoria began.

Nearly half of these children (48 percent) “experienced a traumatic or stressful event prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria,” the study says, such as parental divorce, a death in the family, a romantic breakup, rape or attempted rape, school bullying, family relocation, or a serious illness. Nearly half (45 percent) had been harming themselves before coming out trans. The parents of most of these children also reported they were bad at handling strong negative emotions.

“The majority of respondents (69.4%) answered that their child had social anxiety during adolescence; 44.3% that their child had difficulty interacting with their peers, and 43.1% that their child had a history of being isolated (not associating with their peers outside of school activities),” says the study. One parent explained that her daughter “had very high expectations that transitioning would solve their problems,” the study says. The parent wrote that the child “discontinued anti- depressant quickly, stopped seeing psychiatrist, began seeing gender therapist, stopped healthy eating. [She] stated ‘none of it’ (minding what she ate and taking her Rx) ‘mattered anymore.’ This was her cure, in her opinion.”

This makes it obvious why transgender activists do not want this information public. It suggests many gender dysphoric young people hit a rough patch in life (or several), have poor or immature coping skills, and got the message from peers, online, or both that transgenderism was a handy, simple explanation for their feelings that also offered instant social acceptance and attention.

High Correlation to Peers Who Promote LGBT Sexuality

The study includes other eye-opening information, such as case studies of several children’s stories. Here are three:

“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends were taking group lessons together with a very popular coach. The coach came out as transgender, and, within one year, all four students announced they were also transgender.”

“A 21-year-old natal male who had been academically successful at a prestigious university seemed depressed for about six months. Since concluding that he was transgender, he went on to have a marked decline in his social functioning and has become increasingly angry and hostile to his family. He refuses to move out or look for a job. His entire family, including several members who are very supportive of the transgender community, believe that he is ‘suffering from a mental disorder which has nothing to do with gender.'”

“A 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends are part of a larger friend group that spends much of their time talking about gender and sexuality. The three natal female friends all announced they were trans boys and chose similar masculine names. After spending time with these three friends, the 14-year-old natal female announced that she was also a trans boy.”

The study also describes links between social acceptance and even obsession with alternative sexuality as being a high risk factor for children contracting gender dysphoria:

Parents described intense group dynamics where friend groups praised and supported people who were transgender-identified and ridiculed and maligned non-transgender people. Where popularity status and activities were known, 60.7% of the [children with gender dysphoria in the study] experienced an increased popularity within their friend group when they announced a transgender-identification and 60.0% of the friend groups were known to mock people who were not transgender or LGBTIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or asexual).

The study also may indicate that school “anti-bullying” programs typically created by LGBT activist organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign may help accelerate children identifying as transgender by pushing peers and authority figures to profusely express their support. It also may suggest that Marxist-style identity politics that brand heterosexuality as oppressive increase gender dysphoria. Perhaps this is one reason a 2013 study found that anti-bullying programs actually increase bullying.

‘They are constantly putting down straight, white people for being privileged, dumb and boring.’
“Great increase in popularity among the student body at large. Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one parent on the study response form. Another wrote, “not so much ‘popularity’ increasing as ‘status’ … also she became untouchable in terms of bullying in school as teachers who ignored homophobic bullying …are now all at pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.”

Children who contracted gender dysphoria in the study were highly likely to have peer groups with a culture of directing animosity towards people who are white, straight, and male. “They are constantly putting down straight, white people for being privileged, dumb and boring,” one study participant wrote. Another wrote: “In general, cis-gendered people are considered evil and unsupportive, regardless of their actual views on the topic. To be heterosexual, comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, and non-minority places you in the ‘most evil’ of categories with this group of friends.”

The peer groups of rapid-onset gender dysphoric children also routinely mocked family members and adults, the study found, alienating these distressed children from their most likely sources of help. A handful of study participants who heeded their children’s petition to be removed to a different social environment reported the children were much happier and ceased describing themselves as transgender. One of these children “expressed a strong desire to ‘…get out of the culture that if you are [heterosexual], then you are bad or oppressive or clueless.'”

Social Contagion Is a Well-Documented Human Behavior

“The results of the study support the possibility that social contagion, rather than an innate, immutable sense of incongruence between body and mind, may be at work in some of these cases,” says the open letter petitioning Brown to stand behind Littman’s work.

The petition is the work of 4thWaveNow, a networking and information website for gay-friendly parents and researchers concerned about transgender politics. As mentioned above, Littman recruited parents for her study on the site, which trans activists are ridiculously claiming is a “far-right” “hate” site. 4thWaveNow clearly leans politically liberal and strongly supports non-heterosexuality. These are parents who are righteously concerned about manipulating and mutilating children for the sake of a highly politicized narrative that has little real support beyond its ability to create a business and political industry that profits from despair.

We are allowing people to get fame and profit by lying to vulnerable people and facilitating procedures that very likely do more harm than good.

I’m a free market supporter, but I also see that markets function on desire, and not all desires are good. It’s good to desire to mother a child. It’s not good to meet that desire by renting a womb and buying the medical machinery and human parts to make one. It’s good to desire social acceptance and a strong identity. It’s not good to address that desire by pretending to be a male when you are a female, or vice versa. Believing and acting on lies hurts people, often badly.

Rather than blaming the market mechanisms by which people pursue these bad answers to their desires, it’s more appropriate to set boundaries defining what longings are good and not, and what are healthy and morally right ways to satisfy them. Markets cannot do this. This is what a society is for. And because our society is failing in this duty, through things like suppressing the research, discussion, and inquiry that facilitates it, we are allowing people to get fame and profit by lying to vulnerable people and facilitating procedures that very likely do more harm than good.

This is what we call exploitation. It’s an old human story. Social hysterias like the Dutch tulip craze, Salem witch trials, lynchings, buying stock in a mythical America where the streets were paved with gold, and countless other contagions are a persistent feature of human history. Often it is intermixed with buying and selling because where there is desire, there is exchange. People did, and still do, buy and sell human beings. Now we are also buying and selling, mixing and matching human body parts. There ought to be both social and legal limits on things like this, and far better ones than we have now.

Desire drives exchange. Thus it’s big business to create desires for products and services. In so doing, business takes on the social and especially religious function of defining, refining, and directing our desires. The answer is to take that responsibility back for ourselves, and inform our desires, and ensure our children’s desires are formed, with history, research, ethics, religion, and other products of an advanced and successful culture.

The goal should be to minimize harm as much as possible. We do that by thinking before acting, and part of that thinking is talking. Research is also thinking, in a particularly rigorous fashion. This is why trans activists try to suppress talking and thinking. That shows very clearly their true goals are not for bettering human society. It also provides even greater urgency that we refuse to heed their wild, petulant, dangerous demands.


The British thought police turn men into the enemy

Melanie Phillips

Moves to add misogyny to the list of hate crimes are motivated by intolerance and prejudice

Tomorrow, the Commons will debate Creasy’s amendment to the “upskirting” bill, which would add misogyny as an aggravating factor.

The MP is said to hope that this will be the first step to making it a hate crime, along with offences motivated by hostility based on race, religion, trans identity, sexual orientation or disability. She claims that the public backs such a move. A two-year pilot scheme by Nottinghamshire police, which recognised public harassment of women as misogynistic hate crime, is said to have received overwhelming support.

Yet laws already exist prohibiting violence against women, discrimination or harassment. So why does misogyny need to be made a crime? “Upskirting,” says Creasy, “is a classic example of a crime in which misogyny is motivating the offence.”

Really? What’s the evidence for that? It seems to be nothing other than the apparently unchallengeable belief that unwanted behaviour towards women is invariably motivated by prejudice against them. This is a false and damaging generalisation. Since the perception of such a hate crime involves someone’s subjective view that she is the victim of male prejudice, it can expand to cover a vast range of behaviour. Such expansion is already on display in the Nottinghamshire scheme. This includes wolf-whistling, groping, indecent exposure, sexually explicit language, unwanted sexual advances and online abuse.

Some of these are, and should be, treated as offences in their own right. Others may be inappropriate, socially maladroit, oafish or evidence of pathological deviancy. But are they invariably motivated by hatred or dislike of all women? Are all of them serious enough to use up already overstretched police resources? And what about all those women who ogle men, address sexually suggestive remarks or insults to them, touch them inappropriately or speak of men in general with disdain?

Should misandry — hatred of, contempt for or prejudice against men — also be made a hate crime? And while we’re in the mood, why not make misanthropy a hate crime, thus criminalising all those with a generally grumpy view of their fellow human beings? Indeed, since hatred is part of the human condition, why not expand the criteria to criminalise most of the population? Under hate crime doctrine, however, bigotry is reserved only for the powerful. Men are deemed to be the patriarchy that runs the show. So by definition men cannot be victims of women.

That’s why Zakia Soman, a women’s rights activist and one of the “experts” who decided in a recent Thomson Reuters poll that America was one of the ten countries perceived as most dangerous for women, explained this dubious ranking on the grounds that “our society is ruled by misogyny and patriarchy”. Feminists used to fight the disempowering perception that “biology is destiny”. When it comes to their view of men, however, biology is guilt.

Far from creating a more decent, civilised society, existing hate crimes have helped promote a climate of intolerance, bullying and social division based on suspicion, recrimination and blame.

Hate crime was first introduced in the US in the Eighties and was problematic from the start. This was because it did not seek to address any deficiency in the laws designed to safeguard people from harm.

It was instead part and parcel of “identity politics” in which groups define themselves as victims. Victimisation is deemed to be proof of an unjust society; in identity politics, virtually everyone outside the supposedly dominant establishment is a victim. Hate crime is a symbol of solidarity with them.

It is said to be more serious than regular crimes because the prejudice involved aggravates the harm done to the victim. Really? How? It doesn’t increase the injury sustained from an assault or the potential threat posed by harassment.

The aggravating factor is surely nothing more than the offence or revulsion felt by the victim at the crime’s presumed hateful motivation. So the extra punishment is instead for values thought to be objectionable.

Hate crimes thus don’t police deeds but thought. They are an attempt to drive out attitudes that the self-appointed cultural police deem to be beyond the pale. Now actual police are being used to enforce them.

Their arbitrary nature will inevitably mean the invidious targeting of certain individuals. The Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson, for example, says boys are the victims of “gender equality” and that men are generally dominant in society because they are better at being in charge.

For that, he is of course labelled a misogynist of the deepest hue. If Creasy has her way, will Peterson be arrested for hate crime if he should return to Britain for one of his wildly successful public appearances?

Making misogyny a crime presupposes that male attitudes to women need to be regulated in and of themselves. It therefore makes men the enemy, not just of women but of decent and civilised values.

That is a hateful calumny. In other words, the real hatred involved in the crime of misogyny doesn’t lie with the male sex. It resides instead in the minds of those whose prejudice against men now risks labelling their chromosomes as accessories to crime.


Australia: Retired Anglican Bishop says the views of Australia's Christian Prime Minister go AGAINST the Bible

In good Anglican style, Dr Browning is a very secular Bishop. His doctoral thesis was on global warming and he despises the many Bible condemnations of 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; Genesis 19:4-8). So it ill behooves him to criticise the Biblical beliefs of Scott Morrison

And his account of scripture is very incomplete. He objects to the offshore detention of illegal immigrants on the basis (apparently) of the injunction to the ancient Israelites in Deuteronomy 10:19, "Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt"

But the NT version of that clearly refers to spiritual differences. 1 Peter 2:11 says: "Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul". It is now the Christians themselves who are strangers to the world around them and they are urged to separate themseves from it. So separating ourselves from law-breaking migrants is entirely scriptural.

And it is Morrison, not the Bishop, who is obedient to the Bible when it comes to his practice of sending his children to a Christian school so they will not be subjected to pro-homosexual propaganda.  Something that is "an abomination to the Lord" is fine and dandy with the fake bishop

A former bishop has claimed Scott Morrison's beliefs are against the Bible, with the statement coming just after devout Christian Prime Minister revealed he sends his children to private school to avoid the 'values of others'.

Mr Morrison said he sends his daughters, aged nine and 11, to an independent Baptist school rather than the local public school to avoid sexual education classes requiring children to role-play bisexual teenagers with multiple partners.

Dr George Browning, a former bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia, said Christians have a right to be concerned that Mr Morrison will 'behave in a way that is out of step with true biblical values' due to his views on asylum seekers, climate change and social welfare.

Dr Browning said Mr Morrison's maiden speech to parliament in 2008 in which he quoted Bishop Desmond Tutu while detailing the values he derived from his faith were not reflected in his actions as a politician.

'Given these are clues to the values that Mr Morrison holds dear, we have the right to be somewhat surprised by the stand, or lack of it, that he has taken on several issues, the first and most obvious being refugees and asylum seekers,' he wrote in a column for The Melbourne Anglican.

'On the matter of "strangers and aliens" the Bible is unequivocally clear - we are to welcome and embrace them.

'It is a matter of national shame that we have mistreated so terribly those who have come to our shores. Those still incarcerated on Manus and Nauru are prisoners of a political ideology that has very little to do with the ongoing security of Australian borders.'

Dr Browning said Mr Morrison's views on climate change showed he did not 'stand up for truth'. 'That the Australian government has abjectly failed to produce a policy to address this truth is quite shocking,' he said.

'Thirdly, in using the quote from Desmond Tutu, Mr Morrison nails his colours to the mast of a preferential bias towards the poor and needy. This of course is the bias of Jesus himself.

'Is this bias demonstrated in successive budgets over which Mr Morrison has had the responsibility of shaping? It is hard to see it.'

Australians have a right to feel the values Mr Morrison 'espoused as a Christian' are 'being ignored', Dr Browning aruged.

Mr Morrison told 2GB on Monday that he did not want the 'values of others being imposed on my children in my school'.

'I don't think that should be happening in a public school or a private school. It's not happening in the school I send my kids to, and that's one of the reasons I send them there.'

Mr Morrison said his objection to elements of the controversial Safe Schools program was why he wants to protect the religious freedoms of private schools.

The activities in question are part of the Building Respectful Relationships program, written by Deakin University associate professor Debbie Ollis, which is mapped to the curriculum in Victoria.

One exercise titled 'Different perspectives on sexual intimacy' requires students to use character cards to do 20-minute role-plays.

Mr Morrison went on to tell Mr Jones he backed federal funding for public education, which is run by the states and territories.

'[But] how about we just have state schools that focus on things like learning maths and science,' he added.

Mr Morrison is a devout Christian and attends the Hillsong Pentecostal mega church.



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 September, 2018

The Anti-Jewish Jews

Why Jewish Leftists hate Israel and the Jews. They hate any power that is not being used to "correct" and equalize society

Daniel Greenfield

Anti-Israel activist Peter Beinart had spent years arguing that Hamas was a potentially moderate organization. Then when he was questioned at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, he played victim.

But as Caroline Glick notes, there was every reason for Israeli authorities to question Beinart’s visit, because the anti-Israel BDS activist had participated in anti-Israel protests in Israel. Beinart was not, despite his claims, detained. He was asked about his participation in that protest by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. The Center, despite its name, is used by Jewish Voice for Peace members, a BDS hate group, which also, despite its name, advocates for and supports terrorists who attack Israel.

JVP members are on the banned list. Beinart had participated in a protest organized by a group that it used as a vehicle. So it’s completely normal that he was asked about it just as visitors to this country are asked about their membership in prohibited organizations such as the Nazi, Communist and other totalitarian parties. The BDS blacklist that bigots like Beinart rave about is no different than the United States blacklist on anyone who “has used a position of prominence to endorse terrorism.”

That’s the BDS movement.

JVP declared that it was proud to host Rasmea Odeh. Odeh had been convicted of a supermarket bombing in Israel that killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner: two Hebrew University students. It called the terrorist an “inspiration” and used the hashtag, #HonorRasmea. That’s using “a position of prominence to endorse terrorism” which gets you banned from both the United States and Israel.

Beinart writes for The Forward, a paper notorious for attacks on Israel and Jews that veer into the anti-Semitic. Typically anti-Semitic Forward headlines include, "3 Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race” and "Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather."

Beinart, an anti-Jewish activist of Jewish descent, is the perfect fit for an anti-Jewish tabloid of Jewish descent. The Forward's rebranding dropped the "Jewish" part of its name in 2015. That was also the year that Beinart accused Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel of a “tendency, to whitewash Jewish behavior.”

"He is largely blind to the harm Jews cause," Beinart railed against Wiesel in terms ominously similar to those used by anti-Semites. Israel, he claimed, "leads gentiles of goodwill to fear that if they criticize Israel they’ll be called anti-Semites." Peter Beinart or Richard Spencer: who wore the bigotry best?

But the gauzy line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is if anything even thinner among obsessive Israel bashers of Jewish origin like Beinart or The Forward’s Jane Eisner, its radical editor who stripped the lefty tabloid of its Jewishness, but not of its poisonous hatred of Jews. On the cocktail party circuit, Beinart is misleadingly billed as a ‘liberal Zionist.’ Like the Holy Roman Empire, he’s neither a liberal nor a Zionist. Neither liberals nor Zionists excuse Hamas or blame the victims of terror for their own deaths.

Terrorism is a "response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights," Beinart has insisted. It’s “the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.” His vicious hatred of the Jewish State is matched by his crush on Hamas. "Hamas is the final frontier," Beinart bloviated in 2009. “A shift in US and Israeli policy towards Hamas is long overdue,” he insisted in 2011. And seven years later, it’s still overdue.

Recently in The Forward, Beinart compared Israel's embargo on Hamas to Soviet gulags and Hiroshima. American Jews, he poisonously insisted, were responsible for "the strangulation of 2 million human beings." (Much of the column is actually recycled from a 2014 Beinart column. This self-plagiarism is typical of Beinart who hasn't said anything new in a decade. He only says it more shrilly.)

In that same column, Peter Beinart blamed Israel for not having “embraced” a Hamas government.  Unlike Israel, Beinart has embraced Hamas and spent a decade blaming Israel for not following suit. Beinart castigates American Jews for giving Israel the benefit of the doubt, but that’s exactly what he does for a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization that has been killing Jews, in its Muslim Brotherhood incarnations, before the Gaza blockade, before the Six Day War, and before an independent Israel.

Like most anti-Semites, the anti-Zionism of Beinart, The Forward and most of the anti-Jewish Jews is a pretext. Bashing Israel is just an excuse for bashing Jews. It’s why Beinart’s critique of Wiesel’s position on Israel quickly becomes a discourse on Jewish power and the “atrocity” of the Purim story.

It's why Roger Cohen's New York Times column praising Beinart's attack on Zionism was titled, "The Dilemmas of Jewish Power." Jewish power is the theme that Beinart returns to again and again in his attacks on the Jewish community. It’s also the theme of The Forward’s clique of Jewish bashers. And it’s the quintessential theme of anti-Semites on the left and the right, Jewish and non-Jewish.

Reducing the question to Jewish power is a classic leftist formula for legitimizing anti-Semitism. The left is not concerned with questions of right and wrong, but with power and powerlessness. Every leftist critique of Israel takes the same microscopic view, ignoring history and context, zooming in on the relative strengths of Hamas and the IDF, the GDPs of Israel and Gaza, while ignoring over a thousand years of Muslim persecution of Jews, and the Muslim world that stands behind Hamas, and announcing that might makes wrong. But Beinart and The Forward take that formula way beyond the green line.

Their critique of Jewish power is the same in America as it is in Israel.

When a black Washington D.C. councilman affiliated with the left claimed that Jews control the weather, Eisner’s Forward published not one, but two defenses of his hateful views, by attacking Jews.

"We are pretending Jewish education is showing our brutal historical treatment in ghettos — while in the same breath stepping over today’s ghettos to do so, and attacking a man representing one of them," Rafael Shimunov railed against Jews with, "300 times his wealth, and 1,000 times his privilege."

Shimunov wears multiple hats. He’s a top dog at the Working Families Party which was an ally of the weather control councilman, and a member of the anti-Israel hate group, If Not Now, dubbed by Beinart in The Forward as a Jewish Black Lives Matter. But If Not Now disavowed Beinart’s praise.  BLM claims to stand for black lives, while If Not Now isn’t fighting for Jewish lives.  It’s fighting to destroy them.

Whether it’s Hamas or an anti-Semitic council member, the left’s argument is the same. Bigotry and murder are only wrong when practiced by the powerful against the powerless. Instead of defending themselves or protesting, Jews must realize that they are the guilty ones because of their power.

The left has two types of identitarian movements. Those of the powerless take power. And those of the powerful destroy theirs. Jews have been marked as a powerful group. The only Jewish movements that the left will tolerate are those that, like If Not Now, are dedicated to the destruction of the Jews. That’s why a leftist Jewish civil rights organization is an impossible contradiction in terms.

It’s not about Israel. It’s about Jews.

To understand how the left sees Jews, make one simple adjustment to their lexicon that strips away a common euphemism. When Forward editor Jane Eisner wonders, “Are African Refugees Paying The Price Of Jewish Power?”, the right way to read that is to spell “Power” as “Evil.”

The Forward is full of critical headlines about “Jewish Power,” from “New Film Reveals The Perils of Jewish Power,” to “The Burdens of Jewish Power” and “How the Jews Are Tarnished by Money.”

Jewish power, Karl Marx, whose bearded visage still sneers from The Forward’s old building, claimed, is self-interest. That self-interest has corrupted Jews. And Jewish self-interest has corrupted the world. Only socialism, enlightened global altruism, can redeem the world from the corruption of the Jews.

Behind the special pleading, the foaming outrage, the laughable invocations of Jewish tradition and morality, Beinart, Eisner, The Forward and Jewish Voice for Peace are working off the same Marxist critique of Jews. Israel’s crime and that of its Jewish supporters, they contend, is that its self-interest has corrupted Jewish morality. The only way to redeem the Jews is to destroy Jewish self-interest.

To destroy Israel.

Only by abandoning their self-interest, their power, even their survival, can they atone for what Marxist anti-Semites, from their great bearded master on down, see as the ‘original sin’ of the Jews.

Marx saw Judaism as the embodiment of Jewish self-interest. For the latter-day left, for whom Judaism doesn’t exist, Israel is Marx’s embodiment of Jewish clannish power. Like Marx, the anti-Israel left is convinced that Israel corrupts and controls America. Even, echoing the old leftist anti-Semite, that America is becoming like Israel. Destroying Israel will liberate Jews from their selfish Jewishness.

Peter Beinart, The Forward and JVP aren’t putting forward bold new ideas. Their Jewish sources are not, as they claim, the prophets of Israel or the Kotzker Rebbe, but the original prototype of the anti-Jewish Jew. Their prophet is the pathological anti-Semite [Marx] who raved, “What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.”

Over a century and a half later, Marxist criticism of the Jews has made few innovations, replacing Judaism with Israel, and to a lesser degree, money with power. Leftist anti-Zionism is so hard to distinguish from anti-Semitism because its roots are still in the same anti-Semitic Marxist sewer.

The Anti-Jewish Jews preach the salvific powers of the left to redeem the selfishness of the Jews. Only the left can save Jews from Jewish power. Only the left can redeem Jews from clinging to their guns, bible, and land by destroying Israel.

Karl Marx was right about one thing. There is a struggle between Judaism and the left. For the left to win, Judaism must be destroyed. And Beinart and The Forward are still waging his war on Judaism.

And the Jews of Israel are winning through the traditional Jewish strategy of surviving. Every Jewish child born in Israel, every Jewish home that rises on a hill, is a defeat for Beinart, The Forward, and the left.

Is it any wonder that Peter Beinart can’t stop making the case for Hamas?


Dems Attack In-N-Out Burger for Donating to GOP. Instantly Blows Up in Their Faces

If there is one thing that can be counted on, it is that the perpetually offended crowd will always find something new and mind-boggling to be upset about. The latest “We must boycott or ban” movement by the left was revealed on Twitter and is against one of America’s favorite burger joints: In-N-Out Burger.

What could they have possibly done that has elicited the ire of the left? Donated to the GOP, according to a tweet from California Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman:

So, companies can only donate if it is to the Democrats or democrat-supported causes, such as Planned Parenthood? That hardly seems like something you’d find in a free country. Or coming from people who push for “tolerance.”

Any business that doesn't agree with your politics should be boycotted? Wow, that's quite inclusive of you.

As Twitchy noted, the leanings of the restaurant have not exactly been kept secret over the years. Bible verses have been printed on the wrappers and cups.

Not only have social media users commented on it over the years, but NPR did a report on it in 2009.

And like so many attempts to boycott and ban that have come before, this one, too, has backfired on the left. Twitter users were quick to bash the idea and call out the hypocrisy.

It seems when the left calls for boycotts and bans, they inadvertently end up throwing more support to the thing they are trying to destroy. The NRA spiked in membership after the left attacked the organization. When liberal-leaning tech giants went after Alex Jones and his InfoWars empire, his website saw a jump in numbers.


US Aid, Palestinian Wakaha

The question of Palestinian responsiveness is once again on display as Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials in Ramallah step up their verbal attacks on the US administration after its decision to cut $200 million in American financial aid to the Palestinians.

Abbas and the PA leadership are again behaving like spoiled, angry children whose candy has been taken away from them, hurling abuse at the Trump administration. Recall that earlier this year, Abbas called US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman a "son of a dog."

For the past 9 months, the Palestinian leaders have been waging a massive and unprecedented campaign of incitement and abuse against Trump and his administration. This campaign began immediately after Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017, and the campaign is continuing to this day as a reply to the US decision to slash $200 million from the American financial aid to the Palestinians.

Significantly, the PA and its leaders were the ones who initiated the crisis with the US administration. Their dissatisfaction with Trump's announcement on Jerusalem may be understandable, but they chose to take their protest to an extreme by boycotting the US administration and waging a smear campaign against Trump and his "Jewish advisors and envoys."

It is clear that the Palestinian boycott of the US administration did not include receiving funds from the Americans. One the one hand, the Palestinians have been boycotting and badmouthing US administration officials. On the other hand, Abbas and his representatives are now crying that the US administration is slashing $200 million of its financial aid to the Palestinians. If this isn't cheek in its finest form, what is?

The Arabic word for cheek, by the way, is wakaha. Were Abbas to behave in the same manner towards an Arab country for cutting financial aid to the Palestinians, he would have been accused by his Arab brothers of displaying wakaha at its best. Abbas, however, would think ten times before he uttered a bad word against any Arab country.

The Palestinians are basically telling the Americans: We have the right to condemn you every day, to burn your flags and photos of your president, to incite against you, to launch weekly protests against you, to accuse you of being under the "influence of the Jewish and Zionist lobby" and, at the same time, we have the right to continue receiving US taxpayer money.

Judging from their actions and assertions in the past few months, the Palestinians have turned the US into an enemy. They consider the US to be in "collusion" with the Israeli government and a "full partner in Israeli crimes against the Palestinians." They say they no longer trust the US to play any role in a peace process with Israel because of the Trump administration's "blind bias" in favor of Israel and its "hostile" policies towards the Palestinians.

The Palestinians, of course, are entitled to voice their anger at the US. However, if they are so fed up with the US that they are even boycotting US administration officials, why are they demanding that the Americans continue to supply them with hundreds of millions of dollars each year? Where's the vaunted Arab dignity, which requires an Arab not to humiliate himself in return for money, especially if it comes from someone you consider an enemy?

The answer to this question can be found in a statement issued on August 25 by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in response to the US decision to cut the $200 million in aid to the Palestinians. "The international community is not doing the Palestinians a favor by providing them with financial aid," Erekat argued. "This is a due duty of the international community, which bears responsibility for the continued Israeli occupation."

Erekat's statement reflects a long-standing Palestinian position according to which the US and the rest of the international community owe the Palestinians money for supporting Israel's existence. The Palestinian position stems from a belief that the international community, specifically the Americans and Europeans, were responsible for the establishment of Israel in 1948 at the cost of the Palestinians. This position was best echoed by Abbas himself, who has said that Israel is a "colonial project" imposed on the Palestinians by Western powers.

This attitude means that the Palestinians have never seen the massive financial aid they have received from the West as a gift but rather as something that the world owes them for imposing a "colonial project" on them. The billions of dollars the Palestinians have received in the past few decades have evidently left no positive impression on the Palestinians, who feel that the funds are something they are fully entitled to because of the world's support for the existence of Israel.

The Palestinians, in other words, apparently do not feel they have to be grateful to those who have been funding them for decades. If the Europeans were to take a similar decision today and cut funding to the Palestinians, they too would be condemned by Abbas and his officials for being "hostile" towards the Palestinians and "biased" in favor of Israel.

The ongoing Palestinian rhetorical attacks on the US administration are dangerous because they further radicalize the Palestinian public and turn the Americans into an enemy in the eyes of many Palestinians. In recent months, we have seen increased hostility towards American officials and citizens visiting the West Bank as a direct result of this incitement.

Last July, the US Consul-General in Jerusalem was forced to cancel a visit to the Palestinian city of Nablus after Palestinians threatened to stage protests against him and his entourage.

A month earlier, Palestinian protesters expelled a US consular delegation from the city of Bethlehem and threw tomatoes at their vehicles. No one was hurt, but the incident, which was documented on camera, was impolite and degrading for the Americans.

The Palestinians are now accusing the US of attempting to "blackmail" them by cutting the funds. According to the Palestinians, the US administration wants to force them to accept Trump's yet-to-be-unveiled plan for peace in the Middle East.

It is worth noting, however, that the US administration has not yet presented its purported plan to the Palestinians or to any other party. So how can the US administration be trying to pressure or "blackmail" the Palestinians when no peace plan has ever been made public? Can the Palestinians point to one US administration official who asked them to accept the unseen plan or support Trump's policies? Of course not.

There is indeed blackmail going on -- but in precisely the opposite direction. The Palestinians are trying to blackmail the US by claiming, absurdly, that the recent US decisions jeopardize the two-state solution and prospects for peace in the Middle East.

These are the very Palestinians, however, who have refused to resume peace talks with Israel for the past four years, since long before Trump was elected as president.

Common sense would have it that the US has a right to demand something from any party it helps to support -- including the Palestinians. But the Palestinians see things differently. In their view, billions of dollars are owed to them as some sort of divine right. And if their behavior calls into question whether they deserve that money -- well, those asking questions can just go back where they came from.


Radical Australian priest misrepresents God

Rod Bower ignores the Bible messages about 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; Genesis 19:4-8).  He probably means well but according to the Bible he is leading men into perdition.  He is just a "social justice" warrior in a clerical collar

RADICAL Aussie Priest Rod Bower is far from your average man of the cloth.

His liberal views on gay rights, asylum seekers, Islam and treatment of indigenous Australians have seen him accused my some believers as a traitor to their idea of Christian values.

And, we’re not just talking about a few nasty comments from his tens of thousands of followers on social media.

Some of these extremists regularly send death threats and they have even invaded his church on NSW’s Central Coast to terrorise him and his worshippers on two occasions.

Ahead of the launch of his autobiographical book, Outspoken — which will be released this month — he told news.com.au about his anger over the double-standards of so-called Christian politicians like Scott Morrison and how Christianity in Australia has been hijacked by right-wing extremists.

Fr Bower’s life-changing moment came when he randomly made a last-minute decision to go to church when he was hungover on Christmas Day in 1984.

And, his life was transformed once again almost 20 years later when he created a sign outside his Gosford church, which would make the world sit up and take notice.

The story behind Fr Bower’s infamous “some ppl are gay” sign began on July 23, 2013 when he got a phone call from a woman whose brother was dying.

“She asked me if I could administer the last rites at his home,” he wrote in his new book. “At the agreed time I duly presented myself at the door in order to administer the sacrament.

“The man was unconscious, lying in a hospital-type bed in the living room of his well-appointed apartment.”

Mr Bower met the dying man’s sister, and when he received some awkward answers to questions about the man’s love life — he guessed what was going on.

“The assumption was that the church — and therefore, the family had figured, me as the church’s representative — was unable to accept a same-sex union as valid,” he wrote.

“I was deeply disturbed by this and incredibly troubled as I drove back to the church. The adrenaline was surging through me for a long time afterwards.”

He wanted to show the world he was supportive of LGBTI people. He turned to the sign outside his church and used the power of social media to spread his message.

He called that moment, when he was being asked awkward questions by a dying man’s family, the “straw that broke the camels back”. He was filled with rage.

But now he had a platform to express this rage and he used it to champion three major issues: marriage equality, asylum seekers and climate change.



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 September, 2018

Islam as a disease?  I don't think that is wholly wrong

It certainly does seem to fry your brain. China's crackdown on rioting Muslims is probably a bit harsh but maybe we are too soft with the Jihadis who attack us

INTERNMENT camps, rehabilitation, ethnic cleansing, torture and suffering. No, this isn’t a description of the Nazi regimen in the 1940s. It’s China right now.

As we speak, over a million Muslims in China’s northwest region of Xinjiang are allegedly being held in prison-like camps disguised as “re-education facilities”, according to human rights organisations, US officials and survivors.

There are also reports of Muslim inmates forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which are forbidden in their religion.

An official Chinese Communist Party recording compared Islam to an “infectious disease”.

The recording, obtained by Radio Free Asia, said: “Members of the public who have been chosen for re-education have been infected by an ideological illness.

“Being infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not trigger and affect you in the future.”

Former inmates have described disturbing indoctrination programs that can last several months, in which they’re forced to renounce their religion and pledge allegiance to the state.

Xinjiang is a large autonomous region in the country’s northwest bordering the former Soviet Central Asian republics, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Estimated hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs — a Turkic ethnic group primarily based in Xinjiang — have been subjected to arbitrary detention and torture here for years.

Chinese authorities have been accused of intensifying its crackdown on the minorities in the region since the 1990s.

Over the past decade, the region has transformed into an occupied surveillance state, where the people, including their movements and beliefs, are controlled by the government.

It all started in 2009, when thousands took to the streets in a mass demonstration in the region’s capital, Urumqi. They were protesting the recent killing of Uighur migrant workers in Guangdong, in the country’s south.

Buses were smashed, stones were thrown through shop windows and passers-by were assaulted, according to media reports. They set vehicles on fire, with riot squads brought in to restore order with tear gas and armoured vehicles.

There were 197 fatalities, and almost 2000 injuries before order was restored.

By any country’s standards, such a protest would be heavy-handed, but in authoritarian China — where protests are neither allowed nor tolerated by the Communist government — it was next-level, and armed police were brought in to contain the violence.

Communist Party officials responded by effectively creating a surveillance state.

In a Black Mirror-style system, every resident of the region was given a label: “Safe”, “Normal” or “Unsafe”, which was determined by their age, faith, religion, foreign contacts and overseas travel. Those in the “Unsafe” category were sent to internment camps.

According to US officials, they installed facial recognition cameras, mobile phone scans, conducted DNA collections, and increased an intrusive police presence.

The Chinese government does not deny the existence of the camps, but it claims the institutions are just re-education facilities that teach Chinese language and Chinese laws on Islam and political activity.

But those who have lived through them beg to differ.

Mass detentions of Uighurs are reported to have started early last year. Citizens might simply disappear in the middle of the night, or upon disembarking a returning flight to the region.

Iman*, who came from a middle-class Uighur family, studied in the United States and elsewhere in China.

When he came back to Xinjiang, he was detained upon arrival, despite breezing through interrogators’ questions and having nothing incriminating on his person.

He was later taken to a prison-like internment house, where his meticulously-structured days would consist of re-education films and workshops in which he was taught to reinterpret Islam. The light in the bedroom, which he shared with two dozen other men, was never turned off.

After 17 days of hell, the guards released him with a chilling warning: “I’m sure you may have had some ideological changes because of your unpleasant experience but remember: Whatever you say or do in North America, your family is still here and so are we.”

But now, he was part of Xinjiang’s intrusive surveillance database — his “criminal” status forbade him from entering shopping centres, boarding public transport and setting foot in public buildings.

It's unknown how many prisoners may be held in the camps, but a Human Rights Watch report estimates that up to 800,000 of the region’s 22 million population may have been in them.

Even outside of the camps, all aspects of life are controlled for the minority residents.

According to a Buzzfeed News report, growing a beard or naming your child Muhammad or Medina can get you reported to police.

Women are reportedly banned from wearing burqas and veils in Xinjiang. Residents are no longer allowed to fast. And as of 2016, millions of residents were made to surrender their passports and seek permission from the government in order to leave China.

The city is rife with checkpoints, where authority figures can go through your phone for any evidence of religious language in text messages, overseas phone calls or banned social media apps like Facebook and Twitter.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, maintains its security crackdown on Xinjiang is for safety reasons.

In an editorial earlier this month, state outlet The Global Times said the government’s actions had helped “salvage” the region, which was on “the verge of massive turmoil”.

“It has avoided the fate of becoming ‘China’s Syria’ or China’s Libya,”’ the paper said.

To this day, the government denies all accusations of internment and torture.


Italy and Hungary Create 'Anti-Immigration Axis'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have pledged to create an "anti-immigration axis" aimed at countering the pro-migration policies of the European Union.

Meeting in Milan on August 28, Orbán and Salvini, vowed to work together with Austria and the Visegrad Group — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — to oppose a pro-migration group of EU countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Orbán and Salvini are seeking a coordinated strategy ahead of the March 2019 European Parliament elections to defeat the pro-immigration Party of European Socialists (PES), a pan-European party representing national-level socialist parties from all EU member states. The objective is to change the political composition of European institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Commission, to reverse the EU's open-door migration policies.

At a joint press conference, Salvini said:

"Today begins a journey that will continue in the coming months for a different Europe, for a change of the European Commission, of European policies, which puts at the center the right to life, work, health, safety, all that the European elites, financed by [billionaire Hungarian philanthropist George] Soros and represented by Macron, deny.

"We are close to a historic turning point at the continental level. I am astonished at the stupor of a political left that now exists only to challenge others and believes that Milan should not host the president of a European country, as if the left has the authority to decide who has the right to speak and who does not — and then they wonder why no one votes for them anymore.

"This is the first of a long series of meetings to change destinies, not only of Italy and of Hungary, but of the whole European continent."

Orbán added:

"European elections will be held soon, and many things must change. At the moment there are two sides in Europe: One is led by Macron, who supports mass migration. The other side is led by countries that want to protect their borders. Hungary and Italy belong to the latter.

"Hungary has shown that we can stop migrants on land. Salvini has shown that migrants can be stopped at sea. We thank him for protecting Europe's borders.

"Migrants must be sent back to their countries. Brussels says we cannot do it. They also said it was impossible to stop migrants on land, but we did it. "Salvini and I, we seem to share the same destiny. He is my hero."

Macron responded:

"If they wanted to see me as their main opponent, they were right to do so. It is clear that today a strong opposition is building up between nationalists and progressives and I will yield nothing to nationalists and those who advocate hate speech."

Salvini fired back:

"From the beginning of 2017 to the present day, the France of 'do-good Macron' has rejected more than 48,000 immigrants at the Italian border, including women and children. Is this the 'welcoming and supportive' Europe that Macron and the do-gooders are talking about?

"Instead of giving lessons to others, I would invite the hypocritical French president to reopen his borders and welcome the thousands of refugees he promised to take in.

"Italy is no longer the refugee camp of Europe. The party for smugglers and do-gooders is over!"

In July, Salvini said that he wanted to create a pan-European network of like-minded, nationalist parties:

"To win [the Italian elections] we had to unite Italy, now we have to unite Europe. I am thinking about a 'League of the Leagues of Europe,' bringing together all the free and sovereign movements that want to defend their people and their borders."

Salvini proposed that the network include Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, and Hungary's Orbán, among others. He also said that the European Parliament elections in 2019 should be a referendum on "a Europe without borders" versus "a Europe that protects its citizens."

Salvini has repeatedly criticized the European Union over mass migration, accusing the bloc of having abandoned Italy as it struggles to deal with the more than 600,000 migrants who have arrived in the country since 2014. The problem has been exacerbated by EU regulations.

Under an EU rule — known as the Dublin Regulation — migrants must seek asylum in the country where they first enter the European Union. This has placed an inordinate burden on Italy, given its geographical proximity to Africa.


This had nothing to do with racism.  Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off because she was incompetent

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted in 2015 of gross negligence manslaughter, after Jack Adcock, a six-year-old boy, died in hospital while under her care. Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that she be allowed to resume her career as a doctor. That decision came after a prominent campaign had alleged that Bawa-Garba, of Nigerian heritage, had been a victim of racism by the medical hierarchy. The facts suggest otherwise, and point, on the contrary, to how the accusation of ‘racism’ was used to obscure reality in this case.

The facts that resulted in Bawa-Garba’s manslaughter conviction were truly shocking. In her four-week Crown Court trial the jury was advised to deliver a guilty verdict only if they felt Bawa-Garba had committed negligence that was ‘truly exceptionally bad’. Despite this high bar, she was convicted. She then attempted to appeal her conviction, but the Court of Appeal dismissed her arguments as meritless. It noted that ‘this jury was left in no doubt as to the truly exceptional degree of negligence’ in this case.

Throughout her trial and attempts to appeal, Bawa-Garba was represented by an expert team of lawyers, led by a Queen’s Counsel. The trial judge was a High Court judge with considerable experience of medical-negligence prosecutions, and the Court of Appeal said he ‘provided a masterly analysis of the case’ in his direction to the jury. There was patently no irregularity or injustice behind the jury’s conviction.

The trial judge sentenced Bawa-Garba to a two-year prison term, but suspended it after noting that, in the words of the High Court, the ‘effect of the conviction meant that her career was over’. He clearly expected her to be struck off the medical register. But to the consternation of the General Medical Council (GMC), which is charged with ensuring proper medical standards, her disciplinary tribunal merely imposed a one-year suspension from the register.

This decision was then overturned by the High Court, which ruled in January that anything less than a striking-off was inconsistent with the nature of the jury’s conviction. In reaching this conclusion, the court concluded that Dr Bawa-Garba’s ‘truly exceptional bad failings’ caused such a ‘serious departure from the principles of good medical practice’ that public confidence in the medical profession would be undermined if she was allowed to resume her medical career.

That should have been the end of it. But the case was given a further lease of life by a campaign that accused the GMC of having racially discriminated against Bawa-Garba. Earlier this year, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) wrote to the GMC to accuse it of an inherent bias against black and minority ethnic doctors, as reflected in its ‘pursuit’ of Dr Bawa-Garba. The letter was widely covered in the medical press. And a few days later, the Muslim Doctors Association, an organisation with over 6,000 members, claimed that striking off Dr Bawa-Garba ‘highlights the important issue for debate concerning the treatment and fate of BME doctors working in the NHS’.

The charge of racism against the GMC spread to the mainstream press, with the Daily Mail quoting BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta as saying that ‘the GMC may have been partly influenced by the fact that Dr Bawa-Garba, a Muslim who moved to Britain from her native Nigeria in 1994, wears a headscarf’. ‘We are saying that racism is one of the parts of it’, he claimed.

None of these campaigners was able to refer to a single fact that supported the charge of ‘racism’. Indeed, by failing to address the truth, the ghastly truth that resulted in a boy’s avoidable death, these campaigners showed that they were more interested in hurling racially charged brickbats at the medical hierarchy than in learning lessons from what had happened. In her original trial, the prosecution amply justified the GMC’s position that public confidence in the medical profession would be weakened if this doctor was not struck off.

First, Dr Bawa-Garba had misdiagnosed the boy’s illness as a stomach bug when he actually had a far more serious infection. This misdiagnosis became negligent, said the Crown, after the doctor received blood-test results which ‘any competent junior doctor’ would have interpreted properly. Second, the Crown alleged that when Jack’s condition deteriorated, the doctor was grossly negligent in that she had ‘failed to properly reassess’ him or to seek advice from a consultant. She failed to review properly a chest x-ray or to give Jack antibiotics until four hours after that x-ray. She failed to make proper clinical notes. And she failed to raise concerns with a senior consultant, despite speaking to one on two occasions. On the second occasion, she said that Jack had improved and was bouncing about. A final detail, unrelated to the cause of Jack’s death, was that when efforts were made to resuscitate him, Bawa-Garba arrived and hampered their efforts, in the mistaken belief that Jack was another boy in the ‘do not resuscitate category’.

Having regard to the above facts it is hardly surprising that the GMC sought to persuade the High Court that Dr Bawa-Garba had to be struck off, on the grounds that any lesser sanction would undermine public confidence in the medical profession. Contrary to what campaigners have alleged, the GMC’s actions and the High Court’s acceptance of its stance had nothing to do with Dr Bawa-Garba’s race, religion or wearing of a headscarf. It was the reasonable consequence of her own incompetent treatment of a boy who died in her care.

The GMC, the NHS, the press, the courts and the public at large should always seek out the truth. Instead of hitting the ‘racism’ button, those making excuses for Bawa-Garba ought to have done a little research into why she was convicted and struck off in the first place. Her treatment never had anything to do with racism.


Trans activists have declared war on free speech

Censorship and violence are used to shut down debate about gender recognition.

Over the past year, trans activists in the UK have repeatedly shut down debate about the British government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act – a change in legislation that will make it considerably easier for people to self-identify officially as male or female, regardless of their birth sex.

In September 2017 an attendee at a meeting of a feminist group, We Need to Talk, formed in response to the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, was attacked in Hyde Park Corner by a trans activist.

Indeed, We Need to Talk has struggled to hold any meetings at all such has been the campaign of intimidation and harassment on the part of trans activists: in November, an event in York was cancelled due to pressure exerted on the venue by activists; in January, the same thing happened again, this time in Glasgow; and in March this year, an event was cancelled at Millwall Football Club, before a group of trans protesters blocked the stairs to prevent a We Need To Talk event at Bristol’s Jam Jar.

Activists then made a bomb threat to another women’s organisation, A Woman’s Place UK, which also wanted to debate the future of the Gender Recognition Act. Even a left-wing newspaper, the Morning Star, has been attacked for daring to suggest that making it easier to change one’s gender might be something we should debate.

And it is not just on the margins of the left that trans activism has been shutting down discussion. Campaign group Trans Media Watch lodged an official complaint last year against the BBC on the basis that two of its programmes – Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? and an edition of Newsnight discussing gender recognition – featured too many critical voices on the trans issue. (In fact, they both presented a balanced range of views on the subject of transgender identity in adults and children, which so few programmes do now.)

Then there was the case of Jenni Murray, a host on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, who, in 2017, experienced the full wrath of a trans activist scorned. Her ‘crime’ was to ask whether someone who had experienced the privileges of growing up as a man could ever be a woman. For doing so, she was denounced on social media, and condemned by Stonewall UK.  ‘Trans women have every right to have their identity and experiences respected, too’, Stonewall’s statement ran. ‘They are women – just like you and me – and their sense of their gender is as ingrained in their identity as yours or mine.’

Why was Murray being condemned, though? Her argument is perfectly legitimate: she was merely asking whether men, no matter what they feel, can ever be women. For posing this simple logical question, she was met with demands that she be fired.

The most worrying of all the instances of trans intolerance came this spring, when the editors of the Sun, The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph and Metro were required to appear before parliament’s Home Affairs Committee’s hate-crime inquiry to answer concerns that the media have fuelled hostile sentiment towards minority groups, specifically transgender people. Labour MP Stephen Doughty took the opportunity to challenge newspaper bosses over two stories he perceived as being ‘negative’ about transgender people.

But take a look at the articles Doughty was complaining about, and you can see just how threatened free and open debate on the issue of trans identity now is. Take ‘We need to investigate the causes of this sudden transgender explosion’, by Tory peer Norman Tebbit. He was merely questioning why so many young people were suddenly being referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman Trust, the national centre for treatment of children and adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria and other issues related to gender variance.

‘Evolutionary change seldom comes so suddenly or across such a wide front’, wrote Tebbit, ‘so I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach’. Tebbit was hardly being controversial. In fact, he was merely reiterating the same concerns as those voiced by Dr Polly Carmichael, the director of the GIDS, who, having seen her service’s caseload expand 35 times over in the past 10 years, called for investigation and research into the rise in transgender referrals. Yet Doughty seemed to be suggesting that such reasonable requests were tantamount to attacks on trans people.

History is replete with examples of the silencing of the press and free speech in general by those in power. The trans lobby may think it represents a weak and vulnerable minority, but its views have been adopted by those in power (hence the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act). Trans activists would do well, then, to study the history of press freedom. Seeking to dictate which views are permissible, and which are not, will not further the freedom of trans people to be who they want to be, but it will result in less freedom for all.

In his proposed preface to Animal Farm, ‘The Freedom of the Press’, George Orwell wrote: ‘If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.’

I think it is high time we had this discussion.



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 September, 2018

Many Germans now rejecting the horde of aggressive Muslims who have been allowed into their country

Daniel Hillig never stood a chance when he was killed in the early hours of last Sunday morning. As he took out money from a bank machine, a man ordered him to hand over his cash and credit card.

He tried to run, but was stabbed five times, leaving him dying on the pavement near a Karl Marx statue overlooking the city centre of Chemnitz in eastern Germany.

I was given this account of his death by someone who heard it first hand from those who were with Daniel that night. Indeed, this week I was taken by this friend of Daniel Hillig to the cash machine, a few yards from the shrine set up where he fell.

The 35-year-old German carpenter’s death has sparked riots and demonstrations over the divisive issue of mass migration into Europe after it emerged the prime suspect was an Iraqi Kurd who arrived in Germany three years ago.

In front of the Karl Marx statue, fascist protesters in dubious regalia have raised straight arms in grotesque Nazi salutes — banned in Germany since the defeat of Hitler in 1945 — while calling for the country’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to quit.

Left-wing anti-Nazis have retaliated with violence as police with tear gas struggled to keep the two sides apart. Significantly, also marching on the streets have been ordinary citizens of this city, where almost one in four voted for a rising Right-wing anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), in recent elections.

Three summers ago, Merkel invited Syrians embroiled in a civil war to come to Germany.

More than one million migrants arrived in a matter of months, their nationalities and the true purpose of their journeys largely unchecked, from a myriad countries across the impoverished and war-torn Third World.

One of them, it now transpires, was named Yousif, and is the 22-year-old Iraqi Kurd who is being investigated over the knife attack on Daniel Hillig, a German of Cuban extraction.

Yousif was living in an asylum hostel 20 miles from Chemnitz and had travelled in to town to enjoy a street festival with a migrant friend, a 23-year-old Syrian named Alaa. Both are now in custody and being questioned by police.

News that migrants were implicated in the death instantly raised hackles in this racially fraught part of Germany.

As Utte — a 61-year-old who works at the local Ikea store — told me this week at the shrine of candles for Daniel in central Chemnitz: ‘I have a son aged 33 who is half-Mozambican. ‘I have a grand-daughter who is half-Indian and half-German.

‘I have always welcomed migrants here, and I know there is terrible racism in this eastern part of Germany because my own family have suffered it. My granddaughter is shouted at on the bus for having dark skin. My son is turned away at nightclubs because he looks a different colour to a “thoroughbred” German.

‘But we believe foreigners tried to rob Daniel Hillig at the bank and then knifed him. I have to feel anger about that and feel sad for the future of Germany.’

Beside her, a young Afghan man of 21, who is a migrant himself, added: ‘I knew Daniel, too. He had a girlfriend, Bianca, who I was in touch with. I am here because I am sorry about what happened.

‘I dare not give you my name for printing because the backlash against people like me is going to get worse in Chemnitz even among those who first welcomed us a few years ago.’

This week, information from a police document emerged about Yousif and his past. A justice official in Dresden admitted to the respected German newspaper Bild on Thursday that he had leaked the arrest warrant after photographing it.

It’s now known that after his arrival in Germany in the migration wave of 2015, Yousif became a hairdresser and had passed a language test set for asylum seekers. There is even a photograph on his Facebook page of him standing proudly, apparently during a holiday, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris holding up a Kurdish flag.

Yet there is a darker side. According to the leak, he has a string of convictions for crimes committed as an asylum seeker. They include serious bodily harm, smuggling drugs into Germany, using pepper spray as a weapon in a migrant hostel, a violent street attack, property damage and fraud.

In March last year he was listed for deportation back to Iraq, but nothing happened. As Bild commented this week: ‘Many German people will say he should have been deported the moment he arrived in 2015. He comes from Kurdish Iraq and that is, anyway, considered a safe place to live.’

At the hostel where he lived, fellow migrants told reporters this week that Yousif often took drugs, particularly cannabis, and liked alcohol. Sometimes his behaviour was erratic. ‘He always had a knife because he had a lot of money. He said it was for self-defence on the street,’ explained one.

The hostel pals say that last Saturday Yousif kept calling them from the festival on his mobile phone to say: ‘You must come. We are having a lot of fun.’ But when he did not return on the Sunday — Daniel Hallig was killed before dawn that morning — they began to think something was wrong.

Indeed, something was. Those who have spoken to a witness to the knifing say that when Daniel ran from the bank machine, refusing to hand over his card or money, there was a flurry of activity.

They say the man who accosted him had made a call on his mobile, after which a group of men came around the corner and helped chase down the carpenter.

Now there is febrile talk on the streets of Chemnitz that others in Yousif’s circle played a part in Daniel’s death — and that does not bode well for Mrs Merkel’s migrants here in Saxony.

While the exact circumstances of this murder will be tested in court, there is no doubt the threat of violence against other immigrants has increased substantially.

Some have been chased through the streets and attacked in recent days. The mood I witnessed this week is ugly — and it may yet get worse. Disturbances continued in the city on Thursday night when protesters waved banners and shouted that Chemnitz had become an ‘African enclave’.

They had been warned by organisers Pro Chemnitz — a nationalist group with 18,000 followers — not to give Nazi salutes to avoid pictures being taken of the abhorrent gesture and shown around the world.

Another march over Daniel’s death is promised by the Right-wing groups PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West) and the AfD today.

The situation has been inflamed by the publication on Thursday of a new book by a leading figure in the German New Right, former senior banker turned politician and author Thilo Sarrazin.

It is provocatively entitled Hostile Takeover: How Islam Obstructs Progress and Threatens Society. Pre-orders made the book the immediate best-seller in Germany at online retailer Amazon.

Neo-Nazis are a strong presence in this part of Germany, which has long been a breeding ground for far-Right politics. The bombing of a mosque in 2016, and the 2017 conviction of a terror cell which planned attacks on migrants cemented this reputation.

Now, the legacy of Merkel’s policy has made migration the source of intense national debate. As one AfD politician told me recently at his office in Leipzig, 40 miles from Chemnitz: ‘In the past, Germans stayed at home on their sofas and didn’t bother to vote.

‘Now they are taking an interest in politics because they don’t like the migration policies of Mrs Merkel. They see the migrants sitting in hostels with nothing to do but gaze at their mobile phones or television, and they think that’s not fair when I have to find work.’

It’s certainly true that many ordinary Germans are highly alarmed by the mass influx sparked by Mrs Merkel’s invitation to migrants.

Plenty of people in Britain will have sympathy with their concerns. But the re-emergence of the far- Right in Germany is something else all together. For a truly frightening xenophobia has taken hold here.

Until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, paving the way for the country’s reunification, cities such as Chemnitz — which used to be called Karl Marx City — were isolated from the outside world in the Communist bloc of East Germany.

For that reason, the immigrant population was minimal, with the largest group coming from the ‘socialist brother state’ of Vietnam, who had been brought in as labourers.

The few other foreign faces were students from Leftist nations invited to study on scholarships. Residents were not allowed to go abroad until they retired, and then only to other Communist nations.

‘We were blinkered, but everyone was friends,’ says Helene, a 43-year-old car insurance agent I found walking on the street near the shrine to Daniel Hillig. ‘There was no racial hostility. Most people only knew Germans. When the Wall came down, that changed. We found ourselves mixing with incomers of different cultures. Some, particularly the older people, have found it hard to adapt.’

Preying on this discontent came the PEGIDA movement. Since 2014, it has run a violent weekly march through the Saxony state capital of Dresden, blaming all ills on migration. (Dresden is also an iconic meeting place for German neo-Nazis embittered by the Allies’ aerial bombing of the city at the end of the World War II.)

Although the percentage of migrants in Saxony is tiny, and unemployment is low (the area has seen so much high-tech investment it’s nicknamed ‘Silicon Saxony’) a recent survey found 58 per cent of residents here think Germany is overrun with foreigners.

Nearly 40 per cent said immigration of Muslims should be banned and 18 per cent, worst of all, insisted that Germans ‘by their nature’ are superior to other nationalities.

But it is not only in Saxony that German political sentiment is turning to the Right as 10,000 migrants a month continue to enter the country.

A now infamous murder this spring of a 14-year-old German girl became the focal point of intense unease among mainstream Germans, and a trigger for protests against Mrs Merkel. The victim, Susanna Maria Feldman, from Mainz, a city in the heart of the country, was found dead in a wooded area near train tracks a few miles from her home. She had been raped and strangled.

Her suspected killer emerged as Ali Bashar, a 29-year-old Iraqi Kurd who arrived in Germany, like Yousif, during the big migrant wave of 2015 with his parents and five siblings.

Bashar fled to his homeland, but was hauled back to Germany from Iraq (some say willingly because there is the death penalty there) where officials said he had confessed to Susanna’s murder and rape. He is now in detention while the German authorities continue to investigate.

Such stories have been seized on by the AfD, which has used them as a rallying cry for concerned Germans to join its ranks. In elections last autumn, the party won almost 13 per cent of the vote and 94 seats in the Berlin parliament.

In an emotive speech recently the AfD leader, 39-year-old Alice Weidel, demanded Mrs Merkel’s resignation over immigration, citing a number of murders of young girls in which migrants have been implicated. She complained: ‘Susanna from Mainz is dead. Maria from Freiburg: Mia from Kandel, Mireille from Flensburg.

‘Susanna’s death is not a blind stroke of fate. It is the result of many years of scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is the victim of an out-of-control Left-wing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its moral superiority [on the people].’

She added later in a Twitter video message to Mrs Merkel’s cabinet: ‘Make way for an asylum policy that is built around law and order, so fathers and mothers in our country will no longer be afraid for their children.’

Her words were deliberately provocative. But Rainer Wendt, head of one of Germany biggest police unions, took up the baton. ‘People feel the German state has lost control,’ he said recently.

‘There are thousands of people in this country and we don’t know who they are. That is an enormous security risk.’ Another police union chief, pointing to growing vigilantism in the east, explained: ‘When the state is perceived as no longer able to protect citizens, citizens take the law into their own hands.’

Nowhere is this kind of polemic lapped up more than in Saxony, and that was before the killing of Daniel Hillig, who was out with two German-Russians on the night of his death. They were also stabbed, but survived and are in hospital.

Now, Chemnitz is bracing itself for more ugly protests over this latest murder.

Many, particularly politicians on the Left, have accused the extreme Right of exploiting his death for political ends. Daniel’s friends have also said that his killing is being overshadowed by the outbreak of racist violence.

This week, one pointed out that the dead man was not interested in politics. Fernando Herrmann, a roofing contractor, 41, said: ‘He was not Left or Right. He would not have wanted any of the disturbances over his death. He was peace-loving and enjoyed life, always with a smile on his face.’

Yet calls for calm may fall on deaf ears. Werner Patzelt, a respected political analyst at Dresden Technical University, said this week that many in eastern Germany believe immigration was imposed on them ‘against their will’.

‘They have a deep resentment against the Government and the whole political class whom they see as responsible for the influx of immigrants into Germany.’

The Chemnitz riots would, he added, be ‘another nail in Mrs Merkel’s coffin’.

For her part, the beleaguered Chancellor has condemned the riots, insisting ‘hate on the streets’ has no place in modern multi-cultural Germany. It seems unlikely she will be listened to. A flurry of messages filled Chemnitz social media sites this week.

One of the more printable ones said succinctly: ‘The people are not prepared to be assaulted, robbed and killed any longer . . . accusations of being called a Nazi or racist no longer scares them into turning the other cheek. They are fighting back.’

And that is a sentiment that truly chills the heart.


Those who see Nazis everywhere in Britain and the USA have lost touch with reality

One left-leaning commentator informs us that ‘fascist extremism and terrorism is being legitimised and fuelled by “mainstream” newspapers and politicians alike’. Another insists that ‘all white people’ are implicated ‘in white supremacy’. The rhetoric has become so commonplace that these terms have begun to lose their potency.

This kind of concept creep is a huge problem, not least because genuine fascists are able to claim greater support than they really have. For all the sensationalist headlines in the Guardian, we do not live in a country in which racism, homophobia or misogyny are in any way considered acceptable. Even the mildest suspicion of such tendencies can result in excommunication from polite society. That is not to say that such prejudices have been eliminated – human nature is too flawed to ever enable such utopian ideals – but it is reassuring to know that there is at least a civilised consensus among the majority of our citizens.

So why is it that so many activists are persuaded that neo-Nazism has gone mainstream? Why do so many on social media feel the need to identify themselves as ‘anti-fascist’? Like most people, I have never met an actual fascist. My default expectation of my fellow creatures is that they would instinctively oppose such a pernicious ideology. Claiming to be an ‘anti-fascist’ is rather like wearing a badge saying ‘I am not a paedophile’ — it makes others wonder what you’re hiding.

The fantasy of a crypto-fascist epidemic is buoyed by a failure to distinguish between right-leaning civic nationalists and authentic neo-Nazis. When thousands gathered for the ‘Day for Freedom’ in London earlier this year, the press labelled the protesters as ‘far right’, in spite of the fact that only a tiny minority of those in attendance could be said to fall into that category. The recent white supremacist march in Washington, DC, at which a paltry 20 or so racists turned up in the face of thousands of counterprotesters, gives an accurate sense of just how marginal this type of extremism has become. Nobody is denying that such repugnant individuals exist, but in these febrile times we need to retain a sensible perspective.

Then there is the slippery term ‘alt-right’, a catch-all that rivals ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ for the way in which it is deployed so thoughtlessly. Even Jordan Peterson, a man whose opposition to tyranny in all its forms could not be more well documented, has been branded as ‘alt-right’ by numerous media outlets. In common parlance, the term has become irrevocably associated with white nationalism and movements helmed by the likes of Richard Spencer. So when Peter Walker, political correspondent for the Guardian, claims that the meaning of ‘alt-right’ is ‘subjective’ he is either being disingenuous or naive. According to him, it ‘can be associated with a sort of highly robust, fairly confrontational libertarian right-leaning politics with a dash of support for Trump’, but his use of the modal verb is telling. That a phrase with such potentially libellous connotations can be defined in multiple ways should surely give journalists pause for thought. Unless, of course, their intention is to imply a correlation with white supremacy, safe in the knowledge that the get-out clause of ambiguity will excuse the smear.

The blurring of these distinctions contributes to a generalised false belief that neo-Nazism is widespread. Take, for instance, the left-wing press coverage of the news that YouTubers Paul Joseph Watson, Markus Meechan (aka ‘Count Dankula’) and Carl Benjamin (aka ‘Sargon of Akkad’) have joined UKIP.  One writer described them as ‘far right’, another as ‘social-media activists linked to the alt-right’. A columnist for the Guardian caricatured them as a ‘supergroup’, asking whether they were best described as an ‘alt-right Led Zeppelin or white supremacist A-Team?’. Whatever one may think of these men and their politics, it is grossly misleading to describe them in this way. At worst, it is an attempt to discredit their views through deliberate misrepresentation. At best, it reveals a woeful unfamiliarity with their political output or the definitions of the terms being applied.

In his novel To Hell in a Handcart (2001), Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn depicts a Britain in a state of inexorable moral decline, in which asylum seekers are accommodated in ‘luxurious’ hostels and granted ‘£117.50 a week in cash… supplemented with the proceeds of begging and petty crime’, while the hard-working indigenous population are left to suffer in penury. In Littlejohn’s vision, such circumstances are the norm rather than the exception. Not to be outdone, certain factions of the liberal-left have seemingly conjured a different kind of imaginary Britain, in which the behaviour of a few extremists is magnified to an absurd extent. These are the new Richard Littlejohns, occupying a nightmare land of their own creation. It is our security services and intelligence agencies who are taking on the handful of fascists in our midst. The rest are just scrapping with ghosts.


Trump: We’ve Stopped Government Effort to Undermine Religious Freedom

President Trump on Monday night thanked prominent evangelical leaders for their "incredible" support, and in turn listed measures his administration has advanced on issues of importance to them – from restricting federal funding for abortions to confronting religious persecution around the world.

Welcoming leaders "who believe in the dignity of life, the glory of God and the power of prayer," the president joined First Lady Melania Trump in hosting a dinner at the White House to celebrate "America’s heritage of faith, family and freedom."

"As you know, in recent years the government tried to undermine religious freedom, but the attacks on communities of faith are over," he told the guests. "We’ve ended it – we’ve ended it. Unlike some before us we are protecting religious liberty."

Trump drew enthusiastic applause as he declared that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life.

He outlined a series of steps his administration has taken, including reinstating the Reagan-era Mexico City policy, which requires organizations receiving federal family planning funding to certify that they are not carrying out or promoting abortion; and barring Title X family planning funds from programs and facilities that support, perform or refer patients for abortions.

"We have stopped the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights," Trump said, referring to a 1954 tax code provision preventing non-profits including churches from endorsing political candidates without losing their tax-exempt status.

(Trump signed an executive order in May 2017 instructing the Treasury Department not to enforce the provision against religious organizations. Initiatives are underway in Congress to repeal it.)

The president was cheered as he recalled his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there, and again while speaking of efforts to bring Pastor Andrew Brunson home from Turkey, where he is on trial on espionage and terror-related charges which the administration views as bogus.

"Together we will uplift our nation in prayer, defend the sanctity of life and forever proudly remain one nation under God," he said.

Concluding his remarks, he thanked the leaders again.

"The support you’ve given me has been incredible," he said, then added, "but I really don’t feel guilty because I have given you a lot back, just about everything I promised."

Trump used the opportunity to make his first public comments on the death Saturday of Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a veteran Republican and war hero who frequently had disagreements with the president’s policies.

"Our hearts and prayers are going to the family of Senator John McCain," he said. "There’ll be a lot of activity over the next number of days. We very much appreciate everything that Senator McCain has done for our country, so thank you very much."

According to the Pew Research Center, white evangelical Protestants supported Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 77 to 16 percent margin in 2016.

Trump also attracted the support of 52 percent of white mainline Protestants (44 percent for Clinton) and 64 percent of white, non-Hispanic Catholics (31 percent for Clinton).

On the other hand, 96 percent of black Protestants and 78 percent of Hispanic Catholics reported voting for Clinton, compared to three percent and 19 percent for Trump, respectively.

Guests at Monday night’s dinner included Faith & Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Civil Rights for the Unborn director Alveda King, Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and evangelical pastors including Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Paula White and Darrell Scott.

Also taking part were members of the administration including Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Sam Brownback.


‘It’s black kids who suffer most from the victim narrative’

This week, shadow minister for equalities Dawn Butler accused the celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, of cultural appropriation. She took issue with Oliver’s new ‘punchy jerk rice’ product, saying that the ‘appropriation of Jamaica has to stop’.

One man who has taken Oliver’s side is Tony Sewell, whose parents, like Butler’s, were born in Jamaica. He is an education consultant and CEO of the charity Generating Genius, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds study the sciences at top universities. spiked caught up with him to talk about the rice row.

spiked: Do you think Jamie Oliver’s jerk rice is something that is worth a senior MP spending her time on?

Tony Sewell: No, it isn’t and I’m trying to understand why she ran with this. I have no personal beef with Dawn Butler – it seems that nobody has a sense of the right priorities, even when it comes to racism. But her comments came at the same time as London is experiencing a crime wave and young black men are being killed by other young black men. She has no answers for this. Labour has no answers and nor does the government. Instead, the target becomes Jamie Oliver with his microwaved rice, which is bizarre.

spiked: What do you make of the cultural-appropriation debate?

Tony Sewell: There is a sense that, in the past, people with power were able to take ideas without giving due credit for them. They would make them their own and get much more out of them. But really, cultural appropriation is nonsense. It is an idea that has come from university campuses. It only really makes sense in the context of a culture where people are seeking offence and looking for opportunities for virtue-signalling.

It partly comes from a misunderstanding of how culture works. I would say Caribbean culture itself is entirely appropriated. We were literally appropriated, put on this island and told to get on with it. We could only create new things by borrowing what was around us. That’s the reality of most cultures. In this case, there’s an argument to say that Jamie’s jerk rice could have a positive effect. Lots of people are now interested in trying to understand what jerk is.

spiked: Are we in danger of seeing race everywhere, even in the most trivial matters like this?

Tony Sewell: Clearly, there are real issues to do with racism. But we’re getting angry about the wrong things. In this case, we’re going after a really silly thing because we can’t solve the harder things. People can’t see where their energy should be. This is partly because their analysis of racial issues is too simplistic. I’m not convinced that we should always go down the road of saying all problems are caused by white power or white men. Everything gets reduced down to one simple cause, and for some people that seems to explain the whole world. It’s comforting, it’s how you go to bed at night. It’s a bit like CNN going on every day about Trump, where every issue is explained through the lens of this one man.

spiked: Does this kind of oversimplification risk bringing racial boundaries back in a new, politically correct form?

Tony Sewell: I wonder sometimes whether there’s a psychological comfort zone that makes people cling to it. People are constantly saying the world is falling apart, that we live in this divided world, all without realising how much we’ve progressed. So there’s a sense of division but it’s exaggerated. The reality is that a great deal of the politics around race today is not observing a division but analysing a divide that isn’t there. There are serious issues to do with race, of course. There’s a great deal of segregation in schools, for instance. We have to address these things. But the progress we’ve made on race relations has been significant.

spiked: Do you think this new form of anti-racism feeds a victim mentality?

Tony Sewell: Yes, and it’s black kids who suffer the most from this. Two things happen when a victim narrative takes hold. Firstly, you stop recognising our common humanity. You start to think there is something special about you because of your race. Secondly, it’s disempowering. For example, I run a charity called Generating Genius. Last night, we had the launch for our alumni programme. In that room were lots and lots of kids from inner-city backgrounds telling their stories about how they’ve ended up getting top grades and going to top universities, despite coming from the poorest of backgrounds.

If you were to follow a certain narrative, you would think that every black kid in Britain or in London is doing badly. If you saw the room I was in, you would be shocked. But the truth is these kids are not victims, they actually have agency. What we try to do with our programme is we take them away from that noise, all the negative voices. Because then they can believe in their own power. Of course, there are problems with race, and bad things are happening, but it’s not significant enough to prevent you from progressing. The irony is that progress for black kids in a place like London depends on them not listening to all those people that tell them their race matters.

Tony Sewell was talking to Fraser Myers.



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