The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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

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

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


30 September, 2020

Treason of the billionaires: History’s lessons

By Martin Hutchinson

This summer has seen a rush of billionaires and their companies donating to left-wing causes, or even giving extraordinary amounts of money to the Joe Biden campaign to defeat President Donald Trump. That is their right, of course. But I find it extraordinary that a majority of the world’s ultra-rich are supporting people whose policies would destroy the system by which they rose. It is worth thinking about why they do it.

It must be remembered that wealth, even self-made wealth, does not directly imply intelligence, especially in societies where social connections, for example through attendance at elite colleges, provide an important boost to those who have them. The plethora of private equity companies since 2000, for example, has made it possible for even quite stupid people to get funding for their start-ups, and thereby become billionaires if they get lucky, provided they have the right “old-school-tie” and express the appropriate “woke” political opinions.

There has always been a certain segment of new wealth whose political opinions diverged from those one would have expected. The new industrialists in Lord Liverpool’s Britain around 1820, for example, tended to be politically Radical – as if they were still the factory workers some (but not all) of them had started as. That led them to ally with the Whigs, whose main policy initiative was a Parliamentary Reform that actually narrowed the franchise, disfranchising many working-class voters (to be fair, the rich industrialists would have had the vote under both old and new franchises, once they became rich enough).

The result was to vote out the followers of Liverpool, who had given the country policies that led to a literally unprecedented prosperity through industrialization, and cement control in a collection of economically illiterate aristocratic Whigs. There were far more Peers in Earl Grey’s Whig Cabinet of 1830 than there had been in Liverpool’s Cabinets, and absolutely no industrialists or even bankers – Alexander Baring, the most able member of that 200-year banking dynasty, had been promised office by the Whigs, but was frozen out by the hyper-snobbish Grey, whereupon he joined the Tory opposition.

Economically, the result of Whig economic mismanagement from 1831 on was an “Engels Pause” that stopped economic expansion in its tracks through the entire 1830s and froze the living standards of working men until the middle 1840s. For working men, matters were made worse by the 1834 Poor Law, passed by the Whigs, that ended cash payments to the indigent and instituted the notorious “workhouses” designed on the principle of “less eligibility” to be less attractive to the poor than everything except starving in the gutter, an alternative which many of them chose.

Only one major industrialist had been Tory in Liverpool’s time – Sir Robert Peel, father of the prime minister and the richest man in Britain at his death in 1830. But then, there are exceptions to everything.

Coming closer to 2020, until the present generation, the self-made very wealthy have tended to lean to the right. The U.S. robber barons were mostly Republicans, certainly Rockefeller, Carnegie and J.P. Morgan were. In my own youth if a businessman was more than marginally to the left, you could be sure he was a crook and you should not do business with him. The classic example of this was Robert Maxwell, the Czech-born billionaire publisher and Labour MP, who drowned himself off his yacht and was found to have embezzled the contents of the Daily Mirror pension fund. When as an executive committee member of the London branch of a European bank I suggested we should reduce or eliminate our exposure to Maxwell, I was mocked – to the extent they took my views into account, it was the best thing I ever did for them!

The rule of thumb that any self-made billionaire leftist in a reasonably functioning capitalist economy must be a crook was based on two philosophical theorems. First, an honest billionaire would value the society and economic system under which he had risen, and so be generally in favor of capitalism, a system that would allow others to repeat his success. (In theory, he might be a very unpleasant individual who wanted to keep everyone else down, but in that case, he was short on moral fiber and might well be fiddling the accounts, too.) Second, an honest billionaire would want to keep taxes on his earnings and capital at reasonable levels, and hence would oppose anything to the left of moderate liberalism (in the American sense.)

There are three reasons why this equation does not work any more. First, the capitalist system no longer appears to work as well as it did; billionaires who have enriched themselves under today’s version of capitalism may have no clear idea of why they have become rich. Second, tax loopholes, havens and shelters have proliferated, to the extent that the very rich believe that higher taxes can be imposed only upon the “little people” and that they can avoid most of them. Third, the social returns from “virtue signaling” have become immense, and the social exclusion from failing to do so has become inexorable – nobody wants to be President Trump.

Since 1995, the Fed has set U.S. interest rates by fiat, far from the level a free market would dictate. Since 2008, the world’s other central banks have followed suit. This has caused a massive rise in asset prices, and the creation of an overwhelming volume of spurious private equity funds and hedge funds seeking to take advantage of those rising asset prices. In the real economy, it has brought declining productivity growth, new business formation and innovation in general. An additional factor has been globalization and the Internet, which have allowed billionaires to make spurious additional profits, sheltered from tax in havens, by outsourcing good American and European jobs to filthy sweatshops in the Third World.

Since today’s billionaires have benefited from the current system, they naturally favor it. However, that no longer drives them to favor capitalism, since the system is no longer truly capitalist. Instead, they favor low interest rates, “funny money” rising asset prices, outsourcing, massive imports of artificially cheap labor and ‘woke socialism.’ By such means, they hope to avoid serious competition from the next generation, who could in principle equally build a ziggurat of wealth on borrowed ultra-cheap money. Rectifying economic policy by stopping “indentured servitude” H1B and H2B visas and by “Volckerizing” the Fed or imposing a zero inflation target (which is actually in the Humphrey-Hawkins Act – the Fed just ignores the legislation) would impoverish billionaires – and open the roads to wealth for everybody else.

The tax problem can also be solved fairly easily. Billionaires suddenly go conservative when their own tax bills rise, as evidenced by the huge squawking from New York and California billionaires when the Trump administration rightly limited the deductibility of state and local taxes. Other loopholes include the taxation of private equity “carried interest” payments, ridiculously taxed as capital gains. However, the most egregious and expensive tax deduction for billionaires is that for charitable donations. As the Clinton family have demonstrated, that can be used to shelter vast amounts of income, licit or illicit, without any significant connection to genuine charity at all. Closing that loophole would make a huge number of billionaires “fly right” as well as closing down a plethora of spurious and tacky “charitable” events and fundraisers.

As for the social returns for virtue signaling, they are huge. They can be reduced by abolishing the charitable tax deduction, which would make much “virtue signaling” very expensive, and by raising interest rates, which would introduce a cadre of new uncouth billionaires who actually believed in capitalism. However, there are organizational changes to be made here, too – for example de-funding the ridiculous Business Roundtable, which pushes companies to devote their businesses to virtue signaling rather than profit maximization.

By defunding the most leveraged and spurious billionaires, closing their tax loopholes and reducing opportunities for virtue signaling, we can slowly return the moral outlook of the very rich to a proper respect for free markets and capitalism. Because of their wealth and power, that will make life better for all of us.


Tens of Thousands of Christians Converged on DC and Trashed the City

Did you hear about the large Christian gatherings in Washington, DC this weekend? Did you see the news reports about the mayhem? The looting? The vandalism? The calls to “Burn it down!”? Did you hear the speakers calling for acts of violence and destruction? Oh, you didn’t? That’s because tens of thousands of Christians did gather in DC this weekend, but they came to pray for the nation and repent for their sins.

The two main events were The Return, which began Friday night and ended Saturday night, and Franklin Graham’s prayer march, which was held from noon to 2:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Both events attracted tens of thousands, and The Return was watched by a reported global audience of tens of millions. But there were no angry voices. No calls for violence. No fistfights. Or brawls. Or looting. Or shooting at police.
In fact, at The Return, where I participated on Saturday, there was hardly any police presence at all. It was not needed. I didn’t even see any counter-protesters.

Worship prevailed. Prayer prevailed. Humility prevailed. Repentance prevailed.

And while a constant theme of the event was the broken condition of America and the urgent need for repentance, that repentance started with the participants, with each of us. We, the followers of Jesus, have sinned and fallen short. We who are called to be light of the world and the salt of the earth have not lived up to our high and lofty calling.

That’s why The Return began its Saturday morning program with pastors and leaders asking for God’s mercy and confessing their sin. Repentance starts with us.

Significantly, Saturday was also the day when President Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Who could have foreseen this? These events were planned months in advance, at which time no one had any idea that Justice Ginsburg would pass away, let alone pass away during this sacred season on the biblical calendar.

Even the timing of Trump’s announcement seemed propitious. As I tweeted, “So, Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at the beginning of the Jewish New Year, as the shofar blast is heard, & Amy Coney Barrett is announced as her replacement as shofars were being blasted at The Return event in DC, watched by 10s of millions globally. Coincidence?”

On this same day, Saturday, September 26, 2020, major prayer gatherings were held in the Philippines and other nations as well. (An Asian leader told me at The Return that three million Indonesian Christians participated in a prayer event just hours earlier).

But this is exactly what we must do. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, a global shutdown, a time of global shaking – and that means there nothing more important we can do than pray. All the more does this hold true in America, where deep divisions are literally tearing us apart.

But the goal of these gatherings is not to impress people. The goal is not to put on a performance and please the crowds. The goal is to get the attention of our Father in Heaven. Only He can turn the hearts of a nation. And only He can hold back His judgment and wrath.

In Jewish tradition, the constellation sign associated with Tishrei, the seventh (and current) month of the biblical calendar (but the first month of the traditional calendar), is a pair of scales, symbolizing the scales of justice.

As one Jewish website explains, “The symbol of the month of Tishrei is a pair of scales.  How fitting are the scales of justice to this month!  On the Day of Judgment, Rosh Hashanah, our good deeds and mitzvos (commandments) are weighed against our sins.  If we have more mitzvos than sins, we are inscribed for another year of life.  

Obviously, this is not a quantitative evaluation, that is, the number of offenses verses the number of good deeds.  The judgment takes into account the quality of our deeds.”

Yet even with the very best quality of deeds, and even when we work our hardest, there is no way America could survive a test like this, weighing our good deeds against our bad deeds. How much weight does a single abortion carry, let alone tens of millions? How much weight does a single act of sex trafficking carry, let alone tens of thousands?

That’s why we plead for mercy. That’s why we repent so deeply. That’s why, in the synagogues, beginning Sunday night, Jewish prayers will focus on pleas for mercy and lengthy confessions of sin. There is no boasting of our own righteousness in the sight of a holy God.

That’s why these gatherings in DC, with minimal press coverage and without the drama of the protests and the riots, could well be the thing that saves the nation. And while the media may not have paid sufficient attention, we trust that God Himself did. That is what really matters.

Current idiocies

Seventeenth-century poet and intellect John Milton predicted “when language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their ruin and degradation.”

Gore Vidal, his 20th-century intellectual successor, elaborated, saying: “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate.” Sloppy language permits people to get away with speaking and doing all manner of destructive nonsense without being challenged.

Let’s look at the concept of “white privilege,” the notion that white people have benefited in American history relative to, and at the expense of, “people of color.” It appears to be utter nonsense to suggest that poor and destitute Appalachian whites have white privilege. How can one tell if a person has white privilege? One imagines that the academic elite, who coined the term, refer to whites of a certain socioeconomic status such as living in the suburbs with the privilege of high-income amenities. But here is a question: Do Nigerians in the U.S. have white privilege? As reported by the New York Post this summer, 17% of all Nigerians in this country hold master’s degrees, 4% hold a doctorate, and 37% hold a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey. By contrast, 19% of whites have a bachelor’s degree, 8% have master’s degrees, and 1% have doctorates.

What about slavery? Colleges teach our young people that the U.S. became rich on the backs of free black labor. That is utter nonsense. Slavery does not have a very good record of producing wealth. Think about it. Slavery was all over the South and outlawed in most of the North. I doubt that anyone would claim that the antebellum South was rich, and the slave-starved North was poor. The truth is just the opposite. In fact, the poorest states and regions of our country were places where slavery flourished — Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia — while the richest states and regions were those where slavery was outlawed: Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Speaking of holding people accountable for slavery, there is no way that Europeans could have captured millions of Africans. They had African and Arab help. There would not have been much black slavery in the U.S., and the western hemisphere in general, without Africans exchanging other Africans to European slave traders at the coast for guns, mirrors, cloths, foreign alcoholic beverages, and gold dust. Congressional Democratic lawmakers have called for a commission to study reparations, but I have not heard calls to hold the true perpetrators of American slavery accountable. Should we demand that congressional Democrats haul representatives of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Muslim states before Congress to condemn them for their role in American slavery and demand they pay reparations?

Some of the greatest language mischief is related to terms such as racial “disparities,” “gaps,” and “disproportionality.” These terms are taken as signs of injustice that must be corrected. The median income of women is less than that of men. Black and Hispanic students are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white students. There are other race disparities and gaps all over the place. For example, blacks are 13% of the population but 80% of professional basketball players and 66% of professional football players, and on top of that, they’re some of the most highly paid players. To be consistent with leftist ideology, those numbers seem to suggest that there is some kind of injustice toward Asian, white, and Hispanic basketball and football players. But before we run off thinking that everything is hunky-dory for black players in football, how many times have you seen a black player kick an extra point in professional football?

What should be done to address these and other gross disparities? How can we make basketball, football, dressage and ice hockey, classical music concert attendance, not to mention incarceration, look more like America? In general, we should ignore disproportionality. There is no evidence, anywhere in the world, suggesting that people sort out in any activity according to their numbers in the general population.

The best thing that we can do is clean up our language. That will have the added benefit of straightening out our thinking so that we do not permit leftists to get away with making us feel guilty and believing in utter nonsense.


Donald Trump Gets His THIRD Nobel Prize Nomination

This month, two Arab Muslim states — Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — normalized relations with the Jewish State of Israel, an earth-shattering diplomatic breakthrough long considered utterly unthinkable. Shortly before that, two Balkan countries put aside their historic enmity and normalized relations — and promised to open embassies in Jerusalem, recognizing the City of David as the capital of Israel. Each of these separate deals would be enough to get Trump in the history books, and the president has received three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in the wake of these tremendous accomplishments.

One Norwegian parliamentarian and one Swedish parliamentarian each nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian, Christian Tybring-Gjedde, highlighted the historic UAE peace deal while the Swede, Magnus Jacobsson, focused on the Serbia-Kosovo deal.

On Monday, Sky News reported on a third Nobel Prize nomination for Donald Trump, this time coming from four law professors in Australia. Law professor David Flint announced he was nominating Trump on the basis of the “Trump Doctrine.”

“He went ahead and negotiated against all advice, but he did it with common sense. He negotiated directly with the Arab states concerned and Israel and brought them together,” Flint told Sky News.

Flint described the Trump Doctrine as “something extraordinary,” based on “common sense” and “national interest.”

“What he has done with the Trump Doctrine is that he has decided he would no longer have America in endless wars, wars which achieve nothing but the killing of thousands of young Americans,” the professor argued. “So he’s reducing America’s tendency to get involved in any and every war.”

“The states are lining up, Arab and Middle-Eastern, to join that network of peace which will dominate the Middle-East,” Flint added. “He is really producing peace in the world in a way in which none of his predecessors did, and he fully deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

While President Barack Obama campaigned on peace and withdrawing from Iraq, he also sent U.S. troops into Syria. His withdrawal tragically enabled the growth of the Islamic State (ISIS).

President Trump also promised an end to America’s endless wars, and his approach has proven more successful. Trump invested heavily in the U.S. military, aiming to achieve peace through strength. He is scaling back U.S. troops in foreign lands. Trump has encouraged hydraulic fracturing and other energy developments that made America no longer reliant on Middle-Eastern oil.

For decades, countries like the UAE and Bahrain refused to recognize the Jewish state, standing in solidarity with the Palestinians and likely terrified of nearby Iran and its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which had a massive presence in the Middle East before Soleimani’s death.

Trump shook up the Middle East by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, abandoning the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, and assassinating the terrorist Soleimani. Experts warned that these moves would spark a war, perhaps even a world war. Yet these historic events laid the groundwork for a massive transformation in Middle East diplomacy — a previously unimaginable transformation.

Indeed, it is difficult for Americans to realize just how monumental this diplomatic shift is. Before the signing of the Abraham Accords, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced they would open their skies to Israeli flights to the UAE. As part of its rapprochement with Israel, the UAE agreed to order hotels to serve Kosher foods in Abu Dhabi, delivering a powerful symbol of Jewish acceptance in a notoriously anti-Semitic part of the world.

In Europe, the Balkans are a notoriously fiery region, with centuries-long animosities sparking multiple wars, including World War I. The dueling Muslim and Christian empires of Turkey and Austria-Hungary wrestled to rule over ethnic groups that hated one another and religious minorities that proved a thorn in any ruler’s side. Yet Trump brought Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia together for a historic agreement that included promises to set up embassies in Jerusalem.

If Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins in November, he may undo much of this impressive progress by reinstating the Iran nuclear deal. Unfortunately, much of the legacy media has effectively buried news of these historic diplomatic developments. If Trump wins the Nobel Peace Prize, however, it would be impossible to deny his extraordinary successes.

President Barack Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen diplomacy and cooperation between people.” President Donald Trump should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary results at establishing historic diplomacy in the Middle East.

Sadly, it remains unlikely that the Nobel committee will honor Trump’s success in this arena. The Nobel committee is likely to get too stuck on “Orange Man Bad” to reward the orange man’s historic results in the same way it honored Obama’s efforts.


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

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

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

29 September, 2020

Democrats Are Truly Sick People

It’s times like this I regret not being able to really let loose with the language in this column because what the Democrats have become is truly disgusting. Every time you think they’ve gone as low as humanly possible, they break out a shovel. There is no bottom to hit when you will literally do anything to win. This election isn’t about power for the next few years. It’s about the type of existence we’re going to have from this election forward. Once you go over a cliff gravity always wins.

Individually, each piece of the progressive left is harmless; annoying but harmless. As more of them assemble and coordinate, they become increasingly dangerous. Protesters in the street are pointless and inconvenient but coupled with governors, mayors, and prosecutors who encourage and empower them, they embrace violence. When your moral compass is broken and the people charged with protecting citizens publicly announce they’re on your side, no matter what you do, or they won’t pursue charges against you if you’re arrested, what’s the downside to taking all you can from a Target or beating the hell out of someone?

The idea of a Joe Biden presidency is a scary proposition. He never really stood for much of anything, he simply parroted whatever positions were necessary for him to obtain power. Joe’s been the ultimate weathervane – a bandwagon jumper of the highest order. His whole government career seems built on avoiding ever having to get a real job and turning a blind eye to how his family has gotten rich off his name.

That Joe claims to have never talked to his son about how he’s repeatedly fallen ass-backward into lucrative jobs and piles of cash in industries he has no knowledge in strikes me as implausible. If your idiot, drug-addled son starts making more money per month than many small towns generate after he’s tossed out of the military for cocaine use, I’d hope you’d have some questions. And Hunter is just one of many Bidens who’ve hit above their weight class on the issue of income.

There’s a big difference between what’s legal and what’s right. Joe wraps himself in what’s legal because he’s been part of the establishment writing those laws for half a century, but that doesn’t make it right. For a guy who paints himself as holier than thou, when confronted with things he angrily deflects and changes the subject.

I’m not disgusted by his growing senility; he can’t do anything about that. I am bothered by the lengths to which his handlers will go and the lies they will tell to hide it. The claim that he’s not campaigning or giving interviews so he can do debate prep is laughable. Aside from being a lifeguard who enjoyed having little black kids pet his leg hair, Joe Biden has done nothing but politics his entire adult life. If he needs to study up on where he currently stands on the issues, he has no business driving a car let alone running the Executive Branch.

It’s not just the policies of the left, as evil and destructive as those are. It’s the searing hatred that guides them. President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is described by former comedian Bill Maher as “a f*cking nut” for the crime of being a Catholic. Biden and Nancy Pelosi insist they are Catholics too, yet they are spared such remarks. Leftists have even started questioning Barrett’s two adopted children, and attacking her over the concept of interracial adoption. They are only a couple of steps away from demanding punishment for interracial marriage at this point.

A co-founder of the “Women’s March” calls the Daniel Cameron, the Attorney General of Kentucky, a “sell-out negro” for following the law in the Breonna Taylor case. BLM-ANTIFA leaders coordinate prepackaged riots over every manufactured fraud they can while media outlets give voice to every bit of racist vitriol they can find.

Are there better words to describe people willing to engage in these sorts of behaviors? Yes, there are, but they’re all obscene adjectives leading to more explicit nouns that I can’t write here. As this election nears, remind yourself what is at stake. More importantly, enlighten others, getable fence-sitters and uninspired bench warmers who’d either vote wrong or not at all. It’s going to take everyone ready to fight to win. We have to make up for the votes that will “accidentally” end up in a ditch or elsewhere, not to mention the ones which are simply frauds.

This is no time for measured responses. The “high road” in politics only gives you a nice view of your defeat. It’s time to sharpen your elbows and steel your resolve. It’s already been ugly, but it’s only going to get uglier. Be ready.


The Elgin Marbles are going nowhere: British Museum says controversial objects WON’T be removed from display after receiving warning from Government

The British Museum says that it has ‘no intention of removing controversial objects from display’ – after it received a warning letter from the Government over the issue.

In a leaked letter, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that Government-funded museums and galleries risk losing taxpayer support if they remove artefacts.

The missive, sent to several institutions, said: ‘As publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by activism or politics.

‘The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country.’

He urged institutions to ‘continue to act impartially’, something he described as ‘especially important’ as the Government conducts its Comprehensive Spending Review – an apparent threat that funding could be at risk.

The British Museum said in a statement: ‘The British Museum has no intention of removing controversial objects from public display.

‘Instead, it will seek where appropriate to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety.’

Mr Dowden’s letter, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, comes after a summer of cultural clashes over Britain’s colonial past.

Recipients included the British Museum, Tate galleries, Imperial War museums, National Portrait Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, the Royal Armouries, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Library.

Mr Dowden said in the letter sent last week: ‘The Government does not support the removal of statues or other similar objects.

‘Historic England, as the Government’s adviser on the historic environment, have said that removing difficult and contentious parts of it risks harming our understanding of our collective past.’

The letter continued: ‘As publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by activism or politics.

‘The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country.

‘It is imperative that you continue to act impartially, in line with your publicly funded status, and not in a way that brings this into question.

‘This is especially important as we enter a challenging Comprehensive Spending Review, in which all government spending will rightly be scrutinised.’

The letter stated that ‘rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be’.

It recently redisplayed its bust of Hans Sloane, its slave-owning founding father.

It was juxtaposed with objects to reflect the fact that Sloane’s collection was created in the context of the British Empire and the slave economy.

The Museum said it ‘continues to acknowledge Sloane’s radical vision of universal free public access to a national museum collection and the public benefit that is generated through the British Museum’.

A row over Britain’s colonial past erupted in June as protests saw a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston toppled in Bristol.

The bronze statue of the 17th century figure was pulled down with ropes, dragged through the streets and thrown into the harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest.

The letter comes after well-known music venue, named after 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, was recently renamed Bristol Beacon.

A statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, Westminster, was also daubed with graffiti amid wider calls for controversial figures to have their statues taken down.

Boris Johnson hit out at the demands to remove statues at the time as he said ‘we cannot now try to edit or censor our past’.

The Prime Minister said the UK ‘cannot pretend to have a different history’ and that the statues ‘teach us about our past, with all its faults’.

Earlier this month the Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg blasted the National Trust for not realising ‘how wonderful’ Churchill was after it included his home on its ‘woke’ list of houses with historic links to slavery.

The effigy of Sir Hans Sloane will now be housed in a display alongside artefacts that explain his legacy in the ‘exploitative context of the British Empire’, curators said.

Sloane, whose 71,000 artefacts became the starting point of the British Museum after he left them to the state in his will, funded his collecting through his wife’s family’s sugar plantation. Sloane Square in London is also named after him.


Minneapolis city councilors BACKTRACK on promise to dismantle police department and say the pledge was ‘up for interpretation’

On June 7 the council released a pledge to dismantle the Minneapolis police department and replace it with a new community support and outreach system following the May 25 death of George Floyd.

However, that effort was stalled in early August when the city’s Charter Commission voted to pause the amendment to dissolve and replace the police force and voted to take 90 more days to review it.

Council members have revealed that they didn’t state their intentions clearly and it caused confusion among officials, activists and the public.

Councilor Phillipe Cunningham said the language in the pledge was ‘up for interpretation’ and that even after the pledge was released, ‘it was very clear that most of us had interpreted that language differently, according to New York Times report.

Councilor Andrew Johnson, one of the nine members who supported the pledge in June, said that he meant the words ‘in spirit’.

Council president Lisa Bender said: ‘I think our pledge created confusion in the community and in our wards.’

Elected officials have interpreted the pledge differently, some believing defunding the police means to redirect some money in the police budget to social programs and others thinking it means creating a police-free future.

The move to dismantle the police has faced significant legislative hurdles as it has been rejected by the city’s mayor, a plurality of residents in public opinion polls, and the city’s Charter Commission.

Previous hopes to have the move to dissolve the department on this November’s ballots have been dashed.

Now taking its place is incremental reforms for the police department.

Since the May 25 killing of Floyd, Minneapolis has banned chokeholds, enacted new de-escalation requirements and changed reporting measures for the use of force.

City Council member Linea Palmisano, who was one of the three councilors who did not take the pledge, admonished her colleagues for rushing the pledge saying they ‘have gotten used to these kinds of progressive purity tests.’

But some activists still believe that pledge should seek to completely abolish the police department.

‘What kind of violence are we going to experience over the next year? When these decisions a re made on a political level, they have human consequences,’ Miski Noor, an organizer with Black Visions Collective, said.

‘I think the initial announcement created a certain level of confusion from residents at a time when the city really needed that stability,’ Mayor Jacob Frey, who refused to support the pledge, said.

‘I also think that the declaration itself meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people — and that included a healthy share of activists that were anticipating abolition,’ he added.

In the wake of Floyd’s death and national uproar against police brutality and systemic racism, gun violence has surged in the embattled city this summer.

Some communities are worried of how the policing system will continue to function in the city.

Cathy Spann, a community activist in North Minneapolis, an area home to many of the city’s black residents, says that black and brown communities are paying the price for the political stall.

She is in favor of adding more police officers on the streets.

‘They didn’t engage black and brown people. And something about that does not sit right with me. Something about saying to the community, “We need to make change together” but instead you leave this community and me unsafe,’ she said.

Minneapolis has a long history with police violence and incremental changes within the force.

But to many reforms like body cameras and civilian oversight aren’t enough.

From the get-go the pledge to dismantle the police department had problems, including a lack of a transition plan.

On a policy level, the councilors did not have the unilateral power to end the city’s police department as some residents believed.

The national public attention only heightened the pressure.

‘I was surprised and was overwhelmed by it,’ Councilor Cunningham said. ‘A big lesson learned for me was to be mindful of the language and words we used and how it can be interpreted.’

The agenda to dismantle the police was further polarized by President Donald Trump and Republicans who pinned the move to defund police forces as a Democratic agenda in a bid to win over suburban voters.

However, prominent blue figures like Biden joined Mayor Frey in rejecting such proposals.

The City Council made the pledge, passed a provision to ask voters to remove the police department from the city’s charter and place public safety duties under a new department with an unspecified structure, but there were no public hearings on the matter.

Dave Bicking, board member of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a grassroots group in Minneapolis that was founded in 2000, did not back the pledge.

His group supports a smaller police force with more limited responsibilities.

‘I think the City Council and the people they work with pretty much knew that this was a nonstarter. But it would get them off the hook and give them some time until things blow over,’ Bicking said of the charter amendment.


British Army hero accused of drowning an Iraqi teenager in 2003 is cleared of wrongdoing following ’17-year witch-hunt’

A decorated Army Major vexatiously accused of drowning an Iraqi teenager at the time of the Anglo-US invasion has been cleared of any wrongdoing following a 17-year witch-hunt.

Major Robert Campbell, 47, was investigated on bogus claims that he forced suspected looter Saeed Radhi Shabram Wawi Al-Bazooni, 19, into a river at gunpoint in Basra in May 2003.

Eyewitnesses had claimed that Maj Campbell and colleagues from the 32 Royal Engineer Regiment caused Saeed Shabram’s death after he slipped below the water and failed to resurface.

The incident sparked an inquiry into the British Army hero, who even returned his medals to the Queen in 2018 in disgust at the way he had been treated by the Ministry of Defence.

But a judge has now ruled that the allegations against Maj Campbell were based on lies, collusion on the part of Iraqi civilians and a ‘possible conspiracy’ to pervert the course of justice.

It is the latest of more than 4,000 cases brought by disgraced solicitor Phil Shiner and his Public Interest Lawyers against British soldiers to have collapsed because of a lack of evidence.

In her report published yesterday, Baroness Hallett decided there was ‘no reliable evidence upon which it would be proper to conclude that (Maj Campbell) or any other British solider pushed or forced (Munem) Auda and Shabram into the water’.

She added: ‘It is most likely that they jumped or fell into the water in the process of trying to escape what they believed would be dire punishment for looting.’

The report by the Iraq Fatalities Investigations (IFI) unit said Maj Campbell and a comrade leapt into the water to try and rescue Shabram but ‘he sank and did not surface’.

Royal Military Police knew that witnesses had lied in the aftermath of Shabram’s death but they failed to shield the soldiers from a 17-year inquiry.

Baroness Hallett rubbished claims that the Iraqi men were victims of an informal punishment known as ‘wetting,’ in which British soldiers were alleged to have put looters in the water as a form of degrading punishment.

‘If there was a practice of wetting looters amongst some members of (the Black Watch Battle Group), there is no evidence that it was widespread or that (Maj Campbell) or any of the soldiers under his command had been involved in it or knew of it,’ the report said.

‘There was good reason for (Maj Campbell) to take the two men to the water. British soldiers had gone to the scene to wash their vehicles and they were near the water’s edge.

‘(Maj Campbell) wanted to get Auda and Shabram to the water where his men were and where he believed he may secure the services of an interpreter, who was fishing.

‘There is not therefore anything suspicious in his moving Auda and Shabram towards the water and nothing to link an alleged practice of wetting to this case.’

Baroness Hallett also rejected claims of a cover-up, adding: ‘No evidence of a cover up on the part of the British soldiers has ever been found.’

Maj Campbell yesterday said he is ‘relieved’ that he has ‘finally been exonerated’ after the 17-year witch-hunt ‘pushed him to the brink’ and ‘nearly did for him’, according to his friends.

But he added that he is angry that it took ‘eight investigations, 17 years and destroyed my career’, and furiously denounced the Army and MoD for ‘abandoning’ him.

General Lord Richard Dannatt, the former Head of the British Army, said that Maj Campbell̵#8217;s life and career ‘had been ruined’ by relentless investigations.

‘It should never have taken 17 years to get to this point,’ Gen Dannatt told The Daily Telegraph. ‘I have always believed that the story that he told me was true: A young Iraqi fell into the canal and he and two men did their best to rescue him.

‘I can’t believe why a Royal Engineer officer and two NCOs would be so stupid as to push an Iraqi into a canal and watch him drown. It has ruined Rob’s life and it has ruined the NCOs lives as well.’

The decorated Army Major, who suffers from PTSD and depression, has now alleged that there was a concerted Government plot to put him on trial for war crimes in Iraq.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Maj Campbell claims that the Government blocked his promotion, tampered with his records and effectively ‘erased’ him from the regiment.

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer said in a statement: ‘My thanks go to Baroness Hallett for compiling this report, which concludes there is not enough reliable evidence of any British soldier contributing to the tragic death of Saeed Shabram.

‘I truly hope these findings will bring some closure and reassurance to the family and veterans involved in this process.

‘Nobody wants to see service personnel or veterans facing extensive reinvestigations into the same incident, and our Overseas Operations Bill will help provide greater certainty and protections in the future.’

In an interview in 2018, Maj Campbell described the impact the inquiries – including an investigation for possible manslaughter – had had on him.

He said: ‘I fully accounted for myself in my statement in 2004 and it had been examined and pored over and dissected by prosecutors and police forces and investigations and I don’t feel I need to justify myself any further.

‘What I want more than anything is a good night’s sleep and I haven’t had one for 15 years.’

Mr Mercer had previously has previously condemned the MoD for being far too quick to believe false claims.


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

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

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

28 September, 2020

Black Man Murders Four-Year-Old White Child in Targeted Attack

If there can be huge outrage and retribution for white police killings of blacks, surely there should be huge retribution for black killings of whites. The justice system is race-blind or it is not

I grieve for the innocent child in this case: killed by the hatred against whites generated by the Left. But the Left have so much blood on their hands that this is nothing to them

Given my druthers, I would burn the assailant in this case at the stake

The media reacts quickly and with righteous indignation when a black person is shot by police, or by someone white, no matter what the facts of the case are.

But far too often, even in the most heinous of cases, when the perpetrator is black and the victim or victims happen to be white, the headlines and reporting are not anywhere near the same.

We have seen it in the case of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant, who was executed by a black man in August, and we are seeing it again in the death of a 4-year-old white child in a targeted attack by a black man, WKBN reported.

The shooting occurred in Struthers, Ohio, on Monday at around 1:55 a.m., Four adults were also shot and are hospitalized: Andre Stephon McCoy, Jr., 20, Yarnell Green Jr., 30, Cassandra Marsicola, 20, and Alexis Schneider, 22, of Struthers.

The suspect, 24-year-old Kimonie Bryant, turned himself in to police after a massive manhunt began to find him.

The father of the deceased 4-year-old child spoke at a press conference prior to the suspect turning himself in.

“Rowan was the sweetest boy,” he said. “’Rowan was the best. He is so young. He didn’t deserve any of this… buddy, I’m so sorry for you, buddy. I love you.”

“Just be a man,” David Sweeney said as he held a photo of his son. “You took my son from me. He was my baby boy. You took him because you’re sick.”

“You took my son from me…you can live with that for the rest of your life,” he said before the name of the suspect was announced.

Authorities believe Bryant gained entry to the home via the front door and started shooting in the living room prior to fleeing on foot, Fox News reported.

One of the male victims was hit with two shots in the back of the head while another was struck two times in the back.

The women, who were described as friends, were hit in their legs and have been cooperating with the police in the investigation.

On the 9-1-1 phone call after the shooting, a woman is heard screaming, “My son is dead” as the person on the phone pleaded for help.

Neighbors reported hearing between five and eight gunshots but said that they did not get a good look at the suspect.

“This is Struthers, and this kind of stuff doesn’t usually happen. He was an innocent 4-year-old boy who deserves justice and deserves to be remembered,” neighbor Eric Rebic said.

What remains sad is how silent the mainstream media has largely been on the story. Imagine if the suspect was white and the four-year-old was black.

Imagine the media reporting on it, the protests, the riots and the looting, and the chants of “burn it down.”

But that did not happen for Hinnant and it is not happening for Sweeney. We often hear that black lives matter, and they do, but does the media believe anyone else’s life matters?


British teachers are told not to push tomboys to change their gender just because of the way they like to dress or play

Tomboys must not be encouraged to think they should change sex just because of the way they like to dress or play, schools have been told.

The guidelines come in new Government instructions for teachers talking to children about transgender issues. The move has led to calls for controversial transgender charities such as Mermaids to be barred from any role in education.

It comes after Equalities Minister Liz Truss announced that the Government has rejected calls from trans-rights campaigners to allow adults to change their legal gender at will.

Ministers have now followed up by telling schools to reject teaching materials that encourage children to question their gender if they like clothes and toys usually associated with the opposite sex.

NHS figures show the number of girls seeking to change gender and become boys has risen sharply in recent years. Some experts believe it is because tomboys who do not feel comfortable with stereotypically female clothing and activities are being pushed to believe they are ‘born in the wrong body’.

The new schools guidance has been hailed as a major breakthrough by parents who fear that trans groups are encouraging children to change gender because of the clothes they choose to wear or the toys they play with.

‘You should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear,’ the Department for Education advice tells schools. ‘Resources used in teaching about this topic must always be age-appropriate and evidence-based.

‘Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material.’

That has focused attention on the work of Mermaids, a prominent trans-rights charity that provides training for public sector bodies.

One Mermaids training course last year involved a 12-point ‘gender spectrum’, ranging from a Barbie doll in a pink dress at the ‘female’ side to a GI Joe in military fatigues at the opposite, ‘male’ end.

The new guidance has been issued following a lengthy campaign by groups that question the medical transition of children.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, of Transgender Trend, said: ‘This is what we have been calling for. We are very glad to see this guidance.’

The Safe Schools Alliance said the guidance should mean Mermaids is now blocked from any role in training teachers or advising schools.

It said: ‘This guidance makes clear that Mermaids are not suitable to train teachers and schools. All policies that they or organisations partnered with them have consulted on, must now be reviewed.’

Mermaids told The Mail on Sunday that while the charity offers training for teachers, it does not offer classroom talks and lesson materials for pupils in England and Wales, and so would be unaffected by the rule changes that were announced last week.

A spokesman said: ‘Contrary to a great deal of speculation online, we do not suggest that toy and clothing choices are a sole or primary signifier of a child’s gender identity.

‘However, like any child, trans children will sometimes express part of who they are by choosing particular toys and clothes.

‘We accept this point requires careful and subtle expression and we’re working hard to improve the clarity of our messaging.’


Belarus (“White Russia”) impresses again

See my previous comments on Belarus

What can we learn about lockdowns from the country whose dictator told them to fight Covid by drinking vodka?

As the sun slid from the evening sky over Minsk, clusters of people thronged the imposing entrance of the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus clutching their tickets for the ballet.

Many had dressed up to attend one of the city’s landmark buildings, a legacy of the Stalin era that was inspired by Roman amphitheatres.

‘We don’t want our theatres closed,’ said Darya, an elegant 25-year-old heading in to enjoy the performance of The Creation Of The World with friends Igor and Nadia.

‘You need art to live a full life, despite anything else that is happening in the world.’

Minutes later, I watched in the imposing auditorium as the large orchestra struck up, five dancers appeared and 800 people sat back to enjoy the show.

Darya is right about the ability of art and culture to lift spirits in dark times. Yet in Britain, as in other parts of the world, theatre doors remain shut with live entertainment among the sectors hit hardest by pandemic.

But things are rather different in Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko, the last dictator in Europe who has ruled the country for 26 years, swept aside fears over the disease and scoffed at the concept of lockdowns.

He claimed the planet was being swept by ‘psychosis’, suggested his people drink vodka to ‘poison the virus’ and poked fun at the idea of protective measures.

The nation’s professional football league played on through the pandemic’s peak as all Europe’s other leagues closed down and countries went into lockdown.

Yet this maverick despot’s bizarre stance means this little-known land – a strange hangover from Soviet times, with huge state-run factories and KGB agents prowling the streets – offers an intriguing glimpse of what happens if a state leaves Covid unchecked.

For the country has ignored dire warnings of doom from some experts but, curiously, death rates from the virus do not seem all that different from places that imposed strict lockdowns.

‘The measures in Belarus, like in Sweden, were diametrically opposed to your country but the numbers seem similar, which is weird,’ said one senior epidemiologist.

Their fatality figures may actually be significantly better than in the UK – whether through good luck or the measures taken by alarmed citizens on their own.

At the very least, Belarus offers an unusual perspective on the pandemic, and although this secretive nation currently in political turmoil could not be more different from a serene Scandinavian democracy, it has shared Sweden’s avoidance of a lockdown. Lukashenko’s daft actions included denying the existence of viruses as death numbers began to mount from the disease. ‘Do you see any of them flying around?’ he asked in March. ‘I don’t see them either.’

The strongman disdained border controls, predicted the pandemic would pass by Easter, said the first victim was responsible for their own death and refused to cancel a presidential election or events involving elderly veterans to mark the end of the Second World War.

‘It’s better to die standing than to live on your knees,’ he said at one point.

Later, having caught the disease himself, he claimed it was planted on him and carried on ignoring suggestions adopted elsewhere to slow the spread, apart from urging social distancing. ‘In no case stay at home,’ he said last month. ‘Move more in the air, run, jump, play sport.’

Lukashenko’s refusal to accept medical reality fuelled furious protests that followed his blatant theft of last month’s presidential election. Big demonstrations have led to thousands of arrests, brutal beatings and horrifying torture by his security squads.

Dimitri Ivanovich, a data analyst whose mother is recovering from Covid in hospital after two weeks of intensive care, said people had died due to misinformation. ‘There were no public health measures, no help for businesses. People were left alone with the virus.’

Several people I met told me the dictator’s stance starkly exposed his contempt for citizens. ‘Society is more solid than ever before and it started with Covid,’ said Victoria Fedorova, chairwoman of a leading human rights group.

She believes this defiance began with people joining forces to raise funds to buy protective gear for frontline staff. One medical insider told me that 30 doctors have died from the disease; another said all those in his large hospital near Minsk caught the virus.

Officially, there have been just 813 Covid deaths and 77,289 cases in this country of 9.5 million people – among the lowest rates in Europe. State-controlled media bragged of success in contrast with ‘sadder’ data from nations such as Britain with fatality levels about seven times higher.

A far more reliable figure emerged after the government supplied data to the United Nations that revealed 5,605 excess deaths between April and June, when the pandemic peaked, compared to the previous year.

Doctors confirmed such figures. Mikita Salavei, associate professor in the infectious diseases department at Belarusian State Medical University, estimated there have been 8,000 deaths from the virus as the second wave emerges. ‘We are very similar to Sweden in terms of cases and fatalities,’ he said. ‘Our results are not any worse than several other countries.’

Indeed, they may be significantly better than the UK. England and Wales recorded 55,529 excess deaths between April and June, almost two-thirds higher per head of population than the figures from Belarus.

International comparisons are tricky with this disease. There are differences in data collation. Britain is one of the world’s most globalised nations whereas Belarus is more isolated and has much lower population density, despite Minsk’s crowded suburbs .

The two countries have similar proportions of elderly but Belarus has few care homes and far more hospital beds per head of population – a legacy of its Soviet heritage. Yet estimates based on the infamous Imperial College, London, modelling in March that panicked the British Government into lockdown warned of a total of 66,800 Covid deaths in Belarus by the end of next month without any preventative measures.

It predicted a possible 32,000 deaths by October if only mild actions were taken to slow the spread of infection, and 15,000 fatalities if there was strong suppression of social contacts. But the current death toll is actually only about half that.

Officials have found it hard to act independently in this autocratic state, yet some preventative tactics were imposed by local leaders. ‘No one called it “quarantine” but measures were taken,’ said one epidemiologist.

Dzmitry Markelau, a Minsk surgeon, put it more bluntly. ‘The president was stupid in what he was saying. So everything was left to us. Hospitals were repurposed to focus on Covid and people around the elderly started wearing masks.’

Alarmed citizens also started taking their own action. This is a nation with a thriving digital community plus well-grounded suspicions over state duplicity after suffering dreadfully from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Many stories I heard in Belarus were similar to elsewhere in Europe: shortages of protective gear, concerns over surging cancer cases after hospitals were retooled to focus on Covid, and economic carnage.

Bars, beauty salons, cafes and shops all told me that although they stayed open, their takings crashed as people stayed away when infections started soaring in April, and they have not fully recovered. ‘People stopped going on the streets and eating out,’ said Artsiom, a manager in a small chain of pizza restaurants that had to dismiss some staff. His lunchtime sales still struggle as people work from home.

The nation’s footballers may have played on after being told to wash their hands, but fans stayed away. Dynamo Brest filled its stands with mannequins in club colours after attendances plummeted from 10,000 to just 800.

Yet there seem few signs of fear about the disease, especially with mass protests each weekend and most people not wearing masks – as shown by the Bolshoi Theatre’s reopening earlier this month. It closed in April after many performers, returning from events abroad, caught the disease, although they continued rehearsals while halving salaries. ‘We are like happy kids to be open again,’ said Tatiana Alexandrova, head of marketing.

Berlin, a leading music venue in a dingy Minsk basement, was shut down briefly by officials. ‘They closed us because of coronavirus but after a week they did not seem to care so we reopened,’ said director Pavel Yurtsevich. His venue has been hurt by the lack of foreign bands on tour but was preparing for a heavy metal festival on Friday night.

‘We see the UK with its lockdown but it did not seem to solve anything,’ he said. ‘It is all about individual responsibility, and as employers we have responsibility for our staff.’


Another CPS nightmare

In June 2017, Vanessa Peoples’s two-year-old son wandered off during a family picnic and, though he was quickly found, it wasn’t before a stranger called 911 and reported her.

One month later, a CPS worker visited her home in Aurora, Colorado, and called police when nobody answered the door because she feared the children had been left alone, according to the magazine Reason.

Peoples was home but hadn’t heard the knocks, which officers said was ‘concerning.’

When Peoples’s mother and a police officer got into an altercation – and Peoples tried to intervene – they ended up pinning her on the ground and tying her hands and legs together.

Although the case was eventually settled out of court, the incident ended in a dislocated arm for Peoples and ongoing nightmares for her two children.

According to Reason, Peoples, who is a nursing student, and her children – then ages two and four – were at a family picnic in a park in June 2017.

When a cousin left, the younger son allegedly followed the cousin to the car.

A pedestrian noticed the toddler, who appeared to be unattended, and grabbed him.

That’s when Peoples reportedly walked over, having noticed that her child was missing, and demanded the passerby return the child.

‘I’m telling her: “Ma’am, that’s my son,”‘ Peoples told Reason.

‘She’s refusing to let go of him and talking on the phone. I didn’t know she was talking to the police.’

When police arrived, they issued a Peoples a ticket for child neglect and told her a CPS caseworker would be following up.

One month later, when a caseworker called to conduct a well-being check, no one answered her knocks at the door, Reason reported.

Peoples claims she didn’t hear the knocks because she was downstairs doing laundry after having given her children baths.

When the caseworker saw a child inside the house, she feared the youngsters had been left alone and called police.

According to the police report, viewed by Reason, officers found the door unlocked and announced that they were entering the residence, and drew their guns.

‘As I was going up the stairs, the sergeant has a gun pointed at my head, saying: “This is the Aurora Police Department!”‘ Peoples told Reason.

Cops asked Peoples why she didn’t answer the door, to which she replied that she is hard of hearing in one ear – which police noted as a ‘concern.’

When Peoples’s mother arrived at the house, that’s when the situation escalated with the mother and an officer arguing.

Bodycam footage shows Peoples walking over and, when an officer tells her to stand back repeatedly, she replies: ‘No, that’s my mom. I don’t have to stand back’ and attempted to walk past him.

The incident then turns violent and the footage shows the officer putting a hand on Peoples’s throat and throwing her to the ground.

She is pinned down and restrained with hobble handcuffs, which is when the hands and legs are each individually handcuffed and attached together

During this confrontation, the 25-year-old is yelling: ‘I can’t breathe!’ and calling for her mother.

‘You know how you tie a pig upside down and his feet are hanging from the stick? That’s how they carried me,’ Peoples told Reason.

The police asked her if she needed medical attention and, when paramedics arrived, Peoples was transported to the hospital.

This when where doctors told her that, during the incident, her shoulder had been dislocated. She was given a sling, ibuprofen and ice – and then booked.

After being bailed out by her mother, she took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment.

Reason reported that the plea allowed her to avoid jail time, but she also needed to pay a fine and take parenting classes.

Peoples hired Erica Grossman, a civil rights attorney, to sue police for dislocating her shoulder while she was being arrested.

The lawsuit was settled before it was even filed, for an undisclosed amount, but Grossman says this is going to leave a permanent scar with the families.

‘They were using a level of military force like they’re at a huge crime scene instead of a child [well-being] check,’ Grossman told Reason.

‘They did this in front of her two children without a hint of concern about the trauma the children would experience, in the name of making sure their mother was attentive enough.’

Peoples says her children currently experience nightmares about police officers taking her or her husband away in handcuffs.

‘The cops forgot we were human,’ Peoples told the magazine.


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, 2020

The Rogan phenomenon

The following article tries to analyse the amazing audience appeal of Joe Rogan. I also report initially below some comments by a fellow psychologist which also analyse Rogan:

“You pointed out to me that Malcom Turnbull identified with conservatives but was psychologically a lefty. Joe Rogan is the opposite, he identifies as a liberal but psychologically he is conservative/libertarian.

Before you pointed out the reason for Malcom Turnbull’s psychological incongruence, I could not understand it. But since then I have noticed similar psycho-political incongruence in many people. Many are not aware of the true psychology of the political left, right, conservative, libertarian,… and are barely conscious of their own values and personality inclinations, and so many misidentify themselves as being left or right when they are in fact the other.

Although Joe Rogan claims to be a lefty (US liberal) he is disliked by the left because he is masculine, is weight trained and practices martial arts and archery, he hunts and kills game, he believes in individual freedom and accountability, he believes people should be free to pursue their own passions, and be free to defend themselves.

Politically he may call himself a liberal, but psychologically he is a conservative/libertarian, and he has not realised it. Lefties notice it though. That is why they dislike him.

He chooses all sorts of people to interview, from left and right, religious, atheists, politicians, scientists, sports people, martial artists, comedians, outdoorsmen, inventors and innovators, criminals,… etc, etc.

He is a bit of a chameleon, reflecting the character of his guests, so he draws them out to be themselves. And the long chats which go for 2 or 3 hours are mostly very relaxed and casual, so the subject matter gets explored very gently and thoroughly, and the listener gets to understand the topic.

Naturally some of his guests are not interesting at all, but some are very interesting

JOE ROGAN HAS AMASSED one of the largest and most influential media platforms in U.S. politics, if not the single most influential. The value of his program was quantified in May when the streaming service Spotify paid a reported $100 million for the exclusive rights to broadcast his podcast.

As one illustrative example of his reach, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared on Rogan’s program six days ago, and the episode has already been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube alone. The first time Snowden appeared on his program was last October, and that episode, just on YouTube, has more than 16 million views. To put that in perspective: The top-rated cable news programs are the Fox News shows hosted by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and they average between 4 to 5 million viewers, or one-fourth the number of views Rogan’s discussion with Snowden generated.

Rogan is rarely discussed in mainstream political and media circles, which raises its own questions. Why does someone who packs such a big punch in terms of audience size and influence receive so much less media attention than, say, cable news hosts with audience sizes far smaller than his? Presidential candidates certainly recognize Rogan’s importance: All of the major Democratic candidates, according to him, requested to appear on his show. (The only ones he invited on were Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang.)

Rogan was in the news this week after President Donald Trump favorably responded to a guest’s suggestion that Rogan host a four-hour, sit-down presidential debate between the two candidates. The mere suggestion that someone like Rogan could host as prestigious and high-minded an event as a presidential debate prompted condescending scorn from establishment media precincts.

Prior to that, one of the few times Rogan was discussed in mainstream political circles was when outrage among establishment Democrats ensued after Sanders touted a quasi-endorsement from Rogan. The argument was that Rogan’s views are so repellent, bigoted, and anathema to liberalism that no Democratic candidate should be associated with him (this anger was shared by some of Sanders’ own supporters including, reportedly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

WHAT IS IT, by the standards of U.S. political and media orthodoxy, that makes Rogan so radioactive? In March, billionaire and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg — who spoke at the 2004 GOP Convention in the middle of the Iraq War and war on terror to urge the reelection of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and who presided over and repeatedly defended the racially disparate “stop and frisk” police practice — endorsed Joe Biden for president, and Biden not only accepted but celebrated the endorsement, praising Bloomberg in the process:

What are the standards that make Michael Bloomberg an acceptable endorsement to tout but not Joe Rogan, given that the billionaire three-term mayor and former Republican has taken far worse positions and done far more damage to far more people than the podcaster could ever dream of doing?

That question is even more compelling when it comes to the Biden/Harris campaign’s touting of the endorsement of former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, widely blamed for the criminally negligent lack of clean drinking water which plagued primarily African American residents of Flint, Michigan, for many years. Not only did the Biden campaign accept Snyder’s endorsement, but they issued a press release trumpeting it:

What makes all of this more confounding is that Rogan is a fairly basic political liberal on almost every issue: He believes in the need for greater social spending for the nation’s poor and working class, opposes war and militarism, favors drug legalization, is adamantly pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights, and generally adheres to liberal orthodoxies on standard political debates. That is why he was so fond of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, and why Andrew Yang — whose signature issue was the universal basic income — was one of the few candidates he deemed worth talking to.

The objections typically raised to Rogan concern his questioning of some of the very recent changes brought about by trans visibility and equality, particularly asking whether it is fair for trans women who have lived their entire lives and entered puberty as biological men to compete against cis women in professional sports (a question also asked — and even answered in the negative — by LGBT sports pioneer Martina Navratilova, among many others), and whether young children are emotionally and psychologically equipped to make permanent choices about gender reassignment therapies and gender dysphoria.

If embracing and never questioning the full panoply of trans advocacy is a prerequisite to being permitted in decent society, I seriously doubt many prominent Democratic politicians will pass that test (even Kamala Harris, from San Francisco and the very blue state of California, has a very mixed record on trans rights). Moreover, though polling data is sparse, the data that is available show that there is still much work to do in this area: Only a small minority of Americans believe it is fair to allow trans women to participate in female professional sports.

If the standard is that anyone who even entertains debates over the maximalist and most controversial questions in this very new and evolving social movement is to be cast out as radioactive, liberalism and the Democratic Party will be a very small group. It will also have to proceed without the vast majority of political leaders whom they currently follow. Even on this issue of trans rights, Rogan’s views are in accord with the standard Democratic Party view: He advocates full legal protection and dignity for the right of trans people to live with their gender respected.

The other critique centers on Rogan’s willingness to invite on his show various pundits with far-right views. That’s a bizarre criticism of someone who purposely hosts a program designed to foster dialogue with people across the political spectrum. After all, if one employs the blatantly irrational tactic of attributing to Rogan the views of all his guests, he would be simultaneously everything and nothing.

But again, this is a standard which few if any Democratic Party leaders could meet. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all went on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show, while Rep. Adam Schiff has appeared on Tucker Carlson’s program. Speaking with people with differing views is called politics and journalism, and if one is decreed radioactive for interacting with people with bad views, few will survive that standard. (Liberals also point to the fact that Rogan said he could not vote for Biden over Trump, but that was not on ideological grounds but based on the same narrative that Democratic political and media elites spent all of last year disseminating: namely, that Biden’s cognitive decline makes him unfit for the job.)

While Rogan is politically liberal, he is — argues former Obama 2008 campaign strategist and Rogan listener Shant Mesrobian — culturally conservative, by which he does not mean that Rogan holds conservative views on social issues (again, he is pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights). He means that Rogan exudes culturally conservative signals: He likes MMA fighting, makes crude jokes, hunts, and just generally fails to speak in the lingo of the professional managerial class and coastal elites. And it is those cultural standards, rather than political ones, that make Rogan anathema to elite liberal culture because, Mesrobian argued in a viral Twitter thread, liberals care far more about proper culture signaling than they do about the much harder and more consequential work of actual politics.

As Rogan’s platform grows, it is worthwhile to understand his appeal, his audience, and what he is doing that is new and different to attract such a large following. But it is also very worth examining the reaction to him by the political and media class because in that reaction, one finds many revealing attributes about how they think, what they value, and the priorities that they actually venerate.


Innocent Until Proven a Trump Supporter

During a BLM “peaceful protest” in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 30 (over George Floyd’s dying of a heart attack while in police custody in Minneapolis), James Scurlock was peacefully protesting by breaking into an architecture firm — hoisting an office chair and hurling it into two computer monitors, then ripping a phone from a desk and throwing it against the wall, as his friend shattered another monitor — all of which was captured on video.

Nearby, Jake Gardner, an Iraq War veteran and Trump supporter, was keeping watch over the two bars he owned, The Hive and The Gatsby, aided by his 68-year-old father and a security guard. The peaceful protesters soon made their way to Jake’s bar, where they hurled a street sign through The Hive’s plate-glass window. He and his father rushed outside to prevent the peaceful protesters from storming his bar.

Scurlock’s friend, catching his wind after smashing computer monitors, knocked Gardner’s father to the ground. (It’s on tape.) Or as CNN’s Madeline Holcombe put it: “An unidentified man can be seen pushing Gardner’s father.” Gardner rushed to help his father, then backed away toward the bar, lifting his shirt to show the protesters he was armed, and telling them to move along. Again, it’s all on tape. Murmurings can be heard from the crowd: “That (expletive) got a gun” and “It’s not worth it (expletive) you stu–…”

At that point, peaceful protester Alayna Melendez leapt on Gardner from behind (not subscribers to the Marquess of Queensberry rules, these peaceful protesters), knocking him down and into the street, whereupon yet another peaceful protester jumped on top of Gardner, who fired two warning shots in the air, scattering his first two assailants. Again: all on tape.

Three seconds later, as Gardner was trying to get up, Scurlock jumped on him from behind and put him in a chokehold — which I believe is considered definitive proof of intentional murder when performed by a police officer. In videos, Gardner can be heard yelling, “Get off me! Get off me!”

With his right arm pinned, and Scurlock choking him, Gardner moved the gun to his left hand and shot over his shoulder, hitting Scurlock in the collarbone, killing him.

Or as The New York Times’ Azi Paybarah explained it: “Mr. Gardner got into a fight with one man, James Scurlock, 22. The two scuffled before Mr. Gardner fired a shot that killed him.” They “scuffled.” It brings to mind the Times headline from Nov. 24, 1963: “President Kennedy Dies in Dallas After Scuffle — Albeit at Great Distance — With Lee Harvey Oswald.”

Let’s be fair, though. Maybe Scurlock jumped Gardner, or maybe Gardner jumped Scurlock. Who knows? It’s not like there are 4 million videos of the incident.

Gardner was immediately taken into police custody for questioning and held until 11 p.m. the next night.

The Democratic district attorney, Don Kleine, his chief deputy Brenda Beadle, and all the homicide detectives spent 12 hours that weekend reconstructing the incident with multiple videos. Their unanimous conclusion? That Gardner shot Scurlock in self-defense.

Despite the delusional claims posted on “social media” that Gardner used the N-word — which, as we all know, is grounds for immediate execution by any black person — none of the videos substantiate that. To the contrary, Scurlock’s own friend denied that Gardner said anything racial at all. (Apparently, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.)

At 22, Scurlock already had a rap sheet a mile long, including home invasion, assault and battery, domestic violence — and, of course, he was in the middle of a crime spree that very night. Methamphetamine and cocaine were found in his urine.

But “the community” erupted like COVID in April. Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt (bisexual, graduate of a now-defunct college) repeatedly called Gardner a “white supremacist.” Another Nebraska state senator, Kara Eastman (bisexual), called Gardner’s shooting of Spurlock a “cold-blooded murder.”

(Why do I mention their sexual orientations? A lot of the hate toward Gardner seems to come from the transgender community for saying on Facebook that transgenders would be restricted to the unisex bathrooms after a man in a dress attacked a female customer in the ladies’ room.)

Twitter was full of unattractive humans claiming that Gardner was a “white supremacist,” which were dutifully reprinted in local media, such as this one from @nostudavab (Twitter banner: “F*CK TRUMP”):

“Club owner Jake Gardner shot and killed a protestor in Omaha on video, yelling racial slurs. he is openly racist and homophobic. he murdered James Scurlock, he’s proud of it, and he’s not in jail.”

Protesters besieged Kleine’s neighborhood.

Kleine responded to the mob’s demand for “justice” by calling in a black prosecutor, Fred Franklin, to make damn sure the grand jury indicted Gardner — whom Kleine (the elected D.A.) had found to be innocent. As he was expected to do, Franklin produced a series of fanciful indictments, including for manslaughter and making a “terroristic threat.” (The “terroristic threat” was Gardner lifting his shirt to show the peaceful protesters that he was armed.)

The special prosecutor’s ALL NEW EVIDENCE THAT BLEW THE OTHER FACTS AWAY was this: The night of the BLM protest, Gardner had posted on Facebook: “Just when you think ‘what else could 2020 throw at me?’ Then you have to pull 48 hours of military style firewatch.”


Gardner’s landlord, Frank Vance, immediately evicted The Hive and The Gatsby, and sent an anguished apology letter to Scurlock’s family (“deepest sympathy … the pain and suffering … losing a child to unnecessary violence … apologize for this horrible incident … time to heal … very deepest condolences”).

Gardner was facing 95 years in prison for shooting a career criminal who was choking him, and now he had lost his source of income. So naturally his friends tried to set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his legal defense.

GoFundMe’s response? They immediately and repeatedly took down the page, based on their clearly stated policy: We don’t like you.

Here’s a thought, GoFundMe: Guaranteeing a fair trial for an individual accused of a crime isn’t the same as defending the thing he’s accused of. That’s the whole point: Gardner wanted to prove that he was innocent. Nope! No fair trial, no fair press, no livelihood, no GoFundMe. No chance.

Meanwhile, the family of the convicted criminal who jumped Gardner has already raised more than a quarter-million dollars on GoFundMe. (Funeral expenses can be costly!)

Poor Jake Gardner didn’t stand a chance against the raging, hate-filled multitude. Even those sworn to uphold the law, like Kleine and Franklin, leapt in with the mob. And a corporation whose business it is to enable people to raise money for just causes such as getting a fair trial refused to do business with him, not unlike the Memphis Woolworth’s treatment of black people in 1960.

Sadly, President Trump never said a word about his polite, cheerful supporter being railroaded in Omaha. Gardner had attended Trump’s inauguration with such high hopes. He had well wishes even for the (can we say “insane”?) protesters he encountered there.

Last weekend, facing death threats and a kangaroo court, and with no means to mount a defense, Gardner killed himself, rather than be killed by the mob waiting for him back in Omaha.

This is the part of the column where I make a clarion call for action. How about civil suits against the monsters in the prosecutor’s office, against the criminal-supporting GoFundMe and the Facebook and Twitter defamation mobs! Maybe a department of justice investigation or FCC action against biased social media companies. Antitrust suits. Boycotts!

I’ve got nothing. The country has gone mad. I always figured the first armed civilian who ever fought back would put an end to the violence exploding all over the country — the violence that police and prosecutors can’t or won’t stop. “We have the guns,” conservatives like to say. In fact, it’s even worse now.

It’s official: You can’t protect yourself. Not even a blameless ex-Marine could defend himself from being choked to death. The D.A. will call in a “special” prosecutor to throw you to the wolves, and they’ll both be praised for railroading an innocent man in the Omaha World Herald, while the “elite” media defame you.


History Has Been Thrust Upon Us!

How did we come to such Orwellian times? As I watch the insanity swirling around us I couldn’t help but think of this quote from the Lord of the Rings.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

The title of this post, “History Has Been Thrust Upon Us!” was taken from an article by Ray DiLorenzo in the Canada Free Press:on August 29, 2020 entitled, What If Democrats Lose?, saying:

If the Democrats lose this election, it is not difficult to imagine that they will go nuts, slash out at anything that moves in the wrong direction. The mobs are sufficiently riled and waiting for orders. To partly paraphrase Victor Davis Hansen: The Democrats have made a Devil’s bargain.

Marxists under Sanders provide the anarchy and chaos while Democrats watch their cities burn, having agreed to do almost nothing. They will keep COVID-19 alive as long as possible to keep the economy down. Never mind the human toll.

When Democrats win, and at the time they were convinced they would win, Sanders will halt the rioting, having delivered a destroyed middle class, a badly wounded America. The Democrats will take the credit, looking like peacemakers. Sanders will then demand payment, a socialist America ready to be delivered to the globalists. And he will get it.

The left has upended all that’s held inviolable by Americans. Americans believe we have the right to speak our minds, run our businesses, eat at a restaurant, walk the streets and enjoy our homes and families in safety, without being physically attacked, or murdered, by out of control mobs. That used to be known as a crime, now it’s freedom of expression. How Orwellian is that?

Crime is Free Speech and Self Defense is Crime!

These mobs aren’t spontaneous. They’re mobs that have been organized all over the nation. Criminals who are not only encouraged, but supported by politicians. Elected leaders who all swore oaths to protect and defend the Constitution, which means protecting the citizens who voted them in……and they are not doing either. In point of fact, they’re doing everything in their power to destroy the American culture, the American identity, the American economy, the President of the United States and the Constitution. That used to be called treason. Imagine that!

Members of the U.S. Congress can’t even leave the White House without being attacked by a mob.

Sen. Rand Paul and his wife Kelly, attacked by an angry mob as they left the White House Thursday night, on Friday credited police with saving their lives. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he took one look at the mob awaiting Republican guests of President Trump, and became “very worried.”

Who’s behind all this? In this case the D.C. Mayor must share in the responsibility to a large extent. She, in point of fact, had to allow this group to gather. All this insanity and violence is clearly an organized criminal effort masquerading as political expression, and they believe this isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.

Rand Paul says:

My feeling is there is interstate criminal traffic being paid for across state lines, but you won’t know it unless you arrest them. Otherwise you just think oh these are just some normal hoodlums from a big city. I promise you that at least some of these members and people who attacked us were not from D.C.
They flew here on a plane, they’ve all got fresh new clothes, and they were paid to be here. It is a crime to do that and it needs to be traced. The FBI needs to investigate. But the only way you can do it is you have to arrest people. And usually we say ‘oh, well, you didn’t get hurt, so we’re not going to arrest them.’

They were inciting a riot, and they would have killed us had the police not been there. They all need to be arrested, and I’m not saying forever, but they need to be arrested, questioned, they need to say where you’re staying, and the bills need to be subpoenaed by a judge, to say ‘who paid for your bill, how did you get here on a plane and staying in a fancy hotel, and yet you’re acting like a criminal.’

Something’s going on here and it’s much bigger than people think. But the bottom line is, we can’t let the United States become Portland and that’s what my fear is…

Well, fear is what the left is banking on to win the election. Kamala Harris and the Democrat party threaten America with more violence if she and Biden aren’t elected saying:

You think the mayhem in Minneapolis was bad? You think it was bad in Portland? In Seattle? Chicago? New York? How about Denver? Atlanta? Philadelphia? Milwaukee? Washington, D.C.? How about that nice little Kenosha over there? If you think those were bad, just wait for what happens if you do something stupid in November.

Cities are being destroyed, people’s lives are being destroyed, the economy of these cities are crumbling from all this insane violence. Violence that’s not only being condoned by local and state authorities, they’re supporting this criminal behavior by refusing to enforce the law, and even refusing to charge those arrested by the police for the crimes they’re committing.

Police departments they’re trying to defund! Police, leaving their citizens at the mercy of criminals, rapists, thieves, brutes and barbarians. Police who are being deliberately targeted by these barbarians as a result of their complicity in all this criminal activity. All the while charging as criminals those who are defending themselves against these monsters.

Four in Five Black Americans Want Same or More Cop Presence in Neighborhood

Seattle Police Chief Reacts to City Council Voting to Slash Pay Within SPD

But it’s not just the violence. The states have imposed insane and irrational mandates on the entire nation over this over reaction to the latest coronavirus scare mongering, none of their predictions have been valid, and for good reason, see the links below. The entire nation is facing massive economic harm as a result. People have lost businesses! Businesses that will never reopen.

Employees have lost their jobs and are going broke, many losing houses or behind on their rent and facing eviction.
WSJ: Next round of layoffs permanent…

Not everyone furloughed will be put back on payroll…
Fights are breaking out over wearing masks in spite of the fact it’s known the masks don’t work and in fact, are unhealthy.
Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary Of The Science

The media will surely not tell the truth about the end of COVID during the election

Here’s the Shockingly Small Number of People Who Died From Only the Coronavirus

Oops: It Looks Like the Vast Majority of Positive COVID Results Should Have Been Negative

As a history buff I intellectually understood how all this could overtake a society. But reality is a shocker as I see it actually unfolding right in front of my eyes, in America! I now truly understand how dictators take over a country using propaganda and fear. How easy it is to turn citizens against one another, in order to take power when everything has fallen apart.

The consequences of these lockdowns has been devastating to the nation’s health. Suicides, untreated afflictions that’s ended up costing lives. Governor DeWine of Ohio has an impeachment issue but says he’s not focusing on that according to a spokesman! He’s focusing on saving lives and creating jobs! Really? How Orwellian is that? Since virtually everything he’s done has the opposite effect, and it doesn’t take a degree in medicine or economics to understand that.

This coronavirus scare mongering “has been a godsend to the oligarchs, who are licking their chops as one small business after another fails, leaving Americans with no choice but to spend whatever money they have with corporate behemoths.”

We need to define this reality as it is, and not how these insane politicians and their acolyte conspirators in the media define it. If we want clarity, we need definition because that’s what leads to clarity. Clarity then leads to understanding. Understanding leads to good decision making. And if we want harmony, it will take good decision making.

Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality. History has a foundation and a context. What we’re told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. If what’s presented to us fails in either of those categories, it’s wrong. Then all we have to do is develop the intellectual response to explain why it’s wrong.

We simply can’t escape the fact that “history has been thrust upon us. We will either be a witness to a greater America or the greatest catastrophe this nation and the world has ever experienced. Without America, there will be no where else to go”, and now it’s time to “decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”


A multitude of challenges to reason

I know, I know – the only things that matter right now are the election and filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Certainly nothing matters more, but other things matter and the public can’t afford to take its eyes off all of them. The fight against Democrats is a multi-front battle, and every front must be minded and tended, always.

Sometimes fronts that were everything a minute ago fade into oblivion because of the hysteria created to manipulate the public. We need to remember to stay focused amid the distractions.

Remember the post office? It was “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER!!!” just a few weeks ago, now you never hear about it. Democrats scrambled to come back to Washington to vote on a bailout in order to “save our democracy” from the evil President Trump. It went nowhere in the Senate and Democrats are no longer holding breathless hearings on it. Late-night comics have stopped praising this tax dollar black hole and cable news panels have ceased clutching their pearls over the prospect of the election being “stolen” by stamps. What happened?

Democrats put on their show, knowing it was garbage, it served its purpose and they’ve moved on; it also helps that they had activist state courts change voting laws in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan to make fraud more likely. Postmarks are no longer necessary, deadlines have been arbitrarily extended, and anyone can “collect” ballots on behalf of non-family members. The election runs risk of being stolen in mail, alright, but it’s by Democrats so it doesn’t matter.

Meanwhile, the president orders an end to the racist indoctrination of federal employees, couched under the banner of “inclusion,” called critical race theory. Why the federal government was shoveling money to a bunch of leftists to come in and call everyone a racist while holding segregated events is something that not a single liberal journalist bothered to find curious enough to investigate.

That the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was plowing ahead with their seminar anyway, defying the president’s executive order was also of no concern to the media. The liberal establishment media reported breathlessly about the order, but they largely ignored its defiance by the CDC. Does the president secretly work for the CDC and not the other way around?

It was eventually cancelled, after the Director of the Office of Management and Budget got personally involved. Shouldn’t open insubordination be news? Nope, not when it’s in service to the liberal agenda.

Another tentacle of the government, the Orwellian Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is attempting to sue its way to possibly creating for itself the power to undermine all private sector loans. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? It’s true.

A friend of mine, former congressman and long-ago colleague when we were at the Heritage Foundation together, Ernest Istook, wrote this week about how the CFPB is suing debt collectors to change the terms of student loans they’ve purchased that went delinquent. As a student debtor (still) myself, and someone who would not have been able to attend college without them, this is an issue I follow.

Istook writes of how the CFPB’s actions could threaten the entire private student loan industry. How? The “secondary market is the key to making loans available, not only for students but also for home and car buyers, for consumer goods, and for credit cards that make everyday transactions work smoothly. Purchasing loans from original lenders expands the availability of credit.”

In English, lenders lend money, then sell those loans to others for a profit less than they would get should the entire term of the loan pass and be paid off on time, but a profit nonetheless. This frees up more money for primary lenders to lend out to more people. If the primary lenders can’t sell their loans, they’ll have less money to lend, and fewer people get loans. If the terms of those loans, which we borrowers agreed to, can be changed to make them unfavorable to hold (as the CFBP is trying to impose), then who’s going to buy them? If they aren’t bought, the primary lenders have less to lend. The whole system could tailspin and leave the federal government in the game of student loans.

The whole thing is a mess, an unnecessary one. This can only happen in a government so big one tentacle has no idea what the other tentacles are doing.

All of these things, and many, many more, are happening simultaneously. None are as romantic or headline-grabbing as the election or the Supreme Court fight, but they’re all important in their own way. Conservatives have to guard against attempts to knock down whole sections of the walls guarding liberty, but they also need to fight against the attempts to chip away pieces too. Each piece lost, big or small, is unlikely to be recaptured once gone.


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, 2020

The Anti-Religious Dogma of the Democrats

“The dogma lives loudly within you.”

So said Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein on September 6, 2017, as she “questioned” Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals confirmation hearing. Feinstein must’ve forgotten about the Constitution’s Article VI “no religious test” clause, and she must’ve had no idea that her catchy little anti-Catholic smear would one day be a potent rallying cry for Barrett’s supporters.

But here we are.

President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court on Saturday, and Barrett has emerged as the strong favorite. “I’m saving her for Ruth’s seat,” the president had reportedly said when he decided on Justice Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat in 2018.

At the time of Feinstein’s bigoted comment, a few leading voices spoke out against it. These included John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, where Barrett was then a law professor. “I am one in whose heart ‘dogma lives loudly,’ as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation,” wrote Jenkins in an open letter to Feinstein. “Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology.”

We could end this column right here, with those potent words. But we’ll soldier on a bit longer, because we need to explore the real dogma here, which is the religiously intolerant dogma — even the atheistic dogma — that today “lives loudly” both on the Left and within the Democrat Party.

The attacks on Barrett began in earnest yesterday, with the mainstream media taking the lead. As National Review’s Zachary Evans reports, “Barrett is reportedly a member of People of Praise, an interdenominational Christian community organization. A Tuesday article from Reuters questioned whether the group was similar to a totalitarian cult from the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, while a story from Newsweek initially asserted that Margaret Atwood, the author of the novel, used People of Praise as inspiration for the book’s fictional cult.”

That was a shameful and reckless falsehood, perhaps even an outright lie, and Newsweek was forced to correct it. But you’ll have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find where Newsweek “regrets the error” in a story that still smears Barrett and those Catholics.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, though, had already heard enough. “These ugly smears against Judge Barrett,” he said, “are a combination of anti-Catholic bigotry and QAnon-level stupidity. People of Praise is basically a Bible study — and just like billions of Christians around the world, Judge Barrett reads the Bible, prays, and tries to serve her community. Senators should condemn this wacky McCarthyism.”

The secular religion of the Left is nothing new, but its numbers are growing, and so is its intolerance for people of faith. These days, leftists don’t merely reject Christianity; they ridicule it. Unless they can use it to take power — in which case they embrace it. As columnist Elle Reynolds puts it, “The media loves to fawn over the pious and heartfelt Catholicism of Joe Biden. Now they’re talking about the Catholic faith of Amy Coney Barrett, the frontrunner to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But you’ll notice a very different tone. The key differences are their adherence to their faith’s actual teachings, as well as their political leanings.”

Joe Biden is a fake Catholic, an abortion-on-demand Catholic. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on the other hand, is a real Catholic, an honest adherent of the faith. Which is why the Left is hell-bent on destroying her.


The Coming Political Apocalypse

If the reelection campaign of Donald Trump didn’t have enough drama already, mix in the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and we’re facing the end of the world as we know it. At least if you believe the mainstream media. Leftists have gone into crisis mode (have they ever left it since Trump became president?) and are having fainting spells over what Republicans might do with an open seat on the Supreme Court.

I have a question. If the shoe was on the other foot, if there was a Democrat president and a Democrat Senate and a position on the Supreme Court opened up, do you think they would hesitate one minute to fill the spot? I didn’t think so.

The hyperbole on the Left is astounding! Democrats claim any attempt to fill Ginsburg’s position on the Court will be met with violence unlike anything we’ve seen so far. That’s a little hard to imagine. But what we saw during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings pales in comparison to what we’re about to see. This is not going to be for the faint of heart.

What’s the endgame here? Leftists would have you believe that if they lose an election, it was because of fraud by the Republicans. They refuse to believe people would vote for someone like Trump. I mean, Hillary Clinton was such an incredible candidate, how could she have lost except by Trump’s cheating? The irony of the matter is leftists were the ones doing all the cheating.

They say Trump might not accept the results of the election. They’ve never accepted the results of the last election. Anyone remember that Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier? In a recent interview, Hillary said the Russians interfered in the last election and they are still interfering with this one. And she said it with a straight face. Bill Clinton, sitting off to the side, looked at her like she was losing her mind. I can’t read his thoughts, but his face was saying, Really? You’re still going with that excuse?

What conservatives face right now are veiled threats that the violence in Democrat-run cities won’t stop until Trump is voted out of office. We’re being blackmailed to vote against our own best interests! Leftists are overplaying their hand. I’m not sure what genius came up with the idea that threatening patriotic Americans with violence if they don’t just surrender is a winning strategy.

How long do they think they can lay the blame for all of the COVID-19 deaths, loss of jobs, and the violence in the streets of Democrat-run cities on President Trump? I know there are a lot of low-information voters out there, but this election has more people paying attention than anytime I can remember in my lifetime. Personally, as a veteran, I don’t take kindly to those who think they can threaten me to accomplish their political goals.

With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, leftists think there’s blood in the water. Like sharks, they’re circling the prey (us) and believe they can overthrow the election results in their favor. Let’s pray they’re wrong!

Something to think about?


The Dishonest Lunacy of Claiming ‘Systemic Racism’

“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them.”

To listen to the unhinged bloviation of elite academia regarding racism in America is to personify George Orwell’s axiom: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them.”

Today’s political discourse is saturated by claims that America is a “systemically racist” country. Allegedly, this virulent racism pervades every major American institution — academia, the justice system, government, business, education, etc.

Where is the proof?

Regarding the justice system, the “anti-racist” progressive Left looks at the disproportionate rates of black men incarcerated as evidence of systemic racism, as if crimes are committed in direct proportion to the racial makeup of society. This completely ignores differences in the behaviors that lead to incarceration.

Black people make up 13% of the population, yet, according to Justice Department statistics, in 2018 (the latest year available), blacks committed 53% of murders/non-negligent homicides, 54% of robberies, and 34% of aggravated assaults. In 2016, blacks committed 29% of all rapes. And keep in mind, the majority of the victims in these cases are black.

By contrast, Asians make up 5.6% of the U.S. population but are arrested for just 1.3% of murders, 1.4% of robberies, and 2.1% of armed robberies.

Is this, therefore, proof of a pro-Asian bias in law enforcement, where Asians are actually committing more crimes, but police are overlooking them because they are Asian? Or is it more likely that, due to cultural differences, Asians commit far fewer crimes both overall and as a percentage of the population?

What role do individual decisions play in incarceration rates? There is a direct correlation between having a father in the home and crime rates, and there is a greater than 70% unwed-pregnancy rate in the black community.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, one of the nation’s foremost legal minds, exposes the fallacy of claiming systemic racism. “Enforcement authorities, defense counsel, and the court frequently bend over backwards to plead cases out to softer versions of the criminal conduct’s harsh reality,” he writes. “They do so precisely to rationalize the avoidance or reduction of jail time.”

If these arrests are racially driven, where are the mountains of motions by defense lawyers arguing a racial motivation in their clients’ arrests? Where are the complaints against racist judges?

The self-flagellating claims of pervasive racism in academia are even more ludicrous. After all, American universities are overwhelmingly run by progressive administrators, with courses overwhelmingly taught by leftist professors.

If institutional racism is so deeply embedded in the university system, which is overwhelmingly dominated by “anti-racist” progressives, who is to blame for the systemic racism?

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald asks the same relevant question we posed above: namely, where is the proof? If such academic racism exists, she asks, “Which faculty members do not treat black students fairly? If that unjust treatment is so obvious, why weren’t those professors already removed?” How have we tolerated an admissions process that apparently lets in thousands of student bigots?“

If racism, as Middlebury College President Laurie Patton claims, “happens in our residence halls and in our classrooms, at the tables of our dining halls and in our locker rooms, on our sidewalks, within the offices where we work, and in our town,” why have these woke administrators and professors allowed it to fester and take root?

Of course, every sane person knows these ridiculous declarations are nothing more than pseudo-pious virtue signaling.

Those rare brave souls — like Penn Law Professor Amy Wax — who dare depart from leftist orthodoxy and speak truth are immediately forced to recant, or they are personally and professionally destroyed.

The truth is that there is a racial bias in academia … in favor of minorities. Black students have much lower thresholds for entrance into college than white or Asian students. Universities are appointing vice presidents and chancellors of diversity to make sure no minority ever has their tender little feelings hurt, intentionally or unintentionally. The mere hint of an allusion to a possibility of racism sends the entire university administration structure into a panic, pleading forgiveness, launching witch hunts to find offenders, and prostrating themselves before the anti-racist woke mob and begging for mercy.

This leads to such insanity as UC-Davis starting an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students in order to combat the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology. You read that right — geology, the study of rocks.

The journal Nature declared the mission of science should be to “amplify marginalized voices,” and the American Mathematical Society declared “equity, diversity, and inclusion” as a core component of its mission, where mathematicians have an “obligation” to “help create fundamental change.”

This is all utter and complete lunacy.

To be sure, American universities are indeed hotbeds of virulent bigotry — just not in the way they claim. They are openly hostile of and contemptuous toward conservative political thought and Judeo-Christian beliefs (though quite tolerant of Islamic beliefs). Conservative, Christian students are routinely mocked, harassed, denied free speech, persecuted, and even physically assaulted.

The saddest part of all of this is that we are raising generations of minority children who are taught to be victims, who are taught that the world hates them and actively seeks to oppress them, and that they can never achieve their goals because of it.

This destroys hope, ambition, and a sense of personal responsibility. It stokes despair, hatred, and rage. Eventually, cities burn.

What a reprehensible and destructive thing to do to a young mind, all in the name of a phony narrative of “systemic racism


Australia: The terrifying police state Daniel Andrews wants to create: How innocent Victorians can be arrested and detained indefinitely without evidence – on the word of power-hungry public servants

The “Chairman Dan” nickname is well earned. Communist party bosses were usually named as chairmen

Innocent Victorians could be arrested in the street or at work and detained indefinitely by power-crazed officials under a new law Daniel Andrews wants to pass, top lawyers have warned.

The proposed new law, which will be debated in the Victorian parliament next month, would allow the government to give anyone it chooses – such as public servants – the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions and make arrests.

The unprecedented plan would also allow officials to detain people they suspect may spread coronavirus even if they have done nothing wrong.

Officials would also be able to follow up on tip-offs that Covid rules have been breached at a home or a workplace without needing the police to accompany them.

Eighteen esteemed former judges and lawyers have written an open letter warning that the law is ‘unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse’.

One of those lawyers, Ross Gillies QC, told Daily Mail Australia he fears power-hungry officials who enjoy exerting authority may abuse the powers given to them.

‘I don’t trust someone who is nominated by a public servant with the power to make arrests. I have real abiding concern that power is a very dangerous thing,’ he said.

‘Some people are excited by power and the ability to exert authority over someone else. There is the potential for enormous injustice.’

‘Someone might grab someone and say “I have reason to believe you are a Covid carrier or know someone who has Covid and I apprehend you”.

‘There would be no remedy in that situation. That may be the worst-case scenario but we know that can happen.’

Mr Gillies described the law, which has passed the lower house, as ‘draconian’ and urged the upper house to vote it down or amend it next month.

James Peters QC, who also signed the letter, expressed similar concerns. ‘Power is very intoxicating and only some people can exercise it carefully such as very well trained groups,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

Asked if the new law could see innocent Victorians being arrested in the street, he said: ‘That’s right, that’s a very big risk.’

Mr Peters said normally when somebody is arrested they are brought before a bail justice but the proposed law does not say that would happen.

Asked if it allows officials to indefinitely detain people under state of emergency powers, he said: ‘It could be read that way, yes.’

He also said it was unclear what redress people who are wrongfully arrested would have. ‘We have a traditional understanding of police power and redress to the courts if you have concern about how powers are exercised,’ he said.

‘But how are you able to effectively test the belief upon which you were restrained? ‘You might not find out about it [why you were arrested] until you get to court.’

He flagged that there could be a legal challenge if the law passes, saying: ‘When excessive powers are legislated, there is often a legal challenge.’

Asked if all 18 signatories to the letter would launch legal action together, he said: ‘I can’t speak for everyone I can only speak for myself.’

The proposed law does not specify who will be authorised to make arrests.

‘We just don’t know, that’s one of the vices. They could be anybody,’ said Mr Peters.

‘It’s not enough to say the problem can be managed without specifying who could be given the powers.’

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Andrews suggested the power to make arrests would be given to WorkSafe officials and health department workers.

At the moment police need to be present to make an arrest but Mr Andrews wants public servants to have that power on their own.

He said currently when a workplace is inspected to see if it is abiding by Covid-19 rules ‘there’s got to be someone from police, someone from WorkSafe, somebody from the Health Department, that doesn’t make any sense.

‘If we can essentially double or triple the resource available to you, it stands to reason that we’ll have more people doing the right thing. ‘

Mr Andrews said he wants to make sure supermarkets, abattoirs and other workplaces are adhering to strict rules including social distancing and limits on the number of workers on the premises at once.

Asked why he needs to give powers to detain people before they do anything wrong, he said: ‘They’re based on a reasonable belief principle and proportionality principle about the risk of spreading Covid.

‘There are some people who are not compliant, refuse to act in a responsible and safe way. Those powers would not be frequently used. They would be, I think, rare. But they are important.’

Those who could be arrested include positive patients or close contacts who officials suspect may refuse to self-isolate, such as protesters or people with mental health difficulties.

They could be taken to a hotel for mandatory quarantine for as long as the authorised officer believes is necessary.

Critics say Mr Andrews wants to create his own version of the Stasi, the East German secret police force which spied on citizens through a network of informants and arrested more than 250,000 people between 1950 and 1990.

The measures are outlined in the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020, which will meet resistance when read in the upper house next month.

Liberty Victoria president Julian Burnside has raised concerns that government workers authorised to make arrests may not be able to accurately determine whether someone poses a risk of spreading Covid-19.

‘The bill introduces a preventative detention regime which appears to have little protections or oversight, and provides far too much discretion to people who may lack the necessary expertise to determine risk, including police officers,’ he said.

Victoria’s state of emergency and disaster powers, extended until October 11, give police the power to detain someone ‘for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health’.

Police officers can also search people’s homes without a warrant and restrict movement between locations such as between regional Victoria and Melbourne.

Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs told Daily Mail Australia the legislation was ‘extremely dangerous’ and would create the ‘Daniel Andrews Stasi’.

‘It will allow Dan Andrews to effectively appoint anyone he wants as an authorised officer, with extraordinarily broad discretion to enforce Victoria’s emergency powers,’ he said.

‘Union leaders could be appointed to unleash retribution on small business owners who speak out against lockdowns.

‘Labor Party officials could be appointed to intimidate political opponents. ‘I Stand With Dan’ types could be appointed to spy on their friends and neighbours.

‘Not since East Germany have we seen such a monstrous web of government surveillance. The Victorian Parliament must vote down this bill and say no to the Dan Andrews Stasi.’


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, 2020

Identity Issues: Probing Woke Culture

Randall G. Holcombe

We are all different and all unique, and I try to treat everybody as an individual rather than stereotyping them as belonging to some group. I do my best to treat everyone with the same respect I’d like them to extend to me. But I confess to being un-woke and not understanding the logic behind some aspects of woke culture and identity issues.

I’m focusing on two of those issues here, prompted by this article in The New Yorker.

The article begins by talking about cultural appropriation, relating a story about a blue-eyed singer dressed in Jamaican carnival garb, which apparently is cultural appropriation. Why is it “cultural appropriation” to admire and adopt the fashions that originated in a different culture? If this is cultural appropriation, would it not also be cultural appropriation if someone of African descent wore a suit and tie–a fashion that originated in Europe? Why should dressing a certain way be celebrated when done by some people and the object of criticism when done by others?

Cultural appropriation seems to apply to clothing, but not to music, as far as I can tell. Blues music has its origins in African American culture, but many white blues musicians are highly respected. Meanwhile, there is a push to increase the number of minority musicians in symphony orchestras, which is not considered cultural appropriation even though the orchestra repertoire is heavily European in its origins.

The main focus of The New Yorker article is not about cultural appropriation, however, but about people misrepresenting their race. The article focuses mostly on a George Washington University history professor who claimed to be Black, but as others discovered more about her background, was pushed into confessing she “assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim.”

The article also mentions Rachel Dolezal, the woman who headed the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, until 2015, when she was outed as actually being white.

What seems illogical to me, an un-woke observer of woke culture, is that it appears that it is acceptable and commendable for people to be able to choose the gender with which they identify, but is unacceptable to choose their racial identity. People can grow up identifying themselves with one gender, and at any point in their lives can decide they now identify with a different gender. Not so with race. Why?

People decide they want to change their gender identity and have major surgery to alter their body to more closely conform with their new identity, all supported by woke culture. But, if someone changes their hair style to one typically identified with a different race, that is labeled cultural appropriation. Why?

One possibility could be that people want to identify with a race that is perceived to have advantages other races don’t have. Despite sustained moves toward racial equality, “white privilege” still exists. But that doesn’t apply to the two cases mentioned in The New Yorker article, because both individuals who were mentioned were trying to shift their identities from white to the marginalized and disadvantaged identity of Black.

They were both white women, and if they said they now identified as men, woke culture would accept and embrace that identity change. But woke culture strongly rejected their attempted change in racial identity.

As contradictory as these (and other) aspects of woke culture appear to me, I try to treat everybody as an individual and everybody with respect. We are all unique and all different. Don’t take anything I’ve said here as a criticism. I’m just making an observation about aspects of contemporary culture that seem to embody obvious contradictions


Kenosha Riots Hit Minority Communities Hardest

Callous disregard of property rights creates long-term instability that scares away business investment and reduces economic opportunity

On August 23, the police shooting of an African American man named Jacob Blake sparked national unrest yet again, in a pattern that has become all too common. Blake survived the shooting, and the incident was murky—not a clear-cut injustice. Yet rioting and looting broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, nonetheless.

Now, as the dust settles and locals begin to sort through the rubble, the scale of the destruction that rocked the city after Blake’s shooting is becoming clear.

At least 56 businesses were damaged or destroyed by looting or arson, according to the Wall Street Journal. Current assessments report more than $50 million in damage.

“The destruction has left shop owners in one of Kenosha’s oldest business districts grappling with why their businesses became casualties of the destruction that has followed protests against racism and police brutality, and whether they will have the money to rebuild and stay in the neighborhood,” the Journal reports. “While Kenosha’s population is 79.5% white and 11.5% Black, according to census data, locals say the Uptown neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse areas, with a majority of minority-owned businesses.”

It appears that in Kenosha, just as in Minneapolis and Chicago, the fallout from rioting and looting will disproportionately harm minority communities.

“I always think that people have the right to protest—to peacefully protest—but this goes beyond that,” La Estrella Supermarket owner Abel Alejo said. “They were destroying the neighborhoods that they want to protect.”

Even a local Black Lives Matter leader denounced this destruction, saying “We’re not into doing anything to damage our community… it waters down our message.”

This damage is significant, but defenders will no doubt seek to downplay it, explaining that “businesses have insurance.” Yet the damage goes beyond cold cash. There is also the enormous human and emotional toll involved in having your property destroyed and having to pick up the pieces that even a premium insurance plan can’t account for. What’s more, lost income and unpaid labor inevitably await any entrepreneur victimized by vandalism.

Plus, many small businesses don’t have insurance or are underinsured. They will have to bear the costs themselves.

Ultimately, the destruction in Kenosha and its disproportionate impact on urban, minority communities reminds us of a timeless lesson: Property rights are the fundamental basis of a market economy. Yet, despite how critics often portray them, property rights are not simply a matter of protecting the wealthy and big corporations. The protection of private property is what ensures immigrants, minorities, and poor people are not derailed on their climb up the economic ladder in pursuit of the American dream.

Moreover, the protection of property rights uplifts everyone by setting the stage for long-term economic success that benefits all. It is the engine of our prosperity and is integral to freedom.

Nobel laureate economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek once wrote that, “The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.” Similarly, the economist Thomas Sowell has said that property rights, “belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.”

What this means is quite simple: Callous disregard of property rights creates long-term instability that scares away business investment and reduces economic opportunity. Often, this manifests itself in the form of lower property values, higher insurance rates passed on to consumers, reduced tax revenue, and fewer jobs in an area.

You don’t have to just take my word for it. Studies examining the long-term economic impact of the 1960s Civil Rights Era riots and the 1990s Los Angeles Rodney King riots document these exact effects.

So, when looters descend on urban communities like Kenosha in a wave of destruction, even liberal supporters of criminal justice reform shouldn’t fall for the narrative that rioting is harmless, justified, or helpful. The evidence is clear. “Social justice” agitators who cross the line past peaceful protest and engage in violent vandalism are only sabotaging the same minority communities they claim to care about.


Uh Oh: High-Ranking Democrat Takes Aim at Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and “The Squad” – consisting of her, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – have made a name for themselves as progressive darlings. They’re a firebrand that has ignited grassroots progressives. While that’s great in theory, it also exposes one issue: the middle-of-the-road Democrats, you know, what the Democratic Party used to be.

In the past, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, defended Omar’s comments about 9/11, when she said “some people did something.”

“I think she was trying to say that some people in her community feel like they’re being targeted,” Peterson said last year.

Earlier this week the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) asked Peterson why he defended Omar’s comments. Now, it looks as though he’s doing his best to distance himself from the freshman congresswoman, the New York Post reported.

“Do you have any comment as to why you defended Ilhan Omar?” an NRCC staffer asked.

“I don’t defend her. She doesn’t belong in our party,” Peterson, who has served Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District since 1991, told the NRCC.

Peterson was asked to clarify and expand on his position.

“She doesn’t belong in our party,” he said as he walked away.

It’s clear that Peterson is attempting to distance himself from Omar and the rest of “The Squad.” He’s facing a tough election against Republican Michelle Fischbach, the former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor.

It’s not surprising that people like Peterson are distancing themselves from people like Omar. The Squad’s rhetoric and policy stances are harmful to people to rural America. The Green New Deal threatens farmers’ way of life. “Defunding” the police (when it is really about abolishing law enforcement) gives small towns and communities across the Midwest anxiety. It means that riots like what took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, can come to a place near them. It’s no longer just something that happens in major cities. It’s now something that can – and will – happen in small towns and cities no one has ever heard of. Embracing people like Omar means they support this kind of agenda, even if their constituents don’t. That’s a liability in an election year.


Pastors Promote Workplace Training as Alternative to ‘Divisiveness’

“It is so important that our pastors, especially in communities of color, begin to offer an alternative to the narrative that is being pushed by certain groups [and] we can’t really quantify what [their] goal is besides anarchy and divisiveness,” the Rev. M.J. Reid says. (Photo illustration: Getty Images)

A group of minority pastors is asking employers to adopt a new training program that counters the narrative promoted by Black Lives Matter activists.

The group, called Conservative Clergy of Color, developed a six-step “Getting to All Lives Matter” in what it calls a fact-based program that operates on the “assumption all Americans want to build a better society.”

The group wants to offer the program to both government workplaces and those in the private sector, the Rev. Aubrey Shines, founder of Conservative Clergy of Color, said Wednesday at a virtual press conference.

“We have already contacted numerous corporations, simply saying we have an alternative as it relates to this type of divisiveness that we are seeing unfolding, unfortunately lived out, in our agencies. Not just federal agencies,” said Shines, pastor of Tampa-based Glory to God Ministries, or G2G.

“We are seeing it in the athletic realm, in various corporations that are indoctrinating employees to what we believe is something that has no historical basis, that requires historical revisionists to speak to these types of issues,” he said.

Many corporations, particularly in light of the demonstrations and riots sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, adopted diversity training programs based on “white fragility” theories presuming an “implicit bias,” according to Conservative Clergy of Color.

Both such training and the lecture circuit on anti-racism issues reportedly has become lucrative for white academics.

The six steps in the program offered by Shines’ group are:

—Why the ‘All Lives Matter’ approach means stronger teams.

—“How we get race wrong.”

—How responsible is the media?

—Fact-based talk on equity and opportunity.

—What’s working, what didn’t, and what should be tried.

—Focused minds and open hearts.

The Rev. Francisco Vega, an Atlanta pastor with Awakening and Reformation Center, said the conservative clergy’s curriculum will challenge notions of the liberal view known as critical race theory.

“We have to deviate from the rhetoric of critical race theory, which is now being coined as critical social justice,” Vega said at the press conference. “It is really embedded through Marxism and European socialistic ideas.”

“And, really, we need to remember American exceptionalism and all of the one becoming the whole,” Vega said. “I believe that will bring a better perspective of honor and respectability among whites and African Americans and Latinos.”

The Rev. M.J. Reid, of Detroit, said he sees little reason for the divisive narrative that groups such as the main Black Lives Matter organization push.

“We understand that many people that are in corporate America also sit in pews,” said Reid, pastor at The River Church. “It is so important that our pastors, especially in communities of color, begin to offer an alternative to the narrative that is being pushed by certain groups [and] we can’t really quantify what [their] goal is besides anarchy and divisiveness.”

“The purpose of this curriculum,” he said of the clergy’s program, “is to put tools in the hands of leaders [and] anyone who is an influencer, to give the information that will counteract and diffuse this chaotic state we see America go into more and more.”

Shines said his organization has seen “pushback,” but that was to be expected:

In the words of Booker T. Washington, ‘There is a group of individuals that need race problems to continue. Why?’ He asks and answers the question. He said, ‘It keeps them lucrative. It keeps them prominent.’

We are seeing pushback because we are upsetting the narrative, not because we are pushing an agenda. We are simply saying, ‘Look at the facts.’


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, 2020

SCOTUS Showdown: A Case for Nominating Barbara Lagoa

It has got to be Lagoa. Collins and Murkowsi are the weak links in the Senate. Both have said they will not vote for any candidate at this juncture. But will they be able to resist voting against an Hispanic woman? It would look very bad for them. And Lagoa is Cuban so should be pretty solidly conservative. And even Leftists might find it hard to oppose a woman

The alternative is Amy Coney Barrett, who is solidly against the baby killers so will attract real fury from the Left. Leftists love deaths — of others. So where Collins and Murkowski might relent and vote for Lagoa, they will not have the fortitude to stand up for Barrett and be forever branded as pro-abortion.

Not that Murkowski and Collins are totally needed. Lagoa could still get through with the aid of Pence’s casting vote

President Trump will select a Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg within a matter of days. We know that it will be a woman. And based on multiple reports, the top two potential finalists are Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit, and Judge Barbara Lagoa of the Eleventh Circuit. A law professor at Notre Dame, Barrett was confirmed 55-43 (nearly exactly along party lines) to her current post in the fall of 2017, following a contentious process. To be clear, I believe Barrett is a brilliant and capable jurist and would be thrilled if President Trump picks her. She’s young (48), smart, and rock solid. She is the frontrunner for good reason.

That being said, it’s simply a reality that this nomination will be the subject of a pitched battle no matter who is named. And against that backdrop, I am coming around to the view that Judge Lagoa might be the more strategically savvy choice under the present circumstances — and should at least get a very serious look for the top spot on the list. Consider:

(1) Lagoa’s credentials are strong. Like Justice Ginsburg, she’s a graduate of Columbia University’s law school. She began her career on the bench as a lower court judge in Florida starting in 2006 (appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush) after serving as an Assistant US Attorney. She was elevated to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis (who takes the issue of the courts very seriously) in January 2019, serving in that capacity for most of the year, until she was plucked from the state bench by Trump. The president nominated her for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Her resume practically screams “well qualified” — which is how she was unanimously rated by the left-leaning American Bar Association.

(2) Her personal story is also compelling, which is — like it or not — a relevant factor in an era of identity-focused politics. Lagoa is the daughter of Cuban-Americans who fled their homeland during the Communist revolution. She is young (she’ll turn 53 the day before the November election), the mother of three daughters, and is said to have a vivacious personality. If confirmed, this “wise Latina” would be the second-ever Hispanic member of the Supreme Court and only the fifth woman (the latter would also be true of Barrett). Democrats are likely to be extremely aggressive in opposing this nominee (just look at their outrageous conduct during the Kavanaugh nomination), but the optics of beating up on a Latina would be less than ideal — especially at a moment when Democrats are anxiously watching President Trump over-perform among Latino voters in the polls.

(3) Did I mention she’s a Floridian? I’ve heard that state is a pretty important one.

(4) Chuck Schumer famously once said, “I always use the word ‘extreme'” to discredit conservative ideas or nominees. Democrats will undoubtedly play that card against whomever Trump taps for this seat, but their go-to moniker would ring especially hollow if deployed against Lagoa. Why? She was overwhelmingly confirmed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals late last year. The final tally was 80-15 in favor. Senate Democrats voted to confirm her by nearly a two-to-one margin. The following Democratic members of the judiciary committee supported her confirmation: Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). That’s right, the four most senior Democrats on the committee voted Yea, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate. The only Democratic member of the committee who voted against her was Mazie Hirono (several others who were busy running for president did not vote). Also, every GOP senator voted in the affirmative, including Collins and Murkowski. Democrats will stomp their feet and say “but the Supreme Court is different!” Fine. But it’s awfully hard to frame a nominee as dangerously radical and extreme when a large majority of your own party recently backed her confirmation to another powerful federal court. This is a serious asset for Lagoa. Her nomination could be framed as a more consensus and ‘moderate’ pick, which could raise the odds of a successful confirmation under difficult, high-pressure conditions.

(5) A conservative source who’s long known Lagoa attests that her conservative credentials are strong, despite a relatively thin record on hot-button cases. Conservatives often fear David Souter-style betrayals, and for good reason. This source says there is “zero chance” Lagoa, whom the source likens to Clarence Thomas, is a risk to become an Anthony Kennedy, let alone a Souter. She is said to have won the confidence of several very strong conservatives who are very familiar with her work. But let’s say for the sake of argument that she could end up becoming, say, a John Roberts, who disappoints conservatives, sometimes seriously, on occasion (I have no reason to believe this would be the case, and it merits a mention that Lagoa has been involved with the Federalist Society for years). That would still be an immense ideological upgrade from Justice Ginsburg. Which is to say, I’m less fixated than I typically would be on the demonstrable philosophical bona fides of this particular nominee at this particular moment in time. Republicans will need to thread a needle, given the timing of this vacancy. A huge strategic consideration, under these conditions, must be making opposition as difficult as possible. A Barbara Lagoa nomination could present some real optics landmines for Democrats, and it would align with the Trump campaign’s aggressive courtship of voters of color at the Republicans’ August convention. In other words, it would play to Trump’s instincts and strategy.

I’d like to see more assurances about the underpinnings and consistency of her judicial philosophy (I’ve spoken to some plugged-in conservatives I trust who at least have questions about the depth of her commitment to conservative jurisprudence) — and it’s especially crucial that she’s totally buttoned up from a vetting perspective. Yes, she just passed through a very recent confirmation process with flying colors (some of the conservative doubters ask why she received 80 votes, including the support of some extremely liberal Senators). But SCOTUS is a different beast with different stakes. Just ask Justice Kavanaugh. But time is of the essence. If Lagoa is determined to be a sufficiently vetted and conservative jurist, I believe she may be an ideal candidate for the position, in light of all the emotionally-charged and politically-fraught dynamics at play. And if not ideal, she’s at least worthy of a very, very serious look.


Possible AI futures

A Harvard Business School presentation on artificial intelligence by Professors Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti this week was fascinating but creepy. While the technology is empowering numerous new businesses, most of those businesses seem to be in China. Gradually, as the capabilities of artificial intelligence combined with Big Data sank in, I came to a chilling realization that in the wrong hands, the technology may be very dangerous indeed. We had better make sure our defenses are raised against this possibility.

The presenters gave a number of examples of AI in action, which certainly stimulated thought. The first example was a reproduction Rembrandt painting – they loaded all the existing Rembrandts into a computer and asked the AI algorithm to produce a Rembrandt of a 30-40-year-old man, and it produced a picture that was quite convincing. However, I’m no art expert, but I’m not sure the AI result was definitively a Rembrandt – it was a little flat.

That is however not surprising; the great man himself employed a studio full of assistants to finish his paintings and add the easy bits. Hence if you load all the Rembrandts into a computer, you will have work that is part-Rembrandt, part “school of.” This painting was definitely “school of” and might have been “Rembrandt on a bad day” but you certainly wouldn’t have rated it as a top-quality Rembrandt masterpiece. Similarly, the little AI-Mozart that I have heard never sounds like the best Mozart, but more like some random 18th Century tiddly-pom.

The second AI example they gave was a Chinese insurance company’s program for counting pigs. The insurance company provides farm insurance on some large percentage of China’s 850 million pigs, and naturally wants to check how many pigs are in a particular farm, and whether the same pigs are being shuttled from farm to farm to defraud the insurance company (I once knew someone whose family pulled that trick for EU sheep subsidies). The clever AI could not only count the pigs, but also use pig facial recognition to determine which pig was which. Clearly, this is a highly valuable capability, which can replace lots of human pig counters; being AI it has a learning capability and positive economies of scale (the more pigs it sees, the better it gets at recognizing them). Of course, China being China, one is forced to recognize that the same capability would work on people….

The final example the presentation gave was Ant Financial, the Chinese payments system that has expanded into a financial services conglomerate with 1.4 billion customers and only 10,000 employees. (Only Chinese marketing people could name a consumer-oriented financial services company after that most un-libertarian of insects. “Pussycat Financial” would at least have pretended that the company’s customers would be allowed to flourish independently, each in their own way!)

Ant Financial clearly benefits from the increasing economies of scale that AI can provide. It also uses AI algorithms and Big Data on its customers to generate new product offerings for its gigantic customer base. Naturally, AI can also be used to predict whether the customers will accept those offerings, and what might tempt customers into new offerings that might prove risky for them but carry higher commissions.

Up to a point, this is harmless and good marketing. However, it comes close to the Chinese government’s “social credit” scoring, which is used to determine who can travel, who gets particular job opportunities etc. Given Ant’s own close connections to the Chinese authorities, its data-gathering must be highly concerning for residents of China, and at least moderately concerning for the rest of us.

That is the problem with the current level of AI – “Weak AI” as it is called. It allows control-freak humans to gather information on citizens at a level never previously possible, then use that information for social control. We see it even in the United States, where the social media companies – Google, Twitter and Facebook – have ceased to be neutral platforms for the populace to express themselves, and have become machines whereby the “woke” Silicon Valley executives who run those companies can control the information allegedly free Americans send to each other.

President Trump announced last week that he would ban the purchase of the Chinese social networking services Tik-Tok and WeChat, because of their ability to collect information on U.S. consumers and in WeChat’s case on their conversations and funnel that information to the Chinese commissars. That is a useful protection, but it will last only as long as President Trump does. A Biden administration would doubtless eventually wake up to the problem, but very probably too late.

Naturally, it is less concerning that a bunch of leftist ex-hippies in Silicon Valley control the information flow than that the Chinese government has the potential to do the same. But really, it makes very little difference to me: my philosophical outlook differs almost as much from that of Silicon Valley as it does from that of Beijing, so my First Amendment rights can as easily be infringed by Silicon Valley’s gentle dweebs as by the jackbooted thugs of Beijing. In my own case, I can avoid such control by avoiding almost completely going on social media, but then, I am 70 years old and live a hermit-like existence here in Poughkeepsie. Were I 50 years younger and interested in interactions (ideally with the opposite sex, you never know!) an entire absence from social media in today’s world would seriously cramp my style, so I would surely get tempted.

“Weak” AI does not have the potential to become a Hitler itself; it is nowhere near powerful enough – it lacks the “intelligence,” artificial or otherwise. It is simply an unpleasant tool that the world’s Hitlers can make bad use of, and that therefore grants them a new and undeserved springtime. Strong AI, the Nirvana to which Silicon Valley looks forward in a decade or two, is another matter; that has the capability to become a Hitler itself, without humans needed to direct its tyranny.

I cannot help believing that the entire technological progress of the last 25 years has been misguided. Almost 20 years ago, I wrote for UPI a two-part essay “The Business of Playing God” that looked at the possibilities that then appeared to be approaching rapidly in the field of genetic engineering. Alas, spurious ethical objections to human genetic engineering and the monstrous flow of capital and talent in a different direction have prevented those possibilities from coming to fruition. I thought at that stage we were only around a decade from human cloning and from an even more exciting possibility: the artificial creation through genetic engineering of human beings with superior intelligence. Alas, those possibilities are no closer today.

Skeptics of genetic engineering, particularly in the George W. Bush administration, raised fears of the damage that could be done by genetic engineering technologies in the hands of bad guys. Yet those threats to freedom have already appeared, brought to us by AI, with no genetic engineering needed. The idea that the People’s Liberation Army could advance upon us with a regiment of human clones, or that an evil genetically engineered Einstein could destroy the world, were always far-fetched. The genetically engineered clone or genius humans would be human, subject to all the same desires and moral impulses as the rest of us, and as difficult to order about as a non-engineered army or genius.

Human intelligence is not a very useful tool for tyrants, because the humans will fight against the tyrants for their own freedom. Genetically engineered humans thus offer us a huge prospect of improving the world, allowing us to take advantage of their superior capabilities for scientific and other advances in a huge number of areas. You don’t need very many genetically engineered geniuses, provided they are geniuses.

Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, offers us few possibilities of genuine improvements to human thought, because it is not independently sentient – its Rembrandts, unlike those produced by genetically engineered humans, are mere copies of the originals. However, AI is an appallingly powerful force multiplier for those, whether Hitlers, Chinese commissars or Google geeks, who want to control our speech, thoughts and actions.

Let us therefore reverse the direction of scientific research, to produce more life-enhancing genetic engineering, and fewer Orwellian AI threats. Thereby we can produce nighttime for Hitler and the Chinese commissars, and springtime for Shakespeare, Mozart and Einstein.


Lone white woman viciously attacked by angry black guy

A Miami metro rider has been caught on camera viciously assaulting a lone female traveler in an unprovoked, random attack.

Joshua James King, 25, is accused of beating up Andrea Puerta, 29, during the incident on September 4, leaving her with a concussion, a broken rib and bruising.

Surveillance footage shows King walking onto the metro before launching the sustained attack on Puerta. The clip shows him kick her, slam her head and punch her more than 20 times.

Puerta told Local 10: ‘I remember that I closed my hands and I said, “stop, stop”. He did not stop. There was a moment when he said, “Sorry” and I looked at him and he punched me and after that, I don’t know what happened.’

She said of her attacker: ‘I’ve never seen him in my life. I never know him until that moment.’

After passing out, Puerta managed to get up and leave the train before calling 911, footage shows. Her attacker remained on the metro; where he is said to have assaulted two more men later that same day.

King was arrested and is now facing three counts of aggravated battery charges. He was released on a $1,500 bond on September 10 and will next appear in court on Friday.

Pictures of Puerta’s injuries show the attack left her with a black eye and a swollen jaw. ‘I don’t know how I am alive’, she added.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Puerta pay for her medical needs, legal help and therapy bills.

It states: ‘Andrea Puerta was attacked, without provocation, by a stranger in the metro mover in Miami. The man beat her over and over, breaking her ribs, blacking her eye and giving her a concussion before beating her nearly unconscious.

The minute-long footage begins with the man, named by police as King, stepping onto the train, before walking off and then reappearing.

Without warning he then begins repeatedly punching Puerta before pushing her across the car and launching her headfirst into a chair.

Dad-of-one King was arrested later that day and is now facing three counts of aggravated battery charges.


Opposing feminist attacks on men in Australia and Canada

By Bettina Arndt, writing from Australia

See my thinkspot conversation last week with Diana Davison, who is working in Canada helping falsely accused men in rape cases. Diana has a group of lawyers involved in her Lighthouse Project, trying to restore due process for the accused.

Here’s the video of our discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KXs1WNZJZI. I hope you will make time to listen to our fascinating chat.

Diana has been tracking the incredibly successful efforts of feminist lawyers in Canada to tilt laws towards ‘believe-the-victim’ justice, undermining normal legal protections for accused men to ensure more rape convictions.

Diana revealed that Canadian feminists are working with law academics in the UK, USA and Australia, drafting new legislation and using the media to lean on politicians and law makers to enact laws to further this mighty enterprise. Interestingly she has evidence showing that Australia often leads the way in pushing these desired changes into law, which are then monitored by the feminists in the other countries before following suit.

We can observe this process in action in the current push for affirmative consent laws. Look at this revealing article in The Conversation, published late last year by Rachael Burgin, Executive Director of Rape and Sexual Research and Advocacy, who has conducted research on getting affirmative consent standards into law. In her article she proudly tracks the progress of this feminist endeavour to tilt the law to redefine normal sexuality so that every stage in every sexual encounter must be accompanied by constant checking for a green light.

It’s pretty funny how blatantly Burgin reveals her disappointment that Victoria’s changes to the laws haven’t come up to scratch in making it harder for alleged rapists to prove they had consent and her eagerness to bully NSW into line.

Terrible mistakes of feminism

Yet this is an endeavour which some feminist scholars now see as one of the “terrible mistakes” of the otherwise laudable project of entrenching feminist power.

In our conversation Diana recommended a powerful new book, Governance Feminism which offers a very frank assessment of the prevailing culture where feminists “walk the halls of power.”

“One can get a job in the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the local prosecutors office and the child welfare bureaucracy for espousing various strands of feminism,” say Janet Halley and co-authors in their introduction. The authors see this as cause for celebration yet are refreshingly willing to properly examine who wins and who loses from feminism in governance.

There’s a brilliant chapter by the late London School of Economics law professor Helen Reece, which exposes the way feminists have found their way into the Crown Prosecution Service, or Judicial Training Board, allegedly not to propagate feminist propaganda but simply to instruct lawyers and judges on how to avoid “rape myths.”

Reece writes most entertainingly about an incident where UK television presenter Judy Finnigan dared to suggest on a TV discussion show that a rape involving professional footballer Ched Evans having sex with a woman too drunk to consent was not the most heinous form of rape.

Finnigan’s words: “The rape, and I am not, please, by any means, er minimizing any kind of rape, but the rape was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person. It was unpleasant, in a hot room, I believe, and she was, she had far too much to drink. And you know, that is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.”

Reece dissects the extraordinary outrage that greeted this remark, with the media running the “rape is rape” narrative denying that some rapes are more serious than others, and Finnigan eventually forced to apologise after being firmly told, “You can’t say that.” It’s a valuable expose of the censorship that now controls all public discourse on such matters.

Reece is also frank about flaws in the affirmative consent argument: “The problem is some women do like to indicate their consent to sex through subtle aspects of their behaviour.”

Young women, as well as young men, need to be taught to see consensual sex more responsibly, Reece argues. She suggests this might require “challenging the normative acceptance of entering into sexual relations with partners one hardly knows, of seeing alcohol as an integral part of a sexual encounter and misleading the partner about one’s sexual intentions.”

There’s much more of interest in this challenging book but useful indeed to see eminent scholars acknowledging that the feminist success in gaining power has come at considerable costs for society.

Email from Bettina Arndt: newsletter@bettinaarndt.com.au

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

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

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

22 September, 2020

Spare me this sanctimonious Facebook and Instagram boycott by hypocritical liberal celebrities who want to have their abusive hateful violent cake and eat it


Today, a large number of celebrities are boycotting Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook now owns.

Reality TV wastrel Kim Kardashian West led the ‘movement’ by posting the following message to her gazillions of followers: ‘I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook,’ she wrote, ‘but I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation – created by groups to sow division and split America apart – only to take steps after people are killed. Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy. Please join me when I will be ‘freezing’ my Instagram and FB account to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. Link in bio for more info on how to preserve truth.’

Powerful words, and ones that were quickly embraced by scores of other famous names.

One of them was comedian Sarah Silverman who is also very keen to #StopHateForProfit. Ms Silverman knows all about spreading hate on social media.

In the past few years she has tweeted that Donald Trump is a ‘pathological nasty pig’ and a ‘cnty fear monger’, and called his father a ‘racist cnt.’

When the President mocked former democratic presidential candidate Amy Klouchar for talking about climate change while ‘standing in a virtual blizzard of snow’, Silverman tweeted him directly to say: ‘No point in explaining how mind blowingly stupid this tweet is so I’m just gonna go with FCK YOU, and also add that you are a smelly pnis hole with balls that touch water. Eat sht, you greedy twt.’

She expanded on her thoughts about Trump’s genitalia after he criticized his predecessor Barack Obama.

‘I’d love to see Trump say any of this sht he’s saying about Obama to his face,’ she tweeted. ‘There’s no way he’d have the labs to even do just that. He’s an oozing shriveled pnis hole of a man.’

It’s not just Trump who annoys Silverman. ‘I don’t mean this in a hateful way,’ she once tweeted, hatefully, ‘but the new bachelorette’s a f*ggot.’

On another occasion she tweeted a photo of herself in blackface with the caption ‘I’m having minstrel cramps.’

And she posted this ‘joke’: ‘I used to go out with a guy who was half black who totally broke up with me because I’m a f*cking loser. I just heard myself say that. I’m such a pessimist. He’s half-white.’

Perhaps the real reason Silverman wants to get rid of ‘hate for profit’ is because she herself is a nasty foul-mouthed homophobic racist?

Another of the stars to join the boycott is film director Judd Apatow, who is also very active on social media, and has repeatedly called Trump things like a ‘malignant narcissist’, and a ‘pig’.

Apatow once tweeted – and then deleted after it sparked outrage – footage of left-wing activists rioting violently outside University of California-Berkeley to stop far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos making a speech – and said: ‘This is just the beginning. When will all the fools who are still supporting Trump realize what is at stake?’

Hmmn, how does that open call for violence sit with wanting to stop violence?

Apatow also objected to People magazine, one of the world’s least offensive publications, from running a positive story about Trump’s family, raging on Twitter: ‘Fck People magazine. How disgusting. Selling their soul. Sell those mags! Fck your employees.’


Movie star Amy Schumer has also joined the boycott. The woman who once said: ‘I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual.’

And who tweeted: ‘Enjoy skyfall f-gs. I’m bout to get knee deep in Helen Hunt #thesessions.’

It would appear that being a racist homophobe may be a specific requirement for stopping hate and division…

As for Ms Kardashian West, perhaps she should focus on the constant stream of hateful guff that spews from the unhinged Twitter mouth of her husband Kanye West (he was at it again all last night) before lecturing the rest of us?

Even by the standards of celebrity virtue-signalling during this pandemic-ridden year, the new Facebook/Instagram boycott seems particularly pointless and self-serving.

These valiant crusading heroes are all doing this for … one day.

Yes, their sacrifice will last precisely 24 hours.

Then the fearless campaigners will go straight back to aggressively and cynically using Facebook and Instagram to boost their own profiles and profits, with many of them also going back to spewing the same vile hate that they profess to loathe in others.

Make no mistake, every single one of the big names taking part in this farce makes a fortune from those social platforms.

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote: ‘I do use Instagram and Facebook, but I want it to be a force for good – not hate, violence, and disinformation.’ Olivia Wilde wrote, ‘These platforms are profiting off becoming a dangerous tool of discrimination’

Kardashian-West has ruthlessly exploited it to such a successful extent that she can now charge firms up to $1 million for a single Instagram post.

A one-day boycott will thus have zero impact on her ability to keep coining it in from the very same people she claims are failing the American people so badly by causing so much hate and disunity.

If she and her famous pals REALLY believe Facebook is such a malevolent force, then they should quit its platforms completely.

But they won’t, because that would cost them millions.

Facebook now employs 35,000 people whose only job it is to remove hateful material. They’re not going to stop it all, because that would be impossible, but they certainly can’t be accused of turning a blind eye to it.

But what these protesting liberal celebrities really want is all material removed that THEY hate, not any hate that comes from their own mouths.

They demand Trump and his supporters be censored, for example, whilst reserving the right to be as viciously hateful as they wish towards them without any censorship.

And by publicly boycotting Facebook and Instagram like this, they’re trying to use their celebrity power to bully and shame a company that defends free speech a hell of a lot more than they do.

If I were Zuckerberg, I’d call their sanctimonious bluff and announce that any of the stars involved who don’t start posting again by 6pm tonight will be permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram.

Trust me, they’d all come scuttling back faster than Kim Kardashian-West rakes in dollars by posting topless bird-flipping selfies.


Today and Yesterday

by Walter E Williams

In matters of race and other social phenomena, there is a tendency to believe that what is seen today has always been. For black people, the socioeconomic progress achieved during my lifetime, which started in 1936, exceeded anyone’s wildest dreams. In 1936, most black people lived in gross material poverty and racial discrimination. Such poverty and discrimination is all but nonexistent today. Government data, assembled by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, shows that “the average American family … identified as poor by the Census Bureau, lives in an air-conditioned, centrally heated house or apartment … They have a car or truck. (Indeed, 43 percent of poor families own two or more cars.)” The household “has at least one widescreen TV connected to cable, satellite, or a streaming service, a computer or tablet with internet connection, and a smartphone. (Some 82 percent of poor families have one or more smartphones.” On top of this, blacks today have the same constitutional guarantees as everyone else, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated.

The poverty we have today is spiritual poverty. Spiritual poverty is an absence of what traditionally has been known as various human virtues. Much of that spiritual poverty is a result of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state. When some people know they can have children out of wedlock, drop out of school and refuse employment and suffer little consequence and social sanction, one should not be surprised to see the growth of such behavior. Today’s out-of-wedlock births among blacks is over 70 percent, but in the 1930s, it was 11 percent. During the same period, out-of-wedlock births among whites was 3 percent; today, it is over 30 percent. It is fashionable and politically correct to blame today’s 21 percent black poverty on racial discrimination. That is nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades. Can anyone produce evidence that racists discriminate against black female-headed families but not black husband-and-wife families?

For most people, education is one of the steppingstones out of poverty, and it has been a steppingstone for many black people. Today, decent education is just about impossible at many big-city public schools where violence, disorder, disrespect and assaults on teachers are routine. The kind of disrespectful and violent behavior observed in many predominantly black schools is entirely new. Some have suggested that such disorder is part of black culture, but that is an insulting lie. Black people can be thankful that double standards, and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility, were not broadly accepted during the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. There would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world’s most successful civil rights movement.

Many whites are ashamed, saddened and guilt-ridden by our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. They see that justice and compensation for that ugly history is to hold their fellow black Americans accountable to the kind of standards and conduct they would never accept from whites. That behavior and conduct is relatively new. Meet with black people in their 70s or older, even liberal politicians such as Charles Rangel (age 90), and Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (85), Alcee Hastings (83) and Maxine Waters (82). Ask them whether their parents would have tolerated their assaulting and cursing of teachers or any other adult. I bet you the rent money their parents and other parents of that era would not have accepted the grossly disrespectful behavior seen today among many black youngsters who use foul language and racial epithets at one another. These older blacks will tell you that, had they behaved that way, they would have felt serious pain in their hind parts. If blacks of yesteryear would not accept such self-destructive behavior, why should today’s blacks accept it?

Black people have made tremendous gains over the years that came as a result of hard work, sacrifice and a no-nonsense approach to life. Recovering those virtues can provide solutions to many of today’s problems.


‘He’s a Man of His Word’: Michigan Woman Sounds Off on Why She Supports the President

Donna, a resident in the Saginaw, Michigan area – one of the areas that went for President Barack Obama in 2012 and President Donald Trump in 2016 – said she is absolutely supporting the president in November.

“He’s a man of his word. He’s helped the economy. He’s helped create jobs. He’s done everything he said he was going to do,” Donna told Townhall. “If he had more support, he’d probably be able to get more done.”

According to Donna, President Trump’s status as a Washington outside is an asset. In her eyes, politicians inside the Beltway “stick together” as part of the “Good Ol’ Boys Club.”

“He’s an outside and he doesn’t care what they think. He’s a businessman first and knows how to take care of business,” she explained.

Both Donna and her husband, Bill, said that their life has greatly improved under President Trump. Their investments, including their stock market picks and 401(K)s have skyrocketed.

“We’ve done so much better and, being retired, that’s a big thing,” Donna said.

The unfortunate part, however, is that the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on small businesses. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) locked things down rather quickly and implemented a statewide mask mandate. She came under fire for keeping stores from selling things like gardening seeds. Whitmer even went so far as banning people from traveling between two residences, specifically if their main residence is in the Detroit area. But, in her mind, her orders were “one of the nation’s more conservative” stay-at-home orders.

Donna, however, said Whitmer’s orders are “Communist tactics” that are used to “control the masses.” She believes some of these lockdown orders were part of Whitmer’s attempt at becoming former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate.

“That obviously didn’t work for her because she’s not his veep pick,” the Michigander said.


DR MAX PEMBERTON: Instagram is so damaging for teen girls it should be for over-18s only

Kim Kardashian, the reality star, has joined a host of celebrities and suspended her social media accounts for a campaign called #StopHateForProfit. The aim is to highlight the inadequate action taken by social media bosses to tackle the pernicious aspects of these platforms.

But hang on, Kim Kardashian? Sorry, I’m not buying this sanctimonious, hypocritical tripe. How dare celebrities like her lecture anyone on the evils of social media, when they have made fortunes from posting tweaked, airbrushed or stage-managed images which directly contribute to the epidemic of poor self-esteem and mental health problems gripping young women.

Not only are they corrupting and warping the minds of an entire generation of innocent young people, they are getting paid in the process. And then they feel at liberty to lecture us. The whole thing stinks.

And yes, I’m angry about this because day in and day out at my NHS clinic I see the effect of social media on the young.

For ten years I specialised in treating eating disorders and literally every single one of hundreds of teenage patients mentioned social media as a contributing factor. Every. Single. One.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that social media has created a hyper-critical environment when it comes to body image and this can trigger issues with food.

This should concern every parent and grandparent because it’s not just confined to those at risk of eating disorders.

There’s also the general gnawing effect social media has on self-esteem and self-worth, the slow, steady rubbing away of self-confidence that being bombarded with unrealistic images of people’s bodies has on the mind.

We worry about the effect of things such as porn and violent films and video games, but I worry more about Instagram and Facebook precisely because they seem so innocuous. What’s bad about keeping in touch with friends?

What some fail to appreciate is that these platforms have morphed into a monster, and the effect of seeing a steady stream of artificially perfect bodies is enormous.

Instagram and Facebook require you to be 13 before you create an account, but I firmly believe they should be banned for under 18s.

Between 14 and 18 youngsters are at a key developmental stage when they start to look outside of themselves and at their peers to develop a sense of identity.

They are particularly impressionable and susceptible to malignant messages about their bodies, yet on sites like Instagram they are inundated with images that set up unrealistic ideas about physical appearance. There’s no escaping it: it promotes feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

It’s not just young girls. I’ve seen a steady rise in young men using steroids in an attempt to replicate the chiselled torsos they now think are perfectly normal. I’m convinced all this is fuelling the epidemic of conditions like anxiety and depression we are now seeing.

I constantly go on about this to my younger patients, trying to explain that what they see online isn’t real. But in truth it has little effect.

And there’s no getting away from it — for the younger generation, social media is now an integral part of their lives.

Netflix’s chilling new documentary, The Social Dilemma, shows what a firm grip social media has on the minds of the young. It features a series of top tech experts issuing stark warnings about the addictive qualities of social media, how it is designed to keep users coming back for more and manipulates emotion.

It’s inevitable the drip, drip of images will take its toll: Celebrities wearing skimpy summer dresses and wan smiles, insist their bodies are the results of cutting out entire food groups and omit to say they also spend hours in the gym, have good genetics and — most importantly — rely on carefully photoshopping their images.

Research suggests Instagram is one of the worst social media platforms for mental health precisely because of its disconnect from reality, and, from what I see in my clinic, I have to agree.

This site is made up of contrived, manipulated images designed to get likes and clicks. And celebrities are some of the worst offenders not least because young people look up to them and hang on their every word.

Young people believe these images are real, that their favourite influencers would never sell them a lie.

Which is why we need to be stricter about the user age — and raise it to 18. If celebrities really cared about social media’s toxic effect, this is the campaign they’d get behind.


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, 2020

Woman berates pharmacy manager for calling police on black men shoplifting

An activist in the US has filmed herself berating a pharmacy store manager for calling police on two black men caught shoplifting, saying they could have been killed.

Charity Sade, who describes herself as a “she/her comedian, writer, activist” and “public speaker teacher”, posted a series of videos on Twitter earlier this week after seeing two men being detained outside a CVS in Washington DC.

“I just stopped because I saw approx 6 MPD officers stopping 2 Black men & sat them on the curb. @cvspharmacy at 2226 Wisconsin Ave NW WDC, 20007, called the @DCPoliceDept 2 Black men that allegedly took items from the store,” she tweeted.

She continued, “One officer told one of the men that their other person’s freedom was dependent on him being quiet. This is violent. People know what happens when the police are called on Black folx! They value property over people.”

After the incident, she walked into the store to confront the manager, filming the encounter.

“I live in the neighbourhood, I come to this CVS very often. May I ask why you called the police on those two men?” she asks.

The manager explains that CVS policy “dictates that if they’re shoplifters, they exit the store with merchandise unpaid for, we have to get the police involved”.

“And if the police apprehend them, we have to issue a barring notice,” he says.

“But I actually did not elect to press charges, I just wanted to say hey look, I just want them to know they can’t come in here anymore because they shoplifted and I just need them to sign that. The officers obliged and the guys said the same thing, thank you, and they left.”

The woman says “So you know what happens (when the police are called on) black men?”

The death of George Floyd in May, which sparked months of Black Lives Matter protests, occurred after police in Minneapolis were called by a store clerk alleging he had attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill.

Ms Sade tells the store manager he “decided to call the police on two black people that allegedly took something from the store because you’re willing to uphold the policy and they could have lost their lives”.

He replies that “we can agree to disagree on this”.

“I don’t work for you,” he says. “I follow my company’s policies, not your policies, while I can appreciate your concern …”

She cuts in, “So you’re willing to risk someone’s life for what, $30,000 a year?”

The man says he doesn’t believe there was any risk, and tries to end the conversation.

She then demands his name.

“I’m not going to tell you my name when you’re sitting here video taping me so you can try and elicit some sort of violence against me, it’s not going to happen,” he says.

“Elicit violence against you? You just elicited violence against two black men by calling the police on them,” she replies.

The manager repeats that “they got to walk away”.

“One of them had a warrant and could have been arrested and the cops still let him go,” he says.

“Listen to yourself – you work with black folks,” the woman says, pointing at his colleague working at the checkout. “Just remember that.”

Activists said they were planing to protest outside the store on Wednesday afternoon and called for a boycott until the “racist manager is replaced or fired”.

Conservatives criticised Ms Sade, who appears to have deactivated her Twitter account.

“The divide in America right now is basically between the reasonable man in this video and the insane woman berating him,” Daily Wire host Matt Walsh said.

“If you find yourself on the side of the insane woman, you are the bad guy.”


BEN BRADLEY: Why I refuse to take part in the Orwellian ‘re-education’ courses on ‘unconscious bias’ that tell ordinary people they are racists

Benjamin Bradley is an English Conservative Party politician from the North

Imagine being called in to the boss’s office tomorrow morning, a bit nervous and unsure what it is you’ve done wrong, and being told you’ve been reported by a colleague.

You’ve been caught saying that you disagree with the idea that Black Lives Matter is helping to deal with racism, that in fact you don’t believe Britain is a racist country. And now you’re to be ‘re-educated’. You’re going on a course…

It sounds like something from Orwell’s 1984, yet hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in workplaces around the UK have been ordered to attend special training sessions of this sort.

Many push a ‘Critical Race Theory’ ideology that suggests that – whether you know it or not – your views are tightly defined by your age, gender and skin colour. And these courses are run by ‘educators’ who want you to recognise and ‘check’ your privilege, and to understand just how little you really know.

Now imagine your company is paying £1.4 million for this training. In fact, you work in the public sector, so it’s £1.4 million of taxpayers’ cash.

In the coming months all of us as Members of Parliament will be asked to undertake this Unconscious Bias training, which is the second phase of our re-education following a summer of ‘Valuing Everybody’ lessons ordered by the parliamentary authorities.

The first part – which I did attend – turned out to be a £750,000, two-hour journey around the benefits of not being horrible to your staff. Personally, I think I’m quite nice to my team in the office.

I’m also sure that if I wasn’t, those two hours would not have made the blindest bit of difference.

I’m fortunate, I suppose, that due to Covid-19 the session was held via Zoom rather than having to decamp to an office somewhere, though I don’t suppose that the reduced workload has reduced the cost at all! It was still a very expensive chat.

The Mail on Sunday revealed a few weeks ago that the company that has been recruited to run these lessons uses a blue puppet called ‘UB’, who looks like the Cookie Monster, in their training sessions, which makes me think of it as some kind of primary school assembly.

The puppet, whose name stands for Unconscious Bias, ‘helps’ to explain to the class how words like ‘lady’ and ‘pensioner’ should be avoided in case they cause offence. Now this company has been given another £7,000 seedcorn money to help plan the delivery of sessions for MPs and parliamentary staff.

I hope they can agree that at least the primary school puppet will not be necessary!

I spoke out last week and made clear that I won’t be taking this training. It seems totally nonsensical to me that, in my role as a representative of a community that has typically felt left behind and voiceless for many years, I should be advised that there are certain words I shouldn’t use; certain issues that I should avoid; certain sensibilities that I should not offend.

How am I to raise the true feelings of an electorate that broadly feels like it’s being preached at by a metropolitan elite who neither understand nor care about them, if I have to walk on eggshells and dance around the problem?

In an environment where Leave voters have been labelled thick and racist for holding a view on uncontrolled mass immigration, despite proving many times that they are a majority in this country, which institutions or trainers down here in Westminster are qualified to tell me which views on the subject might be right or wrong?

Who has the right to say that those views are a result of ‘unconscious biases’, of white privilege, or of lack of understanding? The answer is nobody. There is no science to back this up, and nobody has that right. We live in a free country, with free speech and freedom of expression. We used to also have a robust and resilient approach to an argument that didn’t involve silencing everyone you disagree with.

Yet, here I am in 21st Century Britain reading a document from Challenge Consultancy, the company tasked with putting this training programme together. They offer to ‘work with the Cultural Transformation Team’ to deliver ‘Cultural Competency’ training – yes we are culturally incompetent now. I’m intrigued by the offer to help me to use ‘appropriate terminology’ and to ‘demonstrate ally behaviour’.

Given that this will be delivered in the same format as the first phase of this patronising rubbish, I think it’s reasonable to assume that this will similarly be costing more than half a million quid from the public purse.

Despite what these trainers may say, we are not defined by our physical characteristics. We do not have one homogenous view because of the colour of our skin. It’s nonsense. Our views are formed by countless different factors; from our lived experiences, our backgrounds and from the communities we grew up in, but we are individuals. We are not defined by others. We are free to define ourselves.

Time after time the documents explain that ‘the BAME community thinks x’ and ‘the BAME community is calling for y’, as if the entire black and minority ethnic community speaks with one voice on this, or on any issue. It strikes me as presumptuous and arrogant.

Who is qualified to police our language, or to say which views are right and wrong? Who polices those police, and makes sure that they aren’t pushing unconscious biases of their own? What is being done to ensure that the people who choose careers in delivering Unconscious Bias Training don’t choose that profession because they actually have their own agenda to push?

It was pointed out to me last week that, as an MP, I am in a fortunate position. Only my constituents can remove me from office.

The House of Commons can’t do a great deal to punish me if I don’t take the course. Yet outside Westminster, the reality is that most employees have no such independence and no power to refuse.

No wonder so many ordinary people are scared to voice dissent.

Did every single Premier League footballer really support Black Lives Matter, an organisation that campaigns to defund the police and smash capitalism? To my knowledge, every single one of them ‘took the knee’.

What would have been the consequences for the one who said no? I can’t imagine it would have been career enhancing. Societal pressure forces us to go along with things we disagree with, and that is not right or healthy for anyone.

With that in mind, I feel people like me have a responsibility to say something, and to do something.

I know that my concern is shared by millions of people around the UK from a variety of backgrounds – but particularly among constituents like mine who, for the most part, have not shared in the wealth generated by the booming economy in the South East.

I think Brexit is a symptom of this same divide too, and of the ‘left behind’ people and places who feel like they are being looked down upon by a detached metropolitan elite determined to police the way they think and talk. There is yawning chasm between our institutions and millions of the people that they are meant to work for.

Since I raised this, earlier last week, I’ve lost count of the number of colleagues who have offered their support – and have also promised to say no to the training. I’ve been stopped by Commons staff too who thanked me for speaking out against this ‘total nonsense’.

It’s sparked more interest than I could have predicted, and for that I am grateful.

Once again I call on colleagues in the privileged position of being able to speak out and to take a stand against this Leftist infiltration of our institutions, to do exactly that and put a stop to forced ‘re-education’ once and for all.


Rabid doomsayers revel in fear, ignorance and deceit

Comment from Australia

We know fear and ignorance have a powerful and deleterious influence on human behaviour and we have tended to think that our age of instant knowledge and communications might have rendered them impotent. Now, confronted by pandemic and climate catastrophism, and deceptions, we can see that fear and ignorance are alive and amplified in the digital age.

From the deserted streets and shuttered houses of Melbourne to the Californian towns razed by fire, we see how fear and ignorance do enormous damage and distract us from practical protections. In both cases an ideological approach pretends a natural threat can be eliminated by grand government interventions; and alarmist tricks are used to frighten people into compliance.

No one should pretend that pandemics or wildfires are not worthy of legitimate concern. We know they are age-old natural threats that our ancestors endured repeatedly without the knowledge, contraptions and accoutrements that assist us now.

We need to overcome fear, keep our challenges in perspective, confront our dilemmas with rational approaches and avoid, rather than embrace, panic. We all need leaders that can be calm in a crisis, but increasingly we have leaders advancing political arguments with hysteria and hyperbole

It is instructive that the scare tactics and fearmongering come from those who want to change public behaviour and pretend they can vanquish, rather than manage, natural threats. This is a grand deceit based on a conceit — believing humanity can control the natural environment as though with an app.

Examples of fear and ignorance abound. This week Joe Biden stood in a park near his home in Delaware — while people were still battling devastating wildfires in California and Oregon, and battening down for hurricanes and flooding in Florida and neighbouring states — and read words from a teleprompter, with feeling, into the camera.

“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” he shouted. “If we give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater?”

Climate arsonist? This is the feral and unhinged language used by Greens senator Jordan Steele-John in this country while trying to leverage our bushfires for his climate change agenda. But Biden is running for president.

The core case presented here, that re-electing Trump will lead to more bushfires and flooding in the US, is so unscientific, irrational and blatantly false that it would not and could not be supported by any scientist. It calls into question the intellectual capacity of the man delivering the words.

The corollary is that if they elect Biden, Americans will be spared bushfires, hurricanes and floods. This is an insane proposition, made and amplified only to scare people into thinking climate policies can eradicate natural disasters, including an annual bushfire menace that predates human settlement of the American continent.

That public debate should be so base and false in this age of knowledge is perhaps the most frightening revelation of our time. Yet stuff like this is seldom interrogated by mainstream media — it is only those who challenge the catastrophism who have their claims fact-checked.

In a spiteful interview this week on the ABC’s 7.30, Leigh Sales harangued former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about how Donald Trump has misled the public “on everything from the coronavirus to climate change” — fair enough, Trump often contradicts himself. Then Sales zeroed in on comments Trump made when visiting the fire-ravaged West Coast this week about how temperatures “will start getting cooler” and how, when challenged on the climate science, the President said he doesn’t think “science knows, actually”.

The easiest and most common game to play is the inane one that amuses Twitter every day; testing the President’s meandering statements against a literal standard not applied to other politicians. Or we could recognise that, banal as it was, Trump was right to say cooler weather will ease the fire situation sooner or later, and that the science about the interplay between climate change, drought, floods and wildfires is far from certain or complete.

In his recent book, Apocalypse Never, environmentalist Michael Shellenberger detailed the latest science on fuel loads rather than climate change being the most telling wildfire inputs. Trump’s typically contrarian and unscripted remarks demonstrated a much closer relationship to reality than the maniacal claims from Biden.

Yet most media report Biden’s lunacy straight, as legitimate rhetoric, while slamming Trump’s reflections as madness. Trump’s arguments centred on forest management and fuel reduction — the pragmatic and proven way to reduce bushfire damage to people and property no matter what happens to climate — while Biden holds out the insulting silliness that his climate policies can relieve people of the fire-and-flood burden.

It is a reprise of the inanity we saw in Australia before, during and after last summer. Journalists even reported the fires were so severe that the bush might never recover. How horrible (note the fear) but diametrically opposed to the reality of how our sclerophyll forests have evolved to be dependent on fire for rejuvenation (note the ignorance).

The disingenuous rhetoric is designed to marshal the masses behind radical climate change policies. Those making rational arguments such as managing fuel, the only fire input we can control, are either ridiculed or given short shrift.

Former climate commissioner Tim Flannery segued from climate alarmism to pandemic pandemonium this week. “But the coronavirus also travels unseen through the great aerial ocean,” he wrote in The Guardian Australia in a testing metaphor, “insinuating itself in lung after lung, killing person after person, until it threatens our health system, economy and society.” Well, the dams are full, so I guess he had to find another angle.

Our early, sensible, national pandemic strategy to flatten the curve, slow the spread and ensure we have the medical capacity to deal with infections has been usurped by state governments determined to see every infection as both a horrific threat to their communities and a blow to their political standing. What began as a task of balancing medical, economic and social impacts has morphed into an obsession with eliminating all infections.

It has been clear since March that only the sick and elderly have much to fear from this virus and we needed to be clever about protecting the vulnerable while allowing society to operate as freely as possible. Absent the most dramatically effective vaccine ever produced in the shortest-ever time, we will eventually have to resort to that approach anyway — it is just that in the meantime we will have inflicted enormous damage on our communities and economies.

Again, the tools to deliver these crazy state policies have been fear and ignorance. In August, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said people needed to “acknowledge that this is a virus that affects everyone” — I guess you could say he has made sure of that.

“It can be deadly and it has been deadly here and around the world in people of all age groups and, indeed, people that are in otherwise good health,” said Andrews, looking to ensure everyone was petrified. Yet the blessed reality is that the young and the healthy, with allowance for the rare exceptions that prove the rule, are virtually immune from serious effects. Fewer than 2 per cent of our deaths have been people under 60, about 80 per cent were over 80 and about 90 per cent of all deceased had comorbidities (heart, immune system or respiratory disease, diabetes and others). About three-quarters of all deaths have occurred in aged-care facilities and overall deaths from all causes in Victoria and nationally are no higher this year than usual.

Despite speaking on the pandemic daily, many politicians fail to share these facts, preferring to create a different impression. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned of the “danger on the doorstep” — referring to NSW. “Our borders will remain closed for as long as the risk remains,” she said last month.

In April Andrews said, “No round of golf is worth someone dying.” The premiers keep telling us they are determined to keep their states “safe”.

Yet clearly their states are safe. The coronavirus is a worrying new disease that is highly infectious and, like many ailments, can be life-threatening if it afflicts the old or the sick. Premiers do not say their states are unsafe when there is a severe flu season. They did not say their states were unsafe during swine flu or avian flu or, god forbid, at the height of the HIV-AIDS trauma.

The catastrophists are having one of their best years, even though nothing is ever bad enough for them. They love to predict Armageddon and, if we listen to them, that is exactly what we will get.


Trump says his nomination for Supreme Court ‘will be a very talented, very brilliant woman’

President Donald Trump on Saturday announced that his Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death will be a ‘very talented, very brilliant woman’ as ‘I like women more than I like men’.

During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Saturday night that Trump branded a ‘protest’, he declared ‘I will be putting forth a nominee this week, it will be a woman’.

Before he left the White House for the rally, Trump had named two conservative women who he has elevated to federal appeals courts as contenders, a move that would tip the court further to the right.

Trump, who now has a chance to nominate a third justice to a lifetime appointment on the court, named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.

Trump claimed that despite the tight deadline before voters cast their ballots on November 3, there was still enough time for the Senate review process on a nomination to take place.

‘Twenty-nine times a vacancy opened during an election year and every single time the sitting president made a nomination. That included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or perhaps you’ve heard of him, the great Abraham Lincoln.

‘Twenty-nine times, every single time, nobody said ‘let’s not fill the seat’. ‘We have plenty of time,’ he added.

Barrett has generated perhaps the most interest in conservative circles. A devout Roman Catholic, she was a legal scholar at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana before Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit in 2017.

A Barrett nomination would likely ignite controversy, as her strong conservative religious views have prompted abortion-rights groups to say that if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would likely vote to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

When questioned about her Saturday evening, Trump said: ‘She’s very highly respected, I can say that.’

Ginsburg’s death on Friday from cancer after 27 years on the court handed Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, the opportunity to expand its conservative majority to 6-3 at a time of a gaping political divide in America.


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, 2020

Free markets speed economic recovery

In August 2020, under President Donald Trump, the U.S. unemployment rate fell in one month from 10.2% to 8.4%. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10.0% in October 2009; it then took 27 months, until January 2012, to fall to 8.4%.

That is not a commentary on the relative competence of the two Presidents concerned; it is a commentary on the relative efficacy of their economic policies. The free market moves very quickly indeed to restore full employment when disruption has occurred; the regulated and micro-managed socialist market may never restore full employment at all.

The nineteenth and early twentieth century were filled with deep recessions that solved themselves very quickly, with no help from government:

In 1819, Britain suffered a deep recession when Lord Liverpool took the country back onto the Gold Standard at the pre-1797 parity, because this required a price deflation of a full 40%. However, in the event the recession began after the Prince Regent’s speech to parliament in January 1819 and was already lifting by the time of the “special session” of Parliament that passed the “Six Acts” in November/December of that year. Only the 15 unfortunate victims of the “Peterloo Massacre” were permanently affected by it.

Even at the time, voices spoke against the government’s Gold Standard policy, notably the radical Whig Henry Brougham and the self-dealing foreign exchange trader Nathan Mayer Rothschild, both of whom argued that Gold Standard resumption would be ruinous. It wasn’t.

In December 1825, the British banking system came close to collapse. Again, the Liverpool government in 1826 put in protections against a repeat of the problem but did nothing to bail out the banks or the economy. The result was a short, sharp recession, that was well into recovery by September 1826.
Like the two British recessions above, the Panic of 1819 in the United States was short and sharp, with little remedial action being taken and a fast recovery.

The following Panic, that of 1837, was much more serious, however, because the Andrew Jackson administration had de-chartered the Second Bank of the United States, collapsing the U.S. banking system, which relied on the Second Bank to ensure Mississippi bank banknotes were accepted in Pennsylvania at close to par, rather than at a 30-40% discount. With the country’s common currency abolished (there being now no nationally-issued banknotes) and a shortage of gold and silver, the depression lasted until 1843. The moral of which is that governments cannot usefully alleviate lengthy depressions, but they can sure as hell cause them.

Moving closer to living memory, the 1920-21 U.S. recession was ended quickly by Andrew Mellon’s preferred method of “liquidate, liquidate, liquidate.” Then the 1929 recession became the Great Depression because Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt did exactly the opposite, using Keynesian methods to prop up uneconomic companies, inordinately increasing tariffs and taxes and imposing regulations that severely dampened new business formation.

In Britain in 1929-31 the economy was depressed by an overvalued Gold Standard sterling parity, a refusal to match other countries’ tariffs and excessive government spending. Since the Labour government would not cut spending, the markets forced Britain off the gold standard, whereupon a new National government instituted modest Imperial Preference tariffs by the Ottawa Agreement. The depression disappeared as if by magic, except in a few specific areas such as Jarrow’s shipbuilding (in deep depression because world trade had halved).

The Great Depression and its interminable length, together with Maynard Keynes’ theories of “stimulus,” have ensured that governments now meddle incessantly whenever their economies fall from full employment. This has resulted in much slower economic recoveries than we previously enjoyed. The prime example of this was the recovery from the 2007-09 financial crisis, which was hindered not helped by artificially low interest rates and incessant regulatory meddling by the Obama administration, particularly in finance and energy.

As a result of these poor policies, we had an appallingly sluggish economic recovery, in which it took 27 months to reduce unemployment from its peak of 10.0% in October 2009 to 8.3% in January 2012 (the first month below August 2020’s 8.4% figure). The true cost of that failure showed up years later in the surge of opiate deaths among working class men who had despaired of ever finding work.

This time around, the drop from 10.2% to 8.4% unemployment was accomplished in just one month. That is a tribute to President Trump’s free-market instincts and to the ending at July 31 of the $600 per week subsidy to unemployment claimants. Going forward, we are likely to get further economic bad news — there is far too much dozy investment that has been created by funny money, all of which must be liquidated.

However, we can at least be confident that with Trump in office, the recovery from any “double dip” will likewise be swift, and there will be no Roosevelt-Obama “lost decade” of unemployment and waste. We can also rejoice that we are starting from 8.4% unemployment, not 10% — the difference represents millions of people whose lives have NOT been wrecked by the follies of government.

The policies that make the economy operate optimally are those that gave Britain the Industrial Revolution. Government must be as small as possible, with a currency whose value is stable from decade to decade – which in practice means a Gold Standard or maybe a robot Paul Volcker at the Fed, with an inflation target of zero, not 2%.

Real interest rates will fall out from monetary policy but should generally be positive but not too heavily so – between 2% and 5% per annum above inflation for risk-free long-term paper will work fine and will ensure that productivity growth is optimized, since dozy unproductive investment will be discouraged. That interest rate and monetary framework will generally set favorable conditions for middle-class saving, perhaps the most important factor in generating new business formation, the key element of growth. Add rock-solid property rights, a flat income tax with no exemptions, a simple and transparent legal system and minimalist government regulation, and we’re good to go.

It really is not difficult; it simply gets messed up by democratic politicians seeking to offer handouts to the electorate, when neither the politicians nor the electorate really grasp free-market basics. Ayn Rand was right in “Atlas Shrugged” – in a sensible system you would write this stuff into the Constitution, to stop politicians making a mess of it. By all means have democracy; but have the basics of free market economics written into some unalterable underlying law, so they are not subject to uninformed popular debate.

In the world we unfortunately live in, we have President Trump, and maybe after January President Joe Biden. Whichever of them we choose on November 3, we are unlikely to get a sensible Fed policy until we are forced into one by economic disaster. We are also likely to get a further downturn in the economy.

However, at least if we keep President Trump we will have a good chance of rectifying any such disaster fairly quickly. With President Biden, judging by the Obama record, there will be no such assurance – Democrats are inveterate economic meddlers.


The Richness of Leftist Fascists Decrying ‘Fascism’

The fascist left regularly typifies the very qualities it professes to abhor. The only thing more pronounced than its totalitarianism is its stunning lack of self-awareness.

It’s ironic that leftists think of themselves as liberals, as the term “liberal” is historically and etymologically connected to the concept of liberty. Not only are they merely selective champions of liberty but the logical extension of their agenda is an eradication of liberty, from socialism to Supreme Court legislation, from radical redistributions of income to oppressive pseudo-environmental regulations.

What do I mean by “selective champions of liberty”? Simply that they believe conservative ideas are so odious they must be excluded from the classroom; social media; university student organizations; and, in too many cases, restaurants, yard signs and baseball caps.

Try teaching intelligent design in many public schools. In the name of science, they’ll exclude ID’s scientific findings. They believe that conservatives and their ideas are inherently racist and sexist and, in many cases, lead to violence, which means conservatives are not entitled to First Amendment protection or free expression on social media. It’s scary how these leftists have blinded themselves to their own hypocrisy and fascism in trampling the same rights they purport to celebrate.

Invisible authoritarians running social media platforms cite arbitrary rules of conduct that conveniently censor conservative opinion to allegedly ensure decency and decorum. Yet the opinions they muzzle are only dangerous and indecent if you define danger as the free expression of opposing views. While prohibiting conservative views that don’t remotely advocate violence, they permit overt leftist calls for violence. The chilling process by which this “private” and sometimes-government-supported censorship occurs is that leftists subjectively determine conservative speech is offensive or hateful and must be banned.

The First Amendment free-speech guarantees were designed precisely to protect controversial political speech, as uncontroversial expression obviously needs no protection. In the not-too-distant past, liberals understood that protecting the expression of all ideas was the essence of liberty. Yesterday’s American Civil Liberties Union defended the rights of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois, in 1978.

MAGA Hat Boy Witch Hunt Continues: ACLU Staffer Condemns School for Admitting Nick Sandmann
Examples of the tyrannical leftist mindset abound. Nicholas Sandmann’s admission to Transylvania University in Kentucky incensed certain leftists. They clearly loathe Sandmann, who was brutally slandered by CNN and other leftists when activists accosted him for simply wearing a MAGA hat and standing for the pro-life cause.

“Does anyone else think it’s a bit of a stain on Transylvania University for accepting Nick Sandmann? I’m sure it’s a ‘both sides’ defense, but it’s pretty counter to their mission and another instance of there not being equal sides to an issue,” wrote ACLU staffer Samuel Crankshaw on Facebook. “This kid clearly is a provocateur in training with no intention of learning. He exists only to troll, intimidate and play victim.”

“Counter to their mission?” What mission would that be: the promulgation of leftist propaganda and the suppression of opposing ideas? Note Crankshaw’s revealing admission that he doesn’t believe there are even two sides to the Sandmann controversy. This is more remarkable considering that the media’s original reporting of this event was debunked at the time and then more resoundingly discredited when Sandmann settled a major defamation suit against CNN and others.

Despite Sandmann’s vindication, this ranting ACLU ideologue can’t even acknowledge that Sandmann had a legitimate position. And without knowing Sandmann personally, Crankshaw presumes he has no intention of learning — leftist open-mindedness on parade.

Crankshaw isn’t alone. Transylvania University professor Avery Tompkins, who paradoxically identifies as a “diversity scholar,” went further. “If (Sandmann) were to cause problems by being disruptive, trolling, or engaging in unethical behavior of any kind, I would immediately document it … and he would just be putting himself in a position for me to file a conduct report,” commented Tompkins on Crankshaw’s Facebook page.

This unmistakably reads like a threat against Sandmann should he express his views. If that weren’t sickening enough, Tompkins’ claims are preposterous. Sandmann wasn’t disruptive at the pro-life march. He trolled no one; a Native American man approached and taunted him, obnoxiously banging a drum in his face. Nor did Sandmann behave unethically, unless, perhaps, you believe that gathering in support of innocent unborn babies is unethical.

Tompkins’ thinking is disturbing (though I would still defend his freedom to express this stupidity), as is his attempted intimidation of a student entering his university. It’s rich that on the university website, Tompkins is quoted as saying: “I don’t want to be the authoritative person in the classroom. … The classes are there for the students. It’s not my soapbox.” Hmm. Could have fooled this casual observer.

Tompkins’ later apology in which he paid lip service to “diversity” is laughable. He is an adult with fully formed ideas, and a poster child for illustrating that the left’s idea of “diversity” means anything but ideological diversity.

Another example involved leftist University of Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis, who defended an anarchist’s murder of Trump supporter Aaron Danielson in Portland. “He killed a fascist,” Loomis said. “I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective.” This abomination speaks for itself.

Before you call this an extreme example, note that this kind of thinking drives the widespread leftist violence throughout American cities that was enabled by Democratic governors and mayors.

I wouldn’t be so alarmed about any of this if the left weren’t promising to ratchet up its violence if President Donald Trump is reelected. If you doubt this, you’re not paying attention, and as young people say, “That’s on you.” Prayers and more prayers for this great nation.


Detroit Police Chief Explains the Real Issue Behind Riots – and It’s Not Race

Detroit Police Chief James Craig told Townhall in an exclusive interview that the unrest that’s taking place across the nation has less to do with race relations and is more about a radical faction of people attempting to undermine the government.

“I can tell you that this group that’s marching, like so many across the country, the anarchist factions of these groups are promoting violence and attacks on police officers. They don’t speak for Detroit,” he told Townhall. “And I recognize that it’s not all of the protestors it’s the core, that little small group, that really tries to create violence.”

According to Craig, Detroiters have helped prevent groups like Black Lives Matter from causing chaos and destruction in the city .

“I can tell you: Detroiters don’t like it. They support this chief. They support this police department. They do not support defunding [the police],” he explained. “They know what defunding looks like.”

When Craig was appointed seven-and-a-half years ago, “police officers lost 10 percent of their pay as the city was rapidly approaching municipal bankruptcy, which ultimately happened.”

“Detroiters don’t support [defunding] and police officers don’t support it,” he said. “And I absolutely don’t support it.”

Craig, who was has had a long career in law enforcement, has been part of departments in various cities. He previously served as Chief of Police in Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Maine. He was also an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 28 years.

The biggest difference between Detroit and other cities across the nation, like Portland and Seattle, according to Craig, is the lack of support from city officials.

“The mayor here in Detroit has confidence in my experience and my ability to do the job,” Craig told Townhall. “He trusts that. We talk about different issues, but, at the end of the day, he trusts me to make the right decision. And, frankly, he has as little tolerance as I do with violence, violent attacks on police officers, destroying property. [Mayor Mike] Duggan and I are in lockstep.”

In other cities, chiefs are afraid to stand up to things they believe is wrong because law enforcement officials are at odds with city leaders.

“How do you allow someone to set up a no cop zone, an area of lawlessness?” he asked rhetorically, referring to Seattle’s CHOP/CHAZ zone.

“When they tried that ridiculous move here in Detroit, the message was clear: you’re not going to set up a zone and make demands,” Craig explained.

When rioters attempted to create a zone in Detroit, police immediately arrested people. The message was apparent: lawlessness and violence wouldn’t be tolerated.

“Because of our firm stand, this department has won tremendous praise from not only our residents but also folks in metro Detroit. I get tremendous support from my colleagues across the state – and across the country – for standing up and speaking out in a bold, fearless way, that we’re not putting up with this,” Craig explained.

One of the concerns Americans have is whether or not this violent movement is going to come to their city. Areas that traditionally don’t have officer-involved shooting or destruction are feeling the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement. With riots breaking out in smaller cities and towns, like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the fear is justified.

“This is happening all across America. There’s an uptick in violence. A lot of it has to do with the uptick in anti-police rhetoric and criminals are now feeling emboldened to be aggressive and attack police officers,” the chief explained.

The middle ground that Americans and law enforcement can come to, according to Craig, is simple: officers can make it clear they support a person’s First Amendment right to peacefully protest.

“What’s non-negotiable is violent attacks against police officers,” he explained. “Most Americans would agree with that.”

Law enforcement leaders should not waiver on what they expect of protestors. Setting buildings and property ablaze, taking over the streets, and making demands are non-negotiable, Craig told Townhall.

“As a country, we have to stand firm in our resolve. We have to be unified and work together,” he said. Regardless of where a person stands politically – whether left, right or in the center – and what race we are, Craig said Americans should come together to condemn violence.

“We support our men and women in uniform and, of course, in cases when an officer exceeds his authority and uses excessive force, we hold that person accountable,” the chief explained. “That does not reflect the entire profession.”

Craig also said the other thing that should not be tolerated are “radicals” manipulating facts surrounding an instance to incite violence.

As cities across the nation look at diversifying their police forces, Craig pointed out that departments should be reflective of the demographic they serve. The one thing that we’re seeing today are mayors and radicals calling on police chiefs to resign, regardless of their race or sex.

“Race doesn’t matter,” Craig explained. “What matters to them is someone who speaks truth against what their narrative is [which is that] they’re peacefully protesting, which isn’t always the case.”

“The real issue is not as much about the race,” the chief said. “The anarchists and the Marxist Ideology, they have no support for anybody in government. They want to undermine that so it doesn’t matter what race your race is. It’s less about that.”

“We’ve seen an exit of African American chiefs, some white chiefs, female chiefs. It just doesn’t matter,” Craig concluded.


Joe Biden called for Christians to be added to terror watch list!

Former Vice President Joe Biden – who will never be elected president, by the way – has a message for American Christians: If you don’t defect from your faith and embrace leftism, then you’re going to be added to the government’s terror watch list.

This is what Biden promised during a recent CNN “town hall” event as he decried believers in Jesus Christ for opposing the radical LGBTQ agenda.

In Biden’s view, unless you vigorously support the transgender mafia in its effort to “transition” all children into something other than their natural biological sex, then you’re a terrorist who deserves to be marginalized from society, and possibly even shipped off to Guantanamo.

Biden’s antichrist position stems from a suggestion put forth by the radical, far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hate group, which is pushing for all opposition to the Cult of LGBTQ to be designated as “terrorism,” which under George W. Bush’s “Patriot Act” means that an individual’s constitutional rights are nullified.

“What we had before to deal with hate crimes was we had a position in our administration, within both the Department of Justice as well as within Homeland Security, a provision to keep watch on these groups that we know are out there – like terrorist groups, they’re similar,” Biden stated, referring to the “danger” of Christians in American society.


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, 2020

After Trying to Defund Police, Minneapolis City Council Asks: ‘Where Are the Police?’

Now that Al Sharpton has lost interest in Minneapolis — after all, there are no more televised funerals of criminal suspects who died in police custody for him to hijack — the rest of his comrades in the national media have moved on as well. The vultures got what they needed from George Floyd’s corpse and flew away, so now the people of Minneapolis are left to their own devices. Their riot-ravaged neighborhoods and crime-ridden streets don’t fit the preferred narrative, so they’re being ignored.

But the residents still have to live there. They’re still trying to go about their daily lives. The people who can afford to move away from Minneapolis are fleeing in droves, but what about the people who are stuck there? What can they expect from their local leaders, who have spent months trying to #DefundThePolice because it was trending on Twitter?

Minneapolitans can expect what we can always expect from politicians: whining, blame-shifting, and cowardly ass-covering. Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio:

The meeting was slated as a Minneapolis City Council study session on police reform.

But for much of the two-hour meeting, council members told police Chief Medaria Arradondo that their constituents are seeing and hearing street racing which sometimes results in crashes, brazen daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings. And they asked Arradondo what the department is doing about it.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police’?” said Jamal Osman, newly elected council member of Ward 6…

The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain in all of last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.

You want to get rid of the police? This is what it looks like. When you stop enforcing the law, you get anarchy and chaos. You get ruined lives and billions in damages. The only thing worse than cops is no cops.

And that’s after we saw nonsense like this, from Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender:

The whole “Defund the Police” movement is moronic, and the Democrats have made a huge mistake by embracing it. They can’t see past their own noses. Comedian Ryan Long sums up the “thinking” in his latest satirical video:

“Problematic police? No more police! People not obeying COVID rules? Hire more police to arrest them!”

They don’t think, they just react. It doesn’t need to make sense, it just needs to feel right. And when they’re proven wrong, again and again… “Hey, look over there!!”

And the great thing about the people who want to defund the police and now demand more policing? They’re the same people who don’t think you should be able to own a gun to defend yourself.

The single biggest misstep the media and other Biden campaign surrogates have made this year is downplaying the riots as “mostly peaceful protests” and blaming all the violence on the cops. That’s why they’re now panicking about this joke, which Trump just retweeted:

When Trump retweets a joke, it automatically becomes a hate crime. Twitter has slapped a “Manipulated Media” tag on that, and CNN and the rest of their ilk are flipping out about it being “misinformation.” But that’s not the real reason. They’re freaking out because:

  1. It’s funny and they hate being mocked
  2. It reminds voters that Biden spent the summer ignoring the riots and bashing the police
  3. That’s it

It’s one thing to say Trump shouldn’t be RT’ing stupid jokes, about Biden or anybody else. That’s arguable. But to call this “doctored” or “manipulated,” as if there’s some effort to deceive here, is itself deceptive. That’s because they know policing is an issue where Biden is very vulnerable.

Just ask the people of Minneapolis. Their entire city and state is controlled by Democrats. The Democratic Party’s nominee is parroting BLM propaganda while their town plummets into lawlessness, along with dozens of other cities across the country. Why should they vote for this guy? Why should they keep voting for the local Democrats who got them into this mess?

For all my problems with Trump (sorry, MAGA Nation!), he’s right on this one and Biden is wrong. A lot of Americans are suffering because their leaders have forgotten this immutable fact: If you don’t enforce the law, it’s not really law at all.

P.S. Case in point: BuzzFeed just published a puff piece about the two Brooklyn lawyers who face 45 years in prison for throwing a molotov cocktail at a cop car. The two criminals are painted as victims:

They’re the children of immigrants and their friends like them? Well then, never mind! They’re free to go.


MacArthur Prevails – Judge Denies LA County’s Fourth Attempt to Shut Down Grace Community Church

On August 25, 2020, in California Superior Court, Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a five-page opinion, County of Los Angeles et al. v. Grace Community Church et al., denying the County of Los Angeles’ renewed application for a temporary restraining order against the church and Pastor John MacArthur.

Thomas More Society attorneys are defending the renowned pastor and his congregation against an aggressive assault by the county over the right to hold indoor worship services.

In a very well-reasoned analysis of the prior proceedings, the court held that the county’s attempt to obtain a restraining order did not meet statutory requirements and that the Court of Appeal’s order did not justify a new temporary restraining order; rather, it simply stayed Judge Chalfant’s August 14 order and gave the county permission to enforce its own health order.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna explained, “The court correctly concluded that Los Angeles County’s renewed application for a temporary restraining order was both procedurally and substantively defective. This was their fourth unsuccessful attempt to obtain a court order prohibiting indoor worship services at Grace Community Church. We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case.”

“We look forward to fully vindicating our clients’ constitutionally protected rights in subsequent proceedings for this important case,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna.

Pastor John MacArthur said of the decision, “We are very grateful to Judge Beckloff for his reasoned opinion and for taking great care to review this very important matter. As I said in my declaration to the court, we see this action against us as an illegitimate misuse of power. It should shock the conscience of every Christian that churches are coming under assault from our own government simply for holding church. Church is essential.”

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jenna Ellis added, “This should signal to LA County that California courts will not quickly or easily trample the constitutionally protected rights of churches. We maintain that their health order is unconstitutionally burdening the right of churches to worship, and there exists no rational basis, much less a compelling interest, to try to shut down indoor services at this point, particularly when the county is allowing strip clubs to operate and massive riots to take place – and not seeking restraining orders against them. We look forward to making those arguments at a subsequent proceeding, where we will ask the court to properly check this power grab by Los Angeles County and the State of California’s executive branch.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on September 4, 2020 in Los Angeles Superior Court.


Voters Who Live in ‘Riot Zones’ Back Trump 2-1

Democrats and the media who’ve confidently predicted that Donald Trump’s pivot to a law and order campaign wouldn’t work should take notice.

They’re wrong.

The issue of law and order — regardless of who perpetrates the unrest and for what reason — hits every American in a personal way. Trump’s target may be “suburban moms” and ex-urban whites, but his message is resonating with those most directly affected by the issue: those who live or work in “riot zones.”

Washington Examiner:

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, 63% of voters who have seen violent protests in their community “strongly approve” of the president — just 35% don’t.

The survey is the latest showing Trump winning the “law and order vote” as the country sees violence from the protests expand from big cities to smaller communities, such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Rasmussen, who has consistently shown higher approval for Trump than other surveys, has the president at 51 percent approval. That tops Obama’s numbers at this stage of the campaign in 2012.

The law and order vote is a big one. Rasmussen said that 42% of likely voters said that their communities have hosted the anti-police protests in their communities. And nearly half said those protests turned violent, making them a big issue, even to those who haven’t witnessed the violence.

The correlation between Trump’s approval and the support of those living in riot zones is striking.

Among all voters, 65% say the violent protests are important to their vote in the presidential election this fall, with 41% who say it’s ‘Very Important.’

“Among those who have had violent protests in their community, even more (76%) rate them important to their vote, including 54% who say they are ‘Very Important.’ Sixty-three percent (63%) of these voters ‘Strongly Approve’ of the job Trump is doing versus 35% who ‘Strongly Disapprove.’”

Joe Biden and the Democrats aren’t fooling anyone. Their “Road to Damascus” conversion to condemning the violence in the streets while saying they support Black Lives Matter is political doubletalk and voters know it. The fact is, they don’t trust liberal Democrats to keep them safe.

Voters have reached an important distinction. As long as the unrest was seen as a legitimate protest, Black Lives Matter and the Democrats had their support. But the tide has turned and now, and more people see the unrest as riots rather than protests.

New York Post:

The poll, published Sunday, found that 48 percent of likely voters surveyed described violence in New York, Portland, and Kenosha, Wisconsin to be riots, compared to 40 percent who saw them as protests.

The results break down in part along party lines, with 68 percent of Republicans calling the unrest riots, compared to 30 percent of Democrats.

There has been much discussion of a “hidden” Trump vote. Many of these law and order voters could very well say they’re voting for Biden but vote for Trump on election day. Much will depend on whether Black Lives Matter heeds the pleas of Democratic candidate and stops fomenting the violence. They know the score. They read the same polls as Trump. This is an election-winning issue for the president and Republicans and only peaceful streets will neutralize the issue.


Scientific American Makes an Unscientific Endorsement

They have long been a Leftist organ

“Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice,” said acclaimed MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel, “but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.”

The above warning seems to have aged quite well, given that it was issued a decade ago. If anything, the leftist lurch within the scientific community has only worsened since then.

Case in point: Scientific American, which, as it proudly proclaims, had never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history, recently endorsed everyone’s favorite Man of Science, Joe Biden. But the editors don’t do it lightly, they’ll have us know.

“The evidence and the science,” the magazine’s sages somberly write, “show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.”

It’s hard to imagine Biden’s own press secretary putting together a puffier piece of political spin. But that’s what “science” has come to.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve lamented the politicization of science. As we wrote back in 2016, “There is a political party that is behind much of the so-called science we hear about these days. That of course is the Democrat Party. There is a major problem with the Party of Science™, though, and that is every time science doesn’t jive with their worldview, they ditch the evidence.”

We also noted the defenestration of Harvard President and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers for having had the temerity to suggest that there might be some intellectual differences between men and women that allow them to excel in certain areas while not reaching the highest heights in other areas. There are also the pesky realities that keep intruding on the “settled science” of the climate change crowd, and the Left refuses to so much as look at an ultrasound for fear that it might actually settle the science of life itself. We might also mention the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which could’ve saved millions of Africans from starvation; or the Left’s efforts to ban animal experimentation, which would devastate the field of medical research; or the Left’s knee-jerk resistance to studying the genetic basis for human behavior; or the Left’s insistence that a man can be a woman.

After yammering on about the settled science of Donald Trump’s awfulness, the Scientific American’s Biden PAC closes with this: “Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote. It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.”

Got that? Joe Biden and his party are “guided by science.” Except when they’re not.


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, 2020

The Myth of Voting One’s Pocketbook

I don’t entirely follow the reasoning below but I think he comes to the right conclusions. The author is obviously right that many poor white Americans are not deceived by the promises of a better deal from the Democrats. Being poor does not always make you a Leftist

I did quite a lot of research on just this question during my research career and it was true in both Britain and Australia at that time (70s and 80s) that around a quarter of the working class voted Tory instead of voting for “their” party, the Leftists. But at that time the Tories were the party of the elite. Rich and influential people tended to be conservative.

And a large part of that was fear of the Soviets. In a Soviet takeover of America, all the rich people and most of the other elites would lose their lives. So it made sense for rich people to be anti-Soviet and hence conservative.

The Soviet threat is now however long gone so other influences have shaped the political scene. And that has come to a head in the age of Trump, where patriotism has become the big issue, with Trump being a most explicit champion of that.

And, as Roger Scruton has pointed out, patriotism and conservatism are intimately associated. What conservatives want and value is very much the same as what patriots want and value. And patriotism has a very powerful emotional appeal — which is why Trump came from behind in the polls to get the Republican nomination, with policies at considerable variance from the Republican establishment.

Wanting to protect traditional industries is pure conservatism and pure patriotism but it completely ditched the established Republican attachment to free trade. Trump reminded us that there are more important things than dollars and cents.

And as Lipset and others have pointed out the working class is basically conservative and patriotic so Trump has become the idol of the working class. They love him. But there are patriots in all levels of society so that gave Trump his majority.

The Left, on the other hand, have always been anti-patriotic. They dislike much about the society they live in so would gladly see it all overturned. They displayed that in the Soviet era by supporting in all sorts of ways that brutal regime and opposing all efforts for America to build up its military defences. And they display it today by refusing to rein in the destruction being wreaked by the rioters in Portland, Seattle and elewhere.

So the big political divide these days is between those who love their country and those who despise it. And neither side is much motivated by their pocketbooks. Trump in fact is supported by people who stand to be made worse off by his trade policies and China policies. China has done nothing significant to harm America but picking at China plays well among patriots. China did originate the coronavirus but they themselves were hit hard by it so it was clearly beyond their control


Lipset, S.M. (1959) Democracy and working class authoritarianism. American Sociological Review 24, 482-502.

Do Americans “vote their pocketbooks?” This near-ubiquitous cliche seems at first to pass the test of common sense. Why wouldn’t people vote for the candidates under whom they’ll do the best financially? A wealthy voter should favor the candidate who will lower their taxes. A chronically unemployed voter should support the candidate promising lavish government handouts.

In the most basic economic terms, however, this logic falls apart. If one votes, for example, to maximize the present value of their future income, the answer is to not vote at all. Given the vanishingly low probability of breaking a tie, voting isn’t worth the gasoline used to drive to one’s local fire station and cast a ballot.

Perhaps this critique says more about the limits of economic modelling than it does about voting. Slogans like “It’s the economy, stupid” and “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” suggest a bigger-picture view people can take when voting their pocketbooks. But once again, this view fails to hold water.

The concept of “voting one’s pocketbook” frequently causes partisans who don’t understand the other party’s voters to make strategic errors. It also perpetuates the destructive idea that different groups of citizens are playing a zero-sum game against each other. Finally, and perhaps most insidiously, it creates the myth that the right politician can make our pocketbooks grow.

The Seduction of Joe Sixpack

In late 2004, after voters delivered four more years of George W. Bush, my parents and their progressive friends were abuzz about George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant. Lakoff urged earnest lefties to get more politically savvy. To summarize the book, John Kerry had lost because of those crafty Republicans who through use of buzzwords like “pro-life” and “tax relief” had mesmerized Joe Sixpack into voting against his economic interest. A couple of years later came Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?–similar in its cringeworthy myopia though subtly more scolding to Joe Sixpack himself in tone.

Unwilling to part with the idea that the GOP was fueled exclusively by the rich getting richer, progressives needed expert analysis and suburban book clubs to tell them why such a large fraction of the non-rich might be on board. The great irony is that most of the head-scratching about white working-class voters going against their economic interest was being done by upper-middle class progressives who wear their own votes against lower tax rates as a badge of honor.

These prosperous-but-perplexed progressives in turn expose the mirror-image fallacy held by Republicans–that voters on the left just want “handouts” or “free stuff.” The vanguard of socialism, progressivism, and welfare-statism has always come from relatively well-off intellectuals. Rather than wanting free stuff, they want to see themselves as the givers of free stuff.

Two Economies?

Economic outcomes and political narratives don’t play nicely together, and the results increasingly harm more than just the two parties’ strategic efforts to win converts. A 2019 study from The Wall Street Journal and the Brookings Institution characterizes the current landscape as “Two Parties, Two Economies.”

The study clearly and effectively presents the divergence of different types of voters over the last decade. Democrats are more concentrated in highly-educated urban areas that depend on professional and information-economy jobs; Republicans from rural areas built on manufacturing and agriculture. The differences have grown more stark with time.

The authors conclude that:

For at least the foreseeable future, therefore, the nation seems destined to struggle with extreme economic, territorial, and political divides in which the two parties talk almost entirely past each other on the most important economic and social issues, like innovation, immigration, and education because they represent starkly separate and diverging worlds. Not only do the two parties adhere to very different views, but they inhabit increasingly different economies and environments.

There’s an implicit idea here that, while the authors don’t explicitly endorse, I wish they would explicitly reject. The concept of two opposed and diverging economies suggests to many that government policy can help one economy prosper, albeit at the expense of the other. This is plainly false.

President Trump’s anti-trade policies, for example, have hurt the entire economy, including manufacturing, and even including the hand-picked industries he myopically sought to “protect.” Meanwhile, the Covid-19 lockdowns enforced by both parties but more enthusiastically on the left have been especially brutal on urban economies.

The political drama captured by the WSJ/Brookings study is indeed driven by economic forces. The decades-long shift in the composition of American labor demand–driven by globalization and a revolution in information technology–is likely the most important economic story of our time and defines this conflict. But the only path to resolution is an understanding that free, connected people unencumbered by the smoke and mirrors of politicians “favoring” one type of economy over another prosper together rather than at each others’ expense.

“People vote their pocketbooks” is a misleading and potentially insidious approximation of voter behavior. A better approximation for modern times is “People vote for the candidate or party that provides a better story about themselves.” That can be problematic itself, but when we bring economic performance along for the ride the problems only multiply. Putting our economic fortunes in the hands of politicians is a recipe for division and stagnation, every time.


Systemic racism is not racism

Tank farms are not farms. Machine gun nests are not nests. In the same way, what is called systemic racism is not a case of racism. It might include some racism, or not, but that is not part of the definition. Racism is deliberate action of a racist nature by individuals.

Systemic racism is a widespread feature of a society. Such features are often expressed as statistics. These are not statistics about the incidence of racism by individuals. In fact whether or not a specific case of systemic racism includes some actual individual racism is a scientific question. This question may be hard to answer.

Unfortunately, these days a lot of people are simply making the false assumption that certain cases of systemic racism are full of racism, even though no one can point to any. Kamala Harris in particular stands out.

As I explain in my article “Systemic racism” is emotional semantics, the term systemic racism refers to certain kinds of unhappy statistics. Typically these are statistics where members of a non-white population look to be worse off than a white population. For example, blacks in America are estimated to have a larger percentage homeless people than whites do. This is also true of prison inmates convicted of drug crimes. In cases like this blacks are said to suffer from systemic racism.

But whether or not there is any actual racism going on, or how much if there is, is simply unknown. Actual racism requires specific racist actions by specific people, while systemic racism can occur for other reasons. The fact is that our complex social system may well be structured in ways that cause these unhappy statistics, even though no one is being a racist. Social systems are like that.

For example, and this is just an idea, not a claim of facts, the relative prevalence of homelessness might be due to the prevalence of a certain level of poverty. Likewise for drug use. Then that level of poverty might be a structural feature that begun under segregation. Social structures can be amazingly persistent. We see this system persistence in the recovery from disasters, where things go “back to normal”.

In many cases these underlying structures can be hard to see, and even harder to change. Understanding that systemic racism may not be due to widespread individual racism is very important if we want to overcome it. Just as in medicine, getting the diagnosis wrong can be much worse than useless. Trying to cure supposedly widespread individual racism that does not in fact exist can simply make matters worse, not better. Blaming people for things they are not doing just makes them angry.

In fact there is a large scientific literature on systemic racism, also called institutional racism. There have been over 20,000 research articles and books on these two topics in just the last ten years. That is a lot of research! It is here in the social sciences that we should look for solutions to systemic racism, not by name calling and guilt trips as the Democrats are doing. Kamala Harris and the rest of her party are just making things worse. They are literally inciting people to riot.

Conclusion: Systemic racism is not racism. It is not even evidence of racism. That people think it is, and are being told so, is a destructive conceptual confusion. Instead of coming together we are being torn apart. SOURCE

Museum forced to remove shrunken heads from display after racism claims A UK museum has removed a huge collection of human remains – including a mummy and “shrunken heads” – following accusations of racism. The 130-year-old Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University, which holds about 500,000 artefacts of anthropological, ethnographic and archaeological significance, said it had ditched the items as part of its efforts to “decolonise” its collection. Among the items were 150 so-called shrunken heads, known as Shuar Tsanta to the Shuar and Achuar people of South America, as well as Naga trophy heads and an Egyptian mummified child.

Some of the museum’s items were acquired as the expanding British Empire collected and classified items from around the world and it faced accusations of racism and cultural insensitivity for continuing to display them, according to the Associated Press.

“Our audience research has shown that visitors often saw the museum’s displays of human remains as a testament to other cultures being ‘savage’, ‘primitive’ or ‘gruesome’,’’ museum director Laura Van Broekhoven said, according to AP. “Rather than enabling our visitors to reach a deeper understanding of each other’s ways of being, the displays reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the museum’s values today.’’ The museum said it began ethically reviewing its collection in 2017.

Removed human remains are being held in storage as the museum talks with descendant communities around the world about how to care for them. It’s the latest example of the global Black Lives Matter movement forcing communities and institutions to reckon with their colonial past.

A number of “racist” names and logos – across food brands, musical artists and even sporting teams – have been dumped around the world this year amid the wave of protests that followed the May death in custody of African-American man George Floyd in Minnesota.

In Australia, they included name changes for Nestle’s Red Skins and Chicos lollies, Sydney’s Captain Cook Hotel (now The Captain Paddington), and Western Australia’s King Leopold Ranges, which was named after a notorious Belgian monarch who was responsible for the deaths of around 10 million people in the Congo. SOURCE

The COVID-19 Pandemic Keeps Proving Deadly to Liberty This week, the British government announced limits on gatherings of people who don’t live together to groups of no more than six.

Although the restriction seriously attacks freedom of assembly, it barely raised an eyebrow in an era of similar intrusions. How could it stand out when countries around the world are tightening the screws on speech, movement, business, and social connections in the name of public health?

As many people feared, the COVID-19 pandemic—or rather, the government response to it—is proving quite deadly to liberty. And too many people seem happy to go along. “From Monday, we’re introducing the ‘Rule of 6’,” tweeted Matt Hancock, U.K. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. “If you meet socially in groups of more than 6, you will be dispersed, fined & possibly arrested by the police. If we work together in the national interest, we can defeat this unprecedented #coronavirus.”

The “Rule of 6” does allow for some exceptions, including “protests and political activities,” but only subject to government guidance that makes in-face meetings privileges under nanny’s scrutiny.

While authoritarian governments commonly criminalize gatherings of potential dissidents, meeting to oppose the current batch of seat-warmers in favor of your own lot is essential to the democratic experience in nominally free countries. It’s also a fundamental right to gather with friends, co-religionists, colleagues, and family as part of civil society—the sections of the world that matter, beyond the boundaries of government.

But Britain’s restrictions on assembly pale in comparison to the pre-crime arrests police in the Australian state of Victoria made of those who just advocated public demonstrations against government policy. Zoe Buhler, a pregnant woman who had called on social media for peaceful protests against the state’s draconian pandemic lockdown, live-streamed her own arrest. Police hauled her off even after she offered to delete the offending post.

At least Buhler’s door is still on its hinges. Victoria police broke into James Bartolo’s home and tackled him to the floor. Again, his crime was openly advocating protest against government policy. The protests proceeded anyway, in defiance of the law. Of course, attendees criticizing government policy were arrested. These days, you don’t have to assemble or even advocate assembly to get arrested in France; you just have to insult a mayor. The elevated penalty of community service plus a €7,500 fine for those who express “contempt” for mayors is being imposed after local officials complained of 233 physical attacks, up from 198 during the same period last year.

Then again, France has always frowned on harsh words directed at government institutions and officeholders, criminalizing speech defined as defamation and contempt. The extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 provide an opportunity to impose extraordinary penalties further shielding the delicate feelings of government officials from the scorn of their subjects.

In July, David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, warned that “in the past three months, numerous governments have used the COVID-pandemic to repress expression in violation of their obligations under human rights law.” But the countries he cited were mostly the usual suspects, such as Belarus, China, and Turkey. To see Australia, Britain, and France take advantage of the pandemic to impose restrictions and penalties on free speech and assembly is to see established and theoretically stable liberal democracies follow a path blazed by authoritarian countries.

To-date, free speech seems safer for Americans than for some of our overseas friends—we can still say pretty much what we want about government officials and their policies.

Events in Portland and elsewhere suggest that we can even gather to do so publicly, if sometimes more violently than might be advised. Still, Americans have been subject to lockdown orders, travel restrictions, mask mandates, and other requirements and prohibitions supposedly intended to protect our health, but definitely injurious to our liberty.

“In halls of power across the country, the growing novel coronavirus pandemic has sometimes been used to stretch, bend or ignore established law and policy,” Jenny B. Davis wrote for the ABA Journal back in April, even before some of the worst strictures were in place. “Fundamental freedoms, privacy protections and access to justice have been curtailed in the name of public safety, with legal justifications ranging from appropriate to patently inaccurate.” Alleged public safety measures, unrestrained by limits on power, can inflict their own costs on health as well as freedom. “

Dangers looms when one person tries to regulate the lives of millions,” writes physician assistant Jordan Warnsholz, who is suing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her restrictions. “Whitmer’s orders are a case in point. One banned any ‘non-essential’ medical procedures and elective surgeries… There’s no doubt that banning these procedures harmed the health and safety of my patients.”

The damage is worse, though, when frightened people imagine that the curtailment of liberty is a good thing and become complicit in the oppression of themselves and their neighbors. Pollsters find that a majority of Michigan voters actually approve of Whitmer’s heavy-handed mismanagement of the pandemic response. They also oppose repealing the 1945 law that allows the governor to unilaterally declare an emergency and rule without legislative input.

In Australia, Victoria’s voters also cheer on the restrictive regime under which they live. “Overall, public opinion seems solidly behind the curtailment of civil liberties that would have been unthinkable a month ago,” reports The Guardian. It’s difficult to imagine government officials—having exercised unprecedented control over our lives, often to popular applause—willingly restoring our freedom.

The big takeaway from the pandemic era might not be the ease with which governments steal away our freedom by invoking the alleged necessities of a crisis. The real revelation is how little effort it takes to make many people like it. SOURCE

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, 2020 

We live in the time of the weirdos

You know, I am still not tired of all the winning. Imagine having a Republican president conserva-woke enough to issue an executive order banning the poisonous lies of critical race theory from being inflicted upon our federal workforce. Well, we do have a president fearless enough to fight back, boldly and publicly, against the noxious propaganda of the academic left we taxpayers have been shelling out millions to pay commie consultants for. And he did it in the face of the utterly predictable narrative that “Trump is racist for prohibiting indoctrinating government employees with the idea that people are good or bad based on their race!”

Do you think a Jeb!, or a Mitt! or even a Nikki! would dare stand up to that kind of heat? No, they’d be kneeling, begging for absolution from the NYT and WaPo for the sins of the GOP base not wanting to pay moral and/or financial reparations for slaves they never owned to people who were never owned.

Thanks to Donald Trump, the culture war is back on and instead of General McClellan we have General Patton, and he’s up to RINO-slap a squish.

The culture war is that thing the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” smart set of spineless Fredocons, who are all in on the “socially liberal” part but never get around to the “fiscally conservative” part, have told us for decades is a sure loser. Now, normally one should defer to the Fredocons on losing since they are the indisputable experts, but the fact that for decades the GOP establishment refused to fight about things that our base was concerned with led to a society where people tell you their pronouns and insist dudes can get preggers.

Fiscal and foreign policy stuff is important, but when some dude dangles his doings in your daughter’s locker room because now he insists that he is no longer Charlie but is, instead, Charlotte, that’s a problem. And the geniuses kept telling us “Hush, knuckledraggers, we’re too busy trying to ship your job to China because Milton Freidman told us to and we don’t have time to icky fights over the things you care about that might get us called hayseeds at the next Georgetown mixer.”

All this garbage the left has pushed on us – from racial self-loathing to gender idiocy to killing babies – has catastrophic real-world consequences on real people and the people who presumed to lead us didn’t want to risk the kool kidz of kultur wagging their collective fingers at them. Trump not only cares but counterattacks.

That’s why the executive order getting the government out of the racial grievance business is so important. Finally, we are able to exercise our brand of power – political power, since we control the executive branch – to push back against the unaccountable and totally left cultural power of the establishment. And it’s not only the president.

We’re all supposed to applaud the kneeling zillionaires of the NFL – the most spoiled bunch of jerks on planet earth – and yet when they came out and tried to rub their cultural power in our faces, when they tried to make us just sit there and silently be insulted presented by the felons, losers, and accused sex offenders whose names were emblazoned on their helmets, tons of us refused to tune in and those who showed up live booed these pretentious twits. How dare those peasants refuse to submit to the cultural commandments of their betters!

And then there was the reaction to the despicable Netflix Cuties film, a child molester’s fantasia that disgusted the nation. Look, far be it from me to stop the blue bubble-dwelling cultural elite from selecting “You dumb Jesus people don’t appreciate why pedophilia is no big deal” as their hill to die on. As long as they die on some hill I’m not too picky about which one, but if they want to choose the one that’s even going to creep out a lot of the Democrat Party’s voters, go for it.

The simple and indisputable fact is that within the liberal bubble there is not only huge pressure, but an ideological need, to defend any perversion that comes along. The logic of the liberal ideology makes it impossible to say “No” – if you can’t tell a dude who is manifestly a dude that “Sorry, but you are a dude,” you are probably going to have a hard time coming up with a consistent reason why it’s bad for an adult to have sex with a 14-year-old. And, at least in California, the Democrat governor just signed a bill to substantially cut the penalties for a 24-year-old to have sex – of any kind – with someone 10 years younger. Sick.

Oh, it occurs to them that normal people are disgusted and appalled, but this does not cause them to rethink their disgraceful actions but to insist we are somehow mischaracterizing what they are doing. We say they are trying to penalize pedos less, and they are. And based on their grotesque rationalizations, if you follow their twisted logic there is nothing that creates a boundary between the lessened penalties they want today and the total abandonment of the idea of the age of consent. The leftist perverts get their perversion and the rest of the leftists get to further undermine the family and society – to people who hate you, it’s a win-win.

But we’re now fighting back. People are furious with Netflix, and it seems as if the Obama-affiliated VOD service was actually stunned that people objected. After all, cultural decency rarely penetrates into the deep blue bubble, and the idea that telling someone “Hey, your perversion is not okay” is totally alien to their caste. The cultural critics adored Cuties and were scandalized that anyone might be offended by the horrific sexualization of pre-teen girls. Alyssa Rosenberg of the WaPo fumed: “If conservatives, who have jumped on the debate over #Cuties, want to be taken seriously as cultural arbiters, they have to be able to talk about the *text* of a movie like this in an honest, responsible way.” Well, if the price of the total rejection of pedo exploitation of kids is having people in blue metro enclaves not take us seriously, we’re ready to pay it.

Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton have gotten involved and attacked Netflix and, by extension, the leftist luminaries involved. Note that Obama, who is deeply connected with Netflix, has said zero. And, of course, there’s no outrage from the creepy, hair-sniffing weirdo who lives in a basement. But it would be no surprise to see the president tweet about it: “Many are disgusted by failing Netflix (Obama has a big-money deal with it) exploiting kids. We will investigate and prosecute perverts. Sick! LAW AND ORDER!”

The culture war is not some niche distraction for Bible thumpers and repressed weirdos channeling Chris Cooper in American Beauty. It is not an inconvenience to our GOP establishment and a frivolous distraction from the serious business of managing America’s decline to keep it at a slightly slower rate than under the Democrats. It is the battle over the things that we normal Americans live with every day.

The nature of our country and society is vitally important, and we demand a say in it.

Under Trump, we have that say again, finally, and in his second term look for Donald Trump’s administration to stay on the cultural offensive.


Straight Out of Marxism: BLM Protesters Take Over Grocery Store to Protest Lack of 'Access' to Grocery Stores

Black Lives Matter activists occupied a Trader Joe’s in Seattle this week, claiming to be protesting “lack of access to grocery stores” and explaining to patrons “how capitalism exploits the working class.”

That “capitalism” line is straight from Marxism. BLM founders do admit to being “trained Marxists.” Their training is trickling down.

Socialism and communism exploit the working class and everyone else under their bootheel. Free speech, free press, and freedom of religion tend to die under socialism and communism. Gulags and concentration camps for punishing wrongthink replace them.

Socialism and communism are forms of slavery, though they have seldom been called that.

If you’re a Uighur sent to a concentration camp in Xinjiang against your will and for having committed no crime by your unchecked rulers in the Chinese Communist Party, and you are forced to make products, what are you?

You’re no longer a Disney fan, that’s for sure.

Back to Trader Joe’s in Seattle:

This comes as leftists conflate Trader Joe’s and gentrification, according to The Atlantic in a 2019 article on the “conflicts between white Portlanders and long-time black residents” over “widening bicycle lanes” and “the construction of a new Trader Joe’s.”

So…leftists block Trader Joe’s from building stores, and then protest the “lack of access” to those stores.

Why doesn’t this compute? Were there guards blocking these protesters from entering the store they protested over “lack of access?” Were there any actual impediments to them entering?

Were the roads blocked? If they were, it was probably by another of these protest groups. Blocking people from doing things is their jam.

Trader Joe’s is a great store. They offer fantastic products at very competitive prices. Their staff are always friendly and helpful. The stores are always clean. The produce tends to be a bit cheaper than other stores in the area and it’s just as fresh. These stores provide jobs, help the tax base, and tend to increase property values around them.

All of which reminds me, I need to go to Trader Joe’s soon.

The patrons of this Seattle store are probably left-of-center affluent BLM supporters. Their temporary kidnapping surely left them with a positive impression of the organization.

The protesters are probably affluent too.


MA Senator: “We Must Disarm” Police Of Their “Weapons Of War”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, fresh off a successful primary fight against challenger Joe Kennedy III, isn’t tacking to the center as he heads into the general election. Instead, the Democrat is embracing one of the most far-Left positions when it comes to the calls for police reform. On Monday, the senator declared his support for disarming police of  “weapons of war” to tear gas, rubber bullets, and other less-lethal means of defense and crowd control.

“Peaceful protesters,” he says. No mention of the riots, looting, and unrest that have rocked Portland for more than 100 days. Markey makes it sound like police in Portland are just randomly attacking people at prayer circles, instead of responding to riots where would-be revolutionaries try to set fire to the mayor’s apartment building.

Markey and his Democratic comrade-in-disarmament Bernie Sanders have introduced something called the No Tear Gas or Projectiles Act, which, in their words would “prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement officers’ use of tear gas and rubber bullets by banning federal officers’ use of riot control agents and kinetic impact projectiles, and by restricting the allocation of federal funding to state and local entities that do not ban riot control agents and kinetic impact projectiles.”

“Our streets are not meant to be battlefields, and law enforcement shouldn’t be using weapons of war against protestors and other Americans,” said Senator Markey. “Law enforcement’s use of tear gas also compounds the effects of structural racism, because we know communities of color are already suffering disproportionately during this global respiratory pandemic. It’s time we stop using these potentially lethal weapons against our own people. I thank Senator Sanders for his partnership on this legislation and urge our colleagues to join us in protecting the health and rights of the American people.”

I find it fascinating that some on the Left like Markey are now declaring that less-lethal methods of crowd control are now “weapons of war” that should be banned for use by police, even while Markey is apparently okay with law enforcement using the semi-automatic firearms that his fellow Democrats have described as “deadly and dangerous weapons of war that belong on battlefields—not our streets.”

You’d think if Markey wanted police to stop using tear gas and rubber bullets he’d also be calling for law enforcement to be disarmed of their “assault weapons” as well, but the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2019,” which was co-sponsored by Markey, contained an exemption for law enforcement to continue to use the rifles while on the job.

At this point, I’m not sure why Markey doesn’t just embrace the idea of disarming police completely; no sidearms, no stun guns, no ASP wands, no tear gas, no pepper spray. Maybe he’s waiting until after Election Day. In the meantime, don’t be surprised if Markey’s Republican challenger, attorney Kevin O’Conner, hammers Markey on the issue during the pair’s upcoming debate.

If Markey doesn’t want police using less-lethal means of crowd control, what exactly are his recommendations when officers are facing hundreds of agitators who are throwing rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails at law enforcement who are trying to keep the peace and quell riots and unrest? Police in Portland say that Mayor Ted Wheeler’s decision to ban the use of tear gas is going to lead to officers using impact munitions, as opposed to hugging it out with those trying to burn down the city’s center.

“Banning the lawful use of CS will make it very difficult to address this kind of violence without resorting to much higher levels of physical force, with a correspondingly elevated risk of serious injury to members of the public and officers,” the statement reads. “CS, while effective, is a significantly lower level of force than impact weapons, which would very likely be necessary to disperse riotous groups with its prohibition.”

In short, because of Wheeler’s decision, police will be forced to shoot members of the public at protests with pepper balls, rubber bullets, flashbang grenades, or other “impact munitions.”

This is what happens when a politician’s desire to pander to their base takes precedence over offering any real solutions to improve the tenuous situation in too many of our Democrat-controlled cities. Police have an obligation and a duty to ensure public safety, and as cops in Portland point out, the Left’s push to disarm police of less-lethal means of crowd control is likely to only escalate confrontations and lead to more force being used against those “peaceful” protesters who are trying to burn down their cities.


Two Ambushed LA Deputies Are Fighting for Their Lives

After another assault, the Left is increasingly becoming the enemy of law and order

A surveillance video caught the attempted assassination of two LA County Deputies Saturday evening. Even by today’s libertine standards, what it depicts is both depraved and deeply disturbing: A lone man walks up to the passenger side of a parked patrol car and opens fire at point-blank range, then races away down the street. As KABC reports, “A massive search for a gunman is underway as two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies are ‘fighting for their lives’ after they were shot in the head in an ambush at the Metro station in Compton.”

Both deputies sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition after having undergone surgery. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the deputies, a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, were shot multiple times but were able to radio for help. “That was a cowardly act,” Sheriff Villanueva said. “The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train. To see somebody just walk up and start shooting on them. It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.” There is a $100,000 reward for the capture of the assailant.

The subsequent actions of protesters were disgraceful. As the Wall Street Journal notes, “No one other than the shooter is responsible for the gunfire ambush Saturday of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in their patrol car. But the same can’t be said for the protesters who blocked the entrance to the hospital where the two are being treated, and chanted ‘we hope they die.’ The latter is a cultural poison nurtured by the left-wing anti-police movement sweeping the country.”

We’re not inclined to link to profane footage of these protestors yelling “we hope they die,” but do so in order to demonstrate just how depraved certain Democrat identity politic groups have become.

Despite that obscenity, LA’s leftist Mayor, Eric Garcetti, could not comment on the incident without prefacing his remarks with some race-bait rhetoric: “Of course, there’s an important conversation going on about policing in this country, but these are folks who put their lives on the line for us, and we will find justice for them.”

Black conservative commentator Candace Owens was more direct in affixing the blame: “Why does this happen? Because pea-brained celebrities that are idolized like [LeBron] James tell young black men that they are ‘literally being hunted.’ This is the natural result of such hyperbolic, dishonest rhetoric. The racist, anti-police, black lives matter LIE is to blame.” She slam-dunked James.

The brazen nature of the crime is reminiscent of one that took place six years ago. As the Journal continues, “Police haven’t identified a suspect, but the randomness of the ambush suggests someone looking for any available police target. We’ve seen this before when anti-police fever is hot. [An assailant] shot and killed two officers in their car in New York in 2014 following the death of black suspects being arrested in Ferguson, Mo., and New York.”

This is the rotten fruit of the Left: Its demonization — indeed, its dehumanization — of our law enforcement professionals has all but put a bounty on their heads.

When it comes to Rule of Law, we as a people will reap what we sow. As leftist activists and even mayors push to cut police budgets, there will be fewer cops on the beat, and those who are will reduce what they do. The people who will suffer most are the very people leftists claim to care about most.



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

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

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

15 September, 2020 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is among several Republican senators urging the Food and Drug Administration to remove the abortion pill from the market

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently tweeted a piece from National Review reporting that he and other Senate Republicans had asked the Food and Drug Administration to remove the abortion pill mifepristone (also known as RU-486 or the brand name Mifeprex) from the market.

Cruz made additional comments in his tweet that sparked outrage. Many accused the Texas senator of misinformation, misogyny, and more.

However, Cruz’s comments are accurate and persuasive, and abortion advocates should reconsider supporting not just abortion, but their effusive praise of this particular drug.

Let’s address Cruz’s brief tweet, line by line, and see if it holds up against science—and the outrage.

“Pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness.”

Critics took note of this phrase and overreacted, spouting on social media that women die every year due to pregnancy or complications from giving birth, so Cruz must be devastatingly wrong.

Some even pointed out that pregnancy mortality rates in Texas are unusually high.

To be sure, there is a pregnancy mortality rate in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2018, it was about 17.4 deaths per 100,000 births. By this statistic alone, it’s clear Cruz is correct: Pregnancy is not an illness that ends disproportionately in death.

While the number is higher than I’d like it to be, as a woman who has given birth to four children, I must say pregnancy is not an illness that needs to be treated.

As trivial as this point might sound, it’s a key aspect of the abortion debate when it comes to inducing abortion: Abortion advocates, and particularly supporters of the drug mifepristone, support the drug given to women early in pregnancy because pregnancy, to them, is inherently something to be wary of—or perhaps even despise—because it carries with it a baby who is unwanted or inconvenient.

To pro-life advocates, however, none of these things is  true.

“[T]he abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.”

Cruz made this point specifically because he and the other senators are asking the FDA to focus on its duty, which is recognizing and labeling safe medicines that help treat illnesses or cure diseases.

Since pregnancy is not an illness, the FDA has no business approving the use of mifepristone, which is designed to end the life of the tiny embryo growing inside mom. The FDA should not be in the business of supporting the use of drugs that can harm or kill people.

“Mifeprex is a dangerous pill.”

What most abortion advocates and supporters of the use of mifepristone don’t know is what the drug actually does to a pregnant woman. They know it can cause an abortion and often many just reflexively support that since it’s consistent with their position. But mifepristone itself is exactly what Cruz said it is, a dangerous drug that induces abortion in a messy, sometimes harmful way.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB-GYN who has performed more than 1,200 abortions, explained how the “abortion pill” works. After the mother takes mifepristone at the clinic, it blocks progesterone, a natural hormone that women produce when pregnant, which breaks down the lining of the uterus. This cuts off “blood and nourishment to the baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb,” Levatino says.

It gets worse. Mom must take a second pill, misoprostal (or Cytotec), which forces the woman into labor, causing “severe cramping, contractions, and often heavy bleeding, to force the dead baby out of the woman’s uterus,” Levatino said, adding:

The process can be very intense and painful, and the bleeding and contractions can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

The pregnant woman then finally expels the dead baby and can bleed for at least two weeks, sometimes longer, afterward.

The abortion pill has even been known to cause maternal deaths due to infection or undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.

Now can abortion advocates understand why so many pro-life people, including Cruz and the other senators, are against the FDA’s approval of this drug, which causes the death of an unborn life and so much pain and suffering for the baby’s mother?

In his comments, Cruz is hardly being misogynist, cruel, or indignant. In asking the FDA to reconsider its support, he’s actually being pro-woman, pro-safety, pro-life, and pro-medicine.

If abortion advocates cared about women as they insist they do, they would reconsider their support of such a harmful drug.


Parenting: Beware overpraising your average child

The gushing compliments and a prize-for-all attitude, regardless of a kid’s real skill level, has to stop. Parents and teachers need to help children accept that they aren’t the best at everything – and that’s OK.

I had an interesting email from a reader who was worried about her 7-year-old daughter.

She’s concerned about her self-esteem with her peers, particularly as she’s starting to use terms such as ‘better than’ and ‘cooler than’ when discussing her friends. Aware of the impact of reduced confidence, she wanted some advice to help when her daughter’s self-comparison gives her doubt.

Great question, but to answer it, let me back up a little to explain the current landscape of building self-esteem in children.

The praise push

In the last 40 or so years, parents and educators have been much more aware of making sure children feel good about themselves, to help them be able to go out in the world with a level of confidence. As a result, adults don’t only give feedback about what children are doing badly, but also what they’re doing well. This has been shown not to overly dishearten them and give a sense of accomplishment that keeps them persisting in their efforts.

This idea has been taken on with so much gusto that praise is almost revered as the only way to build children’s confidence. And many parents and teachers have embraced it fully, taking it upon themselves to give children almost timetabled regular compliments, regardless of their actual efforts or genuine skill level.

We also provide more opportunities for children to win, with every layer of pass-the-parcel revealing a prize so no one feels like a loser. Furthermore, we give more extreme praise about their accomplishments when they are successful.

The real trouble is that these pumped up children will occasionally encounter others with better skills. So, if a child has always been told what a wonderful artist they are, to build their confidence, they will eventually get to school and likely find other children equally or more talented than they are. If the child’s self-esteem has been truly dependent on being the ‘best artist’ then it is likely to crumble at that point and they are likely to come home in tears because Riley’s artwork was chosen over them.

Self-supplied self-esteem

But does that mean that you need to tell them they’re ‘barely OK’ at things to prepare them fully? Well, no. But, over time, you need to deliberately pull back on excessive applause and start to give measured praise, and occasional constructive criticism, so they are ready for times when they are not the best, prettiest, or most talented at activities.

Ideally, give praise with thought rather than as a continual top up of their self-worth. If a child regularly asks for more compliments, then they might be too dependent on them. To help them, don’t go over the top when they request your approval, and sometimes get them to self-assess their efforts instead.

When they point out that others are better at tasks, avoid racing in to refute it, because your denial suggests that being second is unacceptable. If it’s true, then agree with them with a shrug and a head nod. You don’t even need to come in with high praise of other things they are good at. This is not to be cruel, but to help them accept that they aren’t the best at everything – and that’s OK.

Sure, giving children a life of permanent triumph as a means of supplying self-confidence will help them currently feel better about themselves. But it’s important to remember this action only prepares them for a life of perpetual success – and that’s not really possible.

Children have to be confident that they’re OK as average, acceptable despite coming fifth, adequate despite not being the coolest child in the class. A belief in their ability to cope with wherever they appear on the supposed scoreboard, will make the child’s self-esteem more ‘self-supplied’ than ‘another person’ supplied. That’s going to be a much more dependable and ongoing foundation for them.


Forgetting History and Misrepresenting History is America's Real Pandemic

By Rich Kozlovich

Nineteen years have passed since Islamic terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center Towers.  For someone my age (74), that was just yesterday.  Although it shouldn't be, it is a bit startling to realize how many adults today don’t remember that event.  While my generation knows a lot about Pearl Harbor, we have no personal memory of it.  However, when it comes to remembering Pearl Harbor for my generation, and 9/11 for the modern generation, there's a difference between my generation and the current crop of young people?  What is it?  Societal paradigms and education!  I will cover that later.

Just as those who were alive when Pearl Harbor was attacked, I vividly remember 9/11.   The west became complacent when it seemed the Cold War was over and everything was fine.  I knew that wasn’t true.  I knew the cold war wasn't the end of concerns. I knew Islamists were going to be a problem.  What I didn’t know is we would have Presidents - Clinton, Obama and supported by efforts by Jimmy Carter - who would actually help America’s enemies, such as Iran, N. Korea and China especially.

Although we all should have known.

Nixon was the key to understanding what was going on, but I wasn’t old enough, experienced enough, or knowledgeable enough to understand his foreign policy toward China was fundamentally flawed and practically treasonous.  Because of Nixon, we’ve been funding their economic and military expansionism, which is in direct conflict to the good of the United States.  And that was their intention from the beginning.

When Kissinger went to China while talking with Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong) and his number one henchman, Chou En- Lai (Zhou Enlai), Kissinger said to Mao, paraphrasing:

The nice thing about this is we don't want anything from each other.  Mao said to Kissinger: If I didn't want something from you I wouldn't have invited you, and if you didn't want something from me you shouldn't have come.

But all those weaknesses in my understanding changed, and I later clearly understood the reason for Mao's invitation. China was in serious internal trouble, and its economy was disastrous, and it seems to me, the Chinese communists were in deep trouble.   Nixon bailed them out and made them a world trading partner.  What Mao wanted was to save his economy, stay in power, and eventually force the west into an inferior economic and military position to China, and get the west to fund it. And it happened, and there are those who are leaders in industry, government and politics who want it to continue for their own benefit.

As a result, none of what’s happening now should surprise us, except for one thing: We finally have a President that sees the problem as it is, and not as the media and ruling classes attempt to present it.

Having had to deal with the EPA, environmentalists and other misfits for many years representing my industry, I knew the bureaucracy was corrupt, and that corruption was created by elected representatives from both parties, especially starting with - again - Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  (OSHA), passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and a host of  other "green” laws.  All of which have been out of control for years.  All of which are anti-capitalist.  All of which are anti-American. All of which impose fundamentally unconstitutional regulations.  All of which the nation is struggling with today.

But here's what has taken me by surprise.   The extent and depth of treason going on within all these government agencies, and throughout every level of government in America by government officials, elected and un-elected, military and civilian.  There’s a reason the phrase “The Deep State” has been coined to explain them.

Its been known for years the government of the United States during the Roosevelt years was the most heavily infiltrated government in the history of the world.  Senator Joe McCarthy was contemptible in many ways, accusing innocent people of being communists, but he was right in his contention the federal government was filled with communists, socialists, Stalinist agents and fellow travelers.  All of which was proven by the release of the VENONA intercepts, and by the release of the Soviet Union's files after it's collapsed.   Information FDR, Truman and Eisenhower all had to know about.

Their intellectual and philosophical progeny are still there! 
The breadth and depth of that infestation is shocking!
The politicians embrace of them is stunning!
The media’s defense of them is the most shocking of all!

Much of our domestic problems are startling, however, all of the reactions by the world’s nations should have been predictable!  All one has to do is just take a look at the history of Islam and the West for hundreds of years.  Nothing has changed.  These “leaders” today are just as spineless and self-serving as were the rulers in Europe all during the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and during the incursions into Europe by the Ottoman Empire.  In some cases actually supporting the Ottomans against their fellow Christian kings for their own gain.

Our “leaders” in industry and government are just as spineless and self-serving as they were.  What took me by surprise is how easily America’s ruling classes became just as corrupt, conniving and treasonous as were those in Rome and Byzantium, all to the detriment of their societies, and ultimately their very existence.   If this continues, America’s existence will be in question.

Another thing that has surprised me is how easily Americans became lemmings over this coronavirus scare mongering con job.  Knowing how scare mongering molds societies intellectually from history books is one thing.   Seeing it as a living reality is entirely another.  Seeing how easily these misfits have manipulated members of our society against each other seems to be nothing short of a practice run for bigger take overs.
Quebec city will isolate 'uncooperative' citizens in secret corona facility

I have grave concerns for the continued existence of America.   George Friedman's book, The Storm Before the Calm, covers the cycles of American transformations,  and how America still remained America.  And that’s because all those generations were taught history as it should be taught.

Education in America now teaches America’s children to hate America, and that it needs to be “fundamentally transformed” into Cuba.  And these kids believe it, and they’re acting on it by burning down America’s cities, with threats to burn down the entire nation if Biden isn’t elected, and the media and elected officials enable and excuse them.

As for remembering Pearl Harbor versus remembering 9/11, this is a twofold problem:

Social Paradigms: There was a huge number of movies made about WWII and Pearl Harbor, and American's knew we were the good guys.  How many have we seen about 911, or for that matter Islamic terrorism?  Not that many! And not enough to override the constant politically correct drumbeat.  How many movies and documentaries are there telling us Islamists are our enemies?  Current posturing makes it appear we brought this on ourselves and we deserved to have these terrible things happen to us.  We're the bad guys, not the terrorists. And any commentary in conflict with that narrative is railed against as racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic.

Education:  The real number one issue in America is public education and higher education. If that’s not fixed, America will not be America in this next cycle, and if the Democrats manage to steal this election, it will happen much sooner than later.   That is the absolute number one issue that needs to be emphasized and dealt with.  The Politically Correct crowd are using our own values against us.  They're using the education system to destroy America by teaching America's children to hate America.

America is in crisis, and we need to remember 9/11 for the horrors suffered by the 2,977 who died there.  But we need to define it for what it truly was:  A symptom of a terminal political cancer eating away at the vital organs of the nation.


A plea for humility from America's first superstar

On Sept. 17, 1787, the federal convention in Philadelphia completed its work. Originally convened to draft improvements to the flawed Articles of Confederation, the delegates had quickly shifted gears, deciding instead to develop an entirely different system of government. Over nearly four months of grueling debate, they crafted something brand new: the Constitution of the United States. On Sept. 15, the text was engrossed on parchment. Two days later, the document was presented to the delegates for their approval.

Many Americans have heard the story of the woman who approached Benjamin Franklin as the delegates emerged from their proceedings in Independence Hall, which had been conducted in secret. "Well, doctor," she asked, "what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin famously replied: "A republic, if you can keep it."

Far more profound than that tossed-off rejoinder, however, were the less well-known words spoken earlier that day, in Franklin's extraordinary closing address to the convention. His message of political compromise and intellectual modesty is one our society, so angrily uncompromising and immodest, badly needs to hear.

At 81, Franklin was by a considerable margin the oldest delegate to the convention. He was the only man present who had signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. As a statesman, a scientist, and an intellectual, he was the most famous American in the world, and, with the possible exception of George Washington, the most respected member of the convention.

The Constitution incorporated provisions that Franklin had opposed. He had strongly favored a plural executive, for example. He had advocated for the direct election of judges, and argued that federal officials should serve without pay. The final document by no means represented what he considered ideal. The same was likely true for every other delegate.

Indeed, some members of the convention regarded the new system's shortcomings as so wrongheaded that they had walked out before the final vote. There were fears that the coming fight over ratification of the Constitution might be so bitter, it would end in violence. Worried "that a civil war may result from the present crisis," Elbridge Gerry described the political acrimony in his home state of Massachusetts: "In that state there are two parties — one devoted to democracy, the worst . . . of all political evils, the other as violent in the opposite extreme."

But Franklin thought nothing could be worse than for the new Constitution to make its appearance amid open dissension among its drafters. Drawing on his skill as a diplomat, he urged his colleagues to set their differences aside and accept the document in a spirit of cooperation.

"I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them," Franklin began. "For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects. . . . [T]he older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others."

People have a bad habit of falling in love with their own opinions, said Franklin, and of sneering at the unsoundness of other people's views — a phenomenon even truer in the 21st century than it was in the 18th. He implored the delegates to resist that temptation and to support the Constitution despite their misgivings.

"I agree to this Constitution with all its faults," he said. "I doubt too whether any other convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? . . . I consent, sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die."

Franklin moved that a line be added to the final document, declaring that it had been accepted "by the unanimous consent of the States present" — a formulation that would allow even the minority of delegates who had voted No to sign. It was his wish, he said, "that every member of the convention who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and . . . put his name to this instrument."

They did. All but three of the men present acceded to Franklin's wish and stepped up to sign the Constitution.

The stakes in 1787 were no less grave than those Americans fight about today. Then as now, disunity and polarization threatened to tear the nation apart. The difference is that those men in Philadelphia agreed to work through their ideological differences, while our ability to do so seems to diminish by the day. More than ever, we are in need of leaders like Franklin, and of lessons like the one he conveyed so effectively 233 years ago next Thursday: that we strive to be less hostile to the views of others, and learn to doubt a little of our own infallibility.



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, 2020 

I Hate Men is the title of a young woman's new book which officials tried to ban as an incitement to hatred - but the author (a French bisexual blogger) is a mass of contradictions who happily makes brownies for her mild-mannered husband

Let's face it:  The penis is a love machine.  Once a woman has sex with a man, she will be open to a relationship.  And that comes naturally to all women, feminists included.  And there will be some regret if a relationship is not offered.

Feminist convictions may of course create difficulties in a relationship but most of the time they can be negotiated away. The convictions are mostly nothing more than a wish for kind and considerate treatment and if that is forthcoming a shell of convictions may remain but it will do no harm to the relationship.  Kind and considerate treatment will triumph over most other things.  As we probably see in the story below

In my own long life I have been struck by how rarely I have encountered anything but vague feminist convictions -- and they have certainly never blocked the path to bed.  Women can in fact be remarkably flexible and tolerant if they really like the man. As just one instance, I was for a while in the position of sleeping with two different women most nights -- with both women aware of it.  And both were desirable ladies.

Feminists tear your hair out.

It is the clarion cry of many politically active young women: ‘Down with the patriarchy!’ But for Pauline Harmange, a 25-year-old, bisexual French blogger, the call to arms has had more far-reaching consequences.

Her decision to wade into the gender wars by writing a book entitled I Hate Men has sparked a fierce debate not only about the differences between the sexes but also about freedom of speech.

The book is actually more a tub-thumping pamphlet, in the tradition of Paris’s bohemian and outspoken Left Bank, the haunt of great feminist philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Colette and many others.

It is a passionate denunciation of men, of their violence and oppression and entitlement.

It opens with a quote from poet Sylvia Plath: ‘The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way.’

Harmange deplores the role of men in society. ‘I witness every day the immense indifference of men towards women. I witness the sh*t about rape, harassment, feminicides, debates on social media, conversations from men I meet or interact with.’

Despite being distributed by a tiny publishing house run by volunteers called Monstrograph, her 96-page essay attracted the attention of a ‘mission manager’ at France’s Ministry of Women and Men’s Equality, named Ralph Zurmely. To him, it was clear. The title of the book, Moi Les Hommes, Je les Deteste, was an obvious incitement to hatred.

You can see his point: if any racial group had been substituted for the word ‘men’, there would have been uproar.

Mr Zurmrly said: ‘This book is obviously an ode to misandry [hatred of men]. I would like to remind you that incitement to hatred on the basis of sex is a criminal offence! Consequently, I ask you to immediately remove this book from your catalogue under penalty of criminal prosecution.’

He might have expected congratulations for rooting out ugly, divisive hate speech – the kind of thing online social media sites are being urged to stamp out.

Instead, something else happened. Mr Zurmely found that he had misjudged the public mood. The first edition of I Hate Men has sold out and the book is now being reprinted.

Is it that France had decided it hates men or that it likes freedom of speech more?

On the other side, Harmange is feeling the wrath of many men and women who detest her opinions.

She is accused of vicious prejudice against a group of people who are not commonly considered society’s victims – the entire male population.

Harmange, who describes herself on Instagram as the ‘harbinger of the feminist storm’, appears a little unsettled by the ferocity of the tempest she has whipped up and has retired to her home in Lille, in northern France.

Her publisher Colline Pierre, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Pauline is taking a step back at the moment.

‘There are a lot of issues and offers surrounding her book. And sometimes violent reactions.’

A tempest is not a bad thing for sales, of course.

Before Harmange went into hiding, she gave an interview assuring men that their existence was not under threat, merely their entitlement. ‘Eradicating men is not my aim,’ she said, generously.

‘Ideally, the book would help bring men down to a normal position alongside the rest of us, and at the same time liberate women from the weight of that all powerful patriarchy.’

There is another tantalising aspect to this story of our times.  The term ‘lived experience’ these days often prefaces political and social argument. It has Marxist roots and emphasises the importance of ‘personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events rather than through representations constructed by other people’.

In other words, you have the right to talk about sexism or racism or classism or ageism, for example, only if you have experienced it.

Harmange says that working with rape victims has coloured her rhetoric.

The number of cases of domestic violence in France is high. But her own experience contradicts the All Men Are Rapists notion.

This is what she says in her book about men: ‘Even as they dump us, rape us and kill us... boys will be boys. Girls, on the other hand, will become women and learn to cope with being hit, because there is no escaping our narrow view in the crystal ball of patriarchy.’

She may hate men, but it is nothing personal, as she coyly adds: ‘Come on, I’m going to confess: I detest men. All, really? Yes, all of them. By default, I hold them very low in my estimation. It’s funny because I apparently have no legitimacy in detesting men.’

And then the knockout admission: ‘I chose to marry one anyway, and to this day, I have to admit that I love him very much.’

A scroll through her Instagram page shows something close to domestic bliss. Harmange is happily married to Mathieu, 29, who appears in a series of notably unthreatening poses on her Instagram feed. More often than not, he is asleep.

Indeed, Harmange’s Instagram generally is an idyll of contentment, and cats.

Her pictures are of calm sunsets, hot water bottles, knitting, coloured pens, home-baked bread and jam, cakes, yoga mats, and masses of cats. Her fierce rhetoric is matched only by her childlike pleasures.

She is reading Sylvia Plath, but also Harry Potter. She posts a notice that ‘injustice demands revolution’ but then settles down to making advent calendars and painting her fingernails. A tattoo on her arm reads Myself, a statement of defiance but also the solipsism of being 25 years old.

She has pictures of flowers and wedding dresses. She quotes the French writer Albert Camus, who was not known for his chivalry towards women.

Her husband, when awake, is pictured drinking coffee or curled up in corners – or just curled up with the cat. He does not display a tyrannical bone. Even his tattoos look like William Morris wallpaper.

There is a further plot twist: as well as being devoted to her husband, Harmange is bisexual. She says: ‘This choice is not devoid of all context. As a bisexual woman, who can say what my life would be like today if I hadn’t been confronted early on by the homophobia in society and those around me.’

For me, the key to understanding Harmange is not merely that she is young, but that she is very French. Her approach to the relationship between men and women is based on philosophy – which is almost more of a national sport across the Channel than rugby.

Harmange’s cri de coeur echoes one of the tenets of the original Women’s Liberation movement: the fear that men are strong enough to kill you.

She fears and loathes men as a species. She loves individual men.

She does try to address the discrepancy: ‘Although I love my partner and do not consider parting for a second, I continue to think about and claim my fairness to men.’ In other words, she has mastered the art of reconciling two incompatible truths: the empirical (based on experience) and the emotional. How very French!

France is a country of magnificent contradictions: a place of liberty and revolution that has resorted to heavy-handed state powers; a country that ordered Muslims to remove their hijabs at work and now tells everyone to cover their faces with a mask. Swift to worship women, slow to understand the importance of the #MeToo movement.

It is the home of the femme fatale and ‘le cinq a sept’, that golden happy hour when the British go to get two drinks for the price of one, but when French go to lie down with their loved ones – before going home to their spouses.

She is pulling down the temple of patriarchy to rebuild a new society. At the same time, though, she is cooking brownies for herself and beloved ‘enemy-husband’ Mathieu.

It is what we call in plodding old Britain ‘having your cake and eating it’.

This curious, wholly French row should revive the spirits of a country cast down by Covid and castigating Britain over Brexit.

What better than a young woman blazing rhetoric and yet with a playful demeanour?

Her defence is that hating men is a philosophical construction rather than a hate crime.

Of course, I Hate Men should not be banned. It is not bigotry but a cry against the Establishment by a young woman who is part of a generation who are seeking cultural latitude instead of demanding power. They are much less aggressive than my generation, despite the furious words. They hate men but they love cats.

And Harmange has stumbled upon a greater cause.  Hers may be a generation that is quick to take offence but she has come to represent the fundamental right to give offence.

Freedom of speech is of profound constitutional significance in the land of Voltaire and it is also in peril in this country.


 UK: Our children are being brainwashed by a divisive new dogma that I fear will stoke, not heal, racial tensions

Children across the country have finally returned to school, but in their five months away there has been a cultural sea-change.

With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, headteachers have come under increasing pressure to signal that they are on the ‘right side of history’ on a wide range of issues.

This has meant modifications to school curricula and pastoral policies that have been rushed through with little consultation with parents or staff. As a result, pupils are being subjected to an even more suffocating form of ‘woke’ education.

For their part, many teachers have attended ‘unconscious bias’ training sessions, despite the fact that the science behind such courses has been largely discredited.

Others have been advised to read up on books such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (which claims that all white people are racist and that their denials are further proof of racism) and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi (its thesis being self-explanatory).

One teacher told me about a school assembly over Zoom in the early days of the lockdown in which pupils were berated for their ‘white privilege’.

Prestigious schools such as Eton and Eltham College in South-East London have promised to ‘decolonise’ their teaching practice and combat ‘systemic racism’.

Other private schools have pledged their support for Black Lives Matter, despite the fact that this explicitly anti-capitalist movement objects to their existence and would happily see these institutions razed to the ground.

Perhaps all this was to be expected. For several years, a notably one-sided form of politics has been creeping into the classroom.

For example, 70 per cent of teachers in the UK opposed Brexit, and those who supported it quickly learned to keep their opinions to themselves.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with teachers having a political view, or even communicating such views to their charges, so long as they are encouraging pupils to think critically about these ideas rather than treating them as dogma.

But when politics has a direct influence on the curricula itself, critical thinking in a whole range of areas of life is unlikely to be fostered.

Last year, the charity Youth Music called for pupils to be taught about the work of the rapper Stormzy instead of Mozart. The idea that young black pupils are inherently incapable of appreciating classical music is not only wrongheaded, it is about as patronising as it gets.

This is the bigotry of low expectations. As a former teacher, I understand the temptation to assert one’s own politics to the captive audience of the classroom. But when it comes to contentious issues, it’s important for teachers to take the impartial approach. They should be teaching pupils how to think, not what to think.

Instead, too many young people are being taught a partisan narrative in which complex issues are reduced to uncritically ‘good’ (the NHS, the EU, immigration, identity politics) and ‘bad’ (gentrification, capitalism, Brexit, Donald Trump).

And now that the Black Lives Matter movement has gone mainstream – unquestioningly supported by celebrities, football stars and all major corporations – the divisive ideas of many of its proponents are being imposed on children throughout the country.

I am convinced that the consequences of such hasty overhauls could be extremely damaging, both for the children and society at large. This is not simply a case of taking a firm stance against the poison of racism, as schools are already legally obliged to tackle racist incidents and teachers understand the importance of challenging prejudice.

The problem lies with what is known in academic circles as ‘anti-racism’. The phrase itself sounds noble. Who isn’t opposed to racism? But regardless of all good intentions, it is based on a divisive ideology that I believe sets race relations back by decades.

At the heart of all these sudden changes is a relatively obscure field of study known as Critical Race Theory. According to this worldview, society is divided into the oppressors and the oppressed, and all white people are complicit.

If you’ve been wondering why we keep hearing phrases such as ‘white privilege’ and ‘systemic racism’ from politicians and other public figures, this is the reason.

Ironically, many believe that these theories are in direct opposition to the ideal of colour-blindness espoused most famously by US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, who dreamed of a future in which people would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Critical Race Theory, by contrast, insists that race should be uppermost in our minds at all times, and that every human interaction involves an element of racism.

Indeed, white people who deny their racism are said to be suffering from ‘white fragility’.

To many, it seems like a theory almost designed to exacerbate racial tensions in society.

Take, for example, Channel 4’s recent documentary The School That Tried To End Racism, in which 11-year-old pupils were separated by race and asked to reflect on their ethnicity. Leaving aside the obvious trauma this caused to these impressionable young people – with one boy breaking down in tears and fleeing from the classroom – the entire premise of the show was based on the deeply flawed tenets of Critical Race Theory.

What looked like a one-off televised experiment is now being rolled out in schools across the country. It goes without saying that all ideas should be up for discussion, but when schools are teaching highly contested theories as though they were irrefutable truth, we are now in the realm of indoctrination.

The Chartered College of Teaching, the professional body for teachers, has distributed resources to schools that focus on identity as seen through the lens of Critical Race Theory.

These help them teach about ‘whiteness, including white racism, white identity, privilege, power and intersectionality’. (The Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as ‘the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage’.)

These attempts to enforce identity politics onto children are potentially in violation of the 1996 Education Act, which insists on political neutrality in teaching.

The risk that these developments pose cannot be overstated.

How absurd that the skewed logic of Critical Race Theory might suggest that a mixed-race child should perceive one parent as the oppressor and the other as the oppressed.

Children who had once been taught that treating people differently on the basis of skin colour was morally wrong are now be encouraged to see everything through the prism of race. In other words, the achievements of social liberalism and the civil rights movements are being unravelled in the name of anti-racism.

Most teachers are complying –some reluctantly – with the new dogma. This is to be expected, given that those who dare to question the validity of Critical Race Theory are leaving themselves open to false allegations of racism.

With teaching staff caught in a storm of half-baked academic theories and the increasingly shrill demands of activists, it is hardly surprising that so many are left bewildered or, worse, are quitting the profession. And if the teachers are struggling, how can we expect children to keep up?

It isn’t just the teaching profession that has been affected. Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed that MPs are to be given lessons on woke language and history by consultants who declared the words ‘lady’ and ‘pensioner’ to be offensive.

Recently, too, BBC staff were instructed to take a day’s paid leave to ‘educate’ themselves on diversity, inclusion and Critical Race Theory.

Kerris Bright, chief customer officer and member of the BBC Executive Committee, provided a list of resources for staff, including texts on ‘Whiteness’, ‘The End Of Policing’ and ‘The Urgency Of Intersectionality’.

So much for BBC impartiality.

This kind of knee-jerk response is understandable. Nobody in a civilised society approves of racism, or would tolerate it in the workplace. But the unthinking application of Critical Race Theory is having the unintended consequence of making our society more racist, not less.

Healthy working relationships are being corrupted by an insistence that race should be at the forefront of every discussion.

Theories that should have remained in the realm of academia have escaped into the mainstream, like a virus from a poorly secured laboratory.

Many will be surprised to hear about the extent to which these pseudo-academic ideas have spread to schools, but this focus on the young hasn’t come out of nowhere. For years, social-justice activists have understood that the indoctrination of children is the best way to ensure that their orthodoxies are embedded in society.

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote that ‘there is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five’. He was right. This explains why the genre of woke children’s literature is thriving.

Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide To Gender Identity, by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, aimed at three-year-olds and over, takes readers through the multiplicity of fashionable new identities, such as ‘genderqueer, non-binary, bigender, neutrois and two-spirit’. (‘Neutrois’ refers to a gender identity that is neutral or null. ‘Two-spirit’ refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit.)

Children from a very early age are being taught that the whole concept of gender is a total fiction, despite it being the most essential aspect of their existence.

No wonder so many of the young generation are confused.

Other recent bestselling woke children’s books include Feminist Baby, by Loryn Brantz, Antiracist Baby, by Ibram X Kendi, and The Little Girl Who Gave Zero F*cks, by Amy Kean.

Afua Hirsch, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper, has penned a paean to Supreme Court judge Lady Hale, whose controversial ruling on Brexit delivered a devastating blow to Boris Johnson’s Government.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the book appeared to be ‘deliberate propaganda to bend the minds of children’ – which was, of course, the whole point.

With children’s authors, headteachers, politicians, many sections of the media, HR departments and the managerial class almost universally on board with these divisive ideas, it will prove difficult to undo the damage.

And now that this ideology is irrevocably embedded in school curricula and distorting young minds, the matter has taken on an even greater urgency.

Increasingly, parents are seeing for themselves the results of this sudden politicisation of the classroom. They may even find that they are having to deradicalise their own children after school hours, and explain to them why the lessons they have learnt from their teachers are so wrong-headed.

It will not be easy to challenge this trend and re-establish the primacy of liberal values and the dream of Martin Luther King.

But for the sake of the next generation, we have an obligation to try.


Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia were last night sung by a choir at the Last Night of the Proms following furious backlash over the lyrics being pulled due to 'imperialist ties.'

The BBC previously said the controversial British anthems would be performed without lyrics at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but made a dramatic U-turn following a heated debate over the decision.

A reduced orchestra of 65 rather than the usual 300 performed live at the venue on Saturday – but without an audience due to coronavirus restrictions – with the singers placed in the stalls to ensure social distancing.

The highly-anticipated concert featured South African soprano Golda Schultz, 36, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under its principal guest conductor Dalia Stasevska.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti stepped in to perform during The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams after Lisa Batiashvili pulled out due to illness.

South African soprano Golda Schultz, 36, was the featured soprano in the Last Night of the Proms.

The vocalist trained at New York’s Juilliard School and Bayerische Staatsoper’s Opernstudio in Bavaria.

She was a journalism major at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa when she took her first music elective and became immersed in the art.

Her debuts include critically acclaimed performances at the 2012 Bayerische Staatsoper, the 2015 Salzburger Festspiele  and the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival.

She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2017-18 season as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte under the lead of James Levine.

Introducing the show, host Katie Derham said: 'Our orchestra, singers and some very special guests are standing by for an evening of classical treats, show songs and all your traditional favourites.'

The show was screened in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to a socially distanced audience of hundreds.

The original plan would have seen the traditional pieces, seen by some as controversial because of their perceived ties to imperialism, performed without lyrics.

But a decision was made to include lyrics performed by a 'select group of BBC singers' - after the MailOnline petitioned for the songs to be included.

Some of the lyrics deemed controversial include the Rule, Britannia lines: 'Britons never, never, never shall be slaves', and: 'The nations, not so blest as thee / Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall / While thou shalt flourish great and free: The dread and envy of them all.'

Ms Stasevska, the conductor, spoke out amid the controversy to say she played no role in the decision to strip the pieces of lyrics.

The BBC Proms later said that 'both pieces will now include a select group of BBC singers. 'This means the words will be sung in the hall, and as we have always made clear, audiences will be free to sing along at home.

'While it can't be a full choir, and we are unable to have audiences in the hall, we are doing everything possible to make it special and want a Last Night truly to remember,' the broadcaster added.

'We hope everyone will welcome this solution. We think the night itself will be a very special moment for the country – and one that is much needed after a difficult period for everyone.'

The BBC's initial decision to play instrumental versions of the anthems prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to weigh in on the debate, insisting 'it's time we stopped out cringing embarrassment about our history.'

BBC sources cited in the Sunday Times claimed Dalia Stasevska, 35, was one of those keen to 'modernise' the event and reduce the patriotic elements involved.

Ms Stasevska, who has voiced her support for Black Lives Matter, was swept up in controversy following reports that she had concerns about the words to Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.

But Ms Stasevska has now spoken out in a statement, issued on her behalf by management company HarrisonParrott, insisting she had no part in the BBC's decision to not have the patriotic anthems sung.

She said: 'I am so honoured to be part of this year's BBC Proms and its iconic Last Night. 'I understand its prominence in the UK classical music calendar and wider cultural landscape. It is incredibly exciting to be part of an event with such long-standing tradition. 'It is testament to the unfailing work and commitment of the organisers that the Proms can proceed at all this year.

'However, in recent days there has been a good deal of inaccurate speculation about my role in determining the format of this year's Last Night Of The Proms.

'This false speculation has led to abuse and threats towards me and my family which is why I am speaking out.

'For the record I have played no role in deciding the traditional elements of the programme, I recognise these are an important part of the event.'

After the U-turn, Downing Street told the BBC the Prime Minister 'welcomes the decision' to include lyrics during the Last Night performances of the two anthems.

Mr Johnson later added: 'I do think this country is going through an orgy of national embarrassment about some of the things that other people around the world love most about us.

'People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections. It's crazy for us to go around trying to censor it. 'It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history.'

BBC insiders had also criticised the corporation's initial decision to only include instrumental versions of Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia following the furious racism row.

A source told The Times the BBC's handling of the programme at times felt like 'white guys in a panic' trying to appease the Black Lives Matter movement because of the songs' apparent links to colonialism and slavery.

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant added: 'I think it's all very sad, there are some lovely words in Rule Britannia, it's not all about Britain not being slaves.

'You've got "other nations not so blessed as thee must in their turn to tyrants fall while thou shalt flourish great and free". Isn't that lovely?

'It was written in 1740. What was happening then? There was the War of Austrian Succession in which Britain was involved but it was also a time when the British allowed nationality to Jews and Huguenots overseas, so Britain was a great Liberal, trading nation.

'The National Anthem will be sung and Jerusalem will be sung so it seems like they are trying to pick out just these two songs. Confident, forward-looking nations do not erase their history, they add to it.

'And Britain's history is not all bad, we abolished slavery in 1807, more than 50 years before America got round to it, so that is something we could be proud. I can live with that [songs being sung by one person].

'When you hear some of these opera singers belting it out I don't think you'd say it's a thin voice. Let's just have one voice singing these songs loudly, why not? It's a tradition and it's a beautiful tune.'


Hollywood Decides It’s Not Woke Enough, Sets Oscars Diversity Quotas

Since Hollywood apparently isn’t woke enough already, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that it will add hard diversity requirements for movies to qualify for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Best Picture is considered the highest-level award a film can receive.

As Kyle Smith wrote in the New York Post, the move is essentially the academy “announcing it was formally rejecting the pursuit of artistic quality in favor of a byzantine quota system.”

The requirements are extensive, though they can be achieved through a variety of means.

One lead or significant actor in the movie must be from a list of “underrepresented” racial or ethnic groups.

Or at least 30% of secondary actors must be from a list of “underrepresented” groups, including women, “LGBTQ+,” or disabled people.

Or the storyline of the movie must be about one of the listed underrepresented groups.

The requirements also include a diversity quota for department heads and technical jobs relating to the movie, and an “audience development” requirement, again geared toward that list of underrepresented groups.

You can read the entire list of requirements here. The rules are set to take effect in 2024.

Anyone who has paid even the slightest attention to the Oscars in recent years—an increasingly small and no doubt further shrinking group—would have little illusion about the fact that the awards are already heavily biased toward wokeness.

The Oscars awards ceremony typically includes a heavy dose of left-wing lecturing. Modern Hollywood, aside from a few, mostly underground corridors, is hardly a place of diverse intellectual thought.

But after the “#OscarsSoWhite” Twitter barrage in 2015, it seems that Hollywood is absolutely desperate to signal to the world that wokeness shall henceforth be mandatory.

Forcing artists to adhere to a prescribed list of politically correct actions and ideas in the name of diversity is a blow to art and a sure way to water down and sully the work even of the people belonging to the underrepresented groups they seek to promote.

Will it now be impossible for a historical film to win the Best Picture Oscar without distorting the truth or engaging in absurdity to reach the minimum quota?

It’s notable that a historical movie like “1917,” about two British soldiers fighting in World War I, might struggle to meet the Oscars’ code, but “Cuties,”  a Netflix movie that sexualizes children with a racially diverse cast of girls, easily qualifies.

Such is the moral spectrum of our global cultural elite, it seems.

David Sims, a staff writer for The Atlantic, suggested that there are so many ways for studios to comply with the new rules that there is simply “no excuse” not to follow them.

“The academy has introduced a new standard of accountability in an industry where financial success—which can be boosted by a Best Picture win—is the only real yardstick by which everything is measured,” Sims wrote. “The Oscar rules themselves may not be rigorous, but they’re Hollywood’s latest concrete step toward what could be significant change.”

Of course, it’s easy to see how studios may cleverly hit the bare minimum requirements by adding pointless scenes, fulfilling most requirements off-screen, or using other gimmicks to make sure the quotas are met.

If that’s the case, will the standards then become more extensive and draconian?

The bottom line is, a checklist quota system is terrible for the art of filmmaking.

It amounts to little more than virtue signaling, another example of how America’s most elite cultural institutions all drink from the same poison of critical race theory and identity politics that was once confined to radical circles in academia.

And in many respects, it’s outright insulting to talented actors, who now must wonder if they are simply being used to fulfill the quotas.

On top of that, the monomaniacal obsession with race and gender will further diminish the universality of great art and will further silo Americans into various groups, rather than help us understand our common humanity and human nature.

If there’s a silver lining to the Oscars’ forthcoming quotas, perhaps it will further loosen Hollywood’s grip on America’s cultural imagination and lead to a rebellion against the ideologically calcified, increasingly predictable wokeness we’ve become so accustomed to from La La Land.



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, 2020 

Liberal Journalist Goes to Border to See if Trump Is Right, What He Finds Out Shocks Everyone

Liberals are going to flip out when they see this story- hell, they flip out when they see anything I write and that makes me very happy!

It turns out that most people at the border WANT Trump’s wall built! That’s right folks, and these aren’t just Republicans! “Hispanic, Anglo, Democratic, Republican, uncommitted, clueless, whatever- they want the WALL!

Esquire sent a journalist to Texas with orders to survey the people living along the border and ask them what they think needs to be done to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, Mike Opelka at TheBlaze reports.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jay Fielden, recently appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to explain what happened when Esquire sent what host Joe Scarborough referred to as a “liberal journalist” to the Texas-Mexico border. Fielden said he instructed the reporter to “go down there with no preconceived notions, just an empty notebook.”

Fielden, a former Texan, explained the assignment was to drive or walk the 800-mile border and “talk to whoever you see and let them tell us what’s really going on and whether we need a wall,” he told Scarborough and his panel.

“They said, ‘Build the wall,’” Fielden said, adding, “Most of those Hispanics are first-generation and they see it as unfair,” he said. “I think they feel, as one guy said, ‘Get in line.’”

“Most of those Hispanics are first-generation and they see it as unfair, that they came over the legal way, became citizens, and now they’re having to compete for jobs with those coming across the border on a daily basis,” explained Fielden.

So there you go! We will NEVER have a secure border if Hillary becomes president. But we will have the biggest wall and our Border Patrol will have the state of the art equipment and the green light to deport these illegals when Trump becomes president!

The solution is simple- Elect TRUMP!


“Systemic racism” is emotional semantics

“Systemic racism” and its semantic cohort “white supremacy” are very emotional names for numbers we don’t know how to change, but we are trying. Nor are these hyperbolic concepts new. They were popular fifty years ago and coined earlier than that. Despite their sound, they do not imply that people are racist.

When you look at how these terms are used, they invariably refer to unhappy statistics. The typical case is one where the fraction for a specific racial minority is either much higher or much lower than it is for whites. The fraction of blacks in the prison population for example, or among the homeless, is much higher than in the general population. The fraction in executive positions is considerably lower in many industries.

The numbers are well known and there have been many programs to try to change them. The bad numbers for minorities are called systemic racism. The corresponding good numbers for whites are derisively called white supremacy. This is hyperbolic semantics, not science. There is nothing new here excepts the names and the anger they evoke.

Note too that these problems do not exist because people are racist. They are system problems that reflect system features. That these problems can be easily made to go away is far from clear, given that we have been working on them for many years.

Systemic racism is also called institutional racism. Wikipedia has a long article, with lots of history, here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism

For example, the slogan “Defund the police” has a long history and can mean a wide variety of changes. It is not a call for specific action. Nor is it necessarily an accusation of individual racism in police departments. The basic idea is that funding social programs will supposedly do more to reduce crime than the presence of a police department does. There is a similar theory regarding prisons. Calling this racism is misleading at best; it is actually meaningless.

For some history, see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defund_the_police

Kamala Harris talks constantly about so-called systemic racial injustices, but never says what this nebulous term means. Ironically some of the popular complaints that fall under this term involve systems she has been a leader in, especially the criminal justice system. Does ex-prosecutor Harris think we should defund the prosecutors?

All we really have are these unhappy numbers, plus a lot of programs that did not work, followed by even more untested theories about why the numbers exist and what to do about them. They do not require that anyone is a racist, because these numbers may not be due to deliberate racially motivated actions.

Marching and shouting are not solutions. They are not even calls for action, although the marchers and shouters may not know this. They probably do not know about all the research, all the programs, and the myriad proposals for new programs that already exist. Saying angrily that things have to change is not a step forward. It may even be a step backward, if it leads to more confusion.

In particular, the Democrats have not announced any surprising new plans here. They, and Kamala Harris in particular, are just shouting “systemic racism” to try to get votes. They have no new plans to end these unhappy numbers. This is a cruel hoax indeed.


The Trouble With Marxism

Marx even hated his own mother

Among the many questions I’ve received in doing interviews about my new book, “The Devil and Karl Marx,” one has been particularly interesting and unexpected: What does Marx have to do with today’s statue movement? That is, the movement storming streets and towns with chains and spray paint vandalizing and tearing down statues.

Those targeted are, of course, no longer just statues of Confederate generals; we’re way beyond that. They now include Union generals who defeated the Confederacy (i.e., Ulysses S. Grant), no less than Abraham Lincoln, even black abolitionist Frederick Douglass (try to figure out that one), and everyone from Washington and Jefferson to Francis Scott Key and Teddy Roosevelt.

They go as far back as Christopher Columbus and Saint Louis and Saint Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions. They’d rip down Mt. Rushmore if they could. And if you haven’t noticed, even churches have come under attack, with statues of Jesus Christ and his mother hacked and desecrated.

What do these figures have to do with George Floyd or police reform? Well, obviously, nothing. They represent a tearing at the very fabric of our nation, culture, and its social and political order. They strike at the root of this country’s Judeo-Christian foundation. They literally seek to tear down.

And alas, it’s there that the comparison to Karl Marx is apt, regardless of whether those tearing down could even spell the words “Communist Manifesto.”

The goal of Marx and the Marxist project from the outset was one of fundamental transformation, of pursuing permanent revolution and unrestrained criticism of everything. Marx’s ideas were so radical, and so (as Marx openly conceded) “contrary to the nature of things,” that they inevitably raze the foundation.

Marx, in the “Manifesto,” said that communism represents “the most radical rupture in traditional relations.” It seeks to “abolish the present state of things.” No small task. In a remarkable statement, he said that communists “openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” Chew that one over. Marx closed the “Manifesto” with, “Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.”

In a letter to his friend Arnold Ruge, Marx called for the “ruthless criticism of all that exists.” Imagine.

Marx was particularly fond of a line from Mephistopheles in Goethe’s “Faust”: “Everything that exists deserves to perish.” If you know what Goethe’s “Faust” was about, and who Mephistopheles was (a devil/demon), then you know that’s a rather chilling thought from Marx.

Marx—in his essay declaring religion the “opium of the people,” the “heart of a heartless world,” and the “soul of soulless conditions”—said that “the criticism of religion is the beginning of all criticism.” In that essay, he used the word “criticism” 29 times.

Beyond ruthless criticism for Marx, there was ruthless abolition. The word “abolition” is omnipresent in his writings.

As Marx biographer Robert Payne noted, the word almost seems to jump off every page of the “Manifesto.” “And after he has ‘abolished’ property, family, and nations, and all existing societies, Marx shows little interest in creating a new society on the ruins of the old,” observed Payne. “He had written in a poem to Jenny [his future wife] that he would throw a gauntlet at the world, and watch it crumble. Comforted by her love, he would wander through the kingdom of ruins, his words glowing with action, his heart like the heart of God. The ‘Communist Manifesto’ was the gauntlet he threw at the world.”

It was indeed. And it wasn’t merely the “Manifesto.” A key focus of my book is Marx’s genuinely hellacious poetry and plays, which display a savage obsession with the dark side. He wrote of suicide pacts, pacts with the devil, “Hellish vapors,” of the “Prince of Darkness” selling a “blood-dark sword [that] shall stab unerringly within thy soul,” of “Heaven I’ve forfeited, I know it full well, My soul, once true to God, Is Chosen for Hell,” and of violence, vengeance, flames, rage, death, despair, and destruction.

Epoch Times Photo
“The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration” by Paul Kengor. (Tan Books)
In one of his most unsettling writings, a play called “Oulanem,” which two Marx biographers (Robert Payne and Richard Wurmbrand) say is a sacrilegious inversion of the holy name “Manuelo” or “Emmanuel,” the principal character, who serves as a sort of mock Creator, rises and declares of the world: “I shall howl gigantic curses at mankind” and “I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses.”

Payne, who was a respected British professor of literature, interpreted it this way: “Oulanem was Marx as judge and executioner.”

Marx’s defenders want to frame the likes of Lenin and Stalin and other tyrants as aberrations of Marxism, as the nasty totalitarians seeking to annihilate the old order. In fact, they were merely following Marx, the ultimate revolutionary and rebel. Marx wanted to burn down the house long before Lenin and Stalin were even born.

In an interview with Dennis Prager regarding “The Devil and Karl Marx,” Prager kept coming back to those lines from Marx in my book. Lines such as, “Everything that exists deserves to perish.” He told me, “It’s just pure nihilism.”

It is indeed.

And again, not a single revolutionary standing with torches aside a statue in this or that town need quote Karl Marx in the process. They need not be a Marxist. Marx, however, would approve of them in this sense: As he said at the close of the “Manifesto,” communists support “every revolutionary movement” that goes against the existing social and political order.

So long as today’s revolutionaries are seeking that purpose, Marx would surely approve. They exhibit, whether they know it or not, common cause with Marx’s desire to tear down.


Tracing the dangerous rise and rise of woke warriors

At last comes an attempt to explain the extraordinary origins of the cultural revolution of our times — the onslaught against the liberal order by woke crusaders waging a zero-sum struggle in the cause of racial, sexual, gender, disability and other identities across our institutions.

For many Australians the new culture seems to have erupted from outside their experience — almost from another planet — yet its momentum is immense and it is winning acceptance among leaders, public servants, corporations, schools, not-for-profits and most notably in our universities.

What is the meaning of this cultural revolution? Where did it come from?

Like all revolutions it began with a body of ideas that fermented over decades, but there is no doubting the purpose of these ideas — the dismantling of universal liberalism based on respect for each person regardless of identity. On display in Australia, North America and Britain is a common occurrence in history, where in good faith influential leaders and institutional decision-makers are implementing policies without understanding their origins or ultimate purpose as propounded by their intellectual originators.

This is where Helen Pluckrose, a liberal political and cultural writer living in England, and James A. Lindsay, a mathematician and founder of New Discourses, based in Tennessee, come into the picture. They were two of three authors of the Grievance Studies Hoax from 2017 where they submitted bogus and absurd papers to academic journals and were published.

Their aim was to expose the intellectual bankruptcy underpinning the cultural revolution and how far its woke crusaders had departed from science, reason and genuine scholarship. This now becomes a bigger, more serious project, with their book Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender and Identity — and Why This Harms Everybody, published in the US and released in Australia next week.

“The progressive left has aligned itself not with Modernity but with postmodernism which rejects objective truth as a fantasy dreamed up by naive and/or arrogantly bigoted Enlightenment thinkers,” they argue. “Postmodernism has, depending upon your view, either become or given rise to one of the least tolerant and most authoritarian ideologies that the world has had to deal with since the widespread decline of communism and the collapse of white supremacy and colonialism.”

Harvard University’s Steven Pinker, psychologist and public intellectual, said of the book that it “exposes the surprisingly shallow intellectual roots of the movements that appear to be engulfing our culture”. This book is not for the faint-hearted. It seeks to explain where these ideas came from. It should be read by every institutional leader and executive so they understand the ideological goals that lie beneath the policies they are implementing.

The authors trace the academic origins and evolution of each element in the intellectual revolution: postcolonial theory, queer theory, critical race theory and intersectionality, disability and fat studies, and social justice scholarship and thought. The central organising principle of the revolution assumes that humans are defined by a series of identities and that “every interaction, utterance and cultural artefact” slots into a power dynamic where everybody is the oppressed or an oppressor.

Their thesis is the revolution has its origins in postmodernism from the 1960s that saw the individual as a product of culturally constructed knowledge. From this point, there were two leaps forward — the second phase (roughly 1990 to 2010) when the ideas began to be applied and the decisive third phase (from 2010) when Social Justice Theory was asserted as a body of fundamental truth.

The authors say: “Theory has become increasingly confident and clear about its beliefs and goals. We can see its impact on the world in their attacks on science and reason.” The result is a “complete conviction that knowledge is constructed in the service of power which is rooted in identity”.

They write: “Therefore, in Social Justice scholarship, we continually read that patriarchy, white supremacy, imperialism, cisnormativity, heteronormativity, ableism and fatphobia are literally structuring society and infecting everything. They exist in a state of immanence — present always and everywhere, just beneath a nicer-seeming surface that can’t quite contain them.”

Society is seen as simplistically divided into dominant and marginalised identities. But there is one identity largely missing — economic class. It is barely mentioned unless tied into another identity or “intersectionality”. It is, therefore, the authors say, “no surprise that many working class and poor people often feel profoundly alienated from today’s left”.

The cultural revolution is seen by many old-fashioned Marxists as a bourgeois idea. There is one certainty — the more progressives accept this identity-based revolution driven by upper-middle-class scholars and activists, the more the centre-left of politics will splinter.

The foundation of Social Justice scholarship is concern “with what is said, what is believed, what is assumed, what is taught, what is conveyed and what biases are imported”. This means the lived experiences, the emotions and cultural traditions of minority groups must be recognised as “knowledges” and gain status or superiority over reason and evidence-based knowledge.

The authors say: “We find ourselves faced with the continuing dismantlement of categories like knowledge and belief, reason and emotion, and men and women, and with increasing pressures to censor our language in accordance with The Truth According to Social Justice.”

Their chapter on race captures the dilemma. Through the work of many academics Critical Race Theory has developed, arising from the idea of “positionality” — that one’s position in society as determined by group identity dictates how one understands the world and is understood by the world. Hence the dictum that “racism is ordinary, not aberrational” and is the “everyday experience of people of colour” and that “racism is present everywhere and always”.

Pluckrose and Lindsay write of the consequences of Critical Race Theory: “We are told that racism is embedded in culture and that we cannot escape it. We hear that white people are inherently racist. We are told that racism is ‘prejudice plus power’, therefore, only white people can be racist. We are informed that only people of colour can talk about racism, that white people need to just listen.

“We hear that not seeing people in terms of their race (being colour-blind) is, in fact, racist and an attempt to ignore the pervasive racism that dominates society and perpetuates white privilege.”

The influential reader Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic says the Theory “tries not only to understand our social situation but to change it”. The scholarship has its mission of social transformation. Racism, of course, does exist. Where it exists, it is a scourge on society.

But to the extent that Critical Race Theory prevails — to the extent that universities, bureaucracies, institutions and decision-makers accept this doctrine — then examples of racism will expand indefinitely since this is what the Theory dictates. The Theory asks not “Did racism occur?” but rather “How did racism manifest in that situation?” Once this becomes the question, then all organisations are vulnerable to racism accusations.

Because racism is everywhere — from football to business to the arts — Theory demands the task is to reveal its endless forms, and a new layer of managers and inclusion officials are appointed to institutions around the country to do just that.

The upshot is obvious: Australia along with other nations is seen as a more racist country. As Critical Race Theory takes hold, this trend will only intensify. Any individual who fights against the Theory is deemed by the Theory to be racist anyway and will be condemned as racist by activists or the diversity police.

Social Justice Theory, therefore, in the contemporary sense has broken decisively from the various human rights and civil rights campaigns of the 1960s whose aim was to remove discrimination and bigotry and seek to enshrine all individuals in the liberal order. It is easy to assert the failure of this goal but equally easy to overlook the progress that has been made.

Central to the authors’ thesis is the pivotal distinction between Social Justice Theory and genuine social justice as a legitimate philosophy seeking a fairer social order. Many well-intentioned people give up resisting Social Justice Theory fearing they will be branded and punished since it is not easy to defend universal liberal respect for all individuals against those pressing identity politics and claiming to represent social justice. Many liberals, having never before faced these arguments, are incapable of resisting the tide.

The authors examine the impact of Kimberle Crenshaw, the prime architect of intersectionality, the idea that people can be marginalised in multiple ways — by gender, race, sex and other dimensions — seeing her 1991 essay Mapping the Margins as a turning point in elevating identity politics over liberal universalism.

Writing nearly 30 years ago, Crenshaw saw identity politics “as a source of strength” for African-Americans, gays and lesbians but recognised it was “in tension with dominant conceptions of social justice”. The authors see intersectionality as “the seed that would germinate as Social Justice scholarship some 20 years later”.

They say it “does the same thing over and over again: look for the power imbalances, bigotry and biases that it assumes must be present” and assumes that, in every situation, some form of theoretical prejudice exists. In this sense liberal individualism — treating people the same regardless of identity — is seen as “at best, a naivety about the reality of a deeply prejudiced society and at worst, a wilful refusal to acknowledge that we live in that kind of society”.

One of the myths the authors tackle is the frequent claim that individuals who lose their jobs or standing because of woke doctrines represent only a minor problem for society. Many people ask: it’s no big deal, why are we getting so excited? The answer, the authors point out, is that while less than 10 per cent of the population probably espouse these theories, such ideas are becoming dominant across institutions. People leave universities as believers in Social Justice Theory and move into the public and private sectors becoming part of the mission statements of institutions pledging to change their organisational culture. Referring to the situation in Britain, the authors say equity, diversity and inclusion officers are spreading nearly everywhere — schools and universities, the police, large private sector companies, the civil service and local authorities. In Britain “more than 50 per cent of universities restrict speech especially certain views of religion and trans identity”.

Indeed, once universities open the door to Social Justice scholarship and ethics they “completely displace reliable and rigorous scholarship into issues of social justice by condemning all other approaches as complicit with systemic bigotry and thus unthinkable — or, in practice, unpublishable and punishable”.

In a remark relevant to Australia the authors made the general comment: “It is perhaps not surprising that large corporations have caved in so easily to Social Justice pressure. Their overriding goal is, after all, to make money, not to uphold liberal values.” Since most consumers and voters in Western countries support the general idea of social justice — and don’t know the difference between social justice and Social Justice Theory — submission is the easier route.

Meanwhile social justice activists are astute in targeting cultural opinion leaders, often from the left, seeking their compliance; witness incidents involving Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Matt Damon, Martina Navratilova and J K Rowling.

The future is already here: jobs being filled on the basis of identity, indeed, even being advertised on the basis of identity; demands that actors play characters only from their own identity group; writers being forbidden to “speak into” the oppression of others; and just this week, from Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts defined content rules for films — story content must reflect and feature under-represented groups based on identity politics — so expect more pressure on books, movies, plays and paintings.

The authors, aware they will face a ferocious backlash, make clear they believe in gender, racial and LGBT equality. Nor do they seek to attack universities and scholarship in general. But they offer a devastating indictment of Social Justice Theory.

Indeed, it is guaranteed to accentuate a backlash from right-wing populists. The Theory is getting traction now when times are tough, when liberalism and democracy seem tired — and there is truth enough in this. The power of Social Justice Theory is that it derives from an interpretation of human nature and a theory of society. Radical new ideas appeal, that’s part of the human condition. They always have, but as the authors say, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Humans are susceptible to utopianism, a big theory that looks good on paper, even if it is authoritarian, fundamentalist and hostile to human nature. The authors say bad theories look good on paper and terrible in practice, witness communism. Yet the journey to such realisation is often decades long. The authors call Social Justice “a nice-looking Theory that, once put into practice, will fail and which could do tremendous damage in the process”. Their central message shines through the book: “Postmodern Theory and liberalism do not merely exist in tension: they are almost directly at odds with one another.”

How long before this central truth is recognised?



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, 2020 

Rich kid Arrested for Rioting

Eight Black Lives Matter rioters were arrested on Saturday for causing roughly $100,000 in damages to businesses in New York City. The damage came during a protest organized by the groups known as the “New Afrikan Black Panther Party” and the “Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement.” They all face charges of rioting and possession of graffiti instruments. One faces two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

One of the arrested, 20-year-old Clara Kraebber, is a wealthy Rice University student. In fact, her father is a professor with the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. Her mother owns an architect firm in Manhattan that has worked on projects at Columbia and NYU.

Her family is so wealthy that a few years ago they purchased a $1.8 million apartment in the Upper East Side. They also own a second home in Connecticut.

Who better to hit the streets and demand societal change than a rich kid who knows nothing about struggling? Law enforcement officers seemed to have the same opinion.

"I wonder how her rich parents feel about their daughter. How would they feel if they graffitied their townhouse? This girl should be the poster child for white privilege, growing up on the Upper East Side and another home in Connecticut," a law enforcement source told the New York Post. "This is the height of hypocrisy."

The real kicker, however, is that Kraebber worked for Beto O'Rourke's failed senate campaign in 2018, when he attempted to oust Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). She also donated $121 to the Rice Young Democrats PAC, Fox News reported.

The damage these people caused has harmed those who are simply trying to do their job.

"It's disheartening," Jason Liang, a worker in one of the damaged buildings told NBC New York. "You have the right to do whatever you want, but why do you have to hurt other people's property?"


Angry Muslim Confronts Cashier For Wearing U.S. Flag… What Happened Next Had Store Cheering

As a soldier stood in line at a California grocery store, a Muslim woman wearing a burka confronted the store’s cashier about their American flag lapel pin, and everyone in the store heard it. But a man standing behind the soldier wasn’t having any of it, and by the time he finished, the entire store was cheering.

A man named Hunter Green recounted the outstanding story on his Facebook wall, telling about how his son had gone to California and encountered many different people, most of whom thanked him for his service and fighting to protect not only our freedoms, but the freedom of others as well. But one incident at a grocery store, as he headed back to base, stuck in his mind. That’s when a Muslim woman dressed in a burka had some not nice things to say about our country and the flag that represents it.

Here is his Facebook post!

Hunter Green:

One of my sons serves in the military. He is still stateside, here in California. He called me yesterday to let me know how warm and welcoming people were to him and his troops everywhere he goes, telling me how people shake their hands and thank them for being willing to serve and fight for not only our own freedoms, but so that others may have them also.

But he also told me about an incident in the grocery store, as he stopped at yesterday on his way home from the base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burkha.

He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the U.S. flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock. The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly, “Yes, I always wear it and probably always will.”

The woman in the burkha then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

A gentleman standing behind my son stepped forward.

Putting his arm around my son’s shoulders and nodding towards my son, he said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman:

“Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn’t need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly, I’ll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are obviously here in MY country to avoid.”

Everyone within hearing distance cheered!

Now that was awesome! Unfortunately, these people come to our country and they don’t even like it here. They want to change our country into the hellhole they came here from. It makes no sense.


Cringeworthy Study Debunked: There Was No 'Sturgis Superspreader' COVID-19 Event

A recent study claimed that the annual motorcycle rally held last month in Sturgis, South Dakota was a “superspreader event” infecting more than half of the 460,000 attendees at a cost of $12 billion to our public health institutions.

The Sturgis event happened, in that same wonderfully crazy way that the Sturgis rally always happens.

The “Sturgis superspreader” event did not happen. Not even a little.

In a report titled “IZA DP No. 13670: The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19,” claimed that “large crowds, coupled with minimal mask-wearing and social distancing by attendees” turned the rally into a “superspreader” infecting 260,000 people.

Authors Dhaval M. Dave, Andrew I. Friedson, Drew McNichols, and Joseph J. Sabia concluded that “the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated public health costs of approximately $12.2 billion.”

The public health risks of Sturgis were so rigorously studied by the authors that “no medical journal would touch it,” as bestselling author and public health writer Alex Berenson noted on Tuesday. Instead, the report was posted on the website of the obscure Insitute of Labor Economics, a leftwing German thinktank.

Our infotainment industry — formerly known as “the mainstream media,” and prior to that as “the news business” — went bonkers over the claim.

The Hill — formerly a respectable Washington-based publication — breathlessly ran the study’s claims as though they were undisputed by anyone without a political agenda. Reporter J. Edward Moreno briefly quoted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) at the end of the piece, but that was it for “balance.” Instead, we got steno-pool quality reporting like this:

Based on the increase in case count, the researchers group, estimated that cases connected to the gathering resulted in $12 billion in public health costs, not including the costs associated with any deaths that might be tied to cases from the event. That dollar amount is based on another estimation that an average of $46,000 is spent on each patient who tests positive for COVID-19.

If you’re a reporter reporting on health issues and you didn’t take those claims with a grain of salt, or without at least quoting actual experts in the fields of infectious disease and public health, maybe you ought not to report on health issues.

For starters, the authors of the study made outrageous claims about the cost to treat a typical COVID-19 case, particularly asymptomatic cases.

COVID-19 doesn't cost this much. The typical cost for an asymptomatic case is probably close to zero, since most asymptomatic COVID-19 sufferers have no idea that they’re sick.

How many people actually suffered a death attributed to COVID-19 following Sturgis?


Other infotainment outlets that fell for this rotten study include the usual suspects, and to date not one has issued a retraction or correction that I could find.

I could go on, but I’m on a deadline. Also, I’d just like to add that it’s always the major infotainment outlets and the left-wing trolls in PJ Media’s comments section who accuse bloggers of writing nothing but clickbait.

In reality, the media prefers to spread COVID-19 panic and disinformation.

That’s why for the most part they didn’t apply a critical eye to a study that was ridiculous on the face of it. As Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown noted earlier on Wednesday:

According to South Dakota health officials, 124 new cases in the state—including one fatal case—were directly linked to the rally. Overall, COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis rally were reported in 11 states as of September 2, to a tune of at least 260 new cases, according to The Washington Post.

If I’ve done my math right — and I have — the breathlessly repeated, non-medical, non-factual “study” was off by three orders of magnitude.

That is what actual scientists call “a whole lot of wrong.”


Racist public broadcaster in Australia

The nation’s publicly-funded broadcaster has listed a job for a full-time producer of news and states the vacancy is “open only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants”.

An Anglo female journalist aged in her 30s, who did not wish to be named but is looking for work, was shocked when she discovered she was unable to apply for the position due.

“The ABC producer job came up in my LinkedIn notifications and I immediately got excited because it’s exactly the type of role I’ve been looking for,” she said.

“I got such a shock when I realised I couldn’t actually apply, because I’m a white woman.”

“It’s so disheartening at a time when jobs in journalism are hard to find,” the woman said.

It comes after a recent study of television news and current affairs by Media Diversity Australia found presenters, commentators and reporters on Australian television were predominantly from an Anglo-Celtic background.

The Institute of Public Affairs of Australia’s director of communications Evan Mulholland said the race-specific advertisement was “outrageous”. “The ABC have decided to enforce divisive-identity politics into its hiring process,” he said.

“Rather than seeing mainstream Australia has a unified nation, the ABC is deliberately segmenting and dividing our community into categories. “It is no wonder the ABC removed the words “us” and “our values” in their editorial guidelines.”

The full-time position is based in Sydney and on the listing it said the “ABC’s a great place to work”.

“We provide various opportunities for Indigenous staff including attention the national Indigenous staff conferences, activities during NAIDOC week, regular networking events and mentoring support,” it said.

Mr Mulholland said Australians have “had a gutful of this divisive identity politics”.

An ABC spokesman said under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act the broadcaster is required to “develop a program to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunity including for women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”. [unequal = equal??]



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, 2020 

Here's What Violent Protesters Should Know About the Death of Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude, who was naked, bleeding from cut glass, and high on PCP when he was arrested by police in Rochester, New York around 3 a.m. local time on the near-freezing night of March 23rd, was pronounced dead seven days later in a nearby hospital. It's not the ideal allegation of police brutality, but Black Lives Matters activists are running with it nonetheless.

A protest over Prude's death, fueled by recently-released bodycam footage, turned violent in New York Thursday night and early Friday morning, with two officers reportedly injured and eight suspects arrested in a protest marked by arson, vandalism, and looting.

In March, Police received reports of a man, matching Daniel Prude's description, breaking a window in the nearby area. Prude's own brother, Joe, called 911 for help, telling police that Prude was acting suicidal and had thrown himself "head first" down 21-flights of stairs. Joe was also worried that his brother may have jumped in front of a train.

Bodycam footage of the 41-year-old's arrest was recently released, showing officers placing a spit shield over Prude's head. Prude had refused to stop spitting and told officers he had the coronavirus.

After Prude demanded officers give him a gun, threatened to "kill everybody in that house" and defiantly stood up from the ground, officers restrained the high, erratic, and apparently homicidal Prude by lowering him back to a prone position, where an individual is much less likely to harm himself and others.

When paramedics arrived on scene, one paramedic told officers that she was giving Prude something to help calm him down. Officers told the paramedic that Prude may be on PCP and stated that he had the coronavirus.

At 3:22 a.m., an officer asks Prude, "You good, man?" When Prude didn't respond, an officer states that Prude is puking "straight water." One minute later, when Prude appears to no longer have chest compressions, the officer instructs others to help roll Prude on to his side. Prude remains unresponsive and appears limp. At 3:24 p.m., after one paramedic shouts to another for help, Prude is turned over and administered CPR. Prude's cuffs are removed and the suspect is placed on a gurney.

According to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by Prude's family lawyers, the Monroe County Medical Examiner ruled Prude's death a homicide, citing complications of PCP intoxication, excited delirium, and asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.

So maybe it's a homicide in the sense that Prude's drug dealer provided him with PCP. But activists are pointing to the cops, who, true, did restrain Prude when he didn't comply, as they do with all suspects who want to break into a house and "kill everybody" inside. But the cops also helped paramedics render assistance when Prude suddenly became unresponsive. Joe is accusing the cops of "lynching" his brother and has called the death a "cold-blooded murder."

Both local and national media have completely mistrusted the facts in the case to support the Black Lives Matter narrative that white cops have once again killed an "unarmed black man" in their custody. As is clear from the bodycam footage, Prude's death is a tragic death alright, but one whose fault lay in the dangerous drug he was on, the suicidal and homicidal behavior it caused, and the deadly effect that drug and past drug abuse may have had on Prude's body.

And it's hard to imagine the police would have acted any differently had Prude been white. If the police didn't restrain Prude, there's no telling how Prude may have harmed himself or others. Joe had called the police because he feared his brother may have been struck by a passing train. Remember, Prude was trying to kill himself and made a statement about killing people inside a home.

"We don't know what to do with him because of that stuff he was on," Joe's wife told an officer after the arrest.

The police are damned if they do and damned if they don't. The media shouldn't be a stooge for the Marxist Black Lives Matter crowd.


Rich White Leftists Encourage Black People to Loot Their Neighborhoods

A hardcover copy of "In Defense of Looting" will run you 21 bucks at Amazon and 28 bucks at Barnes and Noble. That’s just how capitalism works for the distribution and sales of a product from one of the biggest publishing companies in the world that’s part of the Lagardère empire.

Why is the largest publishing company in France pushing what Publishers Weekly called, “a provocative, Marxist-informed defense of looting” to Americans? Because it makes money.

"In Defense of Looting" quickly ended up a major topic of conversation on social media.

And that means Arnaud Lagardère, the head of the French empire that swallowed Little, Brown and Company, adds to his $220 million net worth and keeps the model he married, half his age, in the style she expects at his country estate. So what if a whole bunch of small businesses, many owned by immigrants and black people, get trashed and put out of business.

"In Defense of Looting" was published by Bold Type Books, a Lagardère subsidiary imprint in partnership with what used to be Nation Books. The Nation, a hard lefty magazine, is partly owned by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the daughter of an MCA heiress who was worth over $38 million when she jumped out of her apartment window.

And then there's Vicky Osterweil, the author of “In Defense of Looting”, who graduated magna cum laude from Cornell, where he tried to make his own movie, before moving to Brooklyn to live out the hipster dream of playing in a punk rock band while aspiring to become a novelist.

Two years later he was being profiled in the New York Times attending an Upper East Side party. Such are the hobbies of the worthless dilettante brats of the New Left.

The son of a professor and a producer from a wealthy suburb of Boston, Willie, his original name joined the Park Slope Food Coop, and scribbled terrible movie reviews, “capitalism is built on the bones of the witch, her magic the first threat against capitalist rationalization”, followed by equally terrible leftist screeds for The Paris Review, Jacobin and The Nation. In 2011, he was in Barcelona, taking part in protests there as training for his work on Occupy Wall Street.

Fast forward to the present, Willie had married Sophie Lewis, a British lesbian feminist who has two degrees from Oxford, had translated “Communism for Kids”, and had her own book “Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family”, which attacked the existence of the family. Willie, her new “wusband”, now appeared to be Vicky Osterweil.

The happy young white couple both had major books with radical Marxist premises.

Sophia was calling for the elimination of the family and Vicky was defending looting. And the upscale couple was doing it in the name of destroying capitalism.

"Want to Dismantle Capitalism? Abolish the Family," The Nation headlined a review of her book.

All of this made marriage a little awkward, but there was nothing that couldn’t be overcome.

A splashy Vice profile mentions that at their wedding, instead of vows, the happy couple gave speeches disavowing the institution of marriage and the biological family.

And then they headed to Boston where Willie's mother wanted a more traditional wedding.

You can disavow the institution of marriage, but you’re still going to get married. And you can write a book attacking the existence of the biological family, but when your ‘wusband’s mommy wants a traditional wedding she can invite her friends to, you drop the nonsense and go.

Spending your twenties and thirties deconstructing everything is the luxury of the upper class. It’s the hobby of people who don’t really have jobs or a family depending on them for support. That’s why the deconstruction is fundamentally unserious. After writing a book calling for the abolition of the family, Vicky and Sophia got married. Vicky’s living in West Philly where the riots and the looting are going on, shopping for antiques, and writing a book in defense of looting.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness."

A generation of upscale leftists is smashing up everything while knowing that they can retreat to the pricey suburbs that spawned them, to their country estates and condos, while the chaos and destruction happen to someone else. Tom might be calling himself Thomasina and Daisy might be calling herself a lesbian, but they’re still playing games and amusing themselves at other people’s expense in the vast carelessness of theoretical reasons for destroying it all.

Upscale areas will still have street level retail once the Black Lives Matter riots die down. But the poorer black areas hardest hit by them won’t. The white leftists promoting looting will still have their quaint cafes, punk hair salons and social justice yoga studios that Vicky and Sophie rave about, they’ll also have local supermarkets like Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, groceries, restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and the rest of the hipster detritus of gentrification.

That’s because they have the money and spend the money to make street retail profitable.

When the rioting is done, there will be burned out neighborhoods ripe for real estate speculators to move in, renovate, and peddle to the wealthy white hipsters who want to live there.


Who Will Save America From the Democrats’ Race Obsession?

Roger L. Simon

Worse than Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Democrats suffer from Racial Derangement Syndrome (RDS)—a desire to find racism under every rock and down every rabbit hole.

Recent examples are myriad. A particularly amusing one comes from their presidential candidate Joe Biden who told a (remarkably sparse) largely black audience in Kenosha, Wisconsin that the light bulb was not invented by Thomas Edison but by an African American, Lewis Latimer.

It’s hard to know where Biden—who plagiarized in law school and a fair number of times thereafter and now has, shall we say, issues—gets his information but this would have been news to Latimer himself, a brilliant man with an inspiring story who happens to be the author of “Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System.” [italics mine]

More significantly and less risibly, a cabal of far left-leaning Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and House members Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) with the choral support of Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) have initiated legislation declaring racism a “public health crisis.”

If this is true—and it’s not; it’s a politically motivated crisis—the “viral load” transmitting this particular illness comes directly from those same Democrats and their media claque. They should all have been wearing masks.

The first spores of this disease appeared during the Obama administration after a black man had been overwhelmingly elected president by supposedly “racist” America not once, but twice.

At first the power of racist accusation appeared to be waning. Many people were forgetting about race and treating each other normally and equally, as the renowned African American actor Morgan Freeman once prescribed (2006) as the solution to racism on “Sixty Minutes.”

No endless protests, no prevaricating celebrations of oppression à la the New York Times’ recent “1619 Project,” just ordinary existence. The best way to end racism, Freeman said then, was to “stop talking about it.” “You call me Morgan,” he continued, “and I’ll call you Mike.” (Mike Wallace was his interviewer.)

Although he couldn’t have been more right, Freeman was pressured by the usual suspects to walk back his statement. And throughout the Obama administrations the opposite approach was taken.

Racism was talked about incessantly from the most minor dustups like Harvard professor Henry Lous Gates Jr’s dispute with a Boston cop to the Ferguson riots that engendered the “Hands up. Don’t shoot,” lie that endures to this day, repeated by Black Lives Matter demonstrators ad infinitum. Racism had to be kept alive.

So here we are in the era of BLM, Antifa and “critical race theory,” that pseudo-intellectual European import force fed into the brains of Yale sophomores for plus or minus $70K per annum, a particularly dangerous “theory” that, played out in real life, has most of our cities in an uproar, stores and businesses destroyed, our citizens at each other’s throats with all white people declared racist because they are, alas, white. In the words of Lady Gaga, they’re born that way.

It’s all the fault of the Enlightenment—or something. Or, speaking of the pseudo-intellectual, academic gibberish like “systemic racism.”

And now we have a racial “health crisis,” just like we have an abortion “health crisis,” but like the supposed abortion crisis, it’s almost always a matter of morality, not of health. Life, and values, have been turned upside down. Again, racism must be preserved at all costs.

The situation has never seemed more hopeless.

Except for something quite interesting. The African American community may be getting fed up with this, as well they should be. We all suffer from this insane nonsense, like defunding the cops, but they most of all.

NBA stars may be wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts, but the less fortunate, non-zillionaire, black man on the street is having less of it. So, too, a growing number of other normal African Americans, many of whom appeared at the Republican Convention.

And lo and behold, a recent poll has appeared with Donald Trump receiving a whopping, practically unheard of, for a Republican, 45 percent approval rating from African Americans.

Yes, this is a Rasmussen (read: Republican) poll, but Rasmussen was among the more accurate pollsters in 2016. He has a reputation to protect, despite whatever bias he might have.

If something even close to these poll numbers holds, African Americans will be in part responsible for a Trump victory in November, but arguably more importantly, they will have the capacity to change the angry zeitgeist dominating today’s USA.

They, our black population, could put Black Lives Matter (upper case) back into lower case where it belongs, right along with all lives matter.

This would honor most of all Dr. King whose desire for all of us to be judged by our character, not by the color of our skin, is currently being stomped on by the left.


Bettina Arndt reports

She's battling Australia's feminist harridans

Last Thursday, The Canberra Times carried a story announcing I was to keep my Honours award. The article was written by UTS journalism lecturer Jenna Price.

Price is one of the founders of the feminist action group, Destroy the Joint, which in 2015 persuaded most of our media and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to quote their fake homicide figures doubling the number of domestic violence related deaths to claim two women are killed every week in Australia. Destroy the Joint’s fake stats were based on cumulative figures of female deaths featured in media reports, including an elderly woman who was euthanized by her doctor son. Price’s group justified their distorted data by claiming “all violent deaths of women are the result of societal misogyny.”

It’s pretty revealing that this activist is a senior lecturer in journalism at one of our major universities. Price’s journalism displays a similar disinterest in the truth and she’s always delighted in taking pot shots at me, misrepresenting my views on any number of issues.

So here was this journalist using the news about my AM to have another go at me, in an article which included quotes from the Honours Council Chairman Shane Stone. At that point the Council had decided not to make an official announcement about the decision but reconsidered when I wrote to Stone pointing out it was not a good look for him to grant an exclusive interview revealing news on this controversial matter to such a journalist.

Stone then released the attached document which puts Price and her mob in their place, pointing out that my award was destined to stand since I had done nothing to contravene their rules – I had not committed a crime nor had the Council found that my award was based on false or misleading material.

He pointed out that the manufactured outrage about my views was irrelevant:

In a system that recognises the service of hundreds of people each year, it is inevitable that each list will include some people who others believe should not be recognised. Unanimous community approval is not a criteria for Council to make a recommendation. Nominations for Awards are from the community. Similarly, individuals are neither qualified nor disqualified on the basis of their political leanings, social views or religious convictions.

Congratulations for what?

Many people very kindly sent good wishes regarding the decision, which I do appreciate. But it is odd to find people congratulating me on retaining the award.

As I pointed out to Sky News’ Chris Kenny in the only interview I have chosen to give on this subject, it is as if I’ve spent eight months with my house being vandalise and graffitied by nasty thugs and now I am supposed to be thrilled that they didn’t actually get to burn the place down.

Here’s the Kenny interview - https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6188680854001

I’d be delighted if you would help promote this to show they didn’t succeed in cancelling me. I have posted on my website all the latest information about who wanted me cancelled and why. I’m really keen that people know what was going on here – so please help me spread the message.  

In fact, it was always obvious that I would keep my award, given the regulations governing the honours committee. And the long delay was not due to the fact that the committee was conducting a forensic examination of all my alleged wrong-doing. They simply meet only twice a year and the February meeting was cancelled due to Covid. Various media stories with Council officials over recent months made it obvious what the decision would be but the September meeting needed to take place before they could announce it.

Flexing their muscles

The feminists overplayed their hand. In their determination to take me out, they displayed for all to see the control they have on key sectors of our society, from our captured mainstream media, to their puppet bureaucrats. (Note - they managed to recruit two Attorneys General, the key legal officers for their state, to promote misinformation about me.)  And then there was the Australian Senate, led by Keneally and Wong, who used a scurrilous political stunt to wedge upper house government Senators, so they’d agree to a misleading motion condemning me.

I feel this has all served to alert the public into the dangers of our current situation, where we have allowed ideologues to control so many important institutions. It exposed the lengths these people are prepared to go to silence anyone who challenges their narrative. I hope this leaves many of you thinking about what’s going on here. Are we really all just going to sit back and wonder who is next?

But the good news is the whole kafuffle has led to growing support for my various campaigns exposing what the feminists are up to, on our campuses and elsewhere. 

Perhaps even more importantly, the mob also made it abundantly clear that my work really matters. Why else would they go to such efforts to use my award to try to cancel me?

That’s cause for celebration – a sure sign that I’m making my mark. The gruelling saga has actually proved an inspiration to me, convincing me that my efforts must be making a difference.

Thriving and concentrating on the main game.

In a way the activists did me a favour. I’ve decided to give up social media – they can keep that cesspool to themselves. And I plan to do very few interviews with the Australian press who have proved themselves such a cowardly bunch, more interested in sucking up to the feminists than doing their homework to expose what’s really happening in our society.

I intend keeping a lower profile which gives me more time to work hard on the key issues that really interest me. We are attracting more lawyers and other serious players to our Campus Justice group and have some exciting plans to expose the appalling way our universities are behaving.

I’ve mentioned the Mothers of Sons group, who are soon to launch their website featuring some extraordinary videos and stories from mothers about the injustice being experienced by their sons. You’ll be appalled by what their stories reveal about our justice system. I’m helping them get their show on the road and will be telling you more about this soon.

And I’m doing live chats on thinkspot with amazing people across the world who are working in similar territory. Last week I chatted to Diana Davison, co-founder of The Lighthouse Project, a Canadian non-profit that helps the falsely accused and wrongly convicted. Our discussion was really fascinating and I’ll get that to you next week. But here's a taste of what's to come. And another more amusing part of our long conversation.

Bettina Arndt
E: bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au
Website: www.bettinaarndt.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebettinaarndt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebettinaarndt


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, 2020 

The Left is Treading on Thin Ice by Going After What People Wrote Years Ago

Should you lose your job for retweeting a political post in 2008 from someone who it turned out also said things sympathetic to white nationalists that you were unaware of? What about agreeing to take a selfie with someone at a conservative event who you found out later had attended a white nationalist meeting? Are you responsible for spending hours researching everyone’s history you encounter on the internet before you repost anything by them? This is where society is headed with the cancel culture. No one is going to be safe from the false cries of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.

Right now, most of us heave a sigh of relief when we hear about it happening to someone else, glad it wasn’t us. But hardly anyone is safe for long. Since the left can’t substantively refute our political arguments, they are resorting to drastic measures to silence us. This latest tactic is a gold mine for them because most people have a history on social media going back years. Years of things you’ve said every day to comb through. Who hasn’t said something in a stage of rage or while taking some medication or alcohol, that could be misinterpreted as offensive? If you make your account private, they can find a way to pretend to be someone who knows you and sneak in. Or maybe it’s a former friend who turns on you. If you delete your account, they can go to archive.org where tweets are stored forever. If you post under a pseudonym, they often have ways of figuring out who you are.

You might think, “No, never done any of that, I’m safe.” But the line of what constitutes racism, sexism etc. keeps moving further and further out, so what was considered perfectly acceptable in 2010 won’t be in a few years.

People in high-profile positions are the most vulnerable. If the left views you as influential, whether through well-reasoned political debate or financially well off, you’re a prime target. And frankly anyone involved in conservative politics is at risk. They want to silence us, so the more you post on social media, the more you stand out and make yourself a target.

The left’s hypocrisy can be seen in the way it’s now treating the Founding Fathers. The left claims the moral high ground with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. But their moral high ground is still changing. What they found perfectly acceptable merely 20 or 40 years ago is now morally repugnant.

Yet they give their own a free pass. They’re forgiven, but conservatives aren’t. The late prominent Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK who organized and led a 150-member chapter, but they don’t care today. You don’t hear about people flipping out over the 23 buildings and roads his name is inscribed on. Only one inscription has been removed. Nothing has been destroyed or defaced. The only reason the left hasn’t started going after people descended from slaves is that they are predominantly Democrats, since it was mostly Democrats who owned slaves.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama once strongly defended marriage as between a man and a woman, as recently as 2008. But the left gives them a free pass now -- they’re never attacked for being homophobic -- while those on the right who have Biblical objections to homosexuality are.

The right has only had a small amount of success pointing out statements made by those on the left in the past, mainly by going over journalists’ tweets. Some are disciplined by their employer and even fired. But they’re the minority. MSNBC talk show host Joy Reid made not just one, but two rounds of tweets ridiculing gays. She apologized, and predictably, the responses to her apology divided down party lines. MSNBC did nothing and she is still a host there. In fact, she appears to have been promoted recently, now hosting The ReidOut, a new Washington-based weeknight show in the key 7 p.m. Eastern time slot.

This nasty practice isn’t going away unless people start pushing back. How many of us lie in bed at night wondering how far down the road someone is going to dig and discover something we wrote years ago? Twitter fortunately only goes back to 2006, with its first growth spurt of people joining beginning in 2007. But more and more of the early internet is becoming easier to find and access. What you wrote on some 1990s listserv will soon be easy to find. The first website you ever created? Your posts on IRC? The younger generations may be in trouble now since they were coming of age and less cautious when they first ventured on social media. But eventually everyone will be susceptible except the rare few who have stayed off the internet.

This is a Pandora’s Box. The question is how to put the genie back in the bottle. Do we fight back by exposing all the improper or supposedly improper things that leftists have said in their pasts? Since they’re less likely to be constrained by Judeo-Christian values, they will have far more writing full of profanity and offensive statements. Or, since they have shown that they will give their own a free pass most of the time, do we attempt the difficult process of ending the practice? Regardless of what we do, this is merely part of a broader problem. The left is going to continue to get those on the right fired for things they say today, by pretending it’s racist or even forging screenshots to make us look racist.

So far it looks like the black conservatives who are speaking up are having some success with the pushback. They’re tired of having their businesses destroyed by violent white Antifa. They’re tired of being called coons and worse things by leftists. And more blacks are becoming conservative. Tellingly, a friend of mine in Kenya told me that 85 percent of the population supports President Trump. They see through the false cries of racism and wish they had the privilege to live in the U.S. Radical black activists claim they want to move to Africa because the racism is so bad here. But they rarely do, because while white-black racism is rare in most countries there; it’s tribalism that is prevalent, and if you aren’t part of a tribe, you are going to have a really hard time functioning in society.


12-year-old suspended after teacher spots toy gun during virtual class

A 12-year-old boy in Colorado got a five-day suspension for flashing a toy gun across his computer screen during an online art class, according to a report.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said although the teacher thought it was a toy gun authorities still did a welfare check on Isaiah Elliott without parental notification.

“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” Curtis Elliott, Isaiah’s father, told KDVR.

He said his son, who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has learning disabilities, wasn’t aware the gun was shown on screen in his distance learning.

“He was in tears when the cops came. He was just in tears. He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life,” said Curtis Elliott.

“The virtual setting is not the same as the school setting,” the dad added. “He did not take the toy gun to school. He’s in the comfort of his own home. It’s a toy.”

The toy gun was neon green and black with an orange tip featuring the words on the handle: “Zombie Hunter.”

Reports said the school district, the Widefield District #3, refused to give the Elliott family the recording of the online class, but authorities showed the family a video of the class from a recording from a police body camera.

The boy’s mother said the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

“For them to go as extreme as suspending him for five days, sending the police out, having the police threaten to press charges against him because they want to compare the virtual environment to the actual in-school environment is insane,” said Dani Elliott.

She said she wishes the teacher had reasoned with the parents before condemning the boy.

“If her main concern was his safety, a two-minute phone call to me or my husband could easily have alleviated this whole situation to where I told them it was fake,” said Dani Elliott.

The school won’t apologize for its discipline.

The Grand Mountain school said in a statement: “We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”

The parents are looking to enroll their son in a charter or private school.

“I definitely feel they crossed the line,” said the mom. “They were extreme with their punishment, especially sending the police out and traumatizing my son and my family.”


In Foreboding Ruling, Appeals Court Says Transgender Students May Use Restroom of Choice

A federal court decided last week that schools can’t ban students from using the restroom that matches their desired gender identity, in what BuzzFeed News called “a significant legal win for transgender rights.”

The 2-1 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit comes five years after Gavin Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board for refusing to allow Grimm, then a high school student, to use the boys’ bathroom despite being a biological female.

Judge Henry Floyd, an Obama nominee, wrote the majority decision for Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, and it’s practically a transgender manifesto.

“At the heart of this appeal is whether equal protection and Title IX can protect transgender students from school bathroom policies that prohibit them from affirming their gender. We join a growing consensus of courts in holding that the answer is resoundingly yes,” Floyd wrote.

His logic is flawed and foreboding. We will see more of these kinds of opinions in the years to come as the transgender movement sweeps through high schools and universities, especially now with the Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, ruling acting as a booster.

“Neither the 14th Amendment nor the Bostock ruling requires, let alone justifies, this activist ruling from the 4th Circuit. Biologically based single-sex private facilities are good law and sound policy,” Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told me in an email.

Throughout his opinion, Floyd argued that being transgender is just like being black in America, and thus deserving of the same constitutional protections, free of discrimination.

“The proudest moments of the federal judiciary have been when we affirm the burgeoning values of our bright youth, rather than preserve the prejudices of the past,” the judge wrote, citing both Dred Scott v. Sandford and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, landmark Supreme Court cases about racial segregation.

The Gloucester County School Board maintained that its policy was hardly discriminatory because it applied to everyone, and the single-stall restroom was simply there at Grimm’s leisure—it wasn’t mandatory that the student use it.

Floyd vehemently disagreed, writing:

But that is like saying that racially segregated bathrooms treated everyone equally, because everyone was prohibited from using the bathroom of a different race. No one would suppose that also providing a ‘race neutral’ bathroom option would have solved the deeply stigmatizing and discriminatory nature of racial segregation; so too here.

Anderson said in his email that he believes this argument is flawed:

The judge doesn’t realize the logical consequences: a prohibition on all single-sex facilities. After all, that’s precisely what racial equality required: the abolition of ‘white’s only’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.

And, of course, that was justified, because our skin color is irrelevant to what we do in a bathroom or on an athletic field. But our bodily differences as male and female are precisely why we have single-sex private facilities and athletics.

And yet, by comparing this to racial segregation, the judge has embraced the logic of androgyny. According to his simplistic logic, just as equality required the end of racial segregation, so too does equality require the end of any sexual distinction. But this ignores the ways in which sex differences make a difference.

Grimm’s case is pivotal to understanding the origins of this movement in schools. It is really the original transgender bathroom case that sparked the debate over a problem that seemed wholly contrived as LGBTQ theater.

Grimm was born female. By freshman year, the student decided to transition to male. As a student at Gloucester High School in Gloucester, Virginia, Grimm asked to use the boys’ bathroom, received permission, and did so for a while until parents complained. The school board then banned Grimm from using the boys’ bathrooms, but created special single-stall bathrooms.

Still, as is nearly always the case, this proved not to be enough and Grimm—feeling “stigmatized and isolated”—insisted that only the boys’ restroom would do.

Since that wasn’t an option, Grimm sued the school system with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The case went to the Supreme Court, but was kicked back to the lower courts after President Donald Trump rolled back the “protections” for transgender students that the Obama administration had mandated.

This latest ruling demonstrates that the ACLU is determined to force a legal ruling about transgender individuals and bathroom use. These lawsuits are not taken on for kicks and giggles, they are taken on to further a specific cause and extend the concept of equality as far as it will go—and then some.

The ramifications of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, in which the Supreme Court found workplace discrimination based on sex, covered both sexual orientation and gender identity.

The 4th Circuit applied the justices’ ruling to education. Grimm’s case—where the school banned Grimm’s use of the boys’ bathroom on the basis of gender identity, per the new reading of the Supreme Court in Bostock, would qualify as “sex-based” discrimination.

Should the case go to the Supreme Court again, it’s hard to see how the justices could not also decide in Grimm’s favor, opening a can of worms that can never be put back.

This ruling portends the possibility that anyone can use any bathroom based on their said identity, wreaking havoc on basic, societal norms, such as using the restroom. This would put an end to privacy and safety for women, girls, and even boys, as well as raise a myriad other issues.


Left needs saving from its own self-righteousness


What Americans might call the “bullshit detector” of comedy has always been part of our defence against extremism. Targets have not been exclusively right-wing. Monty Python’s depiction of the split between the People’s Front of Judea, the Judean People’s Front, and the oft-forgotten Popular People’s Front of Judea, was aimed squarely at the narcissism of small differences on the left that helped destroy Jim Callaghan’s Labour government. In the long struggle that brought New Labour into being, the slogan “Splitters!” became a rallying cry for centrists.

Today, it is the left rather than the right that needs to have its prejudices pricked; not to defeat us, but to rescue us from our own self-righteousness. We can, of course, make a joke of ourselves without any assistance. A professor of African and Caribbean studies who has benefited from years of advancement based on her lived experience of “blackness” admitted this week that she is, in fact, white, Jewish and grew up in a Kansas City suburb. Here, a student union plans to ban “mocking” drag parties. Leaving aside the question of whether drag itself ridicules all women, who will draw the line between “mocking” and “celebrating” trans?

These events are not one-offs. They lie in a continuum. At one end sits a supposed defence of the oppressed; towards the other extreme, censorship by Extinction Rebellion and ultimately the murderous retribution meted out to the journalists of Charlie Hebdo for making jokes. It has been sickening to witness much of the establishment slide into capitulation to XR’s recent assault on our free press and the quiet apologias for the Charlie Hebdo murders. Those who claim to “understand” extremist frustration appear willing to defend dogma and doctrine to the death – presumably someone else’s rather than their own. Reminder: there is no human right not to be offended.

We should constantly be encouraged by the brightest and the best to question our beliefs. Yet higher education today seems to be populated entirely by zealots, whose witless response to dissent from orthodoxy is to “cancel” it. If XR and critical race theorists represent the intellectual challenge to capitalism, the plutocrats are safe for a while yet.

Forty years ago, as a moderately left-wing president of the National Union of Students, I faced a challenge from an undergraduate called Chris Hamel-Smith, now a distinguished lawyer in his native Caribbean. Paradoxically, the seriousness of Chris’s campaign lay in his sense of humour. He championed hedonism, demanding rum punch along with the student grant and proposed restoring student union finances by betting on Red Rum in the 1977 Grand National. He lost the vote, which was a shame because the horse won. But more importantly, he highlighted the fact that the left was devoting more attention to solidarity with Chile than to making sure that students had affordable accommodation and decent teaching. He shamed us into moderation.

He also recently reminded me that he had to be rescued from a group of outraged ultra leftists who thought that his broad Trinidadian accent was mocking black people, specifically me. The joke was that, being a white West Indian, he sounded like I looked, and I looked like he sounded. According to Chris, I grabbed the mike and explained that where we came from, pretty much everybody, of every race, talked like him; it was I, born in London, who was the odd man out. The Trots slunk back to their seats, deprived of both a victim and a target.

Chris now protests that he had no mischief in mind. But his humour worked because it carried a grain of uncomfortable truth; he wanted to make the point to my would-be saviours that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Leftist puritans now label women who stand up for their own sex as transphobic. Others accuse anyone, whatever their colour, not wholly obsessed by race of being white supremacists. And the supposedly moderate left, cowed by the noise, daily surrenders its principles of justice and freedom of expression to extremists; as Churchill warned, feeding the crocodile in the hope it will eat us last.

In so doing, we are alienating the very people whose interests we should be promoting. The progressive cause desperately needs a good dose of Wodehouse-style puncturing to bring our balloon back to earth.



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

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

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

8 September, 2020 

The Untold Story of Breonna Taylor

This is yet more evidence that no-knock raids should be banned.  They are useful only for the war on drugs.  Libertarians deplore the war on drugs and there are many who agree with that.  If Ms Taylor became known as a victim of the war on drugs, her death could have some benefit.

The police involved are certainly not to blame.  If someone shoots at them, they are entitled to shoot back.  It's the insane rules under which they operate that are to blame.  If they knocked in a normal civil way, a perp may have time to flush his stash down the toilet but where is the tragedy in that? It is surely a much lesser tragedy than the death at police hands of an innocent person

People should be demonstrating about the death of Ms Taylor but they should be blaming police rules, not the police themselves

Breonna Taylor had just done four overnight shifts at the hospital where she worked as an emergency room technician. To let off some steam, she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, planned a date night: dinner at a steakhouse, followed by a movie in bed.

Usually, they headed to his apartment, where he lived alone and she had left a toothbrush and a flat iron. But that night, they went to the small unit she shared with her younger sister, who was away on a trip.

It was dark when the couple pulled into the parking lot, then closed the door to Apartment 4 behind them.

This was the year of big plans for the 26- year-old: Her home was brimming with the Post-it notes and envelopes on which she wrote her goals. She had just bought a new car. Next on the list: buying her own home. And trying to have a baby with Mr. Walker. They had already chosen a name.

She fell asleep next to him just after midnight on March 13, the movie still playing.

“The last thing she said was, ‘Turn off the TV,’” he said in an interview.

From the parking lot, undercover officers surveilling Ms. Taylor’s apartment before a drug raid saw only the blue glow of the television.

When they punched in the door with a battering ram, Mr. Walker, fearing an intruder, reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. He and another officer returned fire, while a third began blindly shooting through Ms. Taylor’s window and patio door. Bullets ripped through nearly every room in her apartment, then into two adjoining ones. They sliced through a soap dish, a chair and a table and shattered a sliding-glass door.

Ms. Taylor, struck five times, bled out on the floor.

Breonna Taylor has since become an icon, her silhouette a symbol of police violence and racial injustice. Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris spoke her name during their speeches at the Democratic convention.

Oprah Winfrey ceded the cover of her magazine for the first time to feature the young Black woman, and paid for billboards with her image across Louisville.

Beyoncé called for the three white officers who opened fire to be criminally charged.

N.B.A. stars including LeBron James devoted postgame interviews to keeping her name in the news.

Even as she tried to move on, an ex-boyfriend’s run-ins with the law entangled her, leading to what her family’s lawyer called ‘catastrophic failures’ by the police that ended in a deadly raid.

In Louisville, demonstrators have led nightly protests downtown, where most government buildings and many businesses are now boarded up. As outrage mounted, the city fired one of the officers, pushed out the police chief and passed “Breonna’s Law,” banning “no-knock” warrants, which allow the police to burst into people’s homes without warning. Protesters say that is not enough.

Nearly six months after Ms. Taylor’s killing, the story of what happened that night — and what came before and after — remains largely untold. Unlike the death of George Floyd, which was captured on video as a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck, Ms. Taylor’s final moments remain in shadow because no such footage exists.

But a clearer picture of Ms. Taylor’s death and life, of the person behind the cause, emerged from dozens of interviews with public officials and people who knew her, as well as a review of over 1,500 pages of police records, including evidence logs, transcripts of jailhouse recordings and surveillance photos. The Louisville Metro Police Department, citing pending investigations, declined to make anyone available for interviews.

The daughter of a teenage mother and a man who has been incarcerated since she was a child, Ms. Taylor attended college, trained as an E.M.T. and hoped to become a nurse. But along the way, she developed a yearslong relationship with a twice-convicted drug dealer whose trail led the police to her door that fateful night.

Sloppy surveillance outside her apartment in the hours before the raid failed to detect that Mr. Walker was there, so the officers expected to find an unarmed woman alone. A failure to follow their own rules of engagement and a lack of routine safeguards, like stationing an ambulance outside, compounded the risks that night.

While the department had gotten court approval for a “no-knock” entry to search for evidence of drugs or cash from drug trafficking, the orders were changed before the raid to “knock and announce,” meaning that the police had to identify themselves.

The officers have said that they did; Mr. Walker says he did not hear anything. In interviews with nearly a dozen neighbors, only one person said he heard the officers shout “Police!” a single time.

Sam Aguiar, a lawyer representing Ms. Taylor’s family, blames “catastrophic failures” by the police department for the young woman’s death. “Breonna Taylor,” he said, “gets shot in her own home, with her boyfriend doing what’s as American as apple pie, in defending himself and his woman.” Ms. Taylor had been focused on her future with Mr. Walker. But her history with 30-year-old Jamarcus Glover, an on-again off-again boyfriend who had spent years in prison, was hard to escape, even after she cut ties with him a month before the raid.

When the officers rammed the door of the apartment, Mr. Walker later explained, he fired his gun because he feared it was her ex-boyfriend forcing his way in.

Although Ms. Taylor had no criminal record and was never the target of an inquiry, Mr. Glover’s frequent run-ins with the police entangled her. She had been interviewed in a murder inquiry, and paid or arranged bail for him and his associates.

When Mr. Glover called from jail after an earlier arrest in January, she told him that his brushes with the law worried her, according to a recording; each said “I love you” before hanging up. A GPS tracker the police placed on his car later showed him making regular trips to her apartment complex, and surveillance photos showed her outside a drug house.

In a series of calls hours after her death, as Mr. Glover tried to make bail, he told another woman that he had left about $14,000 with Ms. Taylor. “Bre been having all my money,” he claimed. The same afternoon, he also told an associate he had left money at Ms. Taylor’s home.

Mr. Aguiar, the lawyer for her family, said that no drugs or cash were found at her apartment after the raid. Thomas B. Wine, the Jefferson County prosecutor, countered that the search was called off once the shooting occurred.

With three investigations underway, including a federal civil rights inquiry, a full public accounting of the botched raid is not yet possible. A city on the defensive has withheld some of the most basic information about the case, roiling public anger.

Still, as journalists in recent days have reported about Ms. Taylor’s ties to the drug dealer, city officials have made a point of not excusing the outcome of the raid. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement: “Breonna Taylor’s death was a tragedy. Period.” Christopher 2X, a longtime community organizer whom Ms. Taylor’s family turned to after her death, said her relationship with Mr. Glover had to be acknowledged. “You can’t just look away from it and act like it’s not there,” he said. “My hope is courageous people will say: ‘There it is — it’s what it is — but was this shooting justified? She should be alive today.’”


Now Charles Darwin gets cancelled: Natural History museum will review 'offensive' exhibitions about the Father of Evolution because HMS Beagle's Galapagos voyage was 'colonialist'

The Natural History museum is conducting a review into potentially 'offensive' collections including its Charles Darwin exhibitions.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, museum bosses have ordered an audit into certain collections that some staff believe are 'legacies of colonies, slavery and empire'.

Rooms, statues and collected items in the museum that could be 'problematic' may be renamed, relabelled, or removed.

The review into the museum’s links to slavery and colonialism could result in a potential overhaul of the museum's collections and public spaces.

In documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph, museum staff were told that as a result of the Black Lives Matter protests, the museum would undertake a review of room names, statues and collections that 'could potentially cause offence'.

The executive board of the Natural History museum is said to be 'very engaged' with the issue and circulated an academic paper to staff which claimed 'science, racism, and colonial power were inherently entwined'.

The paper proposes publicly acknowledging the past to create 'less racist' museums.

Collections under review include specimens of exotic birds gathered by naturalist Charles Darwin on his expedition to the Galapagos Island with Captain Robert FitzRoy on HMS Beagle in 1835.

According to the academic paper shared with museum staff, the HMS Beagle was cited as one of Britain's many 'colonialist scientific expeditions'.

It wrote that one of the purposes of the voyage was 'to enable greater British control of those areas'.

The paper also argues that 'museums were put in place to legitimise a racist ideology'.

Other collections that could come under scrutiny by the anti-racist review are specimens gathered by botanist Sir Joseph Banks who sailed with Captain James Cook, as well as items gathered by Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus who thought Africans were 'crafty', 'indolent' and 'negligent'.

The flora collection of Sir Hans Sloane, one of the British Museum's founders, may also come under review.

He was labelled him a ‘slave owner’ by the British Museum in August and his bust was removed from a pedestal.

The ceiling of the main Hintze Hall of the Natural History Museum - where 'Hope', a skeleton of a blue whale is hanging (pictured) - could also be 'problematic' due to paintings of colonial exports such as cotton, tea and tobacco.

A statue of Charles Darwin that sits in the museum's main hall could also come under questioning as well as a statue of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley because of his theories of five 'races' of human.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Michael Dixon, the director of the Natural History Museum, explained to staff: 'The Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated that we need to do more and act faster, so as a first step we have commenced an institution-wide review on naming and recognition.

'We want to learn and educate ourselves, recognising that greater understanding and awareness on diversity and inclusion are essential.'


Revolutionary Martyrs in America

When political conflict crosses over into physical force, ideological “martyrs” are inevitably created. For the dead, it’s a tragedy, but to their causes, it is often a windfall. In the immediate aftermath of the German defeat in the Great War, the Communists attempted an armed insurrection, which ended in failure.

The revolt was improvised and small-scale and was quickly crushed by the superior firepower of government troops. Berlin was largely undisturbed. Long-distance trains continued to run on time and newspapers remained on sale, as the rebels passively confined themselves to only a few select locations.

But the Communists came away from the fiasco with two martyrs: Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. One hundred years after their deaths, the European left still reveres them as the Marxist saints. The American left-wing magazine Jacobin even took time to remind its readers of the name of Luxemburg’s executioner so future generations might despise him. Luxemburg and Liebknecht’s fame outlived their insurrection.

On January 15, 1919, the leaders of the German revolution were murdered by far-right soldiers enraged by the rising socialist movement. The man who masterminded the killings was Waldemar Pabst — a fanatical nationalist officer whose paramilitaries became the rank and file for Nazism.

As a Spanish scholar observed, politics is practiced by the living on the bones of the dead. No sooner had the Nazis come upon the German scene than they sought to create political martyrs of their own to match Luxemburg and Liebknecht. Goebbels achieved this by raising a fairly unremarkable Nazi street casualty named Horst Wessel to fame as a mystical symbol of the German struggle.

Wessel was living in a flophouse when he was killed by “Albrecht ‘Ali’ Höhler, an armed pimp, perjurer and petty criminal. Höhler, a heavily tattooed cabinetmaker who had just recently been released from prison … a Communist and a member of the Red Front Fighters’ League,” possibly over money, possibly over a girl. Not very promising material in itself but in Goebbels’ hands, enough.

Goebbels had been looking for someone to turn into a martyr for the Nazi cause… Although Goebbels could not get Hitler to attend Wessel’s funeral, Hitler did speak at Wessel’s grave three years after his death … the “enormous procession … led by Hitler, Goebbels, Ernst Röhm, and other top officials of the [party], … marched to the St. Nicholas Cemetery … Hitler spoke of Wessel’s death as a symbolic sacrifice.” … the stage was set as an altar made from “laurel trees, branches, candelabra and a larger-than-lifesize portrait of Wessel”. Hitler lavished praise on “those fanatics who are consumed by the great task of their age” – “fanaticism” being a positive virtue among the Nazis – “who live for that task and who die for it … [they would] later be not only the martyrs of their struggle but also the seed from which the subsequent harvest [would come]”.

Goebbels continued to use the martyrdom of Wessel as a propaganda device for years. At the 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally, a group of Hitler Youth sang an anti-Christian song which included the lines “We don’t need any Christian truth … We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel”

Goebbels understood the formula for making a good political martyr lay not in the deceased himself but the propaganda treatment of his life. The Nazi media machine lost no time producing hagiographies based on Wessel’s life or on persons killed in similar circumstances. Hans Westmar, S.A. Mann Brand, and the life of Herbert Norkus are examples of these.

If the Nazis had not lost the War, Horst Wessel might rival Che Guevara in fame. Guevara himself was a complete operational failure in Bolivia, yet “celebrated poets such as Pablo Neruda, Allen Ginsberg, Julio Cortázar, Nicolas Guillén, Derek Walcott, Al Purdy, Rafael Alberti, Ko Un, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko regard Che as ‘the world’s icon of rebellion.’ In September 2007, Guevara was voted ‘Argentina’s greatest historical and political figure.” Such is the power of the propaganda treatment.

Key to making a successful political martyr is personalizing the Hero, making him into someone you might aspire to be — if you left out the shabby bits and got him played by a glamorous actor. Millions are familiar with the “iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara taken by Alberto Korda.”

The Maryland Institute College of Art called the picture a symbol of the 20th century and the world’s most famous photograph. Versions of it have been painted, printed, digitized, embroidered, tattooed, silk-screened, sculpted or sketched on nearly every surface imaginable, leading the Victoria and Albert Museum to say that the photograph has been reproduced more than any other image in photography.

By contrast, almost nobody can name any of the “38 Albanian Catholics, all killed between 1945 and 1974 by their country’s Communist regime,” even though they were approved by Pope Francis for beatification in 2016. Nor are there many who even know that:

At least 21 million people are believed to have died in repression, persecution and “terror famines” after 1917, including 106,000 Orthodox clergy shot during the 1937-8 Great Purge alone, according to Russian government data. A total of 422 Catholic priests were executed, murdered or tortured to death during the period, along with 962 monks, nuns and laypeople, while all but two of the Catholic Church’s 1240 places of worship were forcibly turned into shops, warehouses, farm buildings and public toilets.

That’s because they are faceless multitudes without a Goebbels to burnish their fame nor any Alberto Korda to immortalize their image. A hundred million people may have been killed by Communism, but the world mourns the Communist because his face is on a t-shirt. Given this, it is easy to understand why antifa wants to control who can video the riots/protests in Portland.

YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FILM!” is a cry you hear incessantly at protests in Portland, Oregon, always shouted at close range to your face by after-dark demonstrators. You can assert that, yes, you can film; you can point out that they themselves are filming incessantly; you can push their hands away from covering your phone; you can have your phone record them stealing your phone—all of these things have happened to me—and none will have any impact on their contention that “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FILM” and its occasional variation, “PHOTOGRAPHY EQUALS DEATH!”…

I wondered, the first time I attended the protests at the federal building back in July, who all these young people with PRESS emblazoned on their jackets or helmets were. I asked one such guy who he worked for. …

“Independent Press Corps,” he told me. As it turned out, dozens of other young PRESS people happened to work for the same outfit, which I at first assumed was a fancy way of saying “I want to report stuff and stream it on my Instagram.”

This turned out to be naive. The IPC is an organized group in league with the activists, and it is usually their footage you see streamed online and recycled on the news: mostly innocent protestors being harassed and beaten by police.

They want to control who’s on the t-shirt. Photography equals death only for those taking unauthorized images. Those crafting the authorized images are busy making the new political martyrs of the 21st century.


Kenosha Merchants, Their Businesses in Ruins, Ponder What Healing Looks Like

Eric Oertle spent part of Sunday reviewing security video from the night his life came crashing down. It was all he could do to keep from crying. He says he was “sick to death” to see what was on the video. Each frame was more devastating than the last.

The footage shows looters smashing the windows of Computer Adventure, the sales and service store on a corner lot that Oertle and his wife, Pat, started in Kenosha’s Uptown neighborhood more than 30 years ago.

It was 10:55 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, the second day of “civil unrest” following a Kenosha police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man whom police said they were attempting to arrest in connection with a domestic incident.

“They came in with baseball bats, smashed our glass cases, stole everything they could, or smashed what they didn’t steal,” Oertle recalls of the looters. “They were going to set fire to the building like they did across the street from us, until the upstairs tenants in the apartments above us came running down the stairs and stopped them. They said, ‘We live here.’”

Despite the damage, the 71-year-old business owner says, he and his wife are among “the lucky ones.”

Theirs was the only building on the block standing after four days of riots that left millions of dollars in damage, two dead, several others wounded or injured, and Wisconsin’s fourth-largest city wondering how on earth it will heal from so much anger, so much rage, so much destruction.

B and L Office Furniture—looted and burned. Boost Mobile—the same. La Estrella Supermarket and Uptown Restaurant also were on the same business strip that went up in flames.

Gone, too, is the iconic Danish Brotherhood Lodge, a Kenosha fixture for more than a century. Famous for its Danish breakfasts, bingo nights, and Santa’s annual visits, the lodge was leveled by looters and flames.

Private property cost estimates have yet to be tallied, but damage to city property alone from the rioting was quickly approaching $2 million, city officials told the Kenosha News. President Donald Trump visited the city Tuesday, pledging millions of dollars in federal aid for Kenosha and law enforcement efforts statewide.

The stories of personal loss are heartbreaking.

Zaydi Tejada, the daughter of the owners of Uptown Restaurant and La Estrella Supermarket, says she and her family will have to start from scratch. “We love the community and are very devastated about this, we love serving you with great food and frankly cannot see our life without you guys in it,” Tejada wrote on a GoFundMe page.

‘They Lost Everything’

Alice Lee’s parents came to the United States from South Korea in the 1980s. Her father has owned Uptown Beauty, a beauty supply store, for 25 years. “He’s worked so hard to build it up—working on holidays, day in and day out, getting to know his customers and them calling him ‘Lee,’” she wrote on an online fundraising page. “He loved and cared for that store and I’m honestly so devastated, I know my parents must be, too.”

Then there are the many families displaced by the destruction. Kenosha resident Nicole Tomsich says the apartment where her granddaughters lived is part of the riot’s ruins.

“They lost everything, including their two kittens who unfortunately were unable to be saved,” Tomsich wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Among those displaced were my two grandchildren, their mother and father and their other grandmother.”

“They literally lost everything,” she added. “They will need to find a new home immediately and they need all the essentials. Furniture, bedding, a crib, beds, clothing, shoes, winter apparels, anything you could possibly think of.”

Diverse District

Left out of much of the reporting—between Black Lives Matter protesters’ cries of police brutality and racial injustice, the pandering of politicians, and the erosion of public safety—is the fact that Uptown long has been a diverse neighborhood. Its denizens are black, white, Hispanic, Asian. Its stores serve a lot of people who don’t have the means to travel elsewhere.

“This is where they come to shop,” Oertle, the computer store owner, says. “They have now lost all of their grocery stores, their clothing stores, their hairdresser. They’ve lost their bars, their restaurants. This business district is destroyed permanently.”

Across the street from Computer Adventure, the entire block of stores is gone. Beyond repair. The buildings will have to be demolished.

That’s what’s so hard for Oertle and others to understand: If black lives truly matter, why are some of those advocating that idea destroying black-owned businesses and the places where black people shop?

“They have destroyed black lives, Hispanic lives, white lives, in the name of what? In the name of justice? This is insanity,” Oertle says.

What may be a sliver of consolation is that many of those that did so much damage in Kenosha aren’t from Kenosha.

Police report that more than 100 of the 175 arrested in connection with the riots live outside the city. They say 69 arrests were for curfew violations, and another 34 were on charges such as carrying concealed weapons, possessing a controlled substance, and destroying property. Law enforcement also seized more than 20 weapons.

Among the arrests was Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, who is charged with five felonies after police say he shot three men on the third night of the riots, two of them fatally.

Rittenhouse, who had dreams of being a cop, reportedly drove to nearby Kenosha, not far from the Illinois border, to help protect businesses.

The first people to help them clean up, Uptown merchants say, were the same ones who always have been there: their neighbors.

In the aftermath of this man-made disaster, a lot of questions remain.

Why did Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers initially reject President Donald Trump’s offer to send federal agents to help restore law and order to Kenosha?

Why didn’t the Democratic governor send in enough members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard help police secure the city?

Evers seemed to lay the blame on local officials.

“The people on the ground here in Kenosha asked us for x. We provided x. The next day they asked for y, and we provided y,” Evers said at a press conference in Kenosha four days after the riots began.

The governor’s critics, particularly members of Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature, blame him for firing off incendiary tweets attacking law enforcement soon after a Kenosha police officer fired seven times at Blake, seriously wounding him as he leaned inside the driver’s-side door of his sport utility vehicle.

Police said Blake resisted arrest multiple times before he began to get into the SUV, where three of his five children waited.

“Two people are dead. Another was shot. This violence could have been prevented,” state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, wrote Wednesday in a letter to the governor.

“Last night, the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors asked for an additional 1,500 National Guard members for Kenosha tonight,” Wanggaard wrote. “I second that request and implore you to fulfill it. Without massive resources, violence will only escalate.”

Oertle says he blames Evers and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, also a Democrat, for failing to clearly and quickly address the city’s security needs.

“Neither one of them was doing their job, not even close,” the businessman says. “These are people that should not be in office.”

Starting Over

A week after the Kenosha riots, the city and its people are left to deal with the damage. Much work lies ahead.

The fear of more destruction still has many in Kenosha on edge. There’s a kind of paralysis that has set in, as business owners such as Oertle wait for the other shoe to drop.

“Until we know everything is settled down, we’re not going to start replacing glass. It would be ludicrous, knowing it come right back tomorrow,” he says. “It could be weeks, months before we feel safe enough to start.”

The damage is particularly daunting to those who have spent their lives building their businesses. What now, they ask?

“I’m 71 years old. My wife is 79,” Oertle says. “I’m going to have to start all over.”



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, 2020 

Thomas Jefferson based his claim of human equality and human rights on self-evident truths. Today, the left is trying to replace a belief in objective truths with a system in which “narratives” are the only reality

In a recent interview, Attorney General William Barr said of the dominant news media:

They are projecting a narrative. When the word ‘narrative’ came into currency, I knew we were in trouble, because the word narrative suggests that there’s no objective truth. There’s no real story of what happened, it’s just everyone has their own narrative.

And you get to where the press can justify presenting a story that doesn’t really correspond to objective truth, but ‘It’s our narrative, we have a narrative—you have a narrative.’

Although Barr’s commentary was related to one aspect of American culture, the media, in it we find a microcosm of the pestilence plaguing civil society at large.

For decades, so-called progressives in academia, politics, and religion have cast moral absolutes to the wind in favor of relativism, and now we watch in horror as the whirlwind has its day in cities across our country.

That Barr would point out the danger of our cultural abandonment of objective truth should come as no surprise. Last year at the University of Notre Dame, the attorney general delivered a speech on the role of religion in a free society, and thus the constitutional imperative to protect religious freedom. The oration’s prescience and poignancy were matched only by the humility of the orator.

The attorney general isn’t breaking any new philosophical ground; rather he is, as William F. Buckley Jr. once said, “standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’”

He is in good company.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t claim that human equality and human rights share the same divine source to be theoretical; he declared them to be self-evident truths.

Moreover, Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers did not claim their grievances with King George III to be a matter of differing opinions. As the Declaration of Independence reads:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

If there were no truth, there could be no facts for a candid world to consider.

The Founders knew freedom without morality inevitably leads back to tyranny. If each man is free to do what is right in the sight of his own eyes, with no common, objective standard of right and wrong, good and evil, then what is to stop the strong from oppressing the weak?

As stated in Federalist 51: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

So, in establishing the Constitution, the Founders sought to balance mankind’s competing interests in freedom and power by limiting government.

It was a grand experiment based on the idea that men could be good enough to be trusted with self-government, to respect the rights of others, to avoid cultural chaos from which tyranny emerges.

Where would this common notion of “goodness” come from? The answer is enshrined in the first words of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Freedom of religion preserves the proper role of religion in a free society. There is only one source of objective morality and truth: the same God who created all men equal. Religion points men to God.

To be certain, this nation would not declare any official state-approved church, hence the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Nor would the nation stand in the way of any man living according to his deepest held convictions—the Free Exercise Clause. But it placed the source of truth and morality higher than the state.

We, their posterity, have enjoyed the blessings of liberty ever since.

But as John Adams later noted: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

So today we see the results of years and years of secularist attacks on religion, eternal truths, and the exclusion of religion and morality from public life.

You can’t have the freedom to peaceably assemble for a redress of grievances unless you have the morality not to destroy public property or loot and pillage fellow citizens’ private property. The line from chaos to tyranny is, we are learning, shorter than we could have hoped.

Without a shared conviction among a nation’s people that there is such a thing as objective “truth,” we are left fighting for individual, tribal, and the utterly subjective “my truth.” Or as Barr described, your narrative versus my narrative.

There is only one way to declare a winner under the latter scenario: power. Therein lies the source of the ever-increasing vitriolic rancor of our elections. Ideas aren’t judged objectively true or false. Policies aren’t judged by results; it has become the “oppressed” versus the “oppressor,” with the objective being power.

Far from a competitive marketplace of ideas debated honestly by those who aspire to serve their fellow men, their America more closely resembles the Shakespearean tragedy “Macbeth,” in which “a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

For over two centuries, America has been the exception to the rule of history. We were founded on the truth that freedom and morality are inextricably linked. It is the philosophical difference between the foundation and results of the American Revolution and the revolution in France. If we are to keep this republic, we must remain exceptional.

Alexis de Tocqueville told Americans that we are great because we are good, and if we ever ceased to be good we would cease to be great. Centuries before de Tocqueville, the source of that goodness put it plainly for all humanity, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”


Biden-Sanders Manifesto the Most Radically Left in U.S. History

It's amusingly ironic that the leader of the Democrat Party is not even a Democrat. Yes, the party is propping up Joe Biden at the top of the Democrat ticket in the November election, but Biden is a shell of his former self, hiding in his basement and stumbling and bumbling his way through "interviews" with friendly reporters. But when it comes to the driving force behind today's Democrat Party, the person setting the policy and ideological direction of the party is avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, the far-left Vermont radical who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and praised brutal leftist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.

Most candidates pander to their base during the primaries, and then tack to the middle for the general election to win over independent voters. Democrats did the opposite. Seeing Sanders pulling away from the field, they scrambled to push the other candidates out of the race to clear a path for Biden, deemed the most electable of the progressive clown show. Yet when Biden secured the nomination, he immediately tacked far left in order to shore up the angry, radical socialist base of the party, the "Bernie bros."

Any advantage Biden had against President Donald Trump evaporated the moment he signed onto the Bernie-Biden manifesto, a cornucopia of radically leftist policy proposals Biden promises to implement if elected.

Biden's policy team joined forces with Bernie's to develop this agenda. Of these combined task forces, Bernie said, "I think if people look at the outcome of those task forces, they'll find the reality that if those task force proposals are implemented ... Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

As The Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out, "The 110-page Biden-Sanders manifesto is the most radical policy document of either major party in our lifetimes. It leaps to the left of the Obama Administration on nearly every policy area, from education to taxes to climate change." To the left of Obama? Wow.

So, what proposals do the Biden-Sanders team offer up?

For one, they put the United States on the fast track for eliminating fossil fuels by banning all new coal, oil, and natural gas projects moving forward, by "retrofitting" four million buildings and two million households within five years, and by requiring all new buildings to produce "net-zero" carbon emissions by 2030. They also propose replacing all 500,000 school buses in America with "zero-emission alternatives" by 2025.

In other words, Biden and Sanders want all of America to experience the same skyrocketing electricity prices and rolling blackouts California is currently suffering, which caused Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom to recently tell Californians it's time to "sober up" about the limitations of renewable energy. Keep in mind that the Bernie-Biden proposals are far more ambitious than California's current restrictions.

As for the price tag, Biden says his plan is to spend $2 trillion over 10 years. But the price of the Green New Deal is a staggering $93 trillion for just the first decade, or roughly five times the size of the entire American economy.

And at a time when more than 10 million Americans are still out of work, Team Biden-Bernie wants to repeal right-to-work laws and drastically increase taxes, a devastating one-two punch that will cripple an economic recovery.

While avoiding calling for Medicare for All directly, the manifesto achieves the same end through an "installment plan," proposing expanding Medicare to everyone 60+, with a new taxpayer-subsidized "public option" that would compete with private insurers. Of course, it's impossible for private insurers to compete with a taxpayer-subsidized plan, so they would go bankrupt, leaving only the government plan.

It's baffling to see a proposal for socialized medicine when the nations leftists have for decades extolled for their "model" systems of socialized healthcare that are going bankrupt and leaving patients dying in hospital hallways, waiting for treatment that never comes.

This leftist utopia also envisions not just "free" healthcare but "free college tuition," forgiveness of student loans, and schools that provide not just "free" lunches but breakfast and dinner as well.

Of course, these "free" goodies must be paid for by someone, and that would be the working class on the backs of whom higher and higher taxes would be piled. And of course, all of these programs would need an even bigger army of government bureaucrats to manage, with exorbitant salaries and benefits paid by ... the taxpayers.

Biden-Bernie also calls for an end to the "era of shareholder capitalism." Translated, that means private wealth would be subject to public demands, the accumulated wealth of American citizens handed over to "stakeholders" (i.e., government, environmentalists, unions, etc.). In practice, the 401(k) plans of tens of millions of Americans would be seized and liquidated to fund ecofascist agendas and union-pension bailouts, among other things.

Other plans include the elimination of school choice, the end of cash bail, defunding the police, bailouts of Democrat cities and states, a $15/hour minimum wage, massive wealth redistribution, federal control of local zoning laws, and replacing police with social workers, just to name a few.

And all of this implemented under critical race theory, "social justice," and identity politics.

If this sounds like the definition of Hell to you, don't fool yourself. It's much, much worse.

And the only way to escape it is to vote for Donald Trump.


Extinction Rebellion facing 'organised crime' curbs
Government crackdown on extremist group after 'unacceptable' attack on free press

Extinction Rebellion could be treated as an organised crime group as part of a major crackdown on its activities that may also include new protections for MPs, judges and the press, The Telegraph can disclose.

Whitehall sources said Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have asked officials to take a "fresh look" at how the group is classified under the law, after the Prime Minister described its blockading of major printing presses as "completely unacceptable".

On Saturday, police were criticised for failing to act more quickly after the blockade began on Friday evening.

Hertfordshire police faced anger for stating that officers were “working to facilitate the rights of both the protesters and those affected by their presence” but protesters were not cooperating.

"It's clear they're not your normal protest group, so you have to look at them in a different way," said one Whitehall source.

Ministers are also considering new powers making it easier for police to stop demonstrators from entering particular areas, bolstering protections for parts of the UK's critical national infrastructure, and explicitly outlawing disruption to "tenets of democracy", such as MPs voting in Parliament, judges attending court, and the printing and distribution of the free press.

The move comes after nearly 200 activists used vehicles and bamboo structures to block roads outside major printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley, near Liverpool.

The presses print The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, along with Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp titles including the Sun and the Times.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) accused the newspapers of failing to report on climate change and chained themselves to the bamboo structures to obstruct the roads outside the works.

But there are fears the group has been infiltrated by far left groups, who want it to pursue a more overtly militant socialist agenda.

By Saturday night, 80 people had been arrested after the blockades resulted in delays to the distribution of several national publications to shops across the country.

Many readers of The Daily Telegraph were among those prevented from accessing a newspaper.

The Met Police issued fines totalling £200,000 to activists after they exceeded the limit of 30 people in any one gathering.

The demonstrations were condemned by Labour, whose shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: "A free press is vital for our democracy. People have the right to read the newspapers they want. Stopping them from being distributed and printers from doing their jobs is wrong.”

However Conservative MPs questioned why Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, failed to personally condemn the blockade.

Amanda Milling, the Conservative chairman, said Sir Keir should say whether he stood by previous comments that it was "completely wrong and counterproductive" to place Extinction Rebellion on a list of extreme ideologies.

On Saturday Mr Johnson held talks with Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, amid concerns that the blockade had had a "hugely damaging effect not just on the businesses themselves but also the newsagents and other shops which sell them".

The Prime Minister was "extremely concerned", said a source.

Mr Johnson tweeted: "A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

"It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public's access to news in this way."

Ms Patel also held talks with police chiefs, including agreeing on a plan for a major police presence to protect a reoccurrence at printworks on Saturday night.

She is said to have told officers to "get stuck in".

Lord Blunkett, the former Labour home secretary, said: "I think they're mixing up historic debate about picketing with protest relating to political issues, which can be dealt with through the normal democratic process."

He added: "Peaceful protest using distancing is acceptable, anarchy is not."

Richard Walton, a senior fellow at the Policy Exchange think tank and former head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The actions of Extinction Rebellion cross the line from protest into planned criminality and should be treated as such. The police need to get better at gathering intelligence pre-emptively and intervening to prevent such acts of criminality and upholding the rule of law."

The Government is considering bolstering powers in the Public Order Act to allow police to tackle unauthorised protests, as well as possible new powers to "protect elements of critical national infrastructure and tenets of democracy" - including the freedom for MPs to take part in Commons votes and the distribution of newspapers.

On Saturday, senior ministers were also discussing whether and how the group could be reclassified to help police to crack down on its activities.

A Whitehall source said one option under discussion was for XR to be viewed as an organised crime group, which could result in its members being policed primarily by the National Crime Agency - Britain's FBI.

Under the 2015 Serious Crime Act an organised crime group "has at its purpose, or one of its purposes, the carrying on of criminal activities, and consists of three or more people who agree to act together to further that purpose".

Those found to have participated in the activities of an organised crime group can be imprisoned for up to five years.

More than a thousand XR members have been arrested amid demonstrations since 2018. Activists have been convicted for public order offences, criminal damage and obstructing an engine or a carriage using a railway.

A second Whitehall source said: "They do this in a way that makes it as hard as possible for the police to remove them. The Home Office is looking at various ways we could deal with this kind of incident."

Some discussions have taken place about whether the group could even be proscribed as a terror organisation, but the source said it was thought to be highly unlikely that it would meet the legal threshold for such a move.

Last year, in a report published by Policy Exchange, Mr Walton said XR should be treated as an extremist anarchist group, after finding that it had a “subversive” agenda rooted in the “political extremism of anarchism” rather than just campaigning on climate change.

Responding to the report, an XR spokesman said the research’s conclusions were inaccurate and did not reflect the movement.

“The subversive and extreme agenda is that espoused by the government: ignore the crisis, occasionally say something that sounds as if they get it, then proceed with business as usual at full pace," the group claimed.


Australia: Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination bill

A number of powerful interest groups including the Sydney Anglican Diocese, the Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Schools NSW have declared support for One Nation leader Mark Latham's bill to amend the state's discrimination laws in favour of religious freedom.

But other church groups, as well as the peak body promoting diversity in Australian workplaces, have condemned the bill, arguing it would permit vilification and harassment in the name of faith and prevent firms from fostering "inclusive cultures".

The comments are contained in submissions to a state parliamentary inquiry which are yet to be published but have been obtained by The Sun-Herald.

Mr Latham's bill would explicitly make it unlawful for a person to be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, bringing NSW into line with other states. However, it would also go much further, protecting people such as former rugby union player Israel Folau from adverse action by employers for comments made outside the workplace that are motivated by religious belief.

It would be unlawful to discriminate against any employee for their religious activity, as long as the activity did not contain "direct criticism" of their employer, or cause "direct and material financial detriment" to the employer.

Mr Folau settled an unlawful dismissal case with Rugby Australia last year after his contract was terminated for his repeated comments on social media that homosexuals, adulterers, drunks and liars were sinners and would go to hell.

In a note accompanying his diocese's submission, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies lamented that in the social media era, "even the private, social and charitable lives of people of faith become subject to workplace scrutiny and assessment", and required protection.

Dr Davies said there was a growing but "ill-informed" idea in the community that religious people could leave their faith at home, in the private sphere. "A person can no more leave their faith at home as they can temporarily abandon their ethnic identity," he said.

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW said it particularly supported section 22M of the bill which would allow "religious ethos organisations" to discriminate in line with the tenets and doctrines of its faith, including giving preference to people of that faith when hiring and firing.

Catholic Schools NSW, responsible for educating about one in five NSW students, supported the bill's aims but was concerned certain clauses were contradictory and would inadvertently limit Catholic schools' ability to preference Catholic staff and students.

However, some church groups opposed the bill in its current form, including the Uniting Church in NSW and the national Anglican church, which is separate to the Sydney Anglicans.

Carolyn Tan, chair of the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia, told the inquiry: "We are concerned that the bill does not provide adequate mechanisms for ensuring that religiously-motivated activities do not prevail over the fundamental rights of others and over attempts by employers, law enforcement bodies and others to protect such rights and to enforce public safety, order and health."

Diversity Council Australia, which was founded by large listed companies such as ANZ, AMP, BHP, Coles, Myer, Rio Tinto and Westpac, strongly opposed the bill, warning it prioritised religion above other human rights and would inhibit corporations from creating inclusive workplaces.

For example, DCA suggested the bill could permit an employee to make derogatory comments to a homosexual colleague during an off-site lunch break.

"The proposed legislation would give licence to a wide range of potentially harmful and offensive statements to be made by people 'motivated by a religious belief'," DCA told the inquiry. "Allowing such comments would not enhance social cohesion in NSW, or in workplaces."

The parliamentary inquiry is ongoing and will hold public hearings before the bill is voted upon.



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, 2020 

China buys more corn and soy as USTR praises ‘phase one’ cooperation

China at first put big tariffs on soy in retaliation for Trump's tariffs on them.  They aimed to hurt American farmers who are big Trump supporters.  Soybeans are a major cash crop in the Midwest.

And it did hurt for a while until Trump recompensed the farmers with subsidies.  Meanwhile China needed the soy too much to continue with big tariffs.  Soy is a major source of protein in China and their own farmers do not grow enough of it

The USDA announced Tuesday that Chinese importers contracted to buy hefty new amounts of U.S. corn and soybeans just hours after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met Monday night to review progress of the “phase one” trade pact.

Chinese importers purchased 408,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and 204,000 tons of U.S. soybeans for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, according to a daily grain sale report released by USDA. The marketing year for corn and soybeans begins Sept. 1.

The sales come on the heels of a Trump administration statement Monday night confirming that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke over the phone with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He “in a regularly scheduled call.”

The corresponding statement released by USTR lauded “significant increases in purchases of U.S. products by China as well as future actions needed to implement the agreement. Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement.”

Tuesday marks the latest major corn and soybean purchase by China, continuing the country’s quick pace of new crop contracts. On Friday USDA announced sales of 405,000 tons of U.S. new crop corn and 400,000 tons of U.S. new crop soybeans to China, evoking optimism from USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud.

“I think with these sales today — the new market here begins Sept. 1 — I think it’s accurate to say … that when we turn the page to Sept. 1, we’ll have a record number of soybean sales on the books to ship to both China and to the world,” said Doud last week. “That’s already the case for corn … We’re going to be really busy loading boats come harvest time and that’s a really good thing.”

President Donald Trump is walking a fine line on China. On the one hand, he’s signaling that his hardball tactics with China over COVID-19 and other issues will be prominent in his bid for reelection. But he also continues to prioritize agricultural trade with China under the “phase one” pact.

“China will own our country if (Biden) gets elected,” Trump told GOP delegates at the Republican National Convention Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But he also highlighted recent record-breaking corn purchases by China. The USDA reported sales of 1.937 million metric tons of corn to China on July 30 and 1.762 million tons on July 14. Both were record-breaking purchases in size.


D.C. Mayor Considers Removing Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial

After the protests and riots following the death of George Floyd in police custody, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-Washington, D.C.) brought together a commission to consider striking various alleged symbols of oppression from the nation’s capital city. The commission issued its recommendations on Tuesday and if Washington, D.C. acts upon them, Americans may see national landmarks like the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial removed completely.

“We believe strongly that all District of Columbia owned public spaces, facilities and commemorative works should only honor those individuals who exemplified those values such as equity, opportunity, and diversity that DC residents hold dear,” the committee’s chairs, Bowser advisor Beverly Perry and public library director Richard Reyes-Gavilan, wrote in a letter introducing the report.

The commission analyzed historical figures commemorated in public monuments according to eight “DC values”: accessibility, diversity, equity, livability, opportunity, prosperity, resilience, and safety. They examined whether such figures participated in slavery, supported “systemic racism,” supported the “oppression of persons of color and/or women,” was a member of “any supremacist organization,” or violated the D.C. Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on “age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin.”

If commission members so desired, they could have suggested removing monuments to almost every political figure in American life until about 30 seconds ago. After all, many Democrats now condemn the Hyde Amendment (which prohibits federal tax dollars from funding abortion) as racist, so according to the ever-more-stringent standards of wokeness, a certain Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. may find himself #canceled. After all, a certain Barack Hussein Obama opposed “marriage equality” when he won the presidential election in 2008. Perhaps D.C. should prevent any monuments to America’s first black president because he violated the D.C. Human Rights Act.

Iconic D.C. Monuments Vandalized in Riots: ‘Do Black Vets Count?’
Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial among the damned
In any case, the commission decided that only 153 of the 1,330 individuals commemorated in the names of schools, parks, government buildings, and monuments are “problematic” enough to warrant excision from the public consciousness. How generous of them!

Among the damned are Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson; Declaration of Independence signers Benjamin Franklin and George Mason; inventor Alexander Graham Bell (he was a racist supporter of eugenics); and Francis Scott Key, author of the national anthem.

The commission suggested that the federal government “remove, relocate, or contextualize” statues of Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Albert Pike, and George Washington; and to similarly remove memorials commemorating Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Francis Griffith Newlands, and George Washington. This list includes the iconic Washington Monument and the beautiful Jefferson Memorial — treasures of America’s capital city.

In 2017, President Donald Trump warned that the iconoclasm driving the removal of Confederate monuments would lead to the removal of monuments to America’s Founding Fathers.

“This week it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down,” he said at the time. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

Commentators mocked Trump at the time, but now his remark seems prescient, if not prosaic.

Following the death of George Floyd, vandals defaced and toppled monuments celebrating George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. They also targeted Mahatma Gandhi, Union General Ulysses S. Grant, black Union soldiers, and freed slave Frederick Douglass. The iconoclasts also vandalized a monument to five firefighters who lost their lives trying to save lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

After all, who else will save America from those horrible racist firefighters?

Yes, the far Left does want to remove these statues, and now a Democratic mayor’s commission has recommended removing the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial from the nation’s capital city because racism.

Of course, the commission did not just recommend striking down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. It also objected to 22 of the district’s public and charter school names, 78 street names, two of the ten public libraries, and 12 out of 75 parks and playgrounds named after historical figures.

In some cases, it may make sense to remove a name from a school, street, or monument as America’s culture changes. For example, the “Battle At Liberty Place” monument in New Orleans commemorated a Confederate uprising that took place after the Civil War. That monument literally celebrated the words “white supremacy.” That “monument” went too far by any standard, and Americans should celebrate its removal.

When activists begin to label America’s Founders, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Frankin, and George Mason “persons of concern” whose monuments should be removed from public view, they have jumped the shark. Nay, they have identified themselves as opponents of America’s heritage.


The violence and hatred currently roiling this country—where does it come from?

For those of us who have been following the antics of the Left for nearly half a century, the answer is quite clear: from Germany, via the American educational system

When you’ve been raised to hate your country—to see it as historically illegitimate and in dire need of “fundamental transformation,” to quote Barack Obama—then in a time of relative international peace, there can be no moral crusade higher or more important than its destruction. Because, according to the Manichean logic of the American Left, the perfect must always and everywhere be the enemy of the good.

The source of this inhuman lie is the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxist professorial refugees from Nazi Germany who in the wake of the Communists’ defeat by their fellow leftists of the National Socialist German Workers Party, established a secure beachhead at Columbia University, to which they transplanted something with the anodyne name of the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research, and in which they developed their doctrine of Critical Theory to be spread to educational institutions across the country.

As I wrote in my 2015 book, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace,” a philosophical examination of the Frankfurters and the havoc they wrought on the nation that gave them a safe harbor from Hitler and National Socialism, Critical Theory “holds that there is no received tenet of civilization that should not either be questioned (the slogan “question authority” originated with the Frankfurt School) or attacked.

“Our cultural totems, shibboleths, and taboos are declared either completely arbitrary or the result of a long-ago ‘conspiracy,’ steadfastly maintained down through the ages… In its purest form, which is to say its most malevolent form, Critical Theory is the very essence of satanism: rebellion for the sake of rebellion against an established order that has obtained for eons, and with no greater promise for the future than destruction.”

What we’re seeing today on the streets of Portland, Kenosha, Seattle, and elsewhere is Critical Theory in practice: no longer simply the province of crabby old nihilists, some of them sexual deviants, with Dr. Strangelove accents and Communist malice in their corrupted souls, Critical Theory has gone mainstream.

One by one, the pillars of the American past and our Constitution—the cream of Enlightenment thought—are being knocked down, not to symbolically redress any real or imagined wrongs, but for the sake of destruction itself. Which, according to Frankfurt dogma, is the whole point. In answer to the question often asked by clueless conservatives—what do they propose to replace Western civilization with?—the answer is: nothing.

Critical Theory is therefore merely another name for vengeful anarchy, and in the Democratic Party it has found the ideal vehicle for its political expression. The process began in the 1960s when one of the most prominent Frankfurters, Herbert Marcuse, emerged as a kind of guru to American college radicals—the “love children”—of that era, preaching his doctrine of “repressive tolerance,” which might best be explained as “tolerance for me, but not for thee.”

Or, in Marcuse’s own words: “This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc. … Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”


British Museum shows artefacts collected by explorer Captain Cook as part of ‘permanent British occupation’ of Australia

Australia is an independent multicultural nation. It has been independent since 1901. It is NOT under occupation by the British.  And Cook was NOT part of the settlement of Australia

But the whole idea is to deplore European settlement in Australia.  As such, it is clearly racist.  The systematic racists are on the Left, not the Right. The Left can't leave race alone.  They find racism under every bed when the place that they should be looking at is the mirror

The British Museum has been accused of rewriting history and hypocrisy after it relabelled Aboriginal artefacts collected by Captain Cook as being part of the “permanent British occupation” of Australia.

The relabelling of the artefacts is a response by the museum to the Black Lives Matter protests, linking Captain Cook’s charting of the east coast of Australia to the suffering of Aboriginal people following the arrival of the First Fleet 18 years later.

“James Cook sailed up the east coast in 1770, permanent British occupation began in 1788 with a ‘First Fleet’ of ships carrying convicts to establish a penal colony at present day Sydney,” a sign next to a Gweagal shield said.

“Some Aboriginal people in central Australia remained out of contact with Europeans until the 1980s,” another label states.

“The Eora people of the Sydney region suffered the first brunt of British colonisation from 1788.

“Despite loss of population due to disease and frontier violence as well as displacement, Aboriginal people continue to live in the Sydney region maintaining strong bonds with their traditional lands and culture.”

The British Museum would not officially answer questions about why the labels for the items had been changed but staff in the Enlightenment room, where the Indigenous items, were kept said The Black Lives Matter protests had “inspired” the change.

“They were inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to finally address it,” a staff member said.

Another staff member said the signs were “explaining the history of the museum and how things got here”.

Despite the changes to the signs, the museum has refused to repatriate the items to Australia as requested by Indigenous Australian man Rodney Kelly, who says the Gweagal shield belonged to his ancestors.

Institute of Public Affairs Foundations of Western Civilisation Program director Dr Bella d’Abrera said the museum was reinventing history by conflating talented navigator Captain Cook with the suffering of the Aboriginal people.

“The British Museum is guilty of promoting the false narrative that Captain James Cook invaded and occupied Australia,” she said.

“Attributing genocide to the son of a Scottish farmer is both historically inaccurate and morally wrong … Captain Cook did not invade Australia.

“This is sheer hypocrisy. On the one hand they imply that the shield was stolen from the indigenous population, but on the other, they are not returning it to the descendants of its original owners.”

History Council of NSW president Dr Stephen Gapps also said the museum should return the items if that is what indigenous people wanted.

“I personally think that (relabelling) is a way of getting around the fact they still have those artifacts in their collections and are not willing to give a lot of those back,” he said.

“Ideally they wouldn’t have an object label on the shield and the spears and other objects, they would begin a process of repatriation.”

Exhibitions of Indigenous Australian artwork at the museum have also been given similar signs acknowledging their origins.

A statue of Cook located in The Mall near Buckingham Palace was defaced during the London Black Lives Matter protests, two statues of him were defaced in Sydney during protests in June, and there has been an online petition to have a statue of him removed in Cairns.

Australian National University history professor Ann McGrath said the myth of Captain Cook needed to be separated from the facts.

“I think that Cook the man is a different thing from Cook the myth and what he came to symbolise,” she said.

“It is logical that Aboriginal people see him as the beginning of their troubles and the loss of everything that they had — and in a way we have to separate that from the biography of the actual man.”

The official reason for Cook’s voyage to the Pacific was to observe the 1769 transit of Venus in Tahiti while the unofficial purpose discovered in a note from the King once the Endeavour set sail was to look for evidence of an ‘unknown southern land’ — a prize in a great race place between Britain and France at the end of the 18th Century.

His instructions from the King were “if he found a “continent or land of great extent” he should seek “with the consent of the natives to take possession of convenient situations in the country”.

Cook named the new land known as New South Wales and claimed it for Britain before sailing north towards Queensland.



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, 2020

New 'Absolutely Shocking' Evidence Presented in the George Floyd Case

There is no doubt that officer Chauvin was using an authorized hold -- but how well he was trained to use it is an issue.  Such "sleeper" holds should be removed as soon as the perp goes limp.  There are only one or two minutes between death and survival where such holds are used.  It would appear that the officer maintained the hold for far too long

On the other hand, Fentanyl is a very powerful surgical anaesthetic.  Using Fentanyl requires very careful dosage control for the patient to survive. Again there is only a very fine line between survival and death. And Floyd definitely had fatal dose in his system at autopsy. He appears to have taken it just as the police began to restrain him.

So there were two causes for the death of George Floyd.  He could have died of either of them.

So which cause of death cut in first is unknowable.  Therefore officer Chauvin cannnot be held to have killed Floyd beyond reasonable doubt  -- and that will presumably be the eventual verdict

Attorneys for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin are requesting the dismissal of murder and manslaughter charges against him for the death of George Floyd. They're using the police training manual as justification.

According to the Minneapolis Police Department training manual, officers are shown how to subdue violent or resisting suspects by placing their knee on the neck.

Analysts and attorneys at Court TV explain. It's worth a full watch:

"From coast-to-coast everyone, absolutely outraged, especially by that fact, the knee on the neck. Well, guess what folks, take a look at what you're looking at right here. That is from the police training manual," attorney and host Vinnie Politan said. "Where this all comes from is from a motion to dismiss. A motion to dismiss that was filed by Derek Chauvin's attorneys saying that the knee on the neck is part of his training as a Minneapolis police officer. And there we see it in the manual on the left and on the right is what we all have seen in the video of Officer Chauvin. So, is this a game-changer?"

"This one is absolutely shocking. I mean, this is what the whole story is about. This is what outraged millions and millions of people, this is what caused the protests. It was the knee on the neck...and now the defense is saying dismiss the charges because the knee on the neck is right there in the police training manual," he continued.

So why did Chauvin continue holding his knee on Floyd's neck after he became unresponsive?

"There comes a point where everyone is telling him, 'Look, he's not responding anymore.' ... I want our viewers to get familiar with a very important word here, it's called "excited delirium." ... That's what he's going to use to explain why when [Floyd] was no longer responsive, he continued with the knee on the neck because that, when you talk about excited delirium, it's about people who use drugs, which they're going to claim they saw him using, that's why they're talking about the tablet on the tongue, bizarre behavior. We saw that, but eventually, it gets to something that's called superhuman strength. Oftentimes people in that position, they show superhuman strength and that picture shows how you are supposed to restrain people when you are afraid for excited delirium," Attorney Michael Ayala added. "This is a game-changer...it's going to be tough to overcome this training instruction picture that shows exactly how [Chauvin] was doing it by the book."

Newly released court documents show Floyd had a "fatal level" of fentanyl in his system when he died. He also resisted arrest before being placed on the ground by officers.

New documents filed in the George Floyd case give new information about the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's findings in Floyd's autopsy.

Handwritten notes of a law enforcement interview with Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, say Floyd had 11 ng/mL of fentanyl in his system.

"If he were found dead at home alone and no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD. Deaths have been certified with levels of 3," Baker told investigators.

In another new document, Baker said, "That is a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances."

But then Baker added, "I am not saying this killed him."

Defense attorneys for the officers have signaled they will argue Floyd died from the drugs and pre-existing health conditions.

The new documents say Floyd had a "heavy heart" and "at least one artery was approximately 75% blocked."


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nonsense

Walter E. Williams

Check out any professional and most college basketball teams. Their starting five, and most of their other 10 players, are black, as is 80% of the NBA. This does not come anywhere close to the diversity and inclusion sought by the nation's social justice warriors. Both professional and college coaches have ignored and threw any pretense of seeking diversity and inclusiveness.

My question to you is: Would a basketball team be improved if coaches were required to include ethnically diverse players for the sake of equity? I have no idea of what your answer might be but mine would be: "The hell with diversity, equity and inclusion. I am going to recruit the best players and do not care if most of them turn out to be black players."

Another question: Do you think that any diversity-crazed college president would chastise his basketball coach for lack of diversity and inclusiveness?

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (National Accelerator Laboratory) is home to the world's most powerful experiments, fastest supercomputers and top-notch physics researchers. Much of SLAC's research is on particle accelerators that are complicated machines that are designed, engineered and operated to produce high-quality particle beams and develop clues to the fundamental structure of matter and the forces between subatomic particles. You can bet that their personnel makeup exhibits very little concern about racial diversity, equity and inclusion. The bulk of their scientists is not only Americans of European and Asian ancestry but mostly men. My question to you is: What would you do to make SLAC more illustrative of the racial, ethnic and sexual diversity of America? As for me, my answer would be the same one that I gave in the basketball example: I am going to recruit the brightest scientists and I do not care if most of them turn out to be men of European and Asian ancestry.

In the hard sciences, one will find black Americans underrepresented. For example, a 2018 survey of the American Astronomical Society, which includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members and retired astronomers, found that 82% of members identified as white and only 2% as black or African American. Only 3% of bachelor's degrees in physics go to black students. In 2017, some fields, such as structural engineering and atmospheric physics, graduated not a single black Ph.D.

The conspicuous absence of black Americans in the sciences have little or nothing to do with racism. It has to do with academic preparation. If one graduates from high school and has not mastered a minimum proficiency in high school algebra, geometry and precalculus, it is likely that high-paying careers such as engineering, medicine, physics and computer technology are hermetically sealed off for life.

There are relatively few black fighter jet pilots. There are stringent physical, character and mental requirements, which many black applicants could meet. But fighter pilots must also have a strong knowledge of air navigation, aircraft operating procedures, flight theory, fluid mechanics, meteorology and engineering. The college majors that help prepare undergraduates for a career as a fighter pilot include mathematics, physical science and engineering. But if one graduates from high school without elementary training in math, it is not likely that he will enroll in the college courses that would qualify him for fighter pilot training.

At many predominantly black high schools, not a single black student tests proficient in math and a very low percentage test proficient in reading; however, these schools confer a diploma that attests that the students can read, write and compute at a 12th-grade level and these schools often boast that they have a 70% and higher graduation rate. They mislead students, their families and others by conferring fraudulent diplomas.

What explains the fact that over 80% of professional basketball players are black, as are about 70% of professional football players? Only an idiot would chalk it up to diversity and inclusion. Instead, it is excellence that explains the disproportionate numbers. Jewish Americans, who are just 3% of our population, win over 35% of the Nobel prizes in science that are awarded to Americans. Again, it is excellence that explains the disproportionality, not diversity and inclusion. As my stepfather often told me, "To do well in this world, you have to come early and stay late."


Do All Lives Really Matter?

The media's refusal to report on black-on-white crime is both shameful and expected.

It’s been a busy few days, so you might’ve missed the disturbing story out of Georgia last week that a middle-aged black man was stabbed multiple times in the neck and torso by a young white man in an AutoZone store. The assailant reportedly smiled when he told police that he “felt the need to find a black male to kill.”

Early last month in Colorado, there was an even more awful incident of racial violence. A 21-year-old white man from Aurora was driving down a suburban street when he began following a trio of 11- and 12-year-old black boys walking home from school. The man then hit the gas, jumped the curb, and mowed down two of the three boys.

Given the racially charged tensions of the day, it’s hard to believe these stories haven’t received more attention. Or maybe it’s not hard to believe at all. Because the victims in these two cases were actually white, and the assailants were black.

But does anyone doubt that had the races been reversed, these terrible stories would’ve been more extensively covered by the mainstream media? If you doubt this, think back a month ago to the execution-style slaying of five-year-old Cannon Hinnant, who was out riding his bike in front of his house when he was shot point-blank in the head by a neighbor, a 25-year-old black man named Darius Sessoms.

Perhaps there’s a shrine somewhere commemorating the too-short life of young Cannon, but perhaps not. Either way, we certainly won’t see the protests, the looting, the arson, and the nationwide violence we’ve seen in response to the death of 46-year-old career criminal George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Why not?

The answer might be, at least in part, that black-on-white crime is so commonplace as to not be newsworthy. Of course, it might also be that reporting on black-on-white crime discomforts our mainstream media and distracts from its narrative of the U.S. as an irredeemably racist nation shot through with white supremacy.

Our Mark Alexander picked up on this blame-shifting charade recently, and he cited some compelling statistics from researcher and author Heather Mac Donald regarding the interracial crime disparity. Such as: “There were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations … between blacks and whites [in 2018], including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent.”

Mac Donald goes on to note that blacks represent just 13% of the U.S. population, and yet they commit 90% of our nation’s violent crime. She adds that this ratio is becoming even more skewed despite the Left’s continuous claims of Trump-inspired white violence. “Blacks,” she writes, “are also overrepresented among perpetrators of hate crimes — by 50 percent — according to the most recent Justice Department data from 2017.”

When was the last time you read crime statistics like these in The New York Times or The Washington Post, or heard them discussed on NPR, or saw them displayed on CNN or CBS or NBC or ABC or PBS?

If racism in America is indeed worthy of our discussion, then by all means let’s have a discussion. But let’s be sure to have a thorough discussion, a legitimate discussion, an honest discussion — rather than a politically correct one that avoids these inconvenient and troubling truths.


The COVID-19 panic is unnecessary — it is much less threatening than we think

Deutsche Bank analyst Tim Baker was perplexed on Friday, highlighting in a research note to clients the “extent to which Australia and New Zealand stand out for a heavy response to a relatively mild problem”.

“Put simply the Antipodes have coronavirus caseloads at the bottom of the pack but lockdown stringency at the top; governments have chosen to respond with extreme caution,” he said.

In France, about 5000 cases a day are being diagnosed, yet the French government has vowed not to lock down the country again. Indeed, if my friends’ social media accounts are anything to go by, Europe rapidly is getting back to normal. While the flow of cases has rebounded a little, death rates have collapsed.

Meanwhile on Monday, after another 73 new cases were announced in Victoria, Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said it was unlikely the second six-week lockdown would end on September 13.

What can explain such extreme behaviour, and the extraordinary contrast in attitude, well into a pandemic that has been much less deadly than feared?

A Roy Morgan poll last week found 72 per cent supported Victoria’s 8pm to 5am curfew and 5km restriction. Three-quarters said restaurants, cafes and pubs shouldn’t be able to serve food even with social distancing. Almost 90 per cent wanted masks to be compulsory “when leaving home”. Almost 60 per cent wanted it to remain illegal to visit immediate family. Until this year, the World Health Organisation and senior disease experts advised against all of these actions to combat viral epidemics.

From the perspective of those halcyon days, our response to the coronavirus would be a story befitting Charles Mackay’s classics Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds. Masked solo drivers are now a common sight in Sydney.

Perhaps Victorians’ authoritarian tendencies have arisen from extreme — and unjustified — fear of the coronavirus. Even in nations that didn’t mandate tough lockdowns, such as Sweden, economic activity and movement collapsed.

In Britain and Sweden the public thinks 6 per cent to 7 per cent of the population has died, which would be 3.6 million and 600,000 people, respectively. The figures are 41,500 and 5800. Interestingly, Sweden’s overall mortality for this year, adjusted for population size, is barely distinguishable from previous years.

Franklin Templeton, a US investment manager, recently conducted a survey of Americans that left its chief investment officer stunned. About 70 per cent of all age groups said they were worried about contracting “serious health effects” from the virus, a “staggering discrepancy with the actual mortality data”. “For people aged 18 to 24 the share of whose worried about health consequences is 400 times higher than their share of total COVID deaths, for 25 to 34 it’s 90 times,” Sonal Desai said.

“The misperception is greater for those who identify as Democrats and for those who rely more on social media for information.”

As growth of cases slows, as it has everywhere, many Victorians will attribute the decline wholly to the lockdown, to the wisdom of the state government, a classic logical fallacy but politically powerful.

Looking at data from 23 countries and 25 US states, economists from the US Federal Reserve and the University of California last month found growth rates of coronavirus deaths surged and dissipated rapidly everywhere, not­with­standing government policy.

“Given that transmission rates for COVID-19 fell virtually everywhere in the world during this early pandemic period, we are concerned that studies may substantially overstate the role of government-mandated shutdowns in reducing disease transmission,” they wrote.

Humans spontaneously took action to avoid viruses, whatever government said, they reasoned, and “unexplained natural forces” also accounted for the decline in transmission. Seven of the eight influenza pandemics since 1700 fizzled out without any government action. “Unfortunately, each of those seven had a second substantial peak approximately six months after the first,” they did add, somewhat ominously. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety,” American journalist HL Mencken wrote.

Fear might be helpful in eliciting compliance with public health measures — and for attracting clicks to online news articles — but it’s a disaster for economic activity and the livelihoods of swathes of the population who would like to get on with their life.

If most people significantly over-estimate the risk of coronavirus in a year’s time, they will not travel or consume in anything like the way they used to. Life will be a lot less pleasant. For now, JobKeeper and JobSeeker have papered over the economic damage wrought by lockdowns and fear.

George Orwell worried that man’s future was a boot stamping on his face. If the government doesn’t rectify such misplaced fear, it may end up being a mask.



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, 2020 

The Lockdown Has Gone From a Mistake to a Crime


Four months ago, I wrote a column titled “The Worldwide Lockdown May Be the Greatest Mistake in History.” I explained that “‘mistake’ and ‘evil’ are not synonyms. The lockdown is a mistake; the Holocaust, slavery, communism, fascism, etc., were evils. Massive mistakes are made by arrogant fools; massive evils are committed by evil people.”

Regarding the economic catastrophe in America and around the world — especially among the world’s poor who are dependent upon America and other first-world countries for their income through exports and tourism — I wrote, “It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus, that created this catastrophe.”

Unfortunately, I was right.

The world should have followed Sweden’s example. That country never locked down and has even kept children under 16 in school the entire time. As Reuters reported on July 15, the number of Swedish children between 1 and 19 years of age who have died of COVID-19 is zero. And the percentage of children who contracted the illness was the exact same in Sweden as it was in Finland, which locked down its schools.

As regards teachers, Sweden’s Public Health Agency reported that “a comparison of the incidence of COVID-19 in different professions suggested no increased risk for teachers.” Nevertheless, with few exceptions, teachers in Los Angeles and elsewhere refuse to enter a classroom that has students in it. Their disdain for their profession has been superseded only by that of the Los Angeles teachers union, which announced that teachers will not resume teaching until the police are defunded.

People who defend lockdowns and closing schools point out that Sweden has the eighth-highest death rate per million in the Western world. But, needless to say, this has no bearing at all on the issue of whether Sweden was right to keep schools open or whether our country was wrong to close them, let alone keep them closed now. The overwhelming majority of deaths from COVID-19 in Sweden were among people over 70 years of age, and most of those were people over 80 and with compromised immune systems.

Reuters reported that three separate studies, including one by UNICEF, “showed that Swedish children fared better than children in other countries during the pandemic, both in terms of education and mental health.”

For more than a month, Sweden has had almost no deaths from COVID-19 while the entire society remains open and almost no one wears masks. (In Holland, too, almost no one wears masks.) For all intents and purposes, the virus is over in Sweden.

I live in California, a state governed by that most dangerous of leaders: a fool with unlimited power. Despite the fact that California ranks 28th among the 50 states in deaths per million, Gov. Gavin Newsom has destroyed and continues to destroy tens of thousands of small businesses and untold numbers of livelihoods. His continuing to forbid — a half-year after the onset of the pandemic — indoor dining in restaurants is leading to a projected permanent closure of approximately 1 in every 3 restaurants in the state.

The same catastrophic destruction will likely affect retail businesses and services such as hair and nail salons. But all this human tragedy — not to mention increased depression and suicides among the young and increased abuse of children and partners — means nothing to Newsom, to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti or to the Los Angeles Times, whose editors and columnists continue to advocate for the lockdown while they receive their salaries.

Why can people eat with no mask in an airplane — inches, not six feet, from strangers — but cannot eat in a California restaurant, which is so much bigger than the inside of an airplane, while sitting six feet from others? Because Newsom ordered it, the Los Angeles Times supports it and, like sheep, Californians have accepted it.

According to the California Association of Museums, “Museums are losing over $22 million a day due to the statewide quarantine. As of August 1, 2020, California museums have lost more than $2.9 billion in revenue. Museums have a $6.55 billion financial impact on California’s economy, support 80,722 jobs, and generated $492 million in tax revenues for the State of California in 2017 and over $1 billion in federal taxes.”

And the American Alliance of Museums issued results from a survey on July 22, 2020, that warned 1 out of every 3 museums may shutter forever as funding sources and financial reserves run dry.

On Aug. 3, The Wall Street Journal wrote, “In March … There was broad public support for the prudent goals of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed and buying scientists time to develop therapies.” But the left — the media and Democratic governors and mayors — immediately moved the goalposts to “bending the curve” and “saving one life,” enabling them to get away with destroying lives and livelihoods.

I conclude with the words of a Swedish medical doctor, Sebastian Rushworth:

“Covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place … Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.”

The lockdown is a crime. But even more upsetting is that it is supported by so many Americans. This country is unrecognizable to those of us who lived through the 1968-1970 pandemic, which killed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100,000 Americans — the 2020 equivalent of 170,000 Americans. Nothing shut down. Not one mask was worn.


Canada: Protesters tear down statue of nation’s first prime minister, accused of racist policies

Canadian activists have pulled down a statue of the nation’s first prime minister, whose policies were linked with the deaths of many indigenous people, according to reports.

A video showed the moment that protesters were able to pull down the statue of Sir John A MacDonald, with his head bouncing off after the statue hit the ground. A protester than posed for a photo with the head, the BBC reported.

A leaflet distributed at the protest described MacDonald as "a white supremacist who orchestrated the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system," according to Canadian broadcaster CBC. No arrests have been made.

“Destroying parts of our history is not the solution,” Quebec’s Premier François Legault said, further condemning the action as "unacceptable."

"Whatever one might think of John A. MacDonald, destroying a monument in this way is unacceptable," Legault wrote on Twitter. "We must fight racism, but destroying parts of our history is not the solution. Vandalism has no place in our democracy and the statue must be restored."

The recent shift in MacDonald's standing, particularly in response to the global protests following George Floyd's death, has led Scotland to "disowning him," according to the BBC. Mentions of the Glasgow-born politician have been removed from Scotland.org sites.

In a statement, the Scottish National Party-led government confirmed it had removed articles on Sir John A Macdonald from the websites "following the legitimate concerns raised by Canadian indigenous communities about his legacy."

MacDonald helped build the Canadian nation and create the residential school system. His nation-building policies included the forced removal of at least 150,000 indigenous children from their homes and inclusion in state-funded boarding schools.

The policy enforced assimilation, with students banned from speaking their own language or practicing more explicit elements of their culture. Many of those children were supposedly abused, with some dying.

MacDonald supposedly also allowed famine and disease to kill many indigenous people, with some tribes forced off their lands.


How To Think About Conservatism Post-Trump

Trump has restored real conservatism

With this week's Republican National Convention and the formal coronation of Donald Trump as the party's 2020 presidential nominee, many have seized the moment to speculate about the political future of the Republican Party -- and, by extension, the intellectual and pragmatic future of American conservatism itself.

The 2016 romp of Trump, the reality TV star-turned-commander in chief, upended decades of outmoded GOP orthodoxies and ushered in a seismic shift in American politics. Throughout the Cold War, and even in the two-and-a-half decades between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Trump's infamous campaign-launching 2015 golden escalator descent, conservatism in America had assumed a credal, almost cultish tenor. What emerged as an instrumentality to retain a viable political coalition and counter the Soviet foe -- "fusionism," in the parlance of National Review, which morphed into Ronald Reagan's "three-legged stool" platform -- had, by at least the time of the lackluster 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential ticket, decayed into a hodgepodge of some claimed political truths with warmed-over policy nostrums befitting the idiosyncratic problems of three decades prior.

Worse, by 2012, it had become clear that the gap between what Republican voters in flyover country wanted and what bicoastal Republican elites in the political and donor classes deigned to offer their subjects was positively yawning. The median Republican voter wanted law and order secured, religion protected and promoted, immigration levels reduced, a more restrained (if, paradoxically, still forceful) foreign policy, and an unabashed defense of the greatness of the American regime and the American way of life.

The median Republican congressman or senator, by contrast, whispered, in a hushed voice, conservative pieties to incredulous voters while duping those very voters behind their backs with a neoliberal agenda, in thrall to Wall Street and Silicon Valley, that secured mass benefits for some at the expense of many.

The Trump phenomenon exposed this long-simmering dissension for the whole world to see. The old, washed-up hands of Conservatism Inc. expressed either bemusement or outright disdain. But the Trump revolt, especially viewed in tandem with its 2016 cousin, Brexit, is no passing phenomenon. The astonishing nightly ratings of Fox News host Tucker Carlson help demonstrate that, contra the old guard's wistful pining, there will be no putting this nationalist, populist genie back into the bottle.

Many on both the left and right speculate whether the "Trump effect" might be dismissed as a one-off electoral fluke attributable to the president's universal name-brand recognition and overwhelming personality. But decades of opinion polling belie this conceit.

The reality is that there are more voters concerned with the core tenets of cultural Americanism -- secure the border, limit immigration to promote assimilation, fight multiculturalism, support law and order, promote religion, and orient economic and foreign policy around a narrowly tailored conception of the American national interest -- than there are voters wedded to the lofty precepts of Lockean classical liberalism. Reagan himself may have once asserted that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism," but on this, the Gipper was wrong.

A conservatism that steadfastly refuses to grapple with changing circumstances, preferring instead to wax poetic from the stale hymnal of yore, is not conservatism at all. There is no epistemological humility -- the cornerstone of Burkean conservatism -- in consigning oneself to the ruinous confines of a performative perennial political minority. Humility comes instead from a willingness to reassess a moment in history and rethink the proper means to meet the timeless ends of politics -- justice, human flourishing, individual liberty and the good life. There is no virtue, nor any moral high ground, in stubbornly refusing to change one's ways.

Fortunately, though Trump was a crass wrecking ball to the old paradigm, many on the American right are now constructively engaged in helping to shape the future of our movement. That future will meet conservative voters as they are -- rather than as elites would prefer they be. It will be more avowedly nationalist and worker-friendly and less tied to laissez-faire absolutism, in matters of economics. It will vehemently resist the siren song of liberal internationalism, preferring instead a foreign policy rooted in disparate alliances that, assessed independently, redound to the national interest. Above all else, it will be ordered toward the elevation of the inherent dignity of the American citizen and the robust defense of the American way of life.

Whether Trump wins or loses this November, American conservatism faces a crossroads. But there is only one proper path: that which recognizes the stakes of our roiling cold civil war and is unafraid to wield the levers of state power to promote good political order and subdue the civilizational arsonists who would burn down our nation. The fight will only get uglier in coming months, but thankfully, the path forward is clear.


Get Those Evil... Dentists?! Portland Antifa Rioters Burn Dentist's Office With Apartments Above

On Monday night, the ninety-fifth consecutive night of violent riots in Portland, antifa activists again harassed the condo building where Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland) lives, this time to “celebrate” his birthday. They lit a bonfire in the street in front of the building and set off commercial-grade fireworks right outside condo windows. Then they invaded a nearby dentist’s office and set it on fire, heedless of the fact that people live in the apartments above it. After the police held themselves back in order to “deescalate” the situation, to no avail — surprise, surprise — the cops finally broke up the dangerous riot.

Antifa rioters mobbed Wheeler’s condo building for the second time in three days. When rioters harassed this building on Saturday evening, Michael Forest Rienoehl, the self-described antifa man who allegedly shot and killed Trump supporter Aaron Danielson, took part in the harassment.

Rioters unfurled a large banner reading “Resign” and set a picnic table on fire in the middle of the street.

Antifa rioters also set off fireworks which exploded in front of the condo building windows, harassing any unfortunate soul whose only crime was to live in the same building as Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Rioters also vandalized the area, spray-painting the message, “How much does it take to show you we are serious?” This message echoed Reinoehl’s notorious Instagram post in which he warned that “antifa truly stands for” a devastating upheaval that cannot happen without “a war and like all wars there will be casualties.”

Antifa rioters spilled out from the area of Wheeler’s condo, vandalizing “random” businesses. One group vandalized a dentist’s office and then broke inside and started a fire.

“This is the message of the unheard,” one spray-painted message reads. “Cops = KKK,” another graffiti message screams. “Cops & Klan go hand in hand,” a third declares. Vandals also spray-painted the message, “ACAB,” the abbreviation for “All Cops Are Bastards.”

It appears some rioters may actually believe this extreme hyperbole, even though there is no evidence that the Ku Klux Klan — a rightly vilified and largely defunct organization — has any ties to the Portland Police Bureau. Even so, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who has demanded that Wheeler put her in charge of the city’s police, attributed the shooting of Aaron Danielson to the “perception” of an “alliance” between PPB and “white supremacists.”

The attack on the dentist’s office proved to be a turning point in the riots Monday night. Police had been monitoring the violence up until that point.

The police report notes that cops observed the fireworks, the breaking of windows, and the graffiti, but “in an attempt to deescalate, officers stayed out of sight and monitored the situation from a distance. However, the vandalism and burning continued. People were seen burglarizing a business, taking furniture out, and throwing it on the fires in the street.”

At 11:05 p.m., the police declared the riot an unlawful assembly. At that point, the rioters set the fire in the dentist’s office, which the police report describes as “a ground-level business in a large, occupied apartment building. Out of concern that the fire could spread, causing an extreme life safety concern, the incident was declared a riot.”

Police arrested 16 adults and one 17-year-old minor. Some of the rioters had knives when the cops arrested them.

Wheeler appears not to have addressed the harassment of his condo building directly. However, he did address the Danielson shooting on Sunday. In doing so, he strained to blame President Donald Trump for the shooting that killed a Trump supporter.

“Yesterday’s events began with hundreds of cars filled with supporters of the president, rallying in Clackamas County and then driving through downtown Portland,” Wheeler said. “They were supported and energized by the president himself. President Trump, for four years, we have had to live with you and your racist attacks on black people. We learned early about your sexist attitudes towards women. We’ve had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We’ve had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We’ve read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats, and we’ve listened to your attacks on immigrants.”

As PJ Media’s Jeff Reynolds noted, Wheeler’s laundry list of Trump’s misdeeds kept going, and the mayor worked in the debunked claim that President Trump had praised white supremacists. “It’s you who have created the hate and the division,” Wheeler charged.

It appears the antifa rioters took little encouragement from Wheeler’s decision to carry water for them. Instead, they harassed his condo building on his birthday. Or perhaps those fireworks were meant as a celebration — how thoughtful!

All sarcasm aside, the graffiti saying, “U R Next, Teddy,” is rather ominous. Is that a reference to Aaron Danielson? Is this graffiti really a death threat?

While Wheeler did vocally condemn the violent riots after antifa trapped police inside of a precinct and tried to burn the building down, he has mostly defended the antifa agitators wreaking havoc on his city. He faces a challenge from an even more radical candidate who vocally supports antifa and refused to condemn even the attempted murder of police officers.

Any mayor should be furious at the kind of harassment and violent attack leveled against his condo building. The rioters harassed and may have endangered everyone in the building, not just Wheeler. It would not be petty for the mayor to condemn such an attack, although it seems he has not yet done so.

Americans should have the civility not to disturb and harass politicians in their own homes, but that is especially true in cases like this, where any harassment targeted at Wheeler ends up making life worse for everyone in his condo building.



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, 2020 

Retaliation: LA County Cancels Church's Lease as John MacArthur's Congregation Continues to Worship God

Grace Community Church and its pastor, John MacArthur, have chosen to defy an unconstitutional order banning indoor church services in the name of fighting the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Los Angeles County has engaged in ridiculous court shenanigans to force the church to shut its doors but to no avail. So on Friday, the county’s Department of Public Works unilaterally decided to cancel the church’s lease agreement for a large portion of the church’s parking lot.

“Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order,” Jenna Ellis, who is representing MacArthur and the church, and is a personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, said in a statement. “In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal.”

“The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear—if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you,” Ellis added. “The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.”

The lease concerns a large portion of the church’s parking lot, and has been in place since 1975. Under the terms of the rental agreement, either the church or the county can terminate the agreement if it gives 30-days notice. While the Department of Public Works letter giving the church notice does not cite a reason for the lease’s termination, it seems virtually certain that the move is a form of retaliation amid the religious freedom battle.

The religious freedom battle

Both Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) and the County of Los Angeles have health orders prohibiting indoor church services. MacArthur and his church have challenged those orders in court while continuing to meet in person, and LA County has tried — no fewer than four times — to convince judges to issue restraining orders preventing the congregation from gathering to worship God in church.

Rather than enforcing the existing health order, which imposes a fine of $1,000 and jail time, the county has sought court orders, ostensibly to shift blame to the court but also to penalize the church further. The county has asked a judge to find MacArthur and his church in contempt of court, which would cost the church more than $20,000 and attorney’s fees. Courts repeatedly rejected these shenanigans.

Gov. Newsom has reportedly threatened to cut off power to any church that continues to meet in-person. Yet he is facing a large movement of civil disobedience. A network of California churches sued him last month and many churches throughout the state have vowed to hold in-person worship services despite the state ban on gatherings.

Charles LiMandri, one of MacArthur’s lawyers, noted that California “has given free rein to protestors, and is not similarly restricting marijuana dispensaries, large retail outlets and factories, and abortion providers.”

“Nothing about this is truly about health. It’s an unconstitutional power grab,” Ellis told PJ Media earlier this month.

In a powerful Daily Wire op-ed last week, MacArthur explained why his church is facing this aggressive prosecution. He noted that in the wake of post-structuralist (deconstructive) reasoning, most Americans believe that each person has a different “truth” based solely on experience, so “it’s impossible to know anything with settled certainty” which means Americans “can’t really believe anything, either.”

MacArthur also quoted Romans 1, in which Paul warns what happens to people who embrace sin and reject God. “Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32).

The pastor warned that the shapers of culture in music, the arts, the academy, and the media “have indoctrinated recent generations to accept and even encourage every imaginable kind of depravity and radical ‘alternative lifestyle.'”

“We’re not supposed to notice the overtly self-destructive nature of popular moral deviancies or the aberrant subcultures they spawn,” MacArthur noted. So the mainstream media “will, for example, portray months of lawlessness and rioting as legitimate expressions of free speech — insisting that it has been ‘mostly peaceful,’ even though the destructive result is clearly evident to anyone with eyes to see.”

“Meanwhile, nothing is more politically incorrect than religious belief. Genuine faith in God is commonly represented as a dangerous, disqualifying disorder,” the pastor argued. “Just this week, for example, former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, speaking live on a national news network, suggested that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo does not qualify to serve in public office because he is ‘overtly religious … which in itself is problematic.'”

Government policies regarding the coronavirus pandemic offer “more stunning examples of how far our culture has gone in losing its religion. States and counties across the nation have classified places like casinos, abortion clinics, liquor stores, and massage parlors as essential businesses, permitting them to remain open — while churches are commonly categorized as ‘nonessential’ and kept closed. The governor of California and county officials in Los Angeles have shown a determination to keep our church closed, even while encouraging massive political protests by angry people in the streets.”

The attack on religious faith ultimately traces back to human sin and America’s normalization of it. Church is essential, and not just for psychological health amid the dangers of a pandemic and riots. The foundational truths of Judaism and Christianity are the bedrock for western civilization and modern freedom and prosperity.

In attacking religious freedom, Newsom and LA County are attacking the roots of America’s civilization. While this legal battle is a matter of justice, it is also more important than just John MacArthur and Grace Community Church.


Why Racial Tensions Are So High in the Least Racist Society on Earth

It is really easy to explain.  The Left traffic in hate. It appears to suit their nature. They use hate to get into power. But they have to have something to point to as the hate object.

For a long time the hate object was "the bosses".  And that got them a substantial working class vote.  Since the working class began voting conservative in droves, however, a new target was needed.  The old hate was no longer working

And the Left have been casting around for a while in trying to find a new target.  They tentatively tried America as a whole for a while but they have now refined it to white America.  We will see in November how well that strategy is working. It seems plainly silly, if not desperate

Rational analysts — that is, admittedly a small and vanishing group — agree: the Black Lives Matter narrative about “systemic racism” in the United States is completely contrary to reality. It is propaganda constructed in order to exacerbate racial division and has about as much truth to it as the Nazis’ narrative about how Jews conspired to sabotage Germany’s World War I war effort. America is actually the least racist society on earth, one of the only countries ever to have elected a member of a formerly despised minority to its highest office, and a nation that fought a bloody civil war and labored for a century thereafter to secure equality of rights for all. So why is there so much racial tension?

As Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster explains, the answer to that question is clear: there is so much racial tension because certain forces in the American public sphere benefit from its persistence. This is nothing new; in fact, it goes back to what should have been and what was heralded as the end of racism in the United States: the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What no one expected in 1964 was that the Civil Rights Act would herald not the end of racial tensions in the United States, but their aggravation. As a result in large part of the act, segregation ended in the South and equality of opportunity was virtually assured, with stiff penalties for those who denied it. Yet even as actual racism was becoming unusual, civil rights activists began to insist that racism was so deeply embedded in the psyche of the nation that had done more than any other to eradicate it that much more legislation was required, including measures giving not just equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome, which would require special boosts and privileges to minorities. This all but guaranteed that racial friction would remain a feature of the American landscape.

Meanwhile, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty replaced segregation in the South with nationwide programs that were even worse for the poor, as they took away incentives to work and created a permanently unemployed underclass in which an ever-larger group of people essentially became wards of the state.

That may have been the idea all along. The famously coarse Johnson is said to have boasted about the Civil Rights Act of 1964: “I’ll have those n—-rs voting Democratic for two hundred years.” Between that act and the War on Poverty, he certainly did create a bloc of black Americans who could be counted on to vote Democratic – at least until the advent of Donald Trump. Whether or not those votes were in the best interests of those who cast them was highly debatable, but no one dared debate it.

Then came Barack Obama. Throughout his tenure, Obama stoked racial tensions rather than calming them. When he took office, the Justice Department was pursuing a case against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia. Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, abruptly dropped the case in May 2009 and refused to cooperate with further investigations, giving the impression that the Black Panthers were getting away with voter intimidation because of their race.

Obama’s response to several widely publicized incidents also exacerbated racial tensions. On July 16, 2009, black intellectual Henry Louis Gates found himself locked out of his Massachusetts home and began trying to force his way in. An officer arrived to investigate a possible break-in; Gates began berating him and was arrested for disorderly conduct. Obama claimed that the police “acted stupidly” and noted the “long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by police disproportionately,” although there was no indication of racial bias in the case. He invited Gates and the police officer to the White House for a “beer summit,” which the media hailed as a manifestation of his determination to heal racial divisions, when in fact it was just the opposite: he was taking a case of misunderstanding and disorderly conduct and portraying it as a racial incident requiring presidential reconciliation.

Obama also made matters worse when a young Hispanic, George Zimmerman, on February 26, 2012, shot dead a young black man, Trayvon Martin, in what was widely reported as a racial hate crime. NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s call to the police to give the false impression that Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin solely because he was black. Instead of trying to calm the situation, Obama stoked the idea that Zimmerman acted out of racial hatred and said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”  Yet Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and the Justice Department declined to prosecute him for a hate crime.

As Rating America’s Presidents shows, it is two Democratic presidents, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama, who are primarily responsible for the high racial tension in the country today. Those who are hailed as the healers of racism actually made the condition of the patient much worse than it would have been otherwise.


The European towns declaring themselves to be LGBT-free zones

Tuchow, a town of 6,500 people that lies 65 miles east of Krakow, is among a wave of Polish communities making such declarations after the country’s ruling Right-wing party ramped up rhetoric against ‘the cult of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] ideology’.

Politicians, priests and popular newspapers have called on people to stand firm against ‘a rainbow plague’ invading from abroad, even comparing its threat to the Communists and Nazis that so devastated their country last century.

The LGBT-free zone decision, taken by a small commune in the conservative rural heartlands of a Catholic country, strikes at the principles of the EU – of which Poland has been a member since 2004 – which was founded on shared values of democracy, freedom and tolerance.

One prominent politician called it a ‘chilling echo from previous times in a town barely 100 miles from Auschwitz’.

‘I learned in history books about Jew-free schools and shops and now they talk of LGBT-free towns,’ said Robert Biedron, a gay MEP from the liberal Left. ‘It reminds us of terrible times in the past.’

In a highly symbolic move, Tuchow and five other towns making similar anti-gay declarations had funding requests for twinning projects rejected last month by Brussels.

One horrified French commune has also suspended ties after 25 years.

But fears remain that Brussels is avoiding taking tougher action against both Poland and Hungary, despite seeing the two countries’ hardline populist leaders chip away at some core values of democracy such as freedom of the press, human rights and judicial independence.

‘Europe must defend its values,’ said Biedron. ‘But the trouble is our government is Eurosceptic so it will say the horrid West will not protect our children in Poland.’

This issue flared up last year after Rafal Trzaskowski, the centrist mayor of Warsaw, signed a landmark pledge of support for LGBT citizens that included anti-discrimination lessons in schools.

With elections looming, this was seized upon by the ruling Right-wing Law and Justice party in conjunction with the Catholic Church. They claimed it was a threat to family values, arguing that it would sexualise children and ‘propagate paedophilia’.

As the issue found traction with conservative voters, the rhetoric became cruder with ‘imported LGBT ideology’ compared to the social engineering of Nazis and Communists.

Marek Jedraszewski, archbishop of Krakow, even used last year’s 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising that liberated the capital from the Nazis to denounce ‘a rainbow plague…born of the same neo-Marxist spirit’ as Bolshevism ‘that wants to control our souls, our hearts and minds.’

Then the Law and Justice party made this subject a central issue in last month’s presidential election, with its incumbent candidate Andrzej Duda claiming gay ‘ideology’ was more destructive than Communism and being ‘smuggled’ into schools.

He beat Trzaskowski by a small margin.

Meanwhile, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the party leader who really runs Poland, calls homosexuality ‘a threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state’.

Others claim Poland – which decriminalised homosexuality almost a century ago, before other European nations – is trying to protect family values against ‘alien’ concepts such as gay marriage and gender fluidity.

‘It’s not fashionable to talk about Christian and traditional values but people see them as being disrupted in a way that is as alien to their country as Communism,’ said one sympathetic analyst, adding: ‘This is not to say that we are anti-homosexuals.’

Such thoughts were echoed by party officials in Tuchow. ‘I don’t think homosexuals are worse than other people,’ said Grzegorz Niemiec, 32, a city councillor. ‘But the Polish model of family, with men and women being married, is a traditional one we should defend.’

He said ‘LGBT-free zones’ were designed to protect children in schools, claiming there was international pressure to enforce sex education and inflict gender choice on primary school pupils as young as four.

Poland has had a remarkable run of economic success since Communism ended in 1989, with growth stretching back 28 years aided by huge Brussels handouts.

Yet Trzaskowski admits his party shares some responsibility for some disenchantment in struggling communities from its time in government between 2007 and 2015. ‘We were changing the country so rapidly,’ he said.

‘But some people said they’d had enough of paternalistic elites telling them to be happy when gaps were widening.’

Or as Nina Gabrys, who heads the equality committee on Krakow city council, says: ‘We were building bridges but left behind the people who wanted their country back. Now this is being done in the most horrible way.’

The Law and Justice party cleverly exploited such concerns under its leader Kaczynski, a wily 71-year-old political operator who started out as an anti-Soviet activist.

A lifelong bachelor and strong nationalist, Kaczynski has never owned a computer, only opened his first bank account in 2009 and has taken just one holiday outside Poland to visit cousins in neighbouring Ukraine.

However, the situation is not nearly as bad as in Hungary, where autocratic prime minister Viktor Orban poses as a defender of traditional Christian values, takes pride in creation of the ‘illiberal state’ and scorns EU elites while his wealthy cronies milk the system.

Hungary, and now Poland, have shown Brussels’ weakness in face of aggressive threats to the EU’s core values.

Last month, the two nations fought off attempts to link spending by Brussels to compliance with the rule of law.

Eight months ago, the European Parliament condemned bigotry against LGBT citizens and told Poland’s government to revoke the hostile declarations being made by towns such as Tuchow.

Its demand was ignored.

Then the Warsaw government gleefully stepped in to make up the town’s loss of income after Brussels rejected its application for a grant of up to £22,000 under its twinning programme – and handed it more than twice that sum.

‘We are supporting a municipality that promotes support for well-functioning families and fights against the imposed ideology of LGBT and gender, which is being pushed by the European Commission,’ said Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro.

The courts’ failed attempts to stand up to the Polish government’s hardline agenda have dismayed activists such as Artur Barbara Kapturkiewicz, a transgender doctor and co-founder of a Christian group called the Faith and Rainbow Foundation.

‘These people think that Poland is the only moral country that will reawaken the West and renew Christian values,’ he says.

‘But this is the politics of discrimination and dehumanisation – and it soils our nation.’


How the middle class got screwed by globalisation

You could see the pandemic coming. It wasn’t as though there was no warning. The virus emerged in China but arrived in North America before we were ready, and it landed with the destructive force of a tsunami. Record-setting consumer spending hit a brick wall as shoppers stayed home.

New car sales went over a cliff. And following just like clockwork, unemployment went through the roof as shops and factories shut down. An unprecedented bull run on the stockmarket quickly turned into panic selling, and the Dow cratered, seemingly overnight. The S&P 500 dropped over 20 per cent into bear market territory, and the result was a global recession that seemed to come out of nowhere. More than 116,000 people died in the United States.

Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show that year, the frisbee was invented, Ford introduced the Edsel with great fanfare, Canada unveiled the Avro Arrow jet fighter, the USSR launched Sputnik, and Dwight D. Eisenhower was sworn in as president of the US. It was 1957.

By the way, the world recovered almost immediately from the Asian flu, as that pandemic was known. After a staggering 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 1958, by the third quarter growth had spiked to 10 per cent — a 20 percentage-point swing. So, no big deal, right?

The economy got the flu, it took some time off, and it went right back to churning out jobs and profits. In fact, when economists and historians talk about the “Eisenhower Recession,” they seldom even mention the Asian flu as a cause.

It would seem to follow, then, that we have a model to help us predict what the recovery from COVID-19 will look like. Just look at 1958, and then wait for the jobs and the markets to return to form and the good times to resume — not quite the catastrophe we feared.

But if you’re thinking that what was true in 1958 is true today, this book is for you. Because while consumer spending, consistent GDP growth and a record-breaking bull run on the stock market may make it feel as though we’ve wandered into the Eisenhower era, that is a dangerous illusion, especially if you’re a member of the rapidly shrinking middle class. Because consumer spending, GDP growth and stocks have almost nothing to do with your economic health.

In fact, as you will see, those things measure only rich people’s economic health. And of late, these folk haven’t been getting rich by making more Edsels or engineering more Arrows.

Those cars and planes belong to a different world, a world in which factory jobs paid a middle-class wage and products on the shelves came from factories down the road. A world in which local labour was so essential that their jobs were secure. And a world where taxes were so progressive that the rich actually paid their freight. That was a long time ago.

Looking backward in politics is usually considered poor form. It’s much safer to be considered progressive and look ahead. But the fact is that the late 1950s and early 1960s may

have marked the greatest economic equality in history. And that economic health was like immunological health. The economy got better quickly because it was already healthy.

But two other things happened in 1957 that give us some sense of why the recovery from the COVID-19 recession might be a lot harder than shaking off the Asian flu.

First, the Treaty of Rome was signed in March of that year, establishing the precursor of the European Union (the European Economic Community). Though the tight political and economic integration of a “United States of Europe” was still just a dream, the Treaty of Rome was an important step in creating a common market. Up until that point, each country had the ability to impose tariffs to protect key industries and the associated jobs. From that moment on, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg would give up that ability in exchange for the right to sell in each other’s markets without facing tariffs.

In other words, it was a form of free trade and a precursor of what was to follow. Free trade was an idea that was sweeping the world. The General Agreement on Tariffs

and Trade (GATT), a treaty designed to increase international trade by removing protections for industry and labour, had been signed into law in 1947, and went through several rounds

of updates, each slashing more tariffs. In 1956, the so-called Geneva Round (because it was negotiated in Geneva), eliminated $2.5 billion of protections between twenty-six countries.

So, globalisation was swirling in the air as the Asian flu was making its way across the Pacific. The Asian flu could have cratered the global economy, but it didn’t.

If a worker from 1957 could see Detroit today, what would he think? The shuttered factories across North America, the boarded-up main streets, the empty union halls — the physical

toll of globalisation would be inescapable.

Which brings us back to the flu.

Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, the scale of the required government response was often compared to that needed during the Second World War. It was time for our ingenuity and

industrial might to be put to good use and mobilised, much in the way it had been a couple of generations ago. The US built more than twenty-seven hundred Liberty-class freighters between 1941 and 1945. That’s two fourteen-thousand-tonne ships every three days (or more than thirty-nine million tonnes of ship.) Surely, the world’s biggest economy could make some N95 PPE masks.

Well, not really. On March 19, 2020, Taiwan announced it could spare 100,000 masks per week for the US (their sole military ally, which has been protecting them from Communist China for generations at immense cost). That’s out of a weekly output of 7 million masks. So the Taiwanese were willing to set aside 1.4 per cent of their mask capacity for their much larger ally.

The EU also adopted a policy of “every man for himself.” In March, Brussels banned the export of medical equipment, even to other European countries, before eventually relenting in the face of pleas from member countries like Italy which were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Exasperated Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic stood in front of television cameras and said, “European solidarity doesn’t exist. That was a fairy tale on paper.” Shortly thereafter, Serbia shut its borders. The only foreigners allowed to enter the country? Chinese doctors. Vucic called China “the only ones who can help.”

He did have a point (though Russia also sent several transport planes full of equipment and medical personnel). Before the crisis broke, half of the world’s masks were made in China.

Since then, the country has increased production twelve-fold.

By the end of March, factories in China were pumping out 115 million a day (which puts the Taiwanese gift in perspective). But there’s more to the story than Chinese manufacturing output.

Many of those Chinese factories are making masks for international companies. On paper, Canadian company Medicom was making 3 million masks a day at its Shanghai factory. But rather than being shipped to Canada, they were all claimed by the Chinese government. American chemical giant 3M also has mask plants in Shanghai, but according to American trade officials, the factories had effectively been “nationalised.” They may have been under contract to the American company, but when push came to shove, the Chinese government had priority.

So sure, our companies still make things. It’s just that the factories are somewhere else. And the jobs are somewhere else. And, when we need them, the masks are somewhere else too.

What the COVID-19 crisis has shown us is that questions of economic theory aren’t just about economic health. They’re about health. Period. Because it’s not just masks and protective gowns the Chinese government effectively control. For years, lax regulatory control and low wages have made China a major source for the majority of component chemicals that go into generic drugs — that is, nearly all of the drugs Canadians and Americans are prescribed.

The same goes for antibiotics. In the 1980s, the United States had far-ranging emergency-response readiness, including antibiotic manufacturing capacity spread across the continent. The US produced 70 per cent of the world’s supply. Now it is dependent on imports from China.

In a world frequently described as “globalised,” that’s not supposed to matter. The magic of just-in-time-delivery, combined with efficient labour markets and economies of scale, is supposed to provide us with whatever we need, in abundance and at the best prices. That may work for flip-flops and lawn furniture, but, as it turns out, it doesn’t work in an emergency.

It doesn’t work when you absolutely need it to work.

It shouldn’t have taken a bat peeing on a pangolin in Wuhan to teach us this lesson. The evidence has been piling up around us for years. But tragedy has a way of focusing one’s attention.

Global deregulation was always a bad idea. It was always set up to benefit a small number of people at immense cost to everyone else. Exactly what that cost is becomes clear when we compare today’s economy with 1957’s.



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

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

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

1 September, 2020 

A top Democratic operative says voter fraud, especially with mail-in ballots, is no myth. And he knows this because he’s been doing it, on a grand scale, for decades

Mail-in ballots have become the latest flashpoint in the 2020 elections. While President Trump and the GOP warn of widespread manipulation of the absentee vote that will swell with COVID polling restrictions, many Democrats and their media allies have dismissed such concerns as unfounded.

But the political insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears prosecution, said fraud is more the rule than the exception. His dirty work has taken him through the weeds of municipal and federal elections in Paterson, Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, Hoboken and Hudson County and his fingerprints can be found in local legislative, mayoral and congressional races across the Garden State. Some of the biggest names and highest office holders in New Jersey have benefited from his tricks, according to campaign records The Post reviewed.

“An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the tipster said. “It could be enough to flip states.”

The whisteblower — whose identity, rap sheet and long history working as a consultant to various campaigns were confirmed by The Post — says he not only changed ballots himself over the years, but led teams of fraudsters and mentored at least 20 operatives in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — a critical 2020 swing state.

“There is no race in New Jersey — from City Council to United States Senate — that we haven’t worked on,” the tipster said. “I worked on a fire commissioner’s race in Burlington County. The smaller the race the easier it is to do.”

A Bernie Sanders die-hard with no horse in the presidential race, he said he felt compelled to come forward in the hope that states would act now to fix the glaring security problems present in mail-in ballots.

“This is a real thing,” he said. “And there is going to be a f–king war coming November 3rd over this stuff … If they knew how the sausage was made, they could fix it.”

Mail-in voting can be complicated — tough enough that 84,000 New Yorkers had their mailed votes thrown out in the June 23 Democratic presidential primary for incorrectly filling them out.

But for political pros, they’re a piece of cake. In New Jersey, for example, it begins with a blank mail-in ballot delivered to a registered voter in a large envelope. Inside the packet is a return envelope, a “certificate of mail in voter” which the voter must sign, and the ballot itself.

That’s when the election-rigger springs into action.

Phony Ballots

The ballot has no specific security features — like a stamp or a watermark — so the insider said he would just make his own ballots.

“I just put [the ballot] through the copy machine and it comes out the same way,” the insider said.

But the return envelopes are “more secure than the ballot. You could never recreate the envelope,” he said. So they had to be collected from real voters.

He would have his operatives fan out, going house-to-house, convincing voters to let them mail completed ballots on their behalf as a public service. The fraudster and his minions would then take the sealed envelopes home and hold them over boiling water.

“You have to steam it to loosen the glue,” said the insider.

He then would remove the real ballot, place the counterfeit ballot inside the signed certificate, and reseal the envelope.

“Five minutes per ballot tops,” said the insider.

The insider said he took care not to stuff the fake ballots into just a few public mailboxes, but sprinkle them around town. That way he avoided the attention that foiled a sloppy voter-fraud operation in a Paterson, NJ city council race this year, where 900 ballots were found in just three mailboxes.

“If they had spread them in all different mailboxes, nothing would have happened,” the insider said.

Inside Jobs

The tipster said sometimes postal employees are in on the scam.

“You have a postman who is a rabid anti-Trump guy and he’s working in Bedminster or some Republican stronghold … He can take those [filled-out] ballots, and knowing 95% are going to a Republican, he can just throw those in the garbage.”

In some cases, mail carriers were members of his “work crew,” and would sift ballots from the mail and hand them over to the operative.

In 2017 more than 500 mail-in ballots in New York City never arrived to the Board of Elections for races that November — leaving hundreds disenfranchised. They eventually were discovered in April 2018. “For some undetermined reason, some baskets of mail that were bound to the New York City Board of Elections were put off to the side at the Brooklyn processing facility,” city elections boss Michael Ryan said at the time of discovery.

Nursing Homes

Hitting up assisted-living facilities and “helping” the elderly fill out their absentee ballots was a gold mine of votes, the insider said.

“There are nursing homes where the nurse is actually a paid operative. And they go room by room by room to these old people who still want to feel like they’re relevant,” said the whistleblower. “[They] literally fill it out for them.”

The insider pointed to former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann, who was sued in 2007 after a razor-thin victory for a local school board seat for allegedly tricking “incompetent … and ill” residents of nursing homes into casting ballots for him. McCann denied it, though did admit to assisting some nursing home residents with absentee ballot applications.

Voter Impersonation

When all else failed, the insider would send operatives to vote live in polling stations, particularly in states like New Jersey and New York which do not require voter ID. Pennsylvania, also for the most part, does not.

The best targets were registered voters who routinely skip presidential or municipal elections — information which is publicly available.

“You fill out these index cards with that person’s name and district and you go around the city and say, ‘You’re going to be him, you’re going to be him,” the insider said of how he dispatched his teams of dirty-tricksters.

At the polling place, the fake voter would sign in, “get on line and … vote,” the insider said. The imposters would simply recreate the signature that already appears in the voter roll as best they could. In the rare instance that a real voter had already signed in and cast a ballot, the impersonator would just chalk it up to an innocent mistake and bolt.

Bribing voters

The tipster said New Jersey homeless shelters offered a nearly inexhaustible pool of reliable — buyable — voters.

“They get to register where they live in and they go to the polls and vote,” he said, laughing at the roughly $174 per vote Mike Bloomberg spent to win his third mayoral term. He said he could have delivered the same result at a 70-percent discount — like when Frank “Pupie” Raia, a real estate developer and Hoboken nabob, was convicted last year on federal charges for paying low-income residents 50 bucks a pop to vote how he wanted during a 2013 municipal election.

Organizationally, the tipster said his voter-fraud schemes in the Garden State and elsewhere resembled Mafia organizations, with a boss (usually the campaign manager) handing off the day-to-day managing of the mob soldiers to the underboss (him). The actual candidate was usually kept in the dark deliberately so they could maintain “plausible deniability.”

With mail-in ballots, partisans from both parties hash out and count ballots at the local board of elections — debating which ballots make the cut and which need to be thrown out because of irregularities.

The insider said any ballots offered up by him or his operation would come with a bent corner along the voter certificate — which contains the voter signature — so Democratic Board of Election counters would know the fix was in and not to object.

“It doesn’t stay bent, but you can tell it’s been bent,” the tipster said. “Until the [certificate] is approved, the ballot doesn’t matter. They don’t get to see the ballot unless they approve the [certificate.]”

“I invented bending corners,” the insider boasted, saying once the fixed ballots were mixed in with the normal ones, the bed was made. “Once a ballot is opened, it’s an anonymous ballot.”

While federal law warns of prison sentences of up to five years, busted voter frauds have seen far less punishment. While in 2018 a Texas woman was sentenced to five years, an Arizona man busted for voting twice in the mail was given just three years probation. A study by the conservative Heritage Foundation found more than 1,000 instances of documented voter fraud in the United States, almost off of which occurred over the last 20 years.

“There is nothing new about these techniques,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at Heritage who manages their election law reform initiative. “Everything he’s talking about is perfectly possible.“

The city Board of Elections declined to answer Post questions on ballot security.


'There are individuals who are born evil': Top Australian criminal psychologist reveals why some people are destined to kill

He has analysed the minds of Australia's worst criminals, including mass murderer Julian Knight and Melbourne crime boss Alphonse Gangitano.

Now, top Australian forensic psychologist Tim Watson-Munro has lifted the lid on the murky world of crime and why some people are destined for a life of lawlessness.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Mail Australia, to promote hayu's true crime docu-series catalogue, Watson-Munro explained that while there are many factors that could lead someone to become a criminal, some people are simply born 'evil'.

'They are psychopathic from the start and demonstrate anti-social traits even during their pre-adolescent years. This can involve cruelty to animals, lighting fires and pathological lying,' he continued.

These behaviour patterns become hardwired with time, and can also be exacerbated by the use of drugs and alcohol, Watson-Munro explained.

The impact of 'social learning' must also be considered, including the home environment in which a person is raised, their role models and families.  

The idea of genetics playing a role in criminality is explored in hayu series Killer Siblings, which tells the story of identical twin murderers the Stovall brothers.

Watson-Munro, who has worked with almost 20,000 criminals, also shared the body language cues which can suggest a suspect is guilty during interrogation.

'Defensive body language such as closed arms, fidgeting when questioned on pertinent aspects of the case and an absence of eye contact, may reflect a consciousness of guilt,' he said.

'More seasoned psychopaths however who are well adapted to the interview process tend to approach the situation with an air of bravado, with well-rehearsed responses to anticipated questions.' 

The absence of emotion in someone's voice has, in the past, been used as a way to identify guilt.

On the other hand, however, Watson-Munro pointed out that some innocent people have received criticism for not showing enough emotion - such as Lindy Chamberlain who was wrongfully convicted for the murder of her child. 

Therefore, while body language is a useful diagnostic tool in criminal investigation, it should not be considered as infallible.

Rather, it should be used as 'an adjunct to more reliable and valid means of investigations such as DNA evidence and eye witness accounts,' he explained.


Father of man killed in Seattle's CHOP sues the city, county and state for $3BILLION for allowing protesters to create a 'hazardous and lawless situation'

The father of a teenager shot dead in Seattle within a 'autonomous' protest zone that formed inside the city is seeking $3 billion in damages from the state and local government, accusing them of permitting 'a state of lawlessness'.

Horace Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot and killed in the early hours of June 20 within the Capitol Hill protest zone known as CHOP, Capitol Hill Organized Protest.

Marcel Levon Long has been charged with his murder, but has not been arrested.

Long was allegedly seen on surveillance video approaching Anderson and pulling out a gun. He is then seen then chasing Anderson, who ran away, and appears to shoot him.

Ambulances were unable to reach Anderson as Seattle police said they could not clear the area. Anderson was brought to the hospital by volunteer medics.

His father, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr, filed a suit this week against the city of Seattle, King County and the state of Washington.

The claim states the three governments are to blame for creating a 'hazardous, and lawless situation' that resulted in Anderson's killing.

'This case warrants punitive or exemplary damages in order to punish the City of Seattle, County of King, the State of Washington and their agents for their outrageous conduct that allowed lawlessness to reign,' said Evan M. Oshan, Anderson's attorney, in a statement obtained by The Center Square.

'Such failure to protect citizens must not be allowed to happen again.'

The court documents state that Anderson 'laid bleeding to death in the Seattle streets with no one to respond.'

'With no assistance or rescue from Seattle first responders, Lorenzo died in agony from his wounds,' they claim.

They accuse city officials of allowing 'politically charged armed, anarchist protesters to infiltrate, takeover, and govern a part of downtown Seattle.'

They say the local and regional authorities 'did not intervene and stop this state of lawlessness.'

Anderson's father told The New York Post: 'Everyone was walking around with guns. It's like the wild wild west.'

He said he was shocked the authorities had ceded control of the area. 'You figure the police come in and they shut it down and clean up the area.

'I never knew that people could come in and take over a whole city. That means there is no safety. The police aren't doing their job.'

He said he would not 'be quiet' about the loss of his son, who was born extremely premature and had life-long learning difficulties.

He had celebrated completing his high school diploma - something his family said was a huge achievement - shortly before he was shot.

'Every morning I wake up and I miss him and I'm crying,'he told the paper. 'Just today I'm just driving down the street crying thinking about it going to the dentist.'

Shortly after his son's murder, he told Fox News that he had been left in the dark about the circumstances.

'They need to come talk to me and somebody needs to come tell me something, because I still don't know nothing,' he told Sean Hannity on July 1. 'Somebody needs to come to my house, and knock on my door and tell me something. I don't know nothing. All I know is my son got killed up there.'

Anderson's mother, Donnitta Sinclair Martin, filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Seattle on July 20.

The city has 60 days to respond to the claim before a federal lawsuit can be filed.

A second teenager, Summer Taylor, 16, was shot and killed inside the CHOP on June 29.

On July 1 the protest site was cleared by police.

A spokesperson with the King County Office of Risk Management Services declined to comment on this week's filing, since claim is 'currently under review'.

The governor's office has not responded to requests for comment.

Melissa Mixon, from Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services, told the Post that the city was 'not able to comment on pending claims or litigation.'

 'Our primary goal with any claim is to be thorough and fair with how we review and adjust the claim.'


Coronavirus conspiracy marches are held across Europe as Berlin police break-up 18,000 marchers for failing to socially while droves of anti-maskers storm Paris and Copenhagen

The demonstrators, who were calling for an end to coronavirus restrictions, flooded into the square in front of Brandenburg gate before marching down a main street.

They blew whistles and brandished placards declaring 'Merkel must go' and 'stop the corona lies!' as they called for a return to pre-lockdown life.

They were joined by hundreds thronging the streets in London, where they declared coronavirus was a 'hoax' invented to establish a 'new world order'. And 200 more in Paris held an anti-mask rally alongside hundreds more in Berlin.

The angry march comes as Europe prepares to enforce lockdown restrictions to avoid a second wave, as the number of cases recorded kicks up to highs not seen since March.

Pictures show thousands angrily crowding onto the streets in Berlin to demand a reversal of the rules.

The city had banned the demonstration earlier in the week, but a German regional court overruled the decision.

As many as 3,000 police officers were deployed to disperse the protesters after they failed to wear masks and maintain social distancing, in breach of guidelines.

'Unfortunately, we have no other option', Berlin police said on Twitter, adding that they had failed to comply with the safety conditions of the march.

Many were dispersed peacefully, although there was conflict when a construction container was set on fire and some roads were briefly blocked.

Until now Germany has managed the coronavirus crisis better than many of its European counterparts, with rigorous testing helping to hold down infections and deaths.



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

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

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

HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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