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

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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


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

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

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24 June, 2016

Are spuds bad for you?

Medical researchers would love to point the skinger of forn at the humble spud.  It would be another arrow in the heart of those despised McDonald's "fries".  And the latest study by Borgi et al. did indeed find a slight bad effect from eating them -- but only among women. 


Lea Borgi.  Isn't she gorgeous? But don't fancy her too much.  She is engaged to another woman

I was going to have a shot at the Borgi study but a Kiwi researcher has beaten me too it.  David R Thomas, another old timer from a social science background like me, has pointed out that men and women tend to have different diets and the fact that men were immune from the menaces of the good ol' spud should suggest that it was something other than spuds in the female diet that had the bad effect.  And he offers a specific suggestion about what the pattern difference might be.  And he has a point.

But I have another shot to fire into the unfortunate Dr Borgi.  She did an heroic job of adjusting for all sorts of possible confounding factors but she left out the politically incorrect one, one that sabotages a lot of medical research.  She failed to look at differences according to social class.  And, horrific though it might be for me to mention it, social class does influence diet. 

And that matters on this occasion because the 3 samples analysed were of medical personnel.  And the females would have been mostly nurses and the males would include a lot of doctors.  And, agonising though it must be to hear this, doctors tend to be of higher status than nurses.  I'll now take 5 minutes to wash my mouth out.

So the male sample would be of a higher class overall and would eat differently.  Upper class people are more careful about their health generally and their diet in particular.  So all the unfortunate Dr Borgi has shown is something that we knew already:  Upper class people are healthier than lower class people.

David Thomas actually said the same but in a more polite way.  He spoke of two dietary patterns which for brevity we might call the careful pattern and the careless pattern. He said the male doctors probably followed the careful pattern.  What he didn't mention is that the careful pattern is more upper class while the careless pattern is mostly working class.

Sad when political correctness completely undermines the conclusions of very laborious medical research.  NB:  For those who did not get it. "skinger of forn" is a Spoonerism -- JR






Multicultural fraudsters in Britain



Two women who posed as sisters after buying false identities to then claim hundreds of thousands of pounds each in benefits have been jailed.

The pair, known by the assumed names of Antoinette and Louise Kaidi, pleaded guilty six days into their trial in March after the jury were 'laughing' at their defence, the court today heard.

Antoinette, of Enfield, London, qualified as a nurse after using her identity to fund her training, while Louise, of East Ham, enrolled in a nursing course at London South Bank University.

They were arrested last year and convicted of a total of 23 counts, dated between 2003 and 2015, including fraud, conspiracy to assist in unlawful immigration and dishonesty in making a false statement or representation with a view to obtaining benefit.

Sentencing them each to 33 months in prison, His Honour Judge John Tanzer told them their crimes were of a serious nature.

He said: 'These are not victimless offences. They are offences the community feels very strongly about.'

He said the convictions were part of a wider probe into other people, adding: 'I was told all of this is part of a very large investigation involving some £4million.'

The Kaidis were convicted of taking thousands of pounds from the NHS in training and bursary costs, as well as from the Department of Work and Pensions in false tax credit and income support payments after assuming so-called 'ghost identities'.

Louise claimed in the region of £270,000 while Antoinette obtained £290,000, which included her earnings while working as a nurse.

Both women claimed to be from Togo but it is believed Antoinette is of mixed Nigerian-Ghanaian heritage, while Louise is Ugandan, although prosecutor Caoimhe Daly admitted the true identities of the women are still unknown.

Judge Tanzer said the women admitted their crimes in the face of a jury who did not appear to believe their stories.

Addressing the women he said: 'Antoinette you were giving evidence with a jury laughing at the attempts by you to say that you were not aware of your real identity.'

Both Antoinette, a mother-of-two, and Louise, a single mother-of-three, cried as they sat in the dock at Croydon Crown Court.

SOURCE






More evidence that some people are born bad

The brains of teenage delinquents are different to those of their better behaved peers, according to new research.

The study suggests that conduct disorder, a problem recognised by psychiatrists, is more than just a description of natural teenage unruliness.

Scientists compared the thickness of different brain regions in groups of young people, some of whom had been diagnosed with conduct disorder.

They found evidence of altered brain structure associated with the condition, which is characterised by persistent behavioural problems including aggression, violence, lying, stealing, and weapon use.

Dr Graeme Fairchild, from the University of Southampton's Department of Psychology, said: 'The differences that we see between healthy teenagers and those with both forms of conduct disorders show that most of the brain is involved, but particularly the frontal and temporal regions of the brain.

'This provides extremely compelling evidence that conduct disorder is a real psychiatric disorder and not, as some experts maintain, just an exaggerated form of teenage rebellion.

'More research is now needed to investigate how to use these results to help these young people clinically and to examine the factors leading to this abnormal pattern of brain development, such as exposure to early adversity.'

The scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to see whether various brain regions were similar or different in terms of thickness.

Teenagers with childhood-onset conduct disorder had brain regions that were strikingly similar compared with those of their peers.

The brain regions of adolescent-onset conduct disorder teenagers, in contrast, displayed fewer similarities to those of 'normal' individuals.

In both cases, the findings are thought to reflect brain development disruption linked to conduct disorder diagnosed at different stages of life.

The researchers first studied 58 male adolescents and young adults with conduct disorder and 25 'typical' individuals aged between 16 and 21.

Their findings were then replicated in 37 individuals with conduct disorder and 32 who did not have the condition, all male and aged between 13 and 18.

Dr Luca Passamonti, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University, said: 'There's evidence already of differences in the brains of individuals with serious behavioural problems, but this is often simplistic and only focused on regions such as the amygdala which we know is important for emotional behaviour.

'But conduct disorder is a complex behavioural disorder so likewise we would expect the changes to be more complex in nature and to potentially involve other brain regions.'

Co-author Professor Ian Goodyer, also from Cambridge University, added: 'Now that we have a way of imaging the whole brain and providing a "map" of conduct disorder, we may in future be able to see whether the changes we have observed in this study are reversible if early interventions or psychological therapies are provided.'

The results are published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

SOURCE




Even Sweden is now toughening up on immigrants

Sweden, once one of the most welcoming countries for refugees, on Tuesday introduced tough new restrictions on asylum seekers, including rules that would limit the number of people granted permanent residency and make it more difficult for parents to reunite with their children.

The government said the legislation, proposed by the Social Democrat minority government and enacted by a vote of 240-45, was necessary to prevent the country from becoming overstretched by the surge of migration to Europe that began last year.

The country, which has a population of 9.5 million, took in 160,000 asylum-seekers last year.

The government said that under the new rules, individuals who want to bring over family members, but do not apply to do so within three months of arriving in Sweden, would have to prove they can financially support them; current regulations require sponsors to demonstrate only that they can support themselves. Permanent residency for asylum-seekers under the age of 25 would be restricted to those who have completed high school and can support themselves.

People who are formally granted refugee status would be able to bring over family members from abroad, but the legislation would circumscribe the family members who are eligible.

As elsewhere in Europe, the far right in Sweden has been railing against immigration, a stance that is increasingly resonating with voters. The Sweden Democrats, a far-right anti-immigrant party, won almost 13 percent of the vote in a 2014 general election, and recent polls show it gaining in strength.

Morgan Johansson, Sweden’s justice and migration minister, said in a heated parliamentary debate on the issue Monday that the country’s “system would completely collapse” if 200,000 asylum seekers came to Sweden this year, according to Radio Sweden.

Wealthy countries across Northern Europe are increasingly pushing back against calls to accept more refugees amid fears that it could undermine stretched welfare systems, national integration, and quality of life.

The issue has become particularly acute ahead of Britain’s vote this week on whether to leave the European Union, with those in favor of an exit from the bloc arguing that membership has left the country unable to control its borders and defend itself against an immigrant influx.

The proposed legislation in Sweden quickly came under criticism from human rights groups, which accused the country of passing rules harmful to children.

“Long a leader in promoting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, Sweden is now joining the race to the bottom,” said Rebecca Riddell, Europe and Central Asia fellow at Human Rights Watch. “Sweden should not sacrifice the well-being of vulnerable children in an effort to make the country less attractive for asylum seekers.”

The United Nations said Monday that more people are on the run than ever before in recorded history, buffeted by war and conflict from Africa to the Middle East.

Sweden introduced new identity checks for travelers arriving from Denmark, prompting the Danes, who were concerned about the potential for a bottleneck of migrants seeking to travel through their country, to impose new controls on migrants traveling via its border with Germany.

Denmark also passed a law requiring newly arrived asylum seekers to hand over valuables, including jewelry and gold, to help pay for their stay in the country.

The UN refugee agency has warned that restrictions on residency permits in Sweden could undermine unaccompanied migrant children in the country and that separating families for extended periods could also have a “detrimental effect.”

Resentment toward migrants in Sweden was heightened last summer when a woman and her son were stabbed to death at an Ikea in Vasteras. An Eritrean who had been denied asylum was charged with the crime

SOURCE

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

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

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

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23 June, 2016

The class rift behind the EU debate

The referendum has exposed the elite's contempt for the plebs

If you are opposed to the European Union, then you are racist and xenophobic. That’s the unsubtle, finger-pointing message that has been jabbed out by the Remain camp over the past few weeks. There’s a concerted effort to portray Brexit supporters as narrow-minded, parochial, unenlightened and rather uncouth. Who’d want to be associated with such an oafish constituency, with these people who refuse to accept having porous borders? ‘Please don’t leave us on this tiny Island with just the Tories’, said one Remain placard – a mealy-mouthed way of saying that Britain is full of awful people.

This is the conceit of much of the Remain camp: that supporting the EU is a marker for tolerance, open-mindedness, decency and niceness. The divisions over the EU are often posed as a generational war, between cosmopolitan twentysomethings and older white proles, or a cultural war, between fresh-faced hipster creatives and the unattractive plebs. Are you on the side of open-minded ‘us’ or are you bunking up with backward ‘them’ – that has been the conformist cry of leading Remain backers. This is why even left-wingers who instinctively understand that the EU is an elitist, anti-democratic institution don’t have the guts to come out for Brexit. Because to do so would mean associating yourself with modern-day untouchables: the riff-raff, the unsophisticated, the possibly racist.

Sadly, this means that the historically important issues thrown up by this referendum – relating to self-determination, democracy and popular sovereignty – have no real purchase or hearing among the left. Even reminding left-wing Remainers of the late Tony Benn’s stinging critiques of the EU, or the fact that many trade unions were traditionally against it, cuts no ice with them. When the EU has been turned into a moral signifier, all that matters to these leftists is that they’re seen to be on the respectable side against the mob. The left’s cowardice on this matter is shocking. Even as the EU debate is turned into a kind of class war – pitting a decent establishment against an uncouth public – they still refuse to have a serious discussion about what’s going on.

For two decades now, the great and the good have warned us that much of the masses are racist and xenophobic. Hardly anyone questions whether racism really is a powerful social force today. Or how true it is that the white working classes have higher levels of racism than others. It should be clear to any observer of British society that hardened racist attitudes have waned. The British National Party has been all but wiped out. Street-based far-right protest groups, like the English Defence League and Britain First, can barely muster a couple of hundred people for their rallies. Violent or verbal attacks against foreigners are much rarer than they were 30 or 40 years ago. There’s very little evidence that old-fashioned racism is a serious issue in working-class communities.

But there doesn’t have to be evidence. When it comes to framing the white working class as racist, hard facts seem not to matter. Labelling older British whites in particular as prejudiced throwbacks, as Labour MPs routinely do, has become a coded expression of class hatred. No one is willing any more to say that they hate the working class for being poor and unsophisticated or for lacking social status; no, instead nod-and-wink terms like ‘xenophobe’, ‘Little Englander’, ‘tabloid reader’ and ‘UKIP supporter’ are used to communicate a view of these people as troubling and strange. Today’s constant talk about racist attitudes is not about confronting a real problem in society; it’s about demonising, and distancing oneself from, the poorer sections of society.

In the same way that crime panics were used to legitimise the marginalisation of black people in the 1970s, so overblown concerns about xenophobia are now used to legitimise contempt for the white working class. This trend has been a key ideological feature of the British political and media class for a couple of decades now, but the EU referendum has bought it to the surface with force.

During the referendum debate, Remain campaigners have continually pointed to people’s doubts or concerns over immigration as evidence that they are a reactionary blob. But the current discussion of immigration is partly a product of the left’s and others’ refusal to have an upfront, honest discussion about what the EU means and why some people might oppose it. This is an issue of sovereignty, including borders, and it’s about what citizenship really means and who has it: all entirely legitimate things to discuss. But in presenting any suggestion that we should be in control of our borders as another expression of fear of foreigners, many Remainers are seeking to delegitimise, and stigmatise, one side of the debate.

The irony, of course, is that being pro-EU hardly makes one an open-minded cosmopolitan. Indeed, far from the EU promoting free movement, the EU actively discourages it. Yes, it’s in favour of white Italian or Spanish students enjoying freedom of movement, but not Africans or Arabs who want to work in Europe. The EU upholds Little Europeanism, encouraging us to view the non-white world beyond Europe with fear and loathing.

Regardless of the outcome of the EU referendum, the debates have helpfully exposed the ideological character of the anti-xenophobia posturing of many of today’s liberals. And too much of the left is shamefully going along with this, warning of the dangers of a ‘nationalist upsurge’ if Brexit wins. The EU referendum is expressing, or at least reflecting, unspoken class tensions in 21st-century British society. It’s become about whether you support the ever-expanding establishment and their desire to hide from accountability, or popular sovereignty and the right even of the little people to determine the fate of the nation. I know which side I’m on.

SOURCE






Family Of Kate Steinle Sues San Francisco Sheriff

In a move that should escalate the debate over sanctuary cities, the family of Kate Steinle has filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Sheriff who released the criminal alien who killed the 32-year-old Steinle last year.

The suit includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Following Steinle’s murder, there was a public and media uproar that sparked calls for federal legislation to prevent the release of repeat offenders who also had been subjected to repeat deportations. Public concerns and legislative efforts went nowhere, avoiding the illegality of sanctuary city policy that prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities.

As reiterated by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Steinle’s accused murderer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is an illegal alien with seven convictions and five deportations on his record.

“Lopez-Sanchez was previously in federal custody and would have been deported for the sixth time before he was transported to San Francisco to address a 20 year-old drug charge. When the charge was thrown out by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department refused to honor a detainer request to transfer Lopez-Sanchez to ICE. Instead, the Sheriff’s Department, pursuant to its sanctuary policy, released Lopez-Sanchez back into the community. Just a few months later, Lopez-Sanchez fatally shot Steinle at a popular tourist site in San Francisco.”

FAIR states the essence of the lawsuit: “The Steinle family’s wrongful death claim alleges then-San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s sanctuary policy, which prohibited law enforcement from cooperating with ICE’s request to transfer custody of Lopez-Sanchez, is to blame for the killing of Steinle.” (See the Complaint)

In another recap, FAIR reports “that San Francisco, a self-proclaimed ‘sanctuary city,’ has multiple policies in place to protect criminal aliens from detection and removal from the United States.  These policies restrict law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials and complying with detainer requests, often called ICE holds, to facilitate the transfer of criminal aliens to federal custody.”

The Steinle family lawsuit charges negligence as well as wrongful death.

“The complaint alleges Sheriff Mirkarimi acted negligently and violated federal laws requiring local officials to be able to openly communicate with ICE regarding the immigration status of an individual. The Steinle family also blamed ICE for its failure to detain and deport Lopez-Sanchez upon his release from custody. BLM is also named as a defendant because the gun that Lopez-Sanchez used to kill Steinle belonged to a BLM agent who had reported it stolen.”

Is it too much to ask that the presidential candidates debate sanctuary city policy? For millions of voters, the answer is a resounding no. The Steinle family lawsuit should advance the debate.

SOURCE






'Noisy' Union Jack lowered by council after just ONE resident complained about it flapping in the wind

Locals have reacted angrily after a council was forced to remove a large Union Flag after it was deemed too noisy.

The brand new flag was raised by Totnes Town Council at civic hall to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Locals say it also helped to ignite patriotic pride ahead of the Euro 2016 and the Queen's birthday celebrations.

But one killjoy resident in the town complained that the flag was making too much noise flapping in the wind - and it has come down.

Councillor Marion Adams told a meeting: 'There was a complaint that the flag was making too much noise.

'There are a lot of people who are very unhappy that it was taken down.

'Apparently the person said they could not look out their window at it any more.'

Cllr Adams said the decision to remove the flag had sparked a flood of angry emails and complaints.

Another Councillor, Pip Paine, said: 'The taking down of the flag has caused a kerfuffle. This is a serious issue.'

And one local resident said: 'Everyone I have spoken to is very angry about this. 'There are a lot of things happening this month with the Queen's birthday and the Euro's yet we, as a town, can't display a Union Jack at the civic centre for such a stupid reason as this.

'I have never heard anything so ridiculous. Too noisy? It is only a flag - how noisy can it be?'

At the meeting, it was pointed out that the flag was only flown on special occasions and suggestions were made that if a flag was to fly over the council-run hall on a permanent basis it should be the town's own colours.

The councillor who took it down, Ben Piper, said: 'It has never been customary to fly the Union Flag over the Civic Hall constantly. 'Somebody did have a moan about the flag and it was drawn to our attention that it was still up.'

The row also comes while tensions are high between patriotic Brits wanting to leave the European Union and those wanting to stay - a week ahead of the referendum on June 23.

It has also sparked members of Totnes Town Council to debate which flags should be allowed in the Devon town - and residents will be able to have a say.

SOURCE






A father was furious after a stranger branded him a 'racist b******' because he had decked out his car in England flags

Football fan Jonny Cooke, 35, had decorated his silver vehicle with a number of St George flags in support of England during Euro 2016.

But he was gobsmacked when he returned to his car in an Asda car park in Brackenhall, West Yorkshire, to find an abusive note on the windscreen.  The note, which was placed under one of his wipers, read: 'Pathetic racist b******* with your England flags'.

Mr Cook, from Rastrick, West Yorkshire, defended his right to put flags on his car and said online: 'Whoever stuck this on my windscreen at Asda you are a disgrace. How is supporting my country and having children who like flags being racist?'

The father of two had been shopping at the supermarket on Saturday with his fiancée Jessica, 32, seven-year-old son Ben and 14-month-old daughter Laila.

He spotted the note after he returned to his car and described the stranger's actions as 'unnecessarily spreading hatred'.

The mental health support worker added: 'I was coming back to my car when I spotted a note left under my windscreen wipers. 'At first I thought someone might have scraped my car, but when I read it I was shocked.

'My son Ben was asking "What does it say, Daddy?" so I just had to tell him it was someone being silly.'

Mr Cook attached the flags to his passenger seat windows in support of England during the Euro Championships, following the requests of his children.

He reacted by sharing the vitriolic note on Facebook to shame the mystery shopper. Mr Cooke wrote: 'Whoever stuck this on my windscreen at the Asda YOU are a Disgrace!! How is supporting my country & having children who like flags being racist?'

He added: 'I was just really shocked and upset. Part of me thought it was a joke from someone I know so I put it online to see if anyone knew anything.'

But fellow social media users were equally shocked by the post, with some suggesting he take the incident up with Asda and the police.

Mr Cooke added: 'I think emotions are high with the football and the EU referendum but it's a very hurtful thing to call someone racist. 'It's just unnecessary hatred.'


SOURCE

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

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

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

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22 June, 2016

Former NYC FBI Chief: 'Get This Wet Blanket of Political Correctness off Back of Law Enforcement'

Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom, who headed the FBI’s New York City office, said on The Kelly File on Thursday that FBI agents are “petrified” of being fired apparently because of White House orders that say the bureau cannot investigate “anything to do with Muslims” in the traditional way the bureau would pursue criminals or potential criminals and terrorists.

Kallstrom also stressed that we need to “get this wet blanket of political correctness off the backs of law enforcement, off the backs of the FBI,” to better protect U.S. citizens.

When asked about apparent problems with the FBI,  Kallstrom said, “The rules of engagement, what the Bureau is being told what they can and what they can’t do. They can’t go sniffing around -- anything to do with Muslims.”

“They can’t go to mosques, they can’t do things that they normally do,” he said. “I’m not talking things that are off the charts, I’m talking about the things that would normally be done.”

“But the orders have come down from the White House,” said Kallstrom. “The same people that took all the [radical Islam] language out of the training documents and can’t be used in any memoranda. Those are the same people.”

Host Megan Kelly responded, “So they’re worried about getting fired?”

“The agents are petrified, sure,” said Kallstrom. “Just like the people are. The people didn’t call in San Bernardino. They didn’t want to be looked upon, right?”

“When the attorney general of the United States,” he continued, “when she comes out and says, look, we’re going to prosecute people for saying certain things -- which is illegal…she had to walk it back but still. That’s let everyone who knows what’s going on say ha, ha, ha, I better be super careful here.”

“So instead of leaning forward, instead of getting into the investigation and everything, just like those witnesses that said they thought the FBI thought they were being cranky or they were anti-Muslim,” Kallstrom said.

He later remarked,  It is a wet blanket. I mean, believe me, I know the agents in the FBI and I know the support people, and I know the analysts. No one wants this [terrorism] thing to happen, believe me. But they’ve got families they’ve got things that they have to be careful, so they are overly cautious.”

SOURCE





British justice at work: A serial sex offender who attacked his victim in her own bed is jailed for LESS time than a farmer sentenced in the same court who claimed his eggs were 'free range'

A victims' support group has blasted the justice system after a farmer selling barn eggs as 'free-range' was jailed for longer than a serial sex offender in the same court.

Widower Anthony Clarkson, 59, was hauled before Preston Crown Court this week after being convicted of fraudulently marketing the barn eggs as free-range.

On Monday he was jailed for two-and-a-half years after evidence from the egg standard inspectors from the Animal Plant Health Authority (APHA).

In the same court on Wednesday, serial sex offender Kerdine Ahmedi, 46, was jailed for two months less than the farmer despite admitting sexually assaulting a terrified woman.

In a victim personal statement, the unnamed woman - who sobbed in the public gallery during the sentencing hearing - said the attack had destroyed her life.

The court heard Ahmedi has a previous conviction for indecent exposure and breached his sexual offences prevention order on five separate occasions since it was made in 2011.

The disparity in the sentences has been criticised by solicitor Rachel Horman, a board director at Safenet, which runs women's refuges. She said: 'It seems that financial crimes or fraud are treated more seriously than violent crimes against women. 'This kind of situation sends out the wrong message to perpetrators and victims of violence. Sadly this happens quite a lot.

'I have seen domestic violence cases where in order to get that kind of sentence, the perpetrator could have attempted murder.

'I deal with serious cases of violence against women where the defendant doesn't get a penalty anywhere near this.

'It's not just an overhaul of sentencing guidelines that is needed - often there are powers there to impose a heavier sentence which people do not use. It's a change in attitude.'

Clarkson was prosecuted after claiming free range eggs had been produced at his farm in Whittingham, near Preston, when they were in fact barn eggs he bought in from another of his firms.

He operated a farm producing 'free-range eggs' and had an interest in another farm producing cheaper 'barn eggs'. He stamped both type of eggs with code indicating they were free range.

He was convicted of fraud by dishonestly making a false representation after a probe was launched by egg inspectors in 2014.

At his sentence hearing, his defence barrister Michael Maher said he appreciated it was a food fraud but remarked: 'It's not horse meat masquerading as fillet steak.'

A spokesman for Animal Plant Health Authority (APHA) defended the sentence saying it sends out a 'tough warning to food fraudsters.'

Sex offender Ahmedi forced himself on a woman who he knew the woman was drunk and feeling unwell, Preston Crown Court heard.

The woman's boyfriend had passed out at the kitchen table after drinking vodka which he feared may have been spiked.

She woke to feel a man behind her but when she realised it was not her boyfriend she tried to get away, as Ahmedi made sexual comments.

As she tried to get out of bed, Ahmedi put his arm around her waist and attacked her. Unable to wake her boyfriend, the woman went to a friend's house and told her she had been assaulted.  She reported the attack the following day and Ahmedi, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, said when sentencing: 'She made it clear at the very start that she wasn't interested and wanted you to stop immediately.  'However you continued. That must have been a very frightening and distressing experience for her. Your victim is present in court. She is obviously extremely distressed by what occurred to her.'

SOURCE






Proof perfect that supermarket food waste is not a problem

Tim Worstall

One of the more difficult things, as Douglas Adams pointed out, is to keep a sense of proportion about the world. It is easy, of course it is, to point to something or other and shout "That's a massive problem!" It's rather more difficult to look at something and ponder on whether it's actually an important problem. It is once we do the latter that we can actually work out whether this is something that we should devote efforts to sorting out or not.

And so it is with food waste from supermarkets. We're told that this is one of those massive problems. There are even those who insist that supermarkets themselves are the problem as a result of this waste. Consideration is necessary here:

Tesco has revealed that the amount of food waste generated by the supermarket giant increased to 59,400 tonnes last year – the equivalent of nearly 119 million meals.

119 million meals! That's a massive problem!

Well, no, not really. It's two meals a year, a little under that in fact, for each inhabitant of these isles. Interesting, certainly, but not exactly massive. And then there's this:

The amount wasted was the equivalent of one in every 100 food products sold by Tesco during the last financial year.

Or as we might put it, 1% of throughput. At which point it's worth going and looking at parts of the world that do not have the supermarket logistics chain. And that is the correct way to think of supermarkets. Not as simply shops that we go to, they're just the retail outlets of the logistics and production chain that stretches right back to the planting of the fields.

The FAO and others have pointed out that in countries reliant upon more traditional practices some 50% of food gets wasted between farm and fork. It is this which explains the reason why the world grows enough calories for all yet not all can eat enough calories. The supermarkets reduce that waste considerably at that cost of the trivial losses at the supermarkets themselves. No, it's not quite true that the net gain from having supermarkets is 49% of the harvested crop but it's getting on for that number.

Sure, distributing that 1% to the needy is a worthwhile thing to do, why not? But we do need to understand that it's not an important point. What is important is bringing that industrial logistics chain to those places which do not have it in order to save that 50% of the harvest.

Supermarkets, properly considered, are the cure for food shortages and waste, not the cause of them.

SOURCE






LGBT Activists Enraged Over Beach Patrol Bathroom Email

Consider the plight of Captain Butch Arbin, a 40-year veteran of the beach patrol in Ocean City, Maryland.  He’s facing the wrath of City Hall and militant LGBT activists over his handling of a bathroom controversy involving male and female lifeguards.

Female lifeguards had complained that male lifeguards were using their dressing rooms. The male lifeguards are not transgender. They are presumed to be men who identify as men, which in PC parlance is called “cisgender.”

Some of the guys were apparently using the ladies room out of convenience — seeing how there are more male lifeguards than female.

So Arbin fired off an email to set things straight by referencing a recent dustup over President Obama’s decree that men who identify as women should be able to use the porta-potty of their choosing.

“WE are NOT Target,” he wrote to the lifeguards. “USE the locker room that corresponds to your DNA … If You’re NOT SURE go to Target.”

Now, that right there is funny, folks. Target is the national retailer that set off a firestorm when it announced customers could pretty much use whatever bathroom suited them.

It’s just too bad that the LGBT activists in Maryland don’t share our sense of humor.

Someone leaked the captain’s email to the news media and — well, let’s just say the veteran lifeguard landed in some mighty hot water.

“It’s nothing short of making fun of transgender people, and it’s absolutely unacceptable for a city employee or a public employee to make fun of transgender people at all,” Equality Maryland Executive Director Patrick Paschall told The Washington Post.

Paschall accused the beach patrol captain of demeaning transgender people and suggested the email might result in physical harm to the LGBTQ community.

“No one should be surprised when the increased drumbeat of harassment increases to discrimination and even violence against LGBTQ people,” he said.

Oh, please.

Arbin said the email had nothing to do with transgender people. “I used humor to make the point,” he said. “I was ONLY looking out for the women of the patrol and was not attempting to put down any group or individual, only maintain a nice facility for the women who choose to use a gender specific facility.”

He told the Baltimore Sun that the guys were leaving the toilet seats up — and that was an issue for the ladies.

“I don’t care about being politically correct,” he told the newspaper. “That’s one of the problems in the country right now.”

So the LGBT activists and left-wingers are trying to politically water board this poor guy simply because he was looking out for the female lifeguards.

Facing a tsunami of illegitimate outrage, Arbin issued a public “heartfelt” apology.

Still, City Hall threw him under the cabana.  Ocean City spokesperson Jessica Waters called his actions “completely inappropriate.”  “He just stepped way out of line,” she told the Post. “It’s not a reflection of Ocean City in any way, and we welcome all types of people.”

That’s a lovely sentiment, dear. But does that mean it’s city policy to let men who identify as men leave the seat up in the ladies room?

Ocean City Today, the official newspaper in those parts, issuing a brilliant defense of Arbin.

They suggested that he should tell his critics to pound sand — writing in a stinging editorial about having to “take special care that we don’t put a toe over the line of hurting anyone’s feelings.

"Butch Arbin ought to tell those who would see him disciplined for a recent email to take Ocean City’s 10 miles of sand and pound it.”

They sound like my kind of people.

“One thing wrong with society in these turbulent times isn’t Arbin or anyone like him, but is the increasingly delicate dance of public discourse at a time when those who seek tolerance are themselves intolerant,” the newspaper wrote in a staff editorial.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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21 June, 2016

Multiculturalist (Maori) 'punched teenage rugby league referee in the face' during under-12s match because he sent off his son



The brother of former Canterbury Bulldogs star Willie Talau has been charged after allegedly punching a 16-year-old referee at a junior rugby league match.  Jucy Talau, 34, is accused of assaulting Kurt Portsmouth, 16, who had been refereeing an under-12s match in Sydney's south.

The alleged assault occurred after the young referee ruled that Talau's son had to be subbed out of the match - the junior rugby league equivalent of being sent off.

Talau allegedly attacked when the young referee made the call, leaving the teenager with bruises on his face, a broken eye socket, and fractured jaw reported Channel Seven News.

Kurt's father, Scott Portsmouth, told the Daily Telegraph that he 'never seen anything' like the incident. 'The crowd just groaned and I ran out on to the field to be with my son,' he said.

Kurt had been refereeing the junior match between the Engadine Dragons and Gymea Gorillas at Anzac Oval when he was allegedly attacked.

He was was taken to the Children’s Hospital in Randwick in a stable condition.

Talau, who is a trainer for the Gymea Gorillas, was arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He has been granted conditional bail to appear before Sutherland Local Court on Wednesday June 22.

Sutherland Shire’s Facebook page said the student from De La Salle College, was given a standing ovation when he was stretchered off the field and into a waiting ambulance.

SOURCE






Boris nails it

Vote Leave to take control of your family's destiny, Boris tells women: Former London mayor says 'out of control' immigration is depriving families of access to schools, homes and healthcare

Boris Johnson today warns the ‘out of control’ immigration system is depriving families of certainty over access to school places, housing and healthcare.

In a direct appeal to women voters, he says the only way for families to be in control of their own destiny is to vote to leave the EU on Thursday.

Mr Johnson yesterday insisted he was a huge supporter of immigration – and even suggested there should be an amnesty for illegal workers who have been in the UK for 12 years or more.

But in an exclusive Daily Mail interview, he said uncontrolled EU immigration was preventing the public sector from properly planning to ensure there are enough schools, GP surgeries and homes.

He warned that – in turn – this is depriving families of the ability to plan for the future of their children.

Mr Johnson said: ‘It is about control. It is about security, safety of your country and your economy and being in charge.

‘You want to be able to manage your household yourself, you want to be able to manage how things work pretty exactly.

‘If we take back control of immigration we can help local authorities plan for vital services. That will mean that young people will have a better chance of getting on the housing ladder and there will be less pressure on school places or the NHS. At the moment the system is out of control and no one can plan effectively.’

He added: ‘It will take time – but if you have an immigration system that is based on the needs of the economy rather than just a doctrine and ideology of free movement, I think you get to plan better.

‘You’re thinking about your kids and whether they are going to be able to afford a home. That is of great importance. Whether your kids can be part of an economy that is outward-looking and mobilised – able to do deals with growth economies not locked into the EU.

‘I’d be thinking where is Britain going – what is it going to be like for us in 20 or 30 years’ time. Are we going to be part of this very closed system or are we going to take back control and really set our priorities?’

Mr Johnson dismissed the doom-mongering of David Cameron and the Remain camp, saying: ‘I have seen no evidence of an economic shock.’ He went on: ‘The only way to end this tidal wave of gloom from the Government is to vote Leave.

‘I think the negativity is very intense and I do not think it is doing anybody’s mood much good. If I were them I would not have fought the campaign this way.’

At a rally in London yesterday, Mr Johnson said the way to ‘neutralise’ extremist views in Britain was for the country to regain control of its borders. He said those who ‘play politics’ with immigration would be silenced if the UK was able to take charge of a ‘completely out of control’ system.

The former London mayor also repeated previous calls for an amnesty on illegal immigrants who have been here for more than 12 years.

He said: ‘If we take back control of our immigration system with an Australian-style points-based system, we’ll be dealing fairly and justly with every part of the world and we will be neutralising people in this country and across Europe who wish to play politics with immigration and who are opposed to immigrants. That is the way forward.’

Mr Johnson said the TV cameras would turn to ‘[European Commission president] Jean-Claude Juncker celebrating with what looks suspiciously like champagne, and then go to Peter Mandelson and the rest saying the way is now clear for Britain to join the euro’.

He added: ‘We will have missed a fantastic opportunity for change and improvement for Europe and this country ... We cannot vote for a status quo, with the EU morphing relentlessly into a superstate, with activist judges making decisions including who can be on our streets whether they are terror suspects and convicted criminals or not.’

Attacking the Remain side, he added: ‘They endlessly say we can’t do it, we daren’t do it, we mustn’t do it – and we say that we can.’

A group of powerful US Congressmen yesterday said Britain will be at the ‘front’ of the line for a trade deal in the event of Brexit.

The 11 politicians demolish a central plank of the case that Britain will not be able to trade freely with the world outside the EU.

In a letter to President Obama, they also attack him for his ‘misguided effort’ to try to bully Britain into a vote to remain.

In April, Mr Obama made the extraordinary threat that we would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade deal – even though his presidency is nearly over.

The signatories to the letter include Devin Nunes and Pat Tiberi, two former chairmen of Congress’s Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade.

Their letter states that while a Brexit vote ‘may open new opportunities for cooperation with our British friends’, it ‘will not diminish any of our vital ties’ . It adds: ‘For us, Britain stands at the front of the line.’

SOURCE






Why Speaking the Truth About Islamic Terrorism Matters

 BY ROGER KIMBALL

I had planned to weigh in on the slaughter in Orlando right after it happened, but a sense of nausea intervened.

There was plenty of nausea to go around. You might think that the chief catalyst would be the scene of slaughter itself: the nearly fifty revelers at a gay nightclub dead, and scores more wounded by a single jihadist.

In a normal world, the spectacle of that carnage would have been the focus of revulsion. I confess, however, that the repetition of such acts of theocratic barbarism these past few decades has left me somewhat anesthetized.

The long, long list of "Islamist terrorist attacks" that Wikipedia maintains comes with this mournful advisory:

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness.

Indeed, and alas. Take a look at that list: one thing you will note -- apart from the fact that the terrorist attacks are correctly denominated as "Islamist" terrorist attacks -- is that most years include more attacks than the years before.

There were some 35 in 2014. I stopped counting at 100 for 2015.

So my initial reaction to the news from Orlando was a mixture of anger, outrage -- and weariness. "Here," I said to myself, "we go again."

First came the casualty figures. Twenty dead. No, make that 30. Wait, it's 40, no, 50 dead and scores wounded, many gravely. And the murderer? The world held its breath and the media prayed: Please, please, please make him a white Christian NRA member, or at least a crazed white teenager.

No such luck. Omar Mateen was the 29-year-old scion of Afghan immigrants. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Right off the bat his father assured the world that he was "saddened" by the massacre (wasn't that nice?) and that Omar was "a good son." Religion, he said, had "nothing to do with" his son's rampage. He was just "angry" at gay people. So he suited up and headed down to the Pulse nightclub where he methodically shot some 100 people. Oh, and Mateen père has supported the Taliban, and claims to be running for the presidency of Afghanistan. (Cue the theme music from The Twilight Zone?)

It did not take long before the media realized that none of its preferred narratives was operative.

There was a flicker of hope that Mateen might at least be a gay-hating nearly white male (shades of George Zimmerman, the "white Hispanic"). But, no, although Mateen himself might, according to his ex-wife and others, have been gay, he had pledged himself to ISIS. He had also, in fact, attracted the interest of the FBI. It had interviewed him twice but decided that there was nothing to see here, move along please.

In most respects, this act of Islamic slaughter was a matter of déjà-vu all over again. There was the wrinkle that the Pulse, unlike the nightclub in Bali or the concert hall in Paris, was patronized mostly by gays. But homosexuals are only one of many groups that Islamists wish to exterminate. (Hence the Arab slogan "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people," which can be seen and heard through the Middle East. First we'll get rid of the Jews, then the Christians.)

And this brings me to the chief source of my nausea in response to the massacre in Orlando: the rancid, untruthful, politically correct nonsense emitted by the MSM and their chief pet, Barack Obama.

SOURCE





Does it matter how many women sit on corporate boards?

by Jeff Jacoby

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER REPORT bewailing the number of women on corporate boards of directors. According to a tally released on Tuesday by Catalyst, a nonprofit group that focuses on women in the workplace, 27 percent of new appointments to the boards of companies listed on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index in 2015 went to women. That boosted to 20 percent the total share of women serving as directors at S&P 500 companies.

Catalyst gloomily describes these findings as "dismal." The group's president, Deborah Gillis, laments that "men continue to be overrepresented, holding more than their fair share of board seats and, in some cases, all the board seats."

Professional pessimists can always be counted on to find the clouds in a clearing sky, especially when it draws media attention. Catalyst's annual census of women on corporate boards routinely generates a bumper crop of headlines about how little headway has been made in diversifying boardrooms by sex. But is "dismal" really the right word for the advance of women onto boards of directors?

In 2015, according to Catalyst, only 2.8 percent of S&P 500 companies, just 14, had no women on their boards. One decade earlier, those numbers were more than four times as large: Twelve percent of the S&P 500 — 60 companies — had all-male corporate boards in 2005. And the shift is accelerating. As of this week, the number of corporations on the S&P Index with no female directors is down to eight.

Continuity and stability tend to be highly valued in the makeup of corporate boards. Less than 10 percent of directors' seats turn over in a typical year. So the fact that one-fifth of all board members at the nation's biggest companies are women — a percentage that keeps rising, slowly but steadily — signifies not a persistent and inflexible "glass ceiling," but the vanishing of a cultural hurdle that was once as common as hoop skirts and dance cards.

To some gender warriors, of course, the situation will remain "dismal" until the share of women on corporate boards matches the share of women in the population. Gillis's complaint that men have more than their "fair share" of board seats reflects the fallacy that the sexes would be equally represented in institutions and occupations if only discrimination, whether overt or institutional, weren't in the way.

But it's no more logical to expect parity between men and women in boardrooms than to expect it in professional athletics (where men tend to earn far more than women), or in the awarding of college degrees (where women outperform men). Notable gender disparities exist in everything from imprisoned criminals (overwhelmingly men) to single home buyers (overwhelmingly women). Obviously there was a time when blatant sexism and outrageous double standards made it all but impossible for women to climb the corporate ladder. In 2016, however, women run some of the nation's largest and most influential companies — General Motors, IBM, PepsiCo, Xerox. It is hard to make a convincing case that an entrenched and toxic patriarchy is blackballing women from the ranks of the business world's elite.

Today, any company that would exclude a highly talented woman from its top ranks out of pigheaded male chauvinism would only be harming itself. It would be putting itself at a disadvantage to any competitor shrewd enough to recognize and embrace the excluded executive's value. Indeed, many gender-diversity advocates now make their case not just in the language of fairness, but in terms of profitability.

In 2012, for example, Morgan Stanley launched an investment fund — Parity Portfolio — which restricts its holdings to corporations with at least three women on their corporate boards. "Extensive research . . . reveals a correlation between gender diversity on corporate boards and company financial strength," the fund's strategy statement says. The evidence of that relationship, Parity Portfolio's co-creator Eve Ellis told The Wall Street Journal, should be too clear for any company to ignore: "More diverse boards have stronger financials."

If she's right, her fund will have no trouble attracting investors and keeping them happy. But the evidence that more female board members means higher corporate profits is murky at best.

In a recent paper for the Journal of Social Issues, Northwestern University professor Alice Eagly analyzed the many studies that test whether more women directors can be linked to a stronger bottom line. What she found was that the boldest claims of a connection were usually based on the "least informative studies, which are those containing only simple group comparisons." Other papers, more academically rigorous, found neutral or even negative correlations between gender diversity and financial performance. Either way, what no study has managed to nail down is causation. It may be that more women are named to boards of companies that are already more successful — that their appointment, in other words, is a result of financial strength, not a cause.

At all events, it trivializes gender equality, in the corporate world or anywhere else, to be reduced to nothing but a body count. What should concern those who value male-female diversity is not whether 20 percent or 40 percent or 60 percent of board members are women, but whether 100 percent of women with the drive, aptitude, and skill to be corporate executives can pursue that goal on the same basis as men with similar drive, aptitude, and skill. In the aggregate, women may be less likely to set their sights on the corporate boardroom or CEO's corner office. So what? All that matters is that arbitrary gender restrictions not hold back individuals who are drawn to a career in business leadership — and that arbitrary gender quotas not be allowed to warp the judgment of those who are responsible for directing America's corporations.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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20 June, 2016

Multicultural Hallowe'en prankster is convicted after filming himself terrifying trick or treaters with illegal stun gun and a balaclava
    


A Hallowe'en prankster has been prosecuted after filming himself opening his door in a balaclava and lighting up a stun gun while trick or treaters waited on the step.

Faisal Hussain, 26, opened his door with the banned weapon then filmed their horrified reaction and posted it on Facebook.

Judge Peter Hunt told Hussain he had 'frightened the living daylights out of them' as he ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work at Bradford Crown Court.

Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting , told the court that police looked at Hussain's Facebook page after receiving an anonymous tip-off.

The video shows Hussain pulling the balaclava over his head and then say the trick or treaters had 'come to the wrong house'.

He is then seen running to the door with the stun gun and activating it.

The gun, which doubles as a torch, made a noise and an electric current lights up, sending the children running away from the door.

The petrified children were screaming but none were hurt and a court heard Hussain hadn't intended to injure any of them.

Police found the stun gun when they went to Hussain's house and a firearms expert confirmed it was a banned weapon.

Hussain told police a friend had brought it back from a holiday in Turkey and they had 'tasered' each other with it. He said he had used it as part of a prank and didn't realise how serious the situation was.

He told officers that when the children knocked on the door he told them to wait before putting on the balaclava and running out with the taser. He said it made a scary buzzing noise and filming it was part of the prank.

Bradford Crown Court heard the stun gun could give a small electric shock and was capable of causing pain, but not serious injury.

Jeremy Hill-Baker, for Hussain, said his client hadn't intended to hurt the children and had no contact with them. Mr Hill-Baker said: 'It was foolhardy and frightening behaviour by a man who ought to have known better, in the peculiar circumstance of Hallowe'en.'

His barrister said it was likely the incident wouldn't have come to light if it hadn't been posted on Facebook.

Sentencing Hussain to a 12-month community order and ordering him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, Judge Hunt said it was an 'act of supreme folly'.

The judge said he was not entirely satisfied Hussain's motive was merely a prank, but he did not point the stun gun at the youngsters and hadn't intended to hurt them.

Hussain, from Bradford, admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Judge Hunt ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the weapon.

SOURCE






Orlando has exposed the poison of identity politics

Our obsession with identity has robbed the victims of their humanity

There has been something deeply disturbing in the Western response to the Orlando massacre. There has been an instinct, actually a concerted effort, to estrange the 49 victims from the broader human family, to prevent their being talked about as part of humanity. Across the media, and in gay-rights circles, observers have insisted we refer to them as ‘queers’ first and avoid turning them into ‘disembodied, undifferentiated and abstract “human” lives’, as one academic put it. To talk about these people in the same breath as ‘Western values’, to allow their murder to be ‘generalised’, to refer to their slaughter as ‘an attack on humanity’, is wrong, commentators insist, because doing this erases their specific identities and the specific reason they were killed: their gayness. This is all meant to sound PC, and gay-friendly, an attempt to uphold the truth about what happened in Orlando; but in fact it exposes the profound anti-humanism of identity politics.

Within hours of the atrocity, the response had descended into a squabble over whether it was a homophobic crime or an attack on humanity. It surely speaks volumes about the moral disarray of the West that we cannot even agree on how the act and its victims should be referred to, far less what kind of robust, collective response to take to such Islamist-justified barbarism. A writer for the London Review of Books flagged up the ‘faultline’ between the way ‘many straight people are interpreting the Orlando attack’ and the way ‘many LGBT people understand it’. The straights are wrong, he says, to view this attack as ‘anti-Western’; it was anti-gay. An American journalist went further, saying: ‘If you are a cisgender, heterosexual, white person, please do not write about [Orlando].’ Guardian columnist Owen Jones told a news presenter: ‘You don’t understand this because you’re not gay.’ So, from the get-go, efforts were made to suppress solidarity, in essence; to prevent anyone who doesn’t share the specific identity of the victims from expressing an opinion or grief over their slaughter; to distinguish the victims, ‘queers’, from everyone else: ‘humanity’.

And as the days go on, this perverse removal of the Orlando victims from any broader narrative of humanity or the West or just ‘us’ – a writer for the Independent sniffily mocks the idea that it was an ‘attack on us all’ – has intensified. The commentators insisting that the massacre be given its rightful name of a ‘homophobic hate crime’ claim they are only trying to prevent the murdered revellers’ identities from being erased. We must stop this ‘erasure of the sexual and gender identities of the victims’, says one. Yet no one – literally no one – is denying that the Orlando massacre was an anti-gay attack. How could they? What gay-rights activists, identitarians and observers are really bristling at is the line that follows the acknowledgement that it was a homophobic attack, the line that says: ‘But it was something else, too. It was an attack on humanity.’ It’s this they find unacceptable, because the inexorable instinct of identity politics is separatism, an urge to emphasise the differences between various sections of humanity and most importantly the differences in victim status.

Many find the idea that Orlando was an attack on humanity threatening because it promises to undermine what they view as the unique victim status of gay people. As a gay columnist for the Irish Times said: ‘The world needs to acknowledge how some people are more hated than others.’ In short: acknowledge my victim status. ‘If you have never experienced homophobia, you’re less likely to recognise it or to know how it feels than someone who has’, she says. So this is her massacre, she feels it more than you; and thus you can claim no real moral relationship to it.

This urge among some to stake a moral claim to Orlando, and to prevent other, non-gay people from doing so, was made clear in a Sydney Morning Herald piece. It chastises those who ‘generalise’ the massacre – that is, who talk about it as an assault on humanity – and who in the process ‘deny LGBTI people… ownership’ of this act of mass murder. Ownership. That’s it. The thing motoring the efforts to remove the Orlando victims from ‘generalised’ narratives about humanity and Islamism and so on is a narrow, jealous desire to make this attack gay property; to ensure it becomes fuel, not for discussions about the West or humanity or collective stands against Islamist intolerance, but for the maintenance of the victim culture of gay politics. Victimhood is the most important asset for all identity groups; it’s the thing that grants them moral authority in this era when having suffered is prized more highly than being morally autonomous. The fury with which some are shooting down the ‘straight-washing’ of Orlando or its ‘co-option’ into narratives of humanity is driven by a pretty low effort to ensure that this barbarism remains grist to their mill and nobody else’s.

This discomfort with the idea that the massacre was both homophobic and an attack on humanity is captured again and again in the strange and bitter post-Orlando commentary. A British journalist slams those ‘portraying the massacre as an attack on humanity’. A writer for the academic magazine the Conversation spells it out even more clearly. He says the 49 dead should be remembered as ‘queer lives’ rather than ‘“human” lives’ (those are his quote marks around human). We must ‘reiterate the queerness of our dead brothers and sisters’, he says, and refuse to allow them to be talked about as ‘disembodied, undifferentiated and abstract “human” lives’. Read that again. He is saying we must actively, consciously, avoid referring to the victims as humans – or ‘humans’, to use his preferred punctuation – and just refer to them as ‘queers’. This is ugly. A few decades back, if gay people were killed you might expect homophobes to say, ‘They were only queer, not real humans’; now, alarmingly, and in a sign of how depraved identity politics has become, it is supposedly pro-gay people who say this, who effectively say: ‘Remember them not as people but as queers.’

The end result – the end result of all identity politics – is that people are dehumanised. They are reduced from complex beings to symbols; from messy, brilliant members of the human family that other humans can relate to and empathise with, despite being different, to mere identities, mere characteristics, mere sexual preferences, mere genders, mere skin colours. I would say that the victims of Orlando have suffered a double dehumanisation. First they were dehumanised by Omar Mateen, who clearly viewed them as less than human, as ‘faggots’, deserving of nothing more than violent death. And now they are dehumanised by the identity-politics narrative, which explicitly demands that we siphon them off from ‘generalised’ discussions of humanity and discuss them as ‘queer lives’ rather than as ‘human lives’. In a more PC, less apocalyptic, violence-free way, the mainstream purveyors of the politics of identity are repeating Mateen’s dehumanisation of these 49 people; they echo his foul belief that these people were queer first and human second.

The post-Orlando discussion should be of concern to anyone who considers himself a humanist. For it has confirmed the entrenchment of the politics of identity, and exposed how thoroughly it has usurped, or perhaps replaced, the older, more progressive politics of human solidarity. It shows that there is no escape from the identities we’re branded with. You are ‘born this way’, and you die this way, and you will be remembered this way: as an identity rather than a human. We must challenge this. We must insist that the Orlando massacre, this slaughter of gay people, was an outrage against humanity. And we must make the case that what we have in common with the people who were murdered in that nightclub – a desire for freedom; a shared humanity; a capacity for autonomy and empathy – outweighs every single difference between us that is currently being cynically talked up by a media and political set in thrall to the corrosive politics of identity. Those 49 people were humans first, and every human should rage against their destruction.

SOURCE






Dobson on 'Bathroom' Bills: 'Where Is Manhood That We Don't Stand Up and Defend Our Families?'

During a discussion about the transgender “bathroom” bills now affecting several states and all public school districts, author and psychologist Dr. James Dobson said it was wicked to expose children to transgender men (or women) in a bathroom or shower, and that this political correctness must be resisted and asked, “where is manhood that we don’t stand up and defend our own families?”

In a June 9 interview with Faith2Action founder Janet Porter on Family Talk radio, Dr. Dobson said, “Let me share a Scripture with you all that I came across that speaks to this issue. It’s addressed directly to parents, I think. It’s Leviticus 19:29. Listen to this: ‘Do not degrade your daughters by making them a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.’”

“That comes right to the heart of this,” he said. “It sort of feels like that’s where we are. We’re taking our little, vulnerable kids and we’re saying in the name of political correctness, ‘Here are our children. Do with them what you want.’ And I’m here to say that I’m going to fight that as long as I have breath in my body.”

Dr. Dobson further said, “I want to tell you something else. As a man, I not only care about my daughter, and I care about little girls across the country, [and] I care about [my wife] Shirley. I don’t want Shirley being in a bathroom where some grungy guy comes in there and zips down his zipper and does things that she will remember the rest of her life.”

“I mean, where is manhood that we don’t stand up and defend our own families?” said Dr. Dobson.  “And I think that we’re going to be responsible before the Lord, if we don’t do it.”

Janet Porter said, “I completely agree. And what is the reason why some are still sitting on the sidelines? Because they’re afraid of being called a mean name. They don’t want to be called a bigot or a trans-phobe or homo-phobe. So, yeah, let the women and children suffer. That’s what’s happening.”

“We need men of courage, especially at this hour, to stand and fight,” she said.

A little later in the interview, Porter said, “You know, the Bible says it’s better to have a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. And I think, Doc, that this applies not just to those in the schools that are doing this, those in the White House and the Target Corporation. But I think it applies to parents.”

“Because if you don’t vigilantly watch what they’re teaching your children, if you don’t stand now, school administrators, if you don’t stand now and fight this, then this [Bible] verse, I believe, applies to you,” she said. 

“Because these children are being led astray, they’re being harmed, they’re being violated and the only thing that can protect them is for those adults in authority to stand now and fight,” said Janet Porter.  “This is our moment. This is our hour to stand.”

To counter part of the LGBT agenda, several states have introduced bills stating that men and women must use the public-access bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match the sex of which they were born: male or female.

The Obama administration opposes such laws and has directed all public schools that receive federal funding to provide bathroom and locker accommodations for people based upon “gender identity” – what a person feels is their sex regardless of anatomy and genetics.

SOURCE






Mass. Legislature Rejects Amendment to Bar Sex Offenders From Opposite-Sex Bathrooms

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill last week requiring that all public accommodations be open to transgender individuals after rejecting an amendment that would have required Level 2 and 3 sex offenders to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificates.

According to the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety, a Level 2 sex offender is an individual who is at a “moderate” risk of reoffense. Level 3 sex offenders have a “high” risk of reoffense and pose a “substantial” degree of “dangerousness” to the public.

According to the bill, which passed on a 116-36 vote, “Any public accommodation, including, without limitation, any entity that offers the provision of goods, services, or access to the public, that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex shall grant all persons admission to and the full enjoyment of such public accommodation or other entity consistent with the person’s gender identity.”

The proposed amendment, which was rejected 58-94, stated that “any public accommodation that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex may prohibit a finally classified level 2 or level 3 sex offender from using any lawfully sex segregated facility, bathroom, or locker room that is not consistent with the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”

“I have nothing against the transgender community, but there are no protections in the bill to protect vulnerable individuals from those who would use this law for criminal purposes,” state Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough), one of the co-sponsors of the amendment, told CNSNews.com.

This bill will invite predators who will pose as transgender in order to put women in harm's way"This bill will invite predators who will pose as transgender in order to put women in harm's way."

The Massachusetts House also rejected another amendment imposing legal penalties for claiming a false gender identity to access a bathroom or locker room for an “improper purpose.”

The state Senate passed a similar version of the bill last month by a 33-4 margin, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe that he intends to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Both versions replace "sex" with "gender identity" throughout Massachusetts' anti-discrimination laws, but the House version leaves the details about when and how gender identity must be proven up to the state's Commission Against Discrimination.

"The bill allows people on a routine basis to decide if they are male or female. Your anatomy is no longer relevant. This has absolutely nothing to do with discrimination, it has everything to do with changing our society and social engineering by those on the left," State Rep. James Lyons (R-Andover) told the Boston Herald.

Lyons introduced an amendment to the bill, which was rejected, that would have changed the state’s definition of “gender identity” to require evidence of medical history or treatment to establish a different gender identity.

Several other attempts to clarify the definition of “gender identity” in the bill were also rejected by the House, including an amendment requiring an amended birth certificate or government ID card to establish gender identity.

Massachusetts’current legal definition of gender identity  is “a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

It goes on to say that “gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.”

State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston), who sponsored the Senate’s version of the transgender bathroom bill, says it is the right thing to do to protect transgender people.

“In light of discriminatory legislation like HB2 in North Carolina, it is crucial that Massachusetts stand on the right side of history in providing public accommodations protections for our transgender residents,” she said.

However, critics of transgender bathroom laws - including Maya Dillard Smith, the former head of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - point out that allowing men who claim to be women to use female-only facilities poses a danger to women and girls.

Dillard Smith stepped down as director of the Georgia ACLU chapter after her young daughters were frightened at encountering three six-foot-tall transgenders with deep voices in a public bathroom.

“As there is an effort to advance transgender rights, what are the implications for women and girls?” she asked on Fox News, adding that the ACLU did not provide her with "the opportunity for robust discourse on the competing civil rights."

SOURCE

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

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

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

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19 June, 2016

Ya gotta hand it to the man: A far-Left Australian Jew claims to understand Islam better than Islamic scholars do



As it is enormously long-winded, in a typical Leftist style, I won't try to reproduce Michael Brull's article here.  Below, however, are a couple of his opening sentences.  He is discussing the Orlando massacre:

"Right-wing politicians and commentators have hurried to link the attack to Islam and Muslims generally, using the massacre to promote goals like banning Muslim immigration.

While others have responded with critiques of the overt racism of some of these voices, in this article, I want to explain why these claims about the responsibility of Islam for this massacre are substantively wrong"

Brull's basic point is that both in the past and today, many Muslims condone homosexuality -- which is true.   With the exception of a few Western Imams, however, Islamic scholars today universally condemn homosexuality.

So what do the Koran and the Hadiths say?  The Koran re-tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which teaches divine vengeance upon homosexuality.  But the Koran is not specific about how faithful Muslims should treat homosexuals.  For that, we have to go to the Hadiths, which are treated by all Muslim scholars as the authentic teachings of Mohammed.  And in the Hadiths we find not only an instruction to kill homosexuals but precise instructions about how:  They are to be thrown off the top of a tall building, which is exactly what the devout Muslims of ISIS do regularly.

So how come many Muslims condone or have condoned homosexuality?  How come the Orlando shooter himself appears to have been homosexual?  Easy:  Homosexuality is rife among Muslims.  Their religion makes their relationship with women very difficult to start with and the toleration of polygamy creates an even bigger stress.  Under polygamy, the rich old men get most of the women, leaving lots of young men high and dry.

So sexual frustration among Muslim young men is HUGE and tends to break out in all directions.  It's why they clothe their sisters in Burkas, Niqabs and the like.  And why many Muslim societies restrict the movements of women -- with some going to the extreme of requiring women to go out only in the company of a male family member.  It's all to protect their female family members from other Muslim young men.  Their women have to be made as untempting to Muslim young men as possible. Otherwise the women would be sexually harassed.  In more liberal Muslim countries such as Lebanon, Muslim women are very frequently harassed and assaulted by Muslim men.

But if women are not available, what is the next best thing?  Homosexuality and pedophilia.  And in some countries, such as Afghanistan, that's institutionalized -- as with the Afghan "dancing boys".  They do more than dance.

So there is HUGE tension between the Muslim religion and what Muslims do.  And that dissonance can sometimes be resolved by various sorts of tolerance of homosexuality -- usually silent tolerance.

Brull makes much of some times in the distant past when Muslim societies have tolerated homosexuality fairly openly, but we have to relate that to something that he himself stresses:  The diversity in Islam.  Muslims are notorious for their sectarian wars.  Islam is not unlike Christianity in that it has within it many sects which all think they are right and the other sects are wrong.  There was a time when Anglican bishops were burnt at the stake for their beliefs -- a rather hilarious thought when we contemplate Anglican spinelessness today.

The important point is, however, that Christians no longer attack one-another physically, whereas Muslims still do.  Religions change and evolve over time and Islam has done some of that too.  So what some Muslims have done in the past is no guide to what Islam is today. The past roasting of Anglican bishops is no guide to modern Christianity and nor are episodes of liberalism among some Muslims of the past any guide to Islam today.  Islam today treads an enormously difficult path of sexual inhibition, made more difficult by an awareness that infidels have a lot more fun.

As I said, Brull makes much of the fact that Islam is not a monolithic entity.  It is split into a large number of mutually hostile sects.  He seems to think that the divisiveness of Islam makes it unreasonable to talk of a single monolithic entity called "Islam".  But that is only trivially true. There is much more that unites Muslims than there are things that divide them.  And open hostility to homosexuality is something virtually all of them have in common.  Homophobia is Muslim.

Some Muslim organizations in the West did condemn the Orlando massacre but that is a type of deceptive PR allowed by the Koran: "taqiyya".  In some Muslim countries, such as Turkey, the massacre was celebrated  -- JR






Multicultural train pest



A train passenger who intentionally held the doors open causing delays to dozens of services and costing the rail network £10,000 has been jailed.

Aaron Reid, 28, got on a London Midland service at Aston, Birmingham, but decided to prevent the doors from closing so that someone he was travelling with could board the train.

A conductor went to speak to Reid, where it is believed the passenger started to act aggressively and began to film the encounter on his mobile phone.

Birmingham Magistrates Court heard how he was asked to leave the service in February, but refused. He then intentionally held up the train again at the next station, Duddleston.

The Birmingham Mail reports that the man's actions caused an 11-minute delay to the service to Birmingham New Street, and is estimated to have cost the rail network £10,000.

It also resulted in delays and cancellations to as many as 42 other services operating on the line.

He was arrested on leaving the train at Birmingham New Street.

In court, Reid denied the obstruction charges, saying that his shoelace had accidentally got stuck in the train doors.

The 28-year-old was found guilty of two counts of obstruction for his actions on the train, and after an outburst in court, was also found in contempt of court.

For the obstruction offences Reid received a 16-week jail term. This triggered three suspended sentences he had previously had handed to him totalling 24 weeks, meaning the Birmingham man is set for a 10-month stretch behind bars.

PC James Hannan from Birmingham New Street said: 'Reid has come to our attention on numerous occasions for exactly this kind of behaviour. 'He'll pick arguments with rail staff and police over what are usually very trivial matters and then refuse to leave the train.

'The level of aggression he displays is totally unacceptable and over the top, affecting passengers around him and delaying their journeys. 'We hope this sentence acts as a wake-up call to Reid and makes him think twice before he acts. We will also be seeking measures to prevent him from using the rail network in the future in order to protect rail users and staff from his unpleasant behaviour.'

London Midland head of Cross City services, Rob Hornsey, added: 'Holding the train doors for just one person can have a knock on effect that can delay hundreds of people across the West Midlands. Which is exactly what happened on this occasion.'

SOURCE






Justice First! Jo Cox’s Mentally Ill Killer Should Not Be Discussed in Parliament

Louise Mensch (née Louise Daphne Bagshawe; born 1971) writes well below.  She has been called the "thinking man's crumpet" -- evil though it is of me to mention that



Normally speaking a man who is arrested by police on suspicion of murder would enjoy both fair treatment from the press and a guarding of his rights by the BBC.

Not so the mentally ill killer of heroic Jo Cox MP.

Disgracefully, David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn both imputed political motives to Thomas Mair, which could prejudice his trial.

They spoke of “hate”. Leading EU figures disgustingly appeared to connect mentally ill Thomas with the Brexit campaign. And the BBC did the same, on Twitter, Newsnight and across it broadcasts.

West Yorkshire Police leaked highly prejudicial crap to the Guardian about far-right memorabilia

Finally the Speaker allowed Parliament to be recalled despite the fact a man is to be tried. When I was on the Select Committee we received stern advice from Speaker’s Counsel that we could do NOTHING and say NOTHING in our hacking enquiry that would prejudice the trial of Andy Coulson.

How then is this being allowed?

Let us get this absolutely straight. Thomas Mair was severely mentally ill – and he may well, therefore, have had racist tendencies, which could be delusional.

But NOTHING thus far reported suggests that these are the “reasons” he killed poor Jo Cox, still less that the matter has ANYTHING WHATEVER to do with Brexit.

The speculation everywhere, fuelled by prejudicial police leaks to the Guardian, is that, as the BBC reported, Mair shouted “Britain First!” and then attacked the MP.

Couple that with the police’s neo-Nazi finds at his house and there is the hate crime motivation, done and dusted.

But this theory is already falling apart under scrutiny. One of the three original “witnesses” , Mr. Hitcham Ben Abdallah, cited, flatly denied he ever heard Mair shout “Britain First!”

Next, the BBC originally stated that Mair screamed “Britain First” three times. But “eyewitness” Clarke Rothwell did not go so far on camera

And there was worse to come. The Muslim eyewitness contradicted Clarke Rothwell saying not only did he not say “Britain First” but NOBODY heard “Britain First” shouted:

Well, the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent, and West Yorkshire Police, now have MASSIVE explaining to do. Because “witness” Clark Rothwell is allegedly on the BNP’s membership list as leaked by WikiLeaks:

The BNP and Britain First have a rivalry between them as racist groups. Clearly, this means that any allegation by Rothwell is suspect. I satisfied myself on Facebook that “Clarke Rothwell” of Batley, Yorkshire, “likes” a Facebook group called “Islam NOT 4 UK”

Will the BBC, Independent and Guardian report the “Britain First” claimed shout falling apart?

Meanwhile,  a poster on Reddit, claiming to be from Thomas Mair’s estate, suggested that it was well known locally that, rather than politics on his mind, Mair resented that a mental health programme he attended was closed. This poster claimed to be a Muslim and a supporter of Jo Cox’s. He decried the attitude of the media to both Mair and the local area. Even if, he said, Mair had supported the far right he was a mentally ill loner who never spoke of racist issues or politics and who was confused, the poster claimed, when running away, and waited at a bus stop.

Hope not Hate confirmed meanwhile that they were both taking money and campaigning for Remain today.

As the “Britain First” claim falls apart under the weight of the BNP, perhaps Hope Not Hate, David Cameron, and the Speaker of the House of Commons might consider the witness claim that Thomas Mair’s mentally ill grudge was over a mental health closure whether or not there was old Nazi memorabilia at his house.

These racist delusions, even on the reporting, go back to as early as 1999. They have, therefore, nothing to do with Brexit. Nothing to do with Vote Leave. Nothing to do with “rhetoric”.

We are seeing the full might of the EU bosses, of the Prime Minister, of the House of Commons, of the BNP, of the police – not as investigators but as leakers to the Guardian – deployed against a severely mentally ill man whom local people say was NOT motivated by politics at all.

This is not progressive. It is not OK. It is not justice. It is the base, the vile use of the death of a young mother in the service of throwing a vital referendum on the future of Britain.

Because in order to pay tribute to Jo Cox you do not need to suggest what the motivations of her mentally ill killer were.

You should not say those motivations were anything to do with hatred, with the EU, with Brexit. Because you have no idea. And to suggest these things on the basis of utterly spurious, contested, unreliable witness reports where conflicts of interest exist – BNP vs Britain First – is a disgusting misuse of Parliament.

If it is to be recalled, John Bercow will be failing in his duty if he allows any speculation on the floor of the house about why Jo Cox was killed. He is, in my view, clearly prejudicing Thomas Mair’s trial by even allowing the session.

And for the same reason, I believe Cameron and Corbyn should both resign. I hope that not a single voter changes their mind in this EU Referendum over the base politicisation of a young mother’s tragic death. Our democracy, and basic justice, deserves more than this.

SOURCE






Sir Cliff Richard is to face no further action following a controversial South Yorkshire Police investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse

Atrocious police behaviour in response to unsupported  allegations is once again exposed as an abuse of powers

The Crown Prosecution Service reviewed evidence relating to claims of sex offences made by four men against the 75-year-old singer dating between 1958 and 1983. However, it has decided there is "insufficient evidence to prosecute".

Sir Cliff said he is "obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close".

Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "This decision has been made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on cases of sexual offences.

"The CPS worked with police during the investigation. This has helped minimise the time needed to reach a decision once we received the complete file of evidence on 10 May. "The complainants have been informed and provided with a full explanation in writing."

South Yorkshire Police has apologised "wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused" to Sir Cliff by the force's "initial handling of the media interest" in its investigation into the singer.

In a statement, Sir Cliff said: "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point!   "Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close.

"Ever since the highly-publicised and BBC-filmed raid on my home I have chosen not to speak publicly. Even though I was under pressure to 'speak out', other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent.

"This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice resulting from the high-profile fumbling of my case from day one. Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged.  "I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like 'live bait'.

"It is obvious that such strategies simply increase the risk of attracting spurious claims which not only tie up police resources and waste public funds, but they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people."

SOURCE

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

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

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

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17 June, 2016

Why the British Liberals are the sleazy party

The long list of Clement Freud's political colleagues revealed to be ruthless sexual predators

After his death, Radio 4 broadcast a ‘celebration’ of Clement Freud, the longest-serving panellist on its comedy series Just A Minute.  Typical of his lugubrious contributions on the programme was a monologue on the subject ‘How to be irresistible to the opposite sex’.

To huge bellows of laughter from the studio audience, Freud said: ‘Keeping one’s trousers on at my sort of age is a very good way of being irresistible to the opposite sex – else they might expect what they will not get.’

That was in 2006, just three years before he died at the age of 84. But considering what we now know about his past as a child abuser, such humour is pretty sickening.

Freud is just the latest in a very long list of senior Liberal politicians to be revealed as ruthless sexual predators.

Who can forget the recent, sordid case of party grandee Lord Rennard (nicknamed ‘Lord Grope’) who was accused of sexually molesting a female election candidate and was further alleged to have preyed on ‘at least 30’ victims – allegations which he denies.

And no history of sexual sleaze in Westminster goes without mention of the grotesque story of former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe who became mired in a gay sex scandal involving illicit sex in the Commons, blackmail, a murder plot and the cold-blooded shooting of a blameless dog.

Of course, not all sex affairs in Westminster exclusively involve Liberals – but they seem to have played central roles in a disproportionately large number.

Certainly, such incidents make a mockery of the popular image of Liberals as harmless, sandal-wearing, ban-the-bomb, muesli-munching environmentalists. So why is such a small party – which has been in government only once in peacetime in the past 100 years – so beset by sexual scandal?

One explanation is in the name ‘Liberal’. Whereas the Tory and Labour parties were created as moral movements (the former to promote free trade and sound finances; Labour to fight for the working classes against flint-hearted employers), the Liberals were founded on a much more laissez-faire philosophy.

Above all, they were united by the conviction that progress was based on the free exercise of individual energy.

That ‘individual energy’ has developed into the psychology of ‘Liberal by name, liberal by nature’. At its extreme, in many cases, this has been expressed as wilder examples of sexual freedom.

Another explanation is that, perhaps, forever being the third party and far from the levers of power, their politicians have been under less public scrutiny. As a result, many might have felt able to take far bigger sexual risks.

In addition, a glance at their signature policies over the years shows a party that embraces a very permissive view of society.

I’ve lost count of the Lib Dem party conferences where activists have called for sexual relations to be legalised at the age of 12 or 14. I can still recall a decade ago, Don Foster, the party’s culture spokesman, successfully calling for 16-year-olds to be allowed to visit sex shops and buy pornography. ‘Matters of taste should have no role in censorship,’ he said. Foster is now a Lib Dem peer.

For some time, the party has wanted to decriminalise prostitution – believing it to be a legitimate business.

How symbolic, therefore, that William Gladstone, the party’s most successful leader who became Prime Minister four times, was well-known for ‘rescuing’ prostitutes from the streets of London.

A married man, who apparently whipped himself after his encounters, he admitted to a fascination with vice. He wrote in his diary about committing ‘adultery of the heart’.

He was followed by David Lloyd George, the last Liberal Prime Minister, who cynically sold peerages to raise money for his cash-strapped party after the First World War. Nicknamed ‘The Goat’, he had a mistress for 30 years – his daughter’s governess – and fathered several children outside marriage.

Much more recently we witnessed Lib Dem election strategist Lord Rennard who was suspended from the party in 2014 over allegations of unwelcome sexual advances against four young female members whose careers depended on his patronage. The porcine Rennard was eventually reinstated and now sits in the Lords.

Party chiefs also had to act after veteran MP Mike Hancock was deselected for ‘serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour’ towards a woman constituent. He had to apologise in the High Court for the ‘inappropriate and unprofessional friendship’ and also admitted a four-year extra-marital affair with an alleged Russian spy.

A few years earlier, Mark Oaten MP (married with two children), who was running for the Lib Dem leadership, resigned as home affairs spokesman for having an affair with a rent boy who sold his story to a Sunday red-top tabloid.

Oaten admitted he had no proper concept of the risk he’d been taking, saying he ‘didn’t think for a moment’ the young man would have known who he was.

Five days later Simon Hughes, Liberal MP for Bermondsey, announced he had had gay relationships despite denying being a homosexual. Amid much embarrassment, he was reminded that he’d run a notoriously homophobic campaign against Labour candidate Peter Tatchell in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.

Most notoriously, back in 1979, Jeremy Thorpe was tried for attempted murder after an alleged conspiracy to kill his former male lover Norman Scott – whom he called ‘Bunnies’. Thorpe, a married man, was acquitted of all charges but was branded by the judge a ‘crook, an accomplished liar and a fraud’.


Thorpe

Of course, one of Thorpe’s colleagues was the 29-stone Rochdale MP Cyril Smith who, for years, had shockingly managed to repel police investigations into his abuse of young boys in care homes and special schools.

Allegations against him had first surfaced in 1979 but the then Liberal leader David Steel dismissed them saying: ‘All he seems to have done is spank a few bare bottoms.’

Despite all the rumours, in 1988 Steel ensured Smith was given a knighthood. And on Smith’s 80th birthday, the then Liberal leader Nick Clegg extolled him ‘as a beacon of our party in the 1970s and 1980s’.

Finally, in 2012, the police admitted that Smith (who died in 2010) should have been charged with sexual and physical abuse and revealed 44 complaints had been made over three decades.

Any roll-call of sexual shenangians in the Liberal Party cannot exclude the antics of Chris Huhne, who stood as deputy leader. He admitted cheating on his wife, Vicky Pryce, with his parliamentary aide Carina Trimingham, who, at the time, was in a civil partnership with a woman.

How ironic that the Lib Dem manifesto for the General Election in 2010 declared: ‘We will clean up politics.’

From randy Old Goat Lloyd George to Jeremy Thorpe and Cyril Smith and now Clement Freud, the Liberals have repeatedly revealed themselves to be hypocrites – sexual libertines who preach ‘do as I say, rather than do as I do’.

SOURCE






Germany to scrap 'cultural immunity' and will no longer allow migrants to have multiple marriages or child brides

Germany will no longer allow migrants to have multiple wives or child brides, the justice minister has said.

Heiko Maas told German newspaper Bild that no one has the 'right to place their cultural values or religious beliefs above our laws'.

There has been increased concern over polygamous marriages in the wake of a rise in the number of migrants arriving in Germany, many from Muslim countries.

While polygamy is already banned in Germany, many officials 'turn a blind eye' to migrants who arrive in the country with more than one wife, the newspaper reports. This is also true of forced and underage marriages.

Mr Maas told the tabloid: 'We need to look very carefully. Forced marriages, we can not tolerate, and certainly not when underage girls are involved.

He added: 'Everyone must abide by rules and laws, whether they grew up here or are new. The law is equal for all.'

Referring to migrants arriving with underage brides, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees told local media: 'If the wife is underage, the youth authorities are alerted and they decide if the family stays together or not.'

SOURCE





One in ten Germans want a new FUHRER and a third believe their country ‘is dangerously overpopulated by foreigners’, new study finds

A new academic study has rocked the government in Berlin as people call for a 'dictatorship in the national interest' with one in ten wanting a new Führer to lead them to glory.

The University of Leipzig's research team found that nearly 34 per cent of people quizzed thought Germany is 'dangerously overpopulated by foreigners.'

A total of 21.9 per cent agreed that Germany needs 'a single strong party that embodies the national community as a whole'.

One in every ten Germans wants their country to be led by a 'Führer' applying 'a firm hand for the common good.'

And 71 years after Nazism was vanquished and the horror of the death camps revealed to a stunned world, 11 per cent of people questioned by the university researchers said Jews have too much influence in society.

Overall 12 per cent think Germans are by nature 'superior' to other people - a central plank of the ideology of Adolf Hitler and the original Nazis.

Other findings included four out of every ten people thinking Muslims should be prohibited from immigrating to the country and half of respondents in a survey of 2,240 people saying they feel like 'foreigners in their own country.'

Thirty per cent claimed Germany had been 'infiltrated by too many foreigners in a dangerous way.' And three out of every five Germans believe migrants who have arrived in the country seeking sanctuary from war and terror are bogus.

'They are not really at risk of any persecution in their home country" was the question they agreed with.

'There has been no increase in extreme right attitudes, but in comparison with our study from two years ago people who have far-right attitudes are more prepared to use violence to achieve their aims,' said Dr Oliver Decker, one of the report’s authors.

'There is a clear polarisation and radicalisation in German society, with more respondents also likely to completely reject violence this time around.

'The two groups exist next to each other. We have people who actively engage to help refugees and there are people who actively reject refugees,” said Decker.

The study entitled 'The uninhibited middle' argues extremist thinking has become more acceptable in mainstream German society - one reason for the rise of the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

It delivered hammer blows to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU conservatives in regional polls in March and looks set to send MPs into national government in the general election in the autumn of next year.

'Most AfD voters have a hostile attitude to the world,' said report co-author Dr Elmar Braehler. 'The potential for extreme right or populist right-wing parties is still higher than what electoral results have yet shown,' he added.

The survey noted an increase in negative attitudes towards gyspy communities, with half of respondents saying such people should be banned from city centres.

Gypsies were persecuted by the original Nazis with hundreds of thousands of them murdered in the Holocaust.

And gays - also persecuted under the Third Reich - are also hated: 40 percent of people said they found it 'disgusting' when homosexuals kissed in public - an increase of 15 per cent in a similar survey in 2011.

SOURCE





Freddie Gray trials faltering

The City of Baltimore’s prosecution against six of its own police officers after the death of Freddie Gray seemed overblown from the beginning, what with the seemingly excessive charges and a multi-million dollar settlement before the criminal trials went underway. Now with the hiccups in the case of Caesar Goodson, the officer who drove the police van in which Freddie Gray sustained his injuries, it seems like the city’s attempt at making its police officers into an example regarding police brutality is not going as planned.

The first trial for Officer William Porter ended in a hung jury and the second trial of Officer Edward Nero found the man not guilty. Goodson faces the most serious charges, “depraved-heart” murder, but the judge overseeing Goodson’s trial ordered the city to hand over information to Goodson’s lawyers because he determined the city prosecutors didn’t disclose information that would help Goodson. Namely, Goodson’s defense was never provided with statements from another person who was also picked up in the police van that day.

If the city of Baltimore cannot convict Goodson, it’s doubtful that it can convict any of the other officers involved in the arrest of Gray. Furthermore, history stands in the officers' favor. When police officers accused of murder or manslaughter stood before a judge (instead of a jury), not a single one was found guilty between 2005 to 2011. It seems Baltimore played to the mobs and was too quick to convict.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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16 June, 2016

Trump says he’s better for LGBT Americans than Clinton

Donald Trump has claimed he’s a better friend to the gay community than his opponent Hillary Clinton.

Giving a national security address in New Hampshire, the Republican frontrunner said: “Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country who suppress women, gays and anyone who doesn’t share their views.

“She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.

“Ask yourself – who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community: Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country — they enslave women and murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”

SOURCE







Chick Fil A Did WHAT After Gay Club Shooting? Why Isn’t This Viral?

Chick Fil A has made national news for it’s owners’ stance on gay marriage. Anytime they do something even remotely non-PC, their supposed slip up goes viral. Hash tags pop up all over the place.

So why is that what they have done in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting hasn’t received a single mention on the mainstream new outlets?

It’s probably because people like New York City Mayor, Bill DeBlasio might have to eat crow instead of chicken. DeBlasio has said that Chick Fil A spreads a message of hate.

Not so yesterday. In a shocking move, the Orlando location at University and Rouse Road fired up its grills on Sunday. The chain is notorious for not being open, ever, on the first day of the week. Employees cooked up hundreds of their famous chicken sandwiches. They brewed dozens of gallons of sweet tea.Chick-fil-A-logo-vec

Then, instead of making a single dime, they crated the product of their labor to the One Blood donation center. The food and drinks were handed out, free of charge, to all the people who had lined up to donate blood.

So far, the only mentions of the incident have been from individuals on Facebook. They have posted photos thanking the restaurant for their thoughtfulness and generosity.

But, wait, those people were waiting to give blood to victims that were mostly gay people. Doesn’t Chick Fil A hate gays? That’s what we keep being told.

Turns out, that while the founders definitely don’t approve of that choice of lifestyle, they believe in compassion. Who knew? A bunch of people claiming to be Christians care about others even when they don’t agree with them. This group took time out of their schedules to volunteer to help those who were also trying to do their part.

On top of that, the franchise’s location on Wells Road in Orange Park is even offering coupons for a free frosted lemonade to anyone who donates blood when the One Blood mobile unit is at their store on June 14.

So much for “Chick Fil hAte” becoming a thing.

SOURCE






Charge Dropped Against David Daleiden

A misdemeanor charge against David Daleiden, the pro-life activist whose series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood selling baby parts sparked a Congressional hearing, has been dropped. Daleiden was charged with trying to buy body parts during his investigation.

    Undercover investigator David Daleiden has been vindicated. Today, a Harris County, Texas judge dismissed the bogus misdemeanor charge against David Daleiden for allegedly trying to buy body parts from the Planned Parenthood abortion business he was exposing for selling them as a part of the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover investigation.

    Daleiden has maintained from the beginning that he and the Center for Medical Progress followed all applicable laws in the course of its investigative journalism and that the indictments were politically motivated.

Daleiden is still facing charges for using a fake ID.

SOURCE







Ferguson Effect Claims Chief of San Francisco PD

The mob has claimed another victim. This time the setting was the beautiful though peculiar city of San Francisco, where they came with the torches and pitchforks to place (now former) police chief Greg Suhr’s head atop a fencepost, there to join that of (now former) Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy. Recall that the mob had been screaming for McCarthy’s head for some time in Chicago, and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in the furor that erupted after the Laquan McDonald shooting, chose to hand it over in the hope of saving his own. It surely came as no surprise to McCarthy; he knows how the game is played.

Suhr must have been watching the goings-on in Chicago with dread. The political machinery in San Francisco might be less Machiavellian than Chicago’s (what city’s isn’t?), but for some time Suhr had been watching the ground erode away beneath his feet. Now he, too, has been shown the exit, this owing to a controversial police shooting. But unlike the Laquan McDonald shooting, about which there was and continues to be ample reason for controversy, the shooting that would bring Suhr’s downfall was entirely justified.

As reported at SFGate.com, on the morning of May 19, police officers were in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood working a stolen-vehicle detail. When they tried to stop a woman in a stolen car, she sped off. She drove only about 100 feet, however, before she crashed into a parked truck. The officers ordered the woman out of the car, but rather than surrender, she attempted to dislodge the car in an apparent effort at continued flight. One of the officers, a sergeant, fired a single round that struck the woman. She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

If the shooting happened as reported, the sergeant is on firm legal ground. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly and emphatically that the Fourth Amendment is not violated when a police officer uses deadly force to bring a dangerous police chase to a halt. The most recent case to address this issue is Plumhoff v. Rickard (2014) (PDF), in which the Court ruled that police officers from West Memphis, Ark., were justified in shooting a driver who had led them on a high-speed chase into Memphis, Tenn. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion for a unanimous Court:

Rickard’s outrageously reckless driving posed a grave public safety risk. And while it is true that Rickard’s car eventually collided with a police car and came temporarily to a near standstill, that did not end the chase. Less than three seconds later, Rickard resumed maneuvering his car. Just before the shots were fired, when the front bumper of his car was flush with that of one of the police cruisers, Rickard was obviously pushing down on the accelerator because the car’s wheels were spinning, and then Rickard threw the car into reverse in an attempt to escape.
Some might say the facts of the San Francisco shooting are sufficiently divergent from those in Rickard that the precedent should not apply. The woman who was killed, after all, had driven just 100 feet before crashing into the parked truck, while the eponymous Rickard had gone several miles, at times exceeding 100 miles per hour. But the speed and distance of the chase are not the only indices of its potential danger to the public. The San Francisco police sergeant, having witnessed the woman driving so erratically as to crash after traveling just 100 feet, had a duty to prevent her from escaping and further endangering the public. What might have occurred, how many people might have been endangered, had the officers stood idly by and allowed her to free the car and speed away? To those who would argue that the shooting was improper, I pose a question: How many times must a fleeing driver crash before an officer is allowed to use deadly force to stop him (or her, as the case may be)?

But if the law is clearly on the sergeant’s side, the politics clearly are not. The May 19 incident is San Francisco’s third controversial police shooting in recent months, all of them involving black suspects. (In the previous two shootings, the officers were on equally solid legal ground, but that hardly seems to matter these days.) Hours after this latest shooting, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee asked for and received Suhr’s resignation. San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi piled on to condemn the shooting. “[The dead woman] was entitled to due process,” he said, “and, above all, she was entitled to her life. Police reforms and policy changes are meaningless if they aren’t accompanied by a major shift in police culture, away from shooting first and asking questions later.”

Adachi is presumably familiar with the Rickard case, so his protestations about denial of due process and all the rest did not arise from ignorance, but rather from the theatrics that in the current political climate invariably follow whenever a black suspect is shot by a police officer. As the public defender for San Francisco, it is in his clients’, and therefore his, best interests to discredit the police whenever, wherever, and however possible. A defendant in court is of course entitled to a presumption of innocence. How much stronger might the presumption be among potential jurors who have heard Adachi’s pronouncement on this shooting? And, to respond directly to Adachi’s inflammatory rhetoric, the officers did ask questions first: they asked the woman to stop. She refused, probably not the only exercise in bad judgment in her abbreviated life but surely the last.

Now installed as San Francisco’s interim police chief is Toney Chaplin, formerly a deputy chief in the department’s internal affairs unit. Chaplin has promised a “top-to-bottom” review of the department, and said his top priority is “reforms, reforms, reforms.” One hopes he has some specifics in mind, but if one of his reforms is to allow car thieves to speed off recklessly without fear of consequences, will San Francisco really be better off?

SOURCE

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

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

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

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15 June, 2016

Why is it that only a tiny minority of Muslims in the Western world take up terrorism?

The orthodox answer is the risible claim that "Islam is a religion of peace" and that the jihadis are perverting their religion to make it condone violence. 

I have read the Koran, keep my copy of it handy and from time to time check in it to confirm that it says the things that people say it says.  And there can be no doubt that is a document of hate -- hate for non-Muslims.  It is suffused with anger.  And its commands to attack and subdue unbelievers are clear.

So why do most Muslims in the Western world NOT go on Jihad?  Why do they ignore the clear precepts of their holy book?  They wage ferocious religious wars in their Middle East heartland so why do they mostly go quiet among us?  I think it is because they actually like the comforts of life in the West and know that anyone who goes on Jihad here will certainly end up dead. 

Our good lifestyle has corrupted them.  As it has done for Christians, a soft modern lifestyle has defused religious passions.  For social reasons, many modern day Muslims may go to the Mosque on Friday but their degree of religious committment is probably little different from the degree of committment to their religion that is observable in modern-day adherents of the Church of England.  Anglican bishops 400 years ago were burnt at the stake for their religion but the only burning to bother them these days would be burnt toast.

So what is to be done to stop the terrorist attacks?  I reproduce below two relevant articles that attempt some ansewer to that.  The first is by Greg Sheridan, a prominent Australian conservative writer, which makes the obviously true argument that we have to stop denying the Islamic motivation behind the attacks. 

I then also reproduce below a proposal from late last year by Egyptian MAAJID NAWAZ that argues that we need to win the propaganda war in order to defeat terrorism.  The whole argument is however too sophisticated for Western politicians, I fear.  The writer has had good access to leading Western politicians but without evident effect.

And in between the two articles I reproduce a comment by a reader of the Sheridan article which gives chapter and verse of what the Koran says.  It may well be the most interesting part of the whole presentation here.

Then finally, I give my solution.  One of great simplicity but one that would undoubtedly work  -- JR






Orlando shooting: time has arrived for honest, plain speaking

Greg Sheridan

The appalling shootings in Florida are the worst single mass shooting in US history.

They are something else as well. They are an act of radical Islamist terrorism.

We know this because the terrorist, Omar Mateen, rang authorities from inside the Pulse nightclub — where he shot dead 50 innocent people attending the gay club’s Latin night — to pledge his allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, and his support for the Boston bombers.

Several disturbing dynamics are revealed by this attack.

The threat posed by lone-wolf terrorists, and perhaps self-radicalised jihadists (although we don’t know Mateen was self-radicalised), is increasing.

They have seen which attacks are effective and worked out that the combination of an automatic weapon and a crowded facility full of civilians, preferably with some iconic significance, offers the biggest impact.

Within the US, the political fallout will help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Recent history shows that mass shootings have very little impact on the debate about America’s appalling gun laws.

But these killings will have an effect on the politics of terrorism.

Trump projects a tougher stance on terror than Clinton does, and the American people want to be protected and to know their leaders are doing everything they can to protect them. Most of the things that Trump proposes are meaningless or nonsense, but he has cornered the tough-on-terror brand.

Clinton has been calling out Trump’s irresponsible and at times offensive rhetoric. Now she must also show that she can handle every aspect of the national security challenge.

President Barack Obama has virtually banned anyone in his administration from using terms like “radical Islamist terrorism”. This is a terrible decision. It exacerbates community tension and the corroding sense that politicians are dissemblers.

Much of the commentary on Fox News in reaction to the shootings was along the lines that the country is drowning in political correctness.

Mainstream leaders need to take political ownership of an issue like terrorism and reassure the public that they are talking to them honestly about it and dealing effectively with the issue. If not, the public will turn to demagogues like Trump.

You cannot defeat terrorism by speaking about it politely.

Mainstream Muslims are certainly not in any way responsible for the appalling actions of extremists.

But modern radical Islamist terrorism springs from a minority interpretation of Islam which does have the support, in varying degrees, of a small but significant minority of Muslims.

Malcolm Turnbull, though fully committed to robust counter-terrorist action, is equivocal in the language he uses and licenses his colleagues to use.  He rightly labelled this attack an act of terror but said it was important to find out what the gunman’s real motivation was.

But the gunman has told us what his motivation was.

It will almost certainly turn out that he had some mental disturbance. Most fanatics have a mental disturbance. But they are still capable of being attracted to an ideology and acting on its precepts.

SOURCE

A comment on the above from "Liberty"

‘…..modern radical Islamist terrorism springs from a minority interpretation of Islam ...’… classical Sheridan. Complete drivel.

The Quran is divided into the Meccan Quran and the Medinan Quran. The Meccan Quran contains some peaceful verses Q 2:256; 5:32; 3:64; 4:56; 109. But each of these Meccan verses was revealed when Muhammad was weak.

When Muhammad went on hijra to Medina and established the first Islamic State he revealed the full Quran containing the sharia law mandate to use violent jihad, terrorism, subversion, hijra (hostile migration and demography) and dawa to subjugate all people to sharia.

The war doctrine and mandate to govern globally is contained in very clear verses of the Quran 2:190-3; 8:12; 8:39; 8:60; 9:05; 9:29; 9:111 and 47:4.  But here is the point. It is very clear sharia law that the later Medinan Quran abrogates the earlier Meccan one - So that the peaceful verses are replaced by the imperialist ones. The doctrine of abrogation is ­a mainstream interpretation not simply a minority interpretation.

The mandate to jihad for the global caliphate is not simply a minority interpretation. It is the very clear word of the Quran. It is mandatory for all sharia compliant Muslims. The Quran makes clear that all Muslims must follow sharia law to the letter and engage in jihad (Q 9:111; 2:216; 33:36).

Thankfully however, many Muslims do not follow this clear command, and a small number of reformist Muslims admit that this command to jihad exists but do not follow it and in fact renounce it – making them technically apostates for which the sharia law punishment is death.

End of comment by "Liberty"






Paris attacks: Muslims and non-Muslims must openly denounce Islamism

MAAJID NAWAZ

The first female jihadist suicide bomber to blow herself up on ­European shores has struck in Saint-Denis, in northern Paris.

The Pope and King Abdullah of Jordan have both named the­ ­Islamic State assault on Paris as the start of World War III.

I disagree. Those two horrific world wars involved states and conventional armies.

Up until now — and our reaction will determine whether it stays this way — this is a conflict involving an asymmetric non-state actor, which is by its sheer audacity forcing states to reconsider the precarious status quo of international relations today.

I believe it is safer, more accurate and more productive to name this a global jihadist insurgency. And after the latest events in Paris, this insurgency has well and truly reached European soil.

Recognising this as an insurgency, and not a world war, affects entirely how we react to it and could, in fact, avert World War III from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For unlike state-led wars that usually involve paid fighters with little buy-in or understanding of why they’re fighting, insurgencies involve volunteer fighters who thoroughly believe in the nobility of their cause. It matters not that Islamic State is simply bonkers.

As a global insurgency, and the lessons learned from Vietnam and many other insurgencies confirm this, we cannot simply shoot our way, arbitrarily intern our way or even legislate our way out of this problem.

Unlike war, counter-insurgency rests on the assumption that the enemy has significant enough levels of support within the communities it aims to survive among. Counter-insurgency then attempts to deny that enemy from gaining propaganda victories that further fuel its recruitment.

The aim is to well and truly isolate insurgents from their targeted host community. Once isolated, a combination of psychological, physical and economic warfare is launched to undermine the insurgents’ ideological, operational, and financial capabilities.

It follows, therefore, that propaganda victories, a messaging strategy that avoids using language that frames the problem in accordance to the enemy’s world view — known as semantic infiltration — and the cultivation and dissemination of counter and alternative narratives all become crucial if we wish to deny Islamic State its ability to communicate its appeal.

Between the apologism of the far Left, and the sensationalism of the far Right, we must avoid the dangers of a blind spot from our left eye or popping a blood vessel in our right. Both of those reactions will render us unable to see the real source of this insurgency’s appeal: the Islamist ideology, as distinct from the religion of Islam.

US President Barack Obama and many liberals shy away from calling this ideology ­Islamism; their fear is that Muslim communities and those on the ­political Right will simply hear the word Islam and begin to blame all Muslims. Instead, the mantra that is ­repeated is “Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam”. ­Phrasing things in this way rests on an understandable fear. But it exacerbates the problem it seeks to avert.

To explain this, for a while now I have been using a reference from popular culture, which I am glad to say has now made the Urban Dictionary. I call this the Voldemort Effect. Voldemort is the evil character in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The people in her fictional world are so terrified, so petrified of this evil, that they do two things: they refuse to call him by name, instead referring to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named”, and while refusing to name him, they also deny that he even exists at all.

Of course, all of this only increases the fear and worsens the panic and public hysteria, thus perpetuating Voldemort’s all-powerful myth even more so.

But what of the legitimate liberal concern that naming the problem Islamism further stigmatises everyday Muslims?

It is important to note that I speak as a liberal, and as a Muslim. In fact, I speak as a former Liberal Democrat candidate in Britain’s last general election, and as someone who became a political prisoner in Egypt because of my former belief in Islamism.

I hope it is clear, then, that I speak from a place of concern and familiarity, not enmity and hostility to Islam and Muslims.

I have argued that of course Islamic State is not Islam. Nor am I. Nor is anyone, really. Because Islam is what Muslims make it.

But it is as disingenuous to argue that Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam as it is to argue that “they are Islam per se”. Islamic State has something to do with Islam. Not nothing, not everything, but something.

If you’re going to argue with a jihadist — and trust me, I have done many times — you’re not going to find yourself discussing Hitler’s Mein Kampf. You’ll be discussing Islamic texts.

I should define here what I mean by Islamism: Islam is a religion, and like any other it is internally diverse. But Islamism is the desire to impose any version of Islam on society. Hence, Islamism is Muslim theocracy. And where jihad is a traditional Islamic idea of struggle, jihadism is the use of force to spread Islamism.

Some ask: why not use the word Wahhabism to describe this phenomenon. This is because, though fundamentalists in their own right, and in dire need of reform, not all Wahhabites are Islamists, just as not all Islamists are Wahhabites.

Hezbollah, for ­example, is a jihadist Shia — non-Wahhabite — organisation.

And like the Amish in the US, in Saudi Arabia there are many Wahhabites who are religious social conservatives while remaining apolitical, all in accordance to the teachings of one of their sheiks, al-Albani. This type of Wahhabite may be a fundamentalist but he is not an Islamist.

On the other hand, extremism is too general, and includes all forms of extremism. Islamism is the only accurate word that captures the desire to impose any version of Islam over society. Its critics have yet to come up with any alternative that works.

What happens if you don’t name the Islamist ideology and distinguish it from Islam? Obama in his last UN speech referred to a “poisonous ideology” yet failed to name it. In this way, we send out a message to the vast majority of non-Muslims that Islamic State relies on a “poisonous ideology”, but we don’t tell them what this ideology is called.

What will people assume? Most people, who are understandably in need of some guidance on such topics, may well assume that the ideology they must challenge is Islam and all Muslims, ergo the rise of xenophobic trends within Europe and the US and other Western countries.

By increasing the hysteria around an ideology that must not be named, and which does not exist — the Voldemort Effect — my fellow liberals and Muslims end up inadvertently increasing anti-Muslim hatred and increase the hysteria.

This brings me to the term ­Islamophobia, often deployed — even against other Muslims — as a shield against any criticism, and as a muzzle on free speech.

No idea, no matter how deeply held, should be given special status, for there will always be an equally deeply held belief in opposition to it.

Hatred motivated specifically to target Muslims must be condemned. But to confuse this hatred with satirising, questioning, researching, reforming, contextualising or historicising Islam, or any other faith or dogma, is as good as returning to Galileo’s Inquisition.

The right to heresy, to blasphemy and to speak against prevalent dogma is as sacred and divine as any act of prayer.

If our hard-earned liberty, our desire to be irreverent of the old and to question the new, can be reduced to one, basic and indispensable right, it must be the right to free speech.

Our freedom to speak represents our freedom to think, our freedom to think our ability to create, innovate and progress. You cannot kill an idea but you can certainly kill a person for expressing it. But if liberty means anything at all, it is the right to express oneself without being killed for it. It follows, therefore, that any liberal naturally concerned with a fair ­society must be the first to openly defend against the erosion of free speech, especially when ­deceptively done in the name of minority groups.

Anti-Muslim bigotry — the intolerance or prejudice towards Muslims — however, is starkly different from the scrutiny of Islam as a religion and needs to stop.

If we are able to distinguish ­Islamist extremism, Islam and Muslims in this way by clarifying that Islam is simply a religion — not inherently peaceful or war-like but simply a religion like any other — and that Islamism is a ­desire to impose any version of Islam over society, and that ­Muslims are individuals who deserve the utmost dignity, we are able to identify clearly the insurgent ideology that we must get to grips with, isolate, undermine, refute and provide alternatives to without stigmatising ordinary Muslims.

It is precisely these distinctions that I have spent the past few years advising Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on. I would like to think this is why Cameron corrected Obama on this issue at the ­fringes of his same UN speech. Tiptoeing around the subject of Islam has reached levels of absurdity, riddled with double-speak, all because we seek to avoid a conversation around the relationship between Islam, Islamism and jihadism.

Meanwhile, our political leaders invariably have attempted to restrict the definition of the problem to whichever jihadist group is causing them the biggest headache at the time, while ignoring the fact they are all born of the Islamist ideology.

Before Islamic State emerged the US State Department strangely took to naming this problem “al-Qa’ida inspired extremism”, even though it was not al-Qa’ida that inspired this extremism. Rather, Islamist extremism inspired al-Qa’ida.

And in turn, Islamic State did not radicalise those 6000 European Muslims who have travelled to join them, or the thousands of supporters the French now say they are monitoring. This cannot have happened overnight and could not have emerged from a vacuum. Islamic State propaganda is good but not that good.

No, decades of Islamist propaganda in communities had already primed these young Muslims to yearn for a theocratic caliphate. When surveyed, 33 per cent of British Muslims expressed a desire to resurrect a caliphate.

Islamic State simply plucked the low-hanging fruit that had been seeded long ago by various Islamist groups, and it will require decades of community resilience to push back.

But we cannot even begin to do so until we recognise the problem for what it is. That will require shedding our tendency to appease, obfuscate, double-speak and tiptoe around the problem in the name of political correctness. And whereas our fellow Muslims require our compassion, and Islam is in need of reform today, Islamism must be intellectually terminated. In the long term, this is the only way to clip the wings of this fully blown global jihadist insurgency.

In recent months, driven by this same fear to use any word that references Islam in it what­soever, many non-Arabs have insisted that we instead refer to Islamic State by its Arabic name, Daesh. Apparently, Arab friends have told them to do so.

The liberal working assumption has been that because Daesh does not contain the word Islam, it is softer to the ears of Muslims. Apart from the obvious that this global jihadist insurgency is not restricted to Islamic State but is borne by the rise of Islamism across the region, this particular trend is just plain weird.

Arabs use the word Daesh because, well, they’re speaking Arabic. If one asks any proficient Arabic speaker, and I am one of them, Daesh is merely the exact Arabic equivalent to the English acronym ISIS or the more technically accurate ISIL.

Daesh in Arabic, stands for Dawlat al-Islamiyah fi al-Iraq was al-Sham, which means: the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or the Levant. When placed in acronym form, in Arabic this becomes Daesh and in English it renders to ISIS or ISIL. There is no difference. Daesh does not mean anything else in Arabic. It is merely the ­Arabic acronym for ISIL.

At this stage, when sensing that it’s not going too well for them, the politically correct usually double-down, and wish to entertain word games: “but Daesh rhymes with Dais, to trample, or sounds like an insult, and ISIS hate it, so use it instead”. Well, do feel free to use it, please just stop telling the rest of us not to use its exact English equivalent. Isis is an Egyptian goddess, and we’re sure they would hate her, too. Just as they blew up the ancient statues at Palmyra, naming Islamic State after the unforgivable sin of shirk, or idolatry, would surely be punishable by death.

At this stage in the conversation, many tend to claim they are powerless to address ­Islamism, let alone refute it, ­because they are not Muslims.

However, just as one does not need to be black to care about the struggle against racism, and one need not be gay to worry about homophobia, one need not be Muslim to speak against theocracy.

Europe and Europeans are especially well placed to speak in a secular way about why theocracies were never good for humanity. In fact, this need not really be a ­religious conversation at all.

As for my fellow Muslims, many have pushed back against the call to address Islamism head on, and refute it, by asking why they should apologise for something that they have little or nothing to do with.

Again, this is an incredibly unhelpful and inconsistent rebuttal to what is essentially everyone’s social duty.

Just as we Muslims expect others to speak up and defend us against anti-Muslim bigotry — even, and especially if, they are non-Muslim — likewise we must speak up against Islamist theocracy.

It is not only our duty, but the least we can do to reciprocate the solidarity we rightly expect from our fellow citizens in the face of anti-Muslim bigotry. To do so is not to apologise but to show solidarity as fellow citizens.

SOURCE





A proven solution

The Western world has faced this problem before and defeated it.  I refer to the fanatical religious code known as Bushido in Japan.  Japanese warriors in WWII make Jihadis look like children playing games.  Many armies have claimed that they will fight to the death but only the Japanese have ever done it.  So why did they suddenly cave in and surrender, thus abandoning everything they stood for?

Nuclear weapons.  The Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts subdued one of the most ferocious religions the world has ever seen.  They would work just as well with the Muslims.  Take out one of their holy cities with a small nuclear device and then keep taking out the rest of their holy cities until attacks on the West cease.

The firebrand Muslim preachers would rapidly lose their fire and counsel restraint instead of Jihad.  It would certainly make them angry but the threat to their religion would trump that.  As their holy cities vaporize, it would powerfully suggest itself to everyone that Allah is not on the side of the Muslims, thus threatening the very foundation of their religion.  The mullahs could not afford that and would go to great lengths to limit the carnage.

I don't think Trump will do it but one day someone will.  I see no other solution -- JR.

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

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

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

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14 June, 2016

Why we’d rather be at war than be alone: How humans desire a tribal sense of belonging that is missing from modern life

The ideas below are far from new.  Among others, they were voiced by Emile Durkheim around a century ago -- with his concept of "anomie".  And I have myself argued for the importance of connectedness with others.  French Anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, however, argues that connectedness is much less sought out in Anglo-Saxon societies. 

I saw that myself once when I was doing a doorstep survey in an ethnically mixed area of Sydney, Australia.  As well as people of Anglo origins, there were also quite a lot of Italians and Greeks.  And one of the questions we asked was, "How often do you get together with relatives?"  About half of the Anglos said "Never", while the Italians and Greeks nearly all replied "Most weekends".

Being part of a large genetically related group is the norm in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean societies.  We Anglos are the odd ones out.  And from what little I know about it, I gather thaat Northern Europeans isolate themselves in a way similar to  Anglos.  It may have something to do with the requirements of survival in a cold climate.

But at the end of the day, we do all need at least SOME degree of connectedness with others.  It seems to be a psychological necessity. Man is a social animal so it follows that we should feel the need for social interaction. 

I have argued that conservatives are in a much better position there.  Because conservatives are NOT full of rage at the world, they feel free to enjoy whatever is around them. And one of the great satisfactions in human life is fellowship: Feeling part of a group of people whom you like or respect. So instead of screaming "racism" at every sign of group loyalty, conservatives can simply enjoy their group loyalties. They are untroubled patriots, for instance.

So American conservatives can feel warm inside to be Americans and they can greatly value the fellowship they find in their church. And where conservatives diverge most strongly from Leftists is that they can also feel a sense of fellowship, belonging and connectedness with their ancestors and forebears. We often see this very strongly expressed among American conservatives when they talk about the "Founders" of the nation and the wisdom the founders bequeathed in the Constitution etc. And such thoughts are of course often to the fore on Thanksgiving day. And I have put up a "Thanksgiving" edition of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH that shows how much hostility Thanksgiving now attracts from the Left. Thanksgiving is of course a continuation of traditional harvest festivals. Human beings have always joyously celebrated a successful harvest and given thanks to their Gods for it. It takes the hate-filled modern-day Leftist activists to find any fault with that.

When I was taking an interest in my  genealogy, I got the impression that my fellow genealogy researchers had mostly conservative views.  A connectedness with the past was obviously felt there.

And another common expression of solidarity with the past is of course the great respect that conservatives pay to those who have died in war in the service of their nation. In my country, Australia, that day of remembrance (which we call Anzac day) is our only really solemn national occasion. Leftists have tried to laugh at it from time to time but it goes from strength to strength, with young people as well as old participating in the services of remembrance.

And there is no doubt that the army is always one of the most solidly conservative bodies of people that exists in any community. And the degree of fellowship in the army must be very close to maximal. If you pass a member of your old army unit in the street, you always stop to say a few words at least. There is a lasting bond between men who have fought together that outsiders can only dimly understand. My time in the Australian army was most undistinguished (though very fondly remembered) but I was an army psychologist so perhaps I have a little more awareness of what the army is about than most. I am certainly pleased to say that I have worn my country's uniform.

All these sorts of fellowship that conservatives feel are generally felt pretty strongly. There is often a swelling of pride and gratitude associated with such feelings. And, because of his anger and dissatisfation with society, the poor sad old Leftist is basically left out of all that. His hate and rage bars him from sharing some of the most basic human connections and emotions.

But the poor old Leftist, with his hatred of the society he lives in, is isolated from all that.  The normal human connections that conservatives enjoy are just part of the hated "status quo" for him.  So when he finds a group that he can respect he goes overboard -- as in the Obamania of 2008 or the "Sturm Abteilung" of the socialist Hitler's movement.  And Hitler certainly preached the oneness of the German people and that individual Germans must see themselves as less important than the whole.  As he said from time to time: "Vor uns liegt Deutschland, in uns marschiert Deutschland und hinter uns kommt Deutschland" ("Ahead of us is Germany, in us marches Germany, and behind us comes Germany!).  And from Hegel on, Communists have preached the primacy of the group too. The left makes the normal human need for connectedness toxic



So the State is the chief and rather dismal form of community that Leftism allows.

The writer below is right to mourn the loss of community and tradition that modernity has wrought but I think it is sheer romanticism to say that it could all have been avoided. I think the whole trend of history is towards de-localization of almost everything. Globalization of world trade is the clearest case in point. Division and specialization of labour has become more and more pronounced as time goes by and is part of the essence of modernity. And division of labour means ever larger and more complex organizations (businesses and factories) to make that specialization work.

And, after that, large and complex networks of people to distribute the fruits of that specialized labour are needed. Doing everything locally is as obsolete as the spinning wheel. So big, complex organizations have inevitably replaced small, local organizations. So the State was just one of the things that destroyed localism and community.

I cannot see that we will ever get the same sort of community back under any circumstances but we are also forming new communities all the time. We may no longer live in villages but, for many people, those they work with are an important community and most of us are part of various communities connected with our leisure activities. So I think that conservatives at least will always have about as much community as they want



During John Ford’s celebrated western film The Searchers, John Wayne’s character spends years hunting for his niece Debbie, kidnapped as a child by Comanche Indians.

When he finally finds her, she initially wants to stay with her Comanche husband rather than return home.

Although shocking in the film, it’s historically accurate. White people captured by American Indians (author Sebastian Junger’s preferred name for Native Americans) commonly chose to stay with their captors - and the book cites a case of a captive woman who hid from her would-be rescuers.

Even more astonishingly, from the earliest days of Europeans in America, settlers of both sexes ran away to join Indian tribes. This wasn’t just a few people, it was hundreds and hundreds. The practice was so rife that in the early 1600s settler leaders made it an offence with harsh punishments, but over the following centuries people still ran off in huge numbers.

And it hardly ever happened the other way. Indians didn’t want to join white society.

The attraction, argues Junger, was the sense of community, the importance of the tribe, evident in other primates and in primitive human societies. The superficial attractions of American Indian life were obvious: sexual mores were more relaxed, clothing was more comfortable, religion less harsh.

But mostly it was the structure of Indian society that appealed. It was less hierarchical, essentially classless and egalitarian. As the people were nomadic, personal property hardly mattered, since it was limited to what you or your horses could carry.

What changed this natural way of living for humans was first agriculture, then industry. Accumulation of personal property led to people doing what they thought best for themselves, rather than for the common good. But, suggests Junger, we’re not happy like this. We’re wired to the lifestyle of the tribe.

Take the London Blitz during World War II. Before it began the government feared there would be riots and maybe even revolution as people fought one another for space in bomb shelters or for food.

In fact, exactly the reverse happened. People from different classes mixed in a way they hadn’t before and joined together in the face of a common enemy.

Historians credit the ‘spirit of the Blitz’ as the cause of the Labour landslide victory in the 1945 election, its strong feeling for community leading to the foundation of the NHS and a robust welfare state.

Junger, an American journalist and former war correspondent, gives many examples of what our modern way of living has cost us. In a modern city or suburb you can go through an entire day meeting only strangers. As affluence and urbanisation rise, rates of suicide and depression go up. According to the World Health Organisation, people in wealthy countries suffer eight times the depression rate of those in poorer ones. But when we revert to the tribe, things improve.

Those caught up in the bloody conflict in Bosnia often say they were happier during the war. The reason, they say, was they all pulled together, felt connected and part of something bigger than themselves.

Junger spent time embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and says he was never alone there. Soldiers slept a dozen to a shelter. You couldn’t stretch out an arm without touching someone. Men of all colours, classes and creeds bonded as they had to look out for one another.

In a tribe the survival of the individual depends upon the survival of the group. The lack of this brotherhood is what makes it so hard for returning combat veterans to reintegrate into contemporary, fragmented societies.

 Above all, people need to feel connected with others. It’s a good starting point for rethinking the way we live our troubled modern lives

Community spirit in the U.S. rocketed after 9/11. The suicide rate dropped dramatically. There were no rampage shootings in public places like schools and colleges for two years.

Interestingly, such shootings happen only in middle-class rural or suburban areas. There has never been one in a poor inner-city location, where gangs provide a tribal sense of belonging.

This sense of bonding with the larger group begins almost at birth. In less developed countries, children sleep with or in close proximity to their parents and often an extended family group.

It’s only in Northern European countries (and the U.S.) that small children sleep alone. It’s only here that they go through a well-known developmental stage of bonding with stuffed animals or so-called ‘comfort’ blankets.

In Junger’s small, but convincingly argued, book he quotes the self-determination theory, the things necessary for contentment:

People need to feel competent at what they do. They need to feel authentic in their lives. Above all, they need to feel connected with others. It’s a good starting point for rethinking the way we live our troubled modern lives.

SOURCE






UK: Coverup of refugee crime: Police kept quiet on sex attack by Syrian refugees

Girl, 14, was assaulted by gang but it was kept off the crime list covered by BBC Newsnight team...

Police were last night accused of burying allegations that a gang of Syrians sexually assaulted two teenage girls in a Newcastle park.

Three young men and a teenage boy, at least one of them a refugee, were arrested last month over claims two 14-year-olds had been attacked in the centre of the city.

But even after the suspects were charged and appeared in court, Northumbria Police – which claims to have made sexual violence a top priority – did not announce the case to the public or press. Even the local MP only heard about it last week.

Last night, it also emerged that the force published more than 100 incidents and public appeals, including those on sexual assaults and indecent exposures, on its website in the same month the alleged attacks took place – but not the case allegedly involving the Syrians.

Details on the alleged attacks emerged on Friday in a report by the BBC, which had been following the progress of the refugee defendant’s family since they arrived in Britain last year under the Government’s high-profile scheme to resettle vulnerable Syrians.

However, the BBC’s Newsnight programme has refused to say when it first heard about the case.

A police source told The Mail on Sunday the BBC had been informed four weeks previously in early May, when the teenage refugee had been arrested and charged.

It comes after police in Germany and Sweden faced damaging claims they tried to cover up sex attacks by migrants for fear of stoking public anger against new arrivals.

Last night, Ukip leader Nigel Farage – who has been criticised for warning the migrant crisis could put British women at risk – said: ‘Serious questions need to be asked about both the vetting of those the Government are allowing into the country, and of the authorities, including the BBC, who appear to have been involved in a conspiracy of silence over the case.

‘When did they know what was happening, and why is it only coming out now?’

Omar Badreddin, the 18-year-old refugee who appeared on the BBC, was arrested on May 11, and charged with sexual assault on one girl the following day.

Mohammed Alfrouh, 20, was also charged with sexual assault against two girls.

The pair appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on May 18 but again neither the police nor the Crown Prosecution Service made any announcements about the charges or their appearance before judges for bail applications.

Another man, Mohammad Allakkoud, 18, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named, were charged with sexual assault on May 19, again with no publicity.

The three men appeared for a second time in court on Friday, where they pleaded not guilty and were released on bail ahead of their trial in September.

A police source claimed the BBC had known for several weeks, adding: ‘When police arrested one of the individuals involved they were aware he was part of this [resettlement] programme so they thought it only right they contact Newsnight and make them aware.’

But a spokesman for the programme insisted: ‘The programme was not aware of the allegations against Omar Badreddin at the time of his first court appearance in May so could not have covered it then.’

A spokesman for the force claimed there had been ‘no need’ to publicise the investigation because it was resolved so quickly.

SOURCE






Target CEO Continues Transgendered Stance, Loses Big Money

Target’s CEO Brian Cornell refused to change course when confronted this week by shareholders who are alarmed by his expensive push for a transgender, mixed-sex changing-room policy that has helped wipe out almost 20 percent of the company’s value.

Cornell told the annual meeting of investors that the company intend to stick with the April 19 transgender policy — which requires its customers to use mixed-sex changing rooms and bathrooms — and he even insisted there has been no financial repercussions, despite a $10 billion Wall Street loss in the months since the policy was announced.

The CEO declined to answer questions over the pro-transgender policy posed by other investors.

Cornell was also asked if the company had conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the pro-transgender policy before issuing it. The CEO didn’t answer this question either.

SOURCE






The EU’s relentless attack on free speech

New plans to tackle online hate speech pose a threat to us all.

Yesterday the European Union’s powerful unelected executive branch – the European Commission – announced sweeping plans to combat ‘illegal online hate speech’.

Working with equally powerful IT companies, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, the European Commission unveiled a code of conduct that will ensure ‘online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally’. Upon receiving a ‘valid removal notification’, IT companies will have to remove or disable access to the content in less than 24 hours.

Because the EU’s code of conduct was unveiled without any form of public consultation, public discussion by democratically elected leaders, or even a vote, it is unclear how the EU and IT companies reached their decision and drafted the code. Yet, as a result of this decision, the civil liberties of 500million people will now be affected.

So, what exactly is the content that IT companies have been given blanket authority to censure? According to EU law, illegal hate speech ‘means all conduct publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin’.

Leaving aside the ‘incitement to violence’ aspect of the definition, which is largely uncontentious, hate speech is defined as including ‘incitement to hatred’, which is both circular and so vague as to mean almost anything.

Beyond the tautology that ‘hate speech’ is speech that incites hate, there is no agreement as to what hate speech actually means.

For example, the European Court of Human Rights once produced a factsheet on hate speech in which it conceded that the ‘identification of expressions that could be qualified as “hate speech” is sometimes difficult because this kind of speech does not necessarily manifest itself through the expression of hatred or of emotions. It can also be concealed in statements which at a first glance may seem to be rational or normal.’

In another document, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights took hate speech to include a ‘broader spectrum of verbal acts’, including ‘disrespectful public discourse’. And in an EU-funded manual on online hate speech by IGLYO (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth and Student Organisation), we are reminded that ‘the vast majority of hate speech is being perpetrated by regular people, not by extremists or radicals’.

To paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, hate speech means just what those in power choose it to mean – neither more nor less. And now, continent-wide censorship has been forced upon us by the powerful, and they will decide what the rest of us can and cannot say and can and cannot hear, all with the aim of dictating what we can and cannot think.

Of course, that’s not the way the code of conduct was pitched. To get the necessary buy-in, the word ‘terrorism’ is randomly scattered throughout the EU’s press release, as if counterterrorism will be the sole aim of the censorship plans. As V?ra Jourová, the EU commissioner responsible for the code, said during its unveiling: ‘The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people and racists use to spread violence and hatred.’

But given the non-definition of hate speech, it is clear the code will go far beyond countering terrorism. In fact, Jourová has confirmed as much in other venues. In October 2015, she addressed the annual conference of ILGA-Europe and said ‘a narrative undermining LGBTI rights is quietly spreading, often disguised as so-called religious principles. This is unacceptable… It is clear that we must fight all hate speech, online and offline, whatever group of society it targets. We will work with internet providers to ensure hate speech is taken off the web as soon as it is reported.’

So, with very little effort, the EU commissioner is happy to shift from countering terrorism to countering ‘so-called religious principles’ – and she bundles up all this ‘unacceptable’ speech under the banner of hate speech.

We can already see how an all-encompassing definition of online hate speech works in practice. In 2008, film star Brigitte Bardot was convicted by French authorities for placing a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy online, in which she complained about the Islamic practice of ritual animal slaughter. It was her fifth conviction for hate speech.

In 2011, Scottish football fan Stephen Birrell was sentenced to an extraordinary eight months in prison for insulting Celtic fans, Catholics and the Pope on a Facebook page. During sentencing, the sheriff, Bill Totten, told Birrell that his views would not be tolerated by ‘the right-thinking people of Glasgow and Scotland’.

And between 2014 and 2016, 78-year-old Northern Irish pastor James McConnell endured an 18-month police investigation and criminal prosecution after criticising Islam in a sermon that was posted online. Apparently he was acquitted because his comments were ‘offensive’ but not ‘grossly offensive’ – a legal standard that nobody can be expected to understand or follow.

With the new code of conduct in place, we can expect more cases like these before the courts, and a lot more censorship. The powerful have spoken and the rest of us will be forced into silence.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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13 June, 2016

More good 'ol British Censorship

Under the headline “The Perfect Marriage” the Daily Mail gushed in prose so breathless anaerobic life forms sprouted spontaneously on the screen:

"Eleven years ago this month, Sir Elton John proposed to his partner, David Furnish, thus formalising a relationship that — as the whole world knows — has blossomed into one of the most blissfully happy of show business marriages. We know this, of course, because Sir Elton and David have been generous enough to share almost every detail of their relationship and family life through the pages of celebrity magazines, in high-profile TV interviews and on social media"

Leaving aside the need to wipe one’s screen & overdose on anti-nausea medication, there cannot now be a literate person in the British Isles who does not know that Elton John, and his husband David Furnish, are the couple at the centre of the long running “PJS” super-injunction. The journalist who typed that saccharine fogged horror knows, as everybody with access to the internet knows. The courts have become Canute’s courtiers standing in a digital tide.

Furnish flew to the US for a tryst with a gay couple who subsequently (no honour amongst sluts) tried to sell a kiss-and-tell to the Sun newspaper. The Sun, preparing the article, contacted lawyers for the couple. The Elton Johns were granted a ferocious super-injunction to protect their privacy largely argued on the grounds of protecting “their” children. Mr Furnish was not being unfaithful; Judge Jackson noted that “the spouse of PJS accepts that theirs is not a mutually exclusive sexual relationship”.

The internet is international, not bound by a London court and sites on servers in California, Canton and Cavan can be read by English men and women, making the court’s action seem futile but with the great blunt mace of the super injunction the court may fiercely coerce silence. The English can read news on foreign sites but they will be punished for discussing it. This is late Tudor England with electric light. The court has infantilised the English in a desperate attempt to preserve a propaganda Potemkin village for the English establishment.

What does it matter if some guy flies to America for a night of sex with two other middle aged men? We are all adults, are we not and is not their private life their own? Who are we, mere humans, fallible and frail, to judge.

Who are we indeed.

The tawdry private life of the (any) couple, the arrangements they make for their own amusement wouldnt matter if they had not spent some much effort convincing us that they do. A fictional version of their life together has been slathered in every media outlet that can print or say the home life of our own dear queen and this has been for brutal political purpose: same sex marriage is good, surrogacy better. The press is for propaganda and the commoners as a have a no right to know the truth or competing versions of the truth. The court, wittingly or unwittingly has made itself partner in a vicious hypocrisy, defending the illusion of the Elton John’s family life against its sordid reality and worse, pretending to do it for the children so that the great and good may go on lying.

Little argument can be made for the saving children from the putative damage of the relationship’s public exposure when they are living with two selfish hedonists who obtained them by purchase. If the story behind the super injunction casts a cold light on the Elton John’s understanding of marriage, it must cast an icy glaze on the horrid practice of surrogacy: a combination of eugenics, prostitution, kidnapping, slavery and child abuse regarded as a a thing of beauty by every fashionable clown.

Not buying the Sun for a few days in the Elton John household is a better option than coercive national censorship. If you make your relationship a lodestar of public policy, the public have every right to hear about that relationship’s reality, even if that makes you blush, sweat or squirm. Elton John regularly uses his relationship and those children to bolster arguments for issues as far reaching as transgender bathroom rights in North Carolina.( http://thehill.com/…/279995-north-carolina-governors-ignora…) The super injunction is a wealthy elitist having his cake and eating it but being backed by the public courts in the act.

If public policy is to be argued and defended by reference to one’s own family, it is a logical quid pro quo that one’s family life is publically reportable. A family of conservative Christians leveraging their family life for influence would find a very different reception to request for privacy no matter how the courts ruled.

The Supreme Court, by re-instating the injunction thrown out by the Court of Appeals, has placed the lives of the rich, famous and who have children out of bounds. Because the Elton Johns are wealthy and have children, the rules that apply to media reporting their sexual escapades are markedly different to the reporting of childless Darren and Mandy from Dagenham. “Love rat Darren ate my hamster” is permissible but the exposure of celeb parents with the funds to persuade the state of the value of their privacy is anathema.

This creates a strange, unlegislated, new restriction on press freedom. Kiss-and-tell and Darren-broke-my-bed stories may be distasteful, boring, reassurance for the miserable that nobody is really any better, a way of keeping everybody in the mud, but they are the price of a free press. That price is worth paying many times over.

Giving the right to decide what can be reported or what is news to anybody other than those who buy papers or consume news, is toxically dangerous, undermining the ability of media to report the actions of the powerful and leaving the public less trusting with each omission, each breach of the trust that we will be told the story by somebody competing for our attention.

Tinfoil hats and conspiracies thrive in the half-light these injunctions generate. They have no place in a net linked world or in a free country.

SOURCE






Judge Finds Prosecutors Withheld Evidence in Freddie Gray Officer Case

The judge overseeing the trial of a police officer charged with murder in the death of Freddie Gray has determined that prosecutors withheld information that would have been beneficial to the defense.

Judge Barry Williams was visibly angry in the Baltimore court, but he did not dismiss the charges against police officer Caesar Goodson, as his attorneys had requested. Williams is giving prosecutors until Monday to disclose any other relevant evidence they have withheld. Goodson was the driver of the van during the arrest of Gray, 25, last year.

Goodson's attorneys have argued that prosecutors withheld statements made last year by Donta Allen, a key witness. Allen was picked up by the Baltimore police van after Gray.

In his original statement to police in April last year, Allen said he heard banging coming from Gray's side of the vehicle. He gave a similar statement in a separate interview with prosecutors a month later, but the state never turned it over as evidence to defense attorneys. Williams found today that prosecutors committed a Brady violation — after Brady v. Maryland, a 1963 Supreme Court decision requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence that would aid the defense — because Allen's May 2015 statement was deemed exculpatory evidence.

“The state doesn’t get to decide whether or not to disclose information,” defense attorney Andrew Graham said. “The state sat on it for over a year. It’s not up to them to make that decision. Even a small piece of evidence may make a difference. It’s not fair to the defense.”

He explained that had Allen’s lawyer, who was present during the second interview, not stepped forward, the defense would not have known about it. According to Graham, Allen’s lawyer didn’t come forward sooner because he felt his first obligation was to maintain his client’s confidentiality.

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow tried explaining to the judge that the prosecution didn’t think the second interview with Allen was important, calling it a “waste of time.” Schatzow said his team didn’t take notes during that meeting.

Williams has given Schatzow until Monday to turn over any other evidence the state might be withholding from the defense not only as it relates to this case but also in the next four trials.

Goodson’s trial is arguably the highest-profile of the cases; he is the only officer involved in Gray's death facing a murder charge. Officer William Porter's trial ended with a hung jury in December, and he will be retried in September. Officer Edward Nero, who opted for a bench trial, was acquitted last month.

SOURCE






Australia: Free debate more practised on the Right

Jeremy Sammut

There is a debate about public funding of literary journals, and other forms of middle-class cultural welfare such as the opera and the symphony.

But that debate is separate to whether the taxpayer's money that does subsidise the arts and letters is distributed without political bias.

I've been vocal about the Australia Council's decision to de-fund Quadrant magazine.

The Left loves to pay lip service to the ideals of diversity and respect for free inquiry.  But I have found that ideals are more often genuinely practised on the Right.

Ten years ago, Quadrant published an article by me on the White Australia Policy, which was critical of aspects of the book that Keith Windschuttle had written on the subject, and which prompted a typically combative response from him in a subsequent edition.

In the decade since, Quadrant, under Windschuttle's editorship and others, has published a number of articles by me on a range of topics. I can't help wondering if someone who had criticised the work of Robert Manne, say, would get as good a run in The Monthly?

I think the reason the Right tolerates different answers to the same questions without recriminations, and doesn't impose a political bar on those who differ, is that it is more interested in doing good, rather than seeming good by supporting the 'right' causes.

A good example of this may be my critical review in the June edition of Quadrant of Stan Grant's new book, Talking to My Country ­ -- a book universally acclaimed by the Left.

Grant's book argues that entrenched Indigenous disadvantage continues to persist in Australia due to the failure to address the legacy of racism dating back to the original sins of colonisation.

The gist of my response is that Grant has got his history the wrong way round. The major cause of the worst Indigenous disadvantage has been the impact of the policies of Aboriginal Self-Determination, which were implemented in the 1970s to address the historic wrongs of dispossession.

If we take heed of Grant's book, we will believe -- as many on the Left argue -- that the answers to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage lie in continuing to reckon with history by undertaking symbolic Reconciliation via the Recognition and Treaty movements.

To the contrary, the real answers lie in practical Reconciliation -- as has been the central message of the revisionist literature that has reshaped the Indigenous debate over the last 20 years, much of which has been published in Quadrant.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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12 June, 2016

The psychology of conservatives

Some psychometric observations

Powerline has up a fun story which is rather long and quote-heavy so I will not reproduce it in full.  But here is the opening paragraph:

"Hoo-wee, the New York Times will really have to extend itself to top the boner and mother-of-all-corrections at the American Journal of Political Science. This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even have a genetic basis (and therefore be treatable someday?). Settle in with a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, and get ready to enjoy one of the most epic academic face plants ever"

It turns out that the authors got their statistics back to front.  What they said was true of conservatives was actually true of liberals and vice versa.  The article was titled: "Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies"

If you look closely at the findings, however, it doesn't much matter either way.  The only correlations of some note were between politics and Eysenck's P scale -- correlations explaining around 12% of the variance. Correlations of that magnitude could be of interest but in this case, the problem actually is the P scale.  It has poor reliability and originates as a set of "leftover" items in a factor analysis yielding two main factors.  In my research I have found internal reliabilities for it of as low as .40, which is way below the normal criteria for measuring anything.  What correlations with it mean is therefore hard to say.  You would have to do an item-by-item analysis to find out what was really going on.  As a scale, however, it is of doubtful meaning and proves nothing certain.

And given the known psychometric weakness of the P scale, the authors were quite remiss not to report any reliability data for the scale in their use of it.

The authors also reported various correlations with neuroticism but such correlations are all over the place.  Sometimes conservatives are found to be slightly more neurotic and sometimes it is liberals. And mostly it is neither. Again, however, there is a large problem with the measuring instrument used.  The Eysenck N scale is one-way-worded, which can greatly distort the score on it.  When I used a scale to neuter that problem, I found (in a community sample) no correlation between neuroticism and politics.

Finally the authors report some slight correlations with social desirability responding.  What these mean is also obscure.  Social desirability scales can collapse into complete  unreliability sometimes -- but, far from giving us reliabilty data, the authors do not even tell us which of the several available scales they use.  I will not therefore attempt any interpretation of their findings

In short, both in its initial and revised form, the report is pure junk.  Hatemi and Eaves are generally good scholars but they seem to have fallen into a trap common among psychologists -- treating a measuring instrument as a black box -- without making any enquiry about what is going on inside it.

So all we have is another episode in the long tradition of doing junk research to examine the psychology of politics.  That Leftism is the politics of hate is just too unpleasant for most people to face.






Why Dr Eva Carneiro will live to regret her £5million victory

There was a haunted look on the face of Dr Eva Carneiro as she left an employment tribunal this week following a secret deal which ended her sexual discrimination claim against Chelsea Football Club.

My guess is that although the former team doctor had won a pay-out estimated to be a staggering £5 million, she may have realised that despite her stunning victory, her decision to bring the case may have been a terrible mistake.

Like many women before her who have bravely challenged males bosses over perceived sexism, the long-term effect could be deeply damaging.

Take two previous high-profile cases, in which successful City women (bankers Svetlana Lokhova and Isabel Sitz) took on their bosses for sexual discrimination. They won huge pay-outs of up to £3.2million but admitted afterwards that they were left feeling debilitated by the experience, with their self-confidence shattered.

During the tribunals they would have had to defend themselves against an army of lawyers and the inevitable courtroom attempts at character assassination.

Dr Carneiro, as we know, lost her job after the then Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, called her a ‘daughter of a whore’ for treating a player on the pitch he didn’t think was injured.

The 42-year-old doctor claimed she was simply seeking what was called a ‘whole career loss’ damages, which is probably an accurate description.

By challenging the oafs who control football, she will almost certainly never again get the job she loved in the industry she loved.

Why would a manager hire her if he feared she might be noting down or squirrelling away incriminating comments or emails for possible use in some future discrimination claim?

At the end of the case, Dr Carneiro said: ‘It has been an extremely difficult and distressing time for me and my family.’

Yes, sexist behaviour is unacceptable, but any woman brave enough to confront it needs to know that money won’t necessarily compensate her for the nightmare she will go through.

Revenge, however, justified, has a tendency — like a penalty rebounding off a goalpost — to bounce back and hit you in the face.

SOURCE






‘Blackmail’ forces UN to back down over report: Ban Ki-moon says he took Saudi Arabia off violating child rights blacklist after they threatened to stop funding programs

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has admitted he has removed Saudi Arabia from a blacklist for violating child rights in Yemen after the Saudis threatened to stop funding many UN programs.

Ban said he had no choice because there was a 'very real prospect' that millions of children in Syria, South Sudan and Palestine 'would suffer grievously' if the UN programs had to be closed down for lack of cash.

He said: 'This was one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make.'

The United Nations blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition after concluding in a report last week ago that it was responsible for 60 per cent of the 785 children killed in Yemen last year.

Ban is due to step down as Secretary-General at the end of the year, which could explain why he was a little less diplomatic than usual.

The South Korean - who is tipped to be replaced by a woman, possibly former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark - did not identify Saudi Arabia by name but said: 'It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure.'

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN, Abdullah al-Mouallimi denied his government had put pressure on the United Nations to reverse its decision by threatening to cut off millions of dollars in funding.

He said: 'We did say that such a listing and such unfair treatment would obviously have an impact on relations. 'But we did not use threats or intimidation and we did not talk about funding,' he added.

Human rights groups accused Ban of caving in to Saudi Arabia but he admitted the conflict in Yemen had led to 'horrors no child should have to face' but said he had no choice because the UN programs were so important.

The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign in support of Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in March 2015 to push back Huthi rebels after they seized the capital Sanaa and many parts of the country.

The war has killed some 6,400 people, with more than 80 percent of the population in desperate need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

Ban said he decided 'to temporarily remove' the Saudi-led coalition countries from the blacklist of governments and armed groups violating children's rights pending a joint review of cases with the Saudis.  'We will assess the complaints that have been made, but the content will not change,' he said.

Ban did not say the coalition could go back on the list after the review.

But the secretary-general did say that in response to concerns from Saudi Arabia and other governments the UN is considering if there is a better way to distinguish countries from 'terrorist and extremist groups' who are now listed together on the blacklist.

Mr Al-Mouallimi said: 'It is our firm belief that this de-listing is final, irreversible and unconditional, and when all the facts are in that will be further reconfirmed.'

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington agrees with the secretary-general 'that the UN should be permitted to carry out its mandate, carry out its responsibilities, without fear of money being cut off.'

The controversy over adding the Saudi-led coalition to the blacklist followed a similar uproar last year over the decision to exclude Israel over the deaths of 500 children in the war in Gaza.

SOURCE






More appalling British "justice"

'I had more freedom in prison' says man who is ordered to give police 24 hours notice before he has sex despite being cleared of rape

A man who has to give police 24 hours' notice before he has sex despite being cleared of a rape charge has said that he had more freedom when he was being held in prison on remand.

The single man, in his 40s, admitted to previously having an interest in sado-masochistic sex and used to visit a Fifty Shades Of Grey-style fetish club with an ex-partner. He also said he used to go on Tinder and 'played around'.

But the man, a father, denied having any criminal convictions, 'not even a parking ticket', when he spoke out following an adjourned hearing at York Magistrates' Court.

He accused North Yorkshire Police of 'sour grapes' after the force applied for a Sexual Risk Order (SRO) when he was acquitted of rape. He was cleared at a retrial, having spent 14 months on remand.

The terms of the SRO, currently an interim order which the police will apply to be made permanent at a hearing in August, has a list of conditions attached.

Among them is the requirement for him to inform police 24 hours before he has sex with a new partner.

The effect has been to devastate his personal life, he said, and contravened his human rights. 'It puts an end to your life,' he said. 'I had more freedom in prison.  'The severity of the restrictions exceed what convicted criminals would get on a Sexual Offence Prevention Order.'

The man said there was 'no prospect' of a relationship at the moment because of the rules he has been forced to live by. He said: 'Can you imagine, 24 hours before sex? Come on.'

He gave the example of chatting to a woman and saying: 'There's a nice French restaurant I'd like to take you to, but first the police are just going to come around for a little chat.'

He said the disclosure process to a potential partner would be 'horrendous', saying: 'Knock, knock, knock, this is the police, [Mr X] is subject to a Sexual Risk Order and is considered to be potentially dangerous ... Then they leave.'

The man, who cannot be identified by the media, said the SRO was made after he was cleared of raping a woman - different from the one with whom he visited the fetish club.

He said the jury at the retrial took an hour and six minutes to unanimously clear him.  He said: 'We wiped the floor with them.'

He had been accused of biting and scratching the complainant, but he said the scratching came during a massage, 'post-coitally', and there was no biting. 

His history of S and M sex was brought up at the trial, including evidence from a doctor with whom he had discussed his past. He claimed the doctor misunderstood what he was discussing, saying she was confused about what was just fantasy.  Police thought what he told the doctor was a confession.

'Thank God Fifty Shades of Grey came out when it did, it helped my barrister normalise that,' he said.

'The police, if they lose in court, are using these Sexual Risk Orders as a tool, by stealth.  'The standards of proof are so much lower. You don't even have to break the law.'

He has been charged with breaching the terms of the order by refusing to give police the PIN to his phone. He decided, having taken legal advice, not to give them the code as a point of principle, because he said the terms of an SRO were supposed to be prohibitive, not obligatory.

He was arrested and held in police custody overnight, and the terms of his SRO mean he cannot use any internet-enabled device that cannot be later checked by police.

He said that banned him from using certain fridges and lifts that are connected to the web. The wording of the order also stops him from using an intercom such as those used to get into a nursery or a flat.

He said: 'I'm in a state of shock, I cannot believe this is how the justice system works.  'I thought the police were interested in finding out the truth, the only thing the police are interested in is securing convictions.'

He added: 'It's so unjust, there is not a conviction to my name - one allegation, acquitted and they can still shut you down.  'They can create this virtual prison.'

The case will be back before York Magistrates on July 14 before a full hearing on August 19.

SRO's can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime. They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police.  North Yorkshire Police declined to comment.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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10 June, 2016

Some good satire (or is it?)

A local woman participated in the very first feminist rape in the history of the world, according to Manly PD chief Paul Elam. The coerced participant, a local woman, called 911 at 8:20 pm to report that she had been raped. The non-coerced participant, Dudley Blanks, was arrested by Manly PD and taken into custody. It was while in custody that it was discovered that Dudley Blanks was a genderqueer aromantic feminist penis-bearer.

“At this time, we have confirmed that the rape that Dudley Blanks committed was actually a feminist rape, done in a way that was empowering both to the coerced participant and to all women everywhere,” said Elam. “The act did not go against her agency, but rather supported it, in a beautiful and touching way. Frankly, it’s always pretty easy for us to find an excuse not to prosecute a rape, but this time it was even easier than usual. This was clearly a rape that will help the status of all women everywhere, so we’re clearly doing the right thing by releasing Mr. or Ms. Blanks, and we will not pursue the matter any further.”

The announcement of the historical first feminist rape comes hot on the heels of the rise in feminist pornography, feminist violence against women (in the form of BDSM, which is entirely consensual and safe), and feminist pedophilia (in the form of empowered underage female sex workers). Men can now sleep a little more soundly knowing that, from now on, rape doesn’t have to be such a bad thing after all.

SOURCE






How This Tiny Christian Church is Battling Radical Islam

A small Christian church in Oregon is making waves for its "provocative" sign. As WND notes:

A local pastor at a tiny church in Hood River, Oregon, a small town on the banks of the Columbia River, is taking on the world’s fastest growing religion and not backing down.

The Rev. Michael Harrington, 74, leads the Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church in a rural outpost along I-84 about an hour and 10 minutes east of Portland.

The church is so small it doesn’t even have a website.

It’s main method of communicating with the outside world is its outdoor marquee sitting out front of its building along a highway that few travel.

Harrington posted messages last month on the board that read: “Wake up Christians. Allah is not our God. Muhammad not greater than Jesus.”

The other side of the marque stated “Only the Bible is God’s Word. Koran is just another book.”

In a matter of days word spread to Muslim groups and their left-leaning supporters well beyond Hood River. About a dozen protesters descended on the small church with signs saying “take down this sign.”

This church is so small it often can’t muster more than a dozen members for a Sunday service.

“There may be, on a good day, 30 cars go by and see our sign,” said Pastor Harrington. “My intent was anybody who agrees with that come on in, and anyone who disagrees with it, come in and we’ll talk about it.”

But that wasn’t the case. This simple expression of religious conviction was too “controversial” for some to tolerate.

One man, Eric Cohn, was riding his bike by the church one day and said he “could not believe” what he was seeing. He stopped and told the pastor he wept because he was so offended by the message on the reader-board.

“I literally had to stop and back up and make sure I saw what I saw, and I was profoundly offended and upset by it,” Eric Cohn told KomoNews.com.

Cohn was so offended he wrote a letter to the editor in the local newspaper that Harrington says painted him “as a terrorist almost.”

The big-city paper, the Oregonian in Portland, also filed a report  lecturing the pastor on what is “appropriate Christian behavior.”

Western Civilization began with a bang- specifically, a bright light- when God revealed himself to St. Paul, changing the course of human history forever . It's only fitting that it would end with a whimper- a modern secular liberal, being forced from his bike by an overwhelming sense of cultural relativism and a steady diet of PC nostrums at the mere sight of a Christian profession of faith.

There's no other way to spin this sad tale. The persecution of this tiny church is indicative of the total moral decline and cultural relativism that has taken hold in the secular western world. In Iraq and Syria, Christians are being cruficied by ISIS. Christian women are being used as sex slaves and then set on fire. These are modern day martyrs who would courageously choose the sword over renouncing their most deeply held beliefs.

In the United States, a simple sign that professes the truth of Christianity causes bike riding nothingburger liberals to burst into tears and wet their pants.

Maybe ISIS deserves to win.


SOURCE






Gun Seller Choked Off From Bank Finally Gets His Account

Less than three months after being denied access to a bank because he sells firearms, a North Carolina gun seller said the bank reversed its policy and offered him the financial products he needs to run his business.

Luke Lichterman, owner of Hunting and Defense in Tryon, North Carolina, told The Daily Signal, “I’m going to be able to continue doing business.”

After being initially denied from the bank, Lichterman blamed a little-known program called Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point was launched by the Department of Justice in 2013 to fight fraud by choking fraudsters’ access to the bank services.

Critics of the program believe Operation Choke Point didn’t just harm illegal businesses, but also legal industries such as gun sellers that the Obama administration doesn’t like.

Lichterman’s ordeal began on March 11, when HomeTrust Bank in Asheville, North Carolina, refused to open an automatic clearing house payment service for his online gun and tactical store.

Lichterman had maintained personal accounts at HomeTrust Bank since 2012. He said it wasn’t until a banker discovered that he sold guns that they refused to offer him the automatic clearing house payment service.

An automatic clearing house payment service makes it easier—and cheaper—for business owners to transfer and send money, allowing them to complete transactions electronically.

Without it, Lichterman said he would have been forced to process payments for guns and other accessories using a credit card processor, which costs 4.5 percent of every transaction.

“I would have been unable to continue doing business at credit card rates because the internet is the most competitive marketplace on earth and a dealer will buy a gun from one guy because it’s a dollar less than another,” he said. “Being able to do these transactions and save the 4.5 percent of every transaction, you do a $1,000 transaction, you’re looking at $40.”

Originally suspicious of a connection to Operation Choke Point, Lichterman asked the banker in March for another example of an industry that HomeTrust Bank wouldn’t do business with.

His immediate response: “Pornography.”

“I really had to stop from laughing,” Lichterman recalled in an earlier interview. “I said, I’m not a pornographer. I deal in constitutionally protected goods.”

According to a 2014 congressional report investigating Operation Choke Point, federal agencies sent thousands of U.S. banks formal guidance identifying categories of merchants the agencies considered high risk. That list featured “firearms” and “ammunition” sales, along with “pornography.”

On April 15, two weeks after The Daily Signal shared Lichterman’s story, bankers at HomeTrust Bank walked back their refusal. A treasury management sales officer at HomeTrust Bank contacted Lichterman by email offering him two different payment service options—a third-party payment processor or the bank’s internal payment service program.

Lichterman said he decided to accept the olive branch and stay with HomeTrust Bank. On May 20, Lichterman said, he received his login credentials.

Lichterman said the bankers at HomeTrust Bank “didn’t admit” denying him service because of Operation Choke Point, “but it looked to me like they were under the impression that Operation Choke Point was in effect,” he said.

The Daily Signal sought comment from the Justice Department about the current status of Operation Choke Point. It has not yet responded, but back in April, it said the department “has not and will not target businesses operating within the bounds of the law.”

Republicans in both the House and the Senate have attempted to take down Operation Choke Point or similar initiatives for more than a year now. In February, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would prohibit the program with bipartisan support. In April, two weeks after The Daily Signal shared Lichterman’s story, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced an identical bill in the Senate. That measure has not yet been scheduled for a vote.

In February, the White House publicly opposed that bill, called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. In a statement, the administration said, “Restricting the federal banking agencies in this way could unnecessarily and dangerously hinder or compromise important law enforcement and national security efforts.”

Lichterman said he doesn’t hold a grudge against HomeTrust Bank for its actions, but is pleased that they’ve “seen the light.”

“They discovered after being led to it that no, there’s no reason to deny an honest upstanding young fellow like myself this service,” Lichterman, who’s 75 years young, said.

SOURCE






Another false rape claim from Britain

A university student who lied to police about being strangled and beaten by her ex-boyfriend and even convinced a judge to grant a non-molestation order against him, was jailed today.

Natasha Uttamsingh, 22, had threatened to ruin Aakash Andrews's career and called police claiming he had beaten her after he told her he thought they should break up.

Mr Andrews was arrested and removed from the flat they shared but detectives realised Uttamsingh had lied when they found a message on her phone which she had sent to herself from Mr Andrews's mobile saying he raped her.

The single mother, who was part way through a midwifery course, also altered a medical exam form in which she had claimed police needed to investigate the made up attack.

She then took out a non-molestation order against her Mr Andrews and changed a contact in her phone to his name to make it appear as if he had called her 25 times.

She was today jailed for 15 months after she admitted carrying out acts intended to pervert the course of justice and was told to abide by a restraining order on her ex-partner for five years.

Prosecuting Tony Prosser, prosecuting, told Guildford Crown Court: 'The relationship was experiencing problems and Aakash had said that he wanted to end it.

'When he suggested finishing it she told him she was pregnant. He said he wanted to go away for a few days. She stood in front of him and said she would report him for domestic assault if he were to try to leave her.

'A call was made to the police, it was reported to come from a Nicola Smith which was the defendant using a false name.

'She then made an allegation he had strangled her to the point of unconsciousness and that she was assaulted on a daily basis.

'The next day she said she had been the subject to rape.'

Uttamsingh was seen by a specialist doctor who noted that she had a red mark on her neck. It was claimed Mr Andrews had pushed her during the explosive row but there was nothing on the report to suggest she had been raped or beaten.

However, months later, she took the report and altered it herself to suggest that police needed to investigate the matter and took out a non-molestation order against Aakash, who is nearly twice her age.

Michael Hillman, mitigating, claimed Uttamsingh had a personality disorder and her crimes had scuppered her prospects of becoming a midwife.

'She maintains that she was the victim of abuse but she has to acknowledge that as a result of her own conduct one will never know whether that was indeed a true complaint given the lies and the very significant lies that followed that allegation,' he said.

'This is a girl who did extremely well. She got very good grades at school and was a top of the class student who started a degree in midwifery.'

Uttamsingh showed no emotion as she was jailed and ordered not to approach Mr Andrews, his mother or his known friends for at least five years.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Critchlow, said: 'There was a false message put on his phone by you suggesting it was sent by him which indicated that he had raped you, all of which was false.

'You altered medical records from a doctor which was put before the family court in support of an application by you for a non-molestation order what you obtained. He was able to go before the court and show it should not have been made and it was receded.

'Then you produced false phone records on your noble implying harassment by him [Mr Andrews].

'This was all an apparent charade.

'You have tried to influence a court by dishonestly altering medical records and tried to bring problems into Aakash Andrews' life and you have succeeded in doing that.'

Uttamsingh's mother, who sat at the back of the courtroom throughout the hearing cried as she was taken away from the dock to begin her sentence.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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9 June, 2016

‘This is a right for these women’: Female-only pool hours spark debate

If it's good enough for Muslims, why is it not good enough for Jews?

A PUBLIC pool that maintains female-only hours so that Hasidic Jewish women can swim with no men present has sparked debate in the US.

For several hours a week, the Metropolitan Pool on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn bars men from entering, allowing local Orthodox Jewish women and girls to swim while maintaining their modesty.

The popular recreational centre in New York City’s thriving neighbourhood, just a few blocks from a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community, has kept women-only pool hours since the 1990s. But the practice only came to the attention of the wider public recently after complaints to the city’s Commission on Human Rights.

Commission spokesman Seth Hoy said they received an anonymous complaint “a few months back” that the indoor pool — one of NYC’s oldest — might be violating the city’s human rights law, which bans gender discrimination in public accommodations.

Jewish law forbids women to bathe in front of men and, according to New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a politician who represents the Orthodox Jewish district in Brooklyn, many Hasidic women were “very distraught” after learning the female-only pool hours might be discontinued.

“I think the concept of reasonable accommodation applies here in a big way,” Mr Hikind told news.com.au. “We all talk about human rights and this is a right for these women, not just Jewish women but any women have right to be part of this. It’s a matter of being culturally sensitive, respecting the differences we have.”

Mr Hikind said he is amazed the issue had become international news, saying there were locations across the country that have separate hours for Muslim women to accommodate their beliefs.

“It’s so simple, going swimming, but in this community there are a lot of things that they [Jewish women] don’t do that you and I do in terms of entertainment and so forth, so having the opportunity to go to the swimming pool is a big deal.”
The Metropolitan Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that maintains female-only hours. Picture: Rachelle Blidner

The Metropolitan Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that maintains female-only hours. Picture: Rachelle BlidnerSource:AP

Critics argue that the accommodation to a particular religious group violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The New York Times proclaimed in a recent article that the rule carries the “odour of religious intrusion.”

But those who have defended the single-sex hours say it allows women whose community separates the sexes a rare chance to exercise. “Why deprive them?” Mr Hikind said. “Really, it hasn’t taken away from anyone.”

“The pool is open from 7am to 7am,” a local woman, who asked not to be named, told theNew York Post. “You can’t tell me that the men don’t have enough hours in the day to swim, that they have to interfere with these women?”

The Brooklyn pool’s women-only hours may be unusual, but they are not unique. Seattle, Washington is home to several municipal pools that bar men from entering during certain hours and St Louis Park, a city in Minnesota offers both male only and female only swim sessions. Public pools in a number of Stockholm suburbs have been offering women only access since the late ‘90s.

Many public pools in Sweden recently began offering gender-segregated hours to accommodate the country’s growing Muslim population — a move which has sparked plenty of debate and has been criticised by the government.

Sweden’s Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke slammed the initiative last month, telling SVT: “To claim in the name of religion that you have the right that different parts of society — for example swimming pools, buses and trains — should adapt to your right to believe in what you wish, that is taking things too far.”

The NYC Commission on Human Rights and the Parks Department are currently reviewing the policies for the Williamsburg pool, a spokesperson confirmed to news.com.au. Mr Hikind said he feels confident the single-sex hours would continue.

SOURCE





Mob Attacks Trump Supporters, and It’s Trump’s Fault?

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign.” San Jose, California Mayor Sam Liccardo.

With those words, violence against supporters of Donald Trump and the candidate himself has been justified and in fact encouraged by the Mayor of California’s third largest city, which is the titular capitol of the Silicon Valley.

Trump supporters coming out of a rally, in the city made famous in the 1960s by Dionne Warwick, were attacked, punched, egged and abused while the San Jose police department largely stood and watched, perhaps having gotten word in advance to not intervene on behalf of the law-abiding supporters of the presumptive GOP nominee.

Some of the largely Hispanic mob of protesters waved signs saying things like, “Trump, this is Mexico. You are not welcome on native/Mexican soil,” demonstrating the extent and reach of the la raza (the race) movement in states such as California.

The Mexican reconquista movement is a rejection of American sovereignty over lands that, according to mythology, were formerly held by the Aztecs throughout the southwestern United States. And it is telling that many of the anti-Trump protesters reject his notion to “make America great again” instead waving Mexican flags while burning the Stars and Stripes.

What makes the San Jose situation shocking is the acceptance and almost encouragement of violence against their political opponents, with few arrests made. This almost complete reversal of the civil rights imagery with stooges like Liccardo playing the role of Bull Connor, should stun America.

However, given the Obama Justice Department’s political decision to not prosecute the New Black Panther Party members who were swinging a sword around in front of a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, along with DOJs Civil Rights Division’s propensity for throwing gasoline on fires of unrest, this descent into violence is beyond troubling. With promises from far left financier George Soros funded groups to disrupt the Trump campaign with localized violence only in their nascent stages, the ugly face of the angry, intolerant left will soon be revealed to anyone willing to look.

The mobs of San Jose and earlier Orange County, CA have made it clear – this is their country and there is no place for dissent from the orthodoxy of race politics.

America, for its part, will remain more concerned about a dead gorilla in Ohio, than the unraveling of the electoral system and the admission by anti-Trump protesters that they have not come to America to join the dream, but instead seek to capture land for the nation that they or their families left behind.

In cities like San Jose, there will be no police ensuring fair and safe voting for those who disagree, because disagreement is by their own definition racist and intolerable.

Should Donald Trump prevail in the upcoming election and be inaugurated President, the very same violent thugs who attack lawful supporters of his now, will demand the very protections under the law that they deny their political opponents today. And they will be afforded their rights, because in America that’s the way we do it. At least until people like the Mayor of San Jose take charge, then the final illusion of freedom will be stripped away as the social fabric of America is torn asunder once and for all.

And somehow, it is Donald Trump’s fault, because after all, threatening to enforce the law is an abject threat to those who have been taught to reject its legitimacy.

SOURCE






The 'War On Salt' Is Bad Policy Based on Bad Science

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the few openly authoritarian organizations functioning in the United States, once sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for refusing to regulate Americans' salt intake. No worries. This week, the Obama administration finally embraced CSPI's junk science and allowed the FDA to set new "guidelines" to "nudge" companies into treating a perfectly harmless ingredient as if it were a dangerous chemical.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell explained that pressuring private companies into lowering sodium levels is "about putting power back in the hands of consumers." Of course, consumers already have an array of bland, low-sodium choices, if they desire. But in progressive-speak, limiting choices is tantamount to attaining power. According to our government, consumers having too many choices means "the deck has been stacked against them."

The good news is that the FDA is almost always wrong about everything. The bad news is that these guidelines set an incredibly ridiculous precedent that allows our intrusive government to mislead Americans with bad advice.

But let's concede for a moment and say that sodium is killing you.

If you're one of those last starry-eyed idealists, you may ask yourself: "What governing principle empowers the Obama administration to launch crusades that ensure every citizen is living salubriously? What principle authorizes the state to control how salty my soup is?" Life is a killer, after all. If Washington, D.C. can regulate the amount of ingredients in foods—not poisonous ingredients, or instantaneously unhealthy ingredients or even hidden ingredients, but ingredients that the CSPI has decided to whine about—what can't it regulate? And if salt is worthy of all this attention, why is the Obama administration allowing citizens to commit mass suicidal acts by ingesting sugar? Or dairy? Or bleached white flour? Or canola oil?

"Americans need to reduce their sodium intake to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke," explained CSPI President Michael F. Jacobson to ABC News after the FDA released its memo. "If companies achieved the FDA's proposed targets, it would have a huge benefit for the public's health. If companies don't achieve these voluntary targets, it would be clear that mandatory limits will be necessary to reach safe sodium levels."

Now, you may ask yourself, "Who the hell is Michael F. Jacobson to tell me what I need to do?" Well, Jacobson's organization, meticulously debunked since 1971, now says that if you don't do something voluntarily then the government has the duty to force you, which sounds about right these days on almost every front.

But, setting all that aside, what happens if salt isn't even bad for you? What if CSPI is wrong, as usual? What if the FDA is pushing flawed science and compelling companies to engage in practices that will do nothing to improve public health? What if these practices end up hurting people?

Not long ago, a meta-analysis of seven studies in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that reduced sodium intake lowers the risk for strokes, heart attacks or death for people with normal or high blood pressure. Some studies, in fact, found that salt has beneficial effects. A study by The Journal of the American Medical Association, which followed 3,700 healthy people for eight years, found similar benefits.

A couple of years ago, Scientific American reported that "meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure."

Obviously, there is still disagreement over what these studies mean. But, surely, the FDA has no business authorizing a position on salt when a definitive one has not been reached in the scientific community. "The science is uncertain," Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today this week. "If you're in the general population, I can't support the widespread recommendation to reduce sodium intake."

Now, I get that this saves Americans the bother of thinking or acting for themselves, which is how we like it. Americans want to label everything and be warned about all things. All things. A new study by The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal found that 80 percent of people surveyed want labels on food containing DNA. The number is nearly the same as those who support labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms, which have been found to be about as dangerous as DNA.

No doubt, if we asked people about salt, we'd see similar reactions. Generally, though, those who want to be healthy use the tools they have, and others do not. For those who care, for instance, the FDA just updated the "Nutritional Facts" label on most packaged foods. It's one thing to try and ensure more transparency, and it's another for the government to solidify bad science and engage in needlessly intrusive policies that attempt to dictate what we can eat.

SOURCE






How Facebook and Twitter Are Treating Death Threats Against Me

By Robert Spencer

The antipathy of Twitter and Facebook to conservatives is well-established. The social media giants’ hatred presumably therefore also applies to opponents of jihad terror, who are universally classified as “right-wing,” however absurd the label.

But do Twitter and Facebook draw the line at death threats against them?

The question arises because of one Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter, who describes himself thusly:

    I Ain’t Anglosexual Liberal Hippie, Neither Wolf nor Dog, I am a coyote. A Paulite Picassoic Provocateur Constitutionalist Libertarian.

Any doubt that he is quite spectacularly insane will be removed by a perusal of one or both of his incoherent and gleefully obscene websites. Karki is engaging in some bizarre parody of a deranged imam, or perhaps he is trying to make some other kind of inscrutable humor. One of his websites is titled “Obaid Karki St. Sheetrock’s Painfulpolitics Offensive Comedy Hepcat.” The offensive comedy is there, in spades. His other site is called “Suicide Bombers Magazine,” and bears this heading: “Dislaimer: we swear on Elvis’s pickled penis that ‘non-sapient beings’ I mean animals harmed during IED kahbooom.”

Hmm.

But just because Karki is insane or possibly joking doesn’t mean that he can’t be dangerous -- especially if he is also making specific calls for people to be murdered.

Last Saturday, he posted this:

    Robert Spencer mustn’t [be] featured but lynched from his scrotum along with Zionists scumbags, Pamela Geller, Pat Condell, Daniel Pipes, Debbie Schlussel and JIHADWATCH Jackass duo Baron Bodissey & Geert Wilders for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik to [kill] innocent students in 2011.

Actually, neither Bodissey nor Wilders runs Jihad Watch -- I do -- and I didn’t inspire Breivik to do anything, but there is no arguing with a crazy person. But what is interesting about Karki’s post, aside from his loony language, is that he posted this call for me and others to be lynched on Twitter, which has a clearly stated policy against death threats.

Per “The Twitter Rules”:

    Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

I therefore duly reported Karki's threat, but as of this writing, it has not been taken down (in fact, Karki has since posted it again, and has posted variants of it several times). Maybe Twitter is just slow to deal with the large number of complaints it receives? To buy that argument, you have to buy that they have a two-year backlog. On May 12, 2014, Karki also posted this:

You can see from this 2014 Twitter exchange linked above that several people claimed they reported Karki for this threat, as did I. Not only does Karki still have his Twitter account -- while many conservatives have lost their accounts for far less -- but the 2014 threat remains there. Hold on -- I misspoke above. I meant to say you would have to buy that Twitter has a three-year backlog of death threats to police. Here, read a Karki tweet from September 18, 2013:

So now you have an example of how Twitter responded to death threats against a political opponent.

How about Facebook?

Not only is Karki on Twitter, but he also has a Facebook page containing the same lurid and paranoid content -- including the threats. He did claim he was temporarily barred this Sunday:

    I am axed outta Facebook for 7 days ...

... but, I just read that on his Facebook page. What exactly this axing entailed remains unclear.

At least the social media titans are consistent. The site Epoch Times reported last March:

    [W]hile Twitter says it is making strong efforts to shut down terrorist accounts, activists say that not only is the microblogging company not taking down the accounts that matter, but it has even been shutting down accounts of users trying to report terrorists.

The age of Obama has featured a rapid decline in appreciation for the freedom of speech. College students and -- in many, many cases -- their professors routinely avow that “hate speech is not free speech.” They cannot grasp that if they get their wish they will allow whatever the government subjectively deems “hate speech” to be criminalized, and the foremost protection against tyranny will have been removed.

At that moment, free society literally ends.

While the First Amendment still doesn’t allow the increasingly authoritarian Left to silence its opponents, Facebook and Twitter have apparently taken the next most effective steps. They media titans kneecap voices they don't like, and they allow death threats directed against those same voices to remain.

It’s a bad situation growing worse. Maybe if Hillary Clinton -- who called for people like me to be publicly shamed -- is elected president, she will have Obaid Karki perform at White House.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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8 June, 2016

The Real Reason the Islamic State Successfully Recruits Fighters

Ted Bromund below has a good point but I think we can go a bit further with it.  WHY do some immigrant Muslims  and their families fail to assimilate? In answer, I think we first have to note the great dissonance that a Muslim living in an advanced society experiences. 

His religion tells him that, as a Muslim, he has the truth that others do not and that he is therefore superior to non-Muslims.  That might pass muster in Muslim lands but transfer him to a prosperous Western country and he will find it very difficult to maintain that belief. 

As he looks at the people around him, it will be crystal clear that they have better lives than he does.  Access to sexual satisfaction will impinge strongly as will the lack of ANY religious obligations in a post-Christian society such as Britain or Western Europe.  Westerners don't have to hoist their posteriors in the air five times a day, for instance.  And in all sorts of ways, he lives a much more restrictive life.

Most Muslims cope with that reality somehow but, for various reasons, a minority do not. And the one who does not is in a rage to see  that others are living better lives than him and wants to take out that rage on someone.  On rare occasions he takes it out on others in the society where he lives but mostly he wants company in his anger so he finds the outlet he needs by fighting for ISIS.  And ISIS does have some vague promise of asserting that Muslim superiority he believes in



Which country has the highest percentage of its Muslim population fighting for the Islamic State as foreign recruits? Algeria? Afghanistan? Indonesia? Nope.

Try Finland. No. 2 is Belgium, followed by Ireland and Sweden.

What do these countries have in common, besides being European? They're wealthy, democratic and have high levels of education, health and income. They also have very low levels of economic inequality.

These findings appear in an eyebrow-raising report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic research nonprofit, whose recent work also identified another important factor driving radicalization: a lack of assimilation. In other words, the Islamic State draws heavily from groups who do not adopt the culture of the country in which they live in and do not truly become a part of it.

These conclusions fly in the face of conventional wisdom: that radicalization flows from economic inequality. "Our results show that ... economic conditions are not the root causes of the global development of ISIS foreign fighters," the report says, using another common name for the Islamic State.

In fact, the report finds strong positive correlations between Islamic State recruitment and high gross domestic product per capita as well as high rankings in the Human Development Index and the Political Rights Index, two composite economic measurements. In short, most Islamic State recruits come from societies replete with comforts and rights.

So what convinces young men in such advanced societies to join the Islamic State? A failure to assimilate, according to the National Bureau report. To measure that, the organization looked at indices for ethnic, linguistic and religious fractionalization developed by Harvard researchers and calculated the probability that two random individuals in any society would not share the same ethnicity, religion or language.

European countries have low fractionalization levels and lack an assimilationist ethos, which means that Muslim immigrants do not acculturate. "The difference with America is the melting pot," one of the report's authors, Efraim Benmelech, said in a phone interview.

In other words, the report supports the common-sense proposition that a disgruntled population that does not feel it is part of something greater than itself is likely to have members who will fall prey to itinerant snake-oil salesmen such as Islamic State recruiters. I and others have written about this link for some time.

Some European leaders also make this point. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said repeatedly that terrorism is not really caused by Western foreign policy, poverty in the Middle East or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "Even if we sorted out all these problems," he once said, "there would still be this terrorism."

Many who believe those three causes are to blame, however, persist. The French socialist economist Thomas Piketty -- whose 2013 bestselling book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," warned about gaping wealth inequality in the West -- laid blame for the Islamic State on all three in an article in Le Monde written just after the November terrorist attack in Paris. "Only an equitable model for social development will overcome hatred," he wrote.

The authors of the National Bureau paper, however, write their findings "directly contradict the recent assertions by Thomas Piketty. ... The large number of foreign fighters coming from highly equitable and wealthy countries like Finland, Belgium, and Sweden ... run contrary to those claims."

Benmelech told me on the phone: "Public housing could lead to segregation, because you are placed in a neighborhood with people just like you," he said. Inequality, where mobility exists, can spur striving.

He later added in an email: "There is growing awareness, at least anecdotally, of the lack of assimilation as an important cause in terror recruiting. However, it is yet to be determined whether income inequality promotes or degrades assimilation. Some European countries may be more generous than the U.S in providing social benefits, but it is unclear whether this social safety net increases the likelihood of assimilation.

"While the U.S. is infamous for its high degree of income inequality, its 'melting pot' culture that promotes assimilation may be one of the best deterrents against radicalizing people to join ISIS -- and may explain why the United States ranks a distant 36 in the number of ISIS foreign fighters compared to its Muslim population."

Considering the anti-assimilation bent of current U.S. immigration policy, however, this is cold comfort. Is a European-like atmosphere in our future? It's a question worth asking, sooner rather than later.

SOURCE






Affirmative action for women in physics opens the door to pseudo science

Parasites in the scientific community have contributed zero to string theory, says string theorist Luboš Motl

Sabine Hossenfelder has shown us once again how convenient the life on the border of the scientific community is for dishonest and incompetent science-hating charlatans and saboteurs similar to herself:  "Dear Dr B: Why not string theory?"

The tolerance for chutzpah seems to be unlimited for the people around her. OK, so why not string theory, Ms Hossenfelder? The first sentence of her rant is even more insulting than the title:

"Because we might be wasting time and money and, ultimately, risk that progress stalls entirely"

Wow. That's quite a "reason" to abandon the most fundamental research in science.

First of all, the most incredible word of the sentence is "we". Sabine Hossenfelder isn't "we". She has never done any string theory and she cannot do any string theory because she clearly isn't in the same league as the people who are doing string theory, have done string theory, or are at least capable of learning and/or doing string theory.

Also, she has never contributed any time or money to the fundamental research in science. On the contrary, she is a textbook example of a bogus quasi-researcher who devours a part of the money that should be going to science by pretending to be doing "the same thing" as the actual researchers except that something is missing.

Nothing ever comes out of it. Many people in the scientific bureaucracy don't care because to increase the density of the female reproductive organs in the physics departments is more important for their "success" than any contributions to science.

Hossenfelder must have learned this word "we" from her former boss Smolin who also loved to pretend that he can also be called a string theorist if you wish – probably everyone can, Smolin liked to suggest – no one in the public would dare to care that both of them are just incompetent crackpots who play the role of "scientists" representing the stupidest morons in the general public.

OK, this word "we" has elevated my adrenaline level brutally. But let's focus on other, equally important aspects of her proposition. She says that scientists or the society shouldn't be doing the scientific research on string theory because we could be wasting time and money.

Wow. One may equally say the same thing about any meaningful scientific research (and exploration) because almost by definition of the research, we can never know in advance whether we find out something, how much we find out, and how important it will be. This uncertainty is an absolutely inseparable part of any exploration.

When Christopher Columbus organized his voyages to "China and India", he also didn't know and no one knew how great the implications would be. But he knew that something important could be discovered in this way – and as we know, it was more than correct. Similar comments apply to pretty much every explorer, inventor, or discoverer in the history. Exploration and research always bring the risk of a disappointment but curious people simply can't resist, anyway, and that's the powerful force that is responsible for most of the progress of the mankind because a significant fraction of these things does bring something great.

Whether we pay attention to her "we" or not, Hossenfelder simply admits that she has nothing to do with the spirit of research and exploration. She just doesn't belong there. While a part of the research money is being wasted, she must greatly suffer, too.

At any rate, despite their whining, she and similar Šmoits won't be able to stop the curious people's curiosity and their drive to find the truth and discover new things. It's the curious people's time and money that is spent for doing amazing things and not hers.

More HERE (See the original for links)






Prominent Australian do-gooder goes too far with his politically correct nonsense

LISTEN up guys – and that includes all you ballbreaking sheilas reading this – it’s time to man up and fight back against the gay political correctness garbage infesting our lives.

Last week’s moronic video by the laughably entitled Australian of the Year David Morrison was, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I can no longer sit around passively on my backside, as so many of us have done for decades, while this never-satisfied army of politically correct censors inflict their retarded ideologies on our language and freedom of speech.
Australian of the Year David Morrison is merely a stooge for political correctness in his video Words at Work.

Mr Morrison, get knotted. It is my language and I will use it how I choose.

I love our language. I love its innuendo, its cheekiness, its bawdiness and its sarcasm. I love its variety, its ever-changing colloquialisms and its garden of delightful hidden meanings and wicked word plays.

English, going back to Chaucerian and Shakespearean times, is without a doubt the most fun, inventive and versatile language on the planet.

No other language offers the richness of meaning and subtlety. No other language lives, breathes and constantly adapts itself as does our mother tongue.

And very few other languages have its wealth of rude, crass, hilarious, cutting, insightful and sarcastic means of causing offence and poking fun at ourselves and at others.

And in Australia, courtesy of our mixed Cockney and Irish backgrounds, the Aussie version of English has held its own in terms of inventiveness, coarseness and subversive humour.

So I will no longer be cowed by the quasi-socialists and self-pitying misery brigades of the Left in Australia who endlessly seek to mould how we think and behave by the process of limiting what words, phrases and concepts are deemed to be “appropriate”.

It’s time to hit back with a campaign to encourage politically incorrect thoughts and words: #unPCwithme, or something like that.

Listen to this balderdash (what a great word! No doubt they’ll try and ban it soon, too) from the former Chief of the Army and now Chief Nanny-state Wowser of the Year in his ludicrous video:

“Every day at work, there are hazards that you walk past without realising just how dangerous they are,” was his opening line – accompanied by Hitchcock-style Psycho music to ramp up the fear.
Harden up guys and all you ballbreaking sheilas who can’t cope with the language of the workplace.

(Note also the deliberate use of “that you walk past” in the script, designed to echo the speech that made Mr Morrison such a leftie hero in the first place).

“Some things are just plain bad for you – I’m talking about the power of words,” he intones, as he stares with a disapproving sneer at … a poster that says “Clean up after yourself. Your mum doesn’t work here!”

The offence, presumably, is to suggest that it is only mums who clean up after messy boys and girls, whereas in our brave new PC world of the Left’s imagining dads must of course do their fair share of the housework too.

Well, Mr Morrison, have I got news for you.

I suspect that in about 90 per cent of normal Aussie households, most of the cleaning up does indeed get done by mum because dad couldn’t be arsed or is too busy watching telly or too hungover to care. It ain’t a perfect world, but at least it’s a tidy one.

Mr Morrison then drivels on about other things we dreadful people in the workforce do and say, such as using the word “guys” as a generic term for men and women (Hollywood Valley Girl slang circa the ’80s), or – Shock! Horror! – using the word “girls” to address a group of, er, girls (sorry – self-important, smug, sanctimonious, whingeing workplace Wendys would be a better description of those depicted in the video).

Oh, and we mustn’t call our female co-workers “feisty” or “ballbreakers”, even when that’s what they are, because we don’t employ the same words to describe our feisty, ballbreaking male co-workers.
I suspect Mum does the cleaning in 90 per cent of normal Aussie households.

True. We tend to use far blunter anglo-saxon words like (children stop reading please) “f--kwit”, “d--khead”, and a certain part of the female anatomy. Give me “ballbreaker” any day. It’s far more imaginative.

As part of #unPCwithme, I encourage universities and workplaces to set up the opposite of the politically correct and nauseating “safe spaces” that have proliferated in recent years, such as the now infamous Oodgeroo Unit at QUT.

Instead, let’s see some specially designated “unPC spaces” or “PC-free time” in which individuals may assemble with the express purpose of nobody giving a rat’s what anybody else says or how they say it.

If you don’t want to hear it, don’t go. But if you want to be able to crack jokes, says daft things, be sarcastic and poke fun at stereotypes without fear of David Morrison popping up over your shoulder, feel free. Chaucer and Shakespeare would be the first to rock up.

SOURCE






BBC is accused of discrimination after launching search for new One Show reporter who is from 'an ethnically diverse background' and has a northern accent

The BBC wants a new One Show reporter to be from an 'ethnically diverse background' and have a northern accent, it was claimed today.

Corporation chiefs have been accused of 'pushing their own agenda' after reportedly specifying how they want the new journalist to look and sound.

It comes after a row erupted when white applicants to two script-writing positions said they were turned down because they were white.

A memo sent within the organisation states the One Show is looking for a male, over 30, from a ethnically diverse background and with a regional accent, preferably Scouse or Mancunian, The Sun reported.

Employment law lecturer Dr Jonathan Lord told the paper: 'It smacks of the BBC trying to implement their own agenda above employment legislation.'

The BBC insisted freelance roles are 'open to all', but that the corporation wants TV to 'reflect the ethnic and region make-up of the UK'.

A  spokesman said: 'This was not a job advert and we're not looking for a new host of the One Show.

'We use dozens of freelance reporters on the One Show each year and we are seeking to encourage a wider pool of people to consider making a contribution. All casting decisions are based on merit.'

The One Show, which airs at 7pm on Mondays to Fridays, is currently hosted by Matt Baker, who is from the North East, and Welsh-born Alex Jones.

Last week, applicants for two junior script-writing positions hit out after being told the roles were only open to people from 'ethnic minority backgrounds'.

A 26-year-old media graduate who applied for one of those roles said: 'It's racial discrimination to disregard someone based on them being any race.  'It's just wrong and as far as I know it is illegal. Coming from the BBC, it's amazing.'

It is also claimed workers at the corporation could soon have to declare their family income and details of their upbringing in bid to gauge how 'middle class' they are.

In 2014, a report by a government social mobility commission found more than a quarter of staff at the BBC were privately-educated.

Viewers last week praised stand-in One Show host Angela Scanlon, who appeared while Alex Jones was away.

Some fans of the show said the Irish presenter should be brought onto the programme full time.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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7 June, 2016

Multicultural knifeman forced two women to stage lesbian sex show on living room carpet in front of a toddler before repeatedly stabbing them when they refused to let him join in


Guess his religion

A psycho knifeman has been jailed after forcing two women to stage a lesbian sex show in front of a terrified toddler before repeatedly stabbing them when they refused to let him join in.

Mohamed Zahran was sentenced to 16 years in prison for forcing his victims to degrade themselves on a living room carpet at a house in County Durham.

Zahran, 38, a chef, ordered the two adults to strip naked at knifepoint and lie on top of each other while pretending to film them on his phone.

The two friends sobbed as they were forced to touch and kiss each other - while the daughter of one of the women looked on, thinking it was only 'a game'.

But when Egyptian-born Zahran wanted 'his turn' to have sex, the child's mother said no and he repeatedly knifed both women.

The mother's injured friend ran naked into the street and screamed at neighbours to call police - who burst into the house to find Zahran had stabbed himself in the stomach.

Jailing Zahran, a judge told him: 'The sexual activity you forced them to endure and your knife attack will haunt them for the rest of their lives.'

After the sentence, the victims described how they feared they would be raped and murdered when Zahran revealed his 'psycho plan' at a house in County Durham.

The mother of the little girl forced to watch the sick show choked back tears as she recalled: 'He said I had to take off my clothes and have sex with my friend.

'I had no clothing on at all. My friend removed her clothing. She was distressed and terrified.

'We thought he was going to kill us. He had the knife in his hand and my daughter was still running around the room.

'He told me I had to lay on my friend. We were both lying down and he told us to start kissing, to moan and the make sexual movements. He was holding the knife in one hand and his phone in the other.

'We changed positions so that she was lying on top of me. He then began touching himself and touched me. We were crying and screaming.

'He was looking towards my friend. He was looking as though he was going to rape her and she was begging him not to.

'He told her it was her turn now and his turn to have sex with her. I told him not to touch her, he could do whatever he wanted with me.'

Then Zahran suddenly began stabbing her friend.

She was covered in blood. I saw him stabbing her. She was on her knees and couldn't get to her feet.  She added: 'She was covered in blood. I saw him stabbing her. She was on her knees. She couldn't get to her feet.

'He came over to me and my friend ran to the window, she was banging on it and screaming. He came over to me and stabbed me seven times.

'I managed to push him hard and he fell over onto the floor. I told my friend to run.

'My friend was naked and bleeding. She ran into the street and was banging on the doors of neighbours to get help.'

The woman still suffers flashbacks and nightmares, and cannot bear take a shower or look in the mirror because of the scars.

The other victim, 29, told how she tried to leave the house when  Zahran grabbed her by the throat, threw her to the floor, sat on top of her, and started jabbing her throat with the blade.

She said: 'I thought that's it - he's going to kill me. I was looking around for anything I could grab, anything that could help me.

'There was nothing there close enough and I realised I couldn't protect myself. I felt this is really it. That was the moment that broke me and I realised I would probably do anything he asked for, just to get away.

'I said sorry a million times even though I never felt it. I just thought it would convince him to let us go.'

She did not feel the blade go in and only realised she had been stabbed when she saw she was bleeding.

She continued: 'My mind was only on one thing - to get out of this house and phone the police.

'He told me he had a gun, that he had bought a gun, and that there was going to be a bullet for the head of anyone I cared about.

'I will never forget the look of satisfaction on his face as he enjoyed inflicting fear and pain on me.'

Zahran, of Bowburn, County Durham, admitted two charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent before his trial at Teesside Crown Court.

He denied two offences of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, sexual assault and false imprisonment but was convicted by the jury.

Prosecutor Deborah Smithies told the court that the women suffered 'gratuitous degradation' in the 'sustained and prolonged' attack.

Judge Simon Phillips QC told Zahran he will also have to serve an extended five years on licence recall after his release, and will be on the sex offenders' register for life.

He said: 'These women did not want to do what you were demanding. They were afraid you would hurt them. Fearing for their life, they complied.

'One of them told the jury she firmly believed you were going to rape her, but was prepared to die rather than give in further to your knife-point demands.'

James Bourne-Arton, mitigating, said Zahran had worked hard during his 14 years in the UK and was terrified that he was likely to be deported on release from prison.

SOURCE






The church of political correctness controls national discourse

The comments below were made with reference to Australia but apply well to Britain and the  USA too

The desire to belong to an organisation with a coherent body of beliefs and to spread this gospel to others has always been a strong one for many people.

Like these older religions, the PCC subscribes to a long list of doctrines, among the most prominent of which are:

* Formal legal status for same-sex marriage.

* An alarmist view of climate change and its causes.

* Depiction of Australian society as essentially racist.

* Support for a bill of rights.

* Scepticism about the police and other law enforcement agencies, especially in relation to anti-terrorism legislation.

* Indifference to issues of border security.

* Hostility to Israel in the context of conflict in the Middle East.

It may be noted that none of these views involves any economic costs to those who hold them.

The PCC is generally wealthy and concerned to stay that way. Most of its members are not particularly interested in the distribution of society’s resources.

There is also some overlap between these views and the policies of the Greens, although the PCC generally prefers not to be identified with any particular political party.

Some of these views, of course, may be justifiable in whole or in part, but the PCC is not interested in debating them. Like many religious movements in history, it considers that anyone who rejects even one of these doctrines is not merely misguided but part of an evil conspiracy and deserving of suppression.

The debate over freedom of speech and section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act exemplified this. By making it unlawful to insult or offend some sections of the community, this provision, if the PCC were to be believed, was necessary to prevent Australians engaging in racist behaviour as bad as in the US deep south in the 1950s and 60s.

The PCC is relatively small in a numerical sense and many of its tenets are not supported by popular sentiment in the wider community. But its influence is considerable because of where its members are located.

This is because its members dominate large sections of the media; most teaching staff in universities; all legal professional bodies; the senior ranks of the federal and state bureaucracies; and the management of several large corporations.

It is not true, of course, that every person in these organisations shares all or even some of the PCC doctrines. But any dissenters must be well aware that their career prospects could be seriously harmed by expressing a contrary opinion.

This is particularly true for people at the start of their careers and not yet established in a secure position. And it is again reminiscent of many religious groups: it is not enough to accept most but not all of the doctrines. Disagreement with any one of them leads automatically to exclusion from the group. As in many previous periods of history, silence is often the safest course of action.

There is an interesting question as to how the PCC came to capture so many influential organisations in Australian society, especially since this phenomenon seems to date only from the early 80s.

It is true that there are some strong strains of political correctness in other countries, including Britain and the US, but Australia seems to have led the way in this exercise and produced a much greater stifling of public debate on social and political questions.

Why this is so is a conundrum, although the answer may have something to do with the huge ­expansion of universities over this period and the introduction of PCC material into school cur­riculums.

The difficulty about reversing this situation is that once people in organisations realise that a particular set of views is expected of them, they are unlikely to advertise any contrary opinions, so the present system is self-reinforcing.

There are still contrary voices in Australia to this stifling regime, but any dissenters need to have an established position in society so that they are immune from persecution by these grimly determined and utterly humourless zealots.

SOURCE





BBC Warns Football Fans Dressing as Crusaders ‘Offensive’ to Muslims

Let it be offensive.  It is a reminder of Muslim aggression.  The Crusaders mobilized to regain possession of Christian lands in the Middle East that Muslims had invaded

The BBC has warned English football fans not to dress as crusaders when attending the Euro 2016 tournament this summer as they might cause offence to Muslims.

The advice comes via their ‘iWonder’ website, aimed at a younger audience, which asks such pressing questions as “Was Shakespeare a feminist?” and “How green is my commute?”

Posing the question: “Is it wrong to dress as a crusader for an England match?” the answer appears to be a resounding “yes”.

“Crusaders were the perpetrators of violent attacks across Europe and the Middle East on Muslims, Jews and pagans,” the website intones, suggesting that fans may simply want to don the English flag instead, as “this has nothing to do with crusaders or what they stood for”.

And although it can’t help musing: “The English flag used to have connotations with far-right nationalism,” it is forced to concede that: “Today the flag is flown by local authorities and individuals in a purely patriotic sense.”

Digging deeper into the history of the crusades, the website depicts crusaders as “wading ankle deep in blood, killing civilians and resorting to cannibalism,” although it admits that accounts of such actions “may have [been] exaggerated,” while a source is cited describing the leader of the Muslim forces, Nur ed-Din as “a just prince, valiant and wise, and according to the traditions of his race, a religious man”.

Breezing past the fact that the Christian Holy Roman Empire was “losing territory to Muslim Turks in the East,” the website recounts the history of the crusades in terms depicting the Christian forces as the equivalent of today’s Islamic State: religion-crazed extremists who ravaged the Middle East in an attempt to win favour in heaven.

The English king Richard the First, we are told, slayed his captives while his forces “massacred” the people of Constantinople and plundered the city.

The website then goes on to ask three members of the public whether they would dress up as a crusader at a football match. One would as “the costumes are very over-the-top and clearly in the realms of fancy dress,” but the others wouldn’t.

David from Hounslow said: “If I know that something offends others but I am involved with them in a joint activity then it is probably a good idea to moderate or stop what is giving offence. The potent symbolism of the crusader outfit takes the issue beyond the world of just a bit of fun.”

And Amin from London chips in: “I have some reservations due to the bloody history of the crusades. Yes, it’s a part of history, but we need to move on. Conquest and pillage in the name of Christianity isn’t exactly a positive reminder of our history and not something we should really be celebrating.”

A spokesman for the BBC insisted that the iWonder website doesn’t take a view on any topic. “iWonder guides are not the BBC passing judgement, they cover a huge range of topics and are designed to ask questions which encourage debate. In this instance, the users were given the opportunity to express their own views by voting on the topic,” he told The Times.

But the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) has suggested that fans take heed of the BBC’s warning and leave the crusader costumes behind when travelling to France for the tournament this summer.

Chris Doyle, director of Caabu, said the word “crusade” has powerful negative connotations in the Arab world, which could potentially open fans up to being targeted by extremists.

“I would hope Muslims do not take offence but there may well be people who do. They may present themselves as more of a target to any extremist,” he said.

SOURCE





Criminal immigrants reoffend at higher rates than ICE has suggested

They were among the nation’s top priorities for deportation, criminals who were supposed to be sent back to their home countries. But instead they were released, one by one, in secret across the United States. Federal officials said that many of the criminals posed little threat to the public, but did little to verify whether that was true.

It wasn’t. A Globe review of 323 criminals released in New England from 2008 to 2012 found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses, including rape, attempted murder, and child molestation — a rate that is markedly higher than Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have suggested to Congress in the past.

The names of these criminals have never before been made public and are coming to light now only because the Globe sued the federal government for the list of criminals immigration authorities returned to neighborhoods across the country. A judge ordered the names released in 2013, and the Globe then undertook the work that the federal government didn’t, scouring court records to find out how many released criminals reoffended.

The Globe has also published, in conjunction with this story, a searchable database of the thousands of names that were disclosed to the news organization, so that crime victims, law enforcement officials, and managers of sex offender registries — who are often unaware of these releases — can find out if the criminals may still be in the United States.

The review does not indicate that immigrants are any more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans — and in fact studies have shown that not to be the case. But the review reveals the damage inflicted on victims by criminals who were ordered to be deported when their sentences were complete, and were not, and it raises questions about how the government handled their cases.

The public rarely learns about ICE’s decisions to release criminals until something goes wrong — because immigration is the only law enforcement system in the United States that keeps such records secret.

ICE maintains that immigration records are generally private, and therefore exempt from disclosure under federal law. But others say the public should know who is making these decisions and why.

“There’s a serious question of who ICE represents. Who do they work for?” said Chester Fairlie, a lawyer for the mother of Casey Chadwick, a Connecticut woman murdered last year by a released criminal — a case that is intensifying calls for reform in ICE. “Public safety should trump any claim of privilege or confidentiality. It doesn’t come from statute. It doesn’t come from law. It comes from ICE deciding that that’s how it’s going to do things.”

Immigration officials have long insisted that the decision to release criminals — some of whom initially came to this country legally — is often out of their hands because the Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the government cannot jail immigrants indefinitely. If immigration officials cannot deport them after six months, the court said, they should generally set them free.

“So to sit there and say that the proud women and men of law enforcement in ICE are choosing to release criminals is absolutely unforgivable,” ICE Director Sarah Saldaña told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in April, after lawmakers grilled her about releasing criminals in the United States. “And they do not go around trying to put criminals on the street.”

But often, that’s where they end up.

The Globe found that a Massachusetts man was supposed to be deported after he served jail time for bashing his ex-girlfriend on the head with a hammer — but ICE released him in October 2009. Three months later, he found the ex-girlfriend and stabbed her repeatedly. A Rhode Island man who had served prison time for a home invasion was also released from immigration detention in 2009; five years later, he was arrested for attacking his former girlfriend. In 2010, ICE released a man with a lengthy criminal record in Maine; a few months later he grabbed a man outside a 7-Eleven, held a knife to the man’s throat, and robbed him.

Some members of Congress appear to be losing patience with ICE’s argument that it is powerless to stop these releases. Critics say ICE could seek civil commitment for mentally ill immigrants who commit crimes, arrest reoffenders, and ask the Department of State to use diplomatic means to punish nations such as Haiti, China, and Jamaica when they refuse to take back their own citizens.

At the House oversight hearing on April 28, committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said ICE’s decisions to release criminals who can’t be deported are leading to thousands of preventable crimes, according to ICE’s own statistics. The recent reoffenses include more than 130 murders or attempted murders since 2010, according to a letter ICE provided in February to Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

“What’s going on with Immigration and Customs Enforcement is one of the most infuriating things I think I’ve seen in this government yet,” Chaffetz said. To Saldaña, he added, after referring to crime victims in these cases, “How do you look those people in the eye?”

The Globe’s review was limited to the 323 immigrants released in New England between 2008 and 2012.

To calculate the recidivism rate in New England, the Globe scoured public police logs, Internet databases, and news media reports from Maine to southern Connecticut to identify the courts where criminal convictions occurred. Then the Globe traveled to or called the court houses to request records. The effort took three years, because most courts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine do not have online databases where the public can search for records.

The public records in criminal courts made it possible to scrutinize an immigration system that rarely opens its files to the public — or even to US lawmakers.

For instance, the public did not know that ICE had struggled to deport Jean Jacques to Haiti in 2012, after he served time for attempted murder in Connecticut. ICE said in an e-mail that the agency repeatedly tried to deport Jacques, but had to release him when Haiti refused to accept him back to his home country. Then in 2015, he fatally stabbed 25-year-old Casey Chadwick of Norwich, Conn., and stuffed her body in a closet. A jury convicted him of murder in April.

Chadwick’s death outraged lawmakers, who said they got few answers from the federal immigration system about the handling of Jacques’ case. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and two other Democrats called for an inquiry by Homeland Security’s inspector general.

“It is unacceptable that ICE failed to remove a convicted attempted murderer subject to a final deportation order — a measure that would have saved the life of Casey Chadwick,” Blumenthal and others said in a statement in January. “ICE’s responses thus far to our repeated inquiries into this case have been incomplete and unsatisfactory, and we hope that this independent inquiry will finally uncover the facts surrounding this tragedy, enabling reforms necessary to ensure that this never happens again.”

Clear answers are hard to come by in a system that aggressively keeps its records from the public.

For example, ICE had insisted in court records that reoffenders were “isolated examples.” To Congress, ICE officials suggested that reoffenders were rare, less than 10 percent.

But the reoffender rate among the immigrants on the Globe’s list is clearly much higher, at 30 percent.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors limiting immigration, said she believes the reoffender rate is probably even higher, given the Globe’s limited access to immigrants’ criminal histories. Some names, for instance, were too common to verify against court records. She said the government should track the rate itself.

“This is exactly what the government should be doing to evaluate the impact of its own policy, to make sure that it’s not causing harm,” she said. “They shouldn’t be doing this blindly without taking the time to evaluate the effects of the policy, the public safety consequences.”

Immigration officials acknowledge they have not calculated a recidivism rate, but say they are “working to provide this data.”

“ICE is committed to continually improving the agency’s ability to track and manage ever evolving agency-related data, but the agency does not have statistically reliable information on recidivism rates prior to FY13,” ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer said in an e-mail.

Immigration officials have also pointed out that they are increasingly focusing on deporting criminals, which they argue is likely to contribute to a lower recidivism rate.

Since 2008, ICE has deported hundreds of thousands of criminals. During the last fiscal year, 59 percent of the immigrants they deported had been convicted of at least one crime. And ICE officials say they are constantly pressing other countries to take back their citizens. Some of the released criminals were later taken back into custody and deported.

But ICE has also released tens of thousands of criminals in the United States — and in far greater numbers than they have disclosed to the Globe.

ICE told the news organization that the agency freed 12,941 criminals nationwide from 2008 to early 2014.

But Saldaña, the ICE director, told the House committee that the agency freed 36,007 criminals in fiscal 2013 alone. They are among 86,288 criminals they released from 2013 to fiscal 2015.

ICE officials said in an e-mail that the agency only provided the Globe the names of criminals they were forced to release under the Supreme Court decision; the additional releases were for other reasons. They did not elaborate, but ICE has told Congress it has also released criminals because of budget constraints, humanitarian reasons, or when an immigration judge ordered a release.

ICE has also suggested in court records that “many” of the criminals they released were traffic violators or other nonviolent offenders. But the news organization’s analysis shows that nationwide, immigration officials freed more convicted killers (201) than traffic violators (116) from 2008 to 2012.

ICE has also told Congress, as recently as May, that just 23 nations were failing to cooperate with deportations.

But ICE records show that as recently as 2016, there were about 140 nations that refused to take back at least some of their citizens, including Armenia, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, and many others.

In New England, about a quarter of the criminals released from 2008 to 2012 were previously convicted of rape, murder, or other violent crimes, based on the criminal histories that ICE provided to the Globe.

Court records show that, for a variety of reasons, some released criminals went on to enjoy privileges that otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants usually can’t enjoy, such as obtaining driver’s licenses. Five released criminals were even registered to vote in Massachusetts, putting them in the jury pool. State officials said none had ever voted, and they removed them from the list after being asked about them.

One released criminal thwarted his own deportation three times by kicking and screaming on an airplane bound for his homeland, prompting the pilot to throw him off while they were still on the ground, according to federal court records.

But more troubling are the criminals who left a string of new victims once immigration officials set them free.

In January 2010, a Framingham woman walked out of a Stop & Shop and saw her ex-boyfriend, Oscoe Housen — the same man who had served time for attacking her with a hammer. He was supposed to have been deported to Jamaica, but ICE released him instead.

Early the next morning, Housen broke into the woman’s home and stabbed her and a friend with a large knife as her children slept nearby. Police said they discovered a gruesome scene — the man was bleeding heavily and the woman asked “if she was going to die.” She lived, and Housen, 64, is serving up to 12 years in prison.

ICE also released Nhoeuth Nhim, one of several masked gang members who led a frightening home invasion and robbery in 2000 in Cranston, R.I. The gang used duct tape to bind, gag, and blindfold a family of five, including a 6-year-old. After robbing them of money and jewelry, the gang set a fire in the basement and dragged the family into the flames. The family, hard-working immigrants from Cambodia, all escaped.

After serving prison time, Nhim was supposed to face deportation, but instead ICE released him in 2009 and he returned to Rhode Island, where he later was charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He pleaded no contest to felony assault and is in prison.

In 2009, ICE released Bo Kang Me, a 48-year-old Cambodian immigrant with a long criminal record. He was soon rearrested for new crimes and probation violations. But he was free in 2013 when a Providence school let him pick up a child from school, even though he was not authorized to do so. He molested the child and is serving prison time for second-degree child molestation.

ICE had no comment on the cases, but said, “The decisions made in every case are made with the best available information ICE is able to obtain at the time.”

On April 25, ICE unexpectedly sent the Globe a new list of released criminals that showed that 83 percent of the criminals released nationwide from 2012 to 2016 are convicted felons.

Critics say it’s likely that ICE will continue to release serious criminals in the future, but unless the agency changes its privacy policies, there is no guarantee that the public will ever know.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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6 June, 2016

Islam training manual used in British prisons includes a section on waging a holy war and 'teaches inmates to become jihadists'

A manual of Islam used in British prisons teaches inmates about jihad and 'incites' them to wage holy war, it has been claimed.

The Tarbiyah (Islamic study) programme has a section on holy war and advises that taking up arms against the enemies of Allah is 'one of the noblest acts'.

Shaeikh Musa Admani has called for it to be removed because it 'incites' violence and helps convicted terrorists manipulate younger inmates towards extremism.

And the Ministry of Justice has refused to release the document to MailOnline due to 'security concerns', despite the fact it has been available in prisons since 2011.

They said they are investigating the issue and will publish a 'summary document' when it has been revised.

It comes amid claims that inmates in high-security jails have formed Islamic councils who administer sharia law and dole out physical punishment to other prisoners for actions they consider anti-Islam.

A former prison officer told the BBC that there were multiple occasions where prisoners feet were 'severely battered' during punishments, and Muslims have 'taken over' the law of some jails.

The recent scandal comes after another teaching course was removed last year after it emerged that it was written by extremists.

The Tarbiyah teaches inmates the difference between internal jihad, the struggle for improvement, and external, the fight against evil - but Admani says there is too much focus on fighting.

The document, seen by the BBC, reads: 'There may necessitate a time to pick up arms and physical [sic] fight such evil... It is one of the noblest acts.'

The statement in the manual, which was written by imams and Ahtsham Ali, an adviser to the Ministry of Justice, is followed by a section from the Koran.

There are currently 12,328 Muslim prisoners in England and Wales, which is 15 per cent of the prison population - and 131 were convicted of terrorist offences.

Mr Admani, an expert in interpreting Islamic texts, worries that it focuses on violence and could make prisoners more violent:

He told the BBC: 'This document sets out the steps and then addresses various forms of jihad and then goes on to emphasise a particular type ie. the killing and the fighting.

'It incites people to take up arms... It prepares people for violence. It could turn people when they come out of prison, supposedly rehabilitated, back into violence.

'It hinders all the aims that the Ministry of Justice might have to achieve peace and harmony. This document works against it, it doesn't add an iota to that good intention and they need to remove it as quickly as possible and then rehabilitate those who have learnt it.'

A spokesman added: 'Islamist extremism is one of the biggest threats facing this country. That is why the Justice Secretary commissioned the first ever review of Islamist extremism in prisons.

'As we have made clear, the report has been received and a summary document will be published in due course.

'The MoJ and NOMS are already taking forward urgent work in this area.'

A comes after a damning report is expected to claim that officers were being exploited by Islamic inmates who are aware staff are worried about losing their job due to racism complaints.

The independent review, commissioned by Justice Secretary Michael Gove, also recommended that prisoners convicted of terror offences be kept away from other Muslims in a specially designed blocks at high-security jails.

Experts believe this will stop the cons from meeting up with other non-militant inmates and using occasions such as Friday prayers as a chance to recruit them for their jihadi cause.

Publication of the review, conducted by former Home Office official Ian Acheson and to be released this month, was delayed by Government bosses over fears that it might have been toned down in order to detract criticism from National Offender Management Scheme (NOMS) staff.

Over 12,000 Muslims are behind bars in England and Wales with 130 of those serving terror related sentences, while Government officials believe that 1,000 could be vulnerable to radicalisation.

SOURCE






EU Elites Join American Social Media to Define Hate Speech

Apparently Facebook is no longer content to suppress “unpleasant” (read: conservative) ideas only in America. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media juggernaut has joined equally “enlightened” IT giants Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube in a partnership with the European Commission to produce a Code of Conduct that includes “a series of commitments to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe.” This Social Justice League also aims to “ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the in the offline environment.” Some members of the European Parliament rightfully branded the move as “Orwellian.”

Nonetheless, spokespeople for each organization assured the public there is nothing to worry about.

“The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech,” insists V?ra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalize young people and racists use to spread violence and hatred.”

“Hateful conduct has no place on Twitter and we will continue to tackle this issue head on alongside our partners in industry and civil society,” offers Karen White, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy for Europe. “We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow. However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

“We’re committed to giving people access to information through our services, but we have always prohibited illegal hate speech on our platforms,” claims Lie Junius, Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations Director. “We have efficient systems to review valid notifications in less than 24 hours and to remove illegal content. We are pleased to work with the Commission to develop co- and self-regulatory approaches to fighting hate speech online.”

“We welcome today’s announcement and the chance to continue our work with the Commission and wider tech industry to fight hate speech,” states Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook. “With a global community of 1.6 billion people we work hard to balance giving people the power to express themselves whilst ensuring we provide a respectful environment. As we make clear in our Community Standards, there’s no place for hate speech on Facebook.”

“We value civility and free expression, and so our terms of use prohibit advocating violence and hate speech on Microsoft-hosted consumer services,” says John Frank, Vice President EU Government Affairs at Microsoft. “We recently announced additional steps to specifically prohibit the posting of terrorist content. We will continue to offer our users a way to notify us when they think that our policy is being breached. Joining the Code of Conduct reconfirms our commitment to this important issue.”

It gets worse. In addition to suppressing speech deemed “hateful,” these platforms pledge to promote “counter-narratives” and organizations the EU deems “un-hateful” and to “re-educate” those they brand as hateful. Toward that end they have agreed to establish internal protocols and staff training aimed at guaranteeing an assessment and removal of unlawful content within 24 hours.

Britain’s reliably leftist newspaper The Guardian was somewhat upset with this development — because it didn’t go far enough. That’s because “the limited scope leaves many aspects of online abuse still uncovered: harassment on gender grounds, for instance, is not considered hate speech according to the code of conduct.”

Unlike the Unites States — at least not too much — the EU has established quite a laundry list of hate speech offenses. Under the heading, “Offences Concerning Racism and Xenophobia,” they include “public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, or national or ethnic origin,” the “public dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material” in that regard, and “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

MEP Janice Atkinson exposes just how wide a net the Commission is casting. “If an MEP, such as the centre-right Hungarians, the Danish People’s Party, the Finns, the Swedish Democrats, the Austrian FPO, say no to migration quotas because they cannot cope with the cultural and religious requirements of Muslims across the Middle East who are seeking refugee status, is that a hate crime?” she asks. “And what is their punishment? It’s a frightening path to totalitarianism.”

It’s also monumentally ironic. No one relishes the suppression of free speech more than those longing to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, or those seeking to maintain virtual gulags under Communist or other tyrannical rule. Much like the American and European Left animating this latest adventure, they also believe they own the franchise on enlightened thinking. Thinking that apparently grants them the power to define slippery terms like racism and xenophobia.

Is it xenophobic to disdain the onslaught of more than a million “refugees” from Middle East nations?

UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman Diane James brings another dose of perspective to the mix, explaining that the EU was sold as a common market, but has now morphed into a political union that “wishes to decide and compromise our civil liberties as a people.”

It is a move that may ultimately backfire. In a stunning turnaround, a majority of British citizens now appear to be in favor of leaving the EU when the vote on the issue takes place June 23. Those staunchly against a “Brexit” have framed such a move as an economic disaster, or the successful promotion of anti-immigrant sentiment. But maybe much of it is a rejection of exactly the kind of elitist suppression by a transnational European Commission whose members are selected by EU member governments. Maybe like millions of Americans, the British also want their country back. Maybe they don’t want a handful of elitists defining what constitutes “improper” speech that can be eliminated for the “greater good” at best — or prosecuted at worst. And maybe, just maybe, they’re disgusted with the idea of having “counter-narratives” shoved down their collective throats “for their own good.”

And if Britain goes, others are sure to follow. National sovereignty and democracy have ways of catching on.

SOURCE





Fear and censorship in Germany

The prosecution of the Pegida leader reflects the elite’s contempt for the people

Earlier this month, Lutz Bachmann, founder and head of Pegida, Germany’s anti-Islam movement, was convicted and fined €9,600 for having called refugees ‘cattle’, ‘filth’ and ‘scum’ in a 2014 Facebook post. This, a Dresden court ruled, was a criminal offence under Germany’s ‘incitement of the people’ law (‘Volksverhetzung’).

Volksverhetzung bans speech that could incite hatred against a national, racial, religious or ethnic minority. As well as limiting speech that calls for ‘violent or arbitrary measures’, it also regulates ‘assaults on the human dignity by insulting segments of the population or individuals because of their belonging to a minority group’.

Bachmann’s conviction was widely celebrated in the German media. ‘Of course it would have been nicer if the Pegida founder… had been put behind bars for his hateful yak’, wrote one commentator in taz. ‘But at least there has been a sentence.’ The paper Die Zeit found the court’s decision ‘hard and courageous’, cautioning, however, that it would not be enough to make Bachmann shut up in the future.

Not one mainstream commentator asked if perhaps Bachmann’s rants (as ugly and despicable as they were) should have been protected under the right to free speech. Despite the fact that Volksverhetzung was never formally established in an election or a referendum, it has been accepted as commonsense law, particularly among the German middle class.

The support for censorship has always been particularly pronounced among members of the German liberal-left. Indeed, one of the harshest amendments to Volksverhetzung was made in 2005 under the coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens. A fourth paragraph was added to the law, criminalising ‘whoever approves of, glorifies or justifies the violent and despotic rule of the National Socialists in a way that disturbs the public peace in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims’.

Often Germany’s history is used to justify such censorship. However, this disregards the contemporary context. If such laws are designed to stop another rise of Nazism, why are they being applied more and more frequently today? If they are meant to be a tool reserved for neo-Nazis, why are they being used to censor people like Bachmann, who, despite his despicable views, is not a fascist?

The law was first drafted in 1959 by a conservative government in an attempt to take a stance against a perceived Nazi revival after an arson attack on a synagogue. But it is only in recent years that charges under Volksverhetzung have shot up. In 2014, over 2,600 charges were brought, leading one German daily newspaper to claim that suing for sedition was becoming Germany’s new national sport.

In the past, the law was mainly applied to young men who shouted Nazi slogans (often while under the influence of alcohol). But today more than half of the charges relate to Facebook posts and anti-immigrant rants. In most cases, these are dropped by the court. (Earlier this year, Bachmann was charged under Volksverhetzung for selling t-shirts with the slogan ‘Rapefugees not welcome’, following accusations of sexual assaults committed by migrants against women on New Year’s Eve in Cologne.) However, looking over some of the cases in 2016 alone, gives us an indication of the true nature of the law:

    On 12 February, a YouTube vlogger was sentenced to eight months in prison sentence and fined €15,000 for referring to striking train conductors as ‘vermin’ who should be gassed. ‘Do you remember how the Jews were brought to Auschwitz by train? That’s where we should bring these conductors’, he wrote.

    Two weeks later, a 56-year-old, who had written nasty stuff about Muslims on the internet, was fined €3,150.

    In May, two football fans were fined €5,400 each for singing a chant about building an underground line from Jerusalem to Auschwitz.

    In the same week, a woman was fined €1,200 for showing a collage of a Kinder Surprise in the shape of a grenade with the caption ‘special edition for asylum seekers’.

Volksverhetzung is clearly not just an anti-Nazi law. And its mission creep shows the dangers of outlawing any speech, including far-right speech, since this concedes the principle of freedom and prepares the ground for widespread censorship. From the start, it was a law with the potential to censor all sorts of unpleasant, anti-mainstream views. To the liberals who support this law, free speech is not a principle which applies to all, but a mechanism with which to fight off evil and present themselves as the force of good.

In 2009, a neo-Nazi filed suit against Volksverhetzung and lost. Though the constitutional court emphasised its ‘strong and explicit’ protection of free speech, it found it constitutional to make exceptions based on the horrors and injustices of the Nazi regime. By targeting the far right, one commentator said, the court had ‘signalled to the liberal-left that they needn’t worry about their own freedoms’. This, he concluded, was a bad law ‘directed at the right people’.

But any restriction on speech is an affront to freedom and democracy. Volksverhetzung, and the support it enjoys, is one of the clearest expressions of the deep distrust that the German elites feel towards the people. Indeed, the law is often justified as necessary for protecting minorities from the fury of the masses. Putting people like Bachmann on trial is not just an attempt to stop him from saying what he wants, it is also a powerful signal to the rest of us to watch what we say.

It is also indicative of the cowardice and risk-aversion of sections of the German middle class. Censoring Bachmann reflects the middle class’s lack of faith in ordinary people’s ability to judge and challenge his opinions in open debate. Ultimately, it expresses their lack of faith in open debate, and our ability, as a society, to sort truth from untruth through free encounter. This is tragedy, because the best protection for the minorities Bachmann rants about is free and open discourse.

Lutz Bachmann has exploited this mood of cowardice. Despite being one of the most obnoxious individuals Germany has seen for a while, he has proven himself to be unusually media-savvy and adept at exploiting the double standards of German society. He appeared in court wearing strange, rectangle sunglasses, mimicking the black bars printed over people’s eyes in newspaper reports in order to obscure their identity. He called them ‘censorship glasses’, in an attempt to mock the court and the incitement law.

Bachmann, of course, is no free-speech activist. Like German liberals, he would also censor views he didn’t like given half the chance. But it is Volksverhetzung that has allowed him to pose as a freedom fighter. Let’s scrap it.

SOURCE






Self-Medication: A Neglected Front in the Argument over Drug Policy

by Sean Gabb

For the past twenty years, the mainstream debate on drug relegalisation has organised itself round four chief positions.

First, there is the libertarian position. We ought to have the right to do with our minds and bodies as we please. This includes the enjoyment of chemical pleasures. If pleasure comes at a risk, that is our problem.

Second, there are the puritans. Some of these believe that pleasure is bad, and that they have an obligation and a right to stop it wherever possible. Some – and this is not always just a front for hatred of pleasure – look at the risks and derive from these the obligation and right to control others for their own benefit.

Third, there are the opportunists. The War on Drugs has become a path to income and status. Prohibiting drugs does not make then unavailable, but enables the growth of criminal enterprises that would not otherwise exist. This growth in turn legitimises the growth of opposing bureaucracies of enforcement that employ tens or hundreds of thousands at the national and international level. Again in turn, the enforcers are open to bribes from the criminals. Then there are the bankers who launder the proceeds, or use the consequent War on Money Laundering to legitimise controls that entrench their own position in the financial markets.

Fourth, there are the pragmatic libertarians. These may or may not be ideological libertarians. Their argument begins with a cost-benefit analysis of the present system, and ends with the claim that there would be fewer deaths and less crime and corruption if the War on Drugs was called off.

My own position is both one and four. I have trouble understanding what drives the puritans, and I despise the opportunists. But I am drawn increasingly to an advance on my stated positions - an advance that might appeal to people who do not identify as libertarians, but who are not committed to positions two and three.. I believe we should have the right not just to make ourselves immediately happy, but also to try to cure ourselves of illness. I believe that ending the War on Drugs would benefit the world not only in the negative sense, of removing unnecessary evils, but also in the positive sense, of quickening medical progress.

A few years ago, someone I know fell into a serious depression. If he had various reasons for unhappiness, his depression was an excessive response. He was frightened to go to his doctor, because that would go on his medical records, and that might harm his future prospects. Perhaps this was an unreasonable fear. But it is not unusual. So I went to a website based in India, and bought a three month supply of fluoxetine, which is the generic name for Prozac. I know that Prozac is not always what its inventers claimed it to be. Even so, within a month, my friend was restored to a state of mind in which he was better able to deal with the real problems in his life.

The doctors like to tell us that diagnosis and treatment are difficult matters that require a long education to do properly. There is some truth in this. I believe the symptoms of kidney stones and stomach cancer have much in common, and the treatment for one will do nothing for the other. On the other hand, most diagnoses are not difficult. A Google search will usually do at least as well as a visit to a general practitioner. Modern diagnostic machines are just computers with various kinds of input devices. I might need a specialist to tell me if I had a brain tumour, and certainly a specialist to remove it. I think I could diagnose my own diabetes or arthritis, and I could then choose with reasonable competence what, if any, medications for treating it.

Instead, we have laws that ban the legitimate supply of most drugs, or turn the supply into a medical monopoly. Doctors will not usually prescribe without a diagnosis. Getting a medical diagnosis is expensive or involves a long wait. Even then, doctors are often mean with prescribing. By a combination of training and their own personalities, they incline to puritanism. Or they are answerable for how they prescribe to puritanical bureaucracies. This makes them especially mean with prescribing pain relief. Drugs like Tramadol may be addictive, and there may be dangerous side effects. That does not justify leaving old people with bone disorders in constant pain. I see no reason why the terminally ill should not be sent off in a blaze of opium-fuelled euphoria, or why the depressed should not be allowed, by trial and error, to find whatever drug or cocktail of drugs will restore the balance of their minds.

I repeat – doctors are hardly redundant. But doctors are a limited resource. And, however, funded, health budgets are always under pressure. Leaving us to our own diagnoses and medications would allow the medical professions – such as they ought to exist as they do – to focus on those areas where they are of actual use. So far as I can tell, most general practitioners spend most of their time handing out advice and prescriptions that could, with little harm, be left to pharmacists or the Internet.

I come to the positive side of my argument. I recently gave a lecture on Mill’s Essay on Liberty. One of the many passages in this work that makes you stop and reread puts the case for what he calls “experiments of living.” He says, in Chapter III:

As it is useful that while mankind are imperfect there should be different opinions, so is it that there should be different experiments of living; that free scope should be given to varieties of character, short of injury to others; and that the worth of different modes of life should be proved practically, when any one thinks fit to try them. It is desirable, in short, that in things which do not primarily concern others, individuality should assert itself.

In virtually all countries, there are pharmaceutical regulations that require testing of new products before they can be made generally available. These are justified by reminders of what can happen when a new drug fails. Thalidomide is the usual example – a drug to treat morning sickness that caused many thousands of children to be born deformed. It is an argument for putting elsewhere that the compulsory testing schemes we have slow down the introduction of new treatments, and that thousands are saved from side effects at the cost of millions who die for lack of treatment. But the principle of testing is a good one. All drugs are complex things. So too the human body. No one can know in advance what the larger effects will be of a new treatment.

Now, very often, new uses will be found for existing treatments. These are generally found by accident. I believe that Viagra was developed as a treatment for heart disease. Only when tested was it revealed as a powerful aphrodisiac. Aspirin had been on sale for a century before anyone realised it might be useful for preventing or treating strokes. A few years ago, someone discovered by accident that bicarbonate of soda was a safe and effective treatment for certain kinds of kidney failure.

Or a medical consensus may be wrong. For nearly half a century, we have been told that obesity is caused by eating too many calories, and that the best diet for diabetes is high in carbohydrate and low in fat. These consensus appear to be falling apart as I write. Or there is the dead consensus that peptic ulcers are caused by lifestyle and hard to treat. We know now that they are often caused by an infection. Or there is the growing belief that much heart disease is caused by a Vitamin B deficiency – calling in doubt the consensus on other risk factors.

With the exception of dietary advice, these advances came from within the medical and pharmaceutical establishment. For any number of reasons, however, some already given, this is an establishment highly averse to innovation outside an established line of progress. The bacterium theory of ulcers was ridiculed until overwhelming evidence was produced. The Vitamin B theory was virtually suppressed for a generation. In justification, it is the duty of scientists to be sceptical of radical breaks from whatever seems already to be proven. But add professional monopolies to scepticism, and the result can be a slowing of progress.

I return to the present dispute over dietary advice. The calorie and low fat theories have been disputed for a long time; but it is only because dietary advice has not been monopolised, and because of a public outcry, that this debate is now taking place within the relevant establishment. It would be a worthwhile change, I suggest, if all medical treatments and advice were subject to the same open testing and experiment. There is a natural limit to the number of accidental discoveries and new departures we can expect from within the establishment. Medical progress would be quickened if every individual who so fancied were free to experiment on himself and communicate his real or apparent discoveries to the world.

No doubt, some people would medicate themselves to death. But, as I said at the beginning of this essay, I am a libertarian, and I believe in the right to take risks. And some of these experiments, I have no doubt, would be as beneficial as the accidental discovery of morphine and penicillin, or the accidental discovery that people who had caught cow pox were immune from small pox.

And so the debate on drugs should rightly include defences of the right to get high without having your front door kicked in by the police. But it should also include an awareness of the possibility that someone will find – say – that the right mix of aspirin, turmeric and nifedipine can cure cancer or extend our lives to five hundred years. We need more of Mill’s “experiments of living,” not fewer. We need a general right of self-diagnosis and of self-medication.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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5 June, 2016

Racist BBC turns down trainees because they are WHITE

Job applicants accused the BBC of racial discrimination after being turned down for roles because they are white.

The broadcaster advertised for two junior script writers on 12-month trainee schemes, one of which offered the opportunity to work on hospital drama Holby City in London.

But applicants were outraged when HR bosses replied to applications saying that they were only open to people from 'ethnic minority backgrounds'.

The corporation said the move was to address an 'under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in script editing roles'.

But one unsuccessful applicant accused them of flouting their own anti-discrimination rules by not granting him an interview based on his white ethnicity.

The 26-year-old, a media graduate, said: 'It's racial discrimination to disregard someone based on them being any race.  'It's just wrong and as far as I know it is illegal. Coming from the BBC, it's amazing.

'If you applied for a position and got a reply saying it was only open to white applicants you would quite rightly not be happy. This is exactly the same.'

The applicant, who chose to remain anonymous, added: 'Opportunities like this hardly ever come up. 'Of course there was no guarantee I would have got the job, but to be told I wasn't even allowed to apply because of the colour of my skin was appalling. I thought that became illegal years ago.

'Diversity is incredibly important and I am wholly against any form of discrimination - which is why I don't understand why the BBC think they can get away with this. 'The colour of someone's skin shouldn't even be questioned when applying for a role.'

The advert was for two full-time drama assistant script editors for the trainee scheme, with an annual 'allowance' of up to £25,205.

One role was based in London, working six months on Holby City, and six months in a development position.

The other was based in Cardiff or Glasgow, and the candidate would split their time between development and production.

It was listed on the BBC website's job section and said BBC Drama believed 'content should accurately reflect and be enjoyed by as many people as possible'.

The job description added that the two posts were 'exciting training and development opportunities for those from black, Asian and other ethnic minorities'.

But it didn't explicitly ban other people applying and added recruiters were looking for candidates 'passionate about getting into Drama script writing'.

When applicants applied for the role they received a generic email from an internal BBC recruiter explaining the ban on white candidates.

It said: 'The positions are only open to those from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds who are passionate about getting into Drama script editing.'

Figures reported this year show that 13.4 per cent of the BBC's workforce are from Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.

That is more than the 13.1 per cent figure nationally from the 2011 Census which showed the proportion of the UK population from Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.

The BBC said the scheme was a training opportunity, and allowed under the Equality Act, and claimed the advert made it clear it was for BAME candidates.

A spokesperson said: 'This is a training and development programme designed as a positive action scheme to address an identified under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in script editing roles at the BBC.'

 SOURCE






Hard-Left hate mob taunts BBC's Laura as she tries to ask the Labour leader a question

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was jeered by a hard-Left rabble yesterday as she tried to question Jeremy Corbyn.

Activists hissed and booed, while the Labour leader appeared to smirk before making a half-hearted attempt to quieten them.

Mr Corbyn has accused the BBC of trying to damage his leadership and some of his supporters have campaigned for the BBC to sack Miss Kuenssberg as its political editor.

But after she and other journalists were heckled, rising Labour star Wes Streeting warned his party was turning into a ‘cult’.

The Ilford North MP said that party events were in danger of becoming Donald Trump-style rallies, where journalists are routinely attacked for questioning the leader.

‘The Labour Party needs to hold a mirror up to itself and ask if we really want our events to resemble Trump rallies,’ he said.

‘We’re meant to be a political party providing effective opposition and an alternative government, not a cult.’

Fellow Labour MP Pat McFadden also criticised the behaviour of activists, saying: ‘The booing of a journalist for doing her job is wrong. It is not the culture we should have in the Labour Party.’

The heckling occurred when journalists were invited to ask Mr Corbyn questions after he made a speech on Europe at an event in London.

ITV’s Chris Ship asked the long-time Eurosceptic whether he had ‘campaigned as hard as you can to keep Britain in the EU’, following criticism of his lacklustre approach.

Mr Corbyn responded with a swipe at the Press, saying: ‘It’s partly down to the media and how they report what we do.’

The hand-picked audience of Labour activists cheered and applauded his answer, with some shouting angrily ‘It’s all your fault’ at journalists.

Miss Kuenssberg, who had posted a message on Twitter saying: ‘Corbyn can’t resist a pop at the media in answer to Chris Ship’, was then called to ask a question, prompting dozens of activists to hiss and boo.

Ironically, Mr Corbyn had used part of his address to vow to protect free speech. Afterwards Miss Kuenssberg tweeted: ‘Corbyn also mentioned importance of free Press in his speech… just sayin’.’

Former BBC Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly wrote on Twitter: ‘Disgraceful how Jeremy Corbyn barely stifles a smirk when his supporters hiss Laura Kuenssberg.’

Last night a Labour source insisted Mr Corbyn did not support the hostile reception given to Miss Kuenssberg and other journalists, saying: ‘We do not condone any journalists being booed.’ Yesterday’s episode follows a campaign by some Corbyn supporters to have Miss Kuenssberg sacked for alleged anti-Labour bias.

A petition calling for her removal was signed by more than 35,000 last month, before it was taken down by campaign group 38 Degrees for attracting ‘sexist and hateful’ abuse towards the BBC journalist.

Another petition calling for her removal for ‘gross bias’ has now been launched.

Team Corbyn’s anger at Miss Kuenssberg erupted in January over her reporting of the Labour leader’s botched reshuffle. It came to a head after she reported on the party’s dismal performance in May’s local elections.

This week a documentary on Mr Corbyn showed him launching into a paranoid rant about the BBC’s coverage of his leadership.

‘The whole narrative... has been “Corbyn’s going to lose, Labour’s going to fail. Labour’s going to lose, Labour’s going to fail”,’ he stormed. ‘There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me.’

SOURCE







ISIS jihadis ARE driven by Islam and the world needs to accept that no matter how 'uncomfortable' the facts, says the Muslim man in charge of BBC Religion

The BBC's head of religion has said although it is 'uncomfortable' to accept, the ideology behind ISIS is based on Islamic doctrine.

Aaqil Ahmed, the first Muslim to hold the post, said it was untrue to suggest that ISIS had nothing to do with Islam, despite the fact that the majority of Muslims do not agree with the extremist group.

He was speaking at an event at Huddersfield University, when he was asked to explain the BBC's controversial policy on referring to the group as 'so-called Islamic State'.

Prime Minister David Cameron has been among those who have called for the corporation not to use the phrase when referring to the terror group operating in Iraq and Syria, saying Muslims would 'recoil' at the phrase being used to justify the 'perversion of a great religion'.

Mr Ahmed was asked at the event organised by Lapido, the centre for religious literacy in journalism, to defend the term by barrister Neil Addison on the grounds that he wouldn't have said 'so-called Huddersfield University'.

According to a report by Lapido, he responded by saying: 'I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam – of course it has.

'They are not preaching Judaism. It might be wrong but what they are saying is an ideology based on some form of Islamic doctrine. They are Muslims.

'That is a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things. That is where the difficulty comes in for many journalists because the vast majority of Muslims won't agree with them [ISIS].'

Clarifying his comments, he told The Times that he had not been referring explicitly to the name of the group, but that 'it [was] a reflection of the complexity of how you describe them and the religious belief structure.'

The extremists are variously known as Islamic State, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Daesh, based the Arabic acronym for the group, which the terrorists consider to be offensive because it sounds similar to the word 'Dahes' meaning 'one who sows discord'.

Critics have warned that referring to 'Islamic State' legitimises the group's attempt to carve out parts of Iraq and Syria.

The BBC has used its preferred term to describe ISIS since 2014, when the group shortened its name from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to Islamic State.

However, the broadcaster qualifies the phrase by adding 'so-called' or 'self-styled', a reference to the extremists' claims of statehood rather than religious affiliation.

Last summer, Mr Cameron asked the BBC to drop the term, and criticised BBC presenter John Humphrys for referring to the group as Islamic State.

During an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Mr Cameron referred to the group as 'ISIL'.  'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it's not an Islamic State; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime,' Mr Cameron said.

'It is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words "Islamic State".

'So-called' or Isil is better,' he added.

His request was backed by 120 MPs, including Boris Johnson, Keith Vaz and Alex Salmond, who wrote to Director General Lord Hall calling for the broadcaster to refer to the group as Daesh instead.

However, Lord Hall rejected the demand, saying to use Daesh would 'bias their coverage', risked giving the 'impression of support' for the group's opponents and 'would not preserve the BBC's impartiality'.

Former Channel 4 commissioning editor for religion and head of multicultural programming, Mr Ahmed was appointed as the BBC's head of religion and ethics in 2009, in what was seen as a radical departure from broadcasting tradition.

He began his broadcasting career at the BBC, primarily working for BBC Birmingham, and had also worked as a director for Here And Now, as well as a producer and director on a number of documentaries and news broadcasts.  

Prior to his 2009 appointment, the then Archbishop of Canterbury was reported to have raised concerns over the prospect of a Muslim head of religious broadcasting, amid fears the BBC was reducing its religious output.

Previously, the post had been considered a job for a senior and respected cleric or lay churchgoer.

Last month, a report compiled by Mr Ahmed suggested that the BBC was too Christian in its output, and should consider scrapping some of its long-running programmes in favour of shows for Muslim, Hindu and Sikh audiences.

The report was created in consultation with non-Christians who expressed their belief that the BBC is disproportionate in its religious content, and that while there are plenty of shows that celebrate Christianity, there are too few for other faiths.

The recent white paper on the BBC's future ordered the broadcaster to offer more for ethnic minorities.

As it stands, religious programming across the BBC includes the likes of Songs of Praise, Sunday Morning Live and The Life of Muhammad on television. Moral Maze, Beyond Belief and Thought for the Day feature on radio. 

Muslim critics have suggested that the BBC could televise Friday prayers, cover Eid or show children attending madrasahs to boost their Islamic serving. 

SOURCE






Britain's family courts make a mockery of justice

It’s little wonder people are fearful of making abuse allegations

The UK Department for Education last week published research into rates of reporting child abuse. Feminists claimed that the fact that a third of those interviewed said they would not report suspicions of abuse amounted to ‘victim-blaming’.

But the Independent’s report last Friday mentioned an important finding, the significance of which has been lost on the survivor lobby. It said that the fear of having misread a situation, and of wrongly accusing someone, is the biggest factor that deters reporting.

A ruling from the Court of Appeal on 19 May in a family case shows just how skewed the system has become when dealing with accusations of abuse. The case is called Re E (a child) and it makes depressing reading.

The court quashed sensational findings of abuse made by a judge in the county court last January, against a father (‘Mr E’) and his 15-year-old son, ‘A’. Mr E was said to have assaulted a young girl, ‘D’, on scrubland from the age of four. He was said to have forced A to engage in sexual activity with D. He also orchestrated sexual activity between two other children, ‘B’ and ‘C’. In addition, the judge concluded that both Mr E and A had attempted anal penetration of a dog (a pit bull, described by the police as ‘not a docile dog’). The judge adopted the ‘cycle of abuse’ theory, finding that A was first abused and went on to abuse others.

Two families were involved in this saga: the E family, whose son, A, was aged 15; and the ‘F’ family, who have two boys and a girl: B (15), C (10) and D (8). In 2010, A had accused two uncles of abusing him, but his parents did not take any action after A said he did not want the police involved. In February 2015, A, who was out with the other children, was caught shoplifting. The police returned them to their parents only to find the parents all inebriated. So the children were taken into foster care.

The youngest, D, then accused A and his father of abusing her. This led to a rash of disclosures by A, B and C, also alleging abuse. Inexplicably, the foster carer then took the three younger children on holiday.

The first problem arose with the police interviews of the children, conducted after they returned from holiday. Interviews of complainants in sex cases are called ‘achieving best evidence’ (ABE) interviews. The idea is that the interviewee sits in a comfy chair, and the interviewer establishes a ‘rapport’ with him/her by discussing neutral, non-relevant topics and by trying to understand if the interviewee understands the difference between truth and lies. These interviews are recorded.

However, in this case, the introductory phase was not recorded. It was therefore unclear what the children were told about the ‘ground rules’. Next, the interview of D (the youngest) contained leading questions, such as introducing the names of alleged abusers into the narrative. D made no allegations. Then D left the room for an hour. Mysteriously, as soon as she came back, she started making allegations. It appears she spoke with her foster carer, who claimed that all she said to D was, ‘You need to say all the things while you are here’. The Court of Appeal commented that an ABE interview should not be used simply to get a child to repeat on tape what she may have said to someone else.

A was so distressed by his interview that he was physically sick during it. Meanwhile, B made no allegations of abuse in his ABE interview. A striking feature was that some abuse allegations, which the foster carer reported the children as making, were never mentioned by them in their interviews.

Also of concern was that the police interviewer subsequently conducted what were called ‘fast track’ interviews of the three younger children at home, without keeping a proper record of what questions were asked or how the children responded. The Court of Appeal called this ‘unorthodox’.

The children’s accounts contained many inconsistencies. C had a history of making, and then retracting, false allegations against others in the past. D alleged that the children had been taken to hotels, where they were abused and filmed. But the police could find no evidence to substantiate her dramatic claims. She claimed that there was a hiding place in the wall at home: the police knocked a hole in the wall, but could find nothing.

Eventually the police concluded that the ABE interviews could not be used in court, and that the children’s accounts would not stand up to scrutiny. So no criminal charges were brought. However, there were parallel care proceedings in the family court. A was confined in a specialist residential unit for victims/perpetrators of sexual abuse.

At a pre-trial hearing, complaints were made about the ‘fast track’ interviews at the trial. But the family judge refused to allow the interviewing officer to be called to be questioned. Even more worryingly, the judge decided that none of the children should give evidence, either.

Many people would find this bizarre: if a criminal trial had proceeded, the children would have had to give evidence, and be questioned (albeit via video link). Apparently, the practice in the family courts is that even mature teens should not give evidence.

This approach ignored a Supreme Court ruling from 2010, Re W, where the Supreme Court said that the question of whether a child should give evidence should be approached on a case-by-case basis. A blanket prohibition on children giving evidence was incompatible with the right to a fair trial. Baroness Hale stressed that focused questions, which put forward a different explanation for certain events, ‘may help the court to do justice between the parties’. That ruling went unheeded by the family courts.

This is remarkable, suggesting that the family courts operate a separate system of legal rules unaffected by fundamental legal principles, such as the right to a fair trial and the supremacy of judgements of the Supreme Court (the doctrine of legal precedent). It is perhaps not surprising that many ordinary people view the family courts as inherently unfair.

The judge’s reason for not calling the children was that, ‘the one question you cannot put to the child witnesses, is “You’re lying aren’t you?”’. So, even if they had been called, they would not have been challenged on that basis. The judge also said that, if they were called, ‘I would not allow you to put the contradictions. You have got to bear in mind the age of the children.’

But at 8, 10 and 15, these children were not tender toddlers. At this juncture, the judge had not even seen the videos of the ABE interviews, nor had she watched them by the time the trial began. So day one was spent watching them.

The Court of Appeal was very critical of the judge’s reasons for making the findings of abuse that she did. It said that she failed to acknowledge, or deal with, the numerous deviations from good practice in the police interviews. She adopted a broad-brush and superficial approach, and failed to engage in the level of analysis that was required. She was wrong to treat each child’s account as corroborating the others’, and failed to grapple with the many inconsistencies in their interviews and earlier ‘disclosures’. For example, the fact that D made accusations, which differed from those of her brothers, and the fact that B made no allegations in his interview, could not be corroborative.

Then the Court of Appeal had to address the way that A was treated. A has a learning disability, which was described as ‘significant’. He had his own solicitor and a guardian. They visited him a couple of months before the trial, to go through the evidence with him. A, like any client, was entitled to legal professional privilege: the opportunity to receive legal advice in confidence. But when the judge learned that this meeting had taken place, she ordered the guardian to file a statement about it.

At the meeting, A was accompanied by a key worker named ‘G’. A’s solicitor explained that they ‘needed a steer’ from A as to whether anything sexually inappropriate had happened to him or not. As the Court of Appeal noted, it was unclear what a person with a significant learning disability would understand. A did not respond. The guardian noted that A seemed tense and exhausted.

During a break, the guardian wrote the words ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ on a piece of paper. She left it with A and his key worker. The key worker decided that A was too tense to pick up the pen. So she took the pen and asked A which answer he wanted her to tick, A indicated ‘YES’. So G ticked ‘YES’.

The Court of Appeal decided that A’s rights to a fair trial were breached to a significant degree by all of this. The judge’s order for an account of his meeting with his legal team was ‘highly unusual’. The exercise whereby G ticked ‘YES’ was evidentially dubious, not least as A’s understanding of what he was being asked was wholly unclear. The Court of Appeal said that the judge’s analysis of the evidence in relation to A was ‘both confused and inadequate’.

This case is a warning of how unfairly the system can operate when allegations of abuse surface. It’s unsurprising that members of the public are hesitant about making abuse allegations. Their confidence is unlikely to improve, unless police investigations and legal hearings become much more rigorous.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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3 June, 2016

A slippery slope








Multicultural gynaecologist 'groped six female patients during private and NHS consultations and even asked one woman to reveal her tattooed bottom'


The Patwardhans are Indian Brahmins

Consultant gynaecologist: Mahesh Patwardhan, 53, of Loughton, Essex, was allegedly turned on by rubbing himself against women

A consultant gynaecologist groped six female patients during private and NHS consultations - even asking one woman to reveal her tattooed bottom, a court heard today.

Mahesh Patwardhan, 53, of Loughton, Essex, was allegedly turned on by rubbing himself against women while ‘groping’ their breasts from behind as they bent over an examination couch.

He saw NHS patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlton, south-east London, and private patients at the nearby Blackheath Hospital and The Holly in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

Patwardhan told one woman ‘Take your knickers off’, while he told another that she would soon be having ‘Lots of sexy sex and orgasms’ after performing intimate cosmetic surgery on her, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

The gynaecologist has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sexual assault and two counts of fraud relating to falsely billing private medical insurers for work he did not perform.

Kate Bex, prosecuting, said the first woman, aged 37, was an NHS patient referred by her GP who claimed the consultant groped her between her legs. She said: ‘It lasted ten seconds, but she was so shocked and surprised she did not say anything at the time.’

The woman reported Patwardhan to the police after reading he was disciplined by the General Medical Council.

The second woman, a mother-of-three aged 32, was also seen at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Miss Bex said: ‘He came behind her and put his arms around her and onto her breasts.

‘He groped her breasts and squeezed them with his hands and she was in total shock,’ she added, explaining the woman made an excuse to avoid removing the rest of her clothing.

The woman told police: ‘He came behind us and that’s when he put his hands on us. He wasn’t talking, he was just groping my breasts. ‘It was horrible, I was in total shock. I didn’t know what to do, I felt sick and disgusted. When he said: “Take your knickers off” I knew something was wrong. If I had lied on that couch and took my knickers off what would he have done?’

The third woman, a 35 year-old private patient, says Patwardhan groped her between her legs.

‘She says she heard him making a groaning noise and he asked her about her sex life and if she had orgasms,’ said Miss Bex.

Patwardhan performed intimate cosmetic surgery on the woman, but billed her insurers - AXA PPP - for cyst removal because they would not cover the true operation, the jury were told.

‘Afterwards he told her she would soon be having “Lots of sexy sex and orgasms” in a way that gave her the creeps.’

The fourth woman, a 37 year-old mother-of-two, says Patwardhan became more intimate after sizing her up.

‘The cuddling started after her second or third visit,’ explained Miss Bex. ‘He’d hug her goodbye and push his body into her, grab her bottom and kiss her on the cheek.

‘He examined her breasts after asking her to bend over the couch and asked her to show him the tattoo on her bum.’

The fifth woman, aged 30, was a private Blackheath Hospital patient, who had an ovarian cyst.

‘The defendant put his arms around her, his hand on her knee and told her she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

‘He asked her to bend over the couch and she could feel his body pressing against hers from behind while cupping her breasts. She thought he became aroused and she was embarrassed so put her clothes on and left the room as fast as she could.’

Patwardhan offered to investigate the back pain of a sixth woman, aged 26. He allegedly felt her spine and then cupped her breasts.

A private Bupa patient, aged 21, came forward to report Patwardhan for making her sign a claim form for a £195 non-existent pre-surgery consultation.

She was seen at The Holly, where the defendant’s wife was the anaesthetist, and said she did not make a fuss because she was in the couple’s hands.

When questioned by police Patwardhan mainly answered ‘no comment’ to questions, but did deny making dishonest claims and conducting sexually-motivated examinations.

The six sexual assault allegations are claimed to have taken place between July 2008 and September 2012, and the trial is expected to last three weeks.

SOURCE






Charlie Daniels Responds to Typical Liberal Hate Note with Open Letter

Dear fellow American from the “dream world,”

I want to thank you for your letter and all the unkind things you attempted to say about me. I have a few comments of my own to make.

First of all, your command of the English language, while archaic, inane, convoluted and tiresome, is admirable – if not very communicable – but your finely-honed sense of hyperbole would qualify you for the upper echelons of liberal verbal overkill.

However, you really should go to your dictionary and look up the word “racist.”

I'll save you the trouble, the dictionary defines racism as the belief that one race is superior to all others; not those who criticize President Obama.

Your insistence that I want to starve old people and children, start a war, completely divest women of every right they've gained since the days of Susan B. Anthony, abuse minorities by demanding a valid ID to vote, put a gun in the hand of every violent person in the country, accuse every Muslim in the world of being a terrorist, take away the rights of every religion except my own, destroy the ecology with the internal combustion engine and by not believing in man made global warming, mistreat undocumented aliens by not allowing them to come into the country illegally and that believing everyone should pay some taxes to have some skin in the game, not having compassion for lazy bums who refuse to work and sponge off the government and being the cause for the Chicago Cubs not being in a World Series since 1945 is a little over the top.

Kidding about the Cubs.

You did, however, pay me a couple of compliments.

You called me a “redneck” and a “hillbilly,” and I wholeheartedly accept both insinuations with gratitude. And I acknowledge that at least you got two things about me right.

Let me elaborate.

I’m “Redneck” from your point of view because I passionately believe that the second amendment guarantees American citizens the right to keep and bear arms – and not just for sports and target practice, but protection – because I like to spend my Sunday afternoons watching cars go around a race track real fast and because I enjoy watching heavyweight young men face each other over an inflated piece of pigskin, among other things you may consider to be trivial and plebeian.

I’m a “Hillbilly” because – first of all – I love country music and the rural lifestyle. Oh, and by the way, “hillbilly” is passé. The only ones who use it are people who never venture outside their little circle of urban-bound, self-ordained sophisticates with a weakness for Perrier and lime and reading books they claim they love, but don’t really understand.

When it comes to somebody who has my back I'll take the rednecks and hillbillies every time and leave the university professors and armchair philosophers to you.

Your idealism and tacit fascination with socialism reflects shallowness, indifference or downright ignorance – or perhaps a little of all three – as all it takes to understand the abject failure of the system, for at least three quarters of a century, is a cursory examination of history.

And your belief that you can bargain with terrorist states and dictatorships or contain their evil is naive to say the least, as the only kind of diplomacy these kinds of people will ever understand is a power much stronger than any they can muster.

While you'll go to all lengths to save the whales and see that baby seals are treated humanely, you condone the murder of millions of the unborn every year and condemn me for believing that a fetus is a living human being and deserves the same right to come into the world alive as you and me.

And one more comment insofar as the right to bear arms: If and when a terrorist sleeper cell comes out of hiding and starts indiscriminately gunning down people in the streets and invading neighborhoods, or some hardened criminal escapes from prison and is considered “armed and dangerous,” put a sign on your door stating that your home is a gun free zone.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem. God Bless America

SOURCE






Is Slavoj Zizek actually a moderate Leftist?

He doesn't seem to like migrants very much and is rather conservative in other ways -- he just finds roundabout roads to those positions



He’s an avowed psychoanalytic philosopher. An unabashed Hegelian Marxist. And, according to some, ‘the most dangerous philosopher in the West’. He is, of course, Slavoj Zizek. And, whatever else he might be, he remains one of the most probing, independently minded thinkers out there, possessing an intellect as prodigious as his writings are prolific. Ella Whelan decided it was time to put some questions to the great man himself, about the migrant crisis, the Culture Wars, and his latest book, Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours.

Ella Whelan: In your new book, you criticise liberal humanitarianism and the over-emotionalised response to the migrant crisis. Why do you think this is a problem?

Slavoj Zizek: What disturbs me is not the emotionalism as such – these are tragic stories. What I want to know is why the migrant crisis is perceived, at least in Europe, as a purely humanitarian problem. People say, ‘hundreds and thousands are coming – will we receive them or not? Does Europe have an open heart?’ I think that this fascination with the misery of the migrants obfuscates other questions, which are, for me, much more important. What is not asked is the absolutely crucial question: what are the causes of the crisis? The practice of economic neocolonialism of Europe, the military interventions in the Middle East, and so on. Change at this level is what we must first address.

My metaphor for the response to the migrant crisis would be a cinematographic one. We have a close-up of refugees landing across the Mediterranean. But we have to move the camera backwards to get a general establishing shot – what exactly is going on there? I am especially suspicious of this immediate readiness to feel guilty, to be responsible: we Europeans screwed it up, everything is the fault of our neocolonialism. This is not what I mean by probing into the background.

This response to the migrant crisis is a problem because it puts refugees in the totally passive position of victims. It’s as if we turned the old racist slogan of white man’s burden into white man’s guilt, as if we are the only active ones. This is, I think, our basic racist view. And when the refugees become too active, they are dismissed as terrorists.

This response to the migrant crisis is a problem because it puts refugees in the totally passive position of victims. It’s as if we turned the old racist slogan of white man’s burden into white man’s guilt, as if we are the only active ones

But my greatest problem with all this humanitarianism is that people are not aware of what is really happening in Europe – the massive anti-immigrant populist movement. The leader of the Austrian populist Freedom Party had a serious chance of becoming president. This could have been the first time, in a Western European country, that a pure, anti-immigrant, racist populist became president.

Whelan: There is often a dismissal of those who are in favour of immigration controls as simply being racist. Are we ignoring people’s genuine concerns about this serious political issue?

Zizek: I don’t agree with the usual left-liberal attitude of dismissing all this as just lower-class populism, racism or fascism. Walter Benjamin put it clearly: ‘Behind every fascism there is a failed revolution.’ What is this discontent of the so-called ordinary people in Western Europe? How do we address this? These left-liberals do not want to address it. They just bemoan the fact that Europe is losing its heart. This is my greatest reproach to what I call the left-liberals: the worse the situation gets, the more they feel morally superior. They like to emphasise a sense of horror about Europe becoming fascist. Well, what are they effectively doing to prevent this horror?

I am pleading for a much more complex view, to begin some kind of a restructuring of the economic, military and political view of the entire situation that has caused the migrant crisis. The solution is not just, ‘let’s open our borders, and all will come in’. This, I think, is the first step towards a catastrophe. I am trying to understand the concerns of ordinary people without condoning racism.

Despite all his limitations, I admire US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. His success is based on the fact that he always maintained a link with the small farmers of Vermont, all those who usually vote for Bible-belt conservatives. That is an absolutely crucial task today. If we don’t do this, we are lost.

Twenty years ago, I remember being shocked watching the then Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on television at a national meeting. What he did was ingenious. He brought on stage a Jew, a black guy and an Arab, and he said, ‘look at them, they are no less French than me. They are my friends, they are not my enemies. My enemies’, and of course here he came close to anti-Semitic racism, ‘are the ruthless, cosmopolitan capitalists’. In this anti-immigrant populism, no matter how manipulated, there is a clear anti-capitalist edge. It is just displaced and mystified.

Whelan: Against the Double Blackmail also looks at what you call left-wing taboos – for instance, Islamophobia – and the reluctance to judge certain things that people do and say, especially when it comes to migrants or refugees. Are these taboos holding us back from having an honest discussion about immigration?

Zizek: People argue that if refugees do something wrong, they should not be held responsible. It’s always that we must somehow be responsible. But, if you talk to real immigrants, and I did talk to them in Germany and elsewhere, they want to be treated as responsible individuals.

But every critical remark you make is instantly decried by leftists as Islamophobia. With many leftists, I notice that this doesn’t only involve Islamophobia – some leftists don’t even like to emphasise materialism or secular values. I am absolutely, unambiguously a materialist. I don’t want any part of this return of the sacred, post-secular age. People think that I am part of some Western secular conspiracy against the Third World and the people there. I find this way of thinking extremely dangerous. The emancipatory core of the Western legacy – materialism, secular thought, women’s rights, Cartesian subjectivity, abstract universal subjectivity – these are more precious than ever today.

These are heavy political choices, I know. That’s why some post-colonialists attack me so much. We have global capitalism, we have to ask ourselves how do we move over it. Is it that we accept that we have to move through it in the sense of modernisation, secularisation? And that this is the only consequential Marxist view? Or should we play this game and demand that the European Enlightenment is discredited on account of the horrors that it caused, and argue that, today, the only resistance to global capitalism can come from Third World, indigenous traditions: African traditions, Latin-American traditions, etc.

I do not buy this second version, not only because it is ineffective, but because I think it fits perfectly with where global capitalism is moving today. There is absolutely nothing subversive in this idea that we should preserve or revive some old tradition of communal meetings, the solidarity of the whole community over individual rights. I don’t believe there’s any substantial emancipatory potential in this. China is doing this today. I had a debate recently in Amsterdam with one of the Chinese political thinkers whose line of thought was that, ‘you in the West have a destructive modernity because your modernity is too much in this Cartesian, individual-rights, competitive vein. But we, the Chinese, succeeded in combining modernity with ancient Confucian traditions.’ I don’t buy this.

The emancipatory core of the Western legacy – materialism, secular thought, women’s rights, Cartesian subjectivity, abstract universal subjectivity – these are more precious than ever today

Whelan: One of the biggest problems we have at the moment is the West’s self-effacing attitude. People say, ‘who are we to criticise? Britain has done terrible things in the past and we are in no position to judge.’ Should Britain’s, or indeed Europe’s, past stop us from exercising our critical and political judgement on other traditions and cultures?

Zizek: Take this example. British colonialism did many horrible things in India, but the worst among them was resuscitating the oppressive Hindu tradition of caste. Before British colonisation, the caste tradition was already disintegrating because of the influence of Islam. But British colonisers understood very quickly that the way to rule Indians was not to make them like us or to bring to them our modernity. No, a much better way to rule them was to resuscitate their own traditional, patriarchal, authoritarian structures. Colonialists did not want to create modernisers. No, intelligent colonialists always prefer to keep the majority in their own traditional frameworks. They never wanted Indians to become like us. Aldous Huxley wrote about his experience in India in the 1920s and detailed how the average English coloniser in India loved traditional Indian culture. He looked at how they described Westerners as vulgar, caring only about technological domination. The ordinary, poor Indian Hindu priest, in contrast, had an incredible spirituality and wisdom that far surpassed Western culture. The same thing is happening with refugees – why would we want them to be like us when we are so awful?

Whelan: You often criticise our obsession with culture. We are now living through the Culture Wars, with racism, sexism and gender politics dominating the political landscape. Why has culture become such an obsession? And, especially with regards to the migrant crisis, has it replaced a much-needed, broader political discussion?

Zizek: I do think racism and sexism are problems today. But I do not like the culturalisation of racism, where the problem becomes one of tolerance. If you read speeches by Martin Luther King, and search for the world tolerance, you’ll find that it is practically absent. He did not perceive racism in terms of tolerance, but in terms of economics and politics. He saw that this was the core of the argument. What I hate today is this automatic association of racism with tolerance – ‘we do not tolerate their way of life, we should understand it more’. This is culturalisation.

For me, the problem with racism in the US is not that we are not open enough towards black people. The problem is that they are systematically marginalised because of their economic situation. The problem is not one of tolerance. We have a real problem with racism, but the way in which we perceive this problem mystifies it.

Another example is harassment. Of course, I am against harassment, but I was quite surprised at how often it is a very double-edged notion. My time in the US taught me that it can also have a very clear class dimension. For many middle-class academics and liberals, harassment means they cannot really stand the presence of vulgar, aggressive, ordinary people. Crying harassment is a way for the upper-middle classes – academics, intellectuals and liberals – to keep their distance from ordinary people.

We talk about culture in order to not talk about the economy. This, for me, is the tragedy of the leftist politics from the 1970s and 1980s. We still have strikes, but basically leftist politics has become cultural politics

It’s clear that we talk about culture in order to not talk about the economy. This, for me, is the tragedy of the leftist politics from the 1970s and 1980s. We still have strikes, but basically leftist politics has become cultural politics. Of course, we should not simply return to pure economics. But, on the other hand, as many philosophers and even economists argue, today’s capitalism is becoming more and more what one may conditionally call (it is a tricky term, I know) cultural capitalism.

To use the most stupid everyday example: when you wear stone-washed jeans with cuts in the knee, you are attempting to make a certain statement. We do not buy products simply to satisfy our needs, even if these needs are imaginary. We literally define ourselves through the commodities we buy – we define our identity by buying what we buy. A Russian friend once gave me a great example from way back in the 1990s, when the situation there was much more coercive. Ordinary women, not all of them, but those who consider themselves sexually attractive, would try to wear dresses or make-up that we would have identified with prostitutes. But real prostitutes dressed in grey suits to appear more educated, like businesswomen. So there was this wonderful deviation – you recognise a prostitute when she appears as a businesswoman, but when a prostitute looks like a prostitute, she is definitely not a prostitute.

This cultural dimension of capitalism is getting incredibly important. I think the problem behind it, and this is underestimated by rational, enlightened, anti-passionate social democrats like Habermas, is the sheer libidinal sense of belonging. We want to belong and we define our belonging through what we do. I have a sense of belonging but it is an incredibly material force. The strength of this belonging is precisely the result of a global market economy, because a global market economy disintegrates the traditional bonds which would have once provided a sense of belonging. You need to satisfy this need for belonging – then you need other ways of belonging, which are not really a return to tradition.

So, if we look at all these fundamentalist movements, from Poland to Boko Haram to ISIS, I think they are the paradox: traditional content but in postmodern form. I spoke to some people from Nigeria who told me that Boko Haram appears to be purely fundamentalist traditionalist. But in the way they are organised, they are ultra-modern, flexible, like a revolutionary organisation. So it is an incredible tension between form and content. Even in the US, christian fundamentalism is a fake – it’s not really fundamentalism. It’s a big ego trip. They are already a part of the modern culture of self-promotion.

Whelan: Identity politics, and the war on sexism, racism, homophobia, and so on, doesn’t seem to apply to refugees if they’re homophobic or racist. Is this because Westerners are unwilling to treat migrants on the same intellectual level as themselves?

Zizek: I am a pessimist in this regard. I agree with you about the limit of identity politics. I am especially sceptical of it, and here I follow Gilles Deleuze, who said it is absolutely crucial to maintain a link with universality. The true danger comes with the reasoning that only a lesbian single mother can understand what it means to be a lesbian single mother, or that only a gay man can understand what it means to be gay. I think such a view, such an undermining of universality, is catastrophic. I see no emancipatory potential in relying on, or referring to, your own particular identity as beyond criticism, as an unquestionable identity.

Our innermost attitudes are something we learn, but they can also be changed. We must never forget that

We have two types of identity: multicultural identitarian politics and the identity of migrants. But why is there such a tension between the two? Precisely because they are, at the same time, radically different and uncannily close. They move in the same terrain – the terrain of strict control. For example, in most religious fundamentalisms, sex relations are strictly codified. But, in a way, the same thing is happening with our political correctness – the way we are allowed to approach someone’s sexual identity, and the way we talk about it, is so tightly controlled.

Although they are radically opposed, the politically correct attitude and religious fundamentalism share this characteristic of strict control. On both extremes, we have strict control over how to proceed, what is prohibited, how quickly you approach a barrier. But human interaction does not work this way. All rules can be twisted.

Whelan: In your final chapter, you express a desire to cut through the ideological fog that is stopping people from having an open and honest discussion about the migrant crisis. You argue that we must take a more material approach, politically and economically. Where do we go from here?

Zizek: You mentioned honesty, and, at a certain level, I like hypocrisy – just not bad hypocrisy. What does honesty mean? Let’s say we meet on the street. You are my friend and you see that I am very poorly and have some terrible disease. The honest thing would be to say: ‘You look so bad, you look like you will drop dead.’ No, I am all for hypocrisy and politeness. But how you or me feel is not in itself an argument for anything. I am absolutely sure that there are sincere racists who are truly horrified by people of another race. But this is not an argument. When a racist says, ‘sorry, it is not an ideology, I just cannot stand black people’, the answer must be, ‘my God, your feelings are wrong’. I am pleading for a really critical, rationalist spirit where you don’t trust any of these immediate feelings or identifications.

Here, I am a good Freudian. Freud always made this clear – if you look deep into yourself, at the core of your personality, you will not find some deeper spiritual truth. Instead, you find the fundamental lie – the fantasies and dirty things that define you. The goal of psychoanalysis is not simply to overcome these things but to disturb and restructure them. This is what we should learn from such cultural struggles. Cultural struggles should not simply be: ‘I have my culture, you have yours, and we should understand each other.’ There are horrors at the heart of every culture. Like Walter Benjamin said: ‘There is no document of civilisation which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.’ The problem is how to confront the very core of how we feel, how we desire. Our own cultural fundamentalists claim that culture is an authentic experience at the innermost core of our being. Such a claim is false. Fake it, pretend it, overcome it, but I don’t think that this appeal to some inner core (even if it is of our own culture) has any value. It certainly doesn’t have any emancipatory value. Our innermost attitudes are something we learn, but they can also be changed. We must never forget that.

SOURCE






From reason to radicalism: "Gender fluidity"

Former leading Leftist in Australia, Mark Latham, writing below, is in many ways an old-fashioned Leftist -- still with good reality contact and not totally into destruction.  He says not only is the modern Left's post-structuralist agenda anti-reason, anti-science & anti-family, it is anti-education

WHEN John Maynard Keynes declared “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler a few years back”, he knew what he was talking about.

The craziest trend in Australian politics is to teach Neo-Marxist genderless programs in our schools through the Orwellian-named Safe Schools and Building Respectful Relationships (BRR) curriculum.

Even though Australian students are falling down the international league tables in maths, science and English, teachers are devoting class-time to the mechanics of breast-binding and penis-tucking.

As Keynes envisaged, the thinking behind this madness is distilled from an academic scribbler a few years back. BRR’s author, Debbie Ollis from Deakin University, has attributed the intellectual inspiration for the program to a “post-structural understanding of gender construction”, drawing on the work of a Welsh academic Christine Weedon in her book Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist Theory.

To understand what’s happening in today’s Labor Party and its attitude to education, Weedon’s tome is compulsory reading. I got my copy last week from the NSW State Library and was spellbound by its contents.

Parents deserve to know where the Safe Schools and BRR philosophy comes from, and Weedon brazenly sets out the ideology behind these new teaching materials.

Post-structuralism argues for a different way of looking at society, especially in understanding the nature of knowledge and learning.

Since the rise of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, people have applied reason, rationality and observable truths in trying to build a better life. Weedon regards this process as inherently misleading.

She thinks that from our first moments alive, we are brainwashed into accepting the social order around us.

Governments, schools, churches, the media, popular culture and even fashion trends combine to reinforce the “power relations” and dominance of capitalism.

The things we know from observing nature and studying science are dismissed as “biological determinism”.

So too notions of truth, commonsense and life-experience are disparaged as “historical constructs” — delivering “false consciousness” and tricking people into a misunderstanding of their best interests. For Weedon, the process of social conditioning denies its “own partiality”.

“It fails to acknowledge that it is but one possible version of meaning, rather than ‘truth’ itself and that it represents particular (political) interests.”

For instance, growing up with two straight parents is said to “lead to the acquisition by children of a heterosexual gendered identity”. Weedon writes of how: “For young girls, the acquisition of femininity involves a recognition that they are already castrated like their mother”, forcing them to submit to patriarchy, or male dominance. No one is immune from the process of false gender identity.

Individuals are said to be “sexual beings from birth”, reflected in the “initial bisexuality of the child”.

This is the kind of thinking behind the Start Early program developed by Early Childhood Australia (ECA), which teaches childcare and preschool infants about sexuality, cross-dressing and the opposite sex’s toilets.

An ECA spokeswoman has said that, “(young) children are sexual beings, it’s a strong part of their identity’’.

Most parents would be horrified by this stance but it’s become commonplace in the Australian education system.

Having lost the battle for economic and foreign policy in the 1980s, Neo-Marxists embarked on a long march through the institutions of the public sector, especially universities and schools.

Indoctrination programs like Safe Schools, BRR and Start Early are the inevitable result. This breaks the longstanding, bipartisan practice in Australian politics of keeping ideology out of schools.

The purpose of a quality education has been to equip young people with the knowledge and vocational skills of a civilised society. If graduating students wish to pursue social and political change, they can do so through the democratic process in their adult years.

Education has been relatively free from ideological indoctrination. But this is not the view of the new curriculum designers, with Ollis depicting schools as “in a unique position to educate for social change”.

Weedon also said she wants to engineer an androgynous “ungendered” society through classroom tutoring. The other key Leftist battleground is for the control of language.

Inspired by French post-structuralist Michel Foucault, Weedon writes, “If language is the site where meaningful experience is constituted (in capitalist societies) then language also determines how we perceive possibilities of change”.

This is why Safe Schools seeks to eradicate the use of terms like “his and her” and “boys and girls”.

It believes genderless language will produce a genderless generation of young Australians, self-selecting their sexuality as a fluid identity.

Political correctness is not an accident, a random form of censorship. It’s a carefully targeted campaign designed to outlaw the language of observable facts in the discussion of race, gender and sexuality.

For every commonsense ­aspect of life, there’s a PC push to eliminate identity differences. Weedon writes of how the “dominant meanings of language” force boys and girls “to differentiate between pink and blue and to understand their social connotations”.

“Little girls should look pretty and be compliant and helpful, while boys should be adventurous, assertive and tough … (shaping) their future social destinations within a patriarchal society”.

This pink/blue phobia is the basis of the Leftist ‘‘No Gender December’’ campaign, trying to outlaw gender-specific toys each year at Christmas.

The more I research the BRR and Safe Schools programs, the more bewildered I am as to how Labor leaders like Bill Shorten and Daniel Andrews endorsed this rubbish. Gough Whitlam must be turning in his grave.

The Great Man dedicated his life to the principles of the Age of Enlightenment: that rational, evidence-based argument could create a better and fairer society. Not only is the post-structuralist agenda anti-reason, anti-science and anti-family, it is also anti-education.

It wants to abandon the conventional process of learning through known facts and universally established truths, creating a borderless world of genderless individuals.

Australia’s political leaders are sleepwalking into an educational disaster.

As parents we need to make our views known to election candidates and school leaders alike. Anyone who has researched this issue will know we are fighting for the future of our civilisation.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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2 June, 2016

A self-inflicted death by crocodile

To go swimming late at night in an area famous for crocodiles and full of warning signs about them, that is truly a self-inflicted death -- for which little sympathy is appropriate.  Reading between the lines, she was probably drunk at the time.  In any case it was a Darwinian end.  Nature deals with maladaptive behaviour.

Pebbles Hooper got into trouble for referring to death from folly as "natural selection", so it will be amusing to see if my note here will get any reaction.  I think that what Pebbles said was a reasonable comment  -- but obviously too dispassionate for many. 

Do we always have to pity folly?  Can we not sometimes speak of it objectively?  Unless we can, there will undoubtedly be more of it


Pebbles Hooper



A woman who went missing after she was taken by a crocodile during a late-night swim was on holiday to celebrate the end of her childhood friend's cancer battle.

Cindy Waldron, 46, was swimming with her friend, Leeann Mitchell, at Daintree, north of Cairns, about 10pm on Sunday.

Ms Mitchell, from Cairns, had just completed a bout of chemotherapy and Ms Waldron, from Lithgow in New South Wales' east, was in north Queensland to support her friend, the New Zealand Herald reported.  There are crocodile warning signs on the side of the Daintree River near where the attack took place

Following the attack, federal MP Warren Entsch said the attack must not spark a hysterical debate about crocodile management in his electorate.

'You can't legislate against human stupidity,' he told AAP on Monday.

'This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there.'

'People have to have some level of responsibility for their own actions.'

SOURCE






‘Hating Jesus’: Liberals Declare Spiritual Warfare

When Tristan Emmanuel, managing publisher and CFO of BarbWire Books, called me and said it was time for me to put pen to paper and write a book on the anti-Christian left’s demonic war on religious liberty (and all things godly and good), I immediately agreed.

And so with the tireless help of my project partner – author, researcher, editor and veteran intelligence expert Paul Hair – I have now released my new book, “Hating Jesus: The American Left’s War on Christianity.”

Why did I write the book? Because it had to be written. God’s natural created order, His immutable, scientific and transcendent moral precepts, as well as the very lives and livelihoods of Christian Americans, are under vicious attack today at a level unprecedented in American history.

I had to sound the alarm. And I had to lay out a clear defensive strategy as to how we Christians might preserve our American, indeed our Christian, way of life.

What a mess our world is in. What a mess America is in. What a mess the church is in.

Depressed yet?

Isaiah 5:20 encapsulates, I believe, the cultural condition of much of the world, most of America and an alarmingly high percentage of those who belong, or at least claim to belong, to the body of Christ. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Calling evil good. That sums us up.

There are evil blasphemies beyond imagination being foisted upon the American people today by our own godless government in the name of “progress.” Things like presidential edicts that open up little girls’ showers to grown men; the sin-centric and oxymoronic notion of “gay marriage”; forced taxpayer funding of child sacrifice; and forced participation by Christ’s followers in all the above sins, under penalty of law, to name but a few.

Amid the final sprint to election 2016, the secular left’s utter disdain for both our Creator Christ and His faithful followers is fast approaching critical mass. Self-styled “progressives” – that is, America’s cultural Marxist agents of ruin – typically disguise their designs on despotism in the flowery and euphemistic language of “reproductive health,” “anti-discrimination,” “civil rights” and “multiculturalism.”

Just a few short decades ago a churchgoing man who publicly supported the right to life, backed laws protecting marriage and spoke freely of Christ’s love for fallen man would be universally recognized as a fine and upstanding citizen. He would be welcomed anywhere, including at the highest levels of power.

But things have changed. In today’s America, the progressive left actively endeavors to destroy such a man. Modern American liberals start by vilifying Christians. They then begin scheming, quite often with success, to get Christians terminated from employment and forever marked with a scarlet “C” to inhibit any future prospects for employment.

Next, they simultaneously attack their family and work to tear it apart, at once sending a warning shot over the bow of other Christians and pushing them to the fringes of society.

The ultimate goal? Conform to their pagan demands, or face incarceration.

American progressives have co-opted every elite institution: schools, government, the media, Hollywood and the arts – even, at an increasing rate, many conservative organizations. What’s worse is that progressivism has, like a deadly cancer, fully metastasized into what passes for the church in America. There is a great falling away afoot, and apostasy is widespread.

The secular left doesn’t merely have a disagreement with Christianity. These are not people with whom one may reason, compromise or even disagree. They are dedicated to evil. They demand nothing less than the abolition of the biblical worldview and the destruction of Christ’s followers right along with it.

Now is the time to fight back. If you are someone, Christian or not, who refuses to see Christianity wiped out (like it ever could be) and your children indoctrinated into pure evil, then sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.

In “Hating Jesus,” I first document how successful the American left has been in its War on Christianity and then conclude by providing both hope and a simple action plan on how the body of Christ can fight back against the enemies of God.

We live in dire times. But, with Christ, it’s never too late to turn the tide.

The American church has a problem. It’s one part fear, one part confusion and one part apathy. Pastors, priests and rabbis have long swallowed the false notion that all things religious and all things political are somehow mutually exclusive – that never the twain shall meet.

Nonsense. They’re one in the same.

Leading up to Ronald Reagan’s landslide presidential victory in 1980, Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University, captured the crux of the church’s apathy problem. “I’m being accused of being controversial and political,” he said. “I’m not political. But moral issues that become political, I still fight. It isn’t my fault that they’ve made these moral issues political. But because they have doesn’t stop the preachers of the Gospel from addressing them. …”

Nor does it stop those of us in the pews from standing right alongside them.

Indeed, it is not just within the church’s purview, but it is the church’s duty to insert itself into state matters relating to morality, public policy and culture at large.

The push back has begun. Christian governors, lawmakers, business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups have been given an ultimatum by the anti-Christian left: “Keep your Christianity at church and away from our culture!”

To which we say, “Not on your life.”

“Or our own.”

SOURCE






Obama Uses ObamaCare to Promote Gender Confusion

Once again, the Obama administration is determined to impose its version of reality on a resistant nation by using ObamaCare as its vehicle. On May 13, the same day the administration issued the transgender edicts granting access to public school bathrooms and locker rooms based on nothing more than self-identification, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a ruling in a similar vein. It bans discrimination based on “gender identity” by hospitals, clinics and other health care providers. Thus, the administration’s ongoing insistence that one’s state of mind trumps biological and genetic reality is being pushed in a new arena.

“Since 2010, we have had a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex in health care,” said Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “We never had that before. Sex discrimination was not prohibited in the health-care system.”

This ruling goes far beyond the parameters of sexual discrimination that Congress previously determined, as well as how the overwhelming majority of Americans understand the terms. ObamaCare’s Section 1557 explains that sexual discrimination is prohibited based on an individual’s sex, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions — as well as gender identity and sex stereotyping. And while the Obama administration acknowledges “the final rule does not resolve whether discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation status alone is a form of sex discrimination under Section 1557,” it warns that the Office of Civil Rights “will evaluate complaints that allege sex discrimination related to an individual’s sexual orientation to determine if they involve the sorts of stereotyping that can be addressed under Section 1557.”

In other words, fall into line or be subjected to the same loss of federal funding and/or possible government-sponsored litigation used to intimidate school districts, based on definitions of sexual discrimination unilaterally determined by the Obama administration.

That determination has far-reaching consequences. “By prohibiting differential treatment on the basis of ‘gender identity’ in health services, these regulations will penalize medical professionals and health care organizations that, as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional medical judgment, believe that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to be respected and affirmed, not altered or treated as diseases,” writes Heritage Foundation research fellow Ryan T. Anderson.

Consider the consequences arising from government demanding specific medical judgments with regard to transgenderism. For example, if a patient demands sex reassignment surgery, will a doctor covered by the new edict be forced to perform it, even if it goes against his medical judgment?

What about the reality that the American College of Pediatricians thoroughly rejects the Left’s entire construct on the subject? How does the Obama administration reconcile ACP’s warning that suicide rates “are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery” or that making children believe “a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse”? How does it run roughshod over the assertion made by Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital — a facility that no longer does sex change operations — who insists abiding such medical procedures amounts to collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder?

With regard to religious conviction, on May 15 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously [ruled] in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian organizations that refused to abide by the administration’s mandate forcing them to provide employees with contraceptives, including abortifacients. SCOTUS sent the case back to the lower courts with the message that they should accommodate people of faith and prevent their consciences from being violated.

It would appear the medical community is on much firmer ground. First, there is nothing in the Constitution that allows the administration to unilaterally rewrite law or trample on states' rights in pursuit of an agenda. Second, and far more important, it is virtually impossible to believe the U.S. Supreme Court (if any case goes that far) would overrule a doctor’s medical judgment — with possibly damaging or deadly health results — to satisfy an ideological viewpoint arising from government fiat.

Yet why let it reach that point at all? Congress must reassert its authority over the process of crafting law, ensuring the Obama administration cannot use its interpretation of statutes such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to blackmail the nation — and not just regarding the definition of sexual identity.

It is critically important for Americans to remember the advance of regressive ideology is wholly dependent on incrementalism. Re-defining sexual identity is not an end unto itself. It is merely another means in pursuit of the ultimate agenda: unassailable power. And nothing will give that agenda more of a boost than the Obama administration successfully asserting that reality itself is nothing more than a state of mind.

As of now, the new ObamaCare rules will take effect in July and apply to all health care providers receiving federal funds. Thus, medical professionals and health care institutions will be forced to abandon professional ethics, reasonable medical judgment and personal conscience in favor of a radical political agenda. “All at once, the government is changing the way it interprets the law on gender and discrimination,” writes The Atlantic’s senior associate editor, Emma Green. “It’s a relatively new area of civil-rights law, but soon enough, it might just be part of the status quo.”

What status quo? “Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend,” writes columnist Jonah Goldberg. Maybe not right now, but that’s exactly the status quo the American Left and the Obama administration is pursuing.

And a footnote: The timing of Obama’s latest extraconstitutional executive decree on the states, is, as we have noted previously, to divert conservative political capital away from where it needs to be focused for the next six months – on Hillary Clinton.

SOURCE






In dispute with KIND foods, the FDA eats its words

RESEARCHING THIS COLUMN was an innocent pleasure: I had to sample several KIND energy bars to see if they were, as advertised, “healthy and tasty.” I started with the Madagascar Vanilla Almond, moved on to Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut, then savored the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. In three 1.4-ounce nibbles I had consumed 530 calories. But the healthy kind, right?

I packed on the pounds in the spirit of scientific inquiry, because KIND bars are at the center of an effort by the federal Food and Drug Administration to redefine the term “healthy” in the wake of a settlement with the snack company. In March 2015 the FDA sent KIND a warning letter objecting to the use of the word “healthy” on four varieties of its fruit and nut bars because, though relatively low in sugar and sodium, they exceeded the FDA standard (three grams per serving) for fat. The FDA also objected to certain claims about fiber, antioxidants, and even the use of the + sign, which has a specialized meaning in the FDA’s code.

The company shot back with a citizens’ petition signed by 16 nutritionists attesting that not all fats are created equal and — citing the federal government’s own 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans — that fats from nuts (or avocados, or olive oil) can indeed be healthful.

Earlier this month the the FDA yielded, agreeing that “our regulations concerning nutrient content claims are due for a re-evaluation in light of evolving nutrition research.” But changing FDA rules can take years; the federal government has been debating the term “natural” since the moldy 1970s. So the FDA offered a split-the-baby-kale compromise: The company can put “healthy” on its packaging again, so long as it uses the term only “as part of its corporate philosophy” and not to make any nutritional claims. In other words, “healthy” is fine as long as it has nothing to do with, you know, health.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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1 June, 2016

The sad tale of Ina Drew



One for the feminists.  There are rather a lot of women running very large companies these days.  Did the men who put them in those roles know about Ina Drew?  It is hard to imagine that they did.  Ina Drew undoubtedly got her job because of what she had between her legs.  Surely she's a warning about doing that:  From Wikipedia:

Ina R. Drew is a former high-ranking executive on Wall Street. She was the Chief Investment Officer for JPMorgan Chase before resigning after the company suffered a trading loss of $9 billion in April/May 2012. A report produced by the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that she did not understand the trading strategy, and could not explain it to the subcommittee. Furthermore, she lied to the subcommittee by stating she had not seen or received the "decision table" which outlined the various trading options for her in January 2012.

She was one of very few high-ranking female executives on Wall Street. "Until the loss was disclosed late Thursday [May 10, 2012], Drew was considered by some market participants as one of the best managers of balance-sheet risks. She earned more than $15 million in each of the last two years."

Her reported compensation for 2011 was $14 million. In 1993, she was profiled as one of "40 under 40" by Crain's New York Business. She was CIO of JP Morgan Chase & Co. since February 2005. "Prior to that she was Head of Global Treasury [at JPM]".

She earned a master's degree in international economics from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Drew and her husband have been residents of the Short Hills neighborhood of Millburn, New Jersey.






Food correctness at the FDA

Thanks to pressure from Michelle Obama’s campaign to end obesity, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an update to the nutrition facts label that may or may not disregard nutritional science. Thanks to the regulatory tweak, food manufacturers must now print the calorie count larger and disclose how much added sugar the food contains. The change was based off the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which The Washington Free Beacon notes was created without the help of any expert who focused on sugars. So the change on sugar labeling was based on what sounded good. Actual food scientists find that consuming food with added sugar isn’t as insidious as the Obama administration might like everyone to believe.

A dozen scientists — including an expert that worked on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines— wrote in a letter to the government, “We are concerned that U.S. public health policy in this area may be progressing down a path that history suggests to be counterproductive. Specifically, the FDA’s proposed rule revising the Nutrition Facts Label with regard to an added sugars declaration … lacks both the scientific rigor based on careful consideration or evidence-based reviews and a thorough appraisal of unintended consequences that will surely arise.”

Trusting big government’s ideal diet has always been a dubious proposition. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines, for example, implore citizens to eat a diet with climate change in mind. Ideally, the government would like you to lay off the red meat to lessen everyone’s environmental impact. And it wasn’t too long ago that the government scared everyone away from eggs, a source of inexpensive protein. This nutrition label change is merely par for the course.

SOURCE






Deborah Samson Fought for Liberty, Not a Required Draft

In 1782, a 21-year-old lady wrapped her chest with linen bandages, styled her hair into a more masculine fashion and donned a uniform of the Continental Army on her 5-foot, 7-inch frame — a smidge taller than the average 5-foot female of the day. Deborah Samson was one of several women during the Revolutionary War who disguised themselves as men to fight in battle, either out of patriotism for our fledgling nation or desire to keep their family together by fighting alongside a spouse.

Ms. Samson received an honorable discharge at West Point for fighting 17 months on the field of battle.

Today, there are talented women serving our nation within the military by pursuing careers and exercising their tremendous skills. Our nation is grateful for and is served honorably by our all-volunteer fighting force.

Yet back in 2013, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ordered reviews that would lift all gender-based restrictions within the military for the purpose of complete integration of women into all combat positions by 2016.

The announcement by the Obama administration’s current Secretary of State Ash Carter in December 2015 that “there will be no exceptions” to roles of military combat based on gender was regaled by the Left as a victory for women. We all know the military exists for the purpose of social integration and experimentation, right?

This new status of gender neutrality has now created the natural conflict within the current practice of the Selective Service, the government agency that enforces the federal mandate that “all male persons” register within 30 days of their 18th birthday for military conscription, or draft, in the case of a national security need. This registration data must be kept current until the male is 26 years of age. Failure to comply may result in a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

As part of the enforcement, young men seeking financial aid using the U.S. Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must indicate their status as a current registrant in the Selective Service in the qualification process.

Yet the Selective Service website now declares, “Females as well as female-to-male transgender individuals who identify as male or have had sexual reassignment surgery are not required to register.”

Just last week, the U.S. House Rules Committee stripped a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would equally mandate the military conscription to women. Despite the U.S. House Armed Forces Committee narrowly approving female inclusion in the draft, Rules Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas described the notion as “reckless policy” in “coercing America’s daughters to sign up for the Selective Service.”

The U.S. Senate’s version of the NDAA includes the mandatory draft registration for both men and women, which will take effect in 2018. The conflicting versions of the defense bill guarantees a House-Senate Conference Committee and a guarantee of more debate.

Despite the military not using conscription since 1973, the dread of the draft remains as another avenue through which the federal government exerts its control. The debate surrounding this topic seems to be currently driven by one’s view of the role of women in our society, with some fearfully standing with the politically correct crowd calling for equality.

The debate should, instead, be driven by the discussion about the purpose of the U.S. Military. Does the military function under the priority of equality and “rights,” or to defend our nation from all enemies foreign and domestic?

Granted, many roles within the U.S. Armed Forces are led with excellence by those of the female chromosomal mix who are truly our “she-roes” of Liberty. But what if data existed that demonstrated a difference in outcomes between all-male teams versus mixed-gender within certain roles?

Published in the Marine Corps Times in September 2015, a nine-month study demonstrated “Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels, completed tasks more slowly and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts.” According to the article, the Marines spent about $36 million to review and study the impact of combat integration through the lens of outcomes, not social equality. The analysis further showed “female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall.”

This information was made available prior to the Obama administration’s elimination of gender criteria for combat. A schism obviously exists. There are those who acknowledge through deduction, common sense and real data that women may not be equal to men in successfully completing some tasks simply based on strength, size and endurance. And there are those who claim there is no difference without any regard to outcomes or the actual purpose of a mission.

So while the Left continues in its “transformation” of our nation and every institution thereof, society continues to be asked to vacate common sense and wisdom in making critical decisions, such as our national security and combat readiness.

Deborah Samson and the lady patriots of the Revolutionary War stood in the gap to defend the freedom of an infant nation extracting itself from the clutches of tyranny. Today tyranny is disguised as the political activism of those who disregard the integrity and performance of critical institutions such as our military.

So, ladies, pursue the honor of defending our freedoms. At the same time, prepare to be endangered by those who operate from the foundation of fear and to be criticized by the politically correct police and the Left media, both of which oppose sound judgment and reason.

One could easily argue that our activist culture is so busy making women equal that the female gender is in danger of losing its value.

SOURCE






Australian Leftist leader: ‘Systemic racism’ still exists in Australia as there’s no agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people

He falls at the first hurdle.  The country was NOT taken away from Aborigines.  They still live here.  And that others also now live here actually gives them rights and privileges that they never had in their tribal past.

But this racism accusation is deplorable  coming from someone who thinks he can lead the country. He calls Australians racist but still wants their vote.  Does that make him a racist too? Hate clearly blinds him.  But Leftists do tend to hate the society they live in so it is not really surprising.

And if there is "systematic" racism, where is it?  Where is the system or systems concerned?  The only systematic racism I know of is the various affirmative action policies of the Federal and State governments -- which  give privileges to blacks that are not available to whites.  That is certainly systematic racism but Shorten is presumably not condemning that.  His party is behind much of the racism concerned.

And to call racist a country that has for many decades welcomed immigrants from all over the world is the height of absurdity.  Few countries have been as welcoming to foreigners as Australia.  But Australia has always tried to select migrants in a way that excludes problem people and still insists on that right of selection.  People who try to sneak in the back door are not sent away because of their race but because of their contempt for reasonable Australian laws.

That Aborigines live in a way that most whites deplore is their affair.  If unemployed, they get the same dole money as any other unemployed person and many unemployed people live civilized lives.  I lived on the dole for a couple of years in my youth and I lived quite well.  Nobody would have thought me to be pitied.

There is no doubt that Aborigines envy whites some things but the solution to that is to work for what they want.  Australia now has a very large minority of East Asian people who are very prosperous and contribute a great deal to the community.  But many arrived here penniless and unable to speak English. And, like Aborigines, they look different.  That they have nonetheless done so well shows that the opportunity is there for everyone in Australia. 

If Aborigines fail to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, that is their decision and it should be respected.  Let us not criticize them for being loyal to their own traditions



OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has declared “systemic racism is still far-too prevalent” and says there isn’t “fundamental agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people”.

Mr Shorten made the comments at a Reconciliation Australia Dinner in Melbourne, after campaigning in Darwin on indigenous affairs issues.  “Systemic racism is still far-too prevalent,” he said.

“The insidious nature of stubborn racism is still a reality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals — regardless of the status and stature they achieve in our society.

“Every generation of Aboriginal athlete, from Doug Nicholls to Nicky Winmar to Michael Long to Adam Goodes has known this.”

Mr Shorten said he knew “racism is not true of most Australians”, and that he was proud of those who stand up to it.

But he also acknowledged there was more to be done as “this sense of discrimination percolates down to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the street every day”.

Mr Shorten said real equality came from “being truthful”.

“Right now, there is not fundamental agreement about how the country was taken from Aboriginal people,” he said.

“Or the issues about settlement, and colonisation.

“We need a process to find the common ground, on such matters, for the common good of our nation.”

Mr Shorten went on to say the “disgraceful fiction of the doctrine of terra nullius has been disproved”.

“But without a future framework agreed with Aboriginal people, all the arguments from 1788 onwards will continue to plague us,” he said.

“Our goal should be to agree to a future which gives us all pride and respect.”

The Opposition leader went on to say it was important to acknowledge there was “unfinished business — and there are new pathways to be developed”.

“The reconciliation process has provided a constructive opportunity for our nation to find agreement on these fundamental issues — or at least help us settle them,” he said.

“But the concept of Reconciliation has — for too long — been split by some into a false dichotomy.

“‘Practical’ reconciliation on one hand — and ‘symbolic’ actions like compensation and agreements on the other.

“The truth is we need agreement on both paths.”

The Opposition Leader said the nation could not truly celebrate its achievements in the area of indigenous affairs while was “still a sense of injustice lingering in the hearts and minds of the first Australians”.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray






(Isaiah 62:1)


A 19th century Democrat political poster below:








Leftist tolerance



Bloomberg



JFK knew Leftist dogmatism



The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog



A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?


Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair



Enough said



There really is an actress named Donna Air


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


Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners


Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.


The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole


Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males


Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations


Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.


I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.


I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass


Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies


The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here 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


RELIGION:

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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