PC WATCH Mirror by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH 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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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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19 April, 2016

Socialism at work in Venezuela

First no toilet paper, now no phones and TV: Cash-strapped Venezuela faces yet more shortages in day-to-day basics. Other countries with little or no oil provide well for their people so blaming Venezuela's problems on the oil price is just an evasion

Venezuela faces yet more shortages in day-to-day basics as the global drop in oil prices causes a cash crisis in the country. 

People in the South American nation have already suffered daily, unscheduled water and electricity cuts and now many are going without the use of television and phone-lines.

Venezuela is heavily dependent on the sale of petrol and the negative change in the market has drastically effected its debt-ridden government.

Ministers say oil revenue went from $37.2bn in 2014 to $12.6bn this year, while President Nicolas Maduro owes private telecoms and cable firms $700million.

The mammoth debt means companies cannot pay their international suppliers, resulting in services in certain parts of the country being cut.

To make things worse, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has announced it will temporarily suspend its long distance phone service for calls to countries such as the United States, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Colombia and Panama, this week.

Mobile phone company Digitel, which is privately owned, has also halted long distance calling services and international roaming since April 9, because it cannot reach an agreement with providers on new payment timetables.

While the idea of not being able to make calls is bad enough, other Venezuelans have also been unable to watch their favourite shows.

State-run television company, Cantv, has stopped broadcasting as it says it must review contracts with providers of both local and international content.

Subscriber Isael Gonzalez, 46, said: 'For two weeks now, I have lost six of my favorite channels.

'They were the ones showing movies and cartoons - so I decided to unplug the whole thing. What use is it if the channels I like are off air?'

Drisley Petaquero, 36, also said several channels had been cut from her father's Directv pay-TV service. She said: 'Especially the ones showing comics - there used to be five and now there are just two'  'He complained to the company and they told him they were performing maintenance work.'

The state regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission, admits there is a problem blames the country's financial crisis.

Phone firms are desperate to raise their rates in order to recoup cash and industry sources say Telefonica's mobile branch Movistar won a 35 percent rise, with inflation at 181 percent, last year.

While phone and TV firms are in chaos, Maduro said that from May 1, he planned to change Venezuela's time scheme in a bid to save the country's energy. In a further effort to save electricity, he also decreed Monday a holiday, on top of a Tuesday national anniversary.

The president had already given public workers Fridays off, and raised eyebrows by urging women to cut usage of hair dryers.

The power problems have added to suffering from the world's highest inflation, shortages of basic goods such as toilet paper, and lengthy lines at shops around the nation.

One opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, said the president was giving holidays not because of the power situation but to delay the formal steps needed to trigger a referendum.

'He will end in the rubbish-bin of political history,' Capriles scoffed on Twitter. 'As he has never liked working, he wants the whole country to be like that.'

SOURCE







Under government medical care it's too bad if your illness requires an expensive drug to treat it

The whole original rationale for Britain's National Health Service was that ill people should not be restricted by cost when they needed treatment.  In fact, the NHS practices severe rationing on the basis of cost -- an outcome the opposite of the original intention -- the common fate of Leftist ideas,

A drug hailed as a ‘breakthrough’ that could transform the lives of people suffering from the debilitating lung condition cystic fibrosis has been rejected as too costly by the NHS medicines watchdog.

MPs and charities have condemned the decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to reject Orkambi, which has been shown to reduce infection and can cut the number of hospital admissions by more than 60 per cent in those with the lung condition.

The twice-a-day tablet thins mucus build-up in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferers, preventing further damage and allowing the lungs to heal.

But in draft guidance, NICE says that at £104,000 a year, the drug isn’t cost-effective.

It adds that while Orkambi reduces a sudden worsening of symptoms requiring hospitalisation, benefits to lung function – a marker of how CF patients are improving overall – are ‘modest’.

Experts say that while not a cure, Orkambi could allow many to lead near-normal lives without the need for a transplant.

MPs have called for a reform of the way drugs are approved for NHS use. Labour Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne said: ‘It’s no surprise NICE is having to make this type of decision when the NHS is facing financial crisis. Ministers need to give patients the assurance that reform of drugs pricing will finally happen.’

Fellow Labour MP Ian Austin says the ‘massive’ quality-of-life improvement Orkambi offers for sufferers – such as his constituent Carly Jeavons, who is taking the drug – must be considered.

'The Government has to work with NICE to ensure the rules on commissioning new treatments take account of the longer and more productive lives that these drugs offer.’

About 10,000 Britons have CF. A transplant may be necessary if the lungs become extensively damaged, and average life expectancy is 41.

Orkambi is licensed to treat people who have a specific genetic defect known as the F508del mutation. About 2,750 people in England have this genotype.

The drug works to correct a faulty gene which causes a sticky mucus build-up in the lungs, causing infection, breathing difficulties and loss of lung function.

Global trials involving 1,100 CF patients found that lung function improved after 24 weeks in all patients taking Orkambi.

SOURCE






Why Corporations Oppose Religious Liberty

Georgia state Senator William Ligon asks but does not answer a question on today's Wall Street Journal op-ed page: “Why Are Companies Taking Sides Against Religious Liberty?” The question is raised by the ferocious corporate response to attempts in Georgia and other states to reinforce at the state level religious protections already guaranteed by federal law. The New York Times, a former newspaper, has scurrilously and dishonestly labeled these "Anti-Gay Laws," because they would prevent priests and pastors from being forced to perform gay marriages against their faiths and consciences.

Ligon notes that businesses have been quick to bring pressure to defeat such laws:

Disney and Marvel threatened to pull production of the “Avengers” film franchise from the Peach State, and the cable channel AMC vowed to take its “Walking Dead” series elsewhere. The NFL warned that it might drop Atlanta from consideration to host a Super Bowl. Dozens of Georgia companies urged Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bill, which he did on March 28.

This is, by now, a familiar playbook. Last year the furor was enormous after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a religious-freedom bill. Indiana employers called for its repeal, and the NCAA threatened to pull the Final Four tournament from the basketball-crazed state. Under intense pressure, the legislature quickly passed a “fix” that undermined standard RFRA [federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act] protections.

North Carolina finds itself targeted over a common-sense new law blocking cities and counties from forcing businesses to give transgender people access to the bathroom of their choice. If a restaurant owner wants to allow transgender people to use their preferred bathroom, that’s no problem. The new law simply prevents local governments from forcing business owners to adopt such a policy.

Yet the Tar Heel State now faces an onslaught. More than 120 corporations have demanded the law’s repeal, and the Obama administration is reviewing federal aid to the state. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned travel there by state employees, even as he promotes travel and trade with communist Cuba.

Apparently puzzled by all this, Ligon quotes a study showing "economic competitiveness is stronger in countries with fewer government restrictions on religious liberty." But what on earth makes him think corporations are interested in competition? Corporations and other successful businesses love big government precisely because it stifles competition. The big guys can pay lawyers to cut through government red tape while the little guy with a better idea and a cheaper price is crushed beneath taxes and regulations.

What big corporations hate is freedom of the individual conscience, internally governed families, and churches powerful enough to stand up to the make-believe righteousness of government decrees. All of these things tend to generate independent action and thoughtful morality which can get in the way of profits. People who think for themselves and pray with others tend to be a little less quick to watch the latest soul-degrading film or half-time show or to buy a product simply because it's the going thing.

Freedom is good for business in general, but it is not good for an individual business that has already made it to the top. Where freedom and competition thrive, prices fall and good ideas rise. Where government coerces, where government pays the freight, where government grants you "rights" to the labor and products of others, prices soar and good ideas that threaten the status quo are trampled under and left behind.

Virtually every founding father declared that American-style freedom could not exist without true religion. "It is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand," as John Adams put it. As true religion fades, as families cease to operate as independent governing units, the power of the powerful to coerce grows stronger. And when the powerful can coerce the powerless, big business profits.

Thus the left — which always accomplishes exactly the opposite of what it says it intends — serves big business with its ethos of "inclusion," which is really an ethos of coercion in disguise. Of course corporations will fight to defend that. It's meat and potatoes to them.

SOURCE






Australia: Protect kids from Marxist sexualisation programs

There are few forms of predation that offend our common morality more than child sexual abuse. During the 1970s, pedophile groups capitalising on the sexual liberation movement sought to redefine their exploitation of youth as an expression of children’s sexual rights, self-determination and autonomy. Groups such as the North American Man/Boy Love Association claimed children were sexual beings and sought to repeal age of consent laws to liberate their sexuality. They were welcomed by fringe elements of the neo-Marxist minorities movement that advocated sexual libertarian ideology under Queer and “sex positive” politics.

Today, the discourse on children’s sexual rights and the belief they are sexual beings are invoked to justify school programs that sexualise youth at ever younger ages.

Daniel Andrews’ Labor left government in Victoria invokes neo-Marxist rhetoric to defend highly questionable school programs that encourage the sexualisation of children. The Safe Schools Coalition and Building Respectful Relationships programs were introduced using minority politics as the rationale. In each case, a state-designated minority group and political cause are aligned in a program of social change that uses youth as change agents. Program designers create an urgent health case for government funding without causal evidence to validate a linear relationship between program activities and core objectives.

The Safe Schools program was created for the state-designated minority group LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) for the cause of anti-bullying with the stated objective to improve health outcomes. The program encourages young people to become change agents for the cause of sexual ­diversity. When the program was criticised by conservative Senator Cory Bernardi, Labor leader Bill Shorten accused him of homophobia. After community outrage following revelations that program co-founder Roz Ward designed Safe Schools as part of a Marxist social change strategy, the liberal coalition withdrew commonwealth funding beyond 2017. Despite the Marxist objective of the Safe Schools program — or perhaps because of it ­­­— Daniel Andrews continues to defend it.

His education minister James Merlino vilified politicians concerned about the hard Left’s indoctrination of children, calling them “bigots”. It is uncertain what pejoratives Merlino, a heterosexual married man, has devised for the lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who oppose Queer politics and the Safe Schools program.

Unfortunately, the SSC debacle is not isolated. Last week, it transpired that the Andrews government had produced another school program that sexualises children. As with the SSC program, Building Respectful Relationships began with a state-designated minority group, women, aligned with the important cause of domestic violence prevention. The case for government funding was again framed as a health imperative, namely, the prevention of violence against women. And once again, the program was introduced in schools without causal evidence linking its exercises to the stated objective.

Like Safe Schools, the BRR program promotes a radical agenda divorced from its stated program objective. It promotes the sexualisation of children by inculcating techniques and beliefs centred on the premise that children are sexual. Instructors are encouraged to sexualise children, and children to sexualise themselves and their peers. They are asked to view highly sexualised personal ads and write their own, discuss transgenderism and anal sex. Program authors acknowledge that one exercise may cause “disassociation” in children.

Sexualising and inducing a dissociative state in children are methods of pedophilic predation. They are not methods of domestic violence prevention.

It is increasingly common to find the sexualisation of very young children promoted as part of sex education in schools. In 2009, the United Nations produced International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. The first iteration met with controversy after conservatives revealed it sexualised prepubescent children by promoting masturbation. The offending sections were removed only after public outcry.

NGOs have joined the UN in a push for radical sexual programs aimed at youth under the auspices of sexual diversity and sexual health. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation claims that “the taboo on youth sexuality is one of the key forces driving the AIDS epidemic”. In fact, the premature sexualisation of youth, especially the exploitation of girls for prostitution and other harmful cultural practices, have been key drivers of HIV transmission in Southeast Asia and Africa for ­decades. Despite the fact, the IPPF asserts repeatedly that “young people are sexual beings” and criticises the Catholic Church for imposing barriers on young people, denying “pleasurable and positive aspects of sex”. Its solution is comprehensive sexuality education, which it describes as perhaps “the single most important gift that parents can offer to their children”.

The Netherlands government promotes comprehensive sexuality education in what some call the Dutch model. Under the Dutch CSE model, schoolchildren begin sexual programs at four years of age. Modules for young children include “what feels nice” and “does bare make you blush?” Lessons marketed under the “Spring Fever” package include “being naked”, a module that explores nudity, undressing and being in the bath.

It is unclear why any adult would solicit an account of how a child undresses or why the Dutch state would mandate such discussion in schools. CSE advocates defend their programs with studies that indicate efficacy, but mainly in comparison to abstinence programs. There is a more moderate middle path that provides children requisite knowledge in biology, safety from violence and mutual respect without encouraging their sexualisation in activities that resemble grooming.

The sexualisation of childhood by governments and NGOs should be a source of broad community concern. The state has no business interfering in childhood by conditioning children’s sexual responses. As a whole, parents remain the best arbiters of their children’s morality and guardians of their development. Australian children are ranked 14th in literacy and 19th in mathematics according to OECD reports. Governments should take remedial classes in teaching kids the basics of reading, writing and arithmetical instead of indulging messianic pretensions to parenting by proxy.

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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18 April, 2016

Food correctness: Nutrition researchers are undermining science with censorship

The censoring food scientists below demonstrate that they are food faddists and  not scientists at all.  The faddist has beliefs that he is invested in and which must be defended.  A scientist just wants to find what the truth is.  As far as I can see there is no such thing as a "healthy" diet.  Many people remain healthy on quite extreme diets.  So I have no dog in the fight below

In the past couple of years, debate about attacks on free speech has focused on university campuses and the willingness to prevent the discussion of certain ideas. Certain ideas are offensive, we are told, and the feelings of students need to be protected. Far from university being a home for the unencumbered exchange of ideas, anything outside a narrow mainstream is now regarded as verboten.

But things are just as bad within academia itself, particularly at the point where research and policy meet. This has long been the case in the highly politicised world of climate science, but a recent incident involving nutrition science and policy shows that the notion of catastrophic manmade climate change is not the only issue regarded as too important to be debated.

Nina Teicholz is the author of The Big Fat Surprise (read spiked’s review), which argues against the idea that eating fat, particularly saturated fat, is a major cause of heart disease and other illnesses. Teicholz argues that the claim that eating fat is killing us was promoted aggressively by a handful of researchers who lobbied and bullied their way on to a range of policymaking committees until ‘fat is bad’ became official policy and unquestioned orthodoxy. In reality, there has long been plenty of evidence that eating fat is not a problem, and Teicholz argues that the effect of fat’s demonisation has been to push our diets towards an excess of carbohydrate, which she believes is the true culprit in the rise of obesity and diabetes.

Given that this view is a significant challenge to mainstream thinking, it would be valuable for it to be widely discussed. That’s the way science is supposed to work – existing ideas are challenged and either refined or overthrown as new evidence and thinking emerges. Yet those in the nutrition-research establishment, who vehemently disagree with Teicholz, have preferred to close down debate rather than challenge her ideas.

The latest example of this came at the National Food Policy Conference in Washington, DC last week. Teicholz was due to speak on a panel titled ‘Turning nutrition science into policy’. She was planning on criticising the revamped 2015 Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) for ignoring recent evidence that calls into question previous advice. As she told me by email, in her view, ‘the guidelines themselves, by shifting consumption from fat to carbs, actually played a role in causing the obesity/diabetes epidemics’.

But rather than having the debate out in public, she was no-platformed by the other speakers. ‘I was told that all three members of the panel refused to participate with me’, she said. The conference organisers, who had previously been keen to have her speak, disinvited her a couple of weeks beforehand and replaced her with Maureen Storey, president and CEO of the Alliance for Potato Research and Education – hardly someone who would argue that carbohydrate is a cause of health problems.

Who gets invited to speak at a conference or write in a publication is not a free-speech issue in itself. Event organisers and editors have every right to decide what kind of discussions or articles they want. But disinviting someone under pressure from their critics, and simply for holding views they have already expressed in public and were the basis of the original invitation, is worrying. The organisers should have held their nerve and let Teicholz speak, even if her fellow panellists refused to join her.

As Teicholz tells me: ‘In nutrition science, the mainstream has been very reluctant to embrace debate on issues of fat and carbs. Alternative points of view are not represented in conferences and very little in most of the mainstream press.’ Indeed, she says, those who are open to debate are bullied into pulling back, making it difficult for those researching low-carb diets to get published.

This was not the first time Teicholz had been on the receiving end of censorship. After the DGAs were announced in 2015, she wrote a long article for the British Medical Journal (BMJ) criticising both the content of the guidelines and the manner in which they were prepared. After an exchange of responses (all on the BMJ website), the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a high-profile lobby group, organised a letter demanding that the BMJ retract the original article. Rather than encouraging the widest possible debate about Teicholz’s theory, the CSPI and others, including leading researchers at Harvard and Yale, seemed more interested in suppressing it.

There is a clear public interest in trying to understand why obesity rates spiked upwards from the early Eighties onwards, and why there has been a rapid rise in the diagnosis and prevalence of type-2 diabetes. The orthodox view is that we live in an ‘obesogenic’ environment, combining easy access to the wrong food pushed by profit-obsessed corporations with fewer opportunities for meaningful exercise. Teicholz argues that it is the shift in our eating habits, driven by official advice, that is to blame. That’s an interesting idea and one that deserves discussion and scrutiny.

Of course, Teicholz might be wrong, but by shutting down debate, we don’t get the chance to decide for ourselves. The nutrition-science establishment has decided to protect us from such dangerous thinking, lest we foolishly eat the wrong things or – heaven forbid – start to question their authority. This closing of ranks and shutting of minds in the highest echelons of academia and policymaking is as dangerous as the current shenanigans of censorious students.

SOURCE







A new low in feminist imbecility:  They think that sexually transmitted infections are to be proud of

 It’s Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Month, and what better way to promote awareness than... being loud and proud by sharing "I have an STI" with the public?

This liberal trend hasn’t hit the media just yet. Silly me for thinking STI Awareness Month (I wasn’t aware there was such a thing) would have something to do with the education of STI’s and prevention. Instead, we have feisty feminists claiming "victimhood" because they have an STI and are tired of the "stigma" surrounding it. Welcome to the strange-pride generation. 

In light of STI Awareness Month, some feminists took to issuing a Twitter hashtag campaign #ShoutYourStatus, where women can declare they have an STI because…courage or something.  Yes, there’s actually an entire page devoted to "…the amazing reason women are telling the world they have STIs."  The #ShoutYourStatus campaign was a creation of writer Ella Dawson, along with social work student Kayla Axelrod, freelance writer Britni de la Cretaz, and writer/activist Lachrista Greco Their goal is to promote a more open conversation about living with STIs.

In a recent interview with Revelist, an online publication that "media publication delivering quality content to millennial women," de la Cretaz stated, "The truth of the matter is, many people are living, and living happily, as STI+ people… "Being able to be publicly open about my status as someone with genital herpes is a privilege and I want to use that privilege to help other people feel less alone." She even tweeted the following:

That’s news to me – there are more people that have STI’s than don’t?  I did a quick Google search on "how many people have STI’s" and it shows the answer to be in the millions, so it’s safe to say de la Cretaz has no idea what the heck she’s talking about.

As Robert Stacy McCain points out on his blog, The Other McCain, "Britni de la Cretaz is a recovering alcoholic who has described substance abuse as a way women 'cope with the weight of living in a white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy.' De la Cretaz has argued that sexually transmitted diseases 'should be destigmatized' because people infected with these diseases suffer 'discrimination . . . fueled by harmful stereotypes . . . rooted in misinformation and scare tactics.' De la Cretaz says the 'myth' that women with sexually transmitted diseases are promiscuous involves 'sex-shaming and a whole lot of misogyny'.

Even more outrageous than women giving Twitter a shout out that they have an STI, is the fact that there’s a woman going around teaching 7th graders that her STI didn’t keep her from having a "fulfilling sex life" and actually made her sex life "healthier and more satisfying than before." That woman’s name is Emily DePasse, a graduate of Salisbury University where she majored in Gender and Sexuality Studies -- of course she did. McCain writes:

DePasse designed her own sex education curriculum, after she said the opportunity to teach the class "fell into my lap…" and "kicked off" her celebration of STI Awareness Month by talking about her "herpes story" with her students. She reflected: "Teaching sex ed this week has taught me that it really, really, REALLY needs to happen over the course of childhood."

DePasse apparently got her assignment to teach sex to seventh-graders at Baltimore Friends School through an internship with "If I Knew," which describes itself on Facebook as a "prevention education project of Jewish Community Services" in Baltimore.

What prevention? There’s no teaching of prevention when there are women like DePasse and her feminist posse who advocate that having an STI is like wearing a red badge of courage, but in reality, it’s the equivalent to wearing the scarlet letter.

SOURCE







Germs Greer under fire for her transgender comments

Controversial feminist and author Germaine Greer has come under fire after she suggested people who identify as transgender have no way of 'knowing' they have been born the incorrect sex.

The host of ABC's Q&A Tony Jones, interrupted Greer to question why she continued to 'dig herself a hole' after she said men who feel 'uncomfortable in the masculine system' do not necessarily belong 'at the other end of the spectrum'.

'If you're a 50-year-old truck driver who's had four children with a wife and you've decided the whole time you've been a woman, I think you're probably wrong,' she said on the program on Monday night.

Greer then went on to suggest the achievements of transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner makes the 'rest of the female population of the world feel slightly wry.'

Jenner was named one of Glamour magazine's 25 Women of the Year in 2015 and Greer accused the former Olympian of 'wanting the limelight' her other family members were enjoying.

'Women are constantly being told that they are not satisfactory as women, that other people make better women than they do,' Greer said on the program.

'The woman of the year may be Caitlin Jenner which makes the rest of the female population of the world feel slightly wry.

'I don't believe that a man who has lived for 40 years as a man and had children with a woman and enjoyed the services - the unpaid services - of a wife, that he then decides that the whole time he's been a woman

'You believed you were a woman but you married another woman. That wasn't fair, was it?'

Tasmanian Labor Senator Lisa Singh and Jones interrupted Greer to ask her view on individuals who know they have been born the wrong sex.

The 77-year-old shot back by saying Australia has a problem with the word 'know' as a transgender person cannot 'know what the other sex is'.

'At the beginning of your answer I thought you were digging yourself out of the hole and now I wonder if you've just shovelled it back in,' Jones said.

The panel - which included retired psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple, Liberal MP Sharman Stone and Aria award winner Joseph Tawadros - then went on to discuss the European Commission's ruling sex assignment surgery on newborn babies was deemed unethical.

Greer agreed with the ruling, claiming a baby should be 'left without interference' until they could make a decision about which gender to align with.

Jones suggested Greer's argument was flawed and asked if a child is deemed to be a boy by his parent's and decides to transition later in life, whether she believed it should be allowed.

'No, I'm not saying that at all. That not what I said,' Greer responded.

Social media erupted following Greer's comments with many labelling her as 'transphobic'.

'Germaine Greer is not a true feminist. A true feminist cares about the rights of all women, not just cisgender women,' one woman wrote.

'Someone please tell Germaine that it's 2016. My gender is not up for you to decide Germaine,' another said.

SOURCE 

    




UK: 72% of struck off doctors are from overseas

Nearly three-quarters of doctors struck off the medical register in Britain are foreign, according to shocking figures uncovered in a Mail on Sunday investigation.

Medics who trained overseas have been banned from practising for a series of shocking blunders and misdemeanours.

Cases include an Indian GP who ran an immigration scam from his surgery, a Ghanaian neurosurgeon who pretended he had removed a patient’s brain tumour, and a Malaysian doctor who used 007-style watches to secretly film intimate examinations with his female patients.

The revelations come just a week after it emerged health bosses want to lure 400 trainee GPs here from India, to help ease short-staffing in the NHS.

Last night Julie Manning, chief executive of think-tank 2020 Health, said: ‘The NHS has thrived on many international doctors coming to work in the UK – but the public needs reassuring they are all truly fit to practise in the first place.’

Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 460 doctors were struck off from January 2010 to December 2015.  Of those 330 (72 per cent) trained abroad, and 130 in the UK (28 per cent). Foreign-trained doctors now make up a third of NHS doctors.

Indian GP Bhajanehatti Lakshminarayana, 71, was struck off after being caught abusing his position to help refugees and asylum seekers stay in Britain – for cash. He charged them £80 a time to write letters containing false information supporting immigration applications.

Brain surgeon Dr Emmanuel Kingsley Labram, 61, from Ghana, repeatedly told a woman he had removed a tumour during an operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary when he had not.

He actually only extracted four small fragments for biopsy. He hid the truth for two years. She only found out the tumour was still in her head after she went private – and was told it was inoperable.

Malaysian GP Davinder Jeet Bains used a ‘Spy Watch’ to covertly video consultations with female patients, some of whom he sexually violated while pretending to examine them.  He is currently serving a ten-year jail sentence for offences against 27 women, aged 14 to 51.

Sudan-trained Dr Ashraf Kamal Elnazir, 55, swindled Kensington neighbour Gabriella Adler-Jensen out of £820,000.  The widow was ‘in poor mental and physical health’ but he manipulated her so she bestowed ‘virtually the entirety of her estate’ on him.  He was struck off in 2013 for ‘disgraceful misconduct’, but never convicted of a criminal offence.

Other cases involve appalling incompetence. Italian-trained GP Dr Alex Ihekwoaba Chimezie was struck off after he failed to spot heavily pregnant Donna Hunt, 22, had pneumonia and sent her home with paracetamol.

Three days later, she was rushed into hospital. Doctors performed an emergency caesarean and saved the baby – but Miss Hunt died the next day.

Of the foreign trained doctors who were struck off, by far the largest contingent came from India, followed by Pakistan and Nigeria.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, admitted ‘there is a problem’ with the high strike-off rate among foreign doctors. But he claimed racism played a part.

Complaints about ethnic minority doctors tended to get ‘escalated and formalised’ very quickly, he said, while complaints about white British doctors were more often dealt with by ‘sitting down and sorting it out’.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said: ‘International medical graduates make a huge contribution to healthcare in the UK and the overwhelming majority provide safe and compassionate care.

‘But we do recognise that doctors from overseas can find it difficult to adapt to practising here.  ‘We expect employers to support doctors from overseas and to make sure they are familiar with local policies, procedures and customs.’


SOURCE






Strong women don’t need to whine about sexists calling us ‘totty’

["Totty" is British slang for a good-looking person, usually a woman:  From "Tot".  Similar to the American "Babe"]

At a glitzy party recently, I was making small-talk with a group of Westminster types when somebody pinched my bum. Surprised, I swivelled round to identify the offender and saw the grinning face of Sir Alan Duncan MP, one-time Tory minister of state, now knight of the realm.

As everyone in political circles knows, Sir Alan is gay and happily committed to his other half in a civil partnership, so there was no suggestion that his cheeky gesture was a come-on.

Nonetheless, it prompted some entertaining banter among fellow guests about the interaction between politicians and female journalists, and the unwritten rules of the game.

‘I can’t get away with anything like that these days,’ was the rueful response of a Cabinet minister who witnessed the incident. He was right to exercise caution, for as the unfortunate MP who dared to describe political reporter Isabel Hardman as ‘totty’ this week has found, not all female journalists take flirtatious behaviour in good part.

Like Hardman, I thought carefully before wading into this debate. I have the greatest respect for her as a journalist and commentator, and am loathe to criticise a colleague, particularly another woman. There are precious few of us ladies in the lobby (the club of officially accredited political journalists based at the Houses of Parliament) and we should stick together.

That said, I was amazed by the way Hardman handled the incident and fear she may come to regret it.

Hardman, who is assistant editor of the Spectator magazine, took the drastic decision to complain to party whips after an unnamed MP remarked that he wanted to ‘talk to the totty’ after bumping into her near the Houses of Parliament. (She has since received a private apology from the unnamed individual, who is described as being ‘of the older generation’.)

On social media, she said she had decided to take a stand on behalf of other women in the parliamentary lobby. It is a sensitive matter, so I am treading carefully but, in this case, she certainly does not speak for me: I do not think she should have complained to whips, over what seems to have been a trivial incident.

The interaction between MPs and political journalists at Westminster is governed by a plethora of unwritten rules, the simplest and most serious of which is that casual conversational exchange is ‘off the record’. If MPs cannot take this for granted and relax with journalists, the whole system (which serves politicians and the media extremely well) is undermined.

She had many other recourses to deal with the MP in question. For a start, she could have taken him to task herself. I have no doubt he would have been mortified and would never make the same mistake again.

Perhaps she felt this would be too embarrassing (though in my experience, it is perfectly possible to get such messages across with charm). If so, she could have dropped him a line, or given him a call, making it plain that she felt his comment was inappropriate.

The Westminster grapevine would have been an even more effective tool. She could simply have put it about that the old git had offended her and it would have quickly got back to him.

Instead, she did the equivalent of running to teacher to tell tales. The MP concerned was hauled before the whips for a dressing down and, as a result, in the corridors of power, there has been more than a little muttering.

If Hardman wanted to send out a wider message, it certainly worked. The trouble is, at best, her reaction looks humourless. At worst, it looks attention-seeking and I know she is not like that.

Of course, I don’t condone sexism in the workplace or anywhere else. In theory, Hardman certainly has the moral high ground.  I can quite see why, with her intelligence she bristled at being described as ‘totty’.

As she has not divulged any other details of the exchange, we do not know the tone in which the remark was made. If it was meant lasciviously or dismissively, of course it would be insulting.

Having had numerous such experiences over the years, I strongly suspect that the ‘culprit’ was being mildly, if clumsily, flirty. Westminster is full of old buffers who fancy their chances - indeed, another political journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, said yesterday that a Tory MP who is now a ‘senior member of the Cabinet’ repeatedly put his hand on her knee during dinner some years ago.

My guess is the MP meant it as a light-hearted compliment to Hardman, rather than a slight to her impressive professional credentials. There is a case to be argued that she should have been pleased. After all, he expressed the inclination to talk to her, over and above whoever else was there.

As journalists, our business is information-gathering. If a handful of male MPs are a little more forthcoming because we wear skirts, who are we to complain? I am not for a minute suggesting female political journalists flaunt themselves for the sake of a story - though it has been known.

Years ago, a Telegraph journalist (who has long since moved on to other things) used to make a point of being scantily-clad and positioning herself in the middle of the lobby (an area of the Commons restricted to MPs and journalists) where male MPs would ‘queue’ to talk to her.

The lobby is a competitive environment and she used her gender to her advantage. It happens every day in workplaces up and down the country. What’s the big deal?

What surprises me most is that Isabel Hardman is a well-established political journalist, with nothing to prove. Had the remark been directed at a new kid on the block, I could have understood the fuss.  Surely she is too clever a writer to be offended by a flippant comment from some old fart?

The sadness is that male MPs will be a little more guarded next time they talk to her and, no doubt, to the rest of us. That’s the last thing we journalists want.

I don’t suppose anyone will call her ‘totty’ again but if they do, I suggest she smiles sweetly, issues a cutting rebuke and remembers that when it comes to interactions between politicians and journalists, one way or another, we usually have the last laugh.

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 April, 2016

Moron feminist takes two small incidents and hangs huge generalizations on them

Widely-read Australian feminist, Em Rusciano, below, takes two slightly off-colour incidents and claims that they prove what a bad lot "men" are. If that's feminist logic, it sure discredits feminism.  I can find two incidents that will prove anything and everything by her criteria. 

Generalizations need to be founded on representative sampling, not one-off incidents.  If you like unrepresentative sampling, just stand outside a divorce court for half a day and you will find a stream of men who will give you chapter and verse to prove that WOMEN are a bad lot


TO THE people raising the future men of the world: I’ve been forced to contact you, because the level of online douchery and quite frankly predatory behaviour aimed at young women, has this week hit an all time dickhead high score.

By now, I’m sure you’ve read about the man who took a creep shot of a woman doing her fruit and veggie shopping at Woolies. He thought it would be romantic to post it on their Facebook page and then say he’d turn up everyday in the same spot until she acknowledged him.

It was also a huge week for prestigious higher education institutions.

Male students at Sydney’s UNSW filmed themselves on a bus trip chanting the following: "I wish that all the ladies were little red foxes, and if I were a hunter I’d shoot them in the boxes."

Not since Lennon and McCartney have such lyrical heights been reached.

The delightful Melbourne University crew were found to have a Facebook page that rates female students’ looks, tells you where you can find them, and provides delightful photo captions such as: "I bet some vibrato on her G-string would sound nice". Hint: the woman they were rating was a musician.

I have two daughters, and when I read these kinds of things, I completely despair as to what kind of world I’m sending them into.

You see, I can teach them all manner of things about life. I can arm them with the tools to deal with certain challenges. But in this particular scenario, I’m completely impotent.

I can’t stop men from taking photos of them without their consent. I can’t teach boys that chanting words that glorify acts of rape and violence against my girls is gross and wrong.

So, I’m asking you to have higher expectations of your sons’ behaviour. I’m asking all fathers to model their own behaviour in a manner that shows their sons how to respect women. Hey, lets not stop there. Why not be respectful of all humans in general?

I’m asking that all mothers be courageous enough to squash any inequality, should it pop up even in the tiniest way. As women, I’m sure you never want to be objectified, so don’t accept it from your sons or their fathers.

Teach them to be in tune with their own feelings. Allow them to explore a range of negative emotions, not just anger.

Tell them that it’s OK to be sad, vulnerable and sensitive. I believe forcing young men to repress emotions leads to frustration and bad behaviour down the track.

I don’t think it’s right that I have to tell my girls that they need to adjust their behaviour and actions to compensate for the possibility of a man not being able to control himself.

Realistically I’m going to have to, but I’d rather not.

Finally, remind them that girls are their equals and are people first. Remind them that no­ one is better than them — or less than them — because of what gender they are.

I have no doubt that a lot of you already do this. I am in no way saying that all your sons will behave in this manner.

I’m just a mother trying to help shape and change the world in which her daughters are growing up, so that they may be the best humans they can be.

SOURCE






What do British Muslims Really Think? Now we know. And it's terrifying

I sat down to watch 'What British Muslims Really think' with my best multicultural head on.

I cleared my mind of all preconceptions; grubby Rochdale cabbies passing white girls round for sex like a fried chicken bargain bucket, Imams beating kids into devotion, and the truly indoctrinated, blowing up Brussels to get 72 virgins in paradise.

Putting my feet up on the recycling bin, channelling my inner Polly Toynbee, I waited to sit corrected - prepared to accept the most dangerous Muslim in Britain is Bake Off's Nadiya Hussain armed with a Victoria Sponge.

But, much as it pains me to say it, I have been right all along. British Muslims are not part of some rich tapestry of urban life. It's a myth, dreamed up by the BBC, and perpetuated by the Islington elite.

It is them and us. And THEY have no wish to be anything like US.

The reason Muslims enjoy our country is because it is tolerant. Not the bits where we are tolerant of each other, you understand. Not the fact we respect your right to be Jewish or utterly ungodly. Or our warm embrace of those who identify as straight, gay, lesbian or as gender-fluid as a snail.

No. They enjoy our country because we are tolerant of their right to be as as prejudiced against Jews and as homophobic as they please.

52% disagree homosexuality should be legalised. Even more oppose gay marriage. Years of British acceptance, now rolled back under a Neanderthal rock because the Koran has come to town. And no one appears to have the moral fibre to point out the hypocrisy of it all; Islamic Societies are proliferating across every University campus, the same safe spaces where any view not militantly pro-LGBTQ is rightly petitioned into silence.

Catholic bakers in Ireland are persecuted if they don't wish to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage, the law demanding their compliance. But UK Muslims - they can be as homophobic as they choose.

This tolerance they enjoy in the UK is not valued for their ability to assimilate as open-minded citizens. But tolerance of a new virulent strain of Islam which is perversely segregationist and intolerant of our ways.

Having watched what British Muslims think of women, I am relieved my daughters were in bed. I have already written to their schools asking for my children to be exempt from any further trips to the local mosque. I stand against any segregation of my girls from boys.

But Muslim girls are not afforded such liberty, considered to be fortunate to be educated from the back of the room in subjects deemed appropriate for their uses - like cooking and sewing.

Where are the strident feminists fighting for the rights of Muslim girls; their genitals mutilated yet defended as a cultural thing and forced into marriages with ugly uncles?

Unbelievably, one in three British Muslims support the right of a man to have up to four wives. And that's young Muslims as well. 18-24 year olds are utterly backwards in their thinking - defended by progressives and liberals.

Why would women share husbands like a field full of flighty deer, waiting for one mangey rutting stag to mount them with his measly Muslim member?

One Muslim woman describes it as a privilege. Well I've been there, and it didn't make me feel special.

My first husband - allegedly a Catholic - thought he would try the polygamy thing, informally, with busty women up and down the country. We had a feisty divorce but I kept my children.

If I were a Muslim, British Sharia courts would have taken my children from me by now at the advent of my second marriage, tying my hands and crushing my heart.

Sitting there on my sofa, listening to women say there is no such thing as rape within Muslim marriage, my pelvic floor is in spasm in disgust. 39% of British Muslims - men and women - say a woman should always obey her husband.

Extend this thinking a little further and you end up with a women in utter subservience, hidden from the world, shrouded in a burqa. For many this submission undoubtedly extends to a good beating.

From there it's only a short sandal-footed shuffle into Sharia Law where women's evidence is worth half of that of a man's, and only two in three British Muslims think stoning a woman to death for being raped is wrong.

UK Muslims can be as sexist and violent as they choose.

Imagining this new breed of Muslims want to assimilate into our country is farcical. There is no integration. They do not want to assimilate into our increasingly secular ways.

They want to practise a more radical form of Islam, taught by Wahhabi Imams, living under Sharia law, rejecting homosexuality, promoting the subservience of women, supporting jihad.

Multiculturalists are determined to distance Muslims from Islamic extremism, imagining it to be the acts of the alienated few.

But the reason we so seldom hear Imams and leaders in the Muslim Community speaking out against terrorists is that in truth, many are right behind them.

25% had sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. 20% have sympathy for the 7/7 suicide bombers. Over 100,000 Muslims in the UK have sympathy for terrorist acts. Many support a future attack on the very country which showed them tolerance, allowed them to practise their particular brand of hate, and gave them a home.

I have heard what Muslims really think and it is clear multiculturalism has never existed.

Through no fault of our inclusive culture, it is them and us. And British Muslims expect us to change our ways to fit in with them.

SOURCE






Woman who grew up wanting to be a boy says she's glad she didn't change sex - as she's now happy in her own skin

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a boy. I felt deep down that I'd be far happier that way and had a nagging suspicion that life as a male would be more fun than being female.

Aged just four, I remember my father, older brother and a group of his friends all lumping bricks around the garden to fire up a barbeque on one of the first warm days of summer.

I'd been helping all morning by gathering smaller sticks for kindling – although my efforts were largely ignored and met with an eye roll and a pat on the head.

Wiping the sweat from their brows and taking a five-minute break, the men took their tops off to bask in the sun and I followed suit. 'JEN!' they cried in unison, 'Put your T-shirt back on! You can't do that… You're a girl!'

I stomped off, peals of the boys' laughter ringing in my ears, feeling anger and embarrassment prick at my cheeks as I bristled with irritation at how unfair it all was.

It was something I grappled with throughout my childhood. But before long, my parents relaxed and accepted the way I was. I spent blissful days out in the woods on adventures, getting muddy, or riding my bicycle as fast as I could.

One time, when I was eight, I came flying off over the handlebars and skidded along the road near our house on my arm and face – causing a scab to form across my top lip that looked like a moustache and joined my permanently scuffed knees.

I didn't care though and was back out on my bike the next morning.  I loved being a tomboy and nagged my mum to let me get my hair cropped short.  I hated having my hair tugged, plaited and tied with ribbons before school every day.

I was only ever forced into dresses against my will, for example if my mother insisted that I should wear them to go to church on Sundays, but I would rush upstairs and change the second I got home – feeling much more comfortable in jeans, wellies and a scruffy jumper.

At school, I had friends who were girls but I was drawn to hang out with the boys. Like me, they wanted to get outside and go sledging in winter or dunking each other at the local swimming baths in summer.

I looked down on my younger sister Angie who held tea parties for her dollies, had an arsenal of perfumed beauty potions and loved to wear frilly pink dresses.

I accepted that I was a girl but I looked and often acted like a boy and I know that had I been offered the chance to become a real one at the age of ten and given hormones I would have leaped at the chance – not grasping the consequences of such a life-changing and massive decision.

I found the idea of having periods one day soon terrifying and I loathed the thought of developing breasts and having to wear an uncomfortable bra.

But, as I grew into my teens and puberty kicked in, I completely changed. I slowly started to understand the power of being a woman and finally became happy in my own skin and began to love make up, fashion and fully embracing my femininity.

It's clear that transgender children need love, support and – crucially – understanding – not just from their parents, teachers and their peers but from all of us. If they feel depressed, confused and are struggling, then therapy is a fantastic tool that must be available to all children and their parents.

Ideally, childhood should be a magical time where kids are free from the labels and constraints that adults must deal with as they're the brief, brilliant years when we discover the world and start the long journey to fully developing our personalities.

If a girl feels like she is a boy at heart and wants to play football, cut her hair short and run about in what might be traditionally seen as 'boys' clothing, or if a boy wants to wear pink, grow his hair long and play with dolls, then let them enjoy it.

Gender is becoming much more fluid these days, and people are much more free to switch back and forth and dress and act as they please without judgement.

There's not a lot of data out there yet, but I do know that I'm a different person at 40 than I was five years ago and I'm nothing like the child I was in 1986.

I wonder if hormone therapy had been available to me as a ten-year-old - and I had taken it - if it would have turned out to have been a gigantic mistake?

SOURCE






The feminising of justice that makes it hard for men charged with rape to get a fair trial

Of course, rape is a terrible crime and gang-rape is one of the worst things that human beings can do to another person.

So, had four young men who were arrested after a group sex session at a student ball been found guilty of sex crimes, they would have been jailed for many years.

But the case against the quartet collapsed this week after detectives were accused of 'cherry-picking' evidence to support the prosecution, while 'airbrushing' anything that suggested the men were innocent.

Lawyers for the four students (who had been charged after the drunken sex session during a May Ball at the Royal Agricultural University in Gloucestershire) argued that evidence had been 'withheld' by officers before the trial. This included messages taken from the victim's phone hinting that she may have consented.

It also emerged that the alleged victim had given 'different accounts' as a witness in another rape case involving an Army officer — also acquitted.

How could the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have got it so wrong?

I have worked for many years as a human rights and civil liberties barrister and I'm afraid that I do not think this case can be dismissed as a one-off. Sadly, it illustrates a deeper problem in our justice system when it comes to sex crimes.

Having once been deplorably insensitive to the problems that rape victims face, I believe that our criminal justice system has swung too far the other way. It now assumes that an accusation by a woman is tantamount to proof of guilt.

Even worse, it has encouraged sharp tactics on the part of the police and the CPS who are keen to have a more positive image as being tough on sex offenders and winning more successful prosecutions.

The most grotesque example recently involved Scotland Yard's VIP paedophile murder inquiry — and investigation into claims that a string of Establishment figures were responsible for killing three boys in the Seventies and Eighties.

Though the probe collapsed, the police refused to say sorry to those whose lives had been ruined or reputations shattered by a suspected fantasist called 'Nick', whose claims triggered the investigation. Most controversially, one of the investigating officers, Det Supt Kenny McDonald, had described Nick's delusional ramblings as 'credible and true'.

The fact is that our criminal justice system is supposed to be founded on two critical principles. First, the presumption of innocence. Second, due process: the belief that criminal accusations must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, by fair procedures.

However, when it comes to sexual assault, decades of campaigning by feminists and more strident members of the victim lobby have browbeaten judges and policy-makers into a change of approach.

The prevailing attitude seems to be that it is unfair to anyone claiming to have been the victim of a sexual attack that they should have to accept that their alleged attacker is 'innocent until proved guilty' and that the case has to operate under due process.

As a result, the system has been re-engineered to make it more difficult for the accused to defend himself.

Even the definition of rape has been changed. Previously, it was a defence for a man to show that he honestly believed the woman was consenting. But the Sexual Offences Act 2003 — passed by the Labour government — introduced a so-called test of reasonable belief in consent. This means that the accused has to show he took reasonable steps to ensure that the woman consented to sex.

This has led to the ridiculous situation whereby some students demand 'affirmative consent'. This means that consent has to be sought and given at every stage of any sexual encounter.

Most ridiculously, students at one U.S. high school have been told that men should obtain consent every ten minutes during sexual activity. A further worrying development is that the police and CPS seem to see themselves as advocates for complainants — though they should be acting impartially.

The result is that they appear to shut their eyes to any evidence that might complicate their plans to bring a prosecution. This phenomenon is known as 'confirmation bias'. This was confirmed by the absurd admission of one Manchester barrister who said: 'If someone complains, we prosecute.'

I'm sorry, but such a perverse attitude is highly dangerous. No one benefits when innocent people are wrongly accused.

The fact is that this creates a new class of victim: the falsely accused, or those who are prosecuted, who are presumed guilty until they can prove their innocence.

Some high-profile examples of those wrongly accused of sex offences are Nigel Evans MP, radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, war hero Lord Bramall and former MP Harvey Proctor.

Significantly, the legal authorities' attitude was outlined by former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer.

In an article for the Criminal Law Review in 2014 written after he had left the post, he explained how changes were needed to improve the way the credibility of alleged victims was assessed.

He called for 'a more sophisticated approach that starts with the assumption that the victim is telling the truth'.

Sir Keir has since been elected as a Labour MP. But the pressure to believe all complainants began before he was appointed DPP.

Back in 2002, the Metropolitan Police issued a Special Notice 11/02 entitled 'A policy for the investigation of rape and serious sexual assaults'.

It began: 'Principle 1. It is the policy of the Met to accept allegations made by any victim in the first instance as being truthful. An allegation will only be considered as falling short of a substantial allegation after a full and thorough investigation.'

This approach encapsulates the problem. When the word 'victim' is used before a crime has been proved in court, it means there is a presumption of guilt. Equally, what happened to the promise of a 'full and thorough investigation'?

I am aware of many sex attack cases in which defendants and their lawyers have complained that when they provided the police with evidence suggesting that a complaint of sexual assault was false, the police simply ignored it.

For example, there was a case in which a teenager was accused by a girl of a similar age of raping her. As part of his defence, the accused boy's mother went through social media postings that her son and the girl had made during the time in question.

They showed that every time the girl claimed she was being attacked, she and the boy were in different locations. Yet despite this research being given to the police, the officers later returned it as 'unused material'.

Though the case went to trial, the accused's mother handed her dossier to the CPS barrister, who said they had never seen it before. Separately, it became clear that the girl's story didn't add up.

Within 24 hours, the prosecution barrister told the judge that the complainant was no longer regarded as a witness of truth and the trial collapsed.

However, things should never have been allowed to reach that stage. The boy's family incurred very substantial legal costs, which they were unable to recover from the CPS.

I believe that such people who are falsely accused and who are put through unnecessary and traumatic experiences should be able to sue the police for damages — compensation for negligent investigations. This is allowed in Canada.

Should those who have been falsely accused have even more right to redress? For example, ought they be able to sue the CPS if they feel their case has been mishandled?

Theoretically, it's already possible to sue public officials for misfeasance, but that requires proof of bad faith — something that is a very high threshold to cross.

Regardless of the redress that might be available to those who are wrongly accused, there is a much more important principle at stake.

Namely, that it is imperative that our judicial system is fair to both accuser and accused.

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 April, 2016

Australia:  Actor and Aboriginal elder Uncle Jack Charles refused taxi in Melbourne, again


I wouldn't pick him up either.  And I speak as a former taxi driver.  He looks like a hobo. His race has got nothing to do with it.  He needs to smarten up if he wants to be treated with respect.  Most people present themselves fairly well before they hop into a taxi.  It's just ignorant to do otherwise

Aboriginal elder and renowned actor Jack Charles has again been refused a cab in Melbourne because of what he calls systemic racial discrimination against Indigenous Australians by taxi drivers.

The 72-year-old was with two artists visiting from Turkey when they tried to catch a taxi from outside Flinders Street Station about 3pm on Wednesday.

"Uncle Jack" said a taxi pulled up and the party started to get inside when the driver told them he would not accept the fare.  "My mate Ibrahim jumped in the front and started to explain where we were going and I started to jump in the back," Charles said.

"The driver said that he'd knocked off once he saw me. So I believe it was me, [that's] why he refused to pick us up.  "Drivers that have knocked off don't actually pull in to pick up a fare."

Artist Ibrahim Koç, who is working on an art project about similarities between Aboriginal Australians and Turkey's Yörük people, was with Charles at the time and said it was an "ugly" event.

"The taxi driver saw Jack and he doesn't want to take us. Why? I don't understand."

Charles has forged a prolific acting career over more than 50 years, co-founded Australia's first Indigenous theatre group and starring in films including The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Blackfellas and Pan. He has also performed in many stage plays across the country and toured internationally.

But despite his stellar career, being refused a taxi has become a regular occurrence for the veteran actor.

Charles was told he couldn't catch a taxi unless he paid the fare upfront moments after being named Victorian Senior Australian of the Year in Melbourne in October last year.  On that occasion, another taxi driver told him drivers were allowed to request pre-payment from Aboriginals.

Just two days later, a taxi allocated to collect him at Melbourne Airport sped off without him.

Charles said on Wednesday that regularity did nothing to lessen the pain caused by such acts of discrimination.  "I won't sleep tonight, I'll be writhing in pure agony of the mind… this really impacts on me, totally," he said.

Charles said many taxi drivers came from overseas and industry education was needed to stamp out discrimination.  "These incidents are repeated over and over again," he said.  "It's illegal, it's racist, it's racial profiling and it shouldn't be done, so we need to educated this mob."

Charles said he approached the taxi industry after last year's incidents to arrange a round-table discussion about discrimination against Aboriginal passengers, but it had not eventuated.

He intends to sue the driver who refused to pick him up on Wednesday and his driving company for racial discrimination.

The Taxi Services Commission said it would investigate the incident "pending further information being provided about the taxi involved".

"Racial discrimination is totally unacceptable," a commission spokesman said.

SOURCE







Germany and a sinister bid to hide the truth about migrant sex attacks: Politicians pressurise police into removing word 'rape' from mass sex attack report

The medieval city of Magdeburg in the east of Germany is a quaint place where pensioners feed birds in their gardens and students pedal to the university on trendy sit-up-and-beg bicycles.

Yet its residents are scarred by the memories of a dreadful event in November, when a 19-year-old female university student was ambushed at 4am and dragged into the bushes where she was gang-raped.

What particularly disturbed the locals was that three Afghani men from a block being used to house migrants were later arrested and questioned, though it is unclear what has happened to them since.

It was the fourth sexual attack in the city, including the rape of a 24-year-old woman in Magdeburg’s cemetery, which implicated migrants in just a few months.

The student’s rape was fresh in the mind in this capital city of the Saxony-Anhalt region when news began to leak out of Cologne after New Year’s Eve that as many as 1,000 women were saying they had been groped or raped by men of north African and Arabic backgrounds.

Extraordinarily, it emerged yesterday that a high-ranking politician, who said he was acting on behalf of the German state, pressured the police to remove the word ‘rape’ from their report on the night’s mass sex attacks in order to hide the truth from the public.

The police refused, said a respected German newspaper yesterday, and prepared an account stating accurately that ‘a large group of foreign people’ had, indeed, carried out rape, sexual harassment and thefts.

Such alarming reports have had a profound effect on many people in this increasingly fractured society, which has seen a huge influx of young Muslim men from a host of countries after Chancellor Angela Merkel invited migrants from Syria to come to Germany last year.

And their minds will not have been put at ease by the news that a German train operator has announced it is introducing women-only carriages on its trains following the New Year attacks.

The introduction of the carriages, which will be next to the conductor, has already led to heated debate on German social media. The hashtag #imzugpassiert (which translates as ‘it happened in a train’) has become a talking point on Twitter, with women giving examples of when they have been accosted by foreign-speaking men on trains.

The train company, Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn, says it will provide women-only carriages on routes out of Leipzig, an hour’s drive from Magdeburg, with a spokesman explaining: ‘They are designed to make solo female travellers or women with young children feel safer.’

He denied, improbably, that the move was because of the widespread sex attacks on women in Cologne and elsewhere in Germany, yet it will have done little to assuage the fears of many who have seen countless thousands of newcomers arrive from a different cultural background to be housed in their midst in 2,000 hostels, hotels, tented camps and newly-built blocks across Germany.

The depth of unease here at the numbers was spelt out all too starkly in recent regional elections in Saxony-Anhalt, when nearly a quarter of the population, many aged under 40, voted for the anti-immigration, Right-wing Alternative for Germany (AFD), which has sprung from nothing in just three years.

In the country’s wealthy western states of Baden-Wurttemburg and Rhineland Palatinate, where elections were also held, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s middle-of-the-road Christian Democratic Party (CDU) also lost considerable ground.

It was in Saxony-Anhalt that her ruling party only just managed to cling to power.

The results were a stark condemnation of Merkel’s open-door migration policy, which has caused chaos across the EU.

Many Germans complain that the most powerful female politician in the world has ignored their views by inviting in more than a million people in less than a year from the war-shattered Middle East, impoverished Africa and numerous other parts of the globe besides.

So, what of those migrants who have made the journey and now face deep antipathy from so many in their adopted country?

In a modern block in a leafy neighbourhood of Magdeburg, close to where the student’s rape took place in November, I found Mahmood Atafar, 28, a Kung Fu boxer from Iran’s capital Tehran.

The place has two uniformed security guards at the gatehouse, who sign in all visitors.

A few feet away from them is a high, wire fence and locked gate, protecting the block’s 200 migrants, mostly single and male, from rising resentment (and worse) towards them among locals.

With the help of Piruz, a 38-year-old Iranian fellow migrant who is also living in the block, Mahmood told me in broken English: ‘I came to Germany because lots of other men from my country heard of the welcome by Mrs Merkel.

‘I would never have set off on such a difficult journey on my own. I tore a tendon in my leg on the way to Europe, but I can go to the doctor here for treatment without paying. I am also given 330 euros a month and Germans are kind to me.’

This is the just the type of statement that would enrage the 24 per cent of Saxony-Anhalt residents who voted defiantly for AFD and its leader, the charismatic 40-year-old Frauke Petry.

An elfin but sharp-tongued scientist with a PhD in chemistry (she studied at Reading University), she has been caricatured by her critics in the German pro-Merkel political establishment as ‘Frau Dr Strangelove’ after the deranged Nazi scientist played by Peter Sellers in the 1964 anti-war film Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.

Her picture has been plastered over the media after she said that police should shoot illegal migrants at the border as a last resort to stop them entering Germany.

But this did not seem to put off voters in Magdeburg, who cannot forget the sexual assaults that have been carried out in their city.

While concrete figures of rapes and sex attacks by migrants are hard to find (the ethnicity of perpetrators are not routinely published), bureaucrats in Berlin are said to be shocked at the number of reports on such crimes reaching them on a daily basis.

The police have also warned of a potential breakdown of public order this summer, when women are more lightly dressed, and they are confronted by young male migrants, now being given Government pamphlets on how to conduct themselves correctly with women in the West.

As I have discovered this year, it is not only in Germany that mass arrivals of men from cultures where women are second-class citizens has caused such problems.

Sweden, which last year took in 163,000 migrants, again mostly single and male, has faced similar sex attacks, many by migrants against girls and even boys on the streets and at swimming pools.

Reflecting the changing mood there, too, a poll by newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all Swedish women are scared to jog or to walk alone at night.

The result of such concerns is that, in former East Germany especially, a strong anti-migrant sentiment is growing among many people.

As a Pakistani-born security guard in his 50s at the Magdeburg migrants’ block told me this week: ‘I’m married to a German woman, but my children have dark skin like me.

‘They face racial prejudice in this part of eastern Germany every day. Foreigners are not popular and my job is to keep the new migrants safe.’

It was in this febrile atmosphere that the AFD mounted its successful campaign to capture voters’ support.

Andreas Roedder, contemporary history professor at Germany’s Mainz University, says the astonishing AFD election result marks the ‘normalisation of Right-wing populist movements’ in Germany for the first time since World War II.

Reflecting the changing mood there, too, a poll by newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all Swedish women are scared to jog or to walk alone at night.

The growing xenophobia in modern Germany is manna from heaven to the AFD, founded by a group of academics as a fringe party in 2013 to protest not against immigration but Mrs Merkel’s handling of the Eurozone financial crisis and, in particular, her decision to bail out the teetering Greek economy.

Yet as the unending arrivals into Germany began to fray tempers, the AFD seized its moment. The party swept out the old guard, and last year made businesswoman Ms Petry, who founded a chemical manufacturing company, its leader.

The new politician on the block, who was brought up in the former Communist city of Dresden, soon steered the party rightwards and transformed herself into one of the most vocal — and dangerous — critics of Angela Merkel.

Almost immediately, she caused controversy with her comments about border police shooting migrants trying to enter the country illegally from Austria. ‘If necessary, they should use firearms,’ she told a regional newspaper. ‘I don’t want this, but the use of armed force is there as a last resort.’

Ms Petry, a mother-of-four whose marriage to a Lutheran pastor foundered recently when she began a relationship with an MEP from her party, unashamedly forged links with a controversial grassroots movement called Pegida — Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West — which has run increasingly well-supported anti-migrant protests in east Germany demanding exactly the same as AFD: border controls and a halt to migration.

For now, AFD seems unstoppable, at least in this area of Germany. At the party’s offices in Magdeburg, local leader Andre Poggenburg, 40, wearing a brown designer suit and a broad smile, told me proudly: ‘We are a new party with fresh visions. The older parties are no longer respected and many Germans, particularly the young ones, think Mrs Merkel has gone crazy.

‘We view migration as a great problem for Germany. Migration must drop to zero immediately. The people will not tolerate so many bringing in the culture of Islam. They are worried about the migrants’ attitude to women after the sex assaults in Cologne and here in Magdeburg.

‘We believe there is the likelihood of Islamic terrorists and jihadis being slipped into Germany because we have not vetted arrivals at the borders, so the Government has no idea who it is letting in.’

If this sounds like a xenophobic rant, it chimes exactly with the warnings of Hans-Georg Maassen, head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, who said recently that Islamic State is planting jihadists among migrants flowing into Europe.

This view was confirmed by Frontex, the EU border agency, two days ago in a worrying report, which said: ‘Islamist extremists will exploit . . . migration flows whenever such movements fit their plans.’

So how Right-wing is AFD? Before I leave, I put a piece of paper in front of Herr Poggenburg with a rectangle on it. I ask him to draw a line through it to describe where the party stands. He places it a little to the right of centre.

‘It is not true that we are Far Right, we are Middle Right,’ insists the politician, who no longer dares tell journalists about his family or where he lives because his home and car have been fire-bombed by Left-wing activists. Last Christmas, his dog was kidnapped and strangled with a piece of rope and its collar.

Not far away, I visited Leipzig (where opinion polls show a dramatic rise in AFD support), the home town of AFD leader Frauke Petry, where I met her close colleague and chairman of the city’s AFD, Siegbert Droese.

At his office, decorated with election posters, the 46-year-old told me: ‘In the past, Germans stayed at home on their sofas and didn’t bother to vote. This time they came out to the polls because they don’t like the migration policies of Mrs Merkel.’

What seems undisputable is that AFD is splitting opinion in Germany over the migrant crisis.

Herr Droese, a hotel owner with four children, said: ‘There is a wind of change here, particularly among the young. They see migrants sitting in camps or hostels with nothing to do but gaze at their phones or TV, and they think that’s not fair. Yet they know that under Mrs Merkel there will be at least 500,000 more migrants entering Germany this year.’

Meanwhile, the migrants at their housing block in Magdeburg, built, perhaps unthoughtfully, next to mixed-sex student accommodation, seemed unaware of the election results or the growing hostility to them among ordinary Germans.

When I explained the groundswell of support for AFD, Mahmood’s friend Piruz said: ‘There are lots of migrants here who are pretending to be sick so they can get free medical treatment.

‘One Indian woman brought her disabled son. He is taken by ambulance to special school or to hospital appointments every day, which costs money. This is the kind of thing that makes Germans worried about us.’

This former dental technician then added defensively — and revealingly — that few of the migrants at the hostel are genuine refugees.

‘Most of us could go home to our countries tomorrow if we wished. Why not? Many of the places we come from are not dangerous. I have no quarrel with the Iran regime, but wanted to work in the West. When Mrs Merkel said come over, I set off with everyone else; it was an opportunity for us.’

With the arrival of every new economic migrant like him — and with stories of rapes and the need for women-only train carriages — increasing numbers of Germans will grow more disenchanted, more angry.

And in a country that has spent 60 years trying to bury the legacy of Nazism, it is not, I believe, being alarmist to predict that the march of the new Right will gather pace.

SOURCE






German Police swoop on illegal North African migrants: 470 'fake asylum seekers' found hiding in Germany could be sent home following raids in 33 towns and cities

Police mounted massive raids in 33 towns and cities in a German state early yesterday hunting for illegal North African refugees in their asylum centres.

The swoops were carried out with military precision shortly before dawn. Some immigrants tried to hide but were discovered in toilets, under their beds or covered in blankets in linen cupboards.

Two young men even tried to hide in the basement of an asylum home in the industrial city of Duisburg but were found and arrested.

It comes just days after it emerged the number of 'missing' migrants in Germany continues to grow with nearly 9,000 children unaccounted for.

The raids in North Rhine-Westphalia were aimed at capturing the biometric data of North African immigrants throughout the state to ensure lawful refugees are registered and not making duplicate applications for asylum with false names or fake national identities.

Police said that North African refugees have been known to use as many as ten different aliases and claimed to come from multiple countries.

A total of 471 Algerians and Moroccans not truthfully registered with the authorities were discovered.

The two national groups are cited by police as being responsible for most of the crimes committed by asylum seekers in Germany and were heavily involved in the New Year's Eve sex and robbery attacks on hundreds of women in Cologne.

An official told Bild newspaper: 'We created pressure to get people to disclose their personal data. And now we have the chance to reject their applications for asylum if they come from safe countries of origin.'

Both Morocco and Algeria are now considered safe countries and people from them seized in the raids will be sent home.

According to the state interior minister Ralf Jäger criminal charges of illegally staying in the country were launched against 15 people. More are likely in the coming days. Four people wanted on outstanding arrest warrants for criminal offences were also caught up in the police operation.

The collected personal data was matched with that of other EU States to prevent duplicate asylum application in the EU as well as the use of multiple identities.

One example is the asylum-seeker from Recklinghausen who was shot before a Paris police station in January. He had made an application for asylum within the EU in seven countries and used up to 20 identities.

Officials say many more such raids are likely in the coming weeks.

SOURCE






UK: Jeremy Corbyn is blasted by Jewish leader for a 'deeply disturbing' response to claims his brother Piers 'belittled' anti-Semitism allegations rocking Labour

Jeremy Corbyn was slammed by a leader of British Jews today for defending his brother's 'belittling' of anti-Semitism.

Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the response of the Labour leader was 'deeply disturbing'.

The intervention represents a new escalation in a growing row within Labour about alleged anti-Semitism among some new members.

Labour MP Louise Ellman has come under anti-Semitic attack in her Liverpool Riverside constituency and joined calls on the Labour leader to do more to tackle anti-Semitism in the party's ranks.

But the demand prompted Piers Corbyn to tweet: 'ABSURD! JC+ All Corbyns are committed Anti Nazi. Zionists can't cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.'

In response, Mr Corbyn told The Sun his brother 'isn't wrong', adding: 'My brother has his point of view, I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree - we are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.'

Mr Arkush rejected the statement today. He said: 'Jeremy Corbyn's defence of his brother's belittling of the problem of anti-Semitism is deeply disturbing.  'We cannot imagine that any other minority's concerns would be dismissed off-hand in this way.

'In the last few weeks we have witnessed a stream of clear-cut cases of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, which can't just be fobbed off as differences over Israel.

'Most of the Jewish community, numerous Labour MPs, Labour peers, and Labour's London mayoral candidate are crying out for the leader to take action on anti-Semitism. 'It would be incomprehensible for Mr Corbyn to remain inert and refuse to take this form of racism in his party seriously.'

Speaking at a campaign visit in Norwich, Mr Corbyn said: 'If anyone reports any form of anti-Semitism within our party, it is investigated immediately and cracked down upon.  'That message is unequivocal - we are a multi-faith, multicultural Britain - let's respect each other and move on from there.'

A Labour spokesman earlier insisted: 'It is Jeremy Corbyn who is taking action on anti-Semitism.  'He has consistently condemned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Labour is clamping down on anti-Semitism and taking clear action against offenders.'

Ms Ellman had used a Sky News interview to call for stronger action on anti-Semitism by the Labour leader.  She said: 'Most members of the Labour party are not anti-Semitic but some are and some are being allowed to get away with posting anti-Semitic comments in tweets and on their websites.'

She added: 'The leader has spoken out clearly, he says he is against anti-Semitism.  'But it's not just about words – there has got to be some action and we haven't seen enough of that.'

Sadiq Khan yesterday admitted he wears a 'badge of shame' because of the problems the Labour Party has with anti-Semitism.  The London Mayor candidate said Mr Corbyn 'could have taken a tougher stance and needs to take a tougher stance'.

The party has been dragged into a series of rows about anti-Semitic members which some MPs have warned are not being kicked out of the party swiftly enough.

Jewish Labour MPs have also claimed they have come under attack from anti-Semitic individuals online.

Mr Khan, a Muslim, said he knew what it was to suffer 'hate crime' and added: 'I also know it's unacceptable in 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour party.  'It's with sorrow that I wear that badge of shame.'

Mr Khan added: 'If it means members of my party, senior members of my party including members of [Labour's ruling National Executive Committee] being trained about what anti-Semitism is, then so be it.'

Speaking at a hustings organised by the London Jewish Forum, Mr Khan said: 'I have said at the outset, I'm embarrassed and sorrowful about anti-Semitism in the party.  'I think the Labour leadership could have taken a tougher stance and needs to take a tougher stance.'

SOURCE






More Muslim rejection of reality

British Muslims have moved faster than the Conservative Party or the Church on social issues such as gay rights, a former Tory chairman said yesterday.

Sayeeda Warsi hit out at claims that Muslims are failing to integrate into British life.

And she attacked former equalities chief Trevor Phillips, who said this week that many Muslims ‘do not accept the values and behaviours that make Britain what it is’.

Baroness Warsi, who served as Conservative Party chairman for two years from 2010, accused him of ‘pandering to populist prejudice’ and said many religious groups had conservative social attitudes.

‘The Muslim community is conservative in its views, but that is no different to most other religious communities,’ she said. ‘If you compare attitudes to a group of evangelical Christians or Hasidic Jews you would find similarities.

‘There is social conservatism, maybe even social intolerance, but most religious communities on the issue of homosexuality have been on a journey on this. So has my own party, so has the Church of England.

‘There is no reason to say that Muslims are so different they have to be treated in a completely different way.

‘Attitudes around women’s rights and gay rights are changing. But our community in Britain is 50 or 60 years old – we have moved faster than my party, which has been around much longer, or the Church.’

In an article in the Daily Mail on Monday, Mr Phillips warned that a ‘nation within a nation’ was developing in Britain’s Muslim community and quoted research to back his claim that many Muslims are not interested in integrating.

He was also concerned about the creation of Muslim ‘ghettos’ and raised the possibility of a cap on the proportion of Muslim pupils in schools.

But Lady Warsi said most British Muslims lived in much more mixed communities. And she said other groups were not always keen to mix with them.  ‘When I grew up in Dewsbury, white parents took their children out of my middle school because they felt there were too many Muslims there,’ she said. ‘Integration is a two-way street.’

Lady Warsi has been a fierce critic of some attitudes in her community, but she warned that portraying British Muslims as being uniquely different was a ‘dangerous path to go down’.

‘You are effectively saying they are so different to any group that has gone before we are going to have to treat them in a totally different way,’ she said. ‘That is just not right or helpful.’

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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14 April, 2016

Multicultural pervert, 35, sexually abused a teenager with learning difficulties and photographed her bound and gagged



A teenager with severe learning difficulties was bound, gagged and sexually abused by a 35-year-old man after he watched the film Fifty Shades of Grey.

Joseph Maxwell Spencer took photos of the girl in a red and black basque and made film clips that showed her crying out in distress, Bradford Crown Court heard.

He was jailed for seven years after a judge said he ruthlessly exploited the girl to gratify his own pleasures.

Following a trial, Spencer was convicted by a jury of causing or inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity and eight charges of making indecent photos of her.

He was cleared of three allegations of having sex with the girl when she was 15.

Judge Peter Benson said the girl's learning difficulties meant she behaved like a child of seven or eight when she was 15.

He told Spencer: 'You exploited her vulnerability in a ruthless way and acquired a bondage kit based on the film Fifty Shades of Grey, and she was forced to dress up in it. 'It consisted of a gag, handcuffs, a red and black basque and a whip.'

During his trial at Bradford Crown Court, West Yorkshire, the jury was shown photos Spencer had taken of the bound and gagged girl posing indecently in the red and black basque.

Two film clips showed him having sex with her as she cried out in distress.

He tormented her on video while having sex with her when she was bound and gagged, the judge said.

'It was a most disgusting picture and you were acting with a degree of brutality which I am sure the jury found quite shocking,' added Judge Benson.

During the trial, the court heard that Spencer ordered the Fifty Shades of Grey bondage kit on the internet after watching the film.

He was arrested after one of the girl's schoolteachers saw him walking hand-in-hand with her and police found the photos and film clips on his computer.

Spencer's barrister, Nicholas Barker, said he was previously of good character and had suffered trauma and tragedy fighting as a child soldier in Liberia.

Detective Constable Donna Hector, of the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, said: 'Spencer befriended his victim and her family then took advantage of her vulnerabilities to sexually exploit and degrade her'.

The images of the girl dressed in bondage gear were all taken on one day after she had turned 16.

Judge Benson made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning Spencer from approaching or contacting the girl and from having unsupervised contact with children. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

'I hope the sentence he has received today will be of some comfort to her and help her to move forward with her life.

'We would also like to thank our partners in education who first brought Spencer's inappropriate behaviour to our attention.

'Police in Bradford District are committed to protecting the vulnerable and would urge anyone with concerns about exploitation to report them to our specialist officers, who will investigate every report with the aim of bringing perpetrators to justice.'

Spencer, who had been held in Leeds Prison for a year, wept loudly as he was led down to the cells at Bradford Crown Court.

SOURCE





Why Do LGBT Radicals Want to Cleanse the Counseling Profession of Christians?

David French

You can always count on the Huffington Post to get hysterical. Last night — under a blaring headline that simply read "Hatewave" — it took aim at one of the more common-sense pieces of religious-liberty legislation ever proposed. The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill protecting from liability "counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist."

In other words, Tennessee wants to protect counselors from being drafted into facilitating behaviors they find morally repugnant such as, for example, adulterous affairs, sexual promiscuity, or — yes — same-sex relationships.

At first glance the bill seems superfluous. After all, who would want to be counseled by a therapist or counselor who believes your lifestyle is immoral? To paraphrase John Kasich, do we have to "write laws" for everything? Won’t the market sort this all out?

Well, no — not when the Left is intent on cleansing orthodox Christianity from the so-called helping professions. Two legal cases I worked on immediately come to mind. The first involved a young woman named Emily Brooker, a social-work student at Missouri State University. Emily’s academic "crime" was refusing a professor’s demand that she sign her name to a letter to the state legislature advocating gay adoption.

Rather than recognizing that teachers can’t compel students to engage in political advocacy, the professor accused her of a "Level 3" grievance (the university’s most serious academic offense). The department then subjected Emily to a Star Chamber–style political inquiry, where a panel of professors demanded to know whether she was a "sinner" and kept her from having a lawyer, an advocate, or even her own mother in the room.

The panel convicted her of the offense and required her to change her beliefs as a condition of graduation. One university official actually held it against Ward that she ‘communicated an attempt to maintain [her] belief system.’

In the second case, I represented Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University. Julea was in the final stages of her graduate counseling program when she was asked to counsel a gay man about his same-sex relationship. She declined and referred the file to another counselor who had no moral objections. The client was counseled without incident. Indeed, he didn’t even know his file had been referred.

The university, however, found her referral intolerable and subjected Julea to a "formal review," accusing her of "imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals" and of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Once again, a student was summoned to the Star Chamber, and once again public officials probed a private citizen’s religious beliefs. She was expelled from the program just weeks before graduation. 

While I was litigating those cases, my colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom and I were contacted by social workers and counselors from across the country. Some were students, some were in private practice, and all of them were facing actual or potential complaints because they were not willing to facilitate relationships they found immoral.

In some instances, it was clear that the requests for help were the result of attempts to "troll" counselors — where activists would seek counseling for the purpose of filing a complaint. To be clear, these students and counselors weren’t engaged in sexual-orientation discrimination. They’d happily counsel an LGBT person through a work conflict, bankruptcy, or personal loss, for example, but they would not counsel any person — gay or straight — in a manner that facilitated immoral actions.

Indeed, there is a longstanding professional ethical practice of referral when a client’s values conflict with their counselor’s. Otherwise, as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals noted in Julea’s case, absurdities result: Surely, for example, the ban on discrimination against clients based on their religion +

(1) does not require a Muslim counselor to tell a Jewish client that his religious beliefs are correct if the conversation takes a turn in that direction and

(2) does not require an atheist counselor to tell a person of faith that there is a God if the client is wrestling with faith-based issues. Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.

Yes, tolerance is a "two-way street." But for the Left, these cases were about anything but tolerance. Instead, the goals were clear — establish absolute ideological uniformity in sexual morality and purge dissenters.

If counselors are required to facilitate immoral relationships, could a Christian lawyer be disbarred for refusing to sue a church that won’t perform gay weddings? Where is the line? And if you think the First Amendment adequately draws that line, think again.

Emily and Julea prevailed in their lawsuits, but judges have bowed to the Left in similar cases. Why should we not fight for effective state laws that can preempt the need for costly and lengthy federal litigation?

SOURCE






Liberals’ Double Standard on Bathrooms, Boycotts, and Religious Freedom

If it wasn’t for double standards, some liberals would have none at all. That seems to be the lesson from the past few weeks, where liberals have displayed three distinct forms of hypocrisy.

Liberal governors and mayors signed travel bans to North Carolina and Mississippi, CEOs of major corporations pledged boycotts and relocations, and Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have canceled scheduled concerts in those states.

At issue are a Mississippi law that narrowly and carefully protects the rights of religious charities, small businesses, and select public servants and a North Carolina law that reasonably protects privacy and safety in public restrooms, while leaving private institutions free to set their own bathroom policies. These laws, apparently, are now unacceptable to some voices on the left.

But are they really? The hypocrisy in their opposition suggests otherwise.

Liberals decry the influence of big business and big money in politics. They denounce, as a direct threat to democracy, the ability of corporations to engage in issue advocacy. They argue that politicians must answer to the people, not the highest corporate bidder.

Or at least that’s what they used to say. Liberals are now cheering Apple, PayPal, Salesforce, and countless other giant corporations threatening legislators and governors with boycotts if they pass popular laws that the left disapproves of.

These corporate elites didn’t win an argument about good public policy. Instead, they threatened to boycott and transfer jobs out of states if the politicians didn’t do as they insisted.

This economic coercion is a form of cronyism—cultural cronyism. Big businesses use their outsized market share to pressure government to do their bidding at the expense of the will of the people and the common good. And, hypocritically, the left cheers it on.

Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams Get to Follow Their Consciences, but the Baker and Florist Don’t?

Many of us think that what these corporate giants are doing is bad for representative democracy and self-government. But they have a right to do it. And yet, they want to deny the rights of bakers, florists, photographers, adoption agencies, and marriage counselors who only want the same liberty to follow their conscience.

Big business is using its market freedom to deny small businesses and charities their religious freedom. The hypocrisy is astounding.

Take the cases of Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams. They said their consciences require them to deny their artistic gifts and talents to citizens of states that have enacted policy they disagreed with. And, of course, they have that right.

Adams wrote: "I cannot in good conscience perform in a state where certain people are being denied their civil rights."

He’s wrong about the laws —they don’t deny anyone civil rights. Instead, they protect civil rights. They protect religious freedom, which, as the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) once acknowledged, is a civil liberty.

So Springsteen and Adams are exercising their freedom of conscience by boycotting states that sought to protect the consciences of adoption agencies, religious schools, bakers, and florists. Do they not see the hypocrisy?

Finally, if these boycotts are really a matter of principle—and not just grandstanding—then why do so many of these same companies do business in foreign countries with terrible records on human rights in general, and for LGBT people in particular?

The governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, pointed out this hypocrisy. After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a travel ban for state employees to North Carolina, Gov. McCrory asked how it was consistent with Gov. Cuomo’s trip to Cuba—with state business leaders—to promote trade with that country.

Is Cuba better on human rights than North Carolina? Or is Cuomo being a bit hypocritical?

Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of PayPal. The CEO of PayPal announced that the company wouldn’t expand in North Carolina because of "PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect."

Really?  Then PayPal might want to explain why its international headquarters are in Singapore, where people engaged in private consensual same-sex acts can face two years in jail. It might also want to explain why it announced in 2012 that it would open offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While North Carolina placed some commonsense limits on public bathrooms, the UAE reportedly jails gay and transgender people.

What’s Next?

The left knows it can’t win on the merits in the debate about religious freedom and bathroom privacy. These bills enjoy strong public support—that’s why elected representatives are voting to pass them. And it’s why corporate elites have to target governors to veto them.

Missouri is likely the next state to move a religious freedom bill, and we can expect the same cast of characters to come out in opposition. But this time, the left and big business are entering the debate with one big disadvantage—they’ve been beaten. Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi and Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina have stood up to the bullies and shattered their aura of invincibility.

SOURCE






Islam is Colonialism, Palestine is Colonialism

At Israeli Apartheid Week, campus haters claim to be fighting "colonialism" by fighting Jews. Columbia University's Center for Palestine Studies, dedicated to a country that doesn't exist and which has produced nothing worth studying except terrorism, features diatribes such as Palestine Re-Covered: Reading a Settler Colonial Landscape". This word salad is a toxic stew of historical revisionism being used to justify the Muslim settler colonization of the indigenous Jewish population.

You can't colonize Palestine because you can't colonize colonizers. The Muslim population in Israel is a foreign colonist population. The indigenous Jewish population can resettle its own country, but it can't colonize it.

Muslims invaded, conquered and settled Israel. They forced their language and laws on the population. That's the definition of colonialism. You can't colonize and then complain that you're being colonized when the natives take back the power that you stole from them.

There are Muslims in Israel for the same reason that there are Muslims in India. They are the remnants of a Muslim colonial regime that displaced and oppressed the indigenous non-Muslim population.

There are no serious historical arguments to be made against any of this.

The Muslim conquests and invasions are well-documented. The Muslim settlements fit every historical template of colonialism complete with importing a foreign population and social system that was imposed on the native population. Until they began losing wars to the indigenous Jewish population, the Muslim settlers were not ashamed of their colonial past, they gloried in it. Their historical legacy was based on seizing indigenous sites, appropriating them and renaming them after the new conquerors.

The only reason there's a debate about the Temple Mount is because Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem and ordered a mosque built on a holy Jewish site. The only reason there's a debate about East Jerusalem is because invading Muslim armies seized half the city in 1948, bombed synagogues and ethnically cleansed the Jewish population to achieve an artificial Muslim settler majority.

The only Muslim claim to Jerusalem or to any other part of Israel is based purely on the enterprise of colonial violence. There is no Muslim claim to Israel based on anything other than colonialism, invasion and settlement.

Israel is littered with Omar mosques, including one built in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, because Islam is a colonial entity whose mosques testify to their invasive origins by celebrating colonialism as their true religion. The faith of Islam is the sworn religion of the sword.

Islam is a religion of colonialism that spread through invasion, settlement and conquest. Its caliphs, from the original invaders, including Omar, to the current Caliph of ISIS, wielded and wield religious authority in the service of the Islamic colonial enterprise.

Allah is the patron deity of colonialism. Jihad is just colonialism in Arabic. Islamic theology is nothing but the manifest destiny of the Muslim conquest of the world, colonial settler enterprises dressed up in the filmy trappings of religion appropriated from the culture of conquered Jewish and Christian minorities. Muslim terrorism is a reactionary colonial response to the liberation movements of the indigenous Jewish population.

Even "Allahu Akbar" did not originate as a religious sentiment. It does not mean "God is Great", as it is often mistranslated. It was Mohammed's taunt to the Jews he was ethnically cleansing. His purge of a minority group proved that "Allah was Greater". Islamic colonialism is used to demonstrate the existence of Allah. And the best way to worship Allah is through the colonialism of the Jihad.

Islam would not have existed without colonialism. It still can't exist without it. That is why the violence continues. The only way to end the violence is for Muslims to reject their theology of colonialism.

But instead of taking ownership of their real history, the Muslim settler population evades its guilt through propaganda by claiming to be the victims of colonialism by the indigenous Jewish population. This twisted historical revisionism is backed by bizarre nonsense such as claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian or that the Arabs are descended from the Philistines. The Muslim settlers insist on continuing to celebrate colonialism while claiming to be an indigenous population that was always living in Israel.

You can have one or the other. You can have your mosques celebrating the conquest and suppression of the indigenous population or your claims of being the indigenous population. But you can't switch from being the indigenous population to being its conquerors whenever it suits your pseudo-historical narrative. You can't claim to be the Philistines, the Jews and their Islamic conquerors at the same time.

From its Roman origins, Palestine has always been a colonial fantasy of remaking Israel by erasing its original Jewish identity. The Arab mercenaries who were deployed by the Romans in that original colonial enterprise continued it by becoming self-employed conquerors for their own colonial empire. The name Palestine remains a linguistic settlement for reimagining a country without a people and a past as a blank slate on which the colonial identity of the invaders can be written anew. That is still the role that the Palestine myth and mythology serves.

Abdul Rahim al-Shaikh complains about "linguistic colonialism". When Muslims rename the Spring of Elisha, a Jewish biblical figure, Ein as-Sultan in honor of an Islamic colonial ruler, that's linguistic colonialism. When Jews restore the original indigenous names that Jewish sites held before Muslim colonialism, that's not colonization. It's the exact opposite. It's decolonization.

Promoting mythical claims of a Palestinian state isn't decolonization, it's colonization. Or recolonization. Advocates for "Palestine" are not fighting colonialism, but promoting it. They are advocating for a discredited Muslim settler fantasy and against the indigenous Jewish population of Israel.

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 April, 2016

The psychology of prejudice

At least since 1950, psychologists have been associating prejudice with mental problems.  You are allegedly maladjusted if you are prejudiced about anything.  Although I sometimes do, I have a strong prejudice against driving through a red light.  Does that make me prejudiced?  I think it is apparent that not all pre-judging is bad and may even be wise on occasions.  So their psychologizing of prejudice has always been uphill for them and mostly now seems to have been abandoned.  For some decades now, many psychologists have accepted it as normal.

So I was interested to look at an encyclopedic account of what we now know about prejudice -- one published in a book called The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, in 2012.

The article was written by two very experienced researchers in the field --  Cohrs and Duckitt  -- and is generally moderate and cautious, as an encyclopedic article should be.

But because there is clearly "good" prejudice (such as opposition to the KKK) as well as "bad" prejudice, the authors soon hit a rock.  They recognize that value judgments intrude at that point.  Rather heroically, however, they avoid value judgments and define prejudice simply as a "negative attitude".  I hate to do this to two earnest people but my background in analytical philosophy immediately makes me get critical about that.  The definition overlooks the time element in prejudice.  It is something you do before you do something else.  For instance, I certainly have a negative attitude to ill health but does that mean I am prejudiced against ill health?  We are in deep waters there, I think.

But let me be indulgent and overlook that. I am pleased that they agree with something that has repeatedly emerged in my own research:  "Thus, while tendencies to favor and identify with one’s  own group may be universal, intergroup prejudice is not a universal consequence".  In other words, you can be patriotic without being a racist.

So is there a prejudiced personality?  Is the prejudiced person rigid, intolerant of ambiguity, lacking in openness and all that old guff?  Cohrs and Duckitt reject all that and say that there are only two real predictors of prejudice:  SDO and RWA.  Which is quite hilarious.

The SDO scale CONTAINS expressions of group prejudice so it is no wonder that it predicts it!  In statistician's terms, the correlations are artifactual.  I am disappointed in John Duckitt for not knowing that.  I am pretty sure I have pointed that out to him in the past.   In 2003 I put online  some fuller comments on the SDO scale.  It is a mess.

And as for the RWA (Right-wing Authoritarianism) scale, who knows what it measures?  In Russia the people who get the highest scores on it are former Communists, so it certainly is not a measure of anything Right-wing.  Our present authors describe it as measuring "a combination of traditionalism, support for authorities, and favoring coercive social control".

That's probably as good a description as any but it makes the RWA scale sound very Leftish.  Who are they who ignore the obvious facts and rely on appeals to authority to justify their belief in global warming?  It sure isn't conservatives.  And if you want to hear the conservative attitude to authority, just listen to GOP hero Donald Trump.  He rubbishes all the main authorities: The Congress, the political party organizations, the Supreme Court, the President, big business.  He trusts only the people, which is exactly right in a democracy. 

Marxists have often talked about "the people" but have never represented them.  Trump does.  From Marx and Engels on, Marxists have always been low wattage bourgeois intellectuals  -- confirmed ivory tower denizens.

And as for coercive social control, who is it who wanted to "fundamentally transform" America?  Hint: His surname begins with an O.   So it is a type of Leftism  that engenders racism?  It fits.  Aside from the Muslims, all the antisemitism in both Britain and America today is coming from the Left -- particularly in Britain.  And Hitler was a socialist.

Cohrs & Duckitt did not draw that inference, however, perhaps due to a general political naivety.  There also seems to be an underlying political naivety in this statement:

"Simply categorizing people as members of one’s own social category or as members of another social category seems to automatically generate identi?cation with one’s group and a motivational tendency to positively differentiate it from other groups"

So you are always positive towards your own group?  Hardly. Many  American Leftists HATE America and lots of Jews are very negative about Israel.  Even Leftist Israelis are very critical of Israel. 

I think Cohrs and Duckitt need to get out into the fresh air a lot more.  There's a different world out there






How evolution made us xenophobes

The article below is fairly typical of modern psychological thinking.  It treats prejudice as inborn and universal

All the evidence suggests that migrants boost economic growth. So why don’t we just fly people who want to work to countries where there are jobs and welcome them with open arms?

Prejudices rooted in humanity’s evolutionary past may be partly to blame.  "Perceptions of competition drive a lot of our thinking and are difficult to avoid," says Victoria Esses at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Humans think of their support systems as a zero-sum game – so if one person gains, another must lose out.

Such perceptions were accurate during our evolutionary history as hunter-gatherers when the appearance of others on our patch meant fewer mastodons or mushrooms for us. If they were close relatives they might share – or at least our common genes would benefit from their success.

But anyone displaying different cultural markers was likely to be a competitor. A modern capitalist economy is not a zero-sum game – if you add more workers, it grows. Regardless of this, our evolutionary hang-ups make it difficult to accept the economic sense in welcoming immigrants.

That’s not all. We are instinctively wary of close contact with strangers because in our evolutionary past this helped us guard against infectious disease, says Mark Schaller at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Separate groups of people often have different histories of exposure and acquired immunity to pathogens. A disease carried innocuously by one might devastate another, as happened to the Native Americans after Europeans arrived.

Steven Neuberg at Arizona State University in Tempe notes that groups also evolve different survival-enhancing practices. "Foreigners with different rules might interfere with the social coordination you need to do important tasks, or might get members of your group to follow their rules instead," he says. "Chaos could emerge if your group makes decisions by consensus but theirs is authoritarian."

Schaller and Neuberg believe that for both these reasons, human cultures evolved to be wary of close interaction with people who were different from their group.

This xenophobia persists, says Neuberg, who has found that people feel threatened by groups with different values of many kinds. Ethnic groups in modern cities often form enclaves rather than mixing randomly – which can foster strong local communities but also engenders wider mistrust. To live in multicultural societies, we will need to learn to get past such evolved tendencies.

SOURCE






Witch Hunt Against Pro-Lifer David Daleiden Continues

The state of California truly is a quagmire. This week David Daleiden, the pro-life activist who heads the Center for Medical Progress — the organization that’s under attack for exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of fetal harvesting — suffered another major setback when his home was raided by California Department of Justice agents. According to The Washington Post, the devices that were confiscated "contained all of the video Daleiden had filmed as part of his 30-month project, ‘including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,’ he said." Purely coincidental, surely.

Suffice to say, this is a bizarre development. As Ed Morrissey observes, "The only charges announced against Daleiden are in Texas, where a grand jury indicted him and colleague Sandra Merritt on the heinous charge of using a fake ID." But this is no ordinary witch hunt. The abortion lobby wants to make sure this never happens again, which explains why California officials are now raiding his home. "It’s clearly intended as an intimidation technique, and a warning pour encourager les âutres who might want to call a politically protected industry to account for its actions," adds Morrissey.

Former federal prosecutor Matt Heffron chimed in too, saying, "To storm into a private citizen’s home with a search warrant is outrageously out of proportion for the type of crime alleged. It’s a discredit to law enforcement, an oppressive abuse of government power."

Recall that late last year thousands of prisoners were freed by Obama’s Justice Department. Meanwhile, their Democrat enablers want felons' voting rights restored, yet they believe, as Hillary Clinton recently argued, that "the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights." When we leave what constitutes crime to the eye of the beholder, it’s the wrongdoers who walk free. And it’s the whistleblowers — like the people exposing Planned Parenthood’s gruesome death mill — and the victims of abortion who pay an insufferable price.

SOURCE





It's Come To This: NPR 'When Is It OK To Profit From Cooking Other Cultures' Food?'

Progressivism’s stupidity has no boundaries. We all know that, but when we have to debate whether we have to segregate food because…culture, you know that we’ve entered a state of decay. Yes, only white people can cook "white food," Asians can only cook their cuisine, and blacks are master chefs in their realm. National Public Radio weighed in on this neo-apartheid regarding food asking last week "when is it OK to profit from cooking other cultures’ food?"

Folks, even by cooking other cultures’ food, and dare I say try to make a living off of it, could be cultural appropriation and a triggering of epic proportions. Or, if you’re an adult, it could be an area where you can enjoy a culture’s cuisine, learn more about it if it was mind-blowing, and really not give a flying you know what about who cooks it. Seriously, are progressives going to enter, say, a Thai restaurant and have anxiety attacks over the ethnicity of the chef? Apparently, that's a legitimate question in this LSD-laced nightmare (via NPR):

    "Recently, we started a conversation about food and race. Specifically, we wondered out loud, who gets to cook — and become the face of — a culture's cuisine?

    Our question was prompted by a recent Sporkful interview with Rick Bayless, who has faced criticism over his long career. Although he is an Oklahoman with no Mexican ancestry, he has become one of the most prominent ambassadors for Mexican cuisine in America....

    As with many things involving race and class in America, there are no easy answers — and we're not expecting to find any clear-cut ones. We're more interested in starting a conversation.

Newsbusters’ Tim Graham wrote that Bayless fed the First Couple Mexican food while in Chicago. Are they traitors to the cause? Probably not, but he did warn that Bayless could get some protesters coming his way:

    This is mildly amusing, since Bayless loves feeding the Obamas some Mexican food in Chicago. Some thought it was fine, it's a free country, and some did not, so Bayless might want to watch out for protesters:

    "when white people do this, they're inspired. when others do this, they're knockoffs. that's the reality"

    "And is it OK that people perceive the food the white chef adopted as worth more than they would pay for the original?"

Students at Oberlin College have similar gripes about their cafeteria food.

Yet, I’m going to trust the American public. I think the vast majority of people who aren’t miserable and self-righteous are perfectly fine with Bayless serving up awesome Mexican food. As a Korean American, I couldn’t care less if the ambassador of Korean cuisine to America is a white, black, or Hispanic. It’s good food, and it originated in the region of my birth. Other folks just cook it. Those recipes are centuries old. I just don’t see where a conniption fit is warranted. And I’m pretty sure other people, of all races, feel the same. Just relax, shut the hell up, and enjoy the Kimchi … you sad, sad* 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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12 April, 2016

Multiculturalist jailed for keeping wife 'in servitude'



A man was handed a two year jail sentence Friday after becoming the first in England to be convicted of keeping his wife "in domestic servitude".

In what the Crown Prosecution Service said was the first case of its kind in England, London's Woolwich Crown Court heard that Safraz Ahmed, 34, imprisoned and beat his wife after an arranged marriage in Pakistan.

The mechanic from Charlton in southeast London forced his wife, Sumara Iram, to cook, clean and look after his mother from 5am to midnight every day after she moved to Britain in 2012.

He also slapped her in the face when she asked him to consummate their marriage, throwing tins of cat food at her head and covering her face with a cushion in other attacks.

Iram, 28, who had a master's degree in Islamic Studies, was forbidden from leaving the house alone and took an overdose before eventually calling the emergency services in 2014, the court heard.

Sentencing Ahmed to two years in prison for holding a person in domestic servitude, Judge Christopher Hehir told him: "She was bullied and controlled by you, given little money and expected to cook, clean and look after your family as if she was a skivvy.

"She described your behaviour as physical and mental torture and in my judgement, she was right."

Damaris Lakin, a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer who worked on the trial, said it was a "ground-breaking case which demonstrates how far we have come in tackling modern-day slavery".

The couple are now divorced.

SOURCE






Bigoted homosexuals

Must not associate with conservatives

A leading gay and lesbian business group that was set to honor Governor Charlie Baker at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., this month has abruptly pulled its invitation after learning Baker will speak at a GOP conference in Las Vegas this weekend with top conservatives.

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said Thursday night it has dropped its plan to celebrate Baker at its "Best of the Best Awards Dinner" on April 26 unless he decides to avoid the Las Vegas gathering and also embrace a bill that would protect transgender people in Massachusetts from discrimination in malls, restaurants, and other public accommodations.

The announcement came after US Representative Joe Kennedy III, a Massachusetts Democrat, balked at being an honorary co-host of the gala because of Baker’s refusal to take a stand on the transgender bill, which Kennedy strongly backs.

The episode underscores the difficulty Baker faces in attempting to both build bridges to national Republicans and also maintain his moderate image back home. A popular figure who supports gay marriage and abortion rights, Baker has repeatedly emphasized that his Massachusetts brand of Republicanism is different from the national GOP’s.

The Globe reported Wednesday that Baker is planning to speak at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas, along with conservatives such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and controversial pastor John Hagee, who vociferously opposes gay marriage.

A spokesman Thursday night said Baker will still attend the Las Vegas confab. Baker issued a statement blaming the decision to disinvite him from the gay and lesbian chamber event on "partisan politics.’’

Baker and his administration have worked closely with the chamber on an initiative to boost gay and lesbian businesses that was trumpeted as groundbreaking by both groups.

In November, Baker announced the expansion of a program that helps businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans gain better access to a portion of an estimated $4 billion a year the state spends buying goods and services. The changes are poised to aid state vendors that contract with businesses certified as being owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people.

And chamber officials say they’ve been quietly pushing the Baker administration to support the transgender bill.

But Thursday, the two top officials at the chamber, president Justin Nelson and chief executive Chance Mitchell, issued a sharp statement.

They said they were not previously aware he planned to attend the Las Vegas conference, and that the gathering has "speakers whose values and positions" on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community, are "antithetical to everything for which the Best-of-the-Best awards, the NGLCC, and our partners stand."

The officials said their group informed the governor Thursday that "until he pulls out from this conference and publicly commits to full LGBT inclusion in Massachusetts, he will not receive the previously announced recognition, which would have allowed him to be present alongside our esteemed partners committed to dignity and respect for all Americans."

Kennedy was originally a co-host for the chamber event, which is also slated to include House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.

But after the Globe reported that Baker was going to be honored as well, Kennedy balked because the governor has not gotten behind the transgender public accommodations bill.

"Congressman Kennedy is proud to consider himself a friend to the NGLCC," Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Kaufman said in a statement before the group’s announcement. "However he has respectfully asked the organization to remove his name from the list of honorary co-hosts for this event, given his strong support for transgender rights and Governor Baker’s refusal to support the public accommodations legislation currently before the State House."

Late Thursday, Kaufman said Kennedy will now, once again, be an honorary co-host of the gala.

Baker portrayed the chamber’s decision as partisan.

"As the only governor in the country to recognize gay- and lesbian-owned businesses and as the only sitting Republican governor in the nation to sign the Supreme Court amicus [friend of the court] brief endorsing marriage equality, I am disappointed that some are putting partisan politics ahead of the sound public policy of treating gay and lesbian business owners with dignity and respect," Baker said in a lengthy written statement.

The governor, who has a cordial relationship with the heavily Democratic Legislature, said he takes pride in making efforts to "reach across the partisan divide to find common ground with people who may not always agree with me and believe some elected officials’ reluctance to do the same is what ails our political system and does a disservice to the people we work for."

And, in reference to the pending transgender legislation, Baker said he continues to "believe no one should be discriminated against based on gender identity, which is why I supported the transgender protections enacted in 2011 and look forward to reviewing further proposals should they reach my desk."

Thursday marked a shift from the November announcement of the new state vendor program, heralded by both the chamber and Baker as a first-in-the-nation accomplishment.

At the time, Nelson, the cofounder and president of the chamber, lavished praise on Baker, thanking him for his "commitment to the LGBT community in Massachusetts."

SOURCE






PayPal Hypocrite, Does Business in Countries Where Homosexual Behavior Is Illegal

In response to PayPal’s decision to not open a new center in North Carolina because of the state’s law against men using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, Rev. Franklin Graham said PayPal is a "hypocrite" and noted that PayPal does business in countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, but it decided to fault North Carolina.

"PayPal gets the hypocrite of the year award!" said Rev. Graham in an April 6 post on Facebook. "This company says they’re not coming to North Carolina because the legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory have passed a law to protect women and children against sexual predators by not allowing men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms." 

Graham continued,  "Congressman Robert Pittenger made a great point yesterday: ‘PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to the women’s bathroom? Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.’"

"PayPal operates in countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Yemen for Pete’s sake," said Rev. Graham, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham.  "Just last month PayPal announced they would be expanding in Cuba, a country in which homosexuals and transgender people have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed."

"[U]nder the current law [in North Carolina] that they are so strongly protesting, PayPal could have chosen their own corporate bathroom policies," said Rev. Graham.

In his post, Rev. Graham noted that North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, in response to PayPal, said on April 5:  "If our action in keeping men out of women's bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it. North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children. They are precious and priceless. If a corporation wanting to do business in North Carolina does not see the worth of our children in the same light, then I wish them well as they do business somewhere else."

"We need more politicians across the country with this kind of backbone," said Rev. Graham. "Pray for the NC governor, lieutenant governor, and legislators that they stand strong against the attacks of this wicked agenda."

Two weeks ago, the North Carolina legislature passed a law that says biological males must use men’s rooms and biological females must use women’s rooms (and locker rooms). The law allows transgenders to use unisex bathrooms, and transsexuals, post-surgery, can use the bathroom that their new anatomy matches.

PayPal, a pro-homosexual company, objected, however, and CEO Dan Schulman issued a statement saying the company would not now open a new operations center in Charlotte, which would employ about 400 people.

"The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture," said Schulman. "PayPal is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights. The company earned a 100% ranking on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national report on corporate policies related to LGBT workplace equality."

SOURCE






Leftist inability to accept reality

Conservative Los Angeles filmmaker, journalist and playwright Phelim McAleer has provided a great deal of insight into the denialism that forms the heart of the progressive mindset.

Last year, McAleer penned "Ferguson," a play about the deadly confrontation between police officer Darren Wilson and teenager Michael Brown. As stated on the play’s website, "The purpose of FERGUSON is to reveal the truth about what really happened on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO and to look at why and how the Grand Jury came to the decision they did."

Moreover, in an industry currently roiled by a lack of diversity, it was a play "that offered ten roles for black men and women and even three significant roles for black women over 40 — which everyone agrees can be a career death zone for women (of all races)," McAleer explained in a recent editorial for The Daily Wire.

The device McAleer used to construct the play is something called "verbatim theater," meaning the entire drama was constructed from the exact words spoken by those interviewed about a particular event or topic. McAleer revealed exactly what that meant in this case, stating "this was to be no whitesplaining of the issue. I wrote, or rather curated, the play only using actual Grand Jury testimony of witnesses (most of them black). I didn’t change their testimony at all. Not a paragraph, word or comma was added. It was to be a minute by minute account by multiple eyewitnesses of the last hours of Michael Brown’s life."

An initially "enthusiastic" cast of 13 signed up for the staged reading over four nights at the Odyssey Theater in Santa Monica, California. But they apparently brought a lot of assumptions with them. Assumptions GQ Magazine described as expecting a play that "would proclaim Darren Wilson, the officer who shot the unarmed 18-year-old dead on August 9, 2014, to be in the wrong."

Most of the cast’s enthusiasm lasted as long as the first rehearsal. After that, nine of the original 13 actors quit.

Some of the would-be cast members illuminated the reasons for their discontent. "It felt like the purpose of the piece was to show, ‘Of course he was not indicted — here’s why,’" stated Philip Casnoff, who admitted he hadn’t read the full script before arriving for the rehearsal. Following his discovery that McAleer was the playwright, the self-professed "very liberal, left-wing-leaning," actor decided, "Whoa, this is not the place for me to be."

Actress Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of civil rights movement leader Ralph David Abernathy, also quit when McAleer refused to edit the play to her liking. "We were all concerned because the testimony made Michael Brown look like a villain and a big bully and some drugged-out kid who was a bad guy," she said before quitting. "Omitted from the script was the autopsy and the medical examiner’s report about how many times Michael was shot." Abernathy wanted the drama to include the part of the medical examiner’s report indicating Brown was shot in the top of his head — because it apparently suggested to her that Wilson was standing over Brown when he shot him.

Actually, there were three autopsies performed on Brown. One was done by St. Louis County, another was privately commissioned by Brown’s family and a third was undertaken by medical examiners from the U.S. military. Media and advocate "theories" abounded as to what those autopsies actually indicated, but there is no dispute Brown was shot six times. Yet there was also physical evidence that included DNA samples taken from the "interior left front door handle" of Wilson’s police vehicle indicating Brown was the "source of the major male contributor profile," ballistics evidence proving the gun had been fired into the door of the vehicle, and several eyewitness accounts reporting a "tussle" in Wilson’s car, prior to the shooting.

All of the physical evidence is consistent with Wilson’s grand jury testimony. In addition, that grand jury heard from more 60 witnesses, whose testimony ran to several thousand pages of transcripts. The grand jury declined to indict Wilson, leading to an investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice. They also declined to indict Wilson because there was "no evidence" to disprove Wilson’s testimony that he feared for his safety, or evidence proving Brown had his hands up when he was shot. The report further noted that witnesses who asserted otherwise were "inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence," or that "some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible or otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time."

In other words, some of the witnesses lied.

Despite all this, Veralyn Jones, a black cast member who also resigned, offered the ultimate fallback position progressives take when reality conflicts with their carefully crafted narrative. "He claims that he wrote this to try to get to the truth of it, but everybody’s truth is totally subjective," she said. "When you come to the matter of what really happened, nobody really knows for sure, because everybody has a different take on it. … It just didn’t feel right to me."

"Subjective truth," which is nothing more than flat out denial of reality, forms the heart of the progressive movement. From the "hands up, don’t shoot" lie that remains the principal impetus of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the leftist EU leaders who deny importing millions of Middle Eastern "refugees" is tied to increasing numbers of terror attacks and rapes, the "narrative" is all that matters.

With regard to the choices he made for his play, McAleer stood by his selection of the particular accounts he chose from more than 5,000 pages of transcript. "I picked the most dramatic chronological descriptions, the biggest liars and the biggest truth-tellers," he said at the time. "It should be remarkably simple, but it’s not. It’s very complex."

In reflecting on that stand last week, McAleer noted the quitting cast members "did not want to hear the genuine voices — even if they were black and under oath," further observing their walkout "made a mockery of claims that there is a need for more diverse roles in the entertainment industry. This was a predominantly black cast in a play about a topic that was about an issue — police shootings of black men — that was of enormous interest to the black community."

Enormous interest maybe — but only under certain circumstances. "In reality what activists obviously meant was that they wanted black roles that pushed a left/liberal agenda," McAleer stated. "They may have wanted the actors faces to be a diverse color but they so did not want diversity of thought or ideas to be presented on the stage. No — those ideas had to be shut down."

Shutting down the truth has disastrous consequences. Chicago leads the multi-city upsurge in violent crime more than likely attributable to the "Ferguson effect" that makes police officers hesitant to do their jobs. The city is on track to top 500 homicides for only the second time in the last seven years. Unfortunately, most of the murder victims will be black Americans.

That’s the truth. And there’s nothing remotely subjective about it.

SOURCE






Mississippi Is on the Right Side of History

Lawmakers in Mississippi took a stand for the First Amendment this week, and the usual suspects aren’t happy.

Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, and big business are all in a tizzy, claiming discrimination where absolutely none exists and completely misrepresenting this commonsense law in hopes of bullying the state to reverse its decision.  

Here’s the scenario: Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last summer, same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. The new Mississippi law does nothing to change that. As a matter of fact, this new law does not take away any right from anyone.

Instead, it protects something we used to cherish in this country—our rights under the First Amendment.

To be clear, the law does not ban any form of marriage. The law does not stop or delay the granting of wedding licenses to gay couples. The law does not ban gay adoption. Et cetera. Et cetera.

It simply says the government can’t force ministers or religious organizations or private business owners to participate in such activities if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

But apparently the whole "live and let live" mantra we’ve heard from the left for years doesn’t go far enough. They don’t just want their rights, which they now have; they want to strip away the religious freedom rights of fellow citizens and force them to approve and participate.

Some liberal governors are now saying they won’t allow their state employees to travel to Mississippi on official business. Well-known companies are threatening economic sanctions and boycotts because they don’t like the law.

Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi state legislature should be applauded for not caving to such pressure and for not selling out the First Amendment rights of their citizens for a pot of "intolerance" porridge.

Mississippi is on the right side of history. By standing up for our Constitution and the First Amendment, the state is fighting to protect our rights of free speech and religious freedom—the very rights that throughout history have made the difference between a free society and one that isn’t.

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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11 April, 2016

New England Journal of Medicine increasingly targeted by critics

Their editor's oppposition to data sharing is inexcusable.  Lots of articles in medical journals cry out for reanalysis of their data.  All the extreme quintile studies, for instance, cry out for a re-exploration of what actually went on in the data. Throwing out four fifths of your data in order to demonstrate something is a recourse of desperation and worthy of no confidence in what is reported.  And calling people who do reanalysis "research parasites" is just abuse and evidence of a weak case.  "Research symbionts" might be justifiable but that is obviously not abusive enough.  NEJM is clearly out of step with current concerns about research integrity

The New England Journal of Medicine is arguably the best-known and most venerated medical journal in the world. Studies featured in its pages are cited more often, on average, than those of any of its peers. And the careers of young researchers can take off if their work is deemed worthy of appearing in it.

But following a series of well-publicized feuds with prominent medical researchers and former editors of the journal, some are questioning whether the publication is slipping in relevancy and reputation. The journal and its top editor, critics say, have resisted correcting errors and lag behind others in an industrywide push for more openness in research. And dissent has been dismissed with a paternalistic arrogance, they say.

In a widely derided editorial this year, Dr. Jeffrey M. Drazen, the journal’s editor-in-chief, and a deputy used the term "research parasites" to describe researchers who seek others’ data to analyze or replicate their studies, which many say is a crucial step in the scientific process. And last year, the journal ran a controversial series saying concerns about conflicts of interest in medicine are oversimplified and overblown.

"They basically have a view that . . . they don’t need to change or adapt. It’s their way or the highway," said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer at Scripps Health in La Jolla, Calif.

Topol and another cardiologist were criticized by Drazen and his co-authors last year after they wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times saying the data behind a groundbreaking study about blood pressure treatment should be made available to doctors right away — not delayed for journal publication.

"Most people are afraid to say anything about the New England Journal because they’re afraid they won’t get something published there," said Topol, whose work last appeared in its pages in 2011. "That’s part of this oppression."

In an interview, Drazen said the recent criticisms are misguided. The goal for the research the journal publishes is to be accurate, he said, while its editorials are sometimes designed to be "controversial" as a means of triggering discussion.


"If there’s anything that I have a passion for, it’s getting it right," he said. "We work very hard at that. We’re not arrogant. We’re not dismissive."

Brooding over the New England Journal of Medicine’s future comes at a pivotal moment for medical journals more broadly.

Like the larger publishing world, their traditionally slow pace and often imperious control have been jolted by the freedom and brashness of the Internet. So-called open-access journals, which publish online and don’t charge for subscriptions, are proliferating, as are websites that allow researchers to post their results before they have been externally vetted. Respected academics, including Harvard’s medical school dean, Dr. Jeffrey Flier, are calling for fundamental changes in the way research is reviewed and published, even proposing that peer reviewers give up their historic anonymity.

This push for transparency tracks the rise of research watchdogs who hunt for evidence of fraud and misconduct, then publicize their findings, often blasting out viral bombs via social media. There’s even a popular website called Retraction Watch, whose main goal is to flag such lapses, which had largely gone unnoticed even a few years ago.

In response, some top journals, including The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, have begun moving toward more openness in their operations. The BMJ now requires researchers to share the underlying data that forms the basis of their clinical trials and allows comments on all of its articles, upending the strong hand editors previously had to determine which dissent was worthy of airing. It has even had outsiders examine questions raised about controversial studies.

The New England Journal, in contrast, its critics say, has steadfastly clung to an increasingly antiquated view of medical journals as sole arbiters of what should be made public and whether dissenting views should be heard.

"The BMJ wants to take us forward in the new century and the New England Journal of Medicine is trying to take us backwards," said Dr. Vinay Prasad, an expert in evidence-based medicine and an assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, who has become an outspoken critic of the New England Journal.

The publication Drazen inherited was initially launched as a quarterly in January 1812 with the less pithy title of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery and the Collateral Branches of Medical Science. Today, it is read each week by more than 600,000 people in 177 countries, according to the journal’s website.

In 1984, the journal was at the forefront of a nascent effort to respond to the potential bias arising from financial ties between pharmaceutical and device makers and physicians. Editor Arnold S. Relman established a new policy, calling on doctors and researchers to disclose their funding and commercial interests. Six years later he went a step further, prohibiting authors with ties to companies from writing editorials or reviews of medical literature relating to their products.

Drazen’s own ties to the pharmaceutical industry presented something of an obstacle when he was named editor in May 2000. A well-known pulmonologist, he had received money for consulting or research into asthma and its treatments from nine drug companies. Because of those ties, he recused himself for two years from editing or personally selecting any papers related to asthma or those companies.

Two years into his editorship, Drazen loosened the journal’s conflict policy. He wrote that the policy Relman had put in place — and that his successors had affirmed — had constrained editors from publishing the best information for doctors. The new guidelines said authors of editorials and reviews couldn’t have "significant" ties to a company, which are defined as receiving more than $10,000 annually from a single company.

The journal dug into the topic again last May with a three-part series of articles questioning efforts to curb financial conflicts of interest among doctors and researchers.

"Although, by definition, a conflict of interest represents a risk that judgment will be compromised — not a determination that such a lapse has occurred — the pharmascolds’ narrative about conflicts of interest often conflates the two," author Lisa Rosenbaum wrote, using a pejorative word some have used to describe those who lament the influence of industry on medical decisions.

Drazen’s predecessors Jerome P. Kassirer and Marcia Angell, and former senior editor Robert Steinbrook took to the pages of The BMJ to criticize their former home. "Judges are expected to recuse themselves from hearing a case in which there are concerns that they could benefit financially from the outcome. Journalists are expected not to write stories on topics in which they have a financial conflict of interest," they wrote. "Yet Rosenbaum and Drazen seem to think it is insulting to physicians and medical researchers to suggest that their judgment can be affected in the same way."

Asked whether the journal had plans to further revise its policy on conflicts of interest, Drazen said, "We always continually evaluate what we do to make sure we’re doing the best job possible." None of Rosenbaum’s pieces, he added, "mentioned anything about us changing our policy."

Since 2010, ProPublica has written extensively about conflicts of interest in medicine and has created a tool called Dollars for Docs that allows users to look up payments to doctors by drug and medical device companies. A second tool, Surgeon Scorecard, which includes complication rates, was criticized by Rosenbaum in a perspective piece in the journal last year.

Rosenbaum, in an e-mail, said the reaction to the series on conflicts of interest was much as she had hoped. "One of the primary goals of the series was to start a conversation so that we could move beyond what has become a very reflexive (and typically negative) response to physician-industry interactions," she wrote.

Some researchers and doctors have also decried what they perceive as the journal’s resistance to becoming more transparent about the research it publishes.

In February, a group of British scientists faulted the journal, as well as some of its peers, for failing to disclose that the questions being answered in certain studies were not the same as those in the researchers’ original protocols. Changes are normal and sometimes to be expected, but they need to be disclosed, the group believes.

When the group shared its findings in a series of letters to the editor, the journal’s editors sent dismissive responses, they said, declining to make any changes to the papers or publish the team’s criticisms.

In an interview, Drazen said his staff initially reviewed a couple of the group’s claims, found them without merit and moved on. Through a spokeswoman, he e-mailed documents that he said rebutted the group’s contentions regarding two of the studies.

Drazen also noted that in recent years, the journal began posting the protocols and statistical analysis plan for all clinical trials it publishes.

Shown the journal’s rebuttals, British researcher and author Ben Goldacre and his team said it not only failed to rebut their contentions, but showed that the editors may not have fully understood the studies’ findings and metrics.

The critiques of the journal have moved onto the pages of competing journals and mainstream news sources, with several recently questioning why it has been slow to correct or clarify studies.

A piece last month in The BMJ reported on mounting concerns over the journal’s handling of a major 2012 study that compared the risks of two products — saline and hydroxyethyl starch — that boost blood volume in critically ill patients. Though the results were not conclusive, the study suggested that starch solutions were more dangerous, leading to a warning from the Food and Drug Administration and a precipitous drop in sales.

The company that makes starch solutions wrote a letter skeptical of the study’s methodology and results. The journal, according to The BMJ article, wouldn’t correct the article or publish the company’s letter.

Within days of The BMJ article, the New England Journal appended a correction to the study about the values in a table, but editors otherwise stood by the findings.

Drazen said that when concerns are raised about a study, the authors are asked for a response, which is analyzed by statistical reviewers.

"Recently we got another query about the same issue," Drazen said. "When we went back to requery the author, there, in fact, was an error in the paper that was published."

The incident that has provoked the biggest storm came in January, when Drazen and a deputy editor wrote an editorial that some interpreted as critical of burgeoning efforts to share data on clinical research so others can assess the findings and perhaps replicate the analyses.

"There is concern among some front-line researchers that the system will be taken over by what some researchers have characterized as ‘research parasites,’" Drazen and deputy editor Dan Longo wrote.

The criticism was immediate, fierce, and widespread — probably more than for anything else the journal has done in many years. In an editorial in the journal Science, titled "#IAmAResearchParasite," editor Marcia McNutt wrote: "No more excuses: Let’s step up to data sharing."

Barry Marshall, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, wrote on Twitter: "Plenty of Nobel prizes came from a new look at other people’s data."

Drazen quickly published a second editorial in which he appeared to backtrack somewhat (he used the word "clarify"), saying he and the journal did support data sharing.

The worry he was initially trying to articulate, Drazen said is that scientists not involved with original research will swoop in, conduct additional analyses (perhaps without understanding the data) and then take credit from those who spent months or years working on the underlying research.

"The data sets are very, very, very complex," he said. "You don’t want someone to analyze the data set not fully understanding it."

For his part, Drazen said he doesn’t see the controversies that have arisen in recent months as any different from those of other periods of his tenure. He is one of the longest-serving editors of a major medical journal at this point.

"In the 16 years, I can’t say that I think this particular last 12 months has been different by a lot," he said. "When issues come up we pay attention to them, and there are always issues coming up."

SOURCE






Russian women who decide against having an abortion can SELL their babies to the state for $3,700 under proposed new law

This is in line with ideas expressed by G.W. Bush and Vatican Cardinal Pell, who urge more support for pregnant women as an abortion preventative

Russian women who decide to sell their babies instead of having an abortion will receive $3,700 under a proposed new law.

Officials are hoping the measure, which was put forward by a MP for the country's nationalist party, will boost the country's birth rate and give children 'a chance to live'.

Around 200,000 women are expected to take part in the proposals, which has not yet passed through government.

Aleksandr Sherin, State Duma MP, wrote in a note accompanying the proposal that it will help 'children who were doomed to die before being born', according to RT.com.

He added: 'Currently only about 20 per cent of women who want an abortion abandon their intention. 'Material stimuli could help to significantly improve this figure.'

The women will have to hand authorities details of their pregnancy - including due date and a letter saying they will not have an abortion - if they want to receive the money.

The money is expected to be given out at a set rate to start with but will be recalculated in line with inflation.

In Russia, abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy is legal. Women who have been raped can request an abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. In the UK, an abortion can be legally carried out if it is within the first 24 weeks.

SOURCE






UK: Labour councillor, 20, suspended over claims she called Hitler 'the greatest man in history'

A labour councillor has been suspended for shockingly offensive anti-Semitic tweets, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The discovery of Aysegul Gurbuz’s vile comments is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic scandals to hit the Labour Party. The 20-year-old student is alleged to have called Adolf Hitler the ‘greatest man in history’ and said she hoped Iran would use a nuclear weapon to ‘wipe Israel off the map’.

Miss Gurbuz, who is Muslim, became Luton’s youngest councillor when she was elected to the High Town ward last year.  But last night Miss Gurbuz was suspended after the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism found a series of disturbing posts on her Twitter account from 2011 to 2014.

One tweet, written in January 2013, said: ‘The Jews are so powerful in the US it’s disgusting.’   Another post, in October 2012, said: ‘Ed Miliband is Jewish. He will never become prime minister of Britain.’ And Adolf Hitler was praised as the ‘greatest man in history’ in a tweet in October 2011.

Miss Gurbuz last night denied she had written the tweets and claimed her sister may have posted them.

A Labour spokesman said: ‘Councillor Gurbuz has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.’

Miss Gurbuz is in her final year at Warwick University, where she is also events organiser for the student union’s Friends of Palestine society.

She told the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism: ‘It was a joint account I had with my sister so I don’t know if she’s gone out and tweeted that, but I’m absolutely appalled right now. ‘Where I live we’ve got very good cohesion with the Jewish community... I’m absolutely shocked.’

Miss Gurbuz did not respond to our calls for comment last night.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said: ‘These tweets are anti-Semitic. They appear on Aysegul Gurbuz’s personal account and there is no defence for that.

‘Anti-Semitism is rising in Europe and the UK, and the regular anti-Semitic tweets and opinions emanating from the Labour Party have failed to elicit any meaningful response from Jeremy Corbyn. How many more cases must we see before Labour take action?’

Trevor Holden, chief executive of Luton Borough Council, said: ‘This will be referred as a matter of urgency to the council’s independent standards committee to allow a full investigation to take place.

‘The council expects the highest standards of councillors and will not accept any behaviour which could undermine community cohesion.’

SOURCE







More Muslim hate in Britain

A Channel 4 reporter has been reprimanded by the broadcaster after claiming British Muslims are 'sell-outs and Uncle Toms' if they attend government-organised Islamic events.

Investigative journalist Assed Baig, 34, who was born in Birmingham but now lives in London, has also used the pejorative term ‘house Muslim’ on Twitter in relation to moderate Muslims.

And the former BBC reporter referred to any Muslims who attend British government iftars as ‘Uncle Toms’, which is a derogatory term meaning a black person showing obedience to whites.

Although Mr Baig posted the tweets prior to his Channel 4 days, he has been reminded by the broadcaster ‘of his responsibilities as a journalist to be fair and impartial’ when representing it.

In 2011, he tweeted: ‘Anyone that attends a British government iftar is a sell-out and an Uncle Tom.’ And he said in 2012 that the 'term Uncle Tom should be readopted in media and political circles'.

In the same year Mr Baig also insisted on Twitter that the phrase - along with 'choc-ice' and 'coconut' - is not racist, but rather something 'used to described fake and sell-out people.'

Also, in reference to a video of British Muslims dancing to the Pharrell Williams song ‘Happy’, he wrote in April 2014: ‘A man dances for hos master because he's a house Muslim [sic].’

Mr Baig later clarified his views the next day by saying: 'I do not believe everyone in that video to be a house Muslim

Mr Baig, whose tweets were reported by the Guido Fawkes political blog, was criticised by some on Twitter today, but backed by others who said 'keep up the good work' and praised his 'excellent reporting'.

But Fiyaz Mugha, founder of Tell Mama, a Government-backed group which tracks anti-Muslim crimes, told MailOnline: ‘The term "house Muslim" effectively is synonymous with someone using house and using the N-word.

‘It means that people are subservient to a white master or a power structure. We think it actually has some racial connotations to it and also in many instances is used to provide a "them and us".

‘It really reinforces a "them and us" regarding the racial connotations around the term. So actually it's a deeply problematic term and one we've actually been saying should not be used.’

However a spokesman for Media Diversified, a group promoting ‘writers of colour’, tweeted: ‘We are in full support of Assed Baig and the work he has done for both Vice UK and Channel 4 News.

‘Tweets made when there was no verified tick and in conversation are his business to resolve - nobody else’s - and we know he will. So [we] suggest others back off unless they have some other agenda, then that should be revealed.’

A Channel 4 News spokesman told MailOnline this afternoon: 'We are aware of the tweets in question by Assad Baig which pre-date his employment by Channel 4 News.

'They are clearly a personal view relating to that particular period in time. However, he has been reminded of his responsibilities as a journalist to be fair and impartial when representing Channel 4 News at all times.'

Mr Baig can speak Urdu, Punjabi and Arabic - and has worked in countries including the Central African Republic, Myanmar and Libya.

He has also reported from nations including Pakistan, Bosnia and Somalia - and has lived in countries such as Syria and Mauritania. He has not yet responded to a request for comment.

SOURCE






Ray Lewis Tackles Black Lives Matter

Legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis posted a powerful video on Facebook challenging the followers of the Black Lives Matter movement to actually care about black lives. The timing of his post is related to the upcoming anniversary of the Baltimore riots over the death of Freddie Grey.

Although the video was posted April 2nd, it is finally coming to national attention because of its content:

"I’m trying to ask the question to the organization of black lives, if they really mattered, why not riot now? There were 141 murders, 82 murders last year at this time. I’m trying to figure out in my mind why no one is paying attention to black men killing black men. Why we always find ourselves half the victims, and now we have the separation once again that we’re being victimized because of one bad white cop, two bad white cops, three bad white cops, killing a young black brother, but every day we have black-on-black crime, killing each other."

You can watch the full video by clicking here.

Often known as the "reverend" or the "preacher" for his intense, inspirational speaking style that combines morality and religion, Lewis is trying to address the problems affecting our inner cities that are being ignored. As Lewis points out, the murder rate of black men in Baltimore City and Chicago are increasing while politicians and activists ignore them.

Lewis has had his own troubled past, but his youthful indiscretions led to a radical spiritual change in the mid-2000s. Allowing God to shape his life, he began to use his fame and money to help the less fortunate and make great changes. He became a leader on and off the field, and he has continued that path following his retirement.

There has been some backlash to these words, but most of that backlash has come from the more radical of the political activists. Lewis has undermined their efforts and exposed that they are paying lip service to their communities. He has upset their position and forced truth to come to light.

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 April, 2016

Liz Conor's blindness



Greenie Liz Conor is a very angry lady. She absolutely pours out vituperation at Westerm society generally and her fellow Australians in particular. And she uses a lot of unusual words, in an apparent attempt to sound learned and profound. Race and racism is her shtick and like all Leftists she has a genius for telling only half the story about that. 

She even seems to think it a credit to herself that she is married to a Ceylonese burgher.  But although the burghers tend to be brownish, they  have a lot of European descent and have largely European characteristics. A burgher lady I knew at one stage was pretty assertive too. They even speak English, mostly.  So she hasn't really put her money where her mouth is.

I knew two blonde anti-racist women who did:  Barbara M. and Christine A.  Both married Aboriginal men and just accepted the limitations that imposed on them -- including syphilis in the case of Christine.

Under the heading "A Little Brown-Eyed Babe Washed Ashore", she is very good at blaming the death of Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi on the wrong people.  She completely ignores that fact that he was already dead before he arrived in Europe.  But if he was dead before he arrived in Europe how are "we" to blame?  Liz seems to think "we" are. She even takes it personally.  When she saw a picture of the boy, she found herself "erupting in shame and anger". The fact of the matter is of course that he was one of many victims of Muslim fanaticism.  He and his family were driven from their homeland by the incredibly barbarous ISIS.

And Liz OF COURSE does not mention that his family already had refuge in Turkey when they set out.  They could have stayed in Turkey in peace if they had wanted to.  Their journey was a journey in search of money.  They hoped to exploit Western kindness to get a better standard of living. The very risky journey was motivated by greed, nothing else. The father even put the safety of his children at risk to get more money. The death of the boy was a horror but the Western world had nothing to do with it.  "We" are not to blame.

The person I grieve most for is the mother.  She showed such loving care for her little boy, only to have it all thrown away by a scum father.

I could go on to fill out other incidents that Liz misrepresents but I think you get her typically Leftist strategy of mentioning only those bits that help to fuel her hatred for the rest of us.

But I want to address  another one of her articles in the far-Left "New Matilda".  She is even critical of the Australian Left's favourite Muslim:  Waleed Aly.  Aly had an article in "The Australian" that described Australians as "weird" because we are generally unbothered by the fact that there were Aborigines in the country when white men first arrived.  The fact that we make extensive welfare provision for them cuts no ice, of course.

I have already pointed out at length that Aly's article is just an extended exercise in fantasy so does Liz think similarly?  No. She sees his fantasies as fact.  So how has he raised her ire?  He did something that is a great unforgivable sin to Leftists, including American Leftists:  He praised America!  How heinous can you get?  The bounder!  The cad!

So Liz coped with that by accusing Aly of having ignored the raw deal that American Indians got from white settlers. And there is no doubt that there were real atrocities and betrayals during white settlement of America.  But that is all of the past.  The past is a different country.  The only thing we have any control over is the present.  And in the present there is extensive welfare provision and concessions that benefit the American Indians of today.

Like Australian Aborigines, they have big problems with alcohol but to deny them alcohol would be "paternalist" and "authoritarian", would it not?

So Liz is deliberately blind to most of the things she writes  about.  I guess she hopes that she can deceive a few naive people into sharing her hatreds. She completed her doctorate in Australian cultural history at La Trobe University so she cannot masquerade as simply ill-informed.






Oh dear. Is the fact my wife was a bus driver the final proof I'm stupid? 

By TOM UTLEY

An item in yesterday’s paper brought back a fond memory of my late mother, one winter evening in our London flat in the early Seventies.

My journalist father had arrived home from a marathon session in his favourite Fleet Street pub, and had promptly fallen fast asleep in his armchair. My mother was sitting in hers on the other side of the fire, knitting him an Aran sweater. Home from school, I was sprawled on the sofa, reading a book.

After ten minutes of silence, my father began to snore as only he could — a stentorian, earth-shaking roar of a snore, to rattle the windowpanes and awaken the dead. (My wife tells me I’ve inherited this ear-splitting attribute, but I refuse to believe her.)

My mother and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. After a deafening snort from the figure slumped in the armchair, silence reigned again — only to be broken a few minutes later when the snoring resumed. And so the evening wore on.

Suddenly my mother laughed. ‘I’ve just remembered something your grandfather said when I got engaged to your father,’ she told me. ‘He looked at me sadly and said: "Oh well, my darling daughter, at least with him you’ll never be bored!" ’
 
The report that reminded me of this scene was yesterday’s finding, by U.S. researchers, that women who fancy brainy boyfriends are less likely to be interested in male-dominated careers, such as science, technology or engineering.

I thought of it because my mother was the most home-loving and traditionally feminine of women, without any sort of worldly or career ambition. She loved nothing more than cooking, knitting, sewing, cats, the odd gin and tonic, going to church and generally looking after her husband and four children.

My late father was exceptionally brainy (stop me if I’ve told you this before, but Margaret Thatcher was to describe him on his death as ‘quite simply, the most distinguished Tory thinker of our time’).

True, as his many friends and admirers in politics and journalism will testify, he had enormous charm and a life-enhancing sense of humour — when he wasn’t snoring in his armchair, that is.
But I’ve often thought his chief attraction to my mother, the quality which convinced her this was the man she had to marry, was the stunning brilliance of his mind.

I’ve read several surveys suggesting that most men are terrified of dating highly intelligent women (though I hasten to assure my wife that I’ve never been among that majority).

But what no one can surely deny is that a certain sort of woman just can’t resist a clever man, no matter how little else may appear to be going for him. Think of the romantic successes enjoyed by Stephen Hawking, Andrew Neil, Bernard Levin or Salman Rushdie — hardly matinee idols, let’s agree — and I rest my case.
What I do know, because my mother told me, is that her parents were shocked when she fell in love with my father.

My maternal grandmother in particular — a crashing snob, if truth be told — had very different ideas about the sort of man her beloved and beautiful daughter ought to marry. Grandma had dreamed of a handsome war hero, at the very least, preferably of the rank of earl or above, with plenty of money in the bank and a stately pile to call home.

The heir to the Duke of Norfolk, as a Roman Catholic like her, would have suited her nicely as a son-in-law.

But instead my mother presented her with my odd-looking father-to-be — Anglican, frighteningly skinny, a chain-smoker with awful teeth and not a bean to his name, who lived with an aunt in a pokey flat in Bloomsbury.

Worse even than this, in my grandmother’s book, he spoke with the distinct trace of a Liverpool accent. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he was blind, having lost his sight to infantile glaucoma at the age of nine.

Indeed, the only thing that seemed to be going for him was his extraordinary brain, which had won him a dazzling starred double-first at Cambridge.

But this cut no ice with my grandmother, who would have preferred even the most gormless baronet to this poverty-stricken brainbox who couldn’t see. She foresaw nothing but misery for my mother and tried desperately to make her change her mind.

She couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, my parents’ marriage was one of the happiest I’ve come across. Yes, they had plenty of healthy rows (don’t most couples?). But they adored each other — she, endlessly proud of him, he blissfully content to be dependent on her for everything except the family income, which was his department.

When he left her a widow at 61, she found his memory companion enough for her remaining 24 years. No one else would do.

I have a strong feeling that the researchers from the University at Buffalo, who compiled the survey reported yesterday, wouldn’t have approved at all.

True, my parents’ marriage conformed exactly to their finding that women who go for brainy men tend to favour traditionally feminine occupations, such as home- making or the caring professions. But the scientists make no secret of their belief that it’s a very bad thing for the fairer sex to avoid careers chiefly seen as masculine.

Professor Lora Park, the study’s author, says: ‘Women who had a preference of wanting to date someone smarter than themselves were the ones who distanced themselves the most from STEM fields,’ (she means science, technology, engineering and maths).
‘In general, women have made many advances, but in certain fields of STEM they haven’t made much progress.’

The reason could be, says her team, that women on the hunt for intelligent men are ‘limiting their STEM talents’, deliberately or subconsciously, in order to make themselves seem attractive.

But isn’t there another possibility, quite as plausible? Could it not be many women avoid traditionally masculine occupations because they genuinely prefer those considered to be traditionally feminine?

Indeed, I often feel sorry for today’s girls, under constant pressure to believe there are no psychological differences between the sexes. A whole generation is growing up, encouraged to think there is something to be mildly ashamed of in preferring stay-at-home motherhood or nursing to, say, soldiering or heavy engineering.

We seem even to be reaching the absurd stage where we have to pretend there are no physical differences between men and women. Witness how novelist Ian McEwan has been made to apologise for making the straightforward, if banal, observation: ‘Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to think of people with penises as men.’

After a barrage of abuse from the forces of political correctness, he now says: ‘That the transgender community should want or need to abandon their birth gender or radically redefine it is their right, which should be respected and celebrated.’

Strewth! At this rate, what hope will there be for boys who just want to be boys, or girls who want to be girls?

But back to that American study, and a thought that has been troubling me from the moment I read it. If it is really true, as the survey finds, that women who don’t fancy clever men are drawn to traditionally masculine occupations, then what does this say about me, as the husband of a former bus driver?

In defence of my intellect, I will say only that it was not so much from choice as from pressing financial necessity that my wife drove London double-deckers for two-and-a-half years. I confess it was a miserable time for me, because I felt in my old-fashioned way that her slightly manly job rather undermined my manliness.

Though she never made a fuss, she can’t have been all that happy about it either. I say this because on the very day I moved to the Mail, ten years ago next month — with a hefty pay rise that meant we no longer needed her wages — she handed in her notice at the bus depot.

Now she works part-time, for a lot less money, as secretary to the head of a pro-life campaign group. She’s much happier in her more distinctively feminine occupation. I’m much happier in my masculine role as chief breadwinner.

Heaven knows, I wouldn’t wish to discourage any woman who wants to pursue a career in a field traditionally dominated by men.  But are we really adding to the sum of human happiness by constantly telling those who don’t want ‘masculine’ jobs that they ought to?

SOURCE






British social workers will take your children away from you if they don't like your opinions but ignore children actually suffering harm

Social services were last night accused of failing a little girl who was murdered by her mother stamping on her chest.

Ayeeshia Jane Smith, who was just 21 months old when she died, was handed back to her violent drug-addicted mother Kathryn despite grave concerns about the toddler’s care.

In a shocking case with echoes of the Baby P tragedy, the child’s biological father twice reported injuries she had suffered to social workers but claimed they ‘weren’t interested’.

The toddler, who weighed just 20lbs when she died, was attacked with such force she suffered a fatal heart injury, three broken ribs and bit through her own tongue.

Experts said her injuries were so severe she resembled a high-speed car crash victim.

Social services had been supervising Ayeeshia and she was taken away from Smith for five months and placed with foster carers, during which time she gained weight and her health improved. But she was given back to her mother seven months before her death following a ‘positive risk assessment’.

Campaigners say it was one of a series of missed opportunities by social services to save the little girl. Social workers discussed taking Ayeeshia into care again three weeks before she died, then held another meeting just 24 hours before she was killed – but did not remove the child.

Smith, 23, wept uncontrollably in the dock yesterday after a jury found her guilty of murdering Ayeeshia as she cried ‘stop mummy, stop daddy’. Her ex-partner, Matthew Rigby, 22, was convicted of causing or allowing the child’s death, but cleared of murder.

Last night, Derbyshire Council pledged to investigate after Ayeeshia’s father Ricky Booth, 21, said she had been ‘let down’ by the system. It can also be disclosed that:

Concerns were raised about Smith’s ability as a mother even before Ayeeshia was born;

Ayeeshia suffered a number of ‘concerning’ injuries in the run up to her death, including a life-threatening brain injury, which apparently went unnoticed by doctors;

Smith’s social worker, Stephen Crean, 61, took early retirement last year while facing serious questions over his handling of the case;

Ayeeshia’s godmother said the youngster scavenged in bins after being starved by her mother.

Ayeeshia, who was known as AJ, died from a tear to the heart which triggered a fatal heart attack on May 1, 2014.

Paramedics had been called to Smith and Rigby’s maisonette, in Stretton, Burton-on-Trent, shortly after 4pm that day.

The couple were arrested when a post-mortem examination revealed her injuries.

It also found she had suffered a number of previous injuries in the run up to her death, including bruises to her back and buttocks, head, neck, left eyelid and left leg, as well as a ‘life-threatening bleed to the brain’.

The prosecution said there was a ‘consistent pattern of non-accidental bruising’ which ‘must have happened when one or both were looking after Ayeeshia and about which both must have known’.

Smith and Rigby, both violent drug addicts, had denied having anything to do with the child’s death throughout their six-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

They initially tried to claim Ayeeshia had suffered a seizure and the child’s horrific injuries were caused when they attempted CPR. But experts said this simply was not possible.

The couple then turned on each other in the dock, with each saying the other must have been responsible for the toddler’s death.

But a jury convicted Smith of murder after hearing Ayeeshia had been subjected to months of abuse before the final fatal attack. Smith was also convicted of child cruelty after the court heard she was more interested in buying cannabis than feeding her young daughter.

Ayeeshia had eaten just a yoghurt, a chocolate biscuit and a packet of Quavers on the day she died and was ‘very thin’, with her weight in the bottom 2 per cent for her age.

Last night the child’s godmother Esta Barrett, 25, recalled visiting Ayeeshia three months before her death.

She said: ‘I had seen AJ picking food out of the rubbish bin and I told Kat who just told her off. But why would any child take food from the bin if they weren’t hungry?’

Officers who searched Smith’s flat found the toddler had been kept in squalid conditions and skunk cannabis was stashed in her Tommee Tippee drinking cup. When the jury cleared former warehouse worker Rigby of murder, he mouthed ‘Thank you,’ but broke down in tears as they found him guilty of the lesser charge. The pair will be sentenced on Monday.

Smith, who was adopted, fell pregnant in November 2011 when she was 18 but separated from Mr Booth before Ayeeshia was born.

Ayeeshia was taken into care in June 2013 amid concerns about Smith’s relationship with another violent man. The court heard that during this time in care, the little girl thrived and started to put on weight and saying a few words.

Social worker Mr Crean told the court the decision to give Ayeeshia back to her mother was based on a ‘positive risk assessment’ and the fact she had attended five out of 12 sessions of a domestic abuse workshop and ‘now understood what domestic abuse was’. Ayeeshia was returned to Smith in October 2013, by which time she was in a relationship with Rigby, who had previous convictions for assault.

The court heard the couple were ‘two peas from the same pod’ who had a volatile relationship but thrived on the turbulence and their love of cannabis.

In the months leading up to Ayeeshia’s death, Rigby was accused of smashing up their flat and setting fire to the child’s cot.

On the day of Ayeeshia’s death, Smith was said to be ‘annoyed’ because her father had borrowed £40 from her and not paid her back. Neighbour Tracey Roberts said she heard screaming and shouting coming from the couple’s flat and a child’s voice saying ‘stop mummy, stop daddy’ at around 3.10pm.

An ambulance was not called until after 4pm and by the time it arrived Ayeeshia was ‘incredibly pale’. Smith initially told police her daughter was covered in bruises because she had fallen off her potty.

The tragic case echoes that of Baby P, Peter Connolly, who was just 17 months old when he died after suffering more than 50 injuries – despite being on Haringey Council’s at-risk register.

Child cruelty campaigners said Ayeeshia’s murder showed lessons had not been learned from Baby’s P’s death and the subsequent Lord Laming report.

Claude Knights, of charity Kidscape, added: ‘It is extremely depressing to discover that one more vulnerable infant well known to children’s services suffered fatal non-accidental injuries while she was subject to a child protection order.’

The NSPCC called for Smith and Rigby to be ‘severely punished’.

SOURCE






Being born broke doesn’t make you a better person so why do we hate the wealthy so much? Without them we’d all be the poorer

Please give yourself a point for all the following phrases that apply to you:

I don't know my dad.

My dad was a bus driver.

My family arrived in the UK from Pakistan in 1966.

I grew up in a council house.

I went to a failing state school on a sink estate.

I was the first child in my family to go to university, even if it was East Anglia.

I have mixed-race heritage.

If you scored more than one, congratulations. You have all the makings of an underdog. You came from nothing and identify with those who feel life owes them something to compensate.

No one will question whether you know the next stop on the Central Line after Tottenham Court Road or ask you in which month Glastonbury takes place. Because you know what it's like to be poor. You identify with the people.

In fact, you are the perfect politician. Look at Sadiq Khan. He's Labour's candidate for Mayor and front-runner for the role — mainly because his dad was a bus driver.

Did I mention his dad was a bus driver? Because Sadiq certainly did, around four-hundred times in the last three months whilst simultaneously standing by buses, riding on them, and even pretending to drive one for full proletariat points.

This blue-collar lark is all the rage amongst the Tories, too. Take a peek at Steve Crabb, who racks up a terrific 4 points in the Hopkins Proletariat Poll.

He was sent outside to play football when other kids were making Father’s Day Cards in class, and grew up on a sink estate in Wales, probably tying Weetabix to his feet in place of shoes.

If you were looking for a guy to head up Welfare and understand what it means to be poorer than the lawyer — sorry — bus driver's son, Sadiq Khan, Steve's your man.

Even if you aren't an underdog now, it helps if you can still remember times when you were the daughter of Jamaican migrants, and talk about them a lot. Or even pretend to still be one of the poor whilst doing things rich b*stards do.

Diane Abbott is the Queen of Poverty Misappropriation. She slated the rich for their elitist ways in seeking out unfair advantage for their children, while happily packing her own kid off to the private City of London School.

Happy to leverage her Jamaican heritage to its fullest extent, Diane has suggested the world is so stacked in favour of the rich, white and wealthy that even black cabbies won’t pick her up. I don't know if that is irony or just crass.

You see, if you can make people believe you are a bottom-dweller in the great pond of life, you are owed solidarity from the masses when you pretend to look up with a sneer.

Our schools are full of it. Classrooms are crammed full of kids moving at the pace of the slowest, judged against a downwards-sliding national average which focuses on the lowest common denominator.

I gave up attending parents evening at our local state school after one particular mongrel was given extra golden time for not throwing the brick through the window of the classroom.

It's no longer good enough to be an underdog. Now only complete failure will do. Young white males are achieving this in quite spectacular fashion, falling behind ten other ethnic groups here in the UK.

Young people have interpreted the British love of the underdog into a belief that success will make you a social pariah.

And woe betide you if that success comes easily, if you are from a private school or privilege. Worse still if your father worked in a more lucrative profession than bus driving and saved his money for you to inherit.

Try being a politician in this new era where wealth is a dirty word. For Zac Goldsmith, who inherited an estate worth between £200 and £300 million, it involves endless persecution, including trying to catch him out with questions about who plays at Loftus Park.

Is that where we are at? If you don’t score one or more on my test above you have to prove you watch football to compensate? My, how we all laughed at the posh boy.

In America wealth is celebrated. Donald Trump is revered for his success, for funding his own campaign. Whether he had a hand up the ladder from his father is not relevant in the US. What matters is he made it to the top.

Here in the UK the very opposite is true. David Cameron is being persecuted over his father's money and his own subsequent success - both professional and personal.

He only has 'posh boy' credentials, and these don't stack up when success requires siding with the poor or at least having points on The Proletariat Poll.

Why can't we celebrate the fact our rich fund this country. One in six pensioners is an asset-rich millionaire, passing on wealth, time and help with childcare to their family.

Do you begrudge them their success, too? The top 1% of earners pays 30% of all national income tax. Wealth, like Panamanian sunshine floods downwards.

The clear, deplorable message in the UK is this: if you want to lead, support the race to the bottom from where poverty, like damp, seeps upwards.

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 April, 2016

Offensive Muslim officer in the Australian navy being cosseted



Note the Muslim headgear.  A believing Muslim cannot fully integrate into mainstream Australian culture and it's just a pretence to present her as having done so. Both she and Christian Maj. Gaynor disapprove of homosexuals.  Maj. Gaynor was fired from the army.  He must be watching this with great interest

The military establishment launched into a flurry of alarmed and secretive activity over incend­iary social media posts by its most senior Muslim officer late last year, with Chief of Navy Tim Barrett ordering a subordinate to ­investigate and "keep close hold".

Emails between senior officers, released under Freedom of Inform­ation laws, reveal they considered whether Captain Mona Shindy should be sacked, with a legal assessment comparing her case to another in which a ­reserve officer had been expelled from the service for speaking out.

The crisis reached the top, with the Chief of the Australian ­Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, asking "did she ­actually say what is alleged?" and "did she really re-tweet this?".

The moves followed a wave of controversy, detailed in The Australian, over articles, tweets and re-tweets by Captain Shindy, who is Vice-Admiral Barrett’s strategic adviser on Islamic affairs.

The tweets included remarks mirroring claims of Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed after the Paris terror attacks in November, in which he said factors such as Western foreign policy in the Middle East, the media and lack of ­opportunity were fuelling Islamic extremism. Captain Shindy mocked Tony Abbott after the leadership coup in September by pointing to pro-Muslim statements by Malcolm Turnbull, and tweeting: "Looking forward to a #PM that unites #auspol & #OZ".

The emails, released on the ­Defence website following an FOI request, show Air Chief Marshal Binskin took an intense interest in the issue, often seeking updates, with one email asking: "Any feedback?"

In another email in relation to a letter of complaint about Captain Shindy, Air Chief Marshal Binskin wrote "any answer is going to have to be well crafted".

The emails show that apart from having her official ­Defence Twitter account closed down, and being "counselled", Captain Shindy has been cosseted by ­Defence spin doctors in her role as Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, so that on the speaking circuit her message can be, in Vice-Admiral Barrett’s words, "cleared and controlled".

The emails also include ones from Captain Shindy to her ­superiors in which she attempted to ­explain her actions, complained about a "bombardment" of ­adverse emails and social media attacks on her, which she ­described as "ill informed, misguided and offensive ranting", and asked for a personal assistant.

In an email with the subject line "External Email Bombardment and Request for Support" to Vice-Admiral Barrett and his chief of staff, dated December 4, Captain Shindy wrote: "I would very much appreciate a dedicated media, communications savvy personal assistant who can help me selectively accept high-impact engagements, assist with speech writing and effective messaging, help manage my diary to balance work commitments and my personal wellbeing, and protect my personal and professional interests when it comes to managing me as a ‘commodity’ and addressing the inevitable vitriol."

Captain Shindy also once wrote in a published article that Western governments had a "double standard" of not bringing ­Israel to justice over its occupation of Palestinian territories while being quick to go to war in Iraq, and retweeted Mufti Musa Ismail Menk, the top Islamic cleric of Zimbabwe, who had taunted gays as being lower than animals, ­describing him as "always a source of wisdom".

The documents show Captain Shindy sent an email to Vice ­Admiral Barrett, saying she had "no idea" about the "totality" of the Mufti’s Twitter feed, and that now that she knew of his comments about homosexuality being "filthy" she did not agree with them.

But she said a line she quoted from Mufti Menk following the Paris attacks, which said in part "the noise around us often makes it hard to know what’s going on ... So speak less & listen more", was "to my mind ... a pretty harmless piece of commonsense".

Captain Shindy is a respected 26-year veteran of the navy and until recently the head of its ­Guided Missile Frigate Program.

The documents include what appears to be a legal assessment comparing Captain Shindy’s case with that of a reservist officer whose name was redacted, but who is thought to be Major Bernard Gaynor Jnr, who was sacked for what Defence said were unacceptable remarks relating to gay and transgender people.

Major Gaynor won a wrongful dismissal case, which Defence is appealing. The assessment says that in both cases, "Defence determined that public comments were being made and social media used that was not in accord with ­Defence Policy" and the officers were ordered to stop making them.

But it says a key difference is that while the unnamed officer "did not desist from making further comments", Captain Shindy "has ceased making inappropriate public comments". The assessment concluded that no further action against her was required.

In another email Vice Admiral Barrett wrote of the "need (for) a review of our own social media products". A Defence spokesman said yesterday a communications manual that would include policy on social media use was under ­development.

SOURCE





Illegal Immigration Boosts African-American Unemployment

While the Obama administration continues to brag about the drop in the national rate of unemployment, it ignores a glaring contradiction in the president’s policies: Illegal immigration is a key factor in the high rate of unemployment among African-Americans.

The national unemployment rate for March came in at 5 percent. For African-American men above the age of 20, the rate was 9.2 percent; for African-American women above the age of 20, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. For African-American men and women age 16 to 19, the unemployment rate soared to 21.4 percent.

Testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow documented the disproportionate negative effect of illegal immigration on African-Americans, particularly African-American men. Kirsanow testified in a personal capacity.

Kirsanow pointed out that illegal immigrants and African-American men often share the same disadvantages of low skills and low levels of academic achievement. Therefore, they compete in the same labor market. In the hospitality, service, construction, and agricultural markets, African-Americans can be excluded by employers who favor illegals for jobs that pay cut-rate wages in substandard working conditions.

SOURCE






The Rainbow Mafia's Corporate Hitmen

PayPal canceled its plans this week to create a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state passed a law requiring people in the state to use the bathroom appropriate for the equipment God gave them. In doing so, the company joined the legions of other big corporations that have become hitmen for the Rainbow Mafia. More than 120 corporations have demanded that North Carolina repeal its bathroom law, a number unheard of nearly a decade ago, according to Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor. "Corporate America’s evolution on gay rights appears to have reached a tipping point, one where so many companies have taken a stand on the issue that the risk of speaking out has been superseded by the risk of not doing so," McGregor wrote. "What was once exceptional has become, in other words, almost expected."

These corporations wield real power to do the bidding of a tiny fraction of the population. It was the corporate influence sitting on the board of the Boy Scouts of America that overturned the scouts' longstanding ban on homosexuals serving as leaders. The mafia took out Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage in California, after having attempted to do likewise with Chick-fil-A. Such examples brought to heel big-brand monoliths like Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel, the NFL and the NCAA, which exerted enough pressure on Georgia Governor Nathan Deal that he vetoed the state’s bill protecting religious liberty in the face of same-sex marriage policies. The businesses are hopping on board the homosexual agenda because they find it good for business. Rights, Liberty and the tolerance of diverse opinions don’t matter when the irate leftist minority is threatening boycotts at every turn.

SOURCE






Mississippi Moves to Protect Religious Freedom on Marriage

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 into law on Tuesday

This morning, the Mississippi House passed a bill, HB 1523, protecting religious freedom. If the House disposes of a procedural maneuver that has delayed a final vote until Monday, the bill will go to the governor’s desk for his signature, as the Senate passed the bill earlier this week. The bill is good policy and the governor should sign it.

HB 1523, "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act," is based on the principle of protecting minority rights after major social change. In other states where marriage had been redefined, citizens and religious organizations who continued believing that marriage was a union of husband and wife have been penalized by the government. Bakers and florists have been fined, adoption agencies shuttered. So the citizens of Mississippi have acted to make sure it never happens in their state. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, they’re working to protect their civil liberties.

It’s what Americans did after Roe v. Wade, too. Congress and the states have passed a variety of laws that protect pro-life conscience. In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court invented a right to an abortion. But after Roe legislatures made clear that government cannot require a pro-life doctor or nurse to perform an abortion—that they, too, had rights that required specific protections from hostile judges and bureaucrats.

Likewise, in the Obergefell decision, the Supreme Court redefined marriage throughout America by mandating that governmental entities treat same-sex relationships as marriages. The Supreme Court did not say that private schools, charities, businesses, or individuals must abandon their beliefs if they disagree, but some governments are acting as if it did.

That’s what HB 1523 would prevent. It protects the freedom of conscience for people who believe any of the following three things: 1) that marriage is the union of husband and wife, 2) that sexual relations are reserved for marriage, and 3) that our gender identity is based on our biology. It doesn’t say anyone has to believe these things, it just says that if someone does believe them, the government can’t discriminate against them. So the bill takes nothing away from anyone, it simply protects pluralism.

HB 1523 specifies types of people and types of organizations for particular protections—including religious organizations, medical professionals and professionals working in the wedding industry, and government employees. It crafts careful protections for each type of entity.

For example, HB 1523 says that the government can never discriminate against a religious organization because it declines to solemnize or celebrate a same-sex wedding, or because it makes employment decisions in keeping with their religious beliefs about marriage. It prevents the government from discriminating against religious organizations that do adoption or foster care work in keeping with their religious beliefs about marriage as the union of husband and wife.

When it comes to professionals, HB 1523 says that the government can never discriminate against a surgeon, psychiatrist or counselor because they decline to do sex-reassignment surgery or decline to do marriage counseling for a same-sex marriage. The bill makes clear, however, that it cannot be used to deny visitation or proxy decision making to a same-sex spouse, nor to deny any emergency medical treatment required by law. Likewise, under HB 1523 the government could never penalize a photographer, baker or florist who declined to help celebrate a same-sex wedding.

As for government employees, HB 1523 strikes a reasonable balance. It says that the government cannot discriminate against employees for speech or conduct they engage in in their personal capacity outside of their job responsibilities when it comes to these three beliefs.

Inside of work, it says the government can’t signal out these viewpoints for particular sanction—that employees must abide by common "time, place, and manner" regulations, but no content restrictions on speech at work. It also says that a government employee may seek a recusal from issuing marriage licenses, provided they do it ahead of time and in writing, and provided they "take all necessary steps to ensure that the authorization and licensing of any legally valid marriage is not impeded or delayed." A commonsense win-win outcome.

Finally, the bill makes clear that the government cannot take any adverse action against any organization that makes access to sex-specific facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex.

Hopefully we will not see a repeat of Indiana and Georgia in Mississippi. Big business and special interests should not attack the state or this bill.

When the bill reaches his desk, the governor should sign it into law, and other states should follow Mississippi’s lead.

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 April, 2016

Air France: Female Crew Not Wanting to Comply With Islamic Dress Code Can Decline to Fly to Iran

Air France management agreed Monday that any female crew member not wanting to comply with Islamic dress code once the airline resumes long-suspended services to Iran this month may opt out of working on the route.

The decision came after an uproar over the airline’s directive that air hostesses wear long trousers with a long jacket – instead of knee-length skirts – on flights to Tehran, and that during stopovers in the country, "outside the bedroom, women must wear a scarf and a wide and long garment to conceal their shapes."

Air France said all international airlines flying to Iran expect staff to comply with Iranian law regarding women covering their hair, but that in talks with staff unions it has agreed to allow dissenting female pilots or stewardesses to choose not to work the Paris-Tehran route.

Unions had called the directive an invasion of privacy and an attack on individual rights, and urged the French women’s rights minister Laurence Rossigno to intervene.

Rossigno did so – the French government owns 17.6 percent of Air France-KLM – and the matter was resolved on Monday.

"In Iran, the law stipulates that all women present in the country have to wear a headscarf covering their hair in public places," the airline said in a statement. "This obligation does not apply during the flight and is respected by all international airlines serving the Republic of Iran."

"Tolerance and respect for the cultures and customs in the countries served by the airline are part of the fundamental values of Air France and its staff."

But in order to respect the "personal values" of every female staff member, it said, "when a stewardess or female pilot is assigned to a flight to Tehran, Air France will offer them the possibility to choose not to fly to Tehran and work on a different flight."

"They will have to inform of their decision to refuse to wear the headscarf in line with a specific procedure beforehand."

A staff union, Union des Navigants de l’Aviation (UNAC), welcomed the decision, but said it regretted that it required media coverage and the minister’s intervention to resolve concerns that had been raised for more than four months.

The three-times weekly service to Tehran will resume on April 17 for the first time since Air France suspended the route in 2008 in line with international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear activities.

In France, a liberal, secular state which along with Germany has the largest Muslim community in Europe, the subject of Islamic dress code has long stoked controversy.

The government banned headscarves and other religious accouterments in public schools and government offices in 2004, a decision which brought condemnation from mainstream Islamic organizations, but also from extremists, with al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden calling it part of "a Zionist-Crusader war" against Muslims.

In 2010, France passed a law banned the wearing in public of any full face-covering clothing.

SOURCE






Stacey Dash Backs Little Sisters and Religious Freedom Against Obama

In a recent blog post on Patheos, actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash condemned the Obama administration for targeting religious organizations through its HHS contraceptive-coverage mandate saying that protecting religious freedom "seems like a pretty simple and fundamental right to me."

"You will never guess who the Obama Administration’s latest target is?" asked Ms. Dash in her blog. "The Little Sisters of the Poor."

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument over a group of cases collectively called Zubick v. Burwell concerning "[w]hether the HHS contraceptive-coverage mandate and its "accommodation" violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious nonprofits to act in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs, when the government has not proven that this compulsion is the least restrictive means of advancing any compelling interest."

"Yes, really," stated Ms. Dash. "The President and his bureaucratic allies have decided to challenge the religious freedom of a group of nuns who have devoted their entire lives to caring for impoverished elderly people around the world" and who "simply want to be able to live out their faith and not be forced to violate their consciences."

Stacey Dash criticized Obama for implementing a rule that "force[s]" nonprofits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide "birth control that works similarly to abortion."

"It seems like a pretty simple and fundamental right to me," said Ms. Dash. "Is he [Obama] going to make the Muslims eat pork so the pig farmers don’t go out of business?"

Suggesting that Americans of all faiths should "want to protect the rights of the Little Sisters to live out their faith," Stacey Dash concluded by praising the Little Sisters of the Poor for taking a stand for the religious freedom rights of all Americans in the highest court of the land:

"One thing is for certain, though. The Little Sisters of the Poor are amazing women who are quite literally being the hands and feet of Christ. I am glad that they are standing for what they believe in and are demanding religious freedom for all Americans!"

SOURCE






Another Biblically Historic Find Provides Evidence of Mary Magdalene’s Existence

A real biblical site, a real woman, and a real faith, all rooted in history. That’s what we learn from the archaeological dig at Magdala.

If there were a prize for the least-understood yet incredibly-important person in the Bible, it would probably go to Mary Magdalene. I suspect that more people "know" that she was a prostitute—which is based on a misreading of Luke, chapters 7 and 8—than the fact that she was the first witness to the Lord’s resurrection.

Recent archaeological discoveries are shedding a much-needed light on the life and times of this vital biblical character.

Ten years ago, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame Jerusalem Center decided to build some guest houses in the Galilee region. The site they choose was near the Israeli town of Migdal and the former site of an Arab town called Al-Majdal.

As the names suggest, the area was associated with the ancient city of Magdala, from which Mary Magdalene got her biblical epithet. Still, no one expected to find the actual Magdala, much less the kind of evidence that told us anything substantial about the biblical heroine.

But that’s exactly what they got.

During a mandatory, albeit cursory, examination of the site by the Israel Antiquities Authority, diggers struck something hard, which they thought was a bench. It was not a bench. Instead, it was part of a first century synagogue, one of only seven such remains ever to be found in Israel.

What’s more, they found a coin dating from 29 A.D., during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. Sound familiar? This is the time of Jesus’ public ministry, and since Jesus was active in the area—Capernaum was only five miles away—we are talking about ruins and artifacts that may have been associated with Jesus himself. Dina Gorni-Avshalom of the Authority told the New York Times that there was "circumstantial evidence" of Jesus having been there.

Judging by the evidence, Magdala was a prosperous town. It was the center of the fishing industry in the region, with an infrastructure to match, and it exported fish to as far away as Rome itself. The synagogue reflected this prosperity. It was, in the words of Smithsonian Magazine, "opulent" for its time and place.

It contained murals and frescoes, and "an ornately-carved stone block" that was probably used for reading from the Torah. In fact, the stone appears to be a miniature version of the temple in Jerusalem.

The prosperity of her hometown, and presumably Mary herself, sheds light on Luke 8, where Mary Magdalene and several other Galilean women are said to have provided for Jesus and His disciples "out of their resources."

Father Eamon Kelly of the Jerusalem Center, who recently appeared with me on the "Eric Metaxas Show," has suggested that after the first Easter, this synagogue may have become the home to a congregation of Jewish Christians. He cites, among other things, the fact that it is located on the outskirts of Magdala rather than in the center of town.

The find at Magdala is yet another reminder of the historical nature of Christian faith. The Christian story of the Word made flesh, who lived and died as one of us and rose on the third day, may sound "mythic," but it happened in actual history.

And, as the evidence from places like Magdala attest, the Gospel accounts faithfully reflect this history. Magdala was a real place that produced a real woman named Mary who probably had the wherewithal to support Jesus in his ministry and follow him all the way to Calvary.

That being the case, it’s reasonable to believe the Bible when it tells us that the story didn’t end there

SOURCE






Australia: 'It's offensive': Men and women forced to sit SEPARATELY at Sydney Muslim conference - and attendees must buy tickets stamped 'male' or 'female'

United Muslims of Australia has organised Quest for Success event
But those people attending it will be separated by their gender
Men and women's tickets for conference are also being sold separately

An influential Muslim group is selling sex-segregated seating for a major conference next month, with male and female tickets being sold separately for the event.

Channel 7 reports that the United Muslims of Australia (UMA) has organised the Quest for Success conference in Sydney and they confirmed that those attending it will be separated by their gender.

This comes after radical Muslim political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir, were found guilty of discriminating against women after making them sit at the back of public meetings last month.

The issue came to a head during a public meeting in Western Sydney, where men were seated at the front, but women were made to sit at the back of the room.

Anti-discrimination campaigner Alison Bevege believed that the decision to separate men and women in this way at the Sydney conference next month was ‘offensive’.

‘It’s just as offensive to split women from men side to side as it is to split black people from white people from side to side,’ Ms Beverage said.  ‘It's appalling, it's a step back for women's inalienable right to equality.’

The price range for tickets makes no attempt to hide the segregation with an early bird male ticket costing $50, non-discount male ticket $70, and male student $35. Separate female tickets are available in the same price range.

On the Quest For Success website it states that the UMA is one of the largest Islamic youth and community based organisations in Australia, which has been running for more than 15 years.

It said the foundation was founded on traditional Islamic principles and focused on providing quality spiritual, social, educational and recreational programs and activities for the continued development of the Muslim Community within Australia.

‘We are excited to announce that the 2016 UMA Conference - Quest for Success - will focus on the journey of seeking success in this life and the hereafter,’ the website said.

‘The event will feature inspirational international and local guest speakers to share their vast range of insights, experiences and advice on how this goal can be attained by developing a blueprint for Muslims individually, within the family environment and the wider community.’

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 April, 2016

Some REALLY addled Leftism

As postmodernism goes, the article below is not too bad.  You can sort of get what they are driving at.  They seem to be saying that whites have a particular psychologoical state and that that state is psychotic.  Since they themselves sound thought-disordered, that is a rather amusing claim. Psychosis refers to a loss of reality contact so I suppose we could all be living in a dream world -- but as far as I can see the claim is unfalsifiable and therefore non-empirical

If the writers below are allowed to point the skinger of forn at whites, I assume it is fair if I say something more factual back:   The prevalence of mental illness among blacks is greater than among whites and by ordinary psychiatric criteria, blacks also have a high incidence of psychopathic personalities



The Psychosis of Whiteness: The Celluloid Hallucinations of Amazing Grace and Belle

Kehinde Andrews

Abstract

Critical Whiteness studies has emerged as an academic discipline that has produced a lot of work and garnered attention in the last two decades. Central to this project is the idea that if the processes of Whiteness can be uncovered, then they can be reasoned with and overcome, through rationale dialogue. This article will argue, however, that Whiteness is a process rooted in the social structure, one that induces a form of psychosis framed by its irrationality, which is beyond any rational engagement. Drawing on a critical discourse analysis of the two only British big budget movies about transatlantic slavery, Amazing Grace and Belle, the article argues that such films serve as the celluloid hallucinations that reinforce the psychosis of Whiteness. The features of this discourse that arose from the analysis included the lack of Black agency, distancing Britain from the horrors of slavery, and downplaying the role of racism.

SOURCE






Black babies don't matter?

The moment a woman drops her baby on a pavement so that she can throw punches in a brutal fight has been captured by shocking footage.

The little girl was dropped when a brawl erupted between two women on a housing estate in the United States.

After having a heated argument the pair square up to each other before raining down punches and grabbing on to each other's clothes.

In an incident that will horrify parents the baby hits the concrete on her back, but it is not seen if her head hits the concrete in the process.

It is unclear how the fracas started but within seconds the women go from an aggressive argument to a vicious battle.

While the violence is brutal it is the complete disregard shown for the well-being of the baby that is most upsetting.

The toddler is dropped from waist height as her mother decides it would be better to engage into a brawl than walk away.

The little one hits the ground with a thud and while someone is heard shouting 'get that baby' it is not known if she was injured from the drop.

In fact this is the most attention the child gets in the clip as the women are completely oblivious to the fall and the crowd are more interested in watching the fight.

The audience, which forms a ring around the pair, are also heard reacting to the impact of the punches and shouting at the fighters.

Such is the ferocity of the scrap that even when the pair move towards a lamppost they simply continue to fight around it, swinging their arms to connect with each other.

After what seems like an age, but is in fact under a minute, the brawl comes to an end and the pair go off their separate ways.

It is never revealed what consequences the fall had for the infant.

SOURCE








Are we raising a generation of delicate children?

Kids today, eh? What's with them?  I know, I know, that line's a bit tired, isn't it?

Every generation brings with it a new idea, or a new movement. Which then leads to all the previous generations weighing in with their two cents. Generation Y were classed as spoiled, Generation X too soft, Baby Boomers too tough. We love labels, that's something our generations can agree on.

But when it comes to kids today, has there been a shift? Have we gone too far in the other direction? Instead of giving tough love, now we give love out by the bucketful. For everything and anything. And we teach kids that everyone's a winner. But, let's be honest. They're not. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we have to watch someone do better than us, succeed where we might need to work a bit harder. And we're not happy with that in today's society.

Internationally renowned researcher Carol Dweck has questioned where we've been headed in recent years:

We often hear these days that we've produced a generation of young people who can't get through the day without an award.They expect success because they're special, not because they've worked hard. Is this true? Have we inadvertently done something to hold back our youth?

When I played sports, there were awards at the end of the year. Best and Fairest, MVP, those kind of things. And it was given to one child who was voted out of the others and that was that. And everyone seemed fine with it. But now, all kids are given pats on the head for breathing, trophies and ribbons handed out to all. And if they don't get it? Well, cue meltdowns and tears. From parents too.

It's a trend I've seen become more apparent in my role. People getting upset and angry if their child isn't praised and acknowledged a certain number of times. Comparing how many times one child gets an award relative to another, and if all children aren't equally awarded, then that's cause to unleash a torrent of abuse.

Dweck believes that we've been mistaken in our belief that praising intelligence and skill encourages confidence, and the idea that motivation and achievement is largely due to inherent abilities. In a study by Eddie Brummelman and colleagues looking at the effects of praise, found that when parents overvalue their children (i.e. tell them how exceptional they are at everything all the time), it didn't actually help build self-esteem, it developed narcissism instead.

There is nothing wrong with praise and acknowledgement. Nothing at all! But perhaps we need to be reviewing what we're praising and how we're praising. It shouldn't become an expectation, it should be recognition at appropriate times.

While we want to shield our kids from hurt, it is an important lesson for them to learn that sometimes we don't win. The ability to cultivate resilience is one of the most important things we can give to our children. Even more important than award certificates and being told how special they are.

Resilience is the ability to adapt and overcome difficult times in a healthy way. Basically it's how we bounce back from tough stuff. It is through a combination of factors, both from the environment and within an individual that resilience comes about. While it's a work in progress, childhood is where we can really help shape resilience. Some ways we can help our kids build their resilience is by

    Helping them to understand their feelings, even the negative ones. All feelings are valid, and we don't need to just 'get rid' of the not-so-nice ones.

    Working with them to develop prosocial problem solving skills

    Showing warmth and appreciation for effort, as opposed to overvaluing

    Supporting children to develop a healthy self-view. That is- seeing the parts of themselves that they feel are good, and understanding that nobody is perfect.

    Reviewing what is in their control, and what is beyond. This helps with accountability and regulation.

And the number one factor in building resilience? According to the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard, having a strong and committed relationship with at least one parent or caregiver is at the core of resilience. All the praise in the world doesn't equal the value that such a relationship can have on a child's development.

Instead of telling our kids how special and wonderful they are, perhaps we need to guide them toward looking at their effort.

Telling them that the work they're putting in is fantastic, and having them give something a go, even if it doesn't work out, is the biggest reward in the end. Not being too quick to praise for things that are easily achieved, but instead encouraging our kids to challenge themselves, and praising that effort instead. While it is tough to see your child upset and to miss out on something, maybe the bigger picture is that it's healthy and okay for them to not achieve 100 per cent success all the time. Focusing on the effort rather than the end result. We're not bad people for allowing our children to experience challenges. Because, really, what is the alternative for this latest generation if we don't?

SOURCE






Australia: Outrage over child photos ignores law and logic

This week's non-story concerned the use of stock photos of happy kids and families by Barnardo's Find A Family program to promote adoption. That this story was beaten up by 'outraged' anti-adoption groups is revealing of their agenda.

The simple explanation is that privacy laws prevent the use of real images of children awaiting adoption. However, this logical legality wasn't good enough for the Australian Adoptee Rights Action Group, which reached into its stock bag of slogans to assert that the ads represented the "commodification" of children.

This slur, which implies that adoption represents an illegitimate trade in children, is wrong-headed. The alternative to adoption for children with no prospect of going home safely is to spend the rest of their childhoods in care.

The current child protection system truly turns children into valuable commodities. Those who spend the majority of childhood in care are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funding to the non-government charitable organisations that provide outsourced 'out-of-home' care services.

This is the system into which vulnerable children are eventually dumped after being profoundly damaged by prolonged exposure to abuse in the family home, before they are further damaged by spending extended periods in highly unstable 'temporary' care while efforts are made to reunite them with their dysfunctional families.

Adoption reform is about breaking this destructive cycle by intervening earlier to rescue children and provide them with the permanent and stable families they need to thrive.

None of this cuts any ice with anti-adoption groups because most of these activists were adopted and had negative experiences.

This was usually in the days when adoptions were 'closed', and lack of contact with and knowledge of biological families and heritages affected the sense of identity and belonging of some (but by no means all) adoptees. We have learned from these mistakes and harm done, which is why modern adoption are always 'open' in the best long-term interests of children.

Despite this, the anti-adoption movement encourages risk-adverse attitudes by arguing that because some adoptions have been unsuccessful, there must be no adoptions under any circumstances. In practice, this means taking a risk-blind attitude and overlooking the harm that the current system is doing to many children.

 The seeming belief that successful adoptions will invalidate the personal experiences of anti-adoption activist's verges on the narcissistic. It ignores the good that adoption would do for many children caught up in our flawed and failed child protection system.

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 April, 2016

Religion and intelligence

Edward Dutton has kindly just sent me a PDF of his 2014 book under the title above.  It is a very comprehensive and research-based treatment of its topic.  And I will mention his most striking finding straight away:  Churchgoers are just as intelligent as atheists.

The big problem with research in the area is defining religion.  There are all sorts of religions.  A major religion these days is "Belief in God only".  Does that count for anything? And what about Leftism?  It has many of the characteristics of a religon. Should it be included? So we cannot be too surprised to note that the various research studies show no uniform definition of religion. 

And even people of the same religion may have very different beliefs.  A Catholic who attends mass regularly will usually have much different beliefs than one who has not been to mass for years.  So direction of belief and strength of belief need to be sorted out too.

I can think of some solutions to those problems but none of the studies so far have addressed them adequately, as far as I can see.  But, out of what's available, the best indicator of religious belief would seem to be church attendance, or "religious practice" more broadly.  It too does of course have its weaknesses.  It is very well known that some people attend church for social rather than religious reasons.  They may even go just for the coffee and cake afterwards.  But there can surely be very few church attenders who are totally non-religious.  And when we think of religious people, it is surely churchgoers whom we are most likely to have in mind.

Table 7.2 on p. 180ff of Dutton's book gives the correlations between churchgoing and IQ.  Most are very low indeed and all but one are less than .20.  And a correlation of .20 reflects only 4% common variance between the two factors, so is negligible.

As it happens, the correlation with religious belief that Dutton tabulates are also low, though not as low as the correlations with religious practice.  The majority are in fact less than .20.

So the conclusion has to be that IQ is unimportant as an explanation of religious belief.

And if someone wants to get Marxist with me and say that I draw that conclusion only because I am myself religious, I reiterate  what I have often said before:  I am the most utter and  complete atheist.






Renewed requirement of work for food stamps produces predictable liberal backlash

There used to be a rule in place – part of the sadly abandoned movements toward welfare reform in the 80s and 90s – which required food stamps recipients to do at least some work in order to receive the benefits if they were childless and able bodied. That rule was suspended in most places since the beginning of the crash in 2007, but now that unemployment is allegedly back down to nominal levels and the economy is “stable” across most of the country, that exception is being rolled back. This, of course, has liberals up in arms. (WaPo)

    "The 20-year-old rule — which was suspended in many states during the economic recession — requires that adults without children or disabilities must have a job in order to receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for more than three months, with some exceptions. Many states have begun to reimpose the federal rule as the economy recovers, with the largest group reviving it at the beginning of this year. As a result, many recipients’ three-month limit expires today, April 1.

    The change has reignited a fierce debate between conservative leaders, who say waiving the mandate discourages people from working, and their liberal counterparts, who say the three-month time limit ignores the reality that jobs are still hard to come by for low-skilled workers"

Ah, yes. Those hateful Republicans are at it again, trying to demonize and punish the poor. But while we consider this question, let’s keep in mind that an experiment in precisely such a change has already been rolling out in Maine. We talked about this last month when the Left was all aflutter over that state’s decision to require ABAWD (able bodied adults without dependents) to put in some work while remaining on the SNAP program long term.

    "In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in Dec. 2014 to 2,678 in March 2015"

There were plenty of job openings in Maine already and the result of that work requirement was a major savings for the taxpayer. As they found out, those who truly couldn’t work or needed to care for children were easily able to demonstrate that and their benefits continued uninterrupted. But a significant number of recipients were either able to find a job or, as it turned out, had been working under the table to avoid taxes and collecting benefits on top of that. Those individuals dropped off the rolls quickly.

As I noted last month, we can see the direct effect of going in the opposite direction on such policy by looking at New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio has essentially thrown welfare reform into reverse.

    "The number of New Yorkers on welfare is reportedly on the rise, with about 13,000 more people being added to the rolls during the mayor’s first year in office.

    The New York Post is reporting that the cash assistance program swelled by 4 percent in 2014.

    According to an advanced look at the “Poverty and Progress in New York” report, the jump comes the same year the city added around 90,000 jobs"

When you remove work requirements entirely for the childless, able bodied recipients, there will always be some percentage who will seek to game the system for their own advantage. That’s just a fact of life. (And before you get your liberal undies in a twist, this applies across all demographic lines.) These programs aren’t “punishing” anyone or discriminating. They are providing an incentive toward upward mobility and ensuring that only those truly in need are drawing down resources from the system.

SOURCE






ARE DEMOCRATS USING GOOGLE TO SILENCE FREE SPEECH?

The Internet has brought an explosion of information to the general public across the globe. Unfortunately, much of the information we get from the Internet, whether it be by websites, e-mail, or on social media, is un-vetted and much of it is misleading and simply not true. Finding the truth can be a real chore sometimes, requiring hours of research and even then the truth may be illusive. Yes, the information flowing unchecked in cyberspace can lead to disagreements from time to time, but thankfully you can’t throw a punch, or pull a trigger, on the Internet.

Nevertheless, the Internet, through all of its medium forms, has provided a conduit for individual expression like never before in the history of man. Opinions, thoughts, beliefs, ideas and images flow freely to tens of millions of individuals in microseconds, every minute, every hour, every day. People of like mind can hook up at the speed of light and organize forums around either specific or general subjects or issues at will. The free flow of ideas, however flawed, is the very epitome of freedom. But what if someone could tamper with this free flow of ideas for a political agenda, or any agenda?

The growth of the Internet has also led to the formation of corporate giants like AOL, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Dell, HP, Microsoft, IBM and thousands of smaller companies. The corporate profits generated by the Internet are in the tens of billions of dollars every year.

Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of corporate giants, awash in cash, is the wielding of great financial and political power to manipulate and exploit the people they allegedly serve. We ran into that manipulative power just recently when we discovered that some conservative authors, including us, are being silenced by a tricky Google tactic (yes, Google) through their web browser, “Google Chrome,” by attaching a Security Alert to any website that doesn’t fit the Google liberal narrative. On the NewsWithViews.com website (http://www.newswithviews.com) Google has attached a Security Alert to over half of the authors that write for this conservative, on-line publication. In further research, we found that other websites offering a conservative point of view have also been targeted by Google Chrome’s Security Alerts.

Google’s Security Alerts advise the reader that the particular website they have logged onto may contain Malware and advised to go back to a “safe” page. The Alert is clearly bogus and obviously done for political motives in a highly charged presidential campaign season. Ironically, these Security Alerts only happen with the Google Chrome browser. We could find no such tampering with other browsers. Who controls Google Chrome? Google of course.

Now, if you are thinking that this is just an isolated incident, or an accident, or a coincidence, or a quirk of the Google Chrome browser, think again. The Google Chrome Security Alert suddenly appeared on multiple conservative articles a week or so ago, right after Donald Trump held up an article from the Newswithviews website and the website received over 3,000,000 hits in one day. One might ask, why would Google do this? The answer is simple and glaring.

The political ties to the Democrat Party of Google founders, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, including thousands of Google employees, is well known: From one source we learned that:

    “Few Silicon Valley companies have ever embraced a political party as passionately as Google has. Its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has been described as a "kind of guru" to President Obama's campaign manager, and Google employees emerged as the No. 2 donor to the Democratic National Committee in the last election.”

We were incensed that a major U. S. Corporation would use its power to tamper with free speech and more specifically attempting to silence our conservative articles. So incensed in fact that we penned a terse message to the Google Board of Directors, e-mailing it to their Investor Relations department

SOURCE






Waleed Ali has a good imagination

Waleed Ali is an Australian-born Muslim lawyer.  He is the go-to Muslim for the Australian Leftist media.  He has a long screed below about how weird Australians are.  They are weird because there have been a few media discussions about the right way to describe white settlement in Australia.  He seems to think such discussions are illegitimate.  Since there is disagreement about it, I would have thought such discussions to be perfectly normal. It is just one of the many things that arise for public discussion all the time.

And there is something to discuss.  Calling white settlement of Australia an invasion conjures up visions of an armed force arriving and doing battle with another armed force to take possession of territory.  But the white settlement of Australia was nothing like that.  The whites who arrived under Governor Phillip in 1788 encountered no systematic resistance at all.  Basically, the Aborigines just looked on in astonishment. There were one or two minor skirmishes after a while but that was all.  So calling the British arrival an invasion is misleading.  And why it is not sufficient to say simply that the British expeditioners "settled" in Australia escapes me.  That says nothing about who else might have been there at the time.

So if this passing topic of conversation has any implications at all I would say that it is just another instance of Leftists using misleading language and others insisting on greater  terminological accuracy.  All the vast implications for Australian souls that Aly writes about are just figments of his imagination. 

I grew up among working class Australians of the same British ancestry as mine and I can assure one and all that in that environment, on the rare occasions when it is mentioned, the topic of Aboriginal displacement evokes mild sympathy but absolutely no Angst.  Leftist might agonize but agonizing is what Leftists do

Leftists cannot cope at all with carefully expressed conservative thought.  Confronted with that, all they can do is stick fingers in their ears or run away.  So the focus of their criticism is always on  impromptu and less well educated  conservative utterances.  They reveal their own limitations in doing that. Waleed Ali does

This "lowest common denominator" representation of conservatives is a common Leftist strategy.  I wish I had kept a link to it but around ten years ago I saw a New York Times article about conservatism that was illustrated by a picture of a snaggle-toothed Appalachian.  You can lie with statistics but you can also lie with pictures.

And there is in fact an incontrovertible example of the NYT deceiving in that way. When the Trayvon Martin death became a great Leftist campaign, Martin was represented by a picture of him as a nice kid aged about age 11, rather than equally available pictures of him as the sneering thug that he later became.



Every country has its weirdness, its reflex points that trigger spontaneous, uncontrolled actions that look almost comically irrational to the observer. It's the kind of thing you can only comprehend once you know the anatomy.

Take, for example, the United States' permanent weirdness on guns. Viewed from Australia – a nation that embraced gun control with relative (though not total) ease after a single massacre – it's gobsmacking that repeated mass shootings seem only to entrench positions rather than inspire a solution.

It's only when you grasp how guns have become totems of individual liberty and a principled distrust of government – and that these ideas constitute nothing less than the country's very reason for being – that you can begin to make sense of the madness.

So, beneath every weirdness most likely is a revelation. Not about the substance of whatever issue is in play, but about the essence of the nation grappling with it.

For Australia, it's Indigenous history. The US may be caught in a cycle of tragedy and denial, but we simply do away with the cycle. For us it's a founding tragedy, then steadfast denial ever since. The specifics might change – terra nullius, the stolen generations – but the constant is a remarkable jumpiness at the very thought of facing the past. A jumpiness so powerfully reflexive, it doesn't matter how insignificant the stimulus.

This week it's a guide on "Indigenous Terminology" from the University of New South Wales. As documents go, it's resoundingly minor: an advisory list, likely to be read by very few people, that "clarifies appropriate language" on Indigenous history and culture. But that was enough to start the nation's most prolific outrage machines to humming.

"WHITEWASH", boomed The Daily Telegraph, taking particular exception at the guide's suggestion that Australia was not "settled" or "discovered" by the British, but rather "invaded, occupied and colonised". This instantly triggered the talkback reflex, with lines of angry callers – historians all, no doubt – venting with all the gusto Alan Jones or Ray Hadley could inspire in them. For colour, and certainly not content, Sydney radio host Kyle Sandilands joined the party, ensuring the meltdown covered all frequencies.

Where do you start? Perhaps with the Tele's remarkably sloppy allegation that "UNSW rewrites the history books to state Cook 'invaded' Australia". Of course, UNSW did no such thing. The reference to Cook is entirely a Telegraph invention. The guide talks of invasion but doesn't attribute it to James Cook, who had no army with which to invade. It's an extrapolation showing that not only does some editor or other know nothing about the history they're so keen to defend, but that they're also quite keen to rewrite the present.

Or perhaps you might begin with precisely which historical account does the rewriting: the one of "settlement" with its implications of an uninhabited continent, or the one whose language of invasion and colonisation implies the significant resistance of Indigenous people and the slaughter that flowed as a result?

All that history is well trodden. For now, it's the weirdness of this, and what it reveals, that interests me. Specifically: why is this hysterical response so entirely predictable? Why is it that the moment the language of invasion appears, we seem so instinctively threatened by it? This isn't the response of sober historical disagreement. It's more visceral than that. Elemental even. It's like any remotely honest appraisal of our history – even one contained in an obscure university guide – has the power to trigger some kind of existential meltdown. What strange insecurity is this?

An American observing this, perhaps even while carrying a gun, would be entitled to be bewildered. Theirs is a dark history too – one that encompasses indigenous dispossession, slavery and segregation – but it's a history they can hardly be accused of denying in the way we do.

Sure, indigenous American history is frequently ignored, but this is partly because it is buried beneath the sheer tonnage of black history that is so constantly rehearsed. There will be people in the US south who lament losing the Civil War, and who cling to the Confederate flag. But it's hard to imagine a public freak-out because a university wanted to discuss slavery. By now, slavery and its abolition are central parts of the American story. There might be varying degrees of honesty in the way the US tells that story, but it has typically found a way to incorporate its warts.

Why do we struggle so much more? Demography, sure. It's harder to brush aside the claims of 13 per cent of the population than the roughly 2 per cent of ours that is Indigenous. But it's also a function of national mythology.

The US is built on the idea of constant progress through individual liberty. It's a nation that is never finished, never perfect, but always being perfected. Its historical scars are therefore not fatal to its identity. Indeed, they are essential because they allow Americans to tell a story of their own perfectibility. In these hands, slavery is not simply a stain, but a symbol of how far they've come. So, in the process of acknowledging slavery, the US is celebrated, not condemned.

We're not like that. We struggle with our history because once we admit it, we have nowhere to go with it; no way of rehabilitating our pride; no way of understanding ourselves. As a nation, we lack a national mythology that can cope with our shortcomings. That transforms our historical scars into fatal psychological wounds, leaving us with a bizarre need to insist everything was – and is – as good as it gets.

That's the true meaning of the love-it-or-leave-it ethos that so stubbornly persists. We don't want to be improved in any thorough way, because for us that seems to imply thorough imperfections.

Instead, we want to be praised, to be acknowledged as a success. It's a kind of national supplication, a constant search for validation. And history's fine, as long as it serves that purpose. But if it dares step out of line, it can expect to be slapped swiftly with the Sandilands dictum until it changes the subject: "you're full of shit, just get on with life". Then we can be comfortable again.

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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4 April, 2016

Anti-Islam banner displayed at football match in Melbourne, Australia



The banner is entirely reasonable if you have read the Koran.  The Jihadis are just doing what the Koran commands.  So a Muslim just has to become more religiously motivated to wage jihad.  And hatred of Western civilization repeatedly preached in the mosques is a major influence in pushing young Muslims to Jihad.  So the Muslim population as a whole is the problem.  Any one of them at any time could decide to wage murderous Jihad against us.  Many have done so in the past and many will do so in the future.

We should be entitled to protect ourselves from such a menace. Pretending that Islam is a religion of peace makes ostriches look alert.  Brussels is the seat of the EU which has parceled out million to Muslims, including great gobs of cash to Palestinian terrorists. Did this blood money buy Belgium any goodwill?



Leader of the United Patriots Front Blake Cottrell has appeared in a video to explain the controversial reason why members of the extreme far-right political group held up a banner emblazoned with 'Stop The Mosques' at an AFL match.

Mentioning the Lindt Cafe siege and the shooting of Parramatta police worker Curtis Cheng, Mr Cottrell said in the video he is 'concerned about the future' of Australia and called for the removal of 'places of worship and segregated communities for a foreign power which [don't] like us.'

The anti-Islamic banner was unfurled during the second quarter Collingwood-Richmond match at the MCG in Melbourne on Friday night with a prominent United Patriots Front logo.

'You think i'm peddling fear? I'm concerned about the future of my country and I'm realistic about the people being brought into this country - that they aren't like us and never will be like us,' Mr Cottrell said in the video.

Following the stunt, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire calling for those responsible to be banned from attending games.  'If they have anything to do with our club, they'll be banned,' he said.

In the video, Mr Cottrell claimed the group used the banner to make 'a set of predictions' about how the AFL would react to the stunt.  'It's the left wing progressives that spread fear of social and financial strangulation if the people don't do what they ask and even the AFL is subject to them is under their control,' he said.

A video taken at the match and posted to the UPF Facebook page with the caption 'Rise Without Fear' shows the banner being hoisted up below one of the MCG's large LED screens. 

The AFL issued a statement saying the actions 'no place in society' and the league would also work with police.

'Match-day security removed the banner when they became aware of it and evicted the patrons responsible.

The UPF campaign heavily against Islamic immigration, proposed mosques and halal food.

The group regularly post videos and images to their Facebook page to promote their slogans and messages that primarily discriminates against Muslims.

SOURCE






Islamophobic bees?

More than 20 people were stung and one hospitalized when a swarm of up to 20,000 killer bees invaded a Phoenix mosque Friday afternoon.

The incident occurred at the Muslim Community Mosque near 32nd Street and McDowell Road, ABC 15 reported.

The road outside the mosque was  shut down and fire crews dispatched to spray the building with foam in order to quell the swarms of angry bees.

The bees had formed a nest under the eaves of the mosque. One mosque worker there told Azfamily.com that a man had already been booked for Saturday to remove the nest but the bees attacked earlier than expected.

Nearby residents were told to stay in their homes. John Chavarria, one such local, told ABC 15 that he witnessed the attack from his house.

'I don't know, it was just crazy how everyone was running everywhere,' he said.

Miming swatting at bees around his head, he continued: 'They were making some movements like that ... some people would even fall in the grass over there and then they'd get up and start running.

'I can’t believe they had the whole street blocked off for the bees.' 

Some worshipers used blankets to protect themselves from the swarm, but more than 20 were stung 'multiple times' and one 24-year-old man hospitalized, although everyone was said to be in stable condition.

One man told Azfamily.com that he was stung on the face in five different places.

The bees are believed to have been disturbed by the mosque's speakers, which are located next to their nest.

Killer bees, officially known as Africanized bees, are a particularly aggressive species. They are created by breeding European and African bees.

SOURCE






Muslim attitudes in action:  Dad charged with murder after 'shooting his son dead for being gay'

A dad has been charged with murder after allegedly killing his son because he was gay.

Amir Issa, 29, was found dead outside his family home from gunshot wounds while his mother Rabihah Issa, 68, was found stabbed to death inside the bathroom.

His father, 69-year-old Shehada Khali Issa, has now been charged with premeditated murder.

Police were called to the family home in Los Angeles and arrested Shehada Issa on Tuesday afternoon.

Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement: "It is alleged the murder was committed because of the victim's sexual orientation and because of the defendant's perception of that status and the victims' association with a person and a group of that status."

An investigation into his wife's death is still ongoing.

Detective John Doerbecker told the Los Angeles Daily News that the father had claimed he returned home and found his son had stabbed his wife to death, after which he shot his son.

But Doerbecker added: “He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found.  “It was a horrible family tragedy.”

Los Angeles LGBT Center released a statement following the killings, NBC News reported , which read: "Despite all the civil rights victories we've had in the last few years, we still live in a society where people face violence or even murder for being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity."

SOURCE






Report: Anti-Semitism Spikes at Top U.S. Colleges

Jewish students face wave of hate

Top colleges throughout the United States are experiencing an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Jewish behavior, according to a study that determined the behavior is being fueled by a rise in the number of campus organizations promoting inflammatory anti-Israel propaganda.

The survey, which focused on 113 U.S. campuses with large Jewish populations, concluded that at least 70 percent of those schools surveyed experienced “one or more kinds of anti-Semitic activity” in the past year.

There were more than 300 anti-Semitic incidents in total at these schools in 2015 alone, according to the report, which was compiled and released Monday by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that monitors anti-Semitism on campus.

The rise in the number and severity of these incidents is directly related to anti-Israel activities coordinated by a pro-Palestinian organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state.

The study marks the first time that a statistical analysis has empirically tied these anti-Israel organizations to the sharp rise in anti-Semitic behavior on campus.

At least “99 percent” of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16 percent of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity,” the study found.

Additionally, “57 percent” of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist student groups had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, 91 percent of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of anti-Semitic expression, and 80 percent of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of BDS activity,” according to the study.

The largest amount of anti-Semitism by incident occurred at Northwestern University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Davis.

The highest incidence of “targeting” Jewish students on campus occurred at Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, Berkeley, and Northeastern University.

The highest level of anti-Semitic expression occurred at Northwestern University, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Berkeley, and UCLA, according to the report.

Anti-Semitic activity was reported at Brooklyn College, the University of Michigan, Vassar College, Columbia University, and Stanford University, among many others.

The study also found a “strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism.”

The presence of an active BDS movement on campus “strongly correlates” with anti-Semitic activity on campus, the study determined.

This includes the presence of campus organizations such as the Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been suspended at several college campuses for, among other things, disseminating Nazi propaganda.

At least 56 percent of schools permitting an active BDS movement “had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, whereas of the schools with no evidence of BDS activity, only 23 percent had incidents targeting Jewish students,” according to the study.

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

***************************





3 April, 2016

Multiculturalist charged with murder of mother of three and her 'lover' after bloodbath knife attack in which two of her sons, aged 20 and 17, were also injured
   


A 53-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mother of three and her ‘lover’ who were stabbed to death in a 'bloodbath' knife attack which also left two of her sons seriously injured.

Foster Christian has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of GBH following the deaths of Natasha Sadler, 40, and boyfriend Simon Gorecki, 47, in Canterbury, Kent.

Christian was arrested following the incident on Tuesday night, which also left Ms Sadler’s 17-year-old son Brandon in a critical condition in hospital and her other son Connaugh Harris, 20, injured.

Christian, a mechanic who is thought to live in the property which Ms Sadler and Mr Gorecki were stabbed outside of, was charged at 8pm last night after police were given more time to question him.

He will now appear before Medway Magistrates' Court today via video link.

Post mortem examinations of Ms Sadler and fishmonger Mr Gorecki were due to take place today.

Officers were called to a report of an 'altercation' at a residential property in Dickens Avenue, Canterbury, shortly before 8pm on Tuesday.

Neighbour Rab Hendry, 50, said he helped one of the victims' wounds with tea towels. He told how one person had told him he had been stabbed.

He then saw two people, who he believed were brothers. The older one had been apparently stabbed in the arm, while the other was thought to have been stabbed in the stomach.

A Kent Police spokesman said officers believe the victims and Christian were known to each other.

Last night, Ms Sadler's son Connough Harris paid tribute to her after being released from hospital.  He posted a photo of her on Facebook, and accompanied it with: 'Forever in my thoughts mum.'

Warren Harlow - the father of Ms Sadler's youngest son Chase, five, who was not present at the time of the incident - also paid tribute to her.  'Natasha I love you my girl. So sorry I wasn't there to protect you when you needed me most xxxxxx,' he wrote on Facebook.

Forensic officers in white suits were seen going in and out of the semi-detached house as two officers stood guard outside.

Another neighbour, who declined to be named, believed the property housed people who had been placed there by the authorities.

She said: 'It's been like that for years. There have been some nice people living there who have been polite.

'Something like this happening round here is very unusual. I'm 49 and have been here since three months old, and it's been fine.

'I just saw flashing lights last night. My partner told me there was a tent in the garden where presumably they are doing forensics.'

A spokesman for Kent Police said: 'Officers attended and found two people had sustained fatal injuries. One was a 40 year-old woman from Canterbury, and her next of kin have been informed. Inquiries are on-going to locate the next of kin of a man who also died at the scene.

'A 53 year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody. He is known to victims, but not related.

'A further two men aged 17 and 20 years-old sustained injuries and were taken to a local hospital. The 20-year-old remains in a critical condition.

SOURCE





Audiences Are Once Again Flocking to Faith-Based Films

That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg Businessweek reporter David Walters, who recently posted an article about the new popularity of Christian films.

Walters reports that "faith-based" films are experiencing a resurgence after a fallow period of several decades. Movies like “The 10 Commandments” and “Ben-Hur” were hugely popular in the 1950s – “The 10 Commandments” is, adjusted for inflation, the sixth-highest grossing domestic movie of all time - but interest in the genre cooled off until Mel Gibson’s 2004 “The Passion of the Christ,” which grossed over $600 million on a $30 million budget.

Walters observes that in 2016 a new crop of Christian films such as “Miracles from Heaven” and “Risen” are doing well at the box office:

Industry watchers assumed that Miracles and Risen would earn money slowly and steadily leading up to the Easter holiday. Instead, they surged in their opening weekends. Risen out-earned buzzy horror flick The Witch and Jesse Owens biopic Race, trailing only Marvel’s Deadpool and DreamWorks Pictures’ Kung Fu Panda 3. Miracles recouped its $13 million production budget in just four days, knocking the J.J. Abrams-produced 10 Cloverfield Lane out of the top three earners for the week. Explain it however you want: savvy positioning or divine intervention. But when it comes to box office returns, God is good and only getting better.

“Miracles from Heaven” was budgeted at $13 million and has grossed over $37 million domestically.  “Risen” has grossed over $36 million on a budget of $20 million. “God’s Not Dead,” whose sequel “God’s Not Dead 2” will be released April 1, made over $60 million domestically on a $2 million budget. And a remake of "Ben-Hur" is scheduled for release this August.

Walters reports that part of the key to a successful faith-based film is to have a reasonable budget and to not stray too far from the Biblical source. Ridley Scott’s 2014 “Gods and Kings” failed to recoup even half of its $140 budget, and Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” was protested for taking liberties with the original story.

“The studio heads aren’t really interested in this market, nor do they really know it,” David A.R. White, the co-founder of the “Christ-centered” movie production company Pure Flix Entertainment, told Walters. “So they’re thinking, we’re spending a hundred million, so let’s try to make it a crossover movie –a disaster epic. Let’s do the least amount that we have to do to gather the faith audience, because they’re stupid; they’ll come to anything that has a Bible in it. But the problem is, the faith audience isn’t stupid. They’ve been treated by Hollywood for years and years as if they are, and they’re tired of that."

The Bloomberg story concludes:

A dozen years after the post-Passion boom, Hollywood is starting to learn from the sins of the past, scaling back gluttonous budgets and vowing not to bear false witness in production and promotion. “Studios like Sony have seen that these movies are low-cost, and, if marketed correctly, they can be very profitable,” says Matthew Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s hit-and-miss, but the downside isn’t big. If one thing works, everyone will try to copy it.”

SOURCE





Setting the Record Straight: North Carolina Law Protects Everyone’s Bodily Privacy

The Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance Feb. 22 that was a direct attack on the long-acknowledged truth that maintaining sex-specific bathroom facilities preserves the privacy and safety of women and girls. If enacted, this ordinance would have allowed men to choose—based on feelings rather than biological facts—to enter restrooms reserved for women and girls.

Recognizing the inherent dangers created by Charlotte’s ordinance, the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, acted swiftly and appropriately to pass the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (“Privacy Act”) to rectify Charlotte’s failure to protect its citizens. The Privacy Act restored fundamental privacy norms to bathrooms in government and public school facilities. It also protects against future attempts to erode the fundamental right to privacy in other venues throughout the state.

And for good reason. Public restrooms are places where women and girls may shower, change their clothes, handle personal grooming issues, and take care of many other private matters unique to females. Many people are uncomfortable merely discussing these topics, so imagine the discomfort when women have to do such activities with males present. Women and girls shouldn’t be forced to conduct these private activities in a confined space with male strangers present.

Consider especially that girls and women who have been sexually abused will suffer the additional trauma of being compelled to engage in their most intimate activities in the immediate company of male strangers. No one is saying that every man who struggles with sexual identity issues is a predator. No one. But the mere presence of men in what should be a private, safe space like a bathroom can trigger serious psychological and emotional trauma for women and girls who have been sexually abused. That is simply unacceptable.

This is why the recent uproar—especially the dishonesty of those advocating that men have access to girls’ locker rooms—surrounding the Privacy Act is nothing short of shocking. The companies threatening to boycott North Carolina based on the Privacy Act are really protesting the right of young girls to enjoy privacy and security.

The fact that the NBA is publicly opposing a commonsense privacy law, choosing instead to support policies that force women and young girls to undress and shower in the presence of men, is both unreasonable and unsafe. Such groups are seeking to transform our culture into a genderless society in which objective standards of truth and biological reality are made subservient to political correctness and relativistic self-definitions.

If the right to privacy means anything, it certainly means that women and girls should not be compelled to undress, shower, or use the restroom in the presence of men. The Privacy Act correctly recognizes the compelling interest the state of North Carolina has in protecting the safety and privacy of citizens, especially women and girls, in the intimate context of restroom facilities.

Thankfully, the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. McCrory have rejected these misguided notions of open-mindedness and tolerance that are fueling social experimentation with mixed-sex restroom policies.

Their commitment to common sense became even more important this week, when the ACLU and other opponents of privacy filed a baseless lawsuit that aims to deprive North Carolinians of their will as expressed through their elected representatives. Contrary to the ACLU’s lawsuit filed this week, the Privacy Act ensures that everyone has equal access to bathrooms based on biological sex, while also offering accommodations for those with special circumstances.

Keeping men out of girls’ and women’s bathrooms should not be a polarizing issue. Privacy is a universal value that every human is entitled to and that lawmakers in North Carolina rightly recognized by exercising common sense and protecting the privacy of women and girls.

SOURCE






Refugee Council accuses Australia of 'cherry picking' Syrian refugees for resettlement

I certainly hope that Australia is cherry-picking.  We want refugees who will fit in well to Australia and there is no doubt that Christians will do that much more readily than Muslims

The Refugee Council has accused Australian immigration officials of "cherry picking" Middle Eastern refugees to be resettled in Australia.

"I don't think anyone expected that the program would be weighted as strongly towards Iraqi Christians as it now appears," Paul Power, the council's CEO, told 7.30.

"No-one can argue that those who are getting resettlement to Australia need resettlement.

"But there are millions of refugees in the middle east in need of resettlement and for Australia to cherry pick people from perhaps 1 to 3 per cent of the refugee population in countries such as Jordan and Lebanon really doesn't reflect at all well on Australia."

Mr Power said it was wrong to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis with a program that prioritises persecuted minorities, when the vast majority of Syria's nearly 5 million refugees are Muslim — many who have suffered their own persecution at the hands of the Assad regime and Shia militias because they are Sunnis.

"It's pretty clear that religious minorities are not the only people who have fled," Mr Power said.

"In fact, the religious minorities are represented in only a small way amongst the refugee populations in Jordan and Lebanon."

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

***************************





1 April, 2016

Multicultural politician, 62, fleeced his mentally ill wife by selling their homes and leaving her to sleep in a park


He's not admitting guilt.  Blacks rarely do

A former Labour politician has vowed to clear his name after stealing from his mentally ill wife and selling their home - leaving her to sleep in a park.

Councillor Matthew Kyeremeh 'fleeced' his wife during their divorce proceedings, leaving her destitute and living on the streets, a judge ruled.

The 62-year-old was able to buy a new home while Angela, 54, ended up sleeping in a park in Thornton Heath, south London.

Kyeremeh was ordered to pay her more than £55,000 at the Croydon Family Court last week, and council leader Tony Newman has urged him to resign as a councillor.  He has since been suspended from the Labour party and sacked from his role as Croydon Council's justice chief.

But Kyeremeh, who represents Thornton Heath, said he will take legal action to clear his name.  He said: 'It is with great regret and sadness that I respond to events that have been reported, events which are a private family matter that has been ongoing since 2013.

'You would know that such matters are often, if not always, protracted, complex and deeply challenging for all concerned. 'I am extremely disappointed that the proceedings have made me out to be what I am now.  'I know what has emerged is very far from the truth and reality and I am seeking legal redress.

'I am very conscious of what we have suffered as a family prior to and after the divorce and I would have wished that this matter was not dragged on any further. 'But I believe that the interest of justice will be served in the end.'

District Judge Delia Coonan ruled that Kyeremeh had 'consistently lied' to the court and his wife during protracted hearings.

The judge has spoken of Mr Kyeremeh's 'mendacity' and said she had 'great difficulty in believing a word he said'.

She decided to publish the full judgement because Kyeremeh, described as an 'evasive and unsatisfactory witness', was deputy cabinet member for communities, safety and justice for Croydon Council.

The evidence showed he deliberately exploited his wife's mental illness to pocket most of the proceeds from the sale of two properties without her knowledge.

While the judge could not be certain Kyeremeh had forged his wife's signature on their divorce papers, she said even if his wife did sign them, 'such signatures were deliberately procured by the husband whilst the wife continued to suffer confusion and disturbance of mind'.

As a result of his 'significant financial misconduct' Kyeremeh was able to buy a new home while the mother of his child ended up sleeping rough.

Ms Kyeremeh complained that Mr Kyeremeh had 'fleeced her of assets' when she was mentally ill and left her 'homeless and destitute' and 'living rough in a park'.

The judge said decisions on how big a payout Ms Kyeremeh would get as a result of the divorce were pending.

She was eventually sectioned under the Mental Health Act and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

SOURCE






White student  was attacked for having dreadlocks

More cultural appropriation nonsense.  The whole world appropriates lots of white North American culture so why are other cultures sacrosanct?  It's plainly racist

A white student who was stopped and attacked by a black girl for having dreadlocks in his hair has hit back at claims of 'cultural appropriation' saying its 'my hair, my rules'.

Footage emerged yesterday showing environmental science student Cory Goldstein being confronted at San Francisco State University by the woman.

After stopping him to say he's appropriating a traditionally black hairstyle, she asks her friend, who is nearby, if he has a pair of scissors.

Goldstein asks: 'You're saying I can't have a hair style because of your culture. Why?'

To which the woman replies: 'Because it's my culture.'

But now Goldstein has blasted claims of cultural appropriation, saying he loves and respects all cultures.

He told an interview on Xpress News: 'The girl apparently followed me down two flights of stairs to approach me about this whole situation, in which case I tried to leave multiple times and she wouldn't let me.

'She kept grabbing me pushing me back to try and make her point. I didn't want to talk or discuss this situation with her at all.

'I felt that I didn't need to explain myself. It is my hair, my rules, my body.

He then asks her why he's 'not allowed' to have his hair in locks
The woman asks her friend if he has scissors to cut Goldstein's dreadlocks off. He then asks her why he's 'not allowed' to have his hair in locks

'Someone within an activist group thought she could attack me based on my dreadlocks and that is not OK.'

The footage, which emerged yesterday appears to show the woman confront Goldstein as he tries to argue his dreadlocks are also part of Egyptian culture.

She then throws the question back at him asking him if he's Egyptian before asking over and over 'Where is Egypt?'

She then creates a physical barrier to prevent him from walking up a stairwell.

'Yo, stop touching me right now,' Goldstein tells her.

She then pulls him down the stairs saying, 'come here', and tells him not to put his hands on her.

'I don't need your disrespect,' he says as she finally releases her grip. He then walks away.

The woman then notices another person filming the video and asks him why he's filming.  'Just for everyone's safety,' he tells her.

She then slams her hand into the camera to cover the lens and the video ends.

Yesterday, SFSU released a statement saying they are investigating the confrontation:

They said: 'We are aware of the video made of an incident which occurred on campus yesterday afternoon. University police were called to the scene of the incident when it occurred.

'The two individuals involved in the incident are not San Francisco State University employees. Further, no criminal charges have been pressed at this time to the University's knowledge.

'San Francisco State University promotes the rights of the campus community to engage in free speech, but does not condone behavior that impedes the safety or well-being of others.

'We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable University channels, including our campus student conduct procedures'

SOURCE 






French minister sparks outrage by comparing Muslim women who wear the veil to 'negroes who supported slavery'

A senior French politician today sparked outrage by comparing Muslim women who wear fashions designed for their own religion to 'negroes who supported slavery'.

Laurence Rossignol, the families secretary in the Socialist government, was reacting to new lines by designers who increasingly cater for followers of Islam.

They include millions of women in countries such as Britain and France who are increasingly drawn to the clothes in a market said to be worth more than £200billion a year.

Dolce & Gabbana's range includes 14 abayas, or ankle-length dresses matched with embroidered headscarves and hijabs.

Swedish giant H&M uses a veiled Muslim women in its advertising, while Japanese brand Uniqlo said it would sell hijabs in its London stores, along with Marks & Spencer which markets a full-body 'burqini' swimming costume online.

Ms Rossignol caused widespread anger on social media by saying Muslim fashion wearers were just like 'negroes who supported slavery'.

Later, she insisted she had not intended to cause offence but was simply referencing the French philosopher Montesquieu's work 'On the Enslavement of Negroes'.

Ms Rosssignol, who is also responsible for women's rights, admitted later to AFP that she had made 'an error of language' with her controversial comments.  However, she added: 'But other than that... I don't take back a word.'

Her supporters included fashion mogul Pierre Berge who agreed that designers were taking part in the 'enslavement of women'.

The former partner of the late fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent, said: 'I'm shocked. Creators should have nothing to do with Islamic fashion.

'Designers are there to make women more beautiful, to give them their freedom, not to collaborate with this dictatorship which imposes this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live a hidden life.'

Mr Berge said firms should 'renounce the money and have some principles', adding: 'In life you have to choose the side of freedom'.

He insisted: 'I am definitely not an Islamophobe. Women have a right to wear headscarves, but I do not see why we are going towards this religion, these practises and mores that are absolutely incompatible with our western freedoms.'

While France - home of Europe's biggest Muslim population - bans face-covering veils, some of its big fashion houses were among the first to tentatively embrace Muslim-specific style.

DKNY, owned by French giant LVMH, pioneered the 'modest clothing' trend with a 'capsule collection' aimed at the Middle East for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan two years ago.

But designer de Castelbajac, who has dressed singer Lady Gaga, said he had grave misgivings about the trend. 'Fashion is secular and universal, and should bring hope.'

Veteran feminist Agnes b had earlier vowed to 'never do it'. 'There is something obscene about offering clothes to rich women from countries where many are fleeing bombs trying to keep their veils on their heads,' she told the Parisien daily. 'We should not normalise clothing which is significant in the way women are seen.'

In January, Dolce & Gabbana became the first major western brand to directly aim at capturing a corner of the Islamic fashion market - estimated to be worth 230 billion euros - with its Abaya range.

Last summer Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta and Mango all launched varyingly 'modest' collections to coincide with Ramadan.

But Berge, 85, who ran the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house for four decades, decried their 'opportunism'. 'These creators who are taking part in the enslavement of women should ask themselves some questions,' he added.  'It is not because women are forced by their husbands to dress in that way that we too have to encourage it,' he insisted.  'In one way they (the designers) are complicit, and all this to make money. Principles should come before money.

'Rather than covering women up, we must teach (Muslim) women to revolt, to take their clothes off, to learn to live like most of the women in the rest of the world.'

A spokesman for M&S, which has begun selling its burkini, in the UK, said it was popular with customers internationally.

SOURCE






Last Stand for the Free Exercise of Religion in case of Little Sisters of the Poor

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke up early in the oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell.  This case carries the last names of the Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh (David A. Zubik) and President Barack Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services (Sylvia Burwell).

Ginsburg seemed to make a telling concession.  "No one doubts for a moment the sincerity of the belief of your client and all the others," she said to lawyer Paul Clement, who was representing, among others, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

"And since sincerity of their belief is accepted, it's off the table," said Ginsburg.

One of the beliefs Catholic organizations presented in Zubik was summarized in a brief presented by, among others, the Diocese of Pittsburgh: "Petitioners believe that in order to stay true to their Catholic faith, they may hire an insurance company only if it will not provide their students and employees with coverage that may destroy human life or artificially prevent its creation."

The Obamacare regulation at issue in Zubik mandates that Catholic organizations do this — or give up all health insurance for their employees and be fined.

The court, Justice Ginsburg seemed to signal, was not going to argue with the Catholic Church about what is and is not consistent with the Catholic faith.

But the voice of Justice Sonia Sotomayor presented another question: How can the government function if it cannot demand people do things they believe will damn their souls?

"Because every believer that's ever come before us, including the people in the military, are saying that my soul will be damned in some way," said Sotomayor.

"I'm not naysaying that that is a very substantial perceived personal burden by them," she said. "But if that's always going to be substantial, how will we ever have a government that functions? How will we ever have anything that the government can demand people to do in objecting ... that won't be a problem?"

The First Amendment itself answers Sotomayor's question: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

When federal regulators force Catholics to buy or provide health insurance plans that cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices they are denying Catholics the "free exercise" of religion guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

But, according to the Supreme Court's official transcript, not one voice in the court during the oral arguments in Zubik used the term "free exercise" of religion.

That is because the court will not decide this case using the language and meaning of the First Amendment. It will decide using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

"Government," says that act, "may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."

In the Hobby Lobby case two years ago, a 5-4 majority (including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia) ruled that the Obamacare regulation was a substantial burden on the religious exercise of Hobby Lobby's owners, who did not want to cover abortifacients. But that majority also "assumed" the government was furthering a compelling interest with the regulation.

Where the government failed in Hobby Lobby was in convincing five justices that it was furthering its compelling interest by the least restrictive means.

To win the power to require Catholic organizations to act against the Catholic faith — and, thus, surrender the free exercise of religion — all the government needs is one more justice than it had in Hobby Lobby.

What America needs are more voices on the court that will defend not only the free exercise of religion but every word in the Constitution.

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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(Isaiah 62:1)


A 19th century Democrat political poster below:








Leftist tolerance



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:

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!


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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