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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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.


11 August, 2014

Bill de Blasio, Progressive Hero, Scourge of the Poor

He backs strict enforcement of petty laws that disproportionately hurt the poor and marginalized.  Hate just oozes out of him

New York City Mayor's OfficeIn the last few weeks, a series of videos purporting to depict police brutality by the members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) have spread on the Internet. The most egregious showed the attempted arrest of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed loose cigarettes. Cops placed Garner in what looked like a chokehold and the 400-pound asthmatic died in police custody. The incident was ruled a homicide by chokehold by the city's medical examiner. In another case, a cop appeared to use a chokehold on a pregnant woman caught  grilling in front of her house. Another showed a cop appearing to head stomp a man police were attempting to arrest because they had seen him with a small amount of marijuana—it was at least the man's eighth arrest.

The substance of these incidents vary on the level and type of brutality while effecting an arrest but share one important trait: each incident began with a police engagement based on crimes that are non-violent in nature. Garner, before cops tried to arrest him, had adamantly denied that he was selling any untaxed cigarettes that day. The pregnant woman appeared only to be trying to cook some food on the sidewalk in front of her house. Marijuana is supposed to be decriminalized in the state of New York.

Yet in a press conference this week New York City's progressive mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, insisted the police department would continue to "strictly enforce" such laws as the ones that led to the series of controversial police interactions. "The law is the law," the mayor said. These kinds of laws, however, disproportionately affect the same kind of people—the poor and marginalized—that De Blasio and his ideological fellow-travelers adamantly claim to defend. Absent brutal encounters with police violations of petty laws can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, multiple court appearances, and even jail time. What amounts to a "minor inconvenience" in the eyes of the privileged political class that pushes these laws can have profound negative effects on the lives of normal people. Coupled with the threat of bodily harm or even death during the initial police encounter, such "petty" crimes become anything but for the people the government targets in its enforcement efforts.

The perverse impact is best studied with regards to marijuana. In New York City, young minorities are far more likely to be arrested on minor marijuana charges than white youth. This is fueled by the police department's long-standing practice of tricking people into publicly displaying their marijuana and therefore committing an actionable misdemeanor during stop and frisks. The vast majority of police targets during stop and frisks are young minorities, creating much of the disparity between who uses marijuana and who is arrested for it.

Other petty laws similarly disproportionately affect poor and marginalized people. The sale of untaxed cigarettes, for example, is a significant black market activity in any city that has sufficiently high taxes. The sale of loose cigarettes is predominant in poor communities, where smokers might only be able to afford to purchase one cigarette a time. Many corner stores in urban areas will sell loose cigarettes, though often not to white people for fear that they're actually undercover cops.

Likewise, you're far more likely to grill on a public sidewalk if you live in a home that doesn't include a front yard. You're less likely to have a front yard if you're poorer.

Bill de Blasio does not appear to see it that way. While he based much of his campaign on the idea of combatting income inequality in New York City, it seems his understanding of income inequality is severely limited. It encompasses only the belief that the government ought to force employers to provide higher pay and better benefits, and to force landlords and developers to offer discounts for a few poor people. The mayor doesn't have any interest in the structural issues surrounding income inequality: he has been an aggressive opponent of charter schools even though a decent education is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide a young person a route out of poverty. He has pushed for developers to offer a portion of their rental units at highly discounted rates—raising the cost of rent for people who cannot take advantage of those discounts, many of whom are also poor or lower middle class.

And his reaction to the very public way his police department has been shown to disrupt the lives of minorities in the pursuit of petty, non-violent, and harmless "crimes"  betrays a shocking lack of empathy for the struggles poor and marginalized people face on a daily basis in their lives. The law may be the law, but the law was made for man, not man for the law.

Demanding that people "correct their behavior," as New York City's police commissioner Bill Bratton said while standing at de Blasio's side at that press conference, and claiming that this was indeed what "democracy" was all about, another Bratton statement, shows a callous disregard for the very transparent role government plays in exacerbating inequality, but could be par for the course for progressives despite their loud protestations otherwise.


Christian clubs not allowed in Germany

 Germany's top anti-discrimination official is adding her voice to growing protests over a regional shooting association's demand that an expert marksman give up his championship title because he is a Muslim.

Christine Lueders told the Historic German Shooting Brotherhood Federation that its stance is discriminatory and intolerant, writing in a letter that it should live up to its name and act "in the spirit of true brotherhood," the dpa news agency reported Tuesday.

The umbrella organization says its constitution stipulates it is an "association of Christian people" and has defended its stance since it became public on the weekend.


The American Left vs. God-Given Rights
In his opinion declaring Virginia's marriage law unconstitutional, Judge Henry Floyd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit summarized what he perceived to be the basic disagreement between the opponents and proponents of the law.

"The opponents and proponents agree that marriage is a fundamental right," the judge wrote. "They strongly disagree, however, regarding whether that right encompasses the right to same-sex marriage. The opponents argue that the fundamental right to marry belongs to the individual, who enjoys the right to marry the person of his or her choice. By contrast, the proponents point out that, traditionally, states have sanctioned only man-woman marriages. They contend that, in light of this history, the right to marry does not include a right to same-sex marriage."

Neither of these arguments — as summarized by the judge — is true. Even if states had historically approved of same-sex marriage, that would not make such marriages a right. After all, some states had historically approved of letting some people hold other people in slavery — which was not a right, but rather a profound violation of the God-given rights of the people who were enslaved.

The truth is all true rights come from God.

If any other power claims to be the author of our rights, that power is attempting to usurp an authority that belongs only to God, and is attacking the only basis for the rule of law that forms the foundation of free societies.

Our Founding Fathers rightly said all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, rightly said: "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."

The problem for the leaders of America's cultural left is that some of the things they demand our society must recognize as "rights" cannot plausibly be held up as God-given rights. Thus, they simply are not rights. Period.

Did God give a doctor the right to lacerate to death an innocent child in her mother's womb? Or pull her feet first from that womb and then puncture her skull?

Of course not.

Did God give two men or two women a "right" to marry one another and then adopt children with the approval of the state? If two people of the same sex do have a right to marry and take custody of children, then, as this column argued last week, children cannot be deemed to have a right to a mother and a father.

Which is more likely: That a baby has a God-given right to a mother, or that two men have a God-given right to marry one another and then secure a child through, for example, the paid services of a surrogate mother?

America's cultural left not only wants this nation to recognize as rights things that are not rights, but to abridge rights that are truly God-given and inalienable.

Does a Christian family that owns a business have a God-given right not to be forced by the government into complicity in the taking of an innocent human life? The Obama administration does not think so. It fought the owners of Hobby Lobby all the way to the Supreme Court on this question, and continues to fight multiple lawsuits aimed at cementing into our law the power of the government to force people to pay for other people's abortion-inducing drugs.

Because it is so implausible to argue that men are endowed by their Creator with a right to kill unborn children, or a right to marry people of the same sex, America's cultural left is moving away from the founding principal spelt out in our Declaration of Independence.

What will they replace it with? Their own arbitrary power.


Blame World War I For Whistleblower Persecution—And So Much More

U.S. involvement in World War I lasted just a year and a half. But government today uses its leavings to threaten Americans' freedom

Earlier this year, CNN's Jake Tapper pointed out that the Obama administration, after bringing charges against Edward Snowden, "has used the Espionage Act more to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists not just than any previous administration, but then more than all previous administrations combined." The claim was subsequently endorsed by PolitiFact as "true." That's a shocking use of government power to punish those who would call government officials out for their misbehavior, but hardly an unaccustomed role for for a law passed during World War I and quickly used to muzzle critics of official policy.

In fact, the "war to end all wars" left a legacy of government dominance and intrusive power in its wake that officials still exploit, and from which the country continues to suffer.

In its original form, the Espionage Act was used to prosecute Robert Goldstein for producing a movie about the American Revolution. The U.S. having recently allied itself with Britain against Germany, Goldstein's historically rooted portrayal of British soldiers as the bad guys was considered an attempt to hobble the war effort. He served three years in prison for his cinematic labors.

Eugene DebsPublic DomainRepeat Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs (pictured) was charged under the Espionage Act for speaking against conscription and the war. His health broken in prison, he was finally freed by President Warren G. Harding in 1921.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford and other leaders of what became the Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned in 1918 for publishing a book that criticized patriotism. Their views were considered dangerous to efforts to satisfy the government's new appetite for patriotic young military recruits.

These days, the amended Espionage Act is no longer used to stifle speakers, writers, and moviemakers (the provisions criminalizing "sedition" were repealed in 1920). Instead, it's used as a weapon, or just a threat, against those who would disseminate inconvenient information to the press and the public.

In addition to Snowden, who was charged for revealing details of the government's vast surveillance efforts to Glenn Greenwald and other journalists, the Espionage Act was used to penalize Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on wasteful and illegal snooping activities at the National Security Agency. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2011 to avoid lengthy prison time.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst who awkwardly confirmed that the U.S. tortured terrorism suspects before President Obama was ready to concede that "we tortured some folks," was charged under the Espionage Act. He is currently serving 30 months in prison.

This follows in the example set by the 1971 prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who was the first whistleblower charged under the 1917 law after leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.

The Espionage Act is the most visible stain left on the national character by the First World War. But it's not the only one. If civil liberties eroded during the war, economic freedom did, too.

The War Industries Board was established in 1917 to coordinate the government's acquisition of supplies for waging war in Europe. This rapidly turned into, in the words of Wilson administration official Grosvenor Clarkson, "a system of concentration of commerce, industry, and all the powers of government that was without compare among all the other nations, friend or enemy, involved in the World War."

Food AdministrationAt the same time, Herbert Hoover became "food dictator" (a term he himself used) over the United States Food Administration. The new agency had the power to regulate the distribution and use of food. It rapidly extended that power to control the price that people could charge for meat, produce, and other goods.

A counterpart, the Federal Fuel Administration, exercised similar powers over the distribution of oil and coal, controlling both price and use.

The end result was an unprecedented degree of government control over the economy. That intervention also created a class of bureaucrats accustomed to exercising such dominion—and a constituency among big businesses that benefited from powerful connections, assured markets, and the suppression of competition.

When the Great Depression descended on the country in 1929, now-president Hoover was already accustomed to invoking his wartime experiences as a model for dealing with the country's economy. "An infinite amount of misery could be saved if we have the same spirit of spontaneous cooperation in every community for reconstruction that we had in war."

The New Deal imposed by his successor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, largely built on the wartime policies of which Hoover had been an architect, and the precedents and culture established by the expanded state of the First World War. While the corporatist policies of the 1930s have retreated, the proliferation of boards and bureaucrats wielding vast economic power never entirely went away. Depression-era farm subsidies continue to distort food production and hike prices in the United States, damaging the environment and enriching the well-connected.

America's involvement in World War I lasted just a year and a half. But government today uses its leavings to choke off the free flow of information, goods, and services, and to threaten Americans' freedom in the process. The Espionage Act lingers on, as does the habit of government meddling and intervention in the economic affairs of private businesses and individuals.

Just a few short and bloody months of conflict, and a century later we're still dealing with the damage done to our freedom.



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


10 August, 2014

Multicultural groper in Britain was a doctor

A doctor who massaged a patient’s breasts with oil when she went to be treated for whiplash has been struck off.

Dr Shahid Ayyoub told the 22-year-old she had a muscular problem before lifting up her top and unclasping her bra.

The 57-year-old repeatedly stroked her breasts during the prolonged attack in a locked consultation room at the West Point Practice in Leeds.

He also grabbed the scared woman’s hair and pushed her head into his groin during the 50-minute appointment on 12 June 2012.

The woman, referred to as Patient A, was left feeling ‘violated and upset’ by the assault, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.

The medic, who did not attend the hearing, instructed his solicitors to ask the MPTS panel to restrict his role - allowing him to conduct examinations in the presence of a chaperone or only seeing male patients.

But the panel said his actions were a 'gross abuse of trust in his position as a doctor', and was told he is no longer allowed to practise.

Ayyoub worked for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Merseyside before he was found guilty of sexual assault by a jury at Leeds Crown Court in January.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC jailed him for 12 months but on appeal the sentence was reduced to six months.

The shamed medic, from Sutton Heath in St Helens, Merseyside, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and pay £2,275 in costs.

Disgraced Ayyoub has now been struck off the medical register following a two-day hearing in Manchester.

But panel chairman Dr Brian Crompton said: ‘The offences for which Dr Ayyoub was convicted were serious in nature; they were sexually motivated; they took place in a clinical setting; and they involved a female patient who was consulting with him in order to assist her claim for compensation following a road traffic accident.

Announcing the decision to strike Ayyoub off, he added: ‘In all the circumstances, the panel has concluded that the nature of Dr Ayyoub’s convictions is so serious as to be fundamentally incompatible with his continuing to be a registered medical practitioner.

‘For these reasons, the panel has determined that erasure is the only means of protecting patients, maintaining public confidence in the profession and declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour.’

Stephen McNally, for the General Medical Council, earlier told the panel the doctor’s crimes had ‘brought the profession into disrepute.’

Opening the case, he explained how Ayyoub’s victim had consulted the medic as part of an insurance claim after suffering a car accident.

‘Dr Ayyoub expressed the view her symptoms were as a result of a muscular problem and said he would give her a massage to ease the pain,’ he said. 

After the attack, Ayyoub then left the room to speak to other waiting patients and the young woman realised the door had been locked, the panel heard.

‘When he returned he continued to massage Patient A and despite her saying she needed to leave he continued to massage her back and down her sides as previously,’ Mr McNally said.

‘He started to place his hands underneath her body and fully onto her chest and breast, rubbing his hands over her breasts down her body and onto her stomach.  ‘He focused more and more on her breasts, stroking her breasts repeatedly, moving his hands down onto her stomach.’

By this time she was very uncomfortable, but the doctor continued despite her telling him she needed to go, the hearing was told.

Mr McNally added: ‘Patient A described that Dr Ayyoub grabbed her roughly by the hair and pushed her head towards his groin area.

‘At that stage she pulled away from him, got to her feet and said she had to leave.’  She was able to unlock the door and leave the room, and complained to the practice and police later that day.

In a statement produced in the crown court trial she said: ‘The incident initially left me feeling scared about what was going to happen.

‘I didn’t know what to do and didn’t feel like I could just get up and leave because he was a doctor and you put your trust in doctors.  ‘It left me feeling violated and upset and I felt like I didn’t know what to do with myself.’

Ayyoub has 28 days to appeal the decision before he is struck off the medical register.


Company boss banned from placing job ad which said applicants must 'speak excellent English'

A company boss has slammed the government's Jobsmatch service after his ad for a personal assistant who could 'speak excellent English' was refused because it breached the Equality Act.

Paul Scully, who runs a communications firm called Nudge Factory based in Croydon, south London, said he tried to place the ad on the government's Universal Jobsmatch website last week.

But rather than the job being listed on the site - which has hundreds of thousands of jobs around the UK - Mr Scully received a response questioning his requirement.

After he asked for an ad stating that the successful candidate should 'speak excellent English', he was sent an email asking 'why the applicant needed to speak a particular language'.

The site - run on behalf of the DWP - said a 'justification' would be needed for exempting the ad from the Equality Act 2010, passed to protect against discrimination.

Mr Scully said he was 'stunned' by the refusal, which he branded 'a ridiculous example of politically correct red tape'.

He said: 'We want a personal assistant and said in the advert we wanted someone with good communication skills, experience as a PA and that they speak excellent English.

'When I heard back from Universal Jobsmatch they told me that in order to comply with the Equality Act I would need to explain why the successful candidate would need a good command of English.

'It's political correctness at its worst - there are thousands of small businesses out there who would benefit from this site, but if they are met with these sorts of questions and barriers it's not really worth the effort.'

Mr Scully has now withdrawn the ad from Universal Jobsmatch and is advertising elsewhere for the £18,000-£24,000 job.

The Equality Act is designed to stop employers discriminating against age, race, disability, religion and gender - but does not specify language.

A spokesman for the DWP admitted that checks may have 'been too strict'.

The Universal Jobsmatch website has come under fire for a series of blunders in the past.

Among the jobs listed on the site previously was an ad for a hitman for MI6, which stated that an 'MI6 target elimination specialist' was needed.

Other ads included 'international couriers' for CosaNostra Holdings, also known as the Sicilian Mafia, as well as listings from pornographic websites.

The jobs website - which replaced Jobcentre Plus - has also been slated for hundreds of thousands of repeat or fake job ads.

He said: 'Universal Jobmatch is successfully helping people into work with around half a million employers now registered.

'We have robust procedures in place to ensure that vacancies comply with equality legislation and that jobseekers are not discriminated against.

'In this case, those checks may have been too strict and we are now reviewing our procedures.'


New study links video gaming to "well adjusted children"

A new study from Oxford University has found that playing a video game for a short amount of time could have a positive impact on children.

Participants in the study were asked to quantify the amount of time they spent playing video games on a typical school day. They were then asked to rate themselves on a number of factors such as ‘satisfaction with their lives,’ and ‘how well they got on with their peers.’

They found that children who spent less than an hour a day playing video games were more adjusted than children that did not play video games at all.

Experimental psychologist Dr Andrew Przybylski who led the study believes that there could be a number of reasons behind the finding.

"Being engaged in video games may give children a common language. And for someone who is not part of this conversation, this might end up cutting the young person off," he told the BBC.

Dr Przybylski notes that guidelines that put limits on the way children engage with video games should take this into account.

The research found that while girls and boys showed a different preference for computer based games and console based games (boys tended towards the latter and girls towards the former) the positive effects of gaming did not vary.

Similarly, the type of games being played didn’t change the effect as Dr Przybylski explains: “Many combat video games are also action video games, there is a body of research that suggests that these kinds of games may be positively linked to perceptual skills. Games designed explicitly for education purposes are pretty hit-or-miss.”

Amanda, a mum of two boys says that she isn’t surprised by the results of the study because she has observed many positive effects that gaming has had on her sons.

“My 9-year-old son, who has always had a short attention span, finds video games stimulating and challenging. It allows him to be creative and inventive,” she explains.

But mother of two and early childhood educator, Catherine says that despite limiting the amount of time her sons, 8 and 14, play video games they can still be quite “tired and grumpy” after playing. “They are fixated on getting back to the game and anything else you ask is a hassle,” she explains.

Child psychologist Jocelyn Brewer has a keen interest in the way that children engage with video games. She takes a pragmatic view. “As with most things it’s about balance – the duration, frequency, intensity and context that gaming occurs will predict whether it’s positive or negative,” she explains.

Brewer believes that many of the negative issues associated with gaming start when control or limits are absent. “Control on the amount of time a game is played (no rules or limits set by carers), that games are not age appropriate are played (think the 8-year-old playing GTA-5 all weekend because the parents don’t know what it really is or don’t have the power to say no) or they play alone and without their local peers (even though they may make ‘friends’ online playing alongside a real human increases the benefits,” she explains.


Australia:  The political significance of the section 18C debacle

Many Australians think that multiculturalism means better restaurants. I doubt they thought it meant that Muslim and other ethnic lobby groups would wield the power of veto over important national policies.

That the sectional interests of organised ethnic groups might subvert the national interest has long ranked high among the concerns about multiculturalism articulated by critics on the centre-right.

That such concerns are legitimate has been verified by the debacle that is the Abbott government's decision to break its election promise and abandon its commitment to abolish section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

When announcing the policy U-turn, the Prime Minister said that the government's push to restore free speech in Australia had complicated negotiations with the Muslim community over new counter-terrorism laws.

This was a remarkably frank and alarming admission. It implied that Muslim organisations would not join 'Team Australia' and back measures to stop Islamist fanatics harming innocent Australians of all creeds and colours unless the government caved in on section 18C.

The Abbott government has not only sold out the democratic right to free speech of all Australians to help itself politically with the ethnic lobbyists and 'human rights' lawyers opposed to repealing section 18C. What is worse are the political consequences of the government's actions, which are likely to embolden the Muslim lobby at a time when it is discovering just how much political muscle it can flex.

In response to the war in Gaza, some state and federal Green and Labor MPs have publically condemned Israel, and one federal Liberal MP has encouraged Australia to adopt a 'more neutral stance on Israel.'

These calls to revise Australia's traditional, bi-partisan foreign policy of support for Israel are motivated by raw political calculation for the reasons set out by former Foreign Minister Bob Carr in his diaries released earlier this year.

Carr's book detailed the circumstances surrounding the rolling in Cabinet of the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012, which led to Australia abstaining on the vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the recognition of Palestine's observer status at the UN. Carr explained that the Cabinet-revolt was in response to electoral concerns that the original 'No' vote in the UN backed by Gillard would see the Labor Party lose support among Muslim voters in key Labor seats in South Western Sydney.

The final indignity of this sorry episode is the fact that one needs to worry whether it is legal to discuss its political significance. With section 18C still on the statute books, who knows who might take offence and decide to wage some 'lawfare' to shut down debate about a subject of national importance.



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


8 August, 2014

No foolish fear of "racial profiling" in China

A city in China's restive western region of Xinjiang has banned people with head scarves, veils and long beards from boarding buses, as the government battles unrest with a policy that critics said discriminates against Muslims.

Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people who speak a Turkic language, has been beset for years by violence that the government blames on Islamist militants or separatists.

Authorities will prohibit five types of passengers - those who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long beards - from boarding buses in the northwestern city of Karamay, state media said.

The crescent moon and star symbol of Islam features on many national flags, besides being used by groups China says want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan.

The rules were intended to help strengthen security through August 20 during an athletics event and would be enforced by security teams, the ruling Communist Party-run Karamay Daily said on Monday.  'Those who do not comply, especially those five types of passengers, will be reported to the police,' the paper said.

In July, authorities in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi banned bus passengers from carrying items ranging from cigarette lighters to yogurt and water, in a bid to prevent violent attacks.

Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say the government's repressive policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam, have provoked unrest, a claim Beijing denies.

'Officials in Karamay city are endorsing an openly racist and discriminatory policy aimed at ordinary Uighur people,' Alim Seytoff, the president of the Washington-based Uyghur American Association, said in an emailed statement.

While many Uighur women dress in much the same casual style as those elsewhere in China, some have begun to wear the full veil, a garment more common in Pakistan or Afghanistan than in Xinjiang.

Police have offered money for tips on everything from 'violent terrorism training' to individuals who grow long beards.

Hundreds have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past 18 months, but tight security makes it almost impossible for journalists to make independent assessments of the violence.

About 100 people were killed when knife-wielding attackers staged assaults in two towns in the region's south in late July, state media said, including 59 'terrorists' shot dead by police. A suicide bombing killed 39 people at a market in Urumqi in May.


Political correctness backlfires on the British government

As a display of cynicism and disloyalty, the timing of Baroness Warsi’s resignation from the Government could not have been more calculating.

On Monday night, she represented the Government at a moving ceremony at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the start of World War I.

She had been picked personally by David Cameron to extinguish a candle which symbolised the 1914 Foreign Secretary Lord Grey’s observation on the eve of war that: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe.’

It later transpired — to Downing Street’s fury — that the Senior Foreign Office Minister had played this central role in the service having already decided to resign dramatically the following morning.

A veteran of PR photo-calls — as a daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she attended her first Cabinet meeting wearing a pink and gold shalwar kameez — Warsi knew the impact of her departure would be far greater coming only hours after she had been seen sitting alongside the Duchess of Cornwall at the Abbey.

While she genuinely believes the Prime Minister should be speaking out more strongly against Israel, one questions whether her departure also owes much to her resentment over her stalled ministerial career.

Yet promotion was never a possibility. David Cameron actually resisted pressure from senior colleagues to sack Warsi who, with an extraordinarily inflated view of her own abilities, had vain hopes of succeeding William Hague as Foreign Secretary.

The lurid language in Warsi’s resignation letter, coupled with its timing and the fact that Gaza and Israel have actually agreed to a ceasefire, seem to betray her true objective: to inflict maximum damage on Cameron who she doesn’t like or respect. She did not even do him the courtesy of warning him, instead releasing her resignation letter via Twitter.

The resulting political mess is entirely of Cameron’s own making. He promoted Warsi to the Cabinet after the general election to Tory Chairman — traditionally a job for a heavy hitter — not because of her brilliant oratorical skills or shrewd political insights but because of her ethnicity and sex. She is the first Muslim woman to serve in a British Cabinet.

Working class, educated at a comprehensive, and with a broad Yorkshire accent, Warsi ticked all the politically-correct boxes — she was the perfect antidote to Cameron’s middle-aged, grey, Eton-educated colleagues.  She was the manifestation of the idea that Conservatives were no longer the party of privilege.

While a woman of considerable willpower, Warsi — a solicitor who studied law at Leeds University — had neither the experience for the job nor any empathy with Tory members.

Compared to the likes of Norman Tebbit, who was Margaret Thatcher’s Tory chairman, Warsi was also a political lightweight — and, worse, she had never been elected as an MP.

She stood as a candidate in her native Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 2005, a winnable seat. But while the Tory share of the national vote increased, it fell in Dewsbury and Labour won.

Cameron responded by putting her on his so-called A-list to propel women, ethnic minorities and gays into safe seats. She was not even selected so Cameron elevated her to the House of Lords in 2007 as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion.

It was part of his attempt to reach out to the ethnic vote even though Indians, rather than Pakistanis, are more likely to vote Tory according to recent research. In Cabinet she swiftly became known as the ‘Blundering Baroness’.

She claimed electoral fraud within the Asian community cost the Tories three seats at the election — but refused to name the seats where the result had been fixed.

She was also forced to deny saying she did not want more Muslim MPs because ‘Muslims that go to Parliament don’t have any morals or principle’. Her comments in Urdu, made at a private dinner, were misinterpreted, she says.

Unlike previous Tory chairmen, she was rarely allowed near a TV or radio microphone because of fears she would commit gaffes. Meanwhile, Tory membership and donations slumped on her watch.

Having failed to win the confidence of the party’s grassroots, Warsi seemed destined to be sacked in the first reshuffle in autumn 2012.

But Cameron was desperate to cling on to his only Muslim Cabinet minister and to maintain his ratio of women on the frontbench.

A title of Senior Minister at the Foreign Office was created for her. Within weeks she was disowned by Downing Street after making a speech in which she claimed that Islamophobia had passed the ‘dinner table test’ — by which she meant that it had become socially acceptable among the chattering classes. She then linked Ukip supporters to the racist BNP and in March appeared on a TV political show brandishing a spoof newspaper front page poking fun at Number 10’s ‘Eton mess’.

Cameron was not amused.

Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, 43, grew up in a traditional Muslim family. One of five sisters, her Pakistani-born father, who came to Britain in 1971, was a mill worker who became a bus driver and driving instructor before setting up a firm manufacturing beds. When he retired, it had a £2 million turnover.

When she was 19, her parents arranged a marriage with a cousin in Pakistan. The couple had a daughter, now 15, and divorced in 2007.

Two years later she was accused of ‘stealing’ the husband of a vulnerable Pakistani woman in Dewsbury whose grasp of English was so poor she did not realise she was being divorced.

After Warsi’s marriage to Iftikhar Azam, members of the woman’s family claimed she signed a decree nisi document believing it to be a domestic gas bill. The allegations, which were strenuously denied, were embarrassing as Warsi was still at that stage being promoted as the multi-cultural face of the Tory Party.

To her credit, she spoke out against the grooming of white women by some Asian gangs, saying: ‘There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first.’

Meanwhile, Warsi, who describes herself as a ‘northern, working-class roots, urban, working mum’, was outspoken in her belief that foreign spouses should have to learn English before gaining admission to the UK. She also insisted, despite metropolitan mockery, that religious faith should have a place at the heart of government.

But in the summer of 2012 she was mired in controversy again when it emerged she had claimed parliamentary expenses for overnight accommodation at a house in which she stayed for free.

She was cleared of irregularities, criticised over a lack of transparency over her living arrangements, and was forced to apologise for a technical breach of the ministerial code by failing to declare a business relationship. Her reputation never fully recovered.

Today, Mr Cameron must regret not sacking Warsi when he could have. And how he must rue backing her so assiduously — once again raising questions about his judgment of people, and women in particular.

Westminster was thick with rumour last night that she might defect to Labour and that she has kept a detailed diary.

If either report is true, then Baroness Warsi’s capacity for embarrassing Cameron still further will increase dramatically.


Indian TV Crew Catches Hamas Firing Rocket From Densely Populated Area

Just minutes before a cease-fire started Tuesday morning, an Indian NDTV crewcaught Hamas red-handed on video assembling and firing a rocket outside their Gaza hotel room.

The video "establishes something that Hamas has always been accused of - that they actually use densely populated civilian areas to fire their rockets," reporter Sreenivasan Jain said. "You see this is a[n]area that, very heavily built up, a lot of residential and hotel buildings all around."

Jain and his crew noticed a blue tent outside their hotel room window Monday morning that was not there the night before. They couldn't see what was going on inside the tent, but, Jain reported, "We saw three men making a multitude of journeys in and out of the tent, sometimes with wires." They also saw the Hamas men try to camouflage the tent with branches.

All of this happened just feet away from their hotel and a high-rise building. The crew moved closer to inspect the site after Hamas fired the rocket, but left quickly in case Israel launched a retaliatory strike.

This was not the first time Hamas used an open lot next to the hotel, Jain said. He reported hearing a rocket being fired on the first night he and his TV crew stayed at the hotel, which he noted was evacuated following an Israeli warning of a possible retaliatory attack on the site.

The story was released "after our team left the Gaza strip," Jain reported. "Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel's offensive on Gaza's civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones."

But if you ask Hamas defenders including Reza Aslan, the rocket likely was a figment of the TV crew's imagination. Aslan cavalierly dismissed evidence that Hamas previously fired rockets during a debate on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday.

Fellow panelist Andrew Ross Sorkin challenged Aslan for blaming Israel for the deaths of "1,600 people, 85 percent of them civilians" and for killing hundreds of children. Sorkin noted that they had been killed because Hamas fired its rockets "in front of them."

"That is nonsense," Aslan said. "First of all, first of all, Amnesty International, which is on the ground right there, did a month-long review of this. They have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used."

NDTV's footage provides further incontrovertible proof that Hamas has no regard for the lives of those it governs. It also places apologists such as Aslan in the position of having to admit the reality that Hamas is the thuggish terrorist group the U.S., Israel and E.U. have always said it is.


The Gnostic Idea Of Social Change

By Herbert London

I have been reading Herb for many years but I think he is a bit confused on this one.  Gnostics are religious mystics.  I think "neophiliacs" was what Herb had in mind -- people who want change for the sake of change

Gnosticism is in the cultural air we breathe. The desire to break with tradition requires new avenues of protest. A trajectory of gay rights to gay marriage has seemingly won the day with the Gnostics now seeking alternative pathways to reform. The new, the truly new, is the movement to project the acceptance of transgendered sexuality.

In June 2014 an Alberta Canada judge argued that a twelve year old transgendered boy (a girl who considers herself a boy) must have the right to a new birth certificate with a new gender assignment. Prior to this judgment, Alberta law only allowed for new birth certificates if sex change surgery had been performed. The judge ruled that restriction to be a violation of “the rights ruled of transgendered people.” Presumably we get to be who we think we are and there is the emerging right to compel agreement.

Years ago there was an ad that said, “If you have but one life to live, live it as a blond.” Changing hair color to change identity set the stage for being whoever you want to be. Of course, now it is a right; if a woman says she is a man that is sufficient for her to use the “men’s room.”

A Marvel Comics spokesman said recently that the hero Thor was turning into a woman. Thor is the Norse god of thunder dating back over a thousand years. As a comic book fixture, Thor debuted in 1962. Though not technically a man, he was routinely depicted as male – until now. Marvel spokesman insists he is a she, a decision made without fanfare. It appears as though Thor decided he would prefer to live among the gods as a female.

Popular culture often sets the stage for the next wave of protestation. The idea that there are fixed traditional notions of social welfare going back thousands of years in anathema to the Gnostics who are eager to refashion the society. But where precisely are we going? Inventing rights is easy, but maintaining social equilibrium is not.

Converting society into a perpetual revolution in which the past is erased in search of utopia invariably ends in dystopia. Conferring rights without responsibility is a fool’s errand. At some point, absurd conditions are palpable. If a girl, for example, thinks she is a boy and has a plastic prosthesis surgically inserted, what happens when she changes her mind? If I am right handed, but all my life I wanted to be a southpaw is it appropriate to have my right arm removed? Being who you want to be was never a biological issue; it was related to status, prestige, and achievement. The idea that gender is an existential question is in some sense a violation of common sense and the accumulated wisdom of the past. Wants transcend all other considerations.

Technology itself has changed the male role making him less relevant in a woman’s life than was the case before. As a consequence, many males appear sexually ambiguous. The road to transsexuality is paved with stones of androgyny. Hence the creators of the newest rights are walking down this pathway hopeful that society will embrace the plight of those tortured by the bad deal biology gave them.

As Nicolas Chamfort, writer and dramatist, noted, “Nearly all people live in slavery for the reason the Spartans gave us as the cause of the slavery of Persians: they are not able to utter the syllable ‘no’.” Neither are we. In fact, perpetual revolution the Gnostics prefer leads inevitably to a point where we are slaves to rights creation and the remaking of social order.



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



7 August, 2014

Regret that most British cops are white

Police forces throughout the UK must do more to recruit ethnic minority officers if they are to keep the trust of the public, a watchdog has warned.

The Inspectorate of the Constabulary fears an overwhelmingly white police force will struggle to engage with communities as the number of minorities in the UK rises.

A report called 'Policing in Austerity: Meeting the Challenge' blames budget cuts for the problem, as financially-stretched forces struggle to take on more non-white officers.

The report states: 'Many forces have had limited opportunities to recruit new staff.  'Some have made a concerted effort to increase the number of black and minority ethnic police officers, but this is hampered by the recruitment freeze in many places.

'With the current tools chief officers have to recruit and release people, police forces will not be able to become representative of the communities they serve or to keep pace with a changing society for years, possibly decades.  'Many forces told us of the concerns they have about a static and ageing workforce.'

Zoë Billingham, a member of the police watchdog, added: 'The gap between the BME population and the BME representation in police is likely to widen.  'The issue of how police forces make themselves more representative is one that needs to be addressed.'

A total of 6,966 of the 131,258 police officers in England and Wales, or 5.2 per cent, are from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared to an estimated 13 per cent of the British population as a whole.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Bennett from the College of Policing says progress has been made but more must be done. He said: 'There has been a steady rate of improvement in terms of representation but the service is not changing as fast as the community.

London's first black policeman Norwell Roberts (left) on parade at Hendon Police College in 1967. Right, an armed Sikh Metropolitan Police officer patrols the streets of Westminster in 2004

'The whole model of British policing is based on policing by consent and it is based on legitimacy.

'There is a real danger as our population moves towards 20 to 25 per cent black and minority ethnic (BME) membership - in some of our police areas 40 per cent – while the police service has only 10 per cent black and minority ethnic representation, that we will start to lose a degree of legitimacy.  'The police service needs to be as representative as it can be so it can respond to the needs of all communities.'

Mt Bennett agreed that budget cuts are a key part of the problem.   'There is an issue about the attractiveness of the police service to people from BME backgrounds,' he said.  'If you are a potential BME recruit and you look at the police service you see a relatively low number of BME people.  'If you have not come from a police background you may be suspicious about what the service can offer.

'One of the problems for policing is that there are many well-qualified people who don't look at the police service as a career and they look more favourably on professions such as law, dentistry, medicine.  'I don't think we are competing effectively in the BME graduate market.'

Steve Evans, Vice Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales said: 'Public trust and confidence is paramount to effective policing and therefore it is essential that the police service is fully representative of the public it serves.

'One of the many consequences of the cuts to policing budgets has been the impact on the recruitment and promotion process.

'The commitment exists within the police service to ensure that we properly understand, empathise with and reflect the communities that we serve.  This means working proactively to ensure effective representation.   We are working with other policing bodies and stakeholders to keep this commitment.'


Open source, sexist? Spare me

I think few statements have struck me, lately, as more annoyingly ignorant, than the comment that open-source software is "sexist." Women, it seems, are underrepresented in the open-source developer community. Women are "excluded" from the community, because it's "unappealing." It's another bastion of male "privilege."

How anyone can be excluded from open source is a mystery to me. It has the lowest barriers to entry of any intellectual pursuit I've ever seen, except perhaps blogging. Anyone with a computer, and Internet connection, and some time can contribute. Contributions can occur on many levels -- you don't need to be a Linux kernel wizard in order to contribute a new application feature, or a bug fix, or write a "howto", or adopt an orphaned project. Since participation is online, you can contribute under a pseudonym if you wish. All the "study materials" are available on-line, for the asking.

Oh, but the psychological barriers, you say!

Well, let me tell you what I had to go through in order to become a computer programmer.

I grew up in a rural town in the middle of nowhere, years before the idea of a "personal computer" had even reached science fiction. Yet I was always a science fiend -- possibly because of the Tom Swift Jr. books a well-meaning and never-sufficiently-thanked aunt and uncle gave me for Christmas. And when a children's encyclopedia introduced me to electricity, and I discovered that I could take batteries and switches and lights, and they followed understandable rules, and I could hook them up and make them do things, I was hooked.

The problem was, our town had nothing more advanced than a dinky hardware store. Our town library had exactly two books on the subject: a 1914 book, "Boy Electrician," which told me all I needed to know about making obsolete spark-gap transmitters and coherer detectors, and a 1948 edition of the Radio Amateur's Handbook. (Our school library had bupkis.) Luckily, in those days the Handbook included advertising, and I discovered the existence of mail-order electronics retailers.

I was fortunate in that I could afford to send away for books, and later for small parts...a few dollars here, a few dollars there. I learned patience, waiting for the deliveries. I also learned to go to the local TV repair shop, and ask for any parts they were discarding. One milestone I vividly recall was in fourth-grade show-and-tell, where I showed a photorelay project I had constructed with a photocell and a transistor.

Then I developed a desire to get my amateur radio license...which was a problem, because the nearest examining center was hundreds of miles away. Luckily for me, I had grandparents in that city, whom we visited once a year. I managed to wheedle a trip to the examining center during that visit...for three successive years, because I failed the Morse Code part of the exam twice.

I might have become a communications engineer but for a chance opportunity. I was fortunate that my parents agreed to send me to a one-week "computer camp" for high-school students, at a not-very-distant university. This is not what is called a "computer camp" today. We were learning how to write Fortran, to use a keypunch, and to submit batch jobs to an IBM System/360. I was sufficiently intimidated by the prospect, that I bought a Fortran book and began reading it weeks in advance, to keep up with the other students.

Because even then, I had a vague realization that other students were more fortunate than I. They lived in The City, and had bigger high schools with bigger libraries. Some of the schools taught electronics, and some had computers. They had electronics stores they could visit. Some of them had universities, and university libraries, that were a mere bus ride away. I felt occasionally envious, but I never thought that their good fortune was an obstacle to my learning.

The "camp" left me thoroughly bitten by the computer bug, and eager to use computers in my next high-school science project. I was fortunate that my parents were able to persuade the computer science department at the nearest college (30 miles away) to let me use their facilities. And by "facilities" I don't mean a computer; I mean a card reader, line printer, and a leased line to a computer in a distant city. I didn't have a car, but I was able to cadge a ride once a week with a local teacher who was going there for some continuing education.

Finally I got accepted into a university, and I was fortunate that my folks could afford to send me there. (Because, as you might have noticed by now, we didn't have any higher education close by.) There I continued my batch programming on a System/370. I also took a job at the computer center as a "go-fer", which eventually led to a job as computer operator. And in my junior year I was finally allowed to use the PDP-8 minicomputer in the Electrical Engineering department. In my senior year I was fortunate that personal computer kits were starting to be sold, and I was able to buy one, and managed to borrow some space in a Physics lab to build it. (A 2.5 MHz Z80 with 18K of RAM. 144 RAM chips. Soldered by hand.)

The rest, as they say, is history.

I marvel at the opportunities available today to aspiring programmers and engineers. I couldn't have even imagined a time when people would throw away computers that are literally a thousand times more powerful than my old university's mainframe.* When gigabytes of software, including source code, are available for free, to study, modify, and use. When electronic messages can be sent in the blink of an eye to experts and enthusiasts around the world, with replies often coming the same day. When hundreds of projects are begging for volunteers to write software..."on the job training", with mentors; experience that confers the kind of credentials that earn respect.

And it's available to anyone. Yes, knowledge of English is a plus -- and I'm fortunate to have English as my first language. But anyone in the world can participate; no one cares about your race, your age, your gender, your religion, or your family. And I am nothing short of ecstatically delighted that others can share the joy I have found in computer science!

With all I went through, and seeing all that's available to students today, perhaps you will understand why cries of "privilege" fall on my unsympathetic ears. I was fortunate (not privileged) in several respects, as I have noted, and unfortunate in others. And yet, I prevailed, because I wanted to learn the damn subject!

You want to learn computers? Do it. Don't tell me how "unappealing" you find the computer science lab. And save your whines about "exclusion" for realms in which people are actually, you know, being excluded.


Ruling: Gay ‘Bear Bar’ Discriminated against Effeminate Man in Drag

A Denver gay bar discriminated against a man in drag last year by refusing him entry because of his feminine appearance, according to a new ruling by a Colorado civil-rights division. The ruling found that the the bar had a history of turning down men who “exhibit effeminacy” while allowing women “with a masculine gender presentation.”

The ruling comes after a separate civil-rights commission in the state ordered Christian baker Jack Phillips to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples despite his religious objections.

In August 2013, Vito Marzano tried to get into The Denver Wrangler, a popular gay bar, wearing a dress, makeup, and a wig, according to the Associated Press. When he gave his ID to the bouncer, Marzano was told he could not enter because his appearance did not match his driver’s license.

The bar’s owner argued that the bouncer was following protocol, in line with state liquor laws to prevent underage drinking, for which the Wrangler had been fined in the past. Additionally, Marzano was reportedly aggressive and drunk at the time, which played into the bouncer’s decision.

But the civil-rights division for Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies ruled that the bar’s dress code raises questions about its inclusiveness. For example, its policy against wigs, strong perfume, and “appearance-altering makeup” has a disparate impact on male clientele.

“In other words, a female with a masculine gender presentation would be permitted to enter, whereas, a male presenting as a female would be denied entry,” the division’s director wrote. The Denver Post reports that the division report stated that the Wrangler’s reputation as a “bear bar” leads it to show favor towards more traditionally masculine-looking men.

The director admitted that the bar’s dress code “at face value . . . appear[s] legitimate and nondiscriminatory” but said Marzano’s case raises concern about establishments’ freedom to appeal to and attract certain audiences without discriminating against others.

Marzano, who led a boycott against the Wrangler, said he feels “vindication” in the ruling and said LGBT individuals “face enough hatred and discrimination from the outside world . . .  We do not need it from our own.”

As part of the ruling, the Wrangler will go through mediation with Marzano.

Colorado’s civil-rights bodies have been busy with LGBT issues in recent months. In June, the state’s Civil Rights Commission ruled against Phillips, a Christian owner and baker of Masterpiece Cakeshop, after he turned down a request to prepare a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration. As a result, Phillips was required to change his shop’s policies, attend training, and submit quarterly reports to the division; Phillips has since appealed the ruling.


The Spreading Scourge of Anti-Christian Persecution

Dr. Ben Carson

Intolerance that fosters pogroms abroad is taking root in U.S. communities. Sobering and unforgettable images are projected across our television and computer screens. They should elicit the most basic instincts of both fear and compassion.

I'm referring to images of showing the persecution of hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of our fellow brothers and sisters by incomprehensible religious zealots. Their intolerance of Christianity is beyond horrible. People are beheaded for their faith. Women and young girls are sexually violated, and whole families are wantonly slaughtered in cold blood. Perhaps just as abhorrent is the profound silence of the current administration. Even though President Obama has declared that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are still compassionate people who should not ignore humanitarian atrocities, much less ones where the victims are only guilty of maintaining a belief in the principles espoused by Jesus Christ.

We have an obligation as Americans to denounce these acts of persecution. Even those who do not worship a higher deity should be concerned. For when we stand up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of freedom. We are defending choice -- the ability to worship and call on the name of a heavenly being without fear of torture and abandonment.

The president, who very early in his tenure won the Nobel Peace Prize, now has an opportunity to truly be the broker of peace in a very troubled part of the world. He can be a champion of freedom of religion, a founding principle of our nation. As long as religious practices do not infringe upon the rights of others, he can make it clear that it is wrong to interfere with those practices.

In our own country, we must become more reasonable in disputes about religious symbols. For instance, if a Christmas tree or manger scene has been a long-standing community tradition, and a few offended people come along and claim that it must be removed, should those few individuals have the power to interfere with the seasonal joy of thousands who rejoice in the viewing of those symbols? If someone is offended by a menorah in a Jewish community, would it not make more sense to give them sensitivity training rather than disturb the entire community by removing the symbol? I could go on, but I think the point is clear. When we reward unwarranted hypersensitivity surrounding religious ceremonies or beliefs, we add fuel to the hatred and intolerance that subsequently produces religious persecution.

Some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it here at home.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, we are not helpless and can dispatch the State Department to do all it can to help. Some conservatives and cynics might argue that such a move requires government dollars. Who's to say? We don't fully comprehend how besieged these people are, much less know what it would take to grant them relief.

Governments need to decry such persecution, and root it out wherever and whenever they can. The United States should lead in that effort -- just as it has with combating sex trafficking and other problems the world has decried in the past. It is hard to find an issue that demands a sharper clarion call for leadership now.



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


6 August, 2014

A series of multicultural doctors killed a little English boy

Clearly, they just couldn't be bothered to treat him properly

A doctor sent a 19-month-old boy home from hospital three days before he died of dehydration and kidney failure, a tribunal heard today.

Baby Harry Connelly was admitted to Northampton General Hospital suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea on April 28, 2011.

But despite the concerns of his mother Lucy, paediatrician Dr Tasnim Arif failed to weigh Harry, take blood tests or properly assess the baby’s condition before sending them home, it is alleged.

Little Harry was found dead in his cot by his father Raymond three days later in the early hours of May 1, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.

At an inquest in 2012 Coroner Anne Pember catalogued a series of ‘failings’ by doctors and nurses at the hospital and a GP’s out-of-hours service.

Dr Arif is now facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester accused of allowing her care of Harry to fall ‘seriously below’ what was expected.

Opening the case, Simon Phillips QC, for the General Medical Council, explained how Harry fell ill at his home on April 23 2011 and was referred to the hospital by the family GP three days later.

The boy was examined by paediatrician Dr Farhana Shamim, who said he was not dehydrated, but recommended that he be given Dioralyte, a rehydration treatment to boost salt and sugar levels.

He was discharged the following morning by Dr Ayevbekpen Omorgie, who said the parents could have a ‘48-hour open access’ to the ward, meaning he would not need a referral to be seen again.

At around 3.30pm on 28 April Harry was brought back to hospital by his mother after his parents felt his condition had deteriorated

Mr Phillips said: ‘The clinical treatment provided by Dr Arif to Harry Connelly on this date is the focus of attention in relation to this fitness to practise hearing.’

It is alleged that the doctor failed to fully record that Harry was still passing blood in his stool, that he had not eaten for five days or that he was lethargic, as Mrs Connelly had told her.

Dr Arif, who was then a fourth-year specialist trainee paediatric registrar, has admitted that she failed to record how often Harry was passing stool and vomiting and did not ask for further clarity on the subject.

The medic also confessed to not comparing his current weight to his weight when he was previously discharged on April 27.

But she denies failing to adequately assess or record a number of clinical features when assessing the baby’s hydration status, including the overall summary of ‘well hydrated’ or ‘not well hydrated’.

Dr Arif is further accused of failing to arrange a longer assessment period, not arranging the duty consultant to review Harry’s clinical status and failing to arrange for blood tests, as the consultant had asked.

The panel heard that Dr Arif did not think Harry was dehydrated before she discharged him at around 5.45pm on the afternoon of 28 April.

The next day Harry’s condition had deteriorated again, to such an extent that his parents described him as ‘lifeless’.

Grandmother Val Faulkner rang the hospital, but was told by a nurse they should take the toddler to their GP or accident and emergency.

After phoning the GP out-of-hours service, the family spoke to Dr Mary McCracken who said they should bring him in to the out-of-hours service as he may be suffering from dehydration.

At the out of hours service, Harry was examined by Dr Aboo Thamby who assessed that he was not dehydrated and did not need to be readmitted.

By 30 April Harry’s parents reported that he was ‘brighter’ but his fingers and toes were very cold.

‘Very sadly Harry Connolly died at home in the early hours of 1 May 2011,’ Mr Phillips said.

He added: ‘The GMC’s position is that Dr Arif should have exercised a greater degree of caution when deciding the appropriate course of action towards Harry Connelly and when discharging him.

‘In regard to the care provided at the time, the GMC’s position is that the standard of care provided by Dr Arif fell seriously below that expected of a registrar.’

It is alleged that the doctor’s actions and omissions amounted to professional misconduct.

Dr Arif spoke only to confirm her name and GMC registration number at today’s hearing, but her representative Andrew Hockton made several factual admissions on her behalf.

If the three-person panel finds against her she could face sanctions including restrictions on her practise, suspension or being struck off the medical register.


Let Boys Be Boys this Summer

Ah, summer. What a great time for boys to read "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

First released in the U.K. in 2006 and the U.S. in 2007, the book is filled with useful information on how to make knots in a rope, build a go-kart or treehouse, create a working bow and arrow, and engineer a proper water bomb.

The book is also filled with stories of famous historical battles, information about dinosaurs, the moon and the Declaration of Independence, and other interesting tidbits, such as how to play marbles and chess, make invisible ink and create spy codes.

The book has sold well in both the U.K. and the U.S. for a variety of reasons - most of all because it celebrates boyhood and couldn't care less about being politically correct. It celebrates the fact that boys, unlike girls, generally like to go out in the mud and play, build things with their own hands and allow nature to unleash their imagination and all five of their senses.

"I think we've come through the period when we said boys and girls were exactly the same, because they're not," author Conn Iggulden told The Associated Press. "Boys and girls have different interests, different ways of learning, and there's no real problem in writing a book that plays to that, and says, let's celebrate it. Let's go for a book that will appeal to boys."

"Hear, hear!" to that.

We have in our population too many males, now in their 20s or 30s, who were not permitted to be boys this way when they were lads.

Such young men were persuaded to shun the ways of their fathers and grandfathers - men who were short on words and long on action, and never fretted over feelings, roughage or good prostate health.

But in the past three decades, the traditional American male has been under attack. He has been called closed-minded, archaic and sexist. Thus, modern boys are pressured to show their feelings.

Today, the landscape is polluted with sensitive "New Age" 20- and 30-year-olds. Touchy-feely fellows with soft voices and caring eyes. Fellows who mist up at bridal showers and clap heartily the first time their sons use the commode for "No. 2."

It's not their fault entirely. Many of them were forbidden to go outside to play, learn, invent and discover. They were held captive inside their homes, where they got fat off of snack foods as they played on computers under the careful watch of adults.

It's not their fault they were given unusual, soft names intended to celebrate their specialness. One is hard-pressed to find a Tom, Mike, Jim or Joe under 40 these days.

It's not their fault some had moms who dressed them up in color-coordinated knickers, suspenders and saddle shoes - and dads afraid to say what every good father must say in such a situation: "No son of mine is going to wear any damn knickers!"

But we can correct these wrongs. We can start by encouraging boys to do boy things as boys have done through summer months ever since boys have existed.

Here's a good start: Let nature unleash their imagination and senses this summer.

When boys are free to catch crayfish, build ramps to jump their bikes and conduct any of dozens of other enjoyable activities outlined in "The Dangerous Book for Boys," they will blossom into fine young men who will not attend bridal or baby showers and will leave it to others to clap when Junior succeeds on the commode.


You May Be Shocked by Who Asked If ‘Social Media Made Us Bigger A**holes?’

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” is certainly no stranger to vigorous skewering of many individuals and groups he disagrees with.

So it may come as a surprise that Maher posed this question on Friday’s episode: “Do you think that the social media made us bigger assholes, or we were bigger assholes and it just exposed us as being that?”

Maher was conversing with Chris Hardwick, host of “@midnight” on Comedy Central, and noted that he believes the Internet has exacerbated political correctness by fostering those who “lay in wait” online to attack those they disagree with and then “pat themselves on the back” for doing so.

Hardwick offered a reasoned response, noting that the Internet is often a bad place for gauging emotion.

He also said that seeking to understand those we disagree online is a best first course before getting into cyber battles.


Political Correctness Gone Rampant: Use These 3 Communications Tips To Survive

It’s an epidemic. The seemingly innocuous statements executives make on the stage or in social media get blown to the sky by outraged listeners, and press and reputation nightmares are born.

For example, Brent Musburger, one of the most widely recognized voices in sports, was raked over the proverbial coals last year for remarking during a close-up shot of Miss Alabama (a friend of the Atlanta team’s quarterback) how quarterbacks seem to “get all the good-looking women.” Mayhem ensued.

Phil Mickelson, golf legend, remarked that he was thinking of moving away from California due the “increasingly heavy tax burden there.”  The comment created a firestorm, as Mickelson is obviously a person of means. (But when Tiger Woods was asked about the remarks he shrugged in empathy, acknowledging that he, himself, had already moved to a lower tax state.)

Forbes contributor Dr. Mark W. Fredrickson pegs the political correctness war as partisanship, writ large: “As the left aggressively pursues its agenda, they are eager to denounce, discredit, hound, harass, vilify, abuse, and make life difficult for anyone who dares to contradict their catechism,” he says.

But is political correctness really so simple? And how far should organizations and executives go in their attempts to never offend?

Sports teams are being renamed to avoid offending Native American tribes. A U.S. university has reclassified its freshman class as “first-year students” to avoid any possibilities of affiliation with gender. Some schools are referring to Easter Eggs as “Springtime spheres” and are eliminating Halloween altogether for fear of the possible suggestion of underlying religious themes.

One of the latest PC frenzies surrounds a recent video “The Best First Date” about a father and his toddler age daughter going on a daddy daughter date. It’s a sweet and touching video to many, but a surprising number of viewers are flaming the segment as disgusting and creepy, and even calling the father a pedophile and abuser (as he sips from a Disney princess mug and enjoys a PB sandwich with his little girl).

Says my friend and frequent collaborator, integrity expert Dr. David Gruder: “What does it say about our society that the media would even suggest that people should think this is creepy? To me it says that people have not learned to recognize the underlying intentions behind behaviors. Their focus is only on whether they think a behavior should be labeled as right or wrong.”

“If there were even an ounce of sexual energy coming from the dad or his little girl in this video I believe virtually anyone who watched would be repulsed, and rightly so,” he continues. “But this is a father embodying fatherly love in a way that’s developmentally appropriate (through play). He is demonstrating for his daughter the loving kindness she should require of those she lets close to her, as healthy parenting.”

“That so many can’t distinguish between intentions that express parenting and those that express perpetration is a painful testament to how emotionally illiterate the ‘political correctness’ movement has become,” Gruder concludes. (As an aside he notes that conservatives are as guilty of PC character bashing as liberals in his estimation and he finds the activity equally reprehensible on either side of the scale.)

In an essay from the Conflict Information Consortium called “Escalation Limiting Language,” author Jennifer Akin points to the ways language and communication can purposely quell a PC conflict or can further inflame it. “A wrong word or a misconstrued meaning in the midst of a conflict is like gasoline on a flame,” she observes.  In the category of “no truer words were ever spoken” she notes “An immense amount of embarrassment and pain could probably be avoided if everyone paused before speaking, heeding the advice to ‘think before we speak’.”

Amen to that statement.

Some behavior is easy to classify as “looking for trouble.” For example, Utah was scandalized about a decade ago by the story of a conservative 41-year-old bank CFO who was emerging after hours in leather pants and a silver Porsche with the license plate “Ecstasy” to throw parties behind the security gates of his palatial residence. The story ended in arrest for methamphetamine possession and child endangerment when a frantic 911 call revealed his 19-year-old girlfriend naked and passed out in his bed during a party in which his 15-year-old daughter was also found passed out in the home.

It was a story that seemed to beg for bad press. Yet some blamed the media for inflaming the situation further, for bad acts such as including the exec’s middle name “Moroni” in coverage (a name that is prominent in Mormon culture and appeared to gratuitously exaggerate the “Jekyll and Hyde” story still more.) The press insisted the inclusion of middle names was standard practice. Regardless, it was a terrible story by anyone’s terms that became a PR nightmare for the organization as well as for the executive himself.

There are some executives, in the way they express themselves, who are clearly looking for fights (just as there are an increasing number of PC vigilantes who are loaded for battle).

We can learn to speak more carefully. In Akin’s essay, she notes that in some cases, all an angry listener is looking for is to feel that they’ve been properly heard.

Author Suzette Elgin (The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work) notes in Akin’s article that offense is in the ear of the hearer, and that we can learn to be more sensitive to what the words we choose may mean to others. For example, some people may be angered to be referred to as “Oriental” instead of “Asian.” Some words are inherently accusatory, such as “spendthrift” and “profligate” instead of merely pointing to the black and white fact of an unbalanced budget.

Elgin also notes that how a message is received by its listener depends on more than semantics. It depends on expression, intonation and body language as well. As an example, how many ways can you interpret the answer to the question “How are you?” when a person responds with “Fine”? That single word could express anything ranging from happiness to boredom to anger, depending on the intonation involved.

“English is a language in which hostilities and abuse are carried primarily by the melodies that go with the words, rather than by the words themselves,” Elgin says.

But no matter how gentile and tactful the speaker, there is no avoiding the fact that in public communications, some listeners will take offense. A few will even be outraged (they’re the folks psychologists jokingly refer to as “pi**ed off waiting to happen”—if you offered them a $20 bill they’d assume you’re implying they’re incapable of paying their own bills.)

Says Gruder, “The attempt to create political correctness rules and to legislate behavior at work and in society is an ineffective attempt at symptom control. It is an unsustainable substitution for properly equipping people with the skills to align what they know with their frame of heart and with the actions they take.”

Well said.

Furthermore, well-meaning people can occasionally trip. For example, the job candidate who blurts out “this place seems like a ghetto,” then realizes that one of the interviewing team is white, one is black, and she has likely offended them both can simply say, “I am sorry.  I made a poor choice of words, and I failed to express what I mean.” Then try the statement again.

In summary, what can business communicators do about the PC vigilantes? We can 1) think before we speak, 2) consciously choose words and manners that encourage alignment instead of escalating a fight, and 3) genuinely listen and hear what our opponents are saying. Beyond these efforts—yes, the battle for political correctness has been taken too far. But why perpetuate the struggle? The better communications answer is perhaps to let up on the PC legislation and to focus our efforts on better emotional maturity and fundamental behavior instead.



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


5 August, 2014

BBC 'angers Muslim staff' by hosting hog roast to celebrate Commonwealth Games under the windows of Arabic TV service


The BBC has enraged Muslim staff after holding a hog roast to celebrate the Commonwealth Games - under the windows of the Arabic TV service.

An entire pig was spit-roasted in the courtyard of New Broadcasting House, central London, with wafts of meat drifting up to the predominantly Muslim office.

Staff in the department whose religion bans them from eating pork blasted the 'horror' at spotting the carcass on their lunch break.

The event on Friday, celebrating the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was held just days after the close of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims for spiritual reflection.

Sharing a photo of a scorched pig's head covered in juice, an Iranian journalist wrote: 'Horror in my lunch break at BBC New Broadcasting House.'

The Corporation routinely promotes 'diversity' values, and issues all employees with a welcome pack, that includes a survey with questions about their religion, sexual orientation, financial background, and any disabilities.

However, an insider berated the hog roast as 'disrespectful', claiming the hog was 'being flaunted', according to The Sun on Sunday.

A BBC spokesman said: 'We have received no complaints'.

The food festival set up outside the John Peel Wing, where the Arabic TV service is based on the fourth floor.

The Arabic TV service is one of the Corporation's flagship channels, covering 32 countries.

The team has been significantly expanded since 2008, when it officially launched.


RSPCA could stop prosecuting foxhunters

The RSPCA may give up prosecuting foxhunters after criticism that it spends too much money pursuing offenders.

Donations to the animal charity have fallen sharply in the past year, prompting a wide-ranging review that could see it focus more on cruelty to domestic pets.

Two years ago, the RSPCA spent £326,000 winning a case against the Heythrop hunt, based in Oxfordshire, but the judge questioned whether the money had been well spent.

After the ruling, the Charity Commission warned the RSPCA that pursuing other expensive actions held a “reputational risk”.  Dominic Grieve, then attorney-general, wrote asking it to review its prosecutions policy.

One change the RSPCA is considering is whether to take the decisions about when to prosecute away from staff who were once field inspectors.

Ray Goodfellow, the RSPCA’s chief legal officer, told The Sunday Times: “We are upholding the Hunting Act, the law of the land. But others want to repeal it and we have been caught up in their political campaign.  “This is an issue we are looking at. There are also issues of proportionality and the economic impact on our other activities. If we spend money on hunt cases, that is less money for other work including prosecutions relating to pets.”

The possible move comes amid a marked fall in donations, from £112?million in 2012 to £105?million last year. In June, the charity announced a major restructure after it experienced what it calls a “net cash outflow” of £6.1? million last year. The restructure could put more than 100 jobs at risk.

A series of senior figures have left the charity in recent months including Gavin Grant, the chief executive; John Grounds, his deputy, and David Cowdrey, the communications director.

Tim Bonner, campaigns director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, welcomed the RSPCA’s review and proposed changes. “We believe it is impossible for the RSPCA to both be involved in political campaigns and make objective prosecution decisions on the same issues,” he said.


Marriage Won’t End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot).

Marriage isn’t the answer to poverty. That’s the argument made last week in The New Republic by Carter Price, who asserts conservatives are too preoccupied with marriage in anti-poverty efforts.

Price takes particular issue with a Harvard study by Raj Chetty and colleagues that suggests children, regardless of whether they come from a single- or married-parent family, have greater social mobility when raised in a community with a higher share of married parents. Price notes that some areas of the country with high shares of single mothers are doing better (or worse) than Chetty’s study would predict. In other words, marriage doesn’t explain everything. But neither does any other factor.

Price restates the common progressive argument that poverty leads to marital breakdown rather than the other way around. Yet, even Harvard professor William Julius Wilson, whom Price cites in his article, can see this is false. Wilson, who is no conservative, makes the case in his book When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor that economic factors aren’t solely to blame for marital decline, specifically among African Americans.

“Although there is a strong association between rates of marriage and both employment status and earnings at any given point in time, national longitudinal studies suggest that these factors account for a relatively small portion of the overall decline in marriage among African-Americans,” Wilson says. Economic and cultural norms work together, he says. “The weaker the norms against premarital sex, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and nonmarital parenthood, the more that economic considerations affect decisions to marry.”

There is a strong connection between the breakdown in marriage and child poverty. Living with two working parents raises household income. Children in single-parent homes are more than five times as likely to be poor, regardless of parental education level. They also are more likely to drop out of high school, spend time in prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have an unwed birth.

Price actually has it backwards. While the War on Poverty has paid too little attention to marriage over the last 50 years, marital breakdown and unwed childbearing have soared, particularly in low-income communities. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born to single mothers, up from less than 10 percent in the under 10 percent in the 1960s.

Of course other factors matter. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity examines the multiple factors that contribute to opportunity: a strong economy, a thriving work ethic, access to quality education, as well as strong families. These factors work together, not independently of each other.

A sound anti-poverty strategy must include: self-sufficiency through work, implementing policies to encourage job creation, improving access to quality education, and taking steps to restore a culture of marriage. Combining these efforts will help create a society where more individuals have the opportunity to succeed and flourish.


Britain's already got far too many fatherless families without the NHS deliberately creating more

For years, the NHS has been the pride of this country. Today, though, it has drifted a very long way from the noble principles upon which it was founded.

It now seems willing to pander to every whim of a population that thinks it has a divine right to whatever type of health treatment it wants — regardless of the cost or the morality involved.

The news that a national sperm bank is to be funded by the NHS to make it easier for single women and lesbian couples to have children by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) horrifies me.

Vanity surgery such as breast-enhancement is bad enough, but at least those operations involve only the woman herself.

This new policy reduces babies to commodities and denies the child basic rights and needs, such as a stable family. For a stable family life comes from the commitment of the biological father.

That £300 fee would be significantly less than the cost of attending a private clinic, which can be as much as £2,000.

But the fact that the NHS is offering a service at all to supply ‘designer babies’ is a sign that today’s society is starting to regard children as things that can be bought like a new wide-screen plasma TV.

I am a mother, and I believe passionately that my children are both a gift and a deep responsibility. Their emotional welfare has been my duty. That includes giving them a stable family home, with a mother and father who are married and an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Yet many people in our increasingly self-obsessed society think they can shirk such responsibilities.

A child born by anonymous sperm donation has no chance of growing up with his or her biological father.

The father’s name will not appear on the child’s birth certificate — although by law anyone born via egg or sperm donation now has the right to ask the regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority, for the identity of their donor.

Donors also have the right to find out if their donation has been successful, the number of children born as a result and the sex and year of birth.

Yet the mother herself may, understandably, want the donor to remain anonymous, perhaps out of fear that he might one day in the future want to track down her and his child and potentially complicate their settled lives.

Throughout the history of mankind, there have been compelling reasons, in every society, why couples want or are encouraged or required to make a lasting and public commitment to stay together before they have children.

There is not a society that does not have some formal arrangement, whether it is marriage or something similar, that provides the child with stability, security and a network of family members who care for and feel responsibility for their well-being.

Experience tells us that children suffer if they do not know the identity of their fathers.

In countless cases it has been shown that a child who grows up with no sense of their genetic inheritance can develop an identity crisis or suffer an intense fear of rejection. There are already 1.8 million single-parents households in Britain, mostly fatherless — should we really be adding to the number?

The fact is that boys — and girls — need a father. No mother can replace the father’s unique role in a family.

I know this as the widowed mother to two boys. I had to stand firm as the boys grew and be strict when it was needed. A father has a natural authority over his sons and should be their role model as they grow.

Equally, a daughter needs to see her father behaving properly to his wife and children. It will be critical for her self-confidence when she forms relationships with men as an adult. If a girl grows up knowing that her father was a disinterested and disengaged sperm donor, how will that affect her own future expectations of men?

There is also a deep-seated need to know who you are and what your family history is.

This could be medical — is there a family weakness towards alcoholism, for example, or did a paternal grandfather die of heart trouble in his 50s? — or it could be a desire to know what your father’s grandfather did in the war.

Without these links, a child risks feeling terribly isolated from their family and heritage.

That is an appalling burden to impose on any baby, to condemn it to carry throughout its life — and yet the State is condoning this by allowing the NHS to offer a service that allows women to ignore those concerns while they satisfy their own desires.

Of course, I have enormous sympathy with any woman who struggles to have a baby naturally and who has to resort to IVF, sperm donation or surrogacy. But babies must never be for sale, least of all from the State. The children will not be the only victims.

Every aspect of anonymous donor IVF is exploitative.

The men who donate sperm for money are being exploited and led to believe that they need have no further responsibility to their offspring once they have received a one-off payment. Indeed, the NHS is playing God and sanctioning a negation of the immutable link between the production of sperm and the duties of fatherhood.

This new NHS initiative, I fear, is just the latest trend in a society that increasingly devalues the role of the family.

We have already seen how reluctant politicians are to reward couples who stay together by offering them even the smallest tax break for marriage, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg describing such financial incentives as ‘patronising drivel that belong in the Edwardian Age’.

As a result, countless children are now growing up without the influence of a father — something numerous social studies have proved is detrimental to their future life-chances.

For the State to operate a system where children are denied a future with a father from the moment of the conception is a tragedy.

Another disturbing aspect of this is the drift towards eugenics — the science of breeding ‘superior’ children from a selective gene pool that was favoured by the Nazis in Thirties Germany.

My blood boils at the idea of any potential parent choosing ‘ideal characteristics’ for their designer baby. The sheer conceit of it is breathtaking.

It’s as if potential parents think they have a right to construct a perfect baby, choosing its gender and personal traits like you might order toppings on a pizza.

What happens when, due to some genetic glitch, a baby is born with the ‘wrong’ colour eyes, or skin a shade too light or dark? What happens if it turns out to have a disability, whether it’s a hare lip or something as life-changing as cerebral palsy?

If they return the unwanted baby to the NHS, who will then have responsibility for that child, its upbringing, its education and its counselling?

The answer, I’m afraid, is an easy one: it’s the same people who paid for the initial IVF treatment. Us, the taxpayers.

If the Government has an ounce of moral sense, it will put a stop to this callous exploitation of unborn children.



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


4 August, 2014

Another charming Multiculturalist in Britain

A honeytrapper and her boyfriend lured a man to a park over Facebook so they could attack him with a meat cleaver for his money and mobile phone.

Haseena Aziz arranged to go on the 'date' in order to give her 29-year-old boyfriend Afahan Hussain a chance to rob the victim.

The 28-year-old tempted the man to meet her in a park in Birmingham by flirting with him in a series of messages over the social-networking site.

The unnamed 25-year-old victim caught a train to Birmingham from his home in London in June this year in the belief Aziz wanted to start a relationship with him.  He took a seat on a bench in parkland near a fly-over in Hockley, Birmingham, expecting to meet Aziz for a date.

Instead, Hussain - who has a gold tooth - appeared from behind and punched and headbutted the defenceless victim.

He then held a meat cleaver to his face and demanded his phone and cash.  The court heard how Aziz laughed as she watched the attack and even waded in by kicking the man in the groin.

The pair later sent texts to the victim mocking him for falling for their set-up.

West Midlands Police launched an investigation. The pair were found through phone and social media enquiries.

They were charged with robbery and both found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court.

Recorder Oscar Del Fabbro jailed Hussain for a total of 12 years after he was found guilty of the robbery, as well as a separate crime of wounding with intent to cause GBH.

Aziz was also found guilty of robbery and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The court heard how, weeks after the park attack, Hussain also slashed a complete stranger across the face with a Stanley knife during an unprovoked street attack.

He shoulder-barged a 27-year-old man to the floor in the early hours of August 7.

As the victim scrambled to his feet, Hussain then pulled out a knife and slashed him down the left side of his face severing an artery and narrowly missing his left eye.

Unemployed Hussain denied the offence but the victim's recollection of his attacker's distinctive gold tooth was crucial in the conviction.

Speaking about the second attack Detective Constable Sara Caldwell, from West Midlands Police, said: 'It was completely unprovoked. The man was walking with a friend to a local shop to buy cigarettes when Hussain deliberately barged into him and lashed out with a knife.

'The victim suffered significant blood loss, nerve damage and has lost sensation on the left side of his face. It was an outrageous attack.

'Anyone who carries a knife in public is potentially putting themselves and others in danger and can expect to be jailed, even if they don't strike out with it in anger.

'The judge described Hussain as a dangerous man and a risk to the public.He will rightly spend many years behind bars and be subject to an extended licence period upon his eventual release.'


NHS to fund sperm bank for lesbians: New generation of fatherless families... paid for by the good ol' generous taxpayer

Britain is to get its first NHS-funded national sperm bank to make it easier for lesbian couples and single women to have children.

For as little as £300 – less than half the cost of the service at a private clinic –  they will be able to search an online database and choose an anonymous donor on the basis of his ethnicity, height, profession and even hobbies.

The bank, which is due to open in October, will then send out that donor’s sperm to a clinic of the client’s choice for use in trying for a baby.

Heterosexual couples will also be able to benefit, but the move – funded by the Department of Health – is largely designed to meet the increasing demand from thousands of women who want to start a family without having a relationship with a man.

Critics last night called it a ‘dangerous social experiment’ that could result in hundreds of fatherless ‘designer families’.

The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said last night: ‘It is the welfare of the child that must come first and not the fact that people want a particular kind of baby.’

Bishop Michael, who once chaired the ethics committee of Britain’s fertility watchdog, added: ‘This is social experimentation. It’s one thing for a child not to have a mother or father through tragedy, but it is another to plan children to come into the world without a father.’

The National Sperm Bank will be based at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, which currently runs an existing NHS fertility clinic and recruits sperm donors from the local population.

Funded by a £77,000 Government grant, the bank will be run by the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) which this year received  an additional £120,000 of public money to organise egg and sperm donation.

Over the next three years the NGDT aims to recruit at least 1,000 men and collect sufficient  donations for the sperm bank to meet demand.

Laura Witjens, NGDT chief executive, said: ‘There are people who  are medically infertile or practically infertile – they want to use donation services in the UK but can’t do so because there isn’t enough donated sperm.

‘The [demand from] same-sex  couples and single women has grown exponentially. It’s become more socially acceptable to say, I haven’t found a guy yet, don’t want to wait for him, still want a child.’

She added: ‘The aim is that we will have enough surplus sperm so that we will be able to set up a service for people like single women and same-sex couples.’

She described this group as ‘customers rather than patients’.

Britain has a major shortage of sperm donors, whose anonymity is preserved until any children they father reach the age of 18.

Women who want to have a baby using donated sperm have been routinely waiting for up to two years, with many eventually forced to seek donors abroad.

Heterosexual couples with fertility problems who need donations as part of IVF treatment will be among the customers of the new bank.

But a large percentage are predicted to be professional, single females who decide to have a baby without a man.

And based on current trends, more than a quarter of all the recipients are likely to be gay women.

Latest available figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority show that in 2011, 4,101 cycles of donor insemination were carried out in the UK.

Of these, 1,271 related to women registered with a female partner. That figure represents more than  a quarter of the total and was a  23 per cent increase from the  previous year.

Treatment resulted in the births of 161 babies to lesbian couples.

Ms Witjens rejected suggestions that children suffer adverse consequences from lacking a father figure. ‘There is no evidence to suggest that children are better off with or without a father,’ she said. ‘There’s never been a call – from us or the Department of Health – to reduce the access to sperm for same-sex or single women. That’s a non-issue.’

Ms Witjens pointed to the removal of the reference to a ‘need for a father’ in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, when taking account of a child’s welfare when providing fertility treatment.

She added that the National Sperm Bank would also help prevent desperate women using murky unregulated services and going online to buy sperm.

There are currently just two clinics in the UK where women can choose donors from an online list.  Both are private and charge around £850 for the service.

NHS funding for fertility services, including donor insemination, is decided by regional Clinical Commissioning Groups and varies widely.

CCGs are typically more likely to fund heterosexual couples struggling to conceive rather than lesbians or single women because they are considered to have more of a medical need. The NGDT hopes the sperm bank will be self-funding after a year.

A spokeswoman for the HFEA said: ‘We welcome the new National Sperm Bank which will help to ensure that the recruitment of donors and the availability of donor sperm is better organised.’


Cut the crap about the gender pay gap

Where would we be without the gender pay gap? With girls outperforming boys at school, outnumbering male students at university, and women experiencing no more practical hindrances than men to achieving anything they want in life, feminists have been forced to shift their attention to the more nebulous cultural sphere in order to prove that women remain victims of a patriarchal conspiracy. Often played out in the messy virtual world, feminism has been reduced to a question of lifestyle choice and personal identity, with the supporters of the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen hysterically pitched against those in the #WomenAgainstFeminism camp. So, apparent evidence that women really are disadvantaged in a way that can be counted and measured, through the pay gap, is greeted with an almost audible sigh of relief.

Whatever people’s views on stay-at-home mothers, glamour models or body hair, it seems there is one thing on which all can agree: men being paid more than women is a very bad thing indeed. The fact that no one today seriously argues that men should earn more for doing the same work is no impediment to politicians, feminists, academics, celebrities and anyone who has ever been near a workplace or a woman decrying this financial injustice. The gender pay gap provides a useful opportunity for everyone to demonstrate their feminist credentials and to show that women still experience institutionalised sexism. Indeed, such is the desire for the gender pay gap to exist that the facts have been ignored in the pursuit of narrative consensus.

Last week in the UK, headlines declared that women in London earn 13 per cent less than men and that the pay gap is widening. Not only do such claims not stand up to scrutiny – even worse, they actually hide a far more positive story about women’s pay. A recently published report from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport examined changes in median hourly earnings over time and showed that since 1997 the gender pay gap has shrunk. Men have seen their pay increase by 57.4 per cent over this period, while women’s wages grew by 74.5 per cent. For women up to the age of 40, median hourly earnings rose faster than for people in any other group, increasing by 81.7 per cent, and as a result the pay gap for this cohort went down from 25.1 per cent to 12 per cent.

This welcome levelling-off in pay differentials has no doubt been driven by many factors, including equalities legislation, fear of litigation, women delaying having babies until later in life, and an increase in female graduates taking better-paid professional jobs. Unsurprisingly, all these factors combined mean that London has the lowest pay gap of anywhere in the UK. Crudely put, women in London get paid 86.8p for every £1 earned by men; in comparison, women from the whole of the UK earn nearly 20 per cent less than men each hour.

But the above suggests that, for all the shrinkage of the pay gap, it is still the case that women are hard done by in comparison with men. Certainly, these headline-grabbing statistics about a smaller but still existing pay gap are used by politicians and campaigners in their handwringing over the plight of women and girls today. However, what is less well known is that such statistics are arrived at by conflating the earnings of women of all ages, all occupations, and those in part-time and full-time work. The reality is that for people aged under 40 and working full-time, the gender pay gap is around zero; since 2009 women aged 22 to 29 have actually earned more than men. Furthermore, evidence shows that as the pay gap falls first for younger people, this smaller differential sticks with each generational cohort as they age. So, if current trends continue, the pay gap should be a thing of the past in the space of some 20 years.

This generational effect is rarely noted in glossy campaigns and petitions, such as Mind the Gap; instead, the 20 per cent pay gap is reported unquestioningly. However, not only does this figure take no account of age – it also ignores the type of work undertaken. Wages vary considerably according to job, and for many reasons women have not always chosen to go into the highest paying careers. All the evidence suggests that this is beginning to change – as the number of female graduates increases, so does the number of women entering well-paid professions. Gender pay-gaps do of course exist within professions, but again much of this is down to more women choosing to become nurses rather than doctors, or remaining as classroom teachers rather than moving into school management. While it’s fair to ask why women make these kinds of choices, it is not surprising women are paid less for doing a different job.

The headline gender pay-gap figures also ignore the fact that more women choose to work part-time: overall, 43.2 per cent of women work part-time compared with 13.7 per cent of men. It’s long been the case that most part-time jobs are comparatively low skilled and low paid. This is beginning to change, and a significant proportion of women are now securing well-paid professional jobs before shifting to part-time work when they have children. Of women aged 30 to 39, 38.4 per cent work part-time compared with 8.4 per cent of men, but the gender pay gap for this group is actually -8.2 per cent. This group of women is earning more per hour than men. Working part-time brings with it disadvantages: it’s perhaps less easy to pick up over-time or to get chosen for promotion if you are not seen to be at your desk. Bonuses are often made dependent upon hours worked or profit generated, so if you are a woman working part-time, you will get a proportionately smaller bonus than a man working full-time. This may further explain some of the London pay gap.

A gender pay gap, albeit one that is rapidly decreasing, still exists; but the good news is that when occupation, contracted hours and most significantly age are taken into account, it all but disappears. In fact, the youngest women today, even those working part-time, are already earning more each hour than men. We need to ask why this is not more widely known and question the motives of those who seem so desperate to cling to a last-ditch attempt to prove that women remain disadvantaged. We should be telling today’s girls that the potential to do whatever job they want and earn as much money as they please is theirs for the taking, rather than burdening them with the mantle of victimhood.


Democrat Fundraises on Equal Pay, Pays Women Staffers 71 Cents on Dollar

Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) is fundraising on his desire to put an end to gender pay inequality, but women currently working in his Senate office are making just 71 cents for each dollar paid to men.

“Alaska women make just 74 cents on the dollar compared to Alaska men,” wrote Begich in an email to supporters this week. “And anyone who wants to tell Alaska women that they’re not working hard enough should be ready to find out just how tough Alaska women are.”

The average female salary in Begich’s office is a staggering $23,504 less than the average male salary. Women working for Begich are paid just 71 cents for each dollar paid to men, even less than the statewide statistic used by the senator in his email.

Begich lags behind his fellow Democratic senators on the issue of equal pay. Though more than two-thirds of Democratic senators pay women less than men, the average male salary is just over $5,500 higher, which is far less than the $23,504 gap that exists for Begich.

“Equal pay for equal work is more than just a matter of fairness—it’s a smart way to help working families achieve the American dream,” wrote Begich.



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 August, 2014

Multicultural daylight robbery in Britain

Police have released terrifying CCTV footage of a thug getting ready to rob a woman in broad daylight by putting on a Rastafarian fancy dress wig.

The man, described as a bald black male aged 30 to 40, was captured on camera pulling a comedy Rasta hat and wig from the front of his trousers before putting it on his head.

He then ran up to a 40-year-old woman outside a home and snatched her bag from her, which broke her arm as she fell to the ground.

The incident happened on July 4 in Waltham Forest, east London, at around 1.30pm.

In a statement, the victim said: 'This attack has left me afraid to leave my home alone.  'I have been in constant pain since it happened and I don’t yet know if my arm will ever completely heal.

'It scares me that this man is still out there possibly doing this to other people. He probably picked on me because I was an easy target.  'I pray that he will be caught and brought to justice for what he has done and that this won’t happen to anyone else.'

Following the attack, the victim said: 'This attack has left me afraid to leave my home alone'

The contents of the victim’s handbag included cash, a Samsung mobile phone, her Oyster card and a number of personal items and bank cards.

Anyone who has information concerning the identity of the suspect in this case should call Detective Constable Rina Nandra of Waltham Forest CID.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'CCTV footage from the scene of the incident showed the suspect putting on a ‘Rastafarian-style’ wig with dreadlocks attached as he approached the victim.

'Attached to the wig was a red, yellow and green beanie hat. The victim was attacked from behind, her handbag was pulled violently from the shoulder strap.

'When she attempted to hold onto the bag the suspect punched her in the hand. As the bag came free of the victim’s hand she fell backwards. 'During the struggle the victim sustained a broken arm.'


Cinema apologises after friends 'are turned away by security guard because they were not a Muslim family celebrating Eid'

A sales consultant was allegedly turned away from a busy cinema yesterday because he was not a Muslim celebrating Eid.

Leon Jennings had been visiting Birmingham’s Star City entertainment complex with two friends.  But as the 22-year-old tried to enter the Vue cinema based on the site, which includes dozens or bars and restaurants, he said he was turned away by a security guard.

After asking them why, Mr Jennings claimed he was told by staff that film showings were only for couples and families celebrating the end of the Muslim festival.

Mr Jennings and his three friends were allegedly forced to turn around and go home unable to watch a film at the complex, because ‘they did not look like they celebrated Eid’.

Today he said he was left feeling embarrassed by the incident and felt discriminated against for being white.

The revelation has caused outrage as other visitors reported similar experiences across the venue, which is based in the Aston area of the city, where 87 per cent of residents are from an ethnic group other than white.

Mr Jennings, a viewing consultant at a photography studio, from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, said: ‘I was going there with my pals to the cinema as it’s Orange Wednesdays, so you get two for one.

‘As we drove in the bloke on the gate said to use “not tonight guys, it’s couples and families only”. We thought he was just joking and went and parked up.

‘We tried to get into the cinema and the security guy stopped us from going in. He said we couldn’t go in because it was only couples and families celebrating Eid.

‘I tried to point out that there were loads of group of lads who were Asian being allowed in but that made no difference.

‘Thinking back we should have fought our ground more but at the time we were just shocked at what had happened. He said to us we didn’t look like we were celebrating Eid.

‘He was making assumptions about my religion and banning me based on my skin colour. It’s not like we are trouble makers - we are mature, all dressed respectably and just wanted to go see a film.

‘It will just be seen as blatant racism. You have to admit that if it was done for any other celebration, like Christmas or anything, there would be uproar.

‘I also know about the festival, and it is supposed to be a festival of togetherness and welcoming - no one should be turned away. The only thing this is going to cause is problems in the communities.

‘Everyone I have spoken to about it is shocked that they could let this happen, and it seems to have happened to more people as well.’

Other people reported similar experiences yesterday - which marked the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast for a month.

Housing worker Emma Noakes said on Facebook: ‘My friend’s family have just been refused entry at Vue cinema as they are not Muslim - this is a shocking disgrace.  ‘If the shoe was on the other foot there would be uproar.  Can you imagine banning all Muslims to star city because it’s Christmas?’

A spokesman for Vue cinemas said: ‘We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our guests who tried to gain access to our Birmingham Star City cinema.

‘As a company we welcome customers from all religious and cultural backgrounds. We are investigating this directly with the Star City management team as a matter of urgency.’

A Star City spokesman said they were not aware of any of incidents of people being turned away on ground of religion taking place.


Megyn Kelly ‘Sets Record Straight’ on Comparing Cop Killer to MLK

Labor activists continue to press a school district in Oakland, Calif., to teach that a notorious cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a civil rights hero worthy of honor alongside Martin Luther King Jr.  On Tuesday night, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly allowed that case to be made by Johanna Fernandez, coordinator for the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, but also – in Kelly’s words – “set the record straight.”

In the video, Kelly loses patience with comparisons to King after her guest defends the convicted killer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner by talking about “a long history in this country of criminalization of black people” and arguing that, before his murder, King was becoming “a radical” like Abu-Jamal.

The Daily Signal previously reported on President Obama’s nomination of one of Abu-Jamal’s lawyers, Debo Adegbile, to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division. The Senate ultimately rejected Adegbile in a close vote that Obama called “a travesty.”


Anti-Israel activists are the attack dogs of a new Western imperialism

There are many striking things about the radical rage against Israel that has swept the Western world. There’s its blinkeredness, where these agitators obsess over acts of war carried out by Israel while saying precisely nothing about Kiev’s bombing of civilians in east Ukraine, or America’s resumption of drone attacks in Pakistan, or Egypt the alleged peacemaker’s massacre of more civilians in three days last year than Israel has killed in four weeks in Gaza. There’s its weird intensity, where for some inexplicable reason radicals and liberals are always made more spittle-producing furious by Israel than they are by any other state, issue or war on Earth. There’s its ugly tendency towards racism, where everywhere from London to Paris to Berlin we’ve seen protesters holding up placards depicting hook-nosed Jews feasting on Palestinian blood or heard them chanting ‘Victory to Hamas, Jews to the gas!’.

And there’s another striking, more uncommented-on thing about these red-mist protests against Israel: the extent to which their ostensibly anti-war activists borrow from the language of Western imperialism itself for their denunciations of Israel.

It’s remarkable. Whether they’re branding Israel a ‘rogue state’, or pleading with Western governments to label it a ‘pariah state’, or demanding severe economic sanctions against it, or calling on the UN to cast it out of the family of nations or on the International Criminal Court to drag it by the scruff of its bloodied neck into the dock and charge it with ‘war crimes’, these campaigners who pose as anti-war, who imagine themselves as heirs to the anti-imperialist movements of the twentieth century, actually attempt to marshal the institutions of imperialism itself in their campaign to demonise, isolate and punish Israel. Where pretty much every anti-war demo I went on in my youth involved people hollering ‘Hands off!’ at Western governments – ‘Hands off Haiti’, ‘Hands off Yugoslavia’, ‘Hands off Iraq’ – the message of the anti-Israel paroxysm is the exact opposite: these people are calling for ‘Hands on’, for the West to Do Something, to get stuck in, to intervene both to ‘save Gaza’ (like good, caring colonialists) and to reprimand Israel (like good, angry colonialists).

Israel has become a rogue state for the right-on, the wicked, warped entity Over There that decent-minded liberal folk can rail against, and dream of waging war on, in exactly the same way George W Bush related to Iraq. An anti-war movement? It’s the opposite. The current street-based fury with Israel is best seen, not as any kind of independent or progressive or peacenik grouping, but rather as the protesting wing of the West itself, as the attack dogs of Western institutions’ own exasperation with Israel and their desire to distance themselves from it. These campaigners are effectively pleading with the powers of the West to make good on their post-Cold War promise to rethink their relationship with Israel, and ideally to cast it out entirely from what we view as ‘the civilised world’ (that is, us).

Language is always revealing. And the language used by huge swathes of today’s anti-Israel movement is virtually indistinguishable from the language used over the past 30 years by Western imperialism. On the big Gaza demo in London last weekend, the protesters ‘declared Israel a rogue state’, news reports inform us. One of the speakers, Baroness Jenny Tonge – who once said she might become a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian, and yet has managed never to blow herself up in the Houses of Parliament despite the fact that it has okayed far worse acts of war than Israel over the past 15 years – said: ‘Israel can no longer be regarded as part of the family of nations – it is a rogue state.’ A writer for the Chicago Tribune says it is time that even America started to look upon Israel as a ‘pariah state’. ‘Israel is becoming a rogue state’, says another observer, before expressing his sorrow that ‘the international community [seems] totally powerless to rein it in’. Radical writers like John Pilger have also called Israel a ‘rogue state’, while Norman Finkelstein says it isn’t only a rogue – it is a ‘state of insanity’.

What we have here are not independent activists pushing forward their own, radical take on global affairs and Middle Eastern politics, but uncritical repeaters of the West’s own imperialist propaganda, only aimed at Israel rather than, say, Iraq. The term ‘rogue state’ was devised by American imperialism in the mid-1990s and intended as a slightly more PC way of establishing a divide between us civilised nations in the West and those less reliable, somewhat unhinged, possibly savage nations elsewhere. Tracing the history of the phrase for his book Rogue Regime, Jasper Becker says the branding ‘rogue state’ was intended to be used by the West as a ‘certificate of dangerous insanity in the diplomatic world’, and was often a prelude to military intervention or sanctions against an allegedly fallen state. Anti-Israel activists now ape such highly moralised Western posturing, using terms like ‘rogue’ and ‘insane’ to brand Israel as no longer ‘part of the family of nations’ – that is, no longer civilised, no longer Western, no longer one of us.

Not content with using imperialism’s language, they also want to use its institutions and its tools against Israel. The UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign has started a mass letter-writing campaign to the UK Foreign Office asking it to impose economic sanctions on Israel – an open-and-shut case of demanding that Western imperialism use its significant clout to punish an errant state Over There. Other radicals have demanded that Israel should be dragged to the International Criminal Court, another imperialistic institution that exists to allow civilised Western powers to, in the words of one critical ICC barrister, ‘try those lesser breeds – the Africans’. Today, Israel is the lesser breed, the new Africans, in the eyes of its critics. And some are calling for actual Western intervention against Israel. A writer for the Guardian says, ‘The international community should intervene to restrain Israel’s army’.

To depict the current anti-Israel hysteria as the descendant of the independent anti-war movements of the past is a severe error, for what we really have here is a rabble-like offshoot of the West’s own new imperialism, a movement with dreams of demonisation, a thirst for punishment, a lust for war, even. This was summed up in the headline to a recent piece published by the Stop the War movement – ‘Time to go to war with Israel as the only path to peace in the Middle East’ – which was ostensibly about marshalling grassroots groups to delegitimise the state of Israel but which also captured brilliantly Western radicals’ Victorian-like violent urge for punishment of the rogue, criminal, uncivilised Israel. The fact that it is more a colonialist instinct than anti-imperialist principle that motors modern-day fury with Israel might go some way to explaining its frequent lapses into racism, into the depiction of Israel / the Jews not only as politically problematic but as racially warped, innately cruel, and in need of restraint and punishment by outsiders who know better, who are better.

Indeed, the most striking thing about today’s pseudo-radical rage with Israel is how closely it echoes what actual respectable politicians in the West are now saying. The protesters’ talk of Israel being a ‘pariah state’ was bolstered by the comments of none other than UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond, whose recent statement about Westerners feeling ‘less and less sympathetic to Israel’ led to headlines such as: ‘Israel the pariah state? UK foreign minister warns Western support is waning.’ John Prescott, the former Labour deputy prime minister of Britain, caused great joy among anti-Israel agitators when he suggested Israel is becoming a ‘pariah state’, which might soon require ‘condemn[ation] by the United Nations, the US and the UK’. He even used the term ‘regime change’ in relation to Israel, just as his government did in relation to Iraq, unleashing untold bloodshed there, which speaks volumes about the less-than-peaceful, far-from-progressive outlook that now fuels fury with Israel. Even US officials are being more openly critical of Israel. Indeed, the current war of words between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, where, in the words of the New Republic, Israel now ‘fears that the Obama administration doesn’t really support Israel in its struggle against Hamas’, gives the lie to the idea that America is still some kind of uncritically supportive big brother to the state of Israel.

What has become clear over the past three or four weeks is the extent to which Western attitudes and world opinion on Israel have changed. They have changed utterly. In essence, the nations and institutions of the West, once keen supporters of Israel, have now turned against the Jewish State, coming to view it as a pest and possibly even a pariah. Some streetfighting anti-Israel activists love to point out that America continues to fund Israel to the tune of $3 billion a year, because it allows them to pose, for a fleeting moment, as radical, as the opponents of massive powers and big money. The truth is far harder for them to swallow – which is that the continuities in America’s economic relationship with Israel disguise some profound political shifts in the relationship between these two nations, whereby America is becoming increasingly like Europe: frustrated with Israel, sometimes infuriated by it, probably wishing it would disappear or at least be more pliant. This speaks to some major shifts in world affairs in the post-Cold War period. Where in the Cold War era Israel was viewed and treated by the West as a kind of useful policeman in a Middle East that had large Arab nationalist movements funded by the Soviet Union, in the post-Cold War world Israel has come to be seen as surplus to requirements, as a state not really needed now that the Soviet Union is out of the picture and when the big conflicts in that part of the world are no longer West/East in nature but rather are increasingly localised, regional, even religious and intra-Islamist. Anti-Israel radicals cannot admit to the West’s effective abandonment of Israel, for to do so would expose the extent to which their own street-based agitation against the Jewish State is but a more shouty version of Western imperialism’s own judgement that Israel has gone from being important to being irritating.

Yet the political bond, the moral closeness, between Western officialdom and anti-Israel radicals is revealed in the fact that these radicals frequently marshal the moral authority of Western institutions when they denounce Israel. Most strikingly, they constantly cite UN rulings against Israel. What these agitators really represent is not anti-imperialism but a new Western imperialism, one in which the West is held up as superior to the rest of the world on the basis of its humanitarianism, its devotion to following the law in warzones, its elevation of the needs of the ‘international community’ over the grubby, self-serving interests of individual states, and so on. Anti-Israel radicals effectively call on the West to go further in its post-Cold War distancing from Israel, to demonise and delegitimise Israel even more, to assert its own decency and values through more openly denouncing Israel and perhaps even punishing it. It is a very odd anti-war movement indeed that rehabilitates the moral authority of Western institutions to decide which foreign states are wicked and how harshly they should be punished.

There is nothing remotely progressive in today’s myopic, disproportionate Western fury with Israel. On the contrary, it is a profoundly ugly phenomenon, masquerading as a peace movement but actually devoting its energies to drumming up hatred, sanctions and possibly even intervention against a state that it has found guilty in the kangaroo court of liberal opinion of being a ‘rogue’. It is always concerning when Western activists and institutions try to have foreign states written off as ‘criminal’ and ‘insane’, for such judgements further moralise and destabilise international affairs, resurrecting the divide between the civilised nations and the savage nations and making war more rather than less likely. But it’s particularly concerning to see Israel branded a ‘rogue state’. For whether you like it or not, Israel is intimately bound up with the Jewish people. Recent outbursts of anti-Semitism in Europe suggest it could be a short step indeed from labelling Israel a rogue state to looking upon the Jews themselves as rogues.



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 August, 2014

My Fellow Canadian

by Mark Steyn

"Canadians" protest against Israel at Queen's Park this weekend

Ever since the weekend, I've been looking at the photo above. It's a close-up of a picture that forms part of Richard K's photographic scrapbook of the annual "al-Quds Day" rally in my home town of Toronto. "Al-Quds" is the Arab name for Jerusalem, and this event, if not quite as big as the LGBTQWERTY parade, enjoys a similar official imprimatur: the Government of Ontario gives permission for it to be held at Queen's Park, home of the provincial parliament. At this year's shindig, Gaza was the big grievance, and there was a lot of undisguised Jew-hatred in the air.

But, as I said, it's the photograph at right that's been weighing on me: A man at the rally holding up a portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini. We can't see his face, but he's wearing a baseball cap and in his left hand he's holding a smart phone. So he looks like a perfectly assimilated immigrant. And yet with his right hand he's proudly displaying a photograph of the Ayatollah - presumably his, and evidently a picture he's fond of, because he's gone to the trouble of putting it in a frame.

And the guy alongside him is evidently unconcerned about being next to a fellow brandishing a framed portrait of Khomeini.

This is Toronto on a summer weekend in 2014.

A third of a century back, BBC TV had a comedy show called "Not The Nine O'Clock News", starring among others Rowan Atkinson (of Blackadder, Mister Bean et al). One week, Pamela Stephenson sang a song called "Ayatollah, Don't Khomeini Closer". If memory serves, the lyric was by Richard Curtis, who went on to films such as Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary and Love, Actually, and who married my old "Loose Ends" pal Emma Freud; and the music was by Howard Goodall, to whom I have a certain antipathy because back when I badly needed the money Channel 4 fired me from a telly gig and got Howard in instead. But, personal bitterness aside, Goodall and Curtis did a rather good job with the Ayatollah Khomeini song. I always liked this quatrain:

Though you are stubborn as a mule
I want you to be my man
I may be in England
But my heart's a hostage in Iran...

"Ayatollah, don't Khomeini closer..." You could do numbers like that 34 years ago because you could assume that almost everyone watching thought Iran's leader was a barbarian nut rather than a pin-up for your drawing room.

Can you still do satirical songs about Khomeini on the Beeb? Or do too many viewers have framed photos of the great man on their mantle? In the intervening years, the Ayatollah has come a lot closer. In Canada, short of delivering the Throne Speech inside the building, he can't get much closer: he's proudly on parade at the legislature of the Dominion's most powerful province - and nobody minds.

As it happens, in the three "human rights" suits the Canadian Islamic Congress brought against me, one of the complaints was that I'd quoted the Ayatollah. (There's an exhaustive account in my piece "The Shagged Sheep", which is included in my book Lights Out, available in personally autographed hardback edition from the Steyn store, or in non-autographed instant-gratification eBook edition from Amazon et al.) Specifically speaking, in the course of reviewing a book by Oriana Fallaci, I'd quoted some of the Ayatollah's dating advice:

A man who has had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat. He would commit sin.

The Canadian Islamic Congress and its sock-puppet "plaintiffs" considered this "hate speech". Pearl Eliadis, the "human rights lawyer" - ie, bigtime state-censorship enthusiast - wrote:

Mark Steyn's blurring of the lines between Ayotollah Khomeini's views on sex with animals and children and "contemporary Islam" goes further, I think, than most Canadian journalists have ventured before.

In the famous edition of TVO's "Agenda", in which I wound up meeting the three sock puppets face to face, Khurrum Awan took the same line as Ms Eliadis - that Khomeini was an "obscure figure", and by quoting extremists I was implicitly linking them to Canadian Muslims.

Yet here are Canadian Muslims explicitly linking themselves to Ayatollah Khomeini. Nor was he the only Iranian bigshot on display at Queen's Park. Among the others was Khomeini's successor as Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

I wonder if any of the non-Muslim Jew-haters out and about on Saturday looked at that Khomeini portrait and felt a little queasy. You sign on for a little light anti-Semitism - getting your pension fund to divest from Israel, which is the 21st century equivalent of getting your country club to nix the Jews - and next thing you know you're standing next to a fellow who's hot for the Ayatollah. And at that point, if you've got any sense of self-preservation, you'll realize it's not really about the Jews anymore, it's about you.

Canada used to be a country proud of its role in helping keep some of those American embassy staff out of the Ayatollah's clutches. The Khomeinibopper at Queen's Park would gladly have handed them over. Yet he's as Canadian as you, at least de jure. And given Canadian immigration and demographic trends how many more who think like him will be at the al-Quds rally by 2020?

Here's another quote from Maclean's that Pearl Eliadis didn't care for - from my colleague Barbara Amiel:

Normally, a people don't willingly acquiesce in the demise of their own culture, especially one as agreeable as Western democracy, but you can see how it happens. Massive Muslim immigration takes place and at the time, no one gives much thought to consequences.

One consequence is the man in the baseball cap with a smart phone in one hand and a Khomeini pin-up in the other.

Ayatollah, don't Khomeini closer? Too late.

~South of the border, at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, they're already assimilating with the incomers, with one of those everything-in-the-west-comes-from-Islam pieces that really ought to have their own category in the Pulitzers by now:

Some scholars believe that Muslims came to America from West Africa and Europe (Muslim Spain and Portugal) long before Columbus. The theory is still not widely accepted, but it is based on interesting evidence. There is no doubt that Muslims made up a considerable portion of the West Africans who were enslaved and brought to North, South and Central America during the four grueling centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. Conservative estimates say they made up one out of every 10, but sometimes (in states like South Carolina and Louisiana) they made up as much as one out of every three.

The Muslim slaves of antebellum America left some of their culture behind. Many musicologists believe that the American blues and jazz traditions owe much to West African Muslim folk music, especially the beautiful West African Muslim songs sung with the 21-string kora.

I knew most western literature was Muslim - from Sheikh Speare to Louisa May al-Cott - but the jazz and blues thing was new to me. Must remember to check out some of those great little jazz joints in Riyadh next time I'm there. Incidentally, if you woke up this morning and your sheep done left you, the Ayatollah Khomeini recommends you sing a 12-baa blues.


Women Against Feminism blog sparks fierce backlash over statements such as 'I like it when men compliment my body'

A provocative Tumblr blog called Women Against Feminism is kicking up a predictable storm amongst women who do identify as feminists.

The blog collects photos of women posing with hand-written signs that all begin: 'I don't need feminism because...' - and are peppered with a variety of reasons, common themes including: 'I am not a victim,' 'I'm proud to be a stay-at-home mom,' and 'I love chivalry.'

Largely, the response to this blog - especially to posts such as 'I don't need feminism because I like when men say compliments about my body!' - has been less than favorable, with reactions ranging from mockery and disregard, to all-out horror.

The campaign is reminiscent of the 2012 Who Needs Feminism Tumblr, which invited women to share their reasons for being pro-feminist, although Women Against Feminism don't claim their blog is a response to it.

Women Against Feminism has triggered countless angry responses, largely accusing submitters of having completely missed the concept of feminism, and branding them 'naive,' 'selfish,' and 'poorly educated.'

Posts such as these were especially criticized: 'I don't need feminism because my self-worth is not directly tied to the size of my victim complex!' And: 'As a woman in the Western world, I am not oppressed and neither are you!'

As a point of reference, the dictionary definition of the term describes feminism as: 'The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.' The anonymous founder of the blog feels, however, that many modern feminists don't subscribe to this.

'Feminism is not what it claims to be,' she writes. 'Anyone can recite a dictionary definition. But my rejection of feminism comes from more real-life reasons.'

'I don't need feminism because I don't need to grow out my body hair to prove I'm equal to men,' one submission reads.

Another vented: 'Respecting my husband as the MAN in our marriage does not make me less of a woman! I don't need to demonize men.'

'How the f**k am I supposed to open jars and lift heavy things without my husband?'

Also found on Women Against Feminism are frequent posts from stay-at-home moms, such as: 'I don't need feminism because I made my own choice to be a stay at home mother and my working husband should not be harassed.'

Then there were several mentions of rape, with one woman posting: 'I don't need feminism because getting drunk at a party and having sex with a stranger is just irresponsibility, not rape!'

The blog prompted one feminist, writer Rebecca Brink, to respond with a slew of satirical posts.

'I don't need feminism because I want boys to like me,' reads one, while another states: 'I don't need feminism because the only way I think I can get along in this world is by pandering to the status quo and sh***ing on other women.' 

She also fed into the shared view of several others, that many of the Women Against Feminism submitters were simply too young to fully understand certain issues surrounding the concept.

'I don't need feminism because I'm a teenager who hasn't entered the workforce yet and I don't know what constant sexual harassment or watching unqualified people get promoted over me feels like,' Ms Brink posted.

Joanne Sandler, a feminist who has been working with women's right initiatives in more than 80 countries for over 40 years, spoke to MailOnline about her view on the Women Against Feminism blog.

She said: 'If the women "don't need" feminism because they have transcended gender discrimination and inequality, more power to them... They've achieved a feminist utopia. That's good news!

'The fact that they understand feminism in a way that is different from my daily reality and understanding is something that I can live with.

'I hope they keep talking about feminism. We need the publicity. It will guarantee that feminism will still be there when and if they are interested.'

In response to the backlash they have faced, Women Against Feminism issued the following statement on its Facebook page, which has amassed over 13,800 'likes' and counting: 'So feminists have been calling us lots of names lately.

'Basically they are saying, "You're too stupid to know what you want. You need us to tell you what's good for you. And if you try to get away, we will throw insults"... Are all feminists like this? No. Are a lot of them like this? Yes. Just look at how the "feminist media" has treated us this week.'


Don't be embarrassed to challenge Muslim treatment of women, justice minister says

Britain should not be “culturally embarrassed” about challenging Muslims over wearing veils or segregating women in mosques, the justice minister has said.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat minister, said women and men must be allowed to sit together to “challenge people’s beliefs and practices” and take on Muslim “hardliners and fanatics” who oppose equality.

Mr Hughes said that a “cultural shift” was working its way through Britain’s Muslim communities in favour of equality. Those who were unwilling to accept examples of such parity, such as men and women worshiping in the same mosques, were now “losing the battle”, he said.

Speaking at an event highlighting the illegal practice of female genital mutilation the Justice minister said: “Islam absolutely values women from the beginning, women were tremendously important at the time of the prophet Mohammed… there were huge numbers of statements about equality and participation.

“And that is a cultural shift that is now working its way through the community and the hardliners the fanatics who are unwilling to accept equality are losing the battle - the last example is obviously many mosques still have separate worship.

“That’s fine, but not all do. “There are mosques here which now have women and men worshiping in the same mosque at the same time whether it is during Ramadan or another time.”

Last year Jeremy Browne, the then Home Office minister, prompted criticism when he called for a “national debate” about banning whether the state should step in to protect young women from having the veil “imposed” on them.

Mr Hughes said since then it has more acceptable to challenge other cultures and religions on traditions that appear to conflict with established British values of equality.

Part of this shift, he said, was that political leaders had made a “personal commitment” to challenge communities publicly about FGM.

He added: “There was a nervousness that you were trespassing on a cultural space that was inappropriate a bit like the nervousness there sometimes is about what clothing people can wear, what veils people can wear, face covering people can wear at school, that issue that is it disrespectful that if you give evidence in a court you should be required to lift your veil – and there was lots of cultural embarrassments, and we have broken though that now.

“It is no longer culturally embarrassing in this country challenge people’s beliefs and practices. That is the difference, and now that people are clear, like after the European Court Judgement, that they are allowed to wear things that indicate their faith – in that case it was a cross, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work.

“I think people feel much more that they can challenge other things. So there is now an ability to take on the debate and to challenge the people who have very traditional views and misinterpret views.”


DOJ Says Pa. State Police Discriminated Against Women Who Flunked Physical Fitness Tests

The Obama administration is suing the Pennsylvania State Police for requiring both men and women applying for entry-level trooper jobs to pass the same physical fitness tests.

Because more men than women pass the tests, their use is discriminatory and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Justice Department says.

Because female applicants failed the 2003 physical fitness test and the revised 2009 test at "statistically higher rates than male applicants, female applicants were less likely to proceed through the selection process and thus less likely to be hired as entry-level troopers," DOJ stated in its lawsuit.

The Justice Department notes that from 2003 through 2008, the Pennsylvania State Police used a physical fitness test consisting of five events: a 300-meter run; sit-ups; push-ups; a vertical jump; and a 1.5-mile run. Applicants were required to pass each event to continue in the selection process for entry-level troopers.

From 2003-2008, approximately 94 percent of male applicants passed the test, while only 71 percent of female applicants passed.

In 2009, the state police added new elements to the physical fitness test, and between 2009 and 2012, approximately 98 percent of male applicants passed the revised test, while approximately 72 percent of female applicants passed.

In both time periods, the female pass rate was less than 80 percent of the male pass rate, which DOJ considers "statistically significant."

Justice Department employees figure it this way: "If, between 2003 and 2012, female applicants had passed the 2003 PFT (physical fitness test) and 2009 PFT at the same rate as male applicants, approximately 119 additional women would have been available for further consideration for the position of entry-level trooper, resulting in approximately 45 additional women being hired as entry-level troopers."

DOJ concluded that the 2003 and the 2009 tests were "not job-related" and "not consistent with business necessity..."

The lawsuit stated, "There are alternatives...for screening and selecting applicants for entry-level trooper positions, that have less disparate impact on women and would serve (Pennsylvania State Police's) legitimate interests."

But the Pennsylvania State Police website makes it clear that the job of a State Trooper can be physically demanding.

"Essential job functions" of Pennsylvania State Troopers include:

-- Arresting people, "forcibly if necessary";

-- Subduing resisting suspects;

-- Pursuing fleeing suspects and performing rescue operations "which may involve quickly entering and exiting law enforcement vehicles; lifting, carrying and dragging heavy objects; climbing over and pulling up oneself over obstacles; jumping down from elevated surfaces; climbing through openings; jumping over obstacles, ditches and streams; crawling in confined areas; balancing on uneven or narrow surfaces and using body force to gain entrance through barriers."

-- Performing rescue functions at accidents, emergencies and disasters, which includes "directing traffic for long periods of time, administering emergency medical aid, lifting, dragging and carrying people away from dangerous situations and securing and evacuating people from particular areas."

The Pennsylvania State Police website notes that successful applicants "must be able to perform ALL of the above essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation upon completion of the training program."


The Justice Department lawsuit faults the Pennsylvania State Police for refusing to take "appropriate action" to correct its discriminatory practices; and refusing to "make whole" (compensate) female applicants who were harmed by the "unlawful use" of the physical fitness tests.

The compensation would include back pay with interest, offers of employment, retroactive seniority, and "other benefits to women who have suffered losses or will suffer losses as a result of the discriminatory policies and practices" alleged in the complaint.

“The Department of Justice is deeply committed to eliminating artificial barriers that keep qualified women out of public safety work,” said Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, in announcing the lawsuit.   “The Justice Department will continue to challenge discriminatory hiring practices that unnecessarily exclude qualified applicants on account of sex.”

The lawsuit seeks a court order that would require the Pennsylvania State Police to stop using the challenged physical fitness tests; develop hiring procedures that comply with Title VII; and compensate individual women who have been harmed as a result of the defendants’ use of the challenged physical fitness tests.

This is not the first time the Justice Department has sued a police agency.

Several years ago, the Justice Department took legal action against the Corpus Christi, Texas police department on similar grounds.

That case, finally settled in May 2013, required Corpus Christi police to replace the physical fitness tests it had been using for applicants; and distribute $700,000 in back pay to eligible female applicants who took and failed the challenged physical abilities test between 2005 and 2011.

Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion as well as employment practices that result in a disparate impact upon a protected group, unless the practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity.



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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

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 chidren 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

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.

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."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

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.

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

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

Index page for this site


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International" blog.


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Of Interest


"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
Western Heart
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
The Kogarah Madhouse (St George Bank)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
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Bank of Queensland blues

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