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

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 This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily.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


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

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

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31 July, 2016

Most of the Officers Charged by Marilyn Mosby Are Now Suing Her

Baltimore State Attorney General Marilyn Mosby's attempt to lock up the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray has come up short. In a turn of events, she is now the one facing charges.

Last year, after an independent investigation by her office, Mosby announced she was seeking charges against Officers William Porter, Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, Caesar Goodson, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White for the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in their custody in a police transport van.

Following the acquittals of Nero, Goodson and Rice and the mistrial of Porter, Mosby announced last week she was dropping the remaining charges. Yet, she made it clear that justice was not served. In a press conference, she sounded more like a protester than a state attorney as she shouted that Gray was a victim of police brutality.

After all is said and done, the five of the six officers Mosby sought punishment for are returning the favor by filing a lawsuit against her, alleging she is guilty of defamation, false arrest, false imprisonment and more.

The complaint filed by Porter and White stated that Mosby "made statements for purposes of quelling the riots rather than prosecuting police officers who had committed a crime," and that Mosby "exceeded her authority" and "brought charges against police officers that were wholly unsupported by evidence and probable cause."
The officers, attorney Michael Glass claimed, were "humiliated" by Mosby. As such, she now has to play the role of defendant.

SOURCE






White America Feeling Racial Bias?

The Washington Post recently conducted a poll surveying what Americans' opinions were regarding the current status of race relations across the nation. You know, after eight years of racial reconciliation, Obama style. According to the poll, a majority of Americans believe that race relations are in bad shape. When broken down by race, 72% of blacks and 63% of whites surveyed believe that race relations are bad.

What the Post found surprising was the percentage of white Americans who felt they had been increasingly experiencing racism. The Post went on to provide economic numbers regarding standard of living, which showed that whites — economically and educationally — are in better shape than black Americans. According to the Post’s analysis, while whites expression of feeling they’ve experienced increasing bias against them may be genuine, those feelings simply are not legitimate due to whites' generally better socioeconomic status.

But the Post makes the error of faulty comparison. The socioeconomic status of whites compared to blacks has little to do with the feeling of racial bias many white Americans say they’re experiencing. Likewise, leftists often posit the fallacy that because whites are in the majority and are in more places of power, they are therefore inherently racist. When terms like “white privilege” or “black lives matter” are thrown around and used to label groups of individuals based solely on their ethnicity, then these individuals are genuinely experiencing racial bias.

The bigger problem, however, is the continued pushing of identity politics peddled by those who would seek to divide Americans along the fault lines of race, sex and age, rather than encouraging Americans to look to those unifying principles of Liberty that we as Americans are so uniquely privileged to share in.

SOURCE





Attack on French Church Puts Focus on ISIS’ Anti-Christian Hatred

French President Francois Hollande was due to hold emergency talks with religious leaders on Wednesday as France grapples with how to protect places of worship after Islamic terrorists took hostages in a Catholic church in Normandy during morning Mass and murdered an elderly priest.

The attack in St.-Étienne-Du-Rouvray by two men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) was the latest in a spate of violent assaults in Europe and beyond.

It came 15 months after a foiled plot on a church in Paris deepened concerns that radical Muslims sent or inspired by ISIS or other extremist groups would turn their attention to churches in the West. (Terrorists have targeted churches in countries like Iraq and Pakistan for years.)

On that earlier occasion, an Algerian arrested in Paris on suspicion of killing a woman was found to have been in contact with a jihadist in Syria about carrying out an attack on a church in the Paris suburb of Villejuif. Police found handguns, an AK47, bullet-proof vests, and ISIS and al-Qaeda documents.

According to France 24, there are some 45,000 Catholic parishes across France, in addition to approximately 4,000 Protestant, 2,600 evangelical and 150 Orthodox churches.

Of those, just over 1,200 have been given extra security since terrorists attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in January last year.

“Those places were selected by officials after consultation with police prefects and religious leaders at the local level, and are subject to regular review,” France 24 reported. “Measures range from simple patrols during religious services to round-the-clock surveillance.”

Hollande told Pope Francis in a phone call Tuesday that “everything will be done to protect our churches and places of worship.”

According to a French government statement the president also “restated France’s commitment to the defense of Christians in the East, and in these extremely sad and shocking circumstances, he expressed his wish for the spirit of togetherness to triumph over hatred.”

Christians and other religious minorities have borne the brunt of ISIS atrocities in Syria and Iraq – actions which the U.S. and several other governments have determined amount to genocide.

In its online propaganda, the terrorist group leaves no doubt that it considers Christians to be a primary foe, with Christian terms and symbols frequently used in describing the enemy.

The two most recent editions of the terrorist group’s Dabiq magazine, for instance, refer to “cross-worshippers,” “crusader Europe,” “crusader warplanes,” “crusader nations,” “crusader supporters,” “crusader Belgium,” “crusader coalition,” “American crusaders,” “crusader strategy” and “crusader borders.”

Although ISIS writings also cite other religious adherents, especially Jews but also Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Shi’a and other “apostates,” followers of Jesus appear to be particularly reviled.

“Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him,” said one article.

“[T]he Islamic State is here to stay. It is a state that inflicts just terror against its infidel, pagan, and apostate enemies,” says another. “And it will continue to expand until its banner flutters over Constantinople and Rome. Until then, let the crusaders get used to the sound of explosion and the image of carnage in their very own homelands.”

The cover of an earlier edition of the magazine featured a photoshopped photo of the black ISIS flag flying over the Vatican. The jihadist group predicted that at some future point “the slave markets will commence in Rome by Allah’s power and might.”

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” the magazine quoted ISIS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani as saying.

The anti-Christian creed is clearly presented as having its roots in the Qur’an and Hadiths – sayings or traditions ascribed to Mohammed – with some of the latter said by one Dabiq writer to “indicate that the Muslims will be at war with the Roman Christians.”

(One Hadith sometimes cited by radical jihadists says in part, “the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah ...”)

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said in response to Tuesday’s attack that “the Holy See was “particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a church, in which God’s love is announced, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful.”

“This is the face of evil,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). “To invade a sanctuary open to all – a place of worship and refuge – to kill and terrorize innocent people who devoted their lives to the teachings of Christ lays bare the barbarism of radical jihadism.”

“I am outraged for the families of the victims, for our ally France, for the Catholic Church, and for humanity,” Cotton said. “This attack joins a lengthening string of jihadist attacks around the world, and it should steel our collective resolve to defeat ISIS abroad before they attack us at home and put an end to this madness.”

SOURCE






Justice Department sues Pennsylvania town for rejecting mosque

The Justice Department is taking a Pennsylvania town to court over a municipal board’s denial of a zoning application for a mosque, accusing officials of discriminating against a local Muslim organization on the basis of religion.

The Bensalem Township violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act when its zoning board in 2014 rejected a zoning request that would have allowed the Bensalem Masjid to build a mosque in the town, Justice Department attorneys wrote in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“Our Constitution protects the rights of religious communities to build places of worship free from unlawful interference and unnecessary barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to challenge unjustified local zoning actions around the country when they encroach upon this important civil right.”

Members of the local Muslim community sought to build a mosque after years of renting a local fire hall for worship services. In 2012, the Bensalem Masjid organization met with elected officials to discuss options for building a 17,000-square-foot mosque on land adjacent to the township.

But as plans moved forward and the group attended a series of meetings before the Bensalem Township Zoning Hearing Board, the complaint alleges that Bensalem Masjid was treated differently than other religious and non-religious groups that had sought similar zoning variances. The board, which ultimately rejected the application in a 4-0 vote, treated other groups “more favorably than it treated the Bensalem’s Masjid’s application throughout the variance process.”

Specifically the complaint alleges that in other instances the board required only one hearing to make a zoning variance application while there were six hearings conducted as part of the Bensalem Masjid’s application.

“As another example, the Board asked questions of the Bensalem Masjid that it did not ask of many of these other applicants, including whether its membership would increase and whether it would attract members from outside of Bensalem Township,” the complaint states.

No Bensalem Township officials could immediately reached for comment on the Justice Department’s civil rights lawsuit.
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations previously filed a federal lawsuit against the township alleging the rejection of the zoning approval for the mosque violated constitutional protections for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and equal treatment. That lawsuit is still active in federal court and is scheduled for trial next year.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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29 July, 2016

Freddie Gray case: Charges against three remaining officers dropped

A huge indictment of a careless, incompetent and racist black city administration.  What happens now with the $6 million the city paid to the Freddy Gray family?  Now that no city empoyees have been held responsible for Gray's death, there is no liability on the city and the payment was accordingly wrongly authorized.  If the money can not be retrieved, it should be taken from the assets of the officials responsible -- Mosby and Rawlings-Blake at a minimum

Prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in a downtown courtroom on Wednesday morning, concluding one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Baltimore history.

The startling move was an apparent acknowledgment of the unlikelihood of a conviction following the acquittals of three other officers on similar and more serious charges by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams, who was expected to preside over the remaining trials as well.

It also means the office of Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby will secure no convictions in the case after more than a year of dogged fighting, against increasingly heavy odds, to hold someone criminally accountable in Gray's death.

Officer William Porter's trial ended with a hung jury and a mistrial in December, before Williams acquitted Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice at bench trials in May, June, and July, respectively.

In a hearing Wednesday meant to start the trial of Officer Garrett Miller, Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow told Williams that the state was dropping all charges against Miller, Porter and Sgt. Alicia White.  Porter had been scheduled to be retried in September, and White had been scheduled to be tried in October.

"All of our clients are thrilled with what happened today," said Catherine Flynn, Miller's attorney, outside the courthouse.

The officers still face possible administrative discipline. Internal investigations, with the help of outside police agencies, are underway.

Gray, 25, suffered severe spinal cord injuries in the back of the van in April 2015 and died a week after his arrest. His death sparked widespread, peaceful protests against police brutality, and his funeral was followed by rioting, looting and arson.

At a news conference in West Baltimore, near where Gray was arrested, Mosby defended her decision to bring the charges against the officers, and said that "as a mother," the decision to drop them was "agonizing."

But, given Williams' acquittal of Nero, Goodson and Rice and the likelihood that the remaining officers would also choose bench trials before him, Mosby said she had to acknowledge the "dismal likelihood" that her office would be able to secure a conviction.

"After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without communal oversight of police in this community, without substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it and we would still end up with the same result," she said.

She said there is an "inherent bias" whenever "police police themselves." She said the charges she brought were not an indictment of the entire Baltimore Police Department, but she also broadly condemned the actions and testimony of some officers involved in Gray's arrest or in the department's investigation of the incident — alleging "consistent bias" at "every stage."

She said she is not "anti-police," but "anti-police brutality." She also noted the "countless sacrifices" of her prosecutors in the case, including Schatzow and Deputy State's Attorney Janice Bledsoe, and said her office will continue to "fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all."

Gray's stepfather, Richard Shipley, said family members "stand behind Marilyn and her prosecuting team, and my family is proud to have them represent us." He said the prosecutors did the "best to their ability."

Shortly after Mosby's news conference, the officers, their defense attorneys and leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, the union that represents the officers and paid for their defense, held their own.

Attorney Ivan Bates, who represents White and spoke on behalf of all of the officers and their attorneys, described the last year as a "nightmare" for the officers. He reiterated the defense argument in all of the cases that the officers were justified in their actions. The officers did not speak.

Lt. Gene Ryan, the FOP president, said "justice has been done." He also described Mosby's comments at her news conference as "outrageous and uncalled for and simply untrue."

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, in a statement, defended the department's investigation into Gray's death. He also called Mosby's decision to drop the charges "a wise one" that will help the city heal and move forward.

All of the officers had pleaded not guilty. Their attorneys have said they acted reasonably and professionally, and that Gray's death was the result of a tragic accident.

SOURCE






Last charge dropped against anti-abortion duo behind Planned Parenthood videos

A Texas judge on Tuesday dismissed the last remaining charge against two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials selling baby body parts.

District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the charge of tampering with government records against 27-year-old David Daleiden and 63-year-old Sandra Merritt upon the request of the Harris County prosecutor's office.

"The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against [Center for Medical Progress] project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood's political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny," Daleiden said in a statement.

The pair's attorneys had pushed to have the charge dismissed, saying Daleiden and Merritt never should have been indicted. If they had been convicted of the felony charge, each could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged that Daleiden and Merritt used fake driver's licenses to conceal their identities while dealing with Planned Parenthood.

Daleiden claimed victory on Tuesday, not only for his legal woes coming to an end, but also due to the continuing investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices, an investigation spurred on by the videos he helped produce.

"A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit," Daleiden said.

SOURCE






More police misbehaviour in Britain

Instead of being cautious investigators they behaved like Nazi Storm Troopers.  Why did they not arrange a quiet talk with the girl before they arrested her?  Too puffed up with their own importance, probably

A schoolgirl has spoken of her 'nightmare ordeal' after she was dragged out of a lesson and arrested by police after being accused of bullying another teenager.

Emma Raymond, 16, from Nottingham, said she was taken out of a revision lesson for her GCSEs by her headtacher and arrested after being accused of being the 'ringleader of a hate campaign'.

Miss Raymond, who was initially charged with harassment, says she was held in custody for over eight hours at her local police station before she was eventually released and never charged.

Miss Raymond was arrested in January after police received reports she bullied another teenager.

Nottinghamshire Police said they made the arrest in school because the threats that were reported included serious threats of physical harm - although it later transpired they were false.

Miss Raymond waived her right to anonymity and told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning: 'It's the worst thing I've ever experienced.  I didn't get to say anything, the next thing I knew they were putting me back in the back of their police car.

'Other kids saw what happened. Everyone was talking about it - I could tell by the looks people gave me. It felt like everyone was judging me.'

She added that the officers who arrested her would not let her call her parents, and said: 'I just wanted to speak to my parents. They were treating me like a murderer.'

She added that officers visited her home and confiscated her tablet and laptop computer.

Emma's father, Carl, said: 'I'm so frustrated and angry that it happened. They could have dealt with it so differently, just come round the house.

'She's had her DNA taken, finger prints, a mug shot. At no time was Emma's wellbeing, age and care taken into consideration.'

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said: 'We were investigating a report of harassment and cyber-bullying of a schoolgirl.

'Whilst the reports were being investigated further evidence came to light of serious threats of physical harm being made.

'As a result of this new information and the escalation in the potential risk, a decision was made to make an arrest at the earliest possible opportunity and an arrest was made at the school.

'It is not normal procedure for Nottinghamshire Police to make arrests on school property. 'However, in this instance, the action was judged to be warranted based on the threat and risk from the information available at the time.

'The subsequent investigation has shown this information to be false and no further action was taken against the arrested person.

'The schoolgirl who made the report was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and a detailed investigation was carried out by CID. 'However, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute and no further action was taken.

'Nottinghamshire Police understands that the decision to make an arrest on school grounds as well as the subsequent detention at a Police station and restrictions around contact was upsetting and distressing to both the person arrested and her family.

'We have met with the family to discuss the rationale behind decision to make the arrest on school grounds.

'The decisions in this investigation were not taken lightly but made due to the information available at the time and in order to minimise the potential for physical harm.' 

Nottinghamshire Police said it had received a complaint about the arrest.

SOURCE






Big Government, Racial Violence, and the Police

In August 1965, the streets of Los Angeles erupted in fire, as black rioters burned hundreds of stores and ill-equipped police withdrew from the violent scene. Initiated by a minor altercation with a police officer, Watts was followed by worse riots, often sparked by encounters with police, turning cities like Detroit into burnt-over districts. The “liberal” solution (more welfare spending) and the “conservative” response (militarization of the police) both went into effect. Yet, here we are in 2016 with violence between police and blacks, as if policymakers have done nothing. In fact, the solutions pursued compounded the problems they meant to solve: government has grown too big to be trusted and it is trusted least of all when young black men encounter police. And, yet, unlimited, untrustworthy government is a problem we all face.

Social welfare programs did not deliver on the promise to end poverty, crime and entrapment in low-income neighborhoods—such measures have instead destroyed black families and urban-based, private enterprises. The expansion of police power did not reduce crime until other policies were changed, including a willingness to prosecute and imprison violent criminals—which benefited African Americans who are by far the major victims by crime. Even so, police relations with blacks remained tense.

Since the 1960s, spending on welfare and police—and just about everything else—has grown enormously—affecting not only blacks but all of us. Countless new laws regulate every aspect of life. These laws usually require racial profiling, beginning with check boxes designating race. Applying for government aid or a private sector job? Tell us your race. Arrested for a crime? Government will classify you by race.

Laws are backed by government force, now more than ever. Scores of federal agencies—including the Department of Education!—have SWAT teams. The Left and the Right have expanded government heedless of adverse consequences. There are now 3,000 federal laws and 300,000 regulations with the force of law. Lethal force can be used to enforce trivial laws (Eric Garner selling loose cigarettes). Or dubious laws (the failed “War on Drugs”). Other laws target people engaged in lawful activity. Complex tax laws, for example, may ruin an honest person’s life.

My book, Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader (2009), illustrates how small-government advocating “classical liberals,” from Frederick Douglass to Clarence Thomas, appreciated the power and limits of government. Laws or lawsuits were necessary when forces (for example, the Ku Klux Klan) threatened inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property. But they did not turn to the government as recklessly as modern-day liberals or conservatives do—better to build character and address personal or social issues through voluntary action, such as self-help or the exercise of individual aspirations through private enterprise and civic associations.

James Forten, a black Revolutionary War veteran who became a wealthy sailmaker opposed a law that would have required blacks to register as free blacks (rather than undocumented runaway slaves). The law was clear: some blacks were free, others were slaves; the law was unobjectionable to the legislators who proposed it. The bill’s sponsors argued “If you are a free black, why worry?” Forten noted how such a law would actually be enforced by police charged with classifying who was free or unfree:

Who is this [officer]? A man, and exercising an office, where ten dollars is the fee for each delinquent, will probably be a cruel man and find delinquents where they really do not exist. The poor black is left to the merciless gripe of an avaricious [officer], without an appeal, in the event, from his tyranny or oppression!

Incentives matter. Police, like the rest of us, react to the incentives of civil forfeiture laws, fines to purchase police equipment, and much more. Administrative agencies, too, may reap fines, fees, and the mere exercise of power for personal benefit (“I am the Law!”). In some instances, the police—or their administrative equivalent—reluctantly carry out orders for others. (“I am only doing my job”). An IRS audit sends chills down spines and can, if carried out, lead one to prison or lifelong garnishment of wages for failing to understand our mindboggling tax code.

Today’s headlines focus on abuses of governmental power by police against blacks, yet the problem affects all of us. Now is a good time to recall the wisdom of pro-freedom, limited-government liberalism: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have”—including life, liberty, and property.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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28 July, 2016

Multicultural gynaecologist fondled female patients' breasts on his examination couch



The Patwardhans are high caste Indians

A ‘perverse’ consultant gynaecologist was jailed for eight years today for groping four women patients during private and NHS consultations.

Mahesh Patwardhan, 53, would typically bend them over an examination couch and fondle their breasts from behind, even asking one woman to reveal her tattooed bottom.

Patwardhan, who lived in Loughton, Essex, was said to have been turned on by rubbing himself against the women as he groped them.

The father-of-two saw NHS patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlton, South East London, and private patients at the nearby Blackheath Hospital and The Holly in Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

Patwardhan, whose wife, son and daughter were at Woolwich Crown Court this morning, was convicted of four counts of sexual assault between July 2008 and September 2012.

The Indian-born gynaecologist, who is married to an anaesthetist, was also convicted of two counts of fraud relating to falsely billing private medical insurers for work he did not perform.

He had been struck-off by the General Medical Council in October 2014 and publicity from that case prompted more victims to come forward.

An investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police and Patwardhan was arrested on November 2014 as he stepped-off a flight from India at London Heathrow Airport.

Judge Alice Robinson told him: ‘You indulged in totally unnecessary breast examinations for your own perverse sexual gratification and some of the patients suffered severe psychological harm.

‘Almost the most shocking aspect was your cavalier attitude to the wholesale falsification of medical records.’

She also ordered him to sign the sex offenders register for life and he will be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The judge said one victim impact statement was ‘one of the most harrowing I have ever read’. She said: ‘You knew she was vulnerable because of sexual abuse she had suffered and she’s withdrawn from the world. Another woman has attempted suicide and says you have ruined her life.’

His QC David Etherington said: ‘The entire family are standing by him, plus a large community of friends. It’s obvious he is never going to practise again as a doctor.

‘This amounts to a total destruction of this man’s career, everything he’s studied and worked for. He’s going to have to start his life again when he comes out of prison.’

Kate Bex, prosecuting, told the jury a 32-year-old mother-of-three was seen at the Queen Elizabeth in 2008, adding: ‘He came behind her and put his arms around her and onto her breasts.

‘He groped her breasts and squeezed them with his hands and she was in total shock,’ added Miss Bex, explaining that the woman made an excuse to avoid removing the rest of her clothing.

In digitally-recorded interview with police the woman explained: ‘He came behind us and that’s when he put his hands on us. He wasn’t talking, he was just groping my breasts. ‘It was horrible, I was in total shock. I didn’t know what to do, I felt sick and disgusted.

‘When he said: “Take your knickers off” I knew something was wrong. If I had lied on that couch and took my knickers off what would he have done?’

Another woman, a 37-year-old mother-of-two, said Patwardhan became more intimate after sizing her up.

‘The cuddling started after her second or third visit,’ explained Miss Bex. ‘He’d hug her goodbye and push his body into her, grab her bottom and kiss her on the cheek.

‘He examined her breasts after asking her to bend over the couch and asked her to show him the tattoo on her bum.’

A 30-year-old woman was a private Blackheath Hospital patient, who had an ovarian cyst.

Miss Bex said: ‘The defendant put his arms around her, his hand on her knee and told her she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

‘He asked her to bend over the couch and she could feel his body pressing against hers from behind while cupping her breasts.

‘She thought he became aroused and she was embarrassed so put her clothes on and left the room as fast as she could.’

Patwardhan offered to investigate the back pain of a woman aged 26. ‘He felt her spine and then cupped her breasts,’ Miss Bex said.

A 35-year-old private patient gave Patwardhan the opportunity to make some extra money out of her insurers.

He performed intimate cosmetic surgery on the woman, but billed her insurers - AXA PPP - for cyst removal because they would not cover the true operation, the jury were told.

Patwardhan was cleared of sexually assaulting this patient and a 37-year-old referred by her GP after a smear test.

A private BUPA patient aged 21 came forward to report Patwardhan for making her sign a claim form for a £195 non-existent pre-surgery consultation.

She was seen at The Holly, where the defendant’s wife was the anaesthetist, and said she did not make a fuss because she was in the couple’s hands.

When questioned by police, Patwardhan mainly answered ‘no comment’ to questions, but did deny making dishonest claims and conducting sexually motivated examinations.

After the verdicts last month, Detective Constable Mark Azariah said: ‘Patwardhan is a highly manipulative individual, having used his position of trust and authority to prey on the victims under his medical care, believing that they would be too embarrassed to report such offences to police.

‘Thankfully he was mistaken and I commend the victims for their courage in speaking out despite the sensitivity surrounding their personal medical concerns.

‘I hope that today’s result and the fact he is no longer a practising doctor brings them some comfort and peace of mind in what has been a traumatic ordeal.’

SOURCE






Philadelphia: The City of Motherly Love?

It looks like Hillary Clinton plans to run on the only economy this president has improved: Planned Parenthood’s. Over the weekend, the campaign announced that abortion will be taking center stage at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia with confirmed speakers Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood (whose group enjoys at least a million dollars a day from taxpayers) and Ilsye Hogue, president of NARAL. Of course, highlighting these organizations is somewhat redundant, since the biggest cheerleader for abortion is the one running for election.

Despite the country’s growing resistance, Clinton seems intent on following the president into some of the most radical terrain on abortion ever broached. From her shameless support of taxpayer-funded abortion to her elevation of groups that illegally sell baby body parts, the former First Lady is determined to make this election about an extreme social agenda that’s increasingly out of touch with women. Meanwhile, not everyone is thrilled about the DNC’s direction — including the Democrats' own base. While Hillary shamelessly promotes abortion right up to the moment of birth, polling shows it’s a far cry from voters' position on the issue. Almost eight in 10 Americans (78 percent) would limit abortion to the first trimester — including 62 percent who call themselves “pro-choice.”

Ignoring the growing gap, Clinton is rushing to embrace what more people are calling the “abortion-ization” of the Democratic Party without any regard to the political consequences. Just how big of a stranglehold does abortion have on the DNC? Politico reports […] that the leading candidate for the DNC chairmanship is none other than Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List. And the Democrats' party platform tells a similar story. For the first time in history, Democrats have called for overturning the Hyde and Helms amendments, demanding that federal taxpayers fund abortion-on-demand at home and abroad. Not surprisingly, the Left’s radical push for abortion coverage makes absolutely no exemptions for religious groups — nor does it offer even the barest of conscience protections for anyone in the medical community.

The GOP’s platform couldn’t be more different. Under it, Republicans reiterate their support for the walls between taxpayers and the dark world of abortion, calling on Congress to make the Hyde amendment permanent in all walks of government funding — including Obamacare. The Republicans, meanwhile, insisted on defending the First Amendment rights of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and organizations when it comes to issues like abortion funding, procedures, drugs, and health insurance. The Democrats support Planned Parenthood by name. The Republicans, for the first time, call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood for committing abortions, selling baby parts, and deceiving women with faulty consent forms.

Perhaps most tellingly, the Democrats pieced together their radical platform where they like doing most of their work: in secret. Unfortunately for them, it’s no secret where the party is heading. The Left is running a campaign of “choice” — and in this election, voters have a clear one.

SOURCE






Macy's Fires Catholic For His Beliefs

Macy's has fired an employee because he is a practicing Catholic. The case is now before the New York State Division of Human Rights.

In May, Javier Chavez, senior store detective at the Macy's store in Flushing, New York, received a phone call stating that a male had entered the ladies room with a female companion. A female customer, and her daughter, were afraid to enter because of the male's presence. A security employee who reports to Chavez advised the man to leave and use the men's room. He left claiming to be a female. He then complained to store officials that he was asked to leave.

Chavez was subsequently told by an Assistant Store Manager that certain males can use the ladies restroom. This was news to him. A few days later, an assistant security manager told him that transgender persons can use the bathroom of their choice.

He said he had just become aware of this policy, stating that it was contrary to his religion and the Bible. But he hastened to say that he would nonetheless enforce Macy's policy.

Macy's would not leave this alone, and this is where it crossed the line.

Chavez was then summoned to meet with the Human Resources Manager, who suspended him. He was later terminated.

"After my employer learned that I was a practicing Catholic, with religious concerns about this policy," Chavez says in his formal complaint, "I was terminated because of my religion, in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law."

The most basic religious right is the right to believe; if conscience rights can be vitiated, the First Amendment means nothing. Macy's has no legal, or moral, grounds to stand on.

For merely holding beliefs that are contrary to the store's policy, Chavez was fired. This is what totalitarian regimes do, not American commercial establishments.

SOURCE






South Africa's free speech problem

Sara Gon says that here, as in the West, incivility kills off rational debate and discussion

When Incivility Rules, Free Speech Dies

“Incivility is not a Vice of the Soul, but the effect of several Vices; of Vanity, Ignorance of Duty, Laziness, Stupidity, Distraction, Contempt of others, and Jealousy.” - Jean de La Bruyère, 17th century French essayist and moralist.

Mark Oppenheimer’s experienced (Free Speech: A Vanishing Right Politicsweb, 18 July 2016) verbal attacks by self-appointed opinion-makers who belittled and insult him in the name of political rectitude.

At “Think!Fest”, a series of lectures and panel discussions held at the Grahamstown Arts Festival, Oppenheimer attended a panel discussion on the merits of a total state subsidisation of tertiary education.

The panel was chaired by Judge Dennis Davis with panellists Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes, Dr. Sizwe Mabizela, and Lindsay Maarsdorp, an activist from Black First Land First.

During the Q&A session Oppenheimer indicated he wanted to ask a question. He was asked to give his name before asking his question. When he said ‘Oppenheimer’ he was jeered. In response he made what he thought was the tongue-in-cheek remark that “I was from the Oppenheimer family who had oppressed most of the people in the room.”

At this all hell broke loose. Maarsdorp shouted repeatedly that Oppenheimer did not have a right to speak.

Anthea Garman, an associate professor of journalism and the convener of Think!Fest, said:

“Our opinions are not equal here, they are embedded in our histories, in our exclusions and in our races’ positions… When white people speak, they take advantage of the fact that the Constitution allows them an extraordinarily huge amount of privilege to continue to obscure… You are going to have to own the fact that you tried to sidestep your name and what your name means in this space… The resort to the Constitution, in which everybody has equal voice does not obtain in this moment, in this context, at this time. These voices have different weight, different histories and there is a great deal of fraught contestation about it.”

Maarsdorp proclaimed: “The status quo is anti-black, at a constitutional level, in terms of the land and in terms of this person sitting here… His whole existence, it plays out black oppression.”

Oppenheimer could certainly not be accused of “side stepping” his own name. Nor could his detractors be accused of having a sense of humour. But the event occurred at a university, an environment not much associated with self-derision or humour.

However, neither Maasdorp nor Garman had any idea as to what Oppenheimer’s opinion was nor what question he was going to ask.

Garman and Maasdorp appropriated the right to determine whether Opperman could speak or not. If anyone had similarly appropriated Maasdorp’s or Garman’s rights, there would have been howls of outrage about racism and misogyny.

Appropriation is a distinct feature of protest and argument in South Africa. Although its origins don’t lie in South Africa. They lie in the political correctness on campuses in North America and Britain. Political opinion is now in the supreme domain of a self-chosen few and is expressed uncivilly.

The Economist (The colliding of the American mind June 4, 2016) discussed as ominous the claims made by protesters for the supremacy of their subjective judgments. Examples are that black people know best when they are being racially demeaned; or that women can best distinguish between a compliment and harassment.

The Economist opined that while this may be true, a powerful riposte is that to function, society relies on impartial adjudication of wrongs, especially in an era of multiculturalism, with its attendant frictions. Prejudice may indeed abound, but for officials to intervene a claim must not merely be alleged; it must be proven. A situation cannot just be what someone thinks it is; facts must support it. Fairness demands evidence.

“The idea that any group’s experience is inaccessible to others is not just pessimistic but anti-intellectual: history, anthropology, literature and many other fields of inquiry are premised on the faith that different sorts of people can, in fact, understand each other.”

Claire Fox in Generation Snowflake: how we train our kids to be censorious cry-babies (The Spectator 4 June 2016) writes that young people who cry offence are not feigning hurt — generational fragility is a real phenomenon. They are genuinely distressed by ideas that run contrary to their worldview. Even making a general case for free speech can lead to gasps of disbelief.

But the most sobering observation Fox makes is that this generation’s hypersensitivity is often combined with an almost belligerent sense of entitlement. A self-esteem culture encourages adults to tiptoe around children’s sensitivities and accede to their opinions, lest their wellbeing be damaged.

The appropriation of opinion encourages a culture of “superior victimhood”. The sense of injustice becomes supreme through a failure to appreciate the oppression of others. The “superior victims” cannot engender empathy for any other group.

In South Africa this is exacerbated by a lack of historical knowledge and context. Knowledge of South African history is at best selective and lacks nuance, and at worst is poor. Terrible as it was Apartheid was not the world’s only, nor necessarily its worst, systematic gross human rights abuse. There are people in this country who have been affected by such other horrors.

Ironically given the evolution of social media, free speech has become the enemy. Instead of choosing not to attend talks and express views in opposition, angry students have chosen the totalitarian option of deciding to whom others should or should not listen.

Those who are constantly derided withdraw from the debate. Human nature isn’t presupposed to allowing oneself to be abused repeatedly. If opposing views withdraw then debate cannot happen.

As The Economist says activists are entitled to protest, but when they decry counter-arguments as tantamount to violence, they stray into censorship.

The Economist describes such behaviour as “the lamentable fruit of modernity’s least appetising traits: mollycoddling parenting, a sub-Freudian narcissism, a hypochondriacal sense of entitlement and a social-media ecosystem that reinforces insularity and cultivates an expectation of instant response.”

In our own student protests and much of our public debate, there is cruel harassment of people deemed “oppressors” or “racists” solely on the basis of their skin colour.

Ultimately reliance on incivility to persuade an opponent means that the aggressors lose before they start. Rational people will be wary of the merits of an argument pursued uncivilly.

The February 2016 RMF protests over the accommodation crisis at the University of Cape Town have been shown to be baseless. RMF’s appalling behaviour included throwing sewerage into buildings, an act of visceral baseness made infamous by (the now disgraced and interdicted) Chumani Maxwele at the start of the original RMF protests in March 2015.

Tactics at our universities have included assaults, threats, barging into meetings, jumping on tables, abuse and humiliation of staff, hostage-taking, and 100s of millions of rands worth of destruction including arson. This isn’t debate; it’s crime.

Most of us hold the freedom of speech to be sacrosanct: we accept the inalienable right of others to express opposing and often odious views.

However, there are those who do not accord the rest of us the same right. Examples abound: Maxwele, Garman and Maasdorp; RMF “Oxford activist” and slayer of waitresses, Ntokozo Qwabe and much of the social media, both white and black.

Even UCT management has accepted “disruption at public events and lectures…, in the interests of promoting a constructive engagement with all groups. We will continue to do this provided the engagement is lawful, peaceful and respectful.” (How UCT is stepping up transformation, Max Price, Politicsweb 11 March 2016). This is very disturbing - disruption is never acceptable.

One does wonder how the parents and grandparents of these nastily opinionated students feel about their young, inexperienced and privileged off-spring showing such disdain, disrespect and hatred for others.

Perhaps the root of the incivility is the untrammelled freedom offered by social media, particularly the ability to criticise anonymously. For centuries, if a member of the public in a democracy writes a letter to a newspaper, he or she has to identify themselves with their name and address. Further, editors reserve the right to edit the letter or not to print it at all. This discourse is democratic, but it is still subject to rules. It forces writers to structure their thoughts and wording.

Social media has no rules. A person can use a pseudonym and express unbridled, inarticulate hatred. If the discourse becomes too uncivil, the editors lose discretion and control. So sites tend to shut down their comments sections completely. Debate ceases.

The Economist quaintly calls such protest “impolite”. We refer to incivility. Perhaps the best adjective is the one used by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Free State.

Jansen describes such behaviour as “vulgar”. In a chapter entitled “Vulgarity tip of amoral iceberg” at page 223 in his 2011 book “We Need to Talk (Bookstorm), Jansen discusses how our leaders bow to the demands of the vulgar.

Jansen was writing three years before the RMF protests but he could have been talking about the student protests of 2015/16. He uses the example of a child who throws a tantrum for not getting ice cream before dinner. Logically, good parents discipline the child and do not give in. He says the same should apply to university management of student protests. Giving in to student demands led to the bankrupting of universities in the 1990s and a culture of violent protests became common-place, vulgar.

Jansen defines vulgarity as “conspicuously and tastelessly indecent”. He says when this becomes normal in a society, the immediate consequence is that human relationships suffer and human beings begin to turn on each other. Then the rules of common decency no longer apply. Maxwele’s original act of faeces throwing is this writ large. Justice would have demanded that he clean it up. He didn’t. His act of indecency had to remedied by university employees.

A functioning society depends upon a compact between each citizen that they will accord each other the respect to live their lives, hold their opinions and vote as they so choose.

If you are intolerant and refuse to understand others, they will eventually ignore and disregard you. The RMF movement has suffered this fate but that is only after management asserted the university’s rights not to tolerate criminal behaviour.

Legendary American sports photographer John G Zimmerman said “Incivility is the extreme of pride; it is built on the contempt of mankind.”

Hillel, born in 110 BCE, was one of the most important figures in Jewish history. He founded a dynasty of sages who led the Jews living in Israel until about the fifth century AD.

Hillel formulated the one rule that encapsulated all of Judaism, which is the expression of the ethic of reciprocity: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” Hillel said that this was the entire essence of the bible. Everything else, he said, is commentary.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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27 July, 2016

Another dubious prosecution by British police

They are under feminist pressure to "crack down" on rapists.  Too bad if you are innocent

A highly respected geography teacher wept today after a jury took just 26 minutes to clear him of repeatedly raping a pupil at an £18,000 a year public school.

Kato Harris, 37, was accused of attacking the teenager three times after inviting her to stay in the classroom during the lunch break for chats.

Harris was working as the head of geography and assistant head at the private girls’ school in north London at the time of the allegations, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

He insisted it was ‘completely impossible’ to have carried out the attacks as staff and students could see into the room and the door would have been open during the lunch break.

Harris, who is currently suspended from his job at a school in Berkshire, said strict guidelines prevented staff and pupils from even being alone together.

Asked if there was any possible motive for the girl making up the allegations he said it may have been revenge after he mocked her ‘silly face’ in a school photo.

A jury of seven men and five women at Isleworth Crown Court took just 26 minutes to clear Harris of three counts of rape in the autumn term of 2013.

Harris wept and sank to his knees as the verdicts were read out, while his supporters in the public gallery also sobbed and applauded.

Judge Martin Edmunds QC thanked jurors for their service.

The allegations emerged after the girl moved to a new school and staff became concerned about her unhappiness, panic attacks and eating habits.

She told the court she had struggled with bullying at the school, which made her want to leave.

She said: ‘I started getting bullied in year seven, that got dealt with, then I got bullied again.’

Asked why she left the school, she replied: “I was having panic attacks multiple times a day and didn’t feel safe.’

Her family’s lawyers brought in ex-Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers - who spent 36 years with the Metropolitan Police - as a private investigator who sought to guide officers on how to conduct the case, the court heard.

When in April 2014 the house mistress told the girl she suspected sexual abuse, the teenager replied: ‘Maybe’.

The girl finally came forward after visiting the head’s office on 3 December 2014.

Sally Hales, QC, prosecuting, said: ‘She wanted to tell her about it, but couldn’t speak. ‘The teacher told her she would leave the room, and that she should write it down.  ‘When she came back in, the teacher was handed a piece of paper with three words on it “I was raped”.’

The girl struggled to tell her story during a police video interview but wrote the allegations down. She said in her statement: ‘I was raped three times. It was in a geography classroom but I cannot remember which one exactly. ‘We were talking about geography or school and then it just happened before I could do anything. ‘He forced me on the floor and he started having sex with me. He pulled off my tights and underwear.’

She added: ‘I was scared and shocked, I didn’t know what was happening. ‘Nothing was said all three times.’

She initially refused to tell officers the name of her attacker but described him as ‘tall, with dark curly hair, a geography teacher, and his 40s’.  She then confirmed the teacher’s name when asked.

Speaking via videolink, the alleged victim earlier told jurors she attended treatment because of the attacks in New York every day for a year.  She said: ‘I didn’t name Mr Harris in his first interview as I couldn’t say his name. ‘Only after therapy in America that I could say it. ‘I fly to New York every week to see a psychiatrist.’

Harris had told jurors it was school policy to avoid being left alone with pupils in classrooms, and the building would be too busy for an attack. He said: ‘It’s school policy to keep our doors open, all teachers were provided with door wedges. ‘She doesn’t have a form room in the corridor, I don’t think she had lessons in the corridor either.  ‘400 girls would have been in the building. ‘I didn’t rape her, anywhere, ever.’

William Clegg, QC, defending, asked Harris: ‘How possible would it be for someone to rape a pupil without being observed?’

Harris replied: ‘Completely impossible.’

Mr Clegg then asked about the possibility of it occurring three times.  Harris answered: ‘Even more completely impossible.’

He broke down in tears in the dock as colleagues praised him as an ‘outstanding teacher’ and a ‘passionate guy’.

Giving evidence as a defence witness for Harris, the former headteacher said the accusations were ‘unbelievable, adding: ‘He did his job extremely well. He was a passionate geographer. Every day he had a packed classroom.

‘As a teacher, he was outstanding, bordering on brilliant. Pupils adored his lessons.

‘He was a problem-solving member of staff. If I were still a headteacher, I would employ him in a heartbeat

SOURCE






Top Dem Makes Incredibly Anti-Semitic Statement

A Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee compared Jewish Israeli settlers to termites on Monday while speaking at an event sponsored by an anti-Israel organization that supports boycotts of the Jewish state.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.) launched into a tirade against Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians, comparing Jewish people who live in disputed territories to “termites” that destroy homes. Johnson also compared Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a remark that drew vocal agreement from those in the room.

“There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming,” Johnson said during an event sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, an anti-Israel organization that galvanizes supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

“It has come to the point that occupation, with highways that cut through Palestinian land, with walls that go up, with the inability or the restriction, with the illegality of Palestinians being able to travel on those roads and those roads cutting off Palestinian neighborhoods from each other,” Johnson continued. “And then with the building of walls and the building of check points that restrict movement of Palestinians. We’ve gotten to the point where the thought of a Palestinian homeland gets further and further removed from reality.”

SOURCE





The Torrent of Progressive-Enabled Terror Continues

France, Germany, America — the common theme is turning a blind eye

The ongoing leftist effort to deny reality brings us once again to France. Local authorities in Nice are resisting orders from France’s SDAT anti-terrorism agency to destroy CCTV footage of the Bastille Day terrorist attack. “This is the first time we are asked to destroy evidence,” said a source quoted by French newspaper Le Figaro. “The CCTV department and the city of Nice could be prosecuted for this, and also the officers in charge do not have jurisdiction to engage in such operations.”

Interestingly, while many media sources framed the demand as a “request,” a Google translation of the original article in Le Figaro used the phrase “urgent legal requisition.” The paper further noted that SDAT cited “Articles 53 and L706-24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article R642-1 of the Penal Code” in their effort to “erase 24 hours of images from six cameras named, numbered,” as well as “all the scenes from the beginning of the attack that took place on the Promenade des Anglais, on the night of 14 July.”

The French Ministry of Justice insisted the effort was aimed at avoiding the “uncontrolled dissemination” of images that could be used as jihadist propaganda. The government further claims the destruction of the video intended to protect the families of the victims.

Nice city officials aren’t buying it. They have filed a legal complaint, logically arguing the video constitutes evidence in the case. Municipal attorney Philippe Blanchetier, also stated she will ask the prosecutor to keep the images “in order not to jeopardize with any other procedures that may emerge beyond the investigation.”

It appears the French public isn’t buying the government’s assertions either. “The comments section of the Le Figaro article is replete with outrage and disgust by the fact that the French government, instead of preserving evidence for the purposes of a thorough, independent investigation, is in fact behaving rather more like the chief suspect in the attack — ordering the destruction of vital evidence,” writes geopolitical analyst Gearóid Ó Colmáin.

The French government should be viewed with suspicion. Despite a series of Islamist terror attacks prior to the Nice atrocity, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve was forced to admit that only lightly armed, local police were on guard at the entrance to the Nice beachfront pedestrian zone when terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel sped his 27-ton truck past a barricade and killed 84 people. Cazeneuve had previously asserted national police were guarding it. Nice deputy mayor Christian Estrosi, who had called for increased security for the Bastille Day event, disputed Cazeneuve’s original assertion and insisted the government had lied about policing of the event.

A police source who had seen the video told the BBC “a single municipal police car was blocking the junction” where Bouhlel initiated his murderous rampage.

In other words, the video epitomizes the utter bankruptcy of a progressive mindset that has yet to reach its saturation point with regard to the ongoing slaughter of innocent victims by Muslim terrorists. Better to destroy evidence than destroy an increasingly lethal terrorist infrastructure that remains not only a viable entity in the Middle East, but one welcomed into the European Union by a progressive globalist elite who remain completely immune to the destructive consequences of their behavior. As if on cue, French President Francois Hollande announced Friday his nation would send artillery to Iraq — but will not commit group troops.

Note the despicable status quo that amounts to nothing more than Hollande and other equally feckless leaders on both sides of the Atlantic outsourcing a war against those seeking to destroy civilization. Thus it is completely unsurprising that five additional people, four men and one woman between the ages of 22 and 40, were charged with aiding and abetting the Nice attacker. Or that their Paris prosecutor — citing text messages, more than 1,000 phone calls, and video taken of the attack scene discovered on the phone of one of the suspects — revealed the attack was apparently planned months in advance.

Months during which the war’s outsourcing has guaranteed the Islamic State’s viability and attractiveness to potential recruits. Recruits dismissed as “lone wolves.” Lone wolves progressives somehow find more comforting when their ISIL-inspired atrocities cannot be “directly linked” to the terror group.

Such obdurate denialism is not only about terrorist attacks, and not only about France. In both Germany and Sweden, government officials worked overtime to cover up the rape-fest in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, and two years' worth of sexual harassment at Sweden’s “We Are Sthlm” music festival, where “so-called refugee youths primarily from Afghanistan,” as internal police reports characterized it, harassed girls as young as 12. And right here in America, who can possibly forget the Obama administration’s initial effort to purge the transcript of Omar Mateen’s murderous rampage in Orlando, lest it conflict with their fraudulent see-no-Islamist-evil narrative.

As this column was being written, that narrative was once again in play. Despite an eyewitness account provided by a Muslim woman who said 18-year-old German-Iranian Ali David Sonboly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he gunned down defenseless children in Munich, German officials are not only refusing to link the attack to Islamist terror, but stating there is an “obvious link” between Friday’s shooting at a Munich mall and far-right Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik.

Moreover, American media didn’t even wait for any facts to emerge before the talking heads at MSNBC on Friday spoke about the rise of “intolerant” ideologies and parties directed against Muslims and Middle East refugees, and actually linked the violence to the GOP convention and the Brexit vote. And the BBC chose to scrub “Ali” when naming the Munich terrorist in their coverage.

Such efforts reek of desperation, driven by an unseemly hope that if just one terror attack can be tied to anything other than the nexus between Islamist terrorists and their progressive enablers, then all will be well.

But all is not well. A trickle of terror attacks has become a torrent. So much so, it is almost impossible to chronicle one heinous event before it is superseded by another: late Saturday at least 80 were killed and more than 230 injured in yet another ISIL-perpetrated terror attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

It is reality that the destruction of video evidence in Nice, or the media- and police-coordinated rush to judgment in Munich cannot hide.

And with each additional atrocity it becomes increasingly apparent that only one of two scenarios will disabuse progressive elites of their multi-culti, open border, one world delusions: a nuclear detonation in a Western city — or a sufficient number of elitist casualties. Until then, carnage inflicted on the “little people” with continue. Little people whose choice becomes increasingly clear: vote progressives out of power, while there’s still time.

One’s life — literally — could depend on it.

SOURCE





Don’t let the new politically correct language of slaughter fool you. Terrorism by any other name is still as terrifying

Have you heard it? The whisperings of a new language for terror, shared across our news networks?  The liberals and progressives, creating a whole new dialect, a softened tongue?

Taking the edges off the sharp stuff, dulling down the painful truth, neutering the raw? Making the truth more palatable, more malleable around the narrative they want to tell?

I’ve heard it for a while now amongst the chattering establishment. Watched it evolve into a mother tongue.  Learned to predict what they will say next in response to the next terror attack on our people and our freedom.

It started before Nice, about the time we began developing our own coping mechanisms: hashtags, tea-lights, vigils in a public square. We lit up public buildings in the colours of the flag, even though patriotism was casually mocked any other day of the week for being racist or xenophobic.

Our communications networks saw it as their role not to inflame tensions but instead to downplay terror. To be the cool press applied directly onto the wound.

In its early days, this language for terror became Chinese whispers. It has ended up as blatant lies.

After the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne, police reported a peaceful evening that passed off without incident. That night 1,200 women suffered rape, sexual assault or abuse at the hands of 2,000 men.

But the language of terror has evolved. In the latest attack on Germany last night, a failed asylum seeker detonated an explosive device, injuring 12 and killing himself. The BBC reported: ‘Syrian Migrant Dies in German Blast. Motive not immediately clear.’

Twenty minutes after the story broke I still had to work reasonably hard to discover that three of those injured were in a serious condition.

And whilst ‘no motive was clear’ in this German blast, police on scene were able to tell us it was probable bits of metal had been added to the bomb in his backpack. So the motive was to harm as many innocent people as possible, whichever way you try and bubble-wrap it.

We know the attacker was a failed asylum seeker. We know he was from Syria. Yet the BBC was keen to point out this attack had not been linked to a militant group. If you were a family member of an innocent festival-goer, caught up in this horror, do you think you would care?

Someone tried to kill your child. For no reason. How is that for truth?

Earlier in the day, a Syrian asylum seeker with a machete cleaved down a pregnant Polish woman in Reutlingen. Two others were injured in the attack.

News channels were quick to remind us this was not a terrorist attack. Well, that’s alright then. I don’t mind my children watching a man hack a woman to death with a meat cleaver as long as it’s not a terror attack. The language of terror has become, almost Shakespearean. A crime of passion? How charming, how desperately exciting, how romantic!

Until you remember the lady was pregnant and he hacked her to death with a machete. There is nothing passionate about that.

And all this only two days after a shooting rampage in Munich which killed nine young people.

Despite this killer’s Iranian extraction, he quickly became German – very German. So much so that the BBC even changed his name. Ali David Sonboly became David Sonboly. Rechristened by our unbiased broadcasting corporation to sound thoroughly European, even Jewish, one might suggest. Definitely not Muslim, either way. They reverted to his real name when their sleight of hand was exposed.

Have we created a new definition of terror these days? Is an axe attack on public transport not terrifying enough to qualify?
His history of depression was shouted about. And his fascination with mass shootings and Anders Breivik. You see, this language of terror likes to use CAPS LOCK when there is something, anything, to point you away from links with migrants or Muslims.

The killer’s motive was passed around like a hot potato until it landed in the lap of the Right wing. The media was comfortable with that.

The media was keen to highlight most of the victims were migrants — a subtle attempt to influence our opinion of the attacker.

Using the victims as evidence of the motivation of the attacker is a well-rehearsed refrain. ‘Many Muslims died in the attack.’ This is how we judge the success of modern multiculturalism: we all die together, too.

Meanwhile over the weekend more than 80 Muslims died in a Kabul suicide bombing that was indubitably the work of ISIS. Does that make it any less terror?

In Nice the attacker was initially called a ‘lone wolf’, another well-rehearsed phrase in this new language of ours. Then, quietly, as the nation moved to mourn its 84 dead, four others were arrested in the city.

The attacker had planned the attack for a year, and laughed as he drove over children like skittles, screaming Allah Akbar as he mowed them down.

But, the media was quick to reassure us, he wasn’t a real Muslim because he drank alcohol and his ex-wife was ‘shocked and surprised’.

Mohamed was a divorced father-of-three who liked girls and salsa and didn’t pray, according to a French crime correspondent. Another told BFMTV - a French rolling news channel - he was more into women than religion.

You see the new language at work? Distancing Europe from terror? Separating religion from these attacks? Waiting as long as possible before acknowledging the lone-wolf’s radicalisation and the supply of weapons to him by Albanian friends in the foothills of Nice.

Now investigators have admitted to the Associated Press that his louche behaviour may have been straight from the ISIS manual as he sought to conceal his true identity as a radicalised terrorist of at least a year’s standing behind a façade of Western decadence.

Even an axe attack on a train in Bavaria was held at arm’s length from links to Islam or ISIS. He only went to the mosque on ‘social occasions’ and was a ‘calm and quiet’ boy. The fact he shouted Allah Akbar and took an axe to five people, injuring two critically, was considered insufficient evidence to pin this act to terror.

Have we created a new definition of terror these days? Is an axe attack on public transport not terrifying enough to qualify?

Only when a video was released by ISIS purporting to show the killer making threats against infidels did the media finally cave.

The Australian Attorney General speaks for political elites everywhere when he asserts many terror incidents are in fact linked to mental health issues, not religious or ideological ones, and that even those screaming Allah Akbar 'are not necessarily deeply committed to and engaged with the Islamist ideology'.

I accept not all attacks are made by terrorists. I also accept not all attacks are made by migrants or asylum seekers. And I accept victims are often selected entirely at random. But that is not the point.

Germany has seen four attacks in seven days. Whether they are officially linked to ISIS or not, they are the acts of people adopting the technique of terrorists and it IS terrorism, no matter what you want to attribute the acts to.

And trying to gloss over the truth has only made us cynical about this new reporting language. Like a crossword reader, I now have to look for the clues hidden in the text.

A name changed. A religion obscured by references to women and drink. A heritage confuscated by a dual-nationality passport.

This language of terror has to stop. This shape-shifting, neutering, dulling down, dampening.

We do not need tensions inflamed. But inciting the suspicion that facts are being hidden is no way to calm frayed nerves.

Merkel’s obstinate refusal to accept that her open-doors policy to migrants has made things worse has turned Germany into a country on the brink.

She has to offer solutions to clear up the mess she had created. To pull the situation back from spilling over into all-out civil war.

And to help her do this, we have to talk about Merkel’s mess (and the other Western governments’ own terrible mistakes) honestly and openly.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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26 July, 2016

More astonishing laxity from the British police

Being seen to pursue paedophiles trumps everything -- even acting on the claims of a known chronic liar is just fine

Just imagine, if you can, being in the shoes of David Bryant. In 2013, this retired fire chief, with multiple commendations for bravery during his 40 years with the Dorset fire service, was sentenced to six years in jail for a sex attack on a 14-year-old boy which had allegedly taken place more than 35 years earlier.

In 2014, Bryant’s sentence was increased to eight-and-a-half years, after the then Solicitor General Sir Oliver Heald — who last week was made Justice Minister in Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle — had argued the initial sentence was ‘unduly lenient’.

Perhaps it was thought that the original trial judge was too much influenced by the countless tributes made to Bryant’s impeccable character. Well, it turns out that those tributes had been entirely accurate: last week, Bryant’s conviction was overturned after it was demonstrated that his accuser, Danny Day, was a fantasist with a history of mental illness.

Scandalously, none of this was revealed during Bryant’s trial. It came to light only as a result of a campaign by his wife, Lynn, who assembled a team of friends and private investigators. Working free of charge, they discovered Danny Day’s past, in particular that he had for a decade sought medical help from his GP for being a ‘chronic liar’: among other things, he claimed entirely falsely to have been an Olympic boxer.

They also discovered that the fire station pool table, on which Day claimed to have been raped, had not been bought until 1992 — well over a decade after the offence was alleged to have taken place.

The Bryants believe Day’s false claims were based on greed. He is said to have been awarded £50,000 through the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and, after the trial, began a £200,000 claim against the Bryants and Dorset County Council.

But none of this explains the timing of Day’s claims, which began with a handwritten letter to Bryant: ‘At 6 o’clock tonight I am going to the police station to report what went on and at 7 to the national papers. I think it is time you and me had a chat.’ That pay-off line has the distinct whiff of blackmail.

Day himself declared to the Press that he had been ‘motivated to come forward in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile affair’. Add another one to the thousands — and I mean thousands — of claims encouraged by the police, who declared after the Savile revelations that they would henceforth ‘believe’ anyone who came forward with claims of ‘historic abuse’.

The most extraordinary of these were from a man known only as ‘Nick’, whose claims that he had witnessed the abuse, torture and murder of children carried out by the late Prime Minister Edward Heath along with sundry generals and MPs, were described as ‘credible and true’ by the Metropolitan Police. This, despite the absence of a single strand of corroborative evidence, let alone the names or bodies of those allegedly murdered.

Among those innocents whose lives had been torn apart were the war hero and retired Army Chief Lord Bramall, on whose home and that of his dying wife 20 police descended as if raiding a mafia boss; and the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, who died without being informed by the police that they had decided not to continue with an investigation into equally fanciful claims that he had raped someone decades earlier.

For this the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, later grudgingly apologised to Lady Brittan.

She has nobly endured so many hurts, not least by the decision of the Home Office not to send a representative to her husband’s memorial service in May last year (before the Met had very belatedly stopped its investigations into ‘Nick’s’ fantasies). Every single previous such memorial for deceased Home Secretaries had been attended by the current holder of that office.

Yet the Home Secretary at the time of Leon Brittan’s death, Theresa May, stayed away. If the new Prime Minister is the decent and moral woman I believe her to be, her conscience should now be troubling her greatly.....

What a farce this whole business has become: and also a tragedy, as poor David Bryant discovered.

SOURCE






Why I Support Israel








Australian Far Leftist webzine is enjoying the Muslim immigration controversy

See below. They perversely see the debate as a condemnation of Australia generally.  Taking only SOME refugees is "racist", you see. In case it's not clear, Australia's prioritizing of persecuted Christians for the refugee intake is what has got the writer all burned up and gripped with the fires of prophecy.  The writer is Shakira Hussein, if that tells you anything.  An obvious Presbyterian?


Much of the response to Andrew Bolt and Sonia Kruger’s call to halt Muslim immigration has rested on the assumption that such calls are just hate speech for the sake of hate speech rather than a realistic policy proposal. But Australia’s immigration policy has been discriminating against Muslims since the 2014 announcement of the special refugee intake in response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq during the last throes of the Abbott prime ministership.

And the grounds for the discriminatory framework for the special refugee intake were remarkably similar to those stated by Kruger for a blanket ban on Muslim migration: to accommodate the Australian public’s fear of Muslim men.

At the time, the announcement of the special refugee intake felt like a victory for people power, coming as it did in response to the candlelit vigils for drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi. And after all, no one could argue that the “persecuted minorities” who are the favoured candidates under this policy are not in need of asylum.

It also helped that Tony Abbott — with his fear-mongering talk of death cults and demands for Muslims to “do more” to prove that Islam is a religion of peace — was replaced soon afterwards by the more “reasonable” Malcolm Turnbull, who was one of the Coalition MPs to have called for Christian refugees to be prioritised but who also set about repairing the government’s damaged relationship with Australia’s Muslim communities.

The process of damage repair, of course, culminated in the iftar at Kirribilli House to which Andrew Bolt took such entertainingly deranged exception as the election results came through. Turnbull’s “reasonable” approach to The Muslim Issue has put pressure on Muslims to be “reasonable” in return, so that Waleed Aly chose to “tease” Turnbull about the NBN rather than publicly raising more fraught issues like the internment of asylum-seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and the introduction of ever-more stringent anti-terrorism legislation. A guest at a dinner party must keep their personal opinions within certain boundaries, after all.

TV host Sonia Kruger Kruger’s fear-driven, fear-mongering against Muslims has jeopardised her relationship with sponsors like Porsche and Swisse, who have no desire to lose their Muslim customers. She also triggered a debate about how best to respond to the rise in racist hate speech, with a plethora of tweets and op-eds dissenting from Waleed Aly’s call for her, and others like her, to be forgiven.

Kruger’s hate speech has expanded the boundaries of what can be said in what used to be called polite company (Andrew Bolt having long been unfit for such company). In resisting the dangers that this raises, we must not lose sight of the way in which the shift that she calls for is already underway. Kruger may well have to return her Porsche, but we cannot afford to regard this as anything more than a temporary respite.

The prioritising of persecuted minorities in the special refugee intake provides us a foretaste of how a Muslims Need Not Apply migration policy might come about — not overnight in the form of a blanket ban, but incrementally, step by step in order to allay the reasonable fears of reasonable Australians and under the watch of a reasonable Prime Minister like Malcolm Turnbull or whoever his (probably) reasonable successor might turn out to be. And at the end of this fearful week, it is difficult not to speculate on what other measures that now belong to fringe platforms like The Australian’s letters to the editor might come to seem reasonable.

Campaigns against the internment camps on Manus and Nauru have often rested on the assumptions that these represent an abhorrence for which history will judge those responsible in the not-too-distant future. We should perhaps begin to contemplate that they may, in fact, provide us with a glimpse of the future and that just as off-shore detention was introduced on reasonable humanitarian grounds in order to prevent drownings at sea and prevent the profiteering of people smugglers, a “reasonable” government might decide that internment of its own citizens is a necessary and reasonable security measure.

It is reasonable to be unforgiving when such spectres are so easily and reasonably conjured.
 
SOURCE





Tolerance of extremism will provoke backlash

Chris Kenny comments from Australia

The corrosive impact of Islamist extremism is evident to most of us but our political and community leaders are only making things worse by ignoring this insidious challenge.

Violence and intolerance preached and perpetrated by extremists creates fear, mistrust and division. That is its intention. We can’t pretend it away.

Speeches at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan yesterday showed how we are fumbling the problem. The president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, Samier Dandan, spoke aggressively about Australian Muslims being victims of “Islamophobia” and unspecified government policies.

“The continued rise of Islamophobic discourse in the public, in addition to a number of divisive and toxic policy decisions have only exacerbated negative sentiment towards the Australian Muslim community,” he said. “We have been left in a vulnerable position.”

Dandan lashed at media for being more interested in “attendees to an iftar” rather than “hate preachers” in the political debate. He was clearly downplaying the homophobic views of Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman (who attended Malcolm Turnbull’s Kirribilli House fast-breaking dinner) compared to the rantings of the likes of Pauline Hanson.

We shouldn’t need to pick and choose our intolerance — Hanson and Al-Suleiman can both be called out.

Worryingly, Dandan’s speech reeked of Muslim victimhood and neglected to criticise the Islamist extremism at the heart of any tensions. You can’t plausibly blame Hanson for domestic terror plots or more than 100 Australians joining the Islamic State slaughter while as many (according to ASIO) support them from home.

This is not to make excuses for an anti-Muslim backlash. To prevent such responses gaining momentum, people need to know Muslim community leaders and government authorities can discuss real problems frankly.

Dandan talked about the “spread of hatred” from mainstream society and that — presumably in relation to security agencies — “their surveillance will not add to our safety.”

This is irresponsible. Our police and security forces protect Australian lives, Muslim and non-Muslim.

NSW Premier Mike Baird didn’t raise challenges of extremism in his speech either. He spoke of a visit to “Palestine” and declared young people there wanted peace — thereby appealing to a crucial Islamist grievance and ignoring unpalatable facts.

This approach from politicians in this space is typical — tough issues are skirted around. Baird said: “Where we see intolerance we must respond with tolerance.” He could not be more wrong — our political leaders should be clear that the one thing we do not tolerate is intolerance.

This is why fractious voices such as Hanson’s are on the rise; mainstream political leaders are unwilling to even discuss the real issues surrounding Islamist ­extremism.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************




24 July, 2016

FEC Commissioner Warns Against Infringed Online Speech

Recently, the Federal Election Commission handed freedom of expression a victory, but one of its commissioners is ringing the alarm against proposed regulations that could further encroach on digital free speech.

In a decision announced June 30, the FEC ruled in a four to two vote that Fox News Channel did not make an illegal in-kind, corporate contribution when it televised a debate between second-tier Republican presidential candidates. A complaint was filed last fall accusing the cable news outlet of giving certain candidates preferential coverage over others.

Just the day prior, Federal Election Commissioner Lee Goodman sat on a CATO Institute discussion panel titled “Digital Speech Under Attack: How Regulators Are Trying to Shut Down Dissent Online.”

During the panel, Goodman argued that Fox News was “exercising its newsroom judgment and discretion” in creating the August undercard debate.

Goodman also addressed the growing infringement of free speech on the internet.

“Remember, what YouTube and what the internet is. It’s an opt-in technology. I choose to click on that video. I will watch it and I will stop playing it at any moment if I don’t like what I’m hearing. I don’t need to know who posted it in order to judge whether it’s persuasive or convincing to me,” Goodman said.

“When you think of the social costs for imposing that type of regime, a disclosure regime on all this internet speech, you’re gonna get far less political speech on the internet as a result of it, and for no great political or public policy good,” he asserted.

“All you’re really doing is empowering those who want to out the speakers and engage in the type of counter speech that we see on college campuses,” Goodman asserted.

“Those words and ideas might convince somebody, right? Because the people still vote.”

Goodman described the implications all this has on the Federal Election Commission as “a creeping regulation on eminent speeches.”

Disclaimers on internet videos — including production cost estimates and participant disclosure reports filed with the FEC on the date of video publication — were among the potential regulations on digital speech that Goodman warned against.

“Even though the dissemination [of the video] is free,” he said.

“Now we know who to come after. Now we know where to target our counter speech in this otherwise free stream of information, where words and ideas and pictures flow freely,” Goodman hypothesized. “Now we can visit that type of counter political movement to chill political speech in the polity at large.’

“So when you hear the stymied song of, ‘All I want is disclosure of this internet speech,’ you should understand it for what it really is. Because I don’t really think people are clamoring to know who posted that video on YouTube,” he said.

“Now, if you have a press exemption that is that limited for even an established news entity like Fox News, imagine if you were an online publisher and you cannot rely on an internet exemption. There’s a cloud over your free speech.”

During the panel, Goodman alluded to the so-called Geller Order — a 1983 Federal Communications Commission decision cited in the FEC ruling — and said that “debate sponsorship by news organizations and broadcasters stations is news coverage.”

According to FoxNews.com, the votes split on partisan lines. The May 24 decision shows Ann Ravel, Steven Walther and Ellen Weintraub — the three Democrats in the six-member commission — voted against “no reason to believe” Fox News violated federal law. The Republican commissioners — Goodman included — voted in the affirmative. Under that motion, the decision fell short one vote to penalize.

In addition, Ravel and Walther were the two commissioners who voted against “no reason to believe” the news network made an illegal contribution.

In its debut Republican presidential debate night of Aug. 6, Fox News broadcasted two debates featuring a total of 17 candidates. The criteria for participating candidates split the debate into two broadcasts. One was a primetime slot debate for the 10 candidates with the highest national average in five select polls. The other, a so-called undercard debate, was broadcast earlier and featured seven other candidates.

“This is nothing short of censorship of news coverage, and it is wrong,” Goodman and the two other Republican commissioners wrote in a statement.

“It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service,” Goodman wrote in a Politico op-ed published in February, coauthored with Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai.

After the panel, FreedomWorks asked Goodman if he had a solution for lawmakers on Capitol Hill seeking to protect digital speech.

“Because support for a free internet has eroded at the FEC, Congress should consider institutionalizing freedom of speech on the internet through legislation,” Goodman told FreedomWorks.

Goodman’s call to action echoes one of FreedomWorks’ Digital Bill of Rights' amendments, “the right to freedom of expression shall be preserved online.”

One of the five amendments explains how government should not infringe on digital speech:

    III. The right to freedom of expression shall be preserved online.

    Freedom of expression without fear of government censorship is the backbone of a free society. As more of our communications are conducted online, this freedom must be preserved. This also includes the existence of a robust public domain to foster creativity and innovation.

As technology advances, we must protect the core liberty tenets of an open and free society. Goodman’s defense of digital speech is in line with this philosophy and in sync with our foundation principles.

SOURCE





Comedians say the push for political correctness is no laughing matter

When the Quebec Human Rights Commission ordered comedian Mike Ward to pay $35,000 to Jérémy Gabriel for making fun of the former child star with a disability, the reactions were fierce and polarized.

Many felt that making fun of a sick child is crossing the line, even for the guy who is headlining the contingent of the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal called The Nasty Show. Yet others felt that the fine was Draconian, and a dangerous precedent.

"I'm worried that we're trying to victimize everyone and trying to frame the freedom of speech," said Gilbert Rozon, the founder of Just For Laughs, in an interview with CBC News in Montreal. "Taste is a very personal thing."

Whichever camp you fall in, it's worth noting that the Ward/Gabriel controversy is not an isolated incident, but the most extreme example of the battle that has been brewing in comedy circles for a while.

Some of the biggest names in comedy, including John Cleese, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, have publicly complained that the climate of political correctness is stifling their art form.

Yes, Jerry Seinfeld, perhaps the cleanest of comedians in recent memory. In an interview with Seth Meyers, he called the current obsession with political correctness "creepy."

In the U.K., Monty Python legend John Cleese called what the comedians are facing "an Orwellian nightmare." In a video blog for the website Big Think, Cleese said: "All humour is critical. If you start to say 'Ooh we mustn't criticize or offend them,' then humour's gone."

Chris Rock has said he can't tour university campuses anymore because they are so committed to creating an emotionally safe space that anything he says could be construed as offensive to someone in the audience.

In fact, so many comics subscribe to the belief that they're under unprecedented pressure not to offend anyone that there's a new documentary about it, called Can we take a joke?, starring comedians Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried and Lisa Lampanelli.

Finding the balance between comedy that pushes the envelope and a routine that doesn't offend anyone has been a precarious task for decades.

But many comedians today say that social media has put them under an unprecedented amount of scrutiny. Whereas a comedian's ill-advised or offensive joke would once elicit boos or, at worst, a few cancelled gigs, it now ends up on social media, where it's seen by millions.

Evan Carter, a Toronto comic who's been performing stand-up since the early 1980s, agrees comics today have it harder than when he started in the business.

"There's something that they don't like and they've picked out two minutes of a one-hour show completely out of context, and the next thing you know — boom! — it's on Twitter, it's on Instagram, it's on Facebook, and before you get off stage, you're hated."

SOURCE





US Marines denounce 'crazy political correctness' after order to remove the word 'man' from job titles

US Marines have been told the word "man" will be removed from their job titles in an effort to make the service more gender-neutral.

The move sparked a row with some Marines taking to social media to denounce "crazy and idiotic political correctness".

A total of 19 of the 33 titles used in the Marines Corps will be renamed, the majority of those having the word "man" replaced by "Marine".

So a "basic infantryman" will now become a "basic infantry Marine", and an "amphibious assault vehicle crewman" will soon be called an "amphibious assault vehicle Marine".

It follows a six-month review ordered by Ray Mabus, the US Naval Secretary, and an official announcement is expected this week.

The review was launched in January, a month after Ash Carter, the US Defence Secretary, announced all military roles, including in combat, would be open to women.

A small number of designations which  include the word "man" - such as "rifleman" and "mortarman" - will not be changed.

One official told the Marine Corps Times: "Names that were not changed, like rifleman, are steeped in Marine Corps history and ethos. Things that were changed needed to be updated."

On social media Marines and former Marines called the move "pointless" and "idiotic". One said: "We have reached peak crazy."

Another called it a "direct reflection on society’s crybaby political correctness".

A former Marine said: "I can't help but feel this is less about equality and more about catering to the frail egos of the easily offended."

When the review was launched Secretary Mabus said: "As we achieve full integration of the force this is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate, through this language, that women are included."

But Heather Heinzman, a female former Marine, said there was no need for the change.

She said: "I was a wireman...so now they're just Wire Marines? Come on."

SOURCE







Terrified residents of Melbourne neighbourhood who have lived there for decades reveal young African members of Apex gang have left them too frightened to leave their homes

The Africans concerned were rescued from refugee camps in Africa by Australia.  Their behaviour is a despicable way to say "thank you".  But it does bear out Richard Lynn's comment of pervasive psychopathy among Africans

Residents in the street where a 12-year-old girl who was threatened with death during a violent carjacking linked to the Apex gang say they are terrified to leave their homes.

There has been a violent carjacking every day for the past six days in Melbourne's suburbs.

The 12-year-old girl is now afraid of sleeping in her own bed and her family, who wish to remain anonymous, told Daily Mail Australia the attack terrified them.

She was ripped from her car and threatened with death as her family pulled up to the George Street home in St Albans, in Melbourne's north-west.

The shocking incident has left neighbours so frightened that one couple, who have lived in the street for 40 years, will not leave the house at night.  'I am a man and I am too scared to go for walks in my own street,' the man said.

'It is scary to even sleep - I am keeping a metal bar beside my bed in case they come inside.'

Another neighbour said the area has become 'so scary' in the last year with groups of young teenage boys hanging out in the nearby park drinking. 'They drink and do drugs and are so loud,' she said.  'It makes you not want to live here anymore.'

A young African man who grew up alongside some of the boys in the gang is trying to become a good role model for his community and direct the men away from crime.

Nelly Yoa, 26, does not want the boys to become career criminals and also fears that their actions are having a huge negative effect on the whole African community.

'Now I get pulled over by police when they see me because they think I am driving a stolen car,' Mr Yoa told Daily Mail Australia.

The 26-year-old plays soccer professionally and hopes to start for Melbourne City this year so he can be a better role model.

He recently went to a youth conference held by Victoria's police commissioner only to be pulled over metres down the road.

'When I left the conference I only drive about 500 metres before the police pulled me over,' Mr Yoa said. 'They had to check if the car was stolen and if it just hadn't been reported yet.

'I can understand why they have to do this and I know that there is a lot of fear and they are just doing their job but some people might not and might get angry.'

Mr Yoa is currently working with children in juvenile detention who are connected with the gang and hopes they change what they are doing before they become career criminals.

'Part of the problem is these kids know they can't get in much trouble and will get a slap on the wrist because they are under 18,' he said.  'But it is when they keep going when they turn 18 and get a criminal record and go to jail.  'They come out of being locked up even angrier than they were before and re-offend.'

While the Apex members are a minority numbers-wise in Melbourne - and all come from minority backgrounds - their presence is creating a lot of fear.

Frightened residents across the city - especially in satellite suburbs like St Albans are buying weapons to defend themselves - and patrolling the streets at night in the hope it will keep their families safe.

One man told Daily Mail Australia he had armed his wife and children with bats and hammers, and 'taught his eldest son to defend the family if he wasn't home'.

'The two younger kids know to hide in the cupboard and my 13-year-old has his own little bat,' the man said.  'I taught him not to hit people in the head with it but he knows where it is if he does need to use it.'

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************



24 July, 2016

Former DHS Official Tells Hannity: ‘We’ve Been Handcuffed by Political Correctness’

Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Philip Haney told radio talk show host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that law enforcement’s efforts to detect terrorists before they attack have been “handcuffed by political correctness.”

“We’ve been blindfolded,” he said.

Hannity asked Haney, a retired whistleblower who was a founding member of DHS in 2003, why social media posts showing the terrorists’ agenda are only uncovered after the fact and are not flagged earlier by law enforcement.

Hannity pointed to the videos that Gavin Long, who killed three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last week, posted online before the attack, and Facebook messages posted by the Muslim husband and wife who killed 14 people in San Bernadino, California last year.

“We’ve been handcuffed by political correctness,” Haney replied. “We’ve been blindfolded. And now I’m using the allusion of a cloud of toxic gas. Or, it’s like radioactivity with a geiger counter: don’t go to close to that, because if you do, you’re going to be the one that gets in trouble.

“And that’s the problem that we need to address: understanding the nature of the threat, vis-à-vis Islam, or even these other kinds of crimes, and being able to move toward developing a probable cause case. That’s what we’re not able to do.”

Here’s a transcript of the interview:

    Hannity: “Now, Philip Haney, one of the things that shocks me, as one of the founding members of the Department of Homeland Security, you talk about how you had been building a database of Muslims in America that have radical associations and ties, and then you were told to scrub that after Obama became president, which is, I think, one of the dumbest, most dangerous things that I’ve ever heard in law enforcement in my entire life.

    “There’s no point in having a Department of Homeland Security if people do their job and they discover radical people and then they don’t follow up, and then they eliminate their names.

    “But do you understand what I’m saying here. about how people keep telegraphing, that they’re sending us messages? Clearly we are missing something in terms of homeland security. What do you think the problem is?”

    Haney: “Well, it’s kind of like there’s a cloud of toxic gas around the whole structure of our society right now, and the information that would allow us to move forward and develop cases. People will not go into that environment - I’m talking about law enforcement - because they know if they do, they’re going to become sick from it or possibly even lose their professional life.

    “We keep going back to the same thing. We’ve been handcuffed by political correctness. We’ve been blindfolded. And now I’m using the allusion of a cloud of toxic gas. Or it’s like radioactivity with a geiger counter: don’t go too close to that, because if you do, you’re going to be the one that gets in trouble.

    “And that’s the problem that we need to address: understanding the nature of the threat, vis-à-vis Islam, or even these other kinds of crimes, and being able to move toward developing a probable cause case. That’s what we’re not able to do.”

    Hannity: “Shouldn’t this be a prominent role of the Department of Homeland Security that you help develop in both instances? We’re really talking about terrorism. I mean, it’s a different form, but it’s terrorism if you’re targeting cops for assassination, and you’re lying in wait for them, and you’re ambushing them, it’s a form of terrorism to me.

    “But we’re not doing a good enough job, clearly, of finding these people before they act. Don’t you think that’s something that the government ought to be building up dramatically in the days and weeks and months and years ahead?”

    Haney: “Yes, because people don’t operate in a vacuum. As the tape that you played, the video, the audio, that you played, he obviously was not operating in a vacuum. He was telegraphing to an innumerable number of people eventually what he intended to do. But nobody along the way said something or saw something or said something.

    “Why not? Because they know that the consequences are probably going to be harmful to them personally or professionally. And again, it’s like a cloud around the whole situation, and something needs to blow that cloud away.”

    Hannity: “But didn’t we see that - but, Philip, we saw that in San Bernardino. You had neighbors saying they saw weird activity going on in the garage at crazy late hours and all these people coming and going, and they didn’t want to say anything because they thought they were going to be called racist. Correct?”

    Haney: “Not only that - that’s also correct, we heard that in the first few days - but what to me is more ominous is what the Department of Homeland Security said about Tafsheen Malik’s social media.

    “The reason that they didn’t look into her social media was because they were concerned about violating her civil rights and civil liberties. That’s a whole other dimension, deeper than domestic citizens. This a person that doesn’t even have constitutional rights yet. And yet the government is concerned about violation of civil rights and civil liberties.

    "We don’t have to violate their liberties to look into their social media and then draw conclusions from that.

    “But the whole structure is dysfunctional and broken. It can be fixed - don’t get me wrong - but it’s not functioning in the way it should at this point in time in history.”

    Hannity: “I don’t think it’s functioning at all, and I think probably we got set back over a decade when they scrubbed the material that you and others worked so hard to build up. And, as you said, that prevents you from connecting the dots.”

SOURCE






A Pastor Fights Against Government Restrictions on Political Sermons

A small Iowa church has entered a legal battle with the state government over what the congregation considers censorship of biblical teaching on human sexuality.

The dispute began with a brochure published by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission about state law’s protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The document explained how the law applies to places of public accommodation—and included churches among places such as restaurants and hotels.

In the brochure, the state agency interpreted the Iowa Civil Rights Act “to apply to churches anytime that they hold worship services that are open to the public, as all worship services are,” Christiana Holcomb, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal.

The Christian legal aid group represents Fort Des Moines Church of Christ. It filed a federal lawsuit July 4 on behalf of the church, located in the state capital of Des Moines.

As defendants, the suit names officials at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the attorney general of Iowa, and the city of Des Moines.

“No American, no citizen, has to wait for the government to enforce an unconstitutional law against them,” Holcomb said.

The commission’s interpretation of the civil rights law “does basically two things,” Holcomb told The Daily Signal:

    "One, it tells the church that you’re not allowed to teach or do anything, including what a pastor preaches from the pulpit, if it would make anyone feel uncomfortable based on their gender identity. A logical extension of that would mean that a pastor couldn’t preach about God’s design for human sexuality and biological sex.

    The second component … is that a church that holds a worship service open to the public would no longer be allowed to have sex-designated sensitive areas like restrooms and locker rooms and shower and changing facilities".

‘Able to Choose What We Believe’

Alliance Defending Freedom’s motion for a preliminary injunction, filed July 14, asks a federal court to stop the state commission from using the law against the church while the lawsuit progresses.

Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, pastored by Michael Demastus, believes and teaches that God created each person either male or female, the lawsuit says.

“We can agree or disagree with what Fort Des Moines Church of Christ believes about the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation, and that’s fine,” Holcomb said. “In a diverse marketplace of ideas, we should each be able to choose what we believe.”

“But the real problem in Iowa is … you have a government trying to come in and dictate to a church what it believes and how it uses its house of worship.”

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, wrote a letter July 13 to Angela Jackson, chairman of the Iowa commission, arguing that her agency’s approach “plainly violates both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, Holcomb said, “discovered that an unelected commission in the state of Iowa had published this brochure” explaining the civil rights law.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission revised its brochure July 8, four days after the church sued,  clarifying that churches are generally exempt from the state law “unless the place of worship engages in nonreligious activities which are open to the public.” 

Another church, Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa, and its senior pastor, Cary Gordon, took legal action against the state commission for similar reasons, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

Holcomb said the state agency not only has the authority to interpret the Iowa’s civil rights law, but to enforce it, so it could use the statute to “infringe on a church’s religious freedom.”

‘Complementary Halves of Humanity’

According to its website, Fort Des Moines Church of Christ is a nondenominational congregation that is “simply trying to be faithful to God’s Word and call on our lives.”

“The church believes that God intentionally and purposefully created males male and females female, and that these two complementary halves of humanity reflect God’s image,” the lawsuit says.

Church policy for sex-specific private spaces states that restrooms and showers may be used only by members of the designated biological sex, according to the lawsuit. 

While the commission has not taken action against Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, Holcomb said, the church was “deeply concerned” the agency could start enforcement proceedings.

Saying it wanted to get clarity for Iowa churches, Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit as a pre-enforcement challenge to the law.

Kristin H. Johnson, the state commission’s executive director,  declined to comment to The Daily Signal.

In a prepared statement July 8, Johnson said the commission “has not done anything to suggest it would be enforcing these laws against ministers in the pulpit, and there has been no new publication or statement … raising the issue.”

The Des Moines church’s lawyers argue that the law bans expressing any views on sexuality that would “directly or indirectly” make individuals “unwelcome” based on their gender identity.  In its description of the case, Alliance Defending Freedom writes:

    "The speech ban could be used to gag churches from making any public comments—including from the pulpit—that could be viewed as unwelcome to persons who do not identify with their biological sex because the commission has stated that the law applies to churches during any activity that the commission deems to not have a ‘bona fide religious purpose.”

‘It Could Flip-Flop Again’

The civil rights law was amended in 2007 to include gender identity and sexual orientation as classes protected from discrimination at places of public accommodation, Johnson said in the prepared statement.

“The commission regrets the confusion caused by the previous publication,” Johnson said, and “has never considered a complaint against a church or other place of worship on this issue.”

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Holcomb said “cosmetic changes” to the commission’s brochure aren’t enough and highlight “the underlying vagueness of the state law at issue.”

“The commission could change its mind tomorrow about the brochure and reissue the old one,” Holcomb said, “or a month or a year down the line, it could flip-flop again on this issue.” She added:

    "It just highlights that the commission has too much power, too much authority to try to apply the law to churches, which are not places of public accommodation. They are places of worship and should enjoy full and robust freedom under the First Amendment.

    Who gets to decide what is or is not a religious purpose? Is that something that’s being left in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, or is that something that the church gets to determine?"

SOURCE






Hezbollah’s Massive Missile Build-Up Could Cause Thousands Of Israeli Deaths

Why Israel may be forced to strike first

One day perhaps not far off, there will be another war between Israel and Hezbollah, the Iranian terrorist proxy in Lebanon. One might assume that any future clash will be similar to past ones –– Israel struck by disruptive and occasionally lethal rocket attacks, and intense, but limited, hostilities over days or weeks, leading to a new, uneasy ceasefire. But this is unlikely. The next Lebanon war might well be like none that preceded it.

The reason is that Hezbollah, in the decade since the last Lebanon war, has amassed an astonishing arsenal of 130,000 rockets, missiles and mortars, largely provided by Iran, aimed at virtually every square inch of Israel.

As Willy Stern in the Weekly Standard reminds us, “This is a bigger arsenal than all NATO countries (except the United States) combined.” And it is the hands of a movement whose veteran leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has spoken of Israel as a “cancerous tumor” to be eliminated and of Jews to be globally murdered, saying, “if they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

Worse, these are not the katyushas rockets or mortars of old, which terrify and disrupt, but kill and maim only in small numbers, mainly in Israel’s border areas.

Hizbollah’s arsenal includes over 700 long-range Fateh-10 and Scud-D missiles, sophisticated munitions which carry heavy payloads and can hit any part of Israel, killing hundreds or even thousands. Add to that new Russian anti-tank and anti-ship missiles, and future Israeli operations against Hezbollah will be scarcely a cakewalk.

With its enormous number of missiles, Hezbollah could rain down huge barrages that overwhelm Israeli anti-missile defenses, with some 10% of their missiles penetrating the Iron Dome defenses. Thus, Israeli casualties could be in the thousands and senior Israeli military figures have said as much. Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Yair Golan has estimated that central Israel, untouched in previous clashes, will be hit hard. “Dozens” of missiles, in his view, could hit Tel Aviv.

Where terrorists have no scruple about using whatever weapons they can obtain against an enemy nations’ civilians en masse, it is clear that it is only a matter of time until that country acts. The truth is that Israel will be obliged to do so before long, whether by its own pre-emptive initiative or in response to a devastating attack.

Israel has been constrained by a desire to avoid military clashes that harm its international reputation, so it has been reluctant to act in the past. Just recall the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel waited rather than shoulder the blame for initiating fighting, causing Israeli casualties to be in the thousands.

Israel has normally awaited a serious escalation –– a border attack with numerous casualties, for example –– before responding.

And when doing so, it has, despite false charges of overkill, harmed a lower ratio of civilians to combatants –– about one to three –– than any other army. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” in the 2014 Gaza war to minimize civilians casualties.

But, the critics say, more Lebanese than Israelis have died in past clashes. Why? Because of Hizballah’s war crime, also practiced by Hamas in Gaza, of enmeshing its forces and missiles in the surrounding civilian population.

Inevitably, targeted strikes thereby sometimes kill civilians as well as terrorists. Thus, though this is the moral and legal responsibility of Hezbollah, a jaundiced world, which either dislikes Jews or fears Arabs, or both, holds Israel responsible, thereby incentivizing Hizbollah’s war crimes into the future.

Such dilemmas will only be enlarged for Israel now, given that to await a Hezbollah first strike with this sort of weaponry is to await a massacre of its people.

In short, Israel will have no option but to act and Hezbollah, with its rocket launchers deep in strongholds like Beirut’s Dahiya neighborhood, will ensure that many civilians die as a result. The only question is how the world will react.

To judge by history, the international reaction will be as before: foreign offices across the world will condemn violence on both sides, admit Hezbollah is misbehaving –– few will call its acts war crimes –– but reserve their strongest condemnation for Israel.

Yet, the world could act differently and thereby profoundly alter Hizbollah’s thinking as a result. Thus far, there has been no sign of this happening. The U.S. can start changing that by speaking up before there is war, demanding verified Hezbollah disarmament within a clear period, in the absence of which it will state that Israeli pre-emptive action will be justified and supported. If President Obama remains mute, the Congress need not.

SOURCE






Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton defends TV star's right to speak her mind on Muslim immigration

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has defended TV presenter Sonia Kruger's right to speak her mind, even on immigration. 

Mr Dutton weighed in on the Muslim immigration debate sparked by Ms Kruger earlier this week.

He told 2GB Radio's Ray Hadley on Thursday that while he didn't agree with Ms Kruger's views, he defended her democratic right to express her opinions.

'We can't have 'thought police' out there from the left or the right saying this is OK but we censor this element,' Mr Dutton said.

'Now I don't agree with Sonia Kruger, I don't think we should stop the migration program, I think that would be a bad outcome, but I defend her right to speak her mind,' he said.

'We can disagree with her, as we do with people on the left and the right, but I think we need to recognise the vast majority of people and more religions that come to this country seem to do so in a safe way and in a way that they can contribute.

'And we should celebrate that,'

'We should respect the fact that people have certain views, we don't have to agree with them but that's the great strength of Australia.'

During a panel discussion on Channel Nine's the Today Show on Monday, Sonia Kruger argued there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.

She called for Australia to stop Muslim immigration because she wanted to 'feel safe'.

'Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia because I want to feel safe as all of our citizens do when we go out to celebrate Australia Day,' Ms Kruger said.

The television host said she had 'a lot of very good friends' who were Muslims and peace-loving, beautiful people. 'But there are fanatics,' she added.

The remarks sparked a social media storm but in response Ms Kruger said 'it was vital to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist'.

She told the panel Japan has a population of 174 million people and 100,000 Muslims and the country never suffers terrorist attacks.

In his talk on 2GB Radio on Thursday, Mr Dutton said we have to allow people freedom of speech as one of the things that terrorists want in the western world is for us to give up elements of our democracy.

'They don't want young girls to be taught in schools, they don't want people to enjoy the same religious freedom that we do in our country, and one of the great things about our country is that we welcome people from that four corners of the earth.

'And that is what has made us a great country and if people are coming here to do harm, well I don't care what religion or what part of the world they're from - my job is to stop them from coming here and doing harm to other Australians

'I think that one of the things terrorists would like to see is people being stopped from speaking their mind or not able to express their point of view.'

Mr Dutton said people of any faith are welcome in Australia but if they are coming to Australia to do harm, or if they are a second or third generation Australian aiming to do harm, then they will face the law like anybody else.  

SOURCE

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

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

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

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22 July, 2016

Study: Children of Same-Sex ‘Parents’ Twice As Likely to Be Depressed

And there is very good data behind this work -- random sample and all.  Very different from the methodologically absurd work that finds the children of homosexuals to be OK

A recent study by Donald Paul Sullins, a research professor at the Catholic University of America, Department of Sociology, reveals that children raised by same-sex parents are twice as likely to suffer delayed-onset depression as their peers raised by heterosexual parents.

Specifically, "[a]t age 28, the adults raised by same-sex parents were at over twice the risk of depression as persons raised by man-woman parents," reads the study abstract.

“As the first study to examine children raised by same-sex parents into adulthood," says Sullins, "this exploratory study aims to contribute new information for understanding the effects of same-sex parenting through the life course transition into early adulthood."

The research article is entitled, Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression Among Adults With Same-Sex Parents, and was published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment.

The study followed a representative sample of Americans from adolescence through young adulthood, interviewing the subjects at ages 15, 22, and 28. This “longitudinal” approach allowed Sullins to test the long-term effects of homosexual parenting on children.

Sullins used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”), which monitors the development of a sample of Americans from age 15 to 28, to ensure his sample would be as representative as possible.

The study found that children raised by homosexual parents were more than twice as likely to be depressed as adults as were their peers raised by opposite-sex parents.

Although children of same-sex parents were slightly less likely to be depressed during adolescence, more than half suffered depression symptoms as adults.

Sullins examined a variety of factors that have been shown to be related to depression, including child abuse, obesity, perceived stigmatization and parental distance.

Children raised by homosexual parents showed higher rates of all these factors than their peers with heterosexual parents.

However, Sullins said "these findings should be interpreted with caution. Elevated risk was associated with imbalanced parental closeness and parental child abuse in family of origin; depression, suicidality, and anxiety at age 15; and stigma and obesity. More research and policy attention to potentially problematic conditions for children with same-sex parents appears warranted."

Children of gay parents, and particularly children of lesbian parents, reported a significantly higher rate of abuse than children of heterosexual parents, according to the study. Ninety-two percent of children with same-sex parents said that their parents had abused them in some way during childhood (verbally, physically, emotionally), and 23% percent reported having been sexually abused.

For comparison, 58% of children with opposite-sex parents reported being abused in some way – verbally, physically or emotionally.

Sullins’ study is the first to report such high levels of abuse, partly because previous studies interviewed the parents, who were more likely to downplay abusive behavior. Sullins’ longitudinal study interviewed the children as they matured, who exposed parental abuse that previous studies failed to uncover.

Sullins also found that children of same-sex parents are more likely to become obese than their peers with heterosexual parents. While obesity is not a cause of depression, it frequently occurs alongside depression.

Although a significant amount of prior research had been done on children of same-sex parents, most of the data were taken from unrepresentative samples. Children legitimately raised by same-sex parents are few in number, making it difficult to gather a sample large enough to count as representative.

In addition, most of the children with same-sex parents who participated in these previous studies were gathered from advertisements, LGBT bookstores, youth events, and other such sources. Participants knew the objective of the study, and were disproportionately inclined to give positive feedback on same-sex parenting.

In its conclusion, the study states, "the present findings should be interpreted with caution and balance, based on the limited evidence presented, and (it is hoped) neither exaggerated nor dismissed out of hand on preconceived ideological grounds. However, well-intentioned concern for revealing negative information about a stigmatized minority does not justify leaving children without support in an environment that may be problematic or dangerous for their dignity and security."

SOURCE






Elizabeth Warren to Airbnb: No Sleep for You!

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and two other Democrat senators sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that it “study and quantify” popular short-term lodging companies, specifically Airbnb. Democrats' claim their purpose for sending this request is that they are “concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities.” The letter continues by citing concerns over potential safety and health violations and mentions reports of — what else? — “widespread discrimination against African-American guests.”

This may sound similar to all the wrangling the past couple of years over the driver network program Uber and other similar ride-share companies. And in many ways it is. As with the complaints about Uber, all the huffing and puffing about safety violations, discrimination and “exacerbation of the housing market” are merely a smoke screen for the real agenda — government revenue and the union racket. Commercial enterprises such as the large hotel industry provide a higher tax revenue to both local and federal coffers than does little Aunt Margaret who rents out her spare bedroom a few times a year. And wouldn’t you know, the hotel industry has also jumped on board the anti-Airbnb bandwagon. Competition is leading to loss of revenue, so the unions are calling in the big dogs to sit on the scales.

Warren and her fellow leftist travelers believe that the only good government is a big controlling one, and statists' primary means to accomplish this aim is through onerous regulations and taxes. Free market capitalism rests on greater individual freedom leading toward greater innovation and individual wealth and a robust economy, as has been proven time and time again. Socialism on the other hand tends toward suppression of individual freedoms, resulting in lack of innovation and growth and large governments whose control and over-regulation leads to a deflated economy. Just ask Venezuela.

SOURCE







Accusations of racism achieve nothing in the immigration debate

Thinking about the denunciation of Australian TV host Sonia Kruger, who wants Muslim immigration stopped

We are a country increasingly divided. A world increasingly divided.

We've seen a rise of anti-immigration sentiment across the world. A person who could be the President of the US calls for the building of a "giant wall" to keep immigrants out and says he will stop all new Muslim immigrants from entering the country.

We have One Nation calling to "abolish multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 based on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as it is unconstitutional."

Then we see another terrorist attack. People killed going about their every day business. Doubts are sewn for many.

The reason we are hearing what Hanson and Trump have to say, the reason they are claiming powerful political positions, is that they have support. An increasing amount of support for 'building walls' to keep immigrants out, old fashioned 'family values', the 'failure' of multiculturalism, scientists being wrong about climate change. A lot of fears - fear of the world changing, fear of losing your job, fear of dying, all being a little numbed by pointing the finger at another group of people.

As Thomas Frank reported in The Guardian about Trump:

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s.

Is it just racism? Are all these people who support Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump out and out racists? Or are they scared, wanting to be listened to, open to another form of comfort, another solution that isn't let's-blame-this- lot-over-there?

I don't for a moment, for a second, agree with Pauline Hanson, Andrew Bolt or Donald Trump. I can't count the number of times I've heard that Hanson is dangerous and should be shut down, given no air-time - blacklisted. But Hanson was voted in by the people.

We need to recognise that people are voting for politicians like Hanson and Trump. To change things we have to open the conversation not close it down.

To change things we need to ask why.

Why are you supporting One Nation? Why are you supporting Donald Trump?

Since the GFC in 2008 jobs are less secure, wages have remained stagnate for the working class and the divide between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically. Inequality is the new normal. There are huge swathes of people who spend a lot of time living in fear that they can't pay their next bill. That they are a payday away from losing their home. They're resentful and angry.

Add the threat of terrorism and you have fear plus an easily identifiable villain.

Dismissing, or not listening to, the societal scaffolding that creates the fear, that then generates bigotry will only grow more discontent and resentment - which simply acts as fertiliser for the guy down the road to turn to blame and hate and people who preach blame and hate.

The world is divided and only becoming more deeply so.

Have you ever changed someone's mind by walking away from the conversation? From yelling in their face?

The end game is not being right, is not being heard, is not shutting down voices when they want to speak.

Call me naive, call me Pollyanna, but the end game is changing minds. It's understanding. We are walking down a dark, dark path and light is the only answer.

So my question is this: Why exactly did Sonia Kruger call for a complete ban on Muslim immigration?

Let's start talking Sonia about Muslim immigration and terrorism, I'd love to tell you a few stories.

SOURCE






Why I Don't Respect the "Respect" Campaign

Malcolm Smith, writing from Brisbane, says that Australia's  campaign against domestic violence is dishonest and has become a vehicle for feminist propaganda.  As such, it is unlikely to do much good

     "You must be the last man who still does that," said my cousin's daughter, as I manoeuvred to walk on the outside of her on the footpath. But childhood training runs deep, and I was brought up to be a gentleman. So I would normally be sympathetic to the government advertisements encouraging respect for women. But when it showed a man telling his son, "Don't throw like a girl," depicted as a bad thing, I decided to look up the government website it recommended.

     First of all, please understand that this article is not about the Respect domestic violence hotline, which is probably doing a good job. It is about the government "information" campaign on the website https://www.respect.gov.au/, which explains that, while disrespect for women does not necessarily lead to domestic violence, all domestic violence (by men) invariably starts by disrespect. (Rather like pregnancy starts with kissing.) Go over to the page entitled, "Stop the Excuses" and upload the brochure, "The Excuse Interpreter".

     Before we start, if you haven't already done so, please read my article of November 2014, in which I examine the real official statistics on domestic violence, and pointed out that:
the problem is not domestic violence or violence against women, but violence per se, with males being the most common victims (usually from other males, admittedly); the incidence is low, and getting lower; and there is no culture of violence against women, but rather the actions of a minority who are fully aware they are behaving contrary to community norms.

     The reason I bring this up is that the brochure opens with a set of false statistics. Firstly, it claims that on average one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner, and quotes as reference the 2015 homicide report of the Australian Institute of Criminology.

     False! The report does list 109 intimate partner homicide for the financial years 2010-12, but you have to download the full PDF report to see that only 83 of these were women. That's one every 9 days. No, this is not a quibble. Overquoting by a quarter to make a point is not a light matter. Even more serious is the fact that the authors simply quoted a popular figure without even reading their own reference.

     To put this in perspective, let us compare the figures for the previous double year, 2008-2010.

Total women killed by an intimate partner: 83 in 2010-12, down from 89 in 2009-2010. Total female homicides: 182, up from 175 previously. Total male homicides: 328, down from 366.

     Also, this is Australia, not Liechtenstein. For a population of 24 million, the homicide rate is very low, and is now the lowest it is ever been. We are winning the war on homicide, but nobody notices.

     There is no "epidemic of domestic violence". However, in order to inflate the figures, we have seen a subtle change in the popular reporting. They often talk of "domestic and family" violence. The latter includes the killing of parents, children, siblings, and more distant relatives. Many of these did not share a house with the offender and, in any case, the motive is likely to be different to that for the killing of an intimate partner. A ten year overview reveals that intimate partners were the victims of 23½% of homicides, and other family members 18%. It demonstrates the truism that whatever has a potential for great good has an equal potential for great evil. Families are usually the source of our greatest happiness, but when they go bad they can cause us terrible suffering. As Joy Davidman once wrote: although we think killing a close family member is far worse than killing a stranger, the family members who get themselves murdered have often done a lot more to deserve it than the average casual stranger.

     The next set of statistics provided by the brochure is that one in three women have been the victim of physical or sexual violence by someone they knew since the age of 15, and one in six has suffered violence from a current or former partner. The source given was the 2012 Personal Safety Survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

     Misleading! You have to read the report closely, but it includes both actual and threatened actions in its definition of violence. As I pointed out in my earlier article, the rates of actual violence are about a half or a third of these figures. Also, the survey includes even pushing or grabbing in its definition of violence. One thing, however, it does make clear: the situation is getting better. The incidence of violence (broadly defined) was lower in the 2012 survey compared to 2005, and much lower than in 1996. (Check out the charts in the lower part of this page.)

But does it matter?

     I have an ingrained objection to exaggerations even in a good cause. But it doesn't mean the cause isn't good. If we concern ourselves with cases of one person injuring or terrorising another, then we are probably looking at one or two percent of couples. In absolute terms, this is still an important social problem. So does the "Excuse Interpreter" provide any help in the matter?

     It commences with stating, plausibly, that the cycle of violence starts with disrespect, but then goes on to explain that, without realising it, we end up saying things which teach that aggression and disrespect are a normal part of life. For example, one of them is "making fun of girls because of their appearance." Of course, if you cast your mind back to your own childhood, you may remember that girls also make fun of other girls because of their appearance. It is part of the devious power play for which the female of the species is famous. They also make fun of boys because of their appearance. And boys make fun of other boys for the same way. It's a jungle out there. And, of course, saying "Don't throw like a girl" is "using gender as an insult."

     They then follow it up on page 3 with a list of comments which justify bad behaviour, and how they may be interpreted by the young people involved - such things as: "It's only a bit of fun", "It's just a joke", "It's tough being a boy", and "Boys will be boys", among other things. Read it all.

     Now, it should be obvious that occasions exist where such statements are just plain common sense, and others where they really are just excuses for bad behaviour. Most parents are capable of using their common sense in this matter. Whether any of this spills over into bad behaviour in later life is a moot point. It may not have escaped your notice that a certain antagonism between the sexes exists in childhood. Before they "discover" each other at puberty, boys and girls regard each other as members of rival, and often hostile tribes.

      Note that this antagonism rarely spills over into fisticuffs. Boys may settle their differences by fighting, but girls belong to a different tribe, and so are outside the male power structure. That is why parents easily drum into their sons that hitting girls is definitely taboo, but find it harder to stop them hitting each other. Socialisation always works best when it follows the natural lines of human instincts.

     Apart from that, you might consider that whether a boy grows up to bash his lady love may have less to do with whether his elders say that boys will be boys, or his father tells him not to throw like a girl, and more to do with how he sees his own father treat his mother. If nothing else, this reveals the weakness of the whole campaign: it is aimed at ordinary, decent parents whose children are the least vulnerable. Like the white ribbon campaign, it is preaching to the choir.

     But the real crunch comes on page 4 with the section, "Avoiding Gender Stereotypes".

"Gender stereotypes are labels that reinforce outdated ideas of how men and women should behave. Popular phrases imply that boys should take control and suppress their emotions, and girls should be passive and accommodating"

     Outdated? The male and female roles which exist in every society on earth, which are older than the human race, and which have evolved for their adaptive value?

     First up, you shouldn't say, "Man up". It might make a boy think that men need to be tough. And you wouldn't want your son to be tough, would you? It might make him more resilient to the trials of life, and to succeed in the corporate jungle. Indeed, you might like to ask the opinion of grown women about this, because I haven't heard many of them include the term, "wuss" in their description of their ideal man.

     Also taboo are "Who wears the pants?", "She has you under the thumb", and "You're so whipped". Really? These sound like the things one might say, rightly or wrongly, to a grown man in a settled relationship or marriage, not a nervous teenager testing the waters of the dating game.

     As for girls, it is apparently inappropriate to say, "She's such a bossy boots", because it implies she shouldn't be assertive. I know a couple of girls who would say that about their own big sister, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is female; it's because she's such a bossy boots. It also appears to be against the rules to refer to a girl as a tomboy, because it implies she is not feminine enough, nor as a little princess, which implies she is too feminine. How any of this makes her more likely to be a victim of domestic violence is far from obvious.

     In other words, this is a case where a good cause has been hijacked by politically correct social engineers seeking to overturn the traditional ie natural roles of men and women. And the irony is, such campaigns are not only ineffective in the long run, but counter-productive. If you want to inculcate respect for women and reduce domestic violence, the best way is to reinforce the male's natural role as protector and provider. Socialisation always works best if it goes with the flow of natural instincts rather than against it.

Who's responsible? The campaign claims to be a joint Australian, state, and territorial government initiative. The relevant ministers must have signed off on it. Did they read it fully? Do they agree with it all? We never voted to have social engineers try to change us. Who wrote it? Someone whispered in the ear of someone in the corridors of power that a campaign to respect women would be a good idea, and then outsourced it to those with a more sinister agendum. It just goes to show that we must never relax our vigilance, for democracy is slowly being taken over from within.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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21 July, 2016

Scratch many Leftist men and you will find misogyny underneath

Australian female Leftist Nelly Thomas discovers that Leftist men really have no principles at all.  I could have told her that.  I also agree with her that their Leftism is an important ego support for them

I am unashamedly left wing. What some call left wing bias, I just call being correct. Mine, like most people’s views, are complex, but in short, I believe in the community over the individual. If you think of “socially progressive”, just locate Finland on the political spectrum, keep on moving to the Left and you’ll find me there in the nude, holding a Mapplethorpe. I also have a vagina and I like to make decisions about what to do with it, so I am a feminist. Does that inform my world view? Yes it does. No thanks required.

Like any good communista-feminista I follow as much public discourse about feminist and left-wing issues as I can stomach. As a comedian, I do as many left-wing and feminist gigs as I can (plus, they’re so lucrative). As a human, I have many left-wing men in my love-camp. And I am sick to bloody death of Unexpected Sexists Arseholes.

You know the ones: they’re usually highly educated, right-on, articulate and watch a lot of Game of Thrones. They champion refugees, attend Pride Marches, wear Reconciliation t-shirts and love a White Ribbon. They tell jokes about Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones. They care deeply and you really do love them. But scratch the surface or, say, turn up at a polling booth and lots of them – far too many of them – turn out to be USA’s. It’s so disappointing.

They’re tricky these fellas. They’re smart, so they can defend almost anything rationally. Most often, they mount good free-speech defences of their stuff with sophisticated arguments like, “I can say what I want.” And they can. But my kids are 3 and 8, and even they know you don’t get to say what you want without ramifications.

Hipster-left-win-misogyny

And there’s a clue, because frankly, they often have the emotional intelligence of an adolescent badger. Poke them a bit and they bite back hard. Unfortunately, like the douchebags from high school, when challenged, they often do a good impersonation of a sexually frustrated pit-bull and attempt to reduce you to nothing more than a slippery vulva.

I’m not sure what’s going on for these dudes, but I think it has something to do with the fact that unlike the Neanderthals many of us grew up with, when “progressive” men are called out on their sexism they often seem gutted: like their very identity has been challenged.

Indulge me for a second. Think of your dad not doing the dishes in the 70s. Maybe mum challenged him and called him a lazy sh*t, he laughed, picked up a tea towel and waited for his standing ovation.

Think of the contemporary progressive dad. All the research shows he’s probably still not doing the dishes (metaphor, big picture) but challenge him on this inequality and there’s a good chance he’ll feel that the very idea of who he is has come into question: but I’m one of the good guys, I’m trying so hard, I’m a feminist goddamn it!

This leads to the absurd and head-scrambling situation where progressive men – in both the public and private spheres – are arguably harder to call out on their sexism than a Sam Newman.

I know for sure this can be true of progressive male comedians and it certainly seems to be true of their journalist and commentator mates.

SOURCE






Germany took in more than 2million people last year – equivalent to the populations of Houston, Brisbane or Paris

A record 2.14 million people moved to Germany last year, a 46 per cent increase from 2014 after an influx of refugees, the Federal Statistics Office said.

The figure represents the populations of Houston in the US, Brisbane in Australia or Paris, France.

It said around 45 per cent of the 2.14 million immigrants who arrived in Germany last year were citizens of other European Union countries, 13 per cent were from non-EU European countries, and 30 per cent were from Asia, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Five per cent were from Africa.

The Interior Ministry said earlier this year that 1.1million migrants entered Germany last year with the aim of seeking asylum but the number of migrants who applied for asylum last year was much lower at 476,649. Those who wish to seek asylum have faced delays in making their applications.

It was not immediately clear whether the numbers from the statistics office were based on that data.

A record 998,000 people left Germany last year, a nine per cent increase compared with 2014.

That led to net migration of 1.14 million, also an all-time high figure, the Statistics Office said.

In June The Dalai Lama said Europe risks losing its identity by taking in too many migrants and warned: 'Germany cannot become an Arab country.' Tibet's spiritual leader said refugees should only stay temporarily and return home to rebuild their countries when the conflicts have ended.

The Dalai Lama, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century, said: 'When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering.

'A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now.'

In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he said: 'Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany.  'There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.'

He said 'from a moral point of view too, I think the refugees should only be admitted temporarily'.  'The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.'

SOURCE






No other country has been as tolerant and accommodating of religion and religious people as America, write the sponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act

From its very beginning, our nation has been home, harbor, and refuge to a wide range of religious beliefs. No other country has been as tolerant and accommodating of religion and religious people as America.

But in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, our nation’s commitment to religious liberty has been put to the test.

During oral arguments in that case, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli confirmed that if the court created a right to same-sex marriage, then the Internal Revenue Service would be empowered to revoke the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that maintain a traditional belief of marriage.

And the threat doesn’t end there. Schools that have educated children for decades could lose their accreditation. Hospitals could be shut down. This would be a huge blow to the civil society that helps stitch our nation together.

The First Amendment Defense Act would protect these vital institutions. It is a narrow and targeted response that would do one thing and one thing only: prevent the federal government from discriminating against people’s beliefs about marriage and what it entails.

The bill reaffirms the letter and spirit of the First Amendment, by stating unequivocally that the federal government may not revoke or deny a federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution based on a religious belief about marriage.

The First Amendment protects each of us from punishment or reprisal from the federal government for living in accordance with our deeply held religious or moral convictions. Adhering to these convictions should never disqualify an individual from receiving federal grants, contracts, or a tax status.

This bill is absolutely critical to the many charitable and service organizations in this country whose convictions about marriage are fundamental to their work and mission.

Guaranteeing the full protection of these organizations’ First Amendment rights will ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are not forced to discontinue their foster care and adoption services on account of their belief that every child needs a married mother and father. It will protect religiously affiliated schools from losing their accreditation or being compelled to eliminate housing options for students. And it will protect individuals, regardless of their beliefs about marriage, from being deprived of eligibility for federal grants, licenses, and employment because of their deeply held convictions.

Now, you may hear tall tales—and some outright falsehoods—about this bill. Some may suggest that FADA would give private businesses a license to violate anti-discrimination laws with impunity. This is just not so. The bill does not preempt, negate, or alter any civil rights laws, state or federal. To be clear: This bill does not take anything away from any individual or group, because it does not modify any of our existing civil rights protections.

The First Amendment Defense Act does not allow federal workers or businesses that are contractors to deny services or benefits to same-sex couples; and it does not allow hospitals to refuse medically necessary treatment or visitation rights to individuals in same-sex relationships.

Questions surrounding marriage today are difficult, and reasonable people of good faith will reach different judgments about how best to protect religious liberty. But the First Amendment must remain our lodestar. Any differences of opinion can be constructively worked out—even and especially as to particular provisions of this bill—if our shared concern remains preserving the American tradition of religious liberty.

SOURCE






German axe attack on train: home-made Isil flag found in room of Afghan refugee who injured four

Police shot dead the suspect, a 17-year-old Afghan refugee, as he attempted to flee the scene. The assault in Wurzburg was the latest suspected terror attack to shock Europe following the atrocity in Nice last Thursday.

"It is quite probable that this was an Islamist attack," said a ministry spokesman on Monday, adding that the attacker had apparently shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) as he stabbed people.

On Tuesday morning, the Bavarian interior minister said a homemade Isil-flag was found in the teenager's bedroom.

The attacker was said to have been carrying "weapons for slashing and cutting”, according to German media reports, including an axe.

Three people were "seriously injured," 14 people were left in shock, and one other person suffered minor injuries. Among those injured were four member of a Hong Kong family. 

"The perpetrator was able to leave the train, police left in pursuit and as part of this pursuit, they shot the attacker and killed him," said a spokesman for the Wurzburg police.

Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria state, said the assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany and had lived at first in a shelter and then more recently with a foster family in nearby Ochsenfurt.

There were no further details on the circumstances of the teenager's death, and police declined to suggest what the motive was for the attack. "At this time everything is possible," the spokesman said.

Germany is on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis and has already suffered two attacks by suspected Islamist extremists this year.

They include a knife attack in Grafing in May, when a man allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" before attacking four people and killing one of them.

And in February a 15-year-old girl identified as Safia S. stabbed a policeman in the neck with a kitchen knife in what prosecutors later said was an Isil-inspired attack.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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20 July, 2016

Where’s your rage for Montrell, Beyonce? Or don’t black lives matter as much if they’re cops?

A black man named Montrell Jackson was executed in cold blood in America yesterday.  A hooded assassin drove hundreds of miles to deliberately shoot him and two of his white co-workers dead in the street with an AR-15.

It was a senseless, callous, horrific act of violence that left a wife without a husband and a baby 4-month old son without a father.

Montrell was by all accounts a decent, generous and loving man.  A ‘gentle giant’ who was ‘always about peace.’  Colleagues said he worked hard, often seven days a week. Friends spoke of his humorous streak and addiction to shoes.  He was a big fan of the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Cowboys.

Yet today he is dead.  Snuffed out in the prime of his life, aged just 32.

Last week, after two black men of similar age were shot dead, there was national outrage.  The black community rose as one to demand action against the perpetrators.  There was fury in the streets from New York to Los Angeles.  Men, women and children marching as one, bearing placards screaming ‘Black Lives Matter!’

Beyoncé even stopped a concert to read out a rally-cry for justice for the men who had been killed.

Yet for THIS black victim, there was a very different reaction from that same black community.

Where are the protests? Where are the placards? Where’s the incendiary Beyoncé statement? Where’s the RAGE?

Sadly for Montrell Jackson, he simply didn’t matter as much as those other two men to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Why? Because he was a police officer.  This, to many Black Lives Matter activists, made him the enemy.

In an eloquent Facebook post he wrote on July 8, the day after five other police officers were shot dead in Dallas, Montrell spoke of the difficulties he faced as black law enforcer.

‘I’m tired, physically and emotionally,’ he said. ‘Disappointed in some family, friends, and officers for some reckless comments. I still love you all because hate takes too much energy, but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same.’

Montrell thanked those who had reached out to him and his wife.

‘It was needed and appreciated,’ he said. ‘I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don’t really know you at all. Look at my actions, they speak LOUD and CLEAR.’

He then issued a heartfelt plea: ‘Finally, I personally want to send prayers out to everyone directly affected by this tragedy. These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better. I’m working in these streets so any protestors, officers, friends, family, or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer, I got you.’

Today, just ten days later, Montrell Jackson is dead, targeted as he worked by another black man, a former Marine named Gavin Eugene Long from Kansas City who believed the only way to successfully protest was ‘through bloodshed’.  Such was Long’s hatred of the police that he didn’t care that one of the men he was killing was black.

So a black man full of hate and violence murdered another peace-loving black man because he wanted to exact revenge for the deaths of black men.

This is how twisted the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement has now become in the wrong minds and the wrong gun-toting hands.

Montrell Jackson’s sister found out he was dead when she was sitting in church and the pastor asked the congregation to send prayers to her family.

Jocelyn Jackson, 49, instantly broke down. Later, she spoke out and said she understood the anger behind the Black Lives Matter movement, but added: ‘God gives nobody the right to kill and take another person’s life. It’s coming to the point where no lives matter, whether you’re black, or white, or Hispanic or whatever.’

She’s absolutely right, it is.

When the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag first sprang up on social media, I responded by tweeting #AllLivesMatter and got roundly abused for exercising my supposed ‘racist white privilege’.

But my issue with the movement was not born from any notion that blacks don’t get an unfair deal from American society, because they absolutely do.

Centuries of institutional racism have left African-Americans with higher poverty rates, worse education due to poorly funded schools, appallingly higher rates of incarceration and a far greater statistical likelihood of being targeted by police.

No, my issue was born from a serious concern that this particular movement, named as it is, would lead to more, not less division in an already race-charged country.

The original premise of Black Lives Matter is not that black lives matter more than anybody else’s, it’s that black lives should matter as much as anybody else’s.

As comedian and activist Franchesca Ramsey put it: ‘It’s OK for a movement to focus on issues specific to one marginalized group. Gay bars aren’t unfair to straight people. ‘Save the Rainforest’ isn’t saying you hate all other trees.’

But the problem with Black Lives Matter is that the movement’s been hijacked by those with a more violent concept of how to achieve equality and justice.  And I fear they’ve been inspired and egged on by the angry rhetoric they’re hearing from high profile people in their own community.

After the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Beyoncé demanded justice.  ‘We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,’ she said. ‘It’s up to us to take a stand and demand they stop killing us. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.’

I knew what she meant, but did Gavin Eugene Long? Or did he think this gave him licence to go kill a cop?

Last night, during another concert, Beyoncé dedicated her song Halo to the victims of the Turkey uprising.  She said nothing about Montrell Williams.

Black Lives Matter was a well-intentioned idea that’s gone bad very quickly and now represents a real and present danger to all police officers, of all colours.  The bottom line is this: if black lives matter so much, why are black Americans executing black Americans?  It makes no sense.

It’s time we come together to agree that ‘All Lives Matter’ equally, and strive to achieve that goal. Or as Montrell Jackson’s sister said: ‘No Lives Matter.’  Which is it to be?

SOURCE






Why do boys prefer balls to Barbies? It may be in their GENES



Babies as young as nine months already prefer toys that are traditional for their sex, a study has found. Trucks were the preferred choice for baby boys in a test, while baby girls chose to play with cooking pots.

As girls got older they took more of an interest in typical boys toys like cars and balls.

The researchers suggest this may be because parents encourage girls to play with a wider variety of toys.

But the little boys were still less inclined to dabble with dolls – possibly because it is still considered less socially acceptable.

The researchers argue that because the differences appear so early on, biology must be playing a significant role in how boys and girls develop.

Researchers from University College London and City University studied 101 infants in three groups: nine to 17 months – the earliest age that infants can demonstrate which toys they like best - 18 to 23 months and 24 to 32 months.

The tests were carried out at four multicultural nurseries in London. The seven toys chosen to evaluate the children’s preferences were a doll, a pink teddy bear and a cooking pot for stereotypical girls’ toys, and a car, a blue teddy a digger and a ball for the boys.

Testing took place in a quiet corner of the nursery, at a time when all the boys and girls were engaged in free play.

The children were seated at a meter away from the toys, which were arranged in a randomised order in a semi-circle around the child.

The experimenter encouraged the child to play with the toys by saying ‘You can play with any of the toys that you want to.’ A record was then kept of which toys were touched at intervals of five seconds for three minutes.

The researchers, led by Dr Brenda Todd of City University write: ‘In general, the boys played with male-typed toys for longer than with female-typed toys and, conversely, the girls played with female-typed toys for longer than with male-typed toys.’

They said that there were six boys and eight girls in the very youngest age group, aged between nine and 12 months. ‘All of these boys played with the ball, and play with the ball accounted for 53.2 per cent of their time playing with the toys.

‘Overall the girls aged 12 months or less chose the cooking pot most frequently: seven of these eight girls played with the cooking pot, and their play with this toy accounted for 49.8 per cent of the time playing with the toys.’

The researchers argue that because there is a clear difference at such a young age this probably is a biological effect, as the babies have yet to have had extensive exposure to gender stereotypes.

The researchers found that as boys got older, they became even more interested in toys typical of their sex – although it was less true of girls.

‘The trends suggest that as boys grow older, they increasingly prefer male-typed toys, and although girls initially much prefer female-typed toys, this preference settles to a merely strong preference,’ the authors said in the study published in Infant and Child Development.

Explaining the results, the researchers say that the early preferences may be caused by exposure to male hormones in the womb.

This is supported by findings that show girls exposed to higher levels of male hormones are more likely to be tomboys.

And research has also shown even baby monkeys show sex differences in the toys they prefer – with male monkeys also preferring cars while female monkeys prefer the cooking pots.

Dr Todd said: ‘I think the thing that is interesting is that children are very young to be showing different preferences for different toys we offered them to play with.

‘Even in that youngest group of children we were still seeing sex differences in their preferences.'

She added: 'The other interesting thing is that as they get older, boys get more and more interested in boy toys, whereas that wasn’t the case for the girls.

'I think stereotypes are much more rigid for little boys, and even older boys, than little girls. It's’ OK for girls to play with pretty much everything, we see more pressure for girls to widen their use of toys.

‘We don’t see the equivalent social awareness to encourage boys to show greater nurturance behaviour, yet we expect adult men to be great fathers and cook in the home.’

SOURCE






Progressives like Obama fuel rage that leads to cop-killings by promoting anti-police myths

Obama’s allies are helping fuel the black rage behind recent murders of policemen in Dallas and Baton Rouge. As the Daily Caller reported, an editor at the progressive website ThinkProgress responded to the Baton Rouge cop massacre Sunday by saying black people were “taking justice into their own hands.” Three Baton Rouge cops were murdered by Gavin Long, a member of the anti-white Nation of Islam who viewed police as racist killers. Ford declared that “Given how police haven’t been held accountable for murdering black people, it’s no surprise some are taking justice into their own hands.” Never mind that one of the three officers slain, Montrell Jackson, was black. ThinkProgress is the voice of the Center for American Progress, which is a close ally of the Obama administration, and has been aptly described as “Obama’s Idea Factory” by Time magazine. Ford was doubtless saying what many in the White House think but would never be so foolish as to say openly.

Obama himself continues to fuel this rage, by making baseless claims of systematic racism by America’s police against blacks, as he did both before and after the recent murder of five cops in Dallas. As Minnesota lawyer John Hinderaker notes, “From his earliest days as president, when he derided Cambridge police as ‘stupid,’ Obama has endorsed and propagated the great lie that American law enforcement is systematically racist. That strategy has worked very well for Obama and for the Democratic Party,” by mobilizing angry black voters.

As I explained at length earlier, it is simply false to claim that police are systematically racist toward blacks in arrests and convictions, since blacks’ higher arrest and conviction rates are the result of a higher black crime rate, not racism by police or prosecutors. Economist John Lott made the same point in the New York Post, in “Obama’s false racism claims are putting cops’ lives in danger.”

Yet, Obama made just such false claims against the police on July 7, right before the Dallas shootings, which were committed by a man who wanted to “kill white cops.” Incredibly, he did so after the shootings as well: Obama repeated this false meme at the Dallas memorial service for the slain officers, notes Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute. As the Washington Post reported, in the aftermath of Dallas, Obama once again resorted to “pointing to racial disparities in searches” and “arrests” of blacks compared to whites “as proof of police bias.”

As Heather Mac Donald notes in City Journal,

"In a speech from Poland just hours before five officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, Obama misled the nation about policing and race, charging officers nationwide with preying on blacks because of the color of their skin. Obama rolled out a litany of junk statistics to prove that the criminal justice system is racist. Blacks were arrested at twice the rate of whites, he complained, and get sentences almost 10 percent longer than whites for the same crime. Missing from Obama’s address was any mention of the massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records that fully account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks, for example, commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) Instead, Obama chalked up the disparities to “biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out . . .  across our criminal justice system.”

Then five Dallas officers were gunned down out of race hatred and cop hatred. Did Obama shelve his incendiary rhetoric and express his unqualified support for law enforcement? No, he doubled down, insulting law enforcement yet again even as it was grieving for its fallen comrades. In a memorial service for the Dallas officers, Obama rebuked all of America for its “bigotry,” but paid special attention to alleged police bigotry:

“When African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer—yes, sir; no, sir—but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door . . .When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.”

The irresponsible zealotry of this rebuke was stunning. Obama was fully on notice that the hatred of cops was reaching homicidal levels. And yet his commitment to prosecuting his crusade against phantom police racism trumped considerations of prudence and safety, on the one hand, and decent respect for the fallen, on the other. . .

It is possible that the Dallas killers and the Baton Rouge killers had not heard Obama’s most recent speeches on criminal-justice racism, or even the many that preceded them. But even if the cop murderers had not encountered Obama’s exact words, the influence of his rhetoric on the hatred in the streets is absolute. Obama’s imprimatur on the Black Lives Matter demagoguery gives it enormous additional thrust and legitimacy, echoing throughout public discourse into the most isolated corners of the inner city.

Obama’s false claim that the death penalty discriminates against blacks is rebutted by cold, hard facts and statistics.  As John Lott notes, this claim “is simply false. In murder cases, whites are executed much more frequently. Nationally, from 1977, when the death penalty was reinstituted, to 2011, the last year for which the FBI has compiled data, 64.7 percent of those executed were whites, but whites committed only 47 percent of the murders.”

Admittedly, liberal journalists think the death penalty is racist because only 13% of all people are black, yet a higher percentage than that of executed people are black.  But that higher percentage just reflects the higher black murder rate. More than half of all murders are committed by blacks, who are just 13% of the population. (See FBI, “2014 Uniform Crime Reports: Crime in the United States,” Table 43A, Arrests by Race, 2014.)

Blacks’ higher arrest and conviction rates reflect higher black crime rates, not a greater likelihood of being arrested for committing the very same crime, and not racism by police or the criminal justice system. Innocent blacks are not being “railroaded” or subjected to “mass incarceration.” Black victims themselves tend to identify their assailants as black. As City Journal has noted, “the race of criminals reported by crime victims matches arrest data. As long ago as 1978, a study of robbery and aggravated assault in eight cities found parity between the race of assailants in victim identifications and in arrests—a finding replicated many times since, across a range of crimes. No one has ever come up with a plausible argument as to why crime victims would be biased in their reports.” For example, 43.7% of all rapists in state prisons were black, according to a 1997 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, even though blacks are only 13% of the general population. (See Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Sex Offenses and Offenders“ (Feb. 1997) (NCJ-163392)).

In his July 7 speech right before the Dallas murders of five policemen, Obama pointed to racism in the fact that “African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites” and the fact that “the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.” But these higher arrest and conviction rates are completely unremarkable, and not proof of racism, given the fact that the crime rate among blacks is several times higher than among whites. As Wikipedia notes, “According to the National Crime Victimization Survey in 2002, the black arrest rate for robbery was 8.55 times higher than whites . . .Robberies with white victims and black offenders were more than 12 times more common than the reverse.[43][44]”

Nor are police shootings generally the result of racist white cops: as the Daily Wire notes, any such claim is contradicted by the following facts: “Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire a gun at blacks than white officers. This is according to a Department of Justice report in 2015 about the Philadelphia Police Department, and is further confirmed that by a study conducted University of Pennsylvania criminologist Gary Ridgeway in 2015 that determined black cops were 3.3 times more likely to fire a gun than other cops at a crime scene. . . . Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops. This is according to FBI data, which also found that 40 percent of cop killers are black.” Moreover, a “police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black than a cop killing an unarmed black person.”

Hillary Clinton has also falsely claimed that there is “‘systemic racism’ in police departments” fueling “mass incarceration,” both before and after the murder of the five police officers in Dallas.

SOURCE






Highest-Ranking Officer Charged in Freddie Gray Case Not Guilty

Lt. Brian Rice is the highest ranked officer to face charges in the case revolving around the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. On Monday, the court ruled he was not guilty on all three charges he faced, including involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams has acquitted Rice on all counts.

Three other officers have been tried in this case. Two of whom, Caesar Goodson, Jr. and Edward Nero, were acquitted. The third, William Porter, had a mistrial in December.

The Freddie Gray incident made national news last year after the 25-year-old African American man died in a police transport van. Prosecutors alleged that the officers failed to secure their client during the ride, which led to devastating spinal injuries. He died a week after his arrest.

The tragic situation spurred a string of violent protests throughout the city.

The final two officers involved, Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White, will be tried within the coming months.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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19 July, 2016

An amusing example of superficial analysis from the Left

The author below makes a mistake very common among even academic Leftist writers:  Assuming that correlation is causation and that they "know" in which direction the causal arrow points.  One of the first things you learn in Statistics 101 is that correlation is NOT causation and cannot determine causation.

The finding concerned below is a correlation between anti-Muslim sentiment among the host population and pro-ISIS sentiment among the local Muslim population. Inferred from that is that anti-Muslim sentiment drives Muslims into the arms of ISIS. And indeed it may do.  But let's look a bit further back along the causal chain.  Could it be that anti-Muslim sentiment is high in some areas because Muslims seem particularly obnoxious in certain areas?  So the causal chain runs:  Obnoxious Muslim behaviour ==> Anti-Muslim sentiment ==> ISIS-liking Muslims.  Or maybe ISIS-liking Muslims ==> Obnoxious Muslim behaviour ==> anti-Muslim sentiment.

It could be any or all of those things. The case is indeterminant without proper before-and-after research. I append to the article below the academic journal abstract and I note that the author there quietly admits towards the end of the abstract that the results are largely driven by "reverse causation", which I take to mean the sort of causal chains I have outlined. But it's all just opinion, of course.

Finally, let me flesh out out briefly what I suspect really underlay the findings.  Anti-Muslim sentiment is huge in the old East Germany.  Why would that be?  Because the East retains at some level the values drummed into them by their old Communist regime: which are values of brotherhood and solidarity between people.  And Muslims breach that.  By holding themselves apart in so many ways, they destroy social solidarity.  They offend against basic East German values.  So even if they are not in fact unusually obnoxious in the East Muslims will be seen as unusually obnoxious there

So the East German case is pretty clear.  In other countries other or similar influences may be at work.  In Britain, for instance, anti-immigrant sentiment is by far the strongest in the North, as we saw in the Brexit vote.  And where is the North ideologically?  Solidly socialist.  They are the great redoubt of the British Labour party.  And as such they too have strong values of brotherhood and social solidarity.  So we see again that anti-Muslim sentiment is in fact associated with LEFTISM.  Not the Leftism of the elites, of course, but the Leftism of the people. The gulf between the Leftism of the elites and the Leftism of the people has of course been much discussed in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

And who in history was by far the greatest hater of minorities?  The socialist Hitler.  Hitler united socialist and nationalist thinking in the propaganda placard below -- a Wochenspruch for the Gau Weser/Ems. The saying is, "Es gibt keinen Sozialismus, der nicht aufgeht im eigenen Volk" -- which I translate as "There is no socialism except what arises within its own people". You need social solidarity to have real socialism, in other words. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.





MANY PEOPLE WANT their political leaders to take a harder line with immigrants and Muslims, but new research suggests that this approach may, as President Obama has repeatedly asserted, make us less safe.

A political scientist (who “worked four years as a counterterrorism research officer in the Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence”) scoured about 15,000 accounts of ISIS activists and their social networks on Twitter. She “matched users’ location data to local-level administrative data” and found that “local-level vote share for far-right, anti-Muslim parties in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium is a significant predictor of online radicalization.

In substantive terms, an increase of one percentage point in the local-level vote share for far-right parties is associated with a 6 percent, and 3 percent increase, respectively, in the probability of a user being flagged as ISIS-affiliated and being among the top 1 percent posters of radical content.”

Local unemployment or immigration were not associated with pro-ISIS Twitter activity; in fact, “the proportion of asylum seekers and/or asylum seeker centers in a location is negatively linked to these radicalization outcomes.”

The fact that pro-ISIS Twitter activity increased right after anti-Muslim protests across Europe on Feb. 6, 2016 — but only in those areas with high levels of far-right, anti-Muslim voting — suggests that local voter attitudes are driving local radicalization, not the other way around.

SOURCE

From Isolation to Radicalization: The Socioeconomic Predictors of Support for ISIS in the West

Tamar Mitts

Abstract:     

The steady stream of foreign fighters from Western countries to join the Islamic State has gripped the attention of scholars and policymakers around the world. In this paper, I provide the first systematic micro-level study of the socioeconomic predictors of online radicalization and support for ISIS in Europe. I argue that lack of integration in Western countries, coupled with anti-Muslim discrimination and hostility, drives individuals to support ISIS on social media. From December 2015 to May 2016, I collected real-time data on the activity of thousands of ISIS activists and the full social network of their followers on Twitter, a central platform for the organization’s recruitment efforts. I captured and analyzed the online activity and textual content produced by ISIS supporters before their accounts were deleted from the Internet. Using data on the geographic location of ISIS supporters, I matched online radicalization indicators with offline data on voteshare for far-right, anti-Muslim parties in Europe to examine whether the intensity of anti-Muslim hostility at the local level predicts support for ISIS on Twitter. Results show that local-level support for far-right parties is a significant and substantively meaningful determinant of pro-ISIS radicalization online, including posting tweets sympathizing with ISIS, describing life in ISIS-controlled territories, discussing foreign fighters, and expressing anti-West sentiment. An event study of the marches organized by the anti-Muslim movement PEGIDA in 2016 suggests that the results are not entirely driven by reverse causality. Of particular relevance to the current debate over refugee policy, I also find that the number of foreigners or asylum seekers in a locality are not significant predictors of radicalization.

SOURCE






How Obama Left Us More Racially Divided Than Ever

If you think America is a land of oppression instead of a land of freedom, you will sow social discord. That’s President Obama’s legacy.

My mother is a huge fan of Barack Obama. The house is decked out with portraits of the president and Michelle, including some from his inauguration, which she attended. I’ve never seen her this excited for any president, including Bill Clinton.

This type of sentiment is typical of many black Americans, who have a brimming sense of pride over the first black president. This is not so much because they agree with his policies—in fact, many black Americans, while Democrats, identify as conservative—but rather due to a sense of victory that after so many years of slavery and segregation, we’ve finally arrived at the point where the American people are willing to accept a black president.

Yet all is not well. Under President Obama, many black folks think racial division has increased, not decreased. A family friend, who is a Democrat and an Obama supporter, recently curiously remarked, “I’ll be glad when Obama is out of office.” He said this not as an affront to President Obama, but as an acknowledgement that the state of racial affairs seems to have gotten worse under him.

Many whites feel the same way, which is one reason Donald Trump is popular. His outright rejection of political correctness that many Americans are sick of seems like a step in the right direction to his supporters, who hope removing PC will allow for honest dialogue without fear of being called racist amidst an environment that has become increasingly charged and accusatory.

Why is this the case? How did we get to a spot where black and white perceptions on race are so divergent, and we are more divided than ever? It starts with how you view our country.

Either You’re an Optimist or Pessimist

My view of America is that we are a place of great promise and opportunity, where someone like me, who is the grandchild of illiterate black Southern sharecroppers, can achieve success and reach the American dream. We are a place occupied by fair-minded, hard-working people whose culture and values have built a nation that is the envy of the world. I am proud to be a part of that culture.

Our Founders, while imperfect and a product of their times, were visionary heroes who made hard choices and compromises to give us the successful system we have today. Because Americans are good, we’ve worked hard over time to right the wrongs in our society that our Founding Fathers could not eliminate in their time. In summary, we are a fundamentally decent people blessed to live in a phenomenal land with a rich heritage.

But not so for President Obama. His view of our nation seems to be very different than mine and that of many other Americans. I believe that when President Obama thinks of America, more so than a place of hope or opportunity, he thinks of a place where racist white Christian fundamentalists came here from Europe, committed genocide against Native Americans, enslaved and segregated black people, denied women, gays, and other minorities their rights, and used capitalism and a rigged legal system to oppress poor people for centuries. He also believes this is still continuing today.

Given this view of America as an evil place in need of forceful justice for her sins, the president’s overarching goal has been to eliminate what he sees as the structural, institutionalized discrimination that defines America. He has done this by taking every opportunity to see disparities between groups as evidence of discrimination, then using all available resources to fight this perceived discrimination by going to war against the Americans he believes are responsible for it, who are almost always whites, men, police, and Christians.

A small sampling of the ways he has done this are: accusing whites of “white privilege,” which means having an unfair advantage due to being white, an advantage built upon oppressing minorities; accusing the police and justice system at large of racism; blaming pay differences between men and women on discrimination; and casting Islamic radicalism as a legitimate response to discrimination (ostensibly by white Christians).

This strategy has had two effects: 1) It’s caused the alleged victims of the perceived discrimination to become more militant, hostile, and only willing to make demands and not willing to engage in dialogue due to increasing their sense of victimhood, and 2) It’s caused the alleged perpetrators of the perceived discrimination to feel unfairly blamed for problems that are not their fault, thus less willing to engage in dialogue with people who will do nothing but accuse them of wrongdoing.

In other words, both sides are moving away from each other. This means that, contrary to unifying the nation, the president’s leadership has caused division and discord.

Discrimination Is Not the Biggest Problem for Minorities

In addition to failing to unify the nation, the president’s leadership philosophy has also failed to solve the underlying problems supposedly caused by discrimination. This is due to his failure to understand two critical truths: 1) Unequal outcomes do not constitute proof of discrimination. Thus policies attempting to produce equal results between groups through eliminating discrimination will accomplish nothing when the unequal outcomes are not caused by discrimination in the first place, and 2) While actual discrimination exists, most of the ills minorities face in today’s America are not caused by discrimination, but rather by factors such as complete family breakdown engendered by the welfare state and reduced employment prospects due to globalization, illegal immigration, and automation. So again, policies to remedy discrimination will do nothing to solve problems that are not caused by discrimination in the first place.

Sure enough, this is exactly what the data shows. With the exception of the unemployment rate, black Americans are worse off in many categories under President Obama, including: labor force participation, the percentage of people below the poverty line, real median income, the number of black people on food stamps, the percentage of black people who own homes, and the black-white test score gap in education.

Thus, far from unifying the nation, and far from ending the social ills he believes are caused by discrimination, President Obama has—perhaps unwittingly—caused America to become more polarized and divided, and brought us no closer to solving the key problems stunting black achievement.

SOURCE






EU set for U-turn over whether firms can legally ban Muslim headscarves after senior legal officer rules it IS discriminatory

The European Union's top court could be set for a U-turn on whether companies can legally ban women from wearing Muslim headscarves after it was ruled discriminatory.

The European Court of Justice has been hearing a case from Muslim Asma Bougnaoui, who was dismissed from her job with Micropole SA as an IT consultant in France, after clients complained about her wearing a headscarf.

It comes after a previous case brought to the same court by a Belgian woman who was also fired from her job for wearing a veil.

In that case, the court's advocate general said companies may ban Muslim headscarves if they are enforcing a general prohibition on religious symbols in the workplace.

However, in the case of Ms Bougnaoui another advocate general Eleanor Sharpston today said that the court 'considers that a company policy requiring an employee to remove her Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients constitutes unlawful direct discrimination.'

The senior lawyer, whose opinion must be considered by the court when it makes a final ruling at a later date, found 'nothing to suggest that Ms Bougnaoui was unable to perform her duties as a design engineer because she wore an Islamic headscarf.'

'Indeed, (her employer's) letter terminating her employment had expressly referred to her professional competence,' she added.

The EU court will now examine the two cases and may give its judgement in a joint decision by the end of the year, a legal source told the AFP news agency.

Opinions expressed by the EU court's advocates general are only initial views and not binding rulings, but usually the court follows the senior lawyer's advice when eventually giving its judgement.

The court could decide to give a general clarification on headscarf bans in Europe and how they may work while still obeying EU law.

The wearing of headscarves and full-face veils has been an increasingly contentious debate in Europe between the forces of secularism and sections of the continent's Muslim minority.

France brought in a ban on full-face veils in 2010, despite claims that the ban was discriminatory and violates freedom of expression and religion.

Belgium and some parts of Switzerland have followed France's lead and similar bans have been considered in other European countries.

SOURCE




Australian TV host calls for Australia to close borders to Muslim migrants



Sonia Kruger has called for Australia to stop Muslim immigration because she wants to 'feel safe'.

During a fiery Today Show panel discussion Monday, the TV host argued there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks.

'Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia because I want to feel safe as all of our citizens do when we go out to celebrate Australia Day,' the media personality said.

The television host said she had 'a lot of very good friends' who were Muslims and peace-loving, beautiful people. 'But there are fanatics.'

The remarks have sparked a social media firestorm but in response Kruger said 'it was vital to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist'.

She told the panel Japan has a population of 174 million people and 100,000 Muslims and the country never suffers terrorist attacks.

Her remarks drew a passionate response from the morning program's co-host David Campbell, who interrupted her as she began to talk about journalists being 'threatened' and freedom of speech.

Hands waving, Campbell replied: 'I'd like to see freedom of religion as well! As well as freedom of speech! They both go hand and hand!'

'We're talking about immigration, David,' Kruger replied. She then asked if people were allowed to talk about the issue.

Campbell said the article they were talking about - written by conservative columnist Andrew Bolt in News Corp newspapers - 'breeds hate'.

'So you're not allowed to talk about it?' Kruger replied. 'You're not allowed to discuss it?'

'I would venture that if you spoke to the parents of those children killed in Nice then they would be of the same opinion.'

She argued 'good Muslim people' were dying as a result of terrorist acts, pointing out the first person to die in the Nice terror attacks last week was a Muslim woman. 

When host Lisa Wilkinson asked her directly whether she wanted the borders totally closed to Muslim migrants, Kruger said: 'Yes, yes I would'.

Wilkinson pointed out closing the borders to Muslims was the 'Donald Trump approach'. 'Well, perhaps it is,' Kruger said. 'For the safety of our citizens here I think it's important'.

The US presidential candidate has called for a 'complete shutdown' on Muslims entering the United States 'until our country's representatives can figure out what's going on'.

Kruger's remarks sparked fierce debate on social media, with viewers writing in criticism, praise and mockery.

And she responded to the criticism in a combative statement on Monday afternoon, writing: 'Following the atrocities last week in Nice where 10 children lost their lives, as a mother, I believe it's vital in a democratic society to be able to discuss these issues without automatically being labelled racist'.

Kruger is a media personality who first came to fame playing the role of Tina Sparkle in the 1992 Australian film, Strictly Ballroom.

She has worked as a dance teacher, a Seven Network entertainment reporter and long-time host of Dancing With The Stars.

In 2007, Seven apologised 'unreservedly' after Kruger made derogatory comments about a 'sweatshop full of immigrants' working on her Melbourne Cup dress.

Most recently Kruger has worked for Nine as the host of hit series The Voice Australia and Today Extra, which was formerly known as Mornings.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************




18 July, 2016

Theresa May, the new British PM, is a grave threat to freedom

Beneath the managerial exterior beats the heart of an authoritarian

Theresa May has become Britain’s new prime minister.  And that should concern us all. Not just those who backed Brexit, and fear that the coronation of May, a Remainer, will mean further delays on triggering Article 50, ending in Brexit lite. It should also worry anyone who values living in a free society. During her time as home secretary, May’s contempt for civil liberties, her mad enthusiasm for using state power to achieve her political ends, was disturbing.

May is the figurehead for what is the most powerful authoritarian faction in today’s political firmament. She keeps alive the bland, technocratic, Third Way politics that began under New Labour, but she combines it with a vaguely socially conservative outlook. In this way, her authoritarian tendencies are constantly dressed up as mere managerial competence. She’s not undermining liberties, really; she’s just ‘getting on with it’ – she’s ‘getting the job done’. To May, the freedoms of the individual fall under the same category as, say, paper shortages, or lazy secretaries: obstacles to efficient management; administrative hurdles to be overcome.

Consider the action she’s taken on drugs. In 2014, against all advice, she banned Khat – a mild stimulant, popular with Somalis and comparable in harm to coffee. But that wasn’t enough. She then introduced the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which came into force in April 2016. The bill effectively prohibits the possession and use of any psychoactive substance – except those on a pre-approved government list. The intention was to crack down on so-called ‘legal highs’ – but the real effect the bill will have is to turn on its head the age-old principle that actions should be legal until made illegal – under May, it seems, actions are illegal until they’re made legal. An important principle of civil society is, to May’s mind, a managerial nuisance: this principle stopped her from ‘getting the job done’, and therefore it had to go.

Then there is her record on immigration. In one recent TV interview, she refused to rule out the deportation of EU nationals following Brexit; and, at her leadership campaign launch, she suggested that EU nationals could be a useful ‘negotiating point’ when talking to Brussels about our post-Brexit deal. Once again, the liberties of millions of people in Britain are, for May, little more than a deal-brokering tool, a card to be played in Brexit negotiations, all, of course, in the name of effective government.

This instrumentalising, technocratic, illiberal attitude is not just a post-referendum development. In April 2016, May oversaw the introduction of new rules according to which non-EU nationals who earn less than £35,000 – well above the average salary – can be deported. She also wrongly deported nearly 50,000 non-EU students, on the false grounds that they had failed English tests. And who can forget the vans, pioneered by May, which cruised around London telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home or face arrest’?

Most worrying of all is her broad-brush, cavalier attitude to what she calls ‘extremism’. For all her talking up of the extremist threat to the British way of life, May has done more harm to British liberties than any sad-act neo-Nazi or wacky hate-preacher ever could. In her speech at the Metropolitan Police conference on counterterrorism this year, she boasted of how she had deprived certain British nationals of their citizenship because she deemed them not ‘conducive to the public good’; she boasted of how her Internet Referral Unit has, since 2010, quietly removed over 90,000 pieces of extremism-related material from the web; and, most ominous of all, she boasted of how the new statutory requirements of the Prevent scheme will require ‘local authorities, the police, prisons, probation services, schools, colleges, and, yes, universities’, to monitor people’s behaviour for signs of extremism.

More recently, she suggested that Ofcom be given unprecedented powers to strike down any TV programme it deems to include ‘extremist content’. This represents, effectively, the transformation of a vast swathe of the public-service workforce into a spying network – all cloaked in the bland, unassuming language of ‘effectiveness’. Again, it’s no big deal; May’s just getting the job done.

All of these ban-happy measures – and much more – were achieved by May in her role as home secretary. Now she will be prime minister, with all the extra power that entails. Looking at her shameful record, we can expect her attacks on civil liberties to resume with renewed vigour. And, of course, she will claim it’s all about getting things done. But if the cost is our hard-won liberties, the job isn’t worth doing at all.

SOURCE





Supreme Court Stands by and Watches as Religious Freedom Is Curtailed

Last week, in a development which is a loss for freedom, pluralism, and tolerance in America, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case of Stormans v. Wiesman.

This should not be a difficult case. It involves pharmacy owners (members of the Stormans family) who do not want to dispense certain drugs that can kill human life in its earliest stages due to their moral and religious beliefs, yet are willing to refer potential customers to nearby pharmacies.

Because the drugs are carried by more than 30 other pharmacies within five miles of the Stormans’ pharmacy, it seems that there is a clear way in this case for conscience to be honored and the customers to receive their drugs. So what is the problem with Stormans’ customer referrals?

The problem is that the state of Washington put in place regulations permitting pharmacies to make referrals for a host of secular reasons but barring pharmacies from referring customers elsewhere for religious or moral reasons.

These regulations were challenged as a violation of the Free Exercise Clause due to their targeting of religious beliefs. The Supreme Court had an opportunity to hear the case, yet declined. Justice Alito (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas) dissented from the court’s denial of review.

In the contraception/abortion debate, much of the discussion often centers on “access” to drugs and services. If there was a genuine issue of access and the need to balance it with the Stormans’ rights, one could understand how there could be different sides to the argument. But here there is not even an issue of access.

Customers could obtain what they want from 30 other pharmacies within five miles of the Stormans’ pharmacy!

So what purpose did the state’s regulations serve?

Washington even admitted that “facilitated referrals do not pose a threat to timely access to lawfully prescribed medications,” and, as Alito observed in his dissent from denial of certiorari, “none of [the Stormans’] customers has ever been denied timely access to emergency contraceptives.”

At the end of the day, the only reason for this law is to disparage the moral objections of those who think differently and force these unwilling pharmacists to play a part in the government’s imposed regime by steamrolling their individual freedom. And now, in permitting a lower court decision against the Stormans to stand, Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg apparently see no problem with letting the state of Washington squash religious freedom by barring referrals tied to religious reasons but permitting them for non-religious reasons.

In refusing to hear this case, the Supreme Court missed an opportunity to bolster constitutional liberty in the face of baseless and illegitimate government targeting of religion. Yet the Court felt it important to address such targeting of religion just last year in Holt v. Hobbs.

When a Muslim prisoner was not allowed to a grow a beard for religious reasons, the Supreme Court unanimously found that under a RFRA-type standard the government could not permit non-religious exemptions (such as medical reasons) for beards while denying religious ones. In that case, such an inconsistency on the part of the government showed its policy was not properly tailored to achieve the legitimate government goal of safety and security.

If safety and security could be achieved while offering non-religious exemptions, religious exemptions must be offered as well.

Similarly, as Justice Alito points out in his dissent from denial of certiorari in Stormans, the Supreme Court’s own Free Exercise precedent in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah holds that regulations which are gerrymandered to target religious exercise are unconstitutional. Yet Justice Kennedy, who authored that opinion, did not side with Justice Alito here. Why the inconsistency?

While the Supreme Court has many reasons for what it does, it doesn’t escape notice that Church of Lukumi Babablu Aye and Holt (both unanimous decisions) both contain claims by members of minority religions. Notably, the so-called “conservative” members of the Supreme Court happily upheld religious rights in those instances.

Their consistency leads them to also do so here when a Christian is discriminated against, while the so-called “liberals” would decline to do so in Stormans (and in other cases involving Christians, such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby). While it is impossible to know for certain the reason for this trend, the pattern is certainly troubling. And if such a pattern of so-called “conservative” rulings caught the eye of liberal activists, you could be sure they’d point it out.

Such developments, along with others in recent free exercise and RFRA jurisprudence, increasingly show a Supreme Court which now picks and chooses what rights to uphold based on ideology, politics, and the religion at issue, instead of being a neutral arbiter of law.

As Justice Thomas exclaimed in his dissent from the Supreme Court’s opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (a case which struck down state abortion health and safety requirements, and which confirms the Supreme Court’s increased arbitrariness), “[t]he Court should abandon the pretense that anything other than policy preferences underlies its balancing of constitutional rights and inter­ests in any given case.”

The price to be paid for preferring policy over the rule of law is, as Justice Alito put it in his Stormans dissent, is the continued existence of “regulations [which] are improperly designed to stamp out religious objectors.” This price may be acceptable to some for now—at least until it is turned around and applied against them.

SOURCE






At Religious Liberty Hearing, Democrats Unlikely Backers of Atlanta Fire Chief

The story of the former Atlanta fire chief who was fired from his job after publishing a book that addressed marriage and sexuality from a biblical perspective took center stage at a hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill, with witnesses from both sides of the aisle voicing disapproval of the city’s decision to terminate the decorated public servant.

“I wish we had a bill to protect him,” former Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat who represented Massachusetts’ 4th District, said of Chief Kelvin Cochran.

Cochran, the former fire chief in Atlanta, was fired from his job on Jan. 6, 2015, even after a city investigation cleared him of any discrimination charges against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. “No one should be fired because of his or her political or religious beliefs that don’t have to do with the job,” Frank said.

The remaining two Democrat witnesses—one of whom was Jim Obergefell, the leading plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s gay marriage case—appeared to agree with the former Massachusetts congressman’s opinion about Cochran. When they were asked to raise their hands if they believed he should have been fired for publishing a book that included his views on marriage and sexuality, no one did.

Despite their support for Cochran, none of the Democrat witnesses, including Frank, went so far as to support the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would help protect the religious liberty of Americans with traditional views on marriage.

“This is personal,” Frank, who is openly gay, told Republicans of the bill. “This bill empowers people to take my tax money and do things to exclude me and others like me.”

Cochran testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday for a hearing involving legislation that would protect individuals and organizations who believe in the biblical view of marriage between one man and one woman.

FADA would not apply to Cochran’s case because he worked for the state instead of the federal government at the time he was fired.

However, Cochran told members of Congress that had he worked for the federal government when he published his men’s devotional book, he “would certainly be terminated from employment,” and therefore would depend on legislation such as FADA. Because of that—as the former U.S. fire administrator in the Obama administration—Cochran said he has a personal stake in seeing FADA become law.

“It is my desire to see legislation at the federal, state, and local levels that would protect any American [from being punished] in spite of or because of their belief about marriage and sexuality,” Cochran said.

FADA is limited in its scope, and would not generally apply to private businesses, such as the bakery run by Aaron and Melissa Klein who were ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. However, the measure could affect private businesses who are recipients of federal contracts or grants, licenses or tax benefits, by preventing the government from taking adverse actions against them for holding traditional views about marriage.

Obergefell and Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia School of Law, strongly opposed the idea of providing specific protections for individuals and organizations that hold views against same-sex marriage.

“I understand that the proponents of this legislation argue that it is necessary to protect churches, clergy, and others who oppose marriage equality for religious reasons,” Obergefell said. “But the First Amendment is already clear on this point. Since the founding of this country, no church or member of the clergy has been forced to marry any couple if doing so would violate their religious teachings. That has not changed since same-sex couples won the freedom to marry.”

Instead, in order to address Cochran’s termination, Frank suggested passing a bill that doesn’t “single out” the issue of same-sex marriage.

“How do you protect him?” Frank asked. “You pass a bill that says no one can be fired because of his or her political or religious opinion that is wholly irrelevant to the job. You don’t single out one particular aspect of one particular religion.”

Democrats didn’t only attack the nature of Tuesday’s hearing, but also, the timing.

“Today is the one-month anniversary of the deadly shooting spree at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people and injured dozens others,” Ranking Member Elijah Cummings said during his opening statement. “To say this hearing is ill-timed is the understatement of the year.”

Much of the hearing focused on the real-life implications of FADA, and whether the legislation would enable what Democrats called, “taxpayer-funded discrimination.” According to their witnesses’ interpretation of the bill, FADA would allow nonprofits that receive federal grants to build low-income housing to deny same-sex couples access to that housing, for example.

Republican witnesses, including Kristen Waggoner from Alliance Defending Freedom and Matthew J. Franck from The Witherspoon Institute, swore under oath that FADA could not be used for such purposes.

Waggoner accused Democrats of “mischaracterizing” the bill. “It does not allow termination of employees, it does not change existing law,” Waggoner said. “The rights that you have, you would continue to have under federal and state law.”

“No one deserves to be marginalized or driven out of their profession simply because of their beliefs about marriage,” she added.

On Tuesday, Republicans released an updated version of the FADA text. In the new version, for-profit religious broadcasters would also be covered and be protected from having their licenses threatened from the Federal Communications Commission for their belief in marriage between one man and one woman.

At the end of the hearing, both Democrat and Republican witnesses agreed to meet privately with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to work out the different interpretations of the bill.

SOURCE






Male and female brains DO react differently: Scans reveal opposite responses in the area that governs emotions and self-awareness

The saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus has long been used to highlight the differences between the sexes.

Now scientists have shown that the often baffling variations in the way males and females in our species behave could lie in the way our brains are wired.

They have found that men and women have opposite neuronal responses in a critical area of the brain that controls experience of emotions, blood pressure control and self-awareness.

The findings could explain why men and women often present different clinical symptoms in some medical disorders.

But it could also help to explain some of the misunderstandings that seem to occur due to the differences in the way each of the sexes react emotionally.

The research was conducted by neuroscientists at the University of California in Los Angeles, where a team measured the brain activity of participants using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during blood pressure trials.

While our brains share a common 'template' for connecting the different areas, researchers wanted to find out if there were templates for men and women which could explain behaviours we might typically associate with sexes.

They found men and women had opposite responses in the right front of the insular cortex - the part of the brain integral to the experience of emotions, blood pressure control and self-awareness.

Dr Paul Macey, the lead author of the study, said: 'This is such a critical brain area and we hadn't expected to find such strong differences between men and women's brains.' 

In the study, the male brains showed a higher amount of activation in the area, while the female brains showed a lower response.

Dr Macey said: 'We have always thought that the "normal" pattern was for this right-front insula region to activate more than other areas, during a task that raises blood pressure.

'However, since most earlier studies were in men or male animals, it looks like this "normal" response was only in men. The healthy response in women seems to be a lower right-sided activation.'

Whether this difference is due to how the male and female brains are wired remains a mystery to the researchers. 

Dr Macey added: 'It's possible the women had already activated this region because of psychological stress, so that when they did the physical test in the study, the brain region could not activate any more.

'However, it's also possible that this region is wired differently in men and women.'

SOURCE

*************************

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

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

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

***************************







17 July, 2016

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

I wrote a post on the topic above recently.  In reply, a  fellow psychologist has also addressed his mind to the question.  See below:

I think many more Muslims are involved in Jihad than is visible. All things are part of spectrums between extremes, and aggression and Jihad are too. The bulk of Muslims support the few active Jihadis in ways ranging from conscious active support through passive support to the most unconscious subtle encouragement of it. 

I think Islam is to Jihad what HIV is to AIDS. One arises from the other, inevitably and automatically, as the fulfilment of its nature. Beliefs are the drivers of individuals and nations. Islam is driven by its beliefs in its scriptures.

Depending on the individual and their place in the collective, the attitudes, thoughts and behaviour resultant from those beliefs may be active or passive, conscious or barely conscious, but is still of the same beliefs, and is made active and conscious in its circumstances, order, or in its turn.

Not every HIV virus is involved in actively destroying the infected body as AIDS, but they are all at least passively involved. I don’t think Islam is a cancer in the body of the west, it is more like a virus, although it eventually makes Islamic no-go zones that are like tumours, its main behaviour is more as a virus waging its war on the body of the West rather than as a cancer as some say Islam is.

Every individual virus by its existence in the infected body is supporting those viruses that are actively attacking the body, because each unit of the virus in its own way is part of the spectrum of activity from most unconscious/subtle activity to most conscious/active. Naturally those virus units most active are the least numerous, but they are being produced and replaced by the lesser active reservoir of viruses from which they come, and which must have greater number.

I think the only solution is to cause Islam to turn against itself. Its leaders must reform it, must make Jihad an individual effort against oneself, against one’s own bad habits and lesser aspects, or against one’s own internal infidels, rather than a group effort against us external infidels. That is the only change that will keep roughly in keeping with the Koran, for that book is always going to drive them.

So far no Islamic leaders are voluntarily stepping up to the plate to do that job, though some like Ayaan Hirsi Ali seem to be preparing the ground. What happens in individuals is reflected in the collective, so, such a movement of individual internal jihad within islam will reflect itself in a division across collective Islam, possibly a greater intra islamic divide or a war which may or may not be fully external/hot.

Their leaders may need severe prompting to do this, and so applying extreme external pressure, even to threaten their survival, may be required. So I agree nuclear bombs may have to be part of the solution as destroying one city after another may indeed be the motivation necessary to turn Islam against itself and bring forward the Islamic leaders it needs to lead it in a reforming direction.

Other pressures may be needed too, or better suited – containment, famine, starvation, disease? But something powerful and clearly death dealing will probably have to be used to motivate them.

They are not smart like the Japanese. Generally, the Japanese's intelligence is stronger than his emotions, his ability to restrain himself is at least as strong as his ability to let loose. The average Japanese can reason, can foresee, and has an internal locus of control.

Muslims/Arabs lack these qualities and abilities. They are generally of low intelligence, their emotions and impulses are stronger than their intelligence and ability to restrain and redirect themselves. Their locus of control is not within their own faculty of conscious choice, of which they are unaware, but is outside of themselves, and they actually believe it is and cannot see it any other way, which is why the males believe their sexual control depends on how females dress, and why they blame others for everything they feel and do.

Whereas the Japanese substantially changed within one generation’s lifespan, I think the Muslims/Arabs are unlikely to do that. The Japanedse were concentrated in their islands and that made change easier.

Muslims are dispersed around the world and millions are across Europe. That could make changing their attitude more difficult and take long time. Civil strife, even civil wars, in western countries between Muslim and non-Muslims could be part of the picture.

Also, and significantly, Leftists of influence in the media, politics, academia, in community work fields,... are currently using Muslims as pawns, as foot soldiers to do their dirty work by proxy, subtly and cunningly encouraging and manipulating Muslims towards their worst, bring out in them their propensity towards resentment and envy, and subsequent hostility towards the West, which extreme leftists want to see fall.

The Japanese didn’t have Leftists smarter than themselves manipulating them and trying to undermine their change for the better. Any persuading force applied by the West upon Islam to prompt its change is going to have to come from a West that has largely silenced its Left or is unaffected by its Left – perhaps a temporary excursion to the Right, even by the Left, which the Left could easily do. Of course all this is surmising. Something different altogether might occur.






Nice attack was due to ‘decades of multiculturalism and political correctness’ says Polish Interior Minister

Good that there's SOMEONE with a brain in national politics

Poland's right wing interior minister Mariusz Blaszczak has blamed last night's terror attack in Nice on 'multiculturalism' after it emerged the killer was a French Tunisian living in the city.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, killed 84 people as he drove his large lorry along the main promenade in Nice indiscriminately knocking down pedestrians who had just finished watching the city's Bastille Day fireworks.

Unlike other international politicians, Blaszczak blamed France and the European Union's Foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini for last night's deadly attack.

He said: 'We must reject political correctness and call things by their true names. Rather than shedding tears like Mogherini and ... organising marches that solve nothing, authorities should ensure the safety of citizens.'

In an interview on Polsat News, he said the attack in Nice is the consequence of many years of 'multi-cultural policies and political correctness. This is how it ends.'

He added: 'We don't have such problems. We don't have districts where law other than Polish law reigns. We don't have no-go zones for police.'

He also praised his party, Law and Justice, for standing firm against accepting migrants.

Blaszczak is seeking to introduce tough new surveillance laws to deal with terrorism.  Warsaw wants the ability to keep those suspected of terrorism links under close surveillance.

The law also allows for monitoring of suspects' phone calls, mail and internet activity, especially in the case of foreigners.

It allows authorities to remove suspicious content from the internet, ban public gatherings and use sharpshooters in emergencies.

It also coordinates the task of various intelligence and security forces.

SOURCE






Do you think ISIS gives two pins for your pathetic hashtags, prayers and candles? Stop waiting to be slaughtered and demand our leaders DO something!

Mohamed took a truck and drove it into men, women and children celebrating Bastille day in Nice. He killed 84.

And who yet knows of the horrors still to spew from hospital wards - lives fractured, crumpled, crushed.

One minute they were jubilant, locals and tourists alike celebrating Bastille day together. The next, lying splintered on the floor.

And the most sickening thing of all - worse than spilt blood, fractured bodies, children with legs contorted out of human control, the reek of death, is our horribly sanitised response to it all.

Evil mowed us down in a monster truck. And we tweeted like lethargic birds between Egyptian cotton sheets.

Celebrities rushed to social media with their message 'not again', designers comforted with a patriotic graphic, tea candles were lit and instagrammed. There will be a vigil in a public square. Again.

A hashtag is born #PrayForNice, exploding into a thousand others as people want to #PrayFor France or #PrayForHumanity, failing to acknowledge the horrible truth that this attack was done in some spurious god's name. You want to pray for Nice? You think religion will help solve this?

Religion and its bonkers side-shoots are the problem.

Politicians tell us to stand united. The Prime Minister of France has said he will not allow the country to be destabilised.

Well big news: France IS destabilised - in a perpetual state of Emergency. We do not stand united. We are divided, we are ripped apart. And yet we tolerate it every time.

We do not stand strong. We sit like ducks. Waiting to be shot. Helpless, pathetic, slow.

We are reminded to be more tolerant. Liberal lefties takes to the airways lecturing at us, not to react. To remind us of the good and humanity in most people.

Muslim mayors stand and tell us we will be there, shoulder-to-shoulder with France, reminding us Mohamed has nothing to do with ordinary Muslims or Islam.

As with every other time, someone from the BBC informs us many of the victims will have been Muslim, as if that helps.

Trying to give credence to the notion Islam can't be blamed because Muslims died too. And again, we hear a familiar refrain.

The suspect was known to the police - he had a 'fiche S' on his file marking his links to terror and ISIS.

He was a French national from Tunisia. (Why are they always French-Tunisians, never Tunisian/French? What do you think he called himself?)

He was known to the police, but he was still able to get a truck and plough people down, laughing as he drove. Oblivious to (or enjoying?) the crunch of children, mums, dads, under his tyres, in his god's name.

He was a French National because France - like Britain - is an extraordinarily tolerant nation; accepting of new, integrating migrants, opening its arms to welcome those from elsewhere.

Too tolerant. And that needs to stop.

Don't spend three days in National mourning. Spend three days hunting down all those with 'fiche S' on their file and work out whether they really deserve a place in France.

Are they an asset or a liability? Are they part of a solution or the problem?

And if they are part of the problem get rid. Or at least get put under lock and key.

We voted to leave the EU and thank god we did. Free movement of people is also free movement of those will a file marked fiche S. Free movement of a suicide bomber. Or of a man who can laugh as he drives over children and destroys lives.

I am shouting for positive action. For something to be done. For countries to act against terror. Not sit and react amongst the carnage.

Predictably I am called Islamophobic.  A phobia is an irrational fear of something. Like spiders. Or men in speedos.

I am not Islamophobic. I have an entirely RATIONAL fear based on the fact these horrors find home in some form of that religion. I have no hate. Only a powerful intolerance of those who murder.

And I look to the people of France and tell them. Do not light a candle, hold a vigil in a public square or share a hashtag. Do not stand united against terror or spend three days mourning.

Take all this emotion and bundle it into energy for action, for change.

This is not sustainable. We are not bowling pins. Ready to be knocked down and replaced by the the naive, the believers in multiculturalism. Imagining there is tolerance.

Your hashtags and pretty pictures might make you feel better. But they solve nothing. You are self-medicating on nonsense.

We need action. We need all those 'known' to the police with a fiche S - links to terror and ISIS rounded up. Secured. Locked down. We need to deport those we can't control, control those we can't deport.

France needs to change tack.  The enemy knows you talk about unity while holding a tea candle. They laugh at you as they run you over in a truck or open fire in your restaurants or clubs.

You cannot continue to be tolerant. You, the French, are broken. We are broken.  And until we acknowledge that we will not get well.

We need action. Not reaction. We don't need liberals preaching tolerance.

We don't need another hashtag. Don't #PrayForNice like sheep waiting to be slaughtered. Do something.

SOURCE






Australian Left’s stance on Hanson is hypocritical

Jennifer Oriel points out that it is the Left which is discriminatory.  She is initially talking about a prominent anti-immigration politician, who has just got a seat in the Senate, after a long period of absence from elective office

The rebirth of Pauline Hanson has sent left-wing men into a state of mass hysteria. Greens leader Richard Di Natale denounced her as divisive. NSW Labor MP Ron Hoenig taxed logic by correlating Hanson with the Holocaust.

The Lebanese Muslim Association called her a hate preacher. Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane compared her with Brexit and Donald Trump — all proof of xenophobia and racism.

The leftist party line is settled; Hanson is racist and divisive. Three words come to mind. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Western civilisation has been transformed from the love child of Christianity and the Enlightenment into a malformed neo-Marxist culture where minority groups manufactured for political purposes are bestowed with special privileges by the state.

As I have written in these pages, most citizens designated minority status under Australian law are not political minorities. They are numerical minorities who have equal and often superior rights to their fellow citizens under discrimination and affirmative action measures.

To justify the special privileges regime, activist organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission change the meaning of inequality to “historical disadvantage”. In the absence of substantial evidence to demonstrate existing disadvantage, the Left creates imaginary friends like unconscious bias to replace objective fact with subjective feelings as the evidentiary standard of Western law and public reason.

We have arrived at a point in Western history where thought crimes justify a regime of codified prejudice that privileges manufactured minorities while censoring dissenters who dare cry the emperor has no clothes.

Well, the emperor is butt naked and minority fundamentalists know it. In Queensland, 9 per cent voted for Hanson’s One Nation.

The same state has played host to a case exemplifying the absurdity of minority politics. In the race case before the Federal Circuit Court, students were barred from a computer lab at the Queensland University of Technology because of their race. One would presume the prima facie case of race discrimination would be against the person who barred their access. But the staff member who turned the students away, indigenous woman Cindy Prior, filed a complaint against them under the Racial Discrimination Act.

Prior claimed that the computer lab in the Oodgeroo Unit was reserved for “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students only” and described the unit as “culturally safe space”.

The arguably racist presumption that people who are not indigenous make a space culturally unsafe has gone unchallenged by the activist Left. In a recent submission to the court, barrister Anthony Morris QC, acting on behalf of the students, lampooned the absurdity of the premises of the case and criticised the AHRC’s handling of it. He asserts that the commission has not upheld the students’ right to be equal before the law.

The case exposes the meaning of equality in Australia and, I would argue, its perversion by minority activism. The requirement to treat all parties to a complaint equally and impartially means treating the complainant in a discrimination case — typically a member of a state minority group ­— equally to respondent/s.

But the modern human rights movement has substituted universal human rights with minority rights. The result is a system of codified privilege for manufactured minorities and codified prejudice against citizens excluded from minority groups.

The AHRC is well known for its political activism and prosecution of the minority rights agenda.

Its commissioners commonly advocate positions aligned with Greens and Labor Left policies. In the wake of the federal election, Soutphommasane made the sweeping generalisation that Brexit, Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson all are manifestations of racism or xenophobia.

He has criticised nationalist groups allegedly for promoting violence at rallies, but appears less inclined to identify the ideological origins of the militant Left. In a recent tweet, he made the categorical error of classifying left-wing violence as a right-wing phenomenon: “People can repudiate far-right extremism without adopting the far-right’s violence.” That communist regimes murdered millions of their own citizens because they dissented from the Left party line appears to have eluded him.

Soutphommasane declined to comment on the QUT case as it is before the court, but cited “special measures” in a brief statement.

The commission promotes special measures as “positive actions” that “protect disadvantaged racial groups”. It justifies the measures “as an exception to the general rule that all racial groups must be treated the same”.

It is evident that affirmative action is not an exception to the general rule of racial equality in Australia, however. The general rule of race politics in Australia is the codification of racial inequality in discrimination law and affirmative action.

The codified bigotry of the Racial Discrimination Act and censorship of dissent under s18C offends the principles of equality and fairness that made the modern West. The cultural Left has repudiated the Enlightenment by substituting minority rights for universal human rights, subjectivity for objectivity, and politically correct speech for free speech. It has failed to protect the legacy of the Enlightenment and instead introduced a new tribalism under manufactured minority politics that embeds a combustible combination of privilege and prejudice in the heart of the state.

Hanson represents a form of prejudice no more extreme than that defended by the minority Left. She advocates fewer rights for minority groups while the Left prosecutes superior rights for them. Hanson and the minority Left represent the polar opposites of a corrosive politics whose resolution lies in the full restoration of equality under law.

Formal equality should replace discrimination legislation. The list of protected attributes should be reduced to two: people with disabilities and primary carers for the disabled, the young and the elderly. The welfare net should be generous enough to prepare people mired in poverty for gainful employment.

State-made minorities, women included, need to become mature members of liberal democracy by cultivating independence from the state and genuine equality with fellow citizens. The Trumps and Hansons will set forth and multiply as long as minority groups demand special rights and superior privileges under Western law. Equality or backlash. It’s our choice.

SOURCE

*************************

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

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

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

***************************






15 July, 2016

A multicultural horror in Britain

A shocked mother was stopped in the street by two [African] men, who offered her £50 for her baby - and then tried to snatch her buggy as she fled.

The woman was stopped by the two men as she pushed her buggy along a road in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, on July 8, according to police.

The mother was pushing her child in a buggy at around midday when the two men - both aged between 20-30 and black, with one slim and the other muscle-bound - stopped her in her tracks.

One of the men, wearing a baseball cap and red jeans, asked her how much she wanted for her child, before offering £50.

The terrified mother tried to walk away, but the men followed her and one of them grabbed the buggy - but the woman manage to flee to a crowded area and the men walked off.

Assistant investigator Victoria Crocombe said she was appealing for witnesses to come forward.

She said: 'Thankfully no harm came to the mother and her young child during this incident but it has understandably left the victim upset and shaken.

'I'd like to take this opportunity to reassure the community that incidents of this nature are very unusual in Hertfordshire and we are working hard to identify the culprits.'

One man is described as black, aged between 20 and 30, of slim build and around 5ft 9in in height.

He was wearing a black baseball cap, a dark maroon Hollister top, red jeans, a silver belcher chain around his neck, and spoke with a London accent.

The second man is described as black, around 6ft 2in tall, of a large muscular build and aged between 20 and 30 years old.

A spokeswoman said: 'She elbowed one of the men in the side and ran off and called the police straight away.'

She said officers were dispatched to the scene, but that neither men could be found.

A police appeal for witnesses states: 'Officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward following an incident in Cheshunt.

'Just after midday on Friday, July 8, a mother was pushing her young child in a buggy along Hobbs Close when she was approached by two men.

'One of the men asked her how much she wanted for her child and then offered her £50.

'The mother then began to walk away with her child towards the High Street when one of the men reached out to grab the buggy handles.'

SOURCE






We Saved Our Democracy

Pat Condell tells it like it is








Target's Transgender Nightmare Comes True

Idaho police arrested a man — who identifies as a transgender woman — on one count of felony voyeurism Tuesday after he took pictures of a woman while she was changing clothes in a Target dressing room, the Post Register reported.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 43-year-old Sean Patrick Smith, who reportedly identifies as Shauna Patricia Smith, the day after he was spotted reaching over the changing room wall with a cell phone taking pictures of a woman who was trying on clothes. The victim confronted Smith, who then ran out of the store.

The alleged incident took place on Monday. Authorities tracked down Smith after interviewing witnesses and reviewing security footage, local news stations reported. If convicted, Smith faces up to five years in prison.

Target announced in April that men who identify as women would be allowed to use the women’s facilities at the retail store. Soon after, a man recorded himself receiving permission from Target staff to use the women’s bathrooms after he explained that’s where he “feels comfortable.”

SOURCE






Social Conservatives Declare Victory on Bathrooms, Marriage in GOP Platform

After fending off attempts to change the Republican Party’s official position on LGBT issues and traditional marriage, a coalition of social conservatives cautiously celebrated an early victory Monday afternoon.

Before the Grand Old Party picks its presidential nominee formally, a select set of delegates on the platform committee will spend the week staking out Republican positions on everything from domestic to international issues definitively.

On the social issue front of the Republican platform, conservatives maintained a strict definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. They limited the use of single-sex bathrooms in public buildings to those of the same biological sex. And they defeated efforts to steer the party in a direction more in line with LGBT advocacy groups.

“There are those who are committed to undermining the conservative ideals that this party has long stood for,” said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Center and a Louisiana delegate to the convention.

“They’re an extreme minority, they’re committed to their view, and I think they will persist,” he told The Daily Signal Monday. “But I don’t believe they will prevail.”

To become a part of the party’s platform, those initial advances still need to be ratified by a majority of the 2,472 Republican delegates that will crowd onto the floor of Quicken Loans Arena next week.

But social conservatives seemed confident Monday afternoon that they had defeated an effort financed by billionaire Republican Paul E. Singer, according to The New York Times. His group, American Unity Fund, along with Log Cabin Republicans, aimed to hammer new gay rights planks into the platform.

The effort ultimately failed in the subcommittee on the family.

“I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I had heard that somebody was spending $6 million to get LGBT stuff into the platform,” Kansas delegate Mary Culp told The Daily Signal. “I would say that the effort fizzled.”

President Barack Obama’s bathroom directive took center stage. In a sweeping May proclamation, the administration instructed local schools to extend Title IX protections, which prohibit sex-based discrimination, to transgender students. The directive suggested that schools that refuse to allow transgender students to use the single-sex bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with would potentially lose federal funds.

Addressing that policy in the platform is a political miscalculation, according to Anne Dickerson, a New York delegate who argued that the “discussion of bathrooms takes us down a rabbit hole quite a great distance.”

“I think this is a state issue,” she told her colleagues during a subcommittee hearing. “A lot of states, local municipalities, and schools who have transgender students have dealt with this issue rightfully at the local level.”

Though Dickerson declined to comment for this article, the New York delegate argued in committee that Republicans were blindly taking Democrats’ bait by elevating the issue in their platform.

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, echoed that sentiment, telling The Daily Signal he’s frustrated by Monday’s development.

“This is a foolish issue to nationalize and talk about within the Republican Party platform,” he said. “It literally drags the platform into the gutter when so many people who are on this committee seem hell-bent with some obsession with bathroom use.”

Social conservatives on the family subcommittee justified their positions by insisting that the White House forced their hand. It was necessary to insert bathroom language in the platform, they argue, to offer a rebuttal and give local school districts guidance on the issue.

“Cowards would say this is not politically expedient, let’s not talk about it, let’s just let the president’s radical agenda go unchallenged,” Perkins told The Daily Signal. “This is not the party of cowards.”

In an interview last week with The Daily Signal, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said delegates on the platform committee should take up the issue to keep boys and girls in their respective bathrooms based on biology, not gender identity.

“The president had made a federal issue—and it’s amazing to be saying this—of bathrooms,” Cuccinelli said. “The president has done this, we didn’t. But if he’s going to pick the fight, we’re not going to back down.”

The fight over social issues comes as evangelical voters question where Donald Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, stands on social issues.

Trump has been friendly toward former Olympian and current transgender advocate Caitlyn Jenner—who announced she will speak as a “transgender ambassador” at an event in Cleveland during the convention.

But recently the New York businessman announced his support of a North Carolina law that requires individuals to use public restrooms that correspond with their biological gender.

Social conservatives see the platform as a way to tether Trump to their brand of a pro-family platform. And so far, the Trump campaign has demonstrated little interest in challenging the party platform.

That’s good news for conservative groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List that were happy with the 2012 platform position on abortion, which looks unlikely to have significant changes.

“We’re going to remain vigilant, we want it [to] remain rock solid, and then we want to see Mr. Trump embrace this platform once it’s passed,” said Billy Valentine, the pro-life group’s director of government affairs, in an interview last week.

Though the party’s presumptive nominee disagrees with some GOP orthodoxies, coalition members say they’re confident that Republican doctrine on social issues will be conserved in the party platform.

SOURCE





Police veteran pleads for peace in heartbreaking post

A POLICE veteran’s gut-wrenching plea for compassion and understanding has touched thousands in the aftermath of a week of violence in the US.

Merri McGregor, a former police officer, took to Facebook to share her story. It included such harrowing details of what she’s experienced that it will no doubt change how many view those working in the police force.

She spoke about peeling a “dead, burned baby” from the front of her uniform shirt, and how she cried on the chest of a dead coworker who was unrecognisable from all the bullet holes.

The events of last week’s tragic Dallas shootings, where a lone gunman killed five police officers and injured seven others during a street protest, led to an outpouring of pleas for unity by fellow officers on social media.

What followed were nationwide reports of members of law enforcement being disciplined for speaking out after the horrific attack, including a senior Detroit police detective who was demoted after sharing a controversial Facebook post criticising the Black Lives Matter movement.

Yet, Ms McGregor, a 17-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, is garnering praise for sharing her story. In a powerful Facebook message, Ms McGregor recalls her first day on the job at age 21, posting a picture of herself in uniform, smiling as she headed out the door to her first night shift in 1998.

“Look at that smile on my face. I couldn’t have been more excited, more proud,” she wrote. “Armed with my dad’s badge that he wore for 25 years on my chest, one of my mom’s sergeant stripe patches in my pocket, my lucky $2.00 bill tucked into my bulletproof vest, a gun I was barely old enough to purchase bullets for on my hip and enough naive courage for a small army, I headed out the door ... my mom snapped this photo on my way.”

Ms McGregor then details her next 17 years in the police force, describing it as “a whole lot of heartache”. The 39-year-old mentions missed family holidays, sleepless nights, being shot at, watching colleagues die on the job, as well as “black eyes, torn ligaments, stab wounds, stitches, funerals, a head injury, permanent and irreparable nerve damage, five ruptured discs, some charming PTSD and depression issues ...”

But it is her graphic detail of what she has experienced that really touches a nerve.

“I’ve laid in wet grass on the freeway for three hours watching a team of burglars and orchestrating their apprehension, I’ve dodged gunfire while running down a dark alley in the middle of the night chasing a shooting suspect, I’ve argued with women who were too scared to leave their abusive husbands until they realised they had to or they would end up dead,” she wrote.

“I’ve peeled a dead, burned baby from the front of my uniform shirt, I’ve felt the pride of putting handcuffs on a serial rapist and I’ve cried on the chest of and kissed the cheek of my dead friend, coworker and academy classmate even though it was covered in his own dried blood and didn’t even look like him from all the bullet holes.

“I know what a bullet sounds like when it’s whizzing past your ear, a few inches away, I know what the sound of a mother’s shrilling scream is like when she finds out her son has been killed in the middle of the street and I know what it’s like to have to tell a wife and mother of 3 that her husband was killed in a car accident while on his way home from work.”

She continues: “Smells, pictures, sounds and sights are burned and engrained [sic] into our minds ... things we can never forget, no matter how hard we try; things that haunt our sleep at night and our thoughts during the day; things that we volunteered to deal with so that you don’t have to. Things I don’t want my sister, little cousins or YOU to even have to KNOW about.”

Ms McGregor’s emotion-charged post has been shared more than 130,000 times, with many applauding and thanking her for sharing her story. Others said the open letter brought them to tears.

The retired officer ends by imploring everyone to be more understanding and compassionate toward one another, saying, “We’re all SO much better than this.”

“Violence doesn’t cure violence and hate doesn’t cure hate.

“Are cops perfect? No. Are there bad cops? Yes.

“But please understand that the vast majority of police are good, loving, well-intentioned family people. They have husbands and wives and children and parents and pets and cousins and mortgages and electric bills and lawns that need cutting, just like you. They have hearts and consciences.”

After an overwhelmingly positive response to her initial post, Ms McGregor followed it up with a second Facebook message.

“Wow. I’m blown away. Never thought I’d air my private PTSD and depression issues to the world but maybe it was for the best,” she wrote. “I can’t do that job anymore, sadly. I’m not strong enough anymore, physically or emotionally, and I’m comfortable enough to be able to admit that now. Just know that my DPD people are still out there getting it done and they are some of the most amazing, honorable, brave people I’ve ever known.”

Ms McGregor’s post is in contrast with one by Detroit detective Nathan Weekley, a 17-year veteran of the department, who was demoted for writing on Facebook that the Black Lives Matter movement included “terrorists” and “racists” in the days following the Dallas shootings.

Separately, four Detroit men have been arrested over the past week for allegedly threatening to kill police on Facebook and Twitter, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

One tweet that led to an arrest referred to Dallas shooter Micah Johnson as “a hero”. He was charged with inciting injury to persons or property.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************



14 July, 2016

Parents lose custody of malnourished toddler fed vegan diet

A 14-MONTH-OLD Italian boy is recovering from malnutrition after his parents reportedly fed him a vegan diet without proper supplementation.

The Telegraph reported that the boy, whose name wasn’t disclosed, weighed slightly more than a newborn after his grandparents took him to the hospital, where doctors found he had calcium levels slightly above what is necessary for survival. Italian authorities have removed the parents’ custodial rights of their child.

“It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition, and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision. But since birth, the baby should have had support in this case with calcium and iron,” Luca Bernardo, director of pediatrics at the Milan hospital that took the boy in, told the Telegraph.

An estimated 2.8 per cent of the population in Italy is vegan.
The baby’s low calcium levels caused him to suffer a congenital heart condition, which compelled doctors to perform emergency surgery.

“This forces us to reflect on uncommon feeding regimes, even if in this case it was complicated by a cardiac malformation,” Bernardo told the news website.

In Italy, where an estimated 2.8 per cent of the population is vegan, four other Italian children have been hospitalised for malnutrition within the past 18 months, according to the Telegraph.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics doesn’t advise parents against feeding their children a vegetarian diet as long as it’s well supplemented with vitamins B12, vitamin D, calcium and iron. However, the group recommends parents interested in this route consult a dietitian.

The future of the Italian toddler remains to be seen. The Telegraph reported that he is recovering in the hospital, and authorities are determining whether his grandparents will gain custody.

SOURCE






Backdown? Iowa Civil Rights Agency Says It Won’t Tell Pastors What to Preach on Sexuality

Iowa’s human rights agency, in a “clarification,” says it will not muzzle churches that teach on matters of biblical sexuality, nor force them to open single-sex restrooms to members of the opposite sex.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission said it has revised its brochure on “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity” to state that churches generally are exempt from certain provisions of the state’s civil rights law.

“The revision replaces the previous version which had not been updated since 2008 and clarifies that religious activities by a church are exempt from the Iowa Civil Rights Act,” the commission said in a press release announcing its July 8 decision.

Cary Gordon, senior pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa, told The Daily Signal for an article published July 6 that he “would hate to see a day” when the state arrests a pastor for doing his biblical duty.

“The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has never considered a complaint against a church or other place of worship on this issue,” Kristin H. Johnson, the commission’s director, said in a prepared statement. Johnson added:

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has not done anything to suggest it would be enforcing these laws against ministers in the pulpit, and there has been no new publication or statement from the [commission] raising the issue. The commission regrets the confusion caused by the previous publication.

In 2007, long before the current uproar over Americans using restrooms based on their gender identity, Iowa expanded its civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission published a brochure explaining its interpretation of the law for places of public accommodation such as hotels and restaurants. It said churches generally are not exempt, according to legal organization First Liberty Institute, which represents Gordon’s church.

“The First Amendment was written to protect the rights of churches to teach and live out their faith without fear of government intrusion,” Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute, said in an article on First Liberty’s website.

“The First Amendment was written to protect the rights of churches to teach and live out their faith without fear of government intrusion.” —@_KShackelford

Shackelford’s organization sent a “demand letter” July 5 on behalf of Cornerstone World Outreach, Gordon’s 900-member church, requesting “retraction of all prior statements regarding the ability of the state to interfere with churches’ doctrine and operation, and that it grant full exemption to the church.”

Another legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a federal lawsuit July 4 on behalf of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa, regarding the constitutionality of Iowa’s law as applied to churches.

“Cosmetic changes to the alarming language in one brochure won’t fix the unconstitutionality of the Iowa Civil Rights Act,” Christiana Holcomb, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel, said in a written statement.

Alliance Defending Freedom will continue to challenge Iowa’s law, Holcomb said.

“We’re taking the state at its word that it will not encroach on the church in any way,” Chelsey Youman, counsel and chief of staff for First Liberty Institute, said in a written statement.

Gordon, in a press release from First Liberty, said he accepts the commission’s apology, but with “clear reservations.”

“We will continue to monitor their activities and stand ready to defend all churches at any time,” the pastor said.

SOURCE







Religious Liberty and Same-Sex Marriage Takes Center Stage in Congress

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are bracing for what is likely to be a contentious hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill  over legislation aimed at protecting individuals and organizations who hold traditional views about marriage and sexuality.

The long-awaited hearing, called by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will examine how the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision has affected people who hold traditional views on marriage and review legislation that would protect those people from facing adverse actions by the government.

The bill being debated, called the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), has 171 co-sponsors, all of them Republican except Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.

The measure was introduced in both the House and the Senate more than a year ago. Conservatives are eager for Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to allow the bill to get marked up in committee and then move to the House floor for a full vote.

“It is unacceptable that Chairman Chaffetz and Republican leaders have not prioritized consideration of FADA,” said Michael Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action for America, which is urging members to move the bill forward, in a press release. “The bill must be marked up before the Republican House majority leaves for a seven-week recess.”

Liberals, however, have major problems with the legislation, saying it would roll back “critical protections” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, and are lobbying members to vote against it.

Upon learning of the hearing, a group of 70 left-leaning national, state, and local groups sent a letter to Chaffetz urging him to cancel the event. The hearing, “Religious Liberty and H.R. 2808, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA),” falls on the one-month anniversary of the terrorist attack on an Orlando gay nightclub that resulted in 49 people dead and another 53 injured.

“Congress should be holding hearings on the needs of the victims, their families, and survivors of the Orlando attacks, or on ways to better protect the LGBTQ community from bias-motivated violence or discrimination,” said David Stacy, director of government affairs for the liberal Human Rights Campaign in a statement. “But instead, only a month after the attack, they are unconscionably holding a hearing on harmful legislation that singles out the LGBTQ community.”

Conservatives say that after the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, the religious liberty conflicts have escalated. During questioning for that case, Justice Samuel Alito asked U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who was arguing in support of same-sex marriage, whether a religious school could lose its tax-exempt status for opposing same-sex marriage. In response, Verrilli said, ‘‘It’s certainly going to be an issue.’’

Now, more than a year later, conservatives believe legislation is needed to safeguard those with traditional beliefs about marriage and sexuality from being denied federal grants, losing their tax-exempt status, or being otherwise punished by the federal government.

The First Amendment Defense Act would protect a religious school, for example, from losing its tax-exempt status, and prevent a federal employee from being fired for holding traditional views about marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign voiced concern that housing shelters receiving federal grants could cite FADA as grounds for denying a same-sex couple accommodations, or that an emergency women’s shelter receiving federal grants could deny services to a couple because they’re in a same-sex marriage.

The legislation would not generally apply to private businesses, such as the bakery run by Aaron and Melissa Klein who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. However, it could affect private businesses that are recipients of federal contracts or grants, licenses, or tax benefits, for example, by preventing the government from taking adverse actions against them for holding traditional views about marriage.

Both Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, will testify on Tuesday morning as witnesses in favor of the legislation, along with The Witherspoon Institute’s Matthew Franck, and Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel and senior vice president at Alliance Defending Freedom.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a Christian conservative nonprofit that represents a number of clients who have faced adverse actions for acting on their beliefs about marriage and sexuality. One of their clients, former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, will testify at the hearing, sharing how he personally stands to benefit from protections the First Amendment Defense Act would provide.

On Jan. 6, 2015, Cochran was fired from his job after self-publishing a men’s devotional book addressing marriage and sexuality from a biblical perspective.

Tuesday, Cochran, an African-American who grew up in poverty, will share his account of race-based discrimination growing up in Shreveport, La., and why he feels the First Amendment Defense Act is necessary to prohibit “government discrimination” for people who hold traditional beliefs about marriage.

Democrat witnesses include Jim Obergefell, the leading plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage case. Joining him is Barney Frank, a former congressman from Massachusetts, and Katherine Franke, director at the Columbia School of Law Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.

SOURCE




Israel’s diplomatic spring

We are living at a time when preconceived notions are crashing down one on top of the other.

We thought that nothing would ever change in the Arab world. But the Arab world hasn't merely changed, large portions of it have collapsed. And regimes that have so far survived are beating a path to Israel's door.

We thought that American dominance in the Middle East would last forever. And today the US is withdrawing. Its withdrawal may be short-lived, or it may stay out for the foreseeable future. Whatever the case, Russia is already picking up the pieces.

That would be shocking enough. But even worse, as it has withdrawn, the US has turned a cold shoulder on Israel and its Sunni allies in a bid to build an alliance with Iran.

We thought that the European Union was the rising world power. We thought the euro was the currency of tomorrow.

Instead, Britain decided to bolt the EU and the Eurozone is a disaster zone. European economic growth is sclerotic. European societies are coming apart at the seams under the crushing weight of failed monetary policies, overregulation and mass immigration from the ruins of the Arab world.

Now we are witnessing the collapse of yet another preconceived notion.

For more than twenty years - indeed, since the initiation of the phony peace process with the PLO in 1993 - the who's who of Israel's chattering classes have told us that our growing diplomatic isolation is the result of our failure to make peace with the PLO. Everything will change for the better, immediately, they tell us, the minute we give up Jerusalem, expel hundreds of thousands of Israelis from their homes in Judea and Samaria, and hand security control of the Jordan Valley over to someone else.

But amazingly, despite the fact that there is no peace process, rather than suffering from diplomatic collapse, it is springtime for Israeli diplomacy as governments around the world seek out closer ties with Israel.

And they aren't coming to us, despite our supposed moral failings. They are coming to us because they admire us.

Exhibit A: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Last week Putin delivered an address before the All Russian Historical Assembly about the importance of teaching Russian history to Russia's citizens. Putin used Israel as a model for how historical knowledge empowers a nation.

Putin said, "Israel...relies and develops its identity and brings up its citizens with reliance on historical examples."

Putin's use of Israel as a positive role model showed that Putin's sudden courtship of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not solely the product of strategic and economic interests.

He happens to admire Israel.

Next week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will embark on a five day visit to Africa. During the trip he will visit Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. He may meet with additional heads of state during one of his stops. Netanyahu's visit marks the first prime ministerial trip to Africa since the late Yitzhak Rabin visited in the early 1990s.

Africa isn't Russia. But it is an important arena.

For nearly a century and a half, Africa has been the playing ground of world powers. In the 19thcentury, the European powers divided it up among themselves. In the Cold War, the newly independent states of Africa were sucked into the superpower competition as the US and the Soviet Union competed for turf through their African proxies.

Since the end of the Cold War, both world powers and regional ones have been drawn to Africa who view it as a convenient economic and strategic stomping ground.

Over the past decade and a half, China has emerged as the dominant economic player in Africa. The Chinese move from state to state building infrastructures in exchange for mining and petroleum contracts.

The US, for its part, has opted not to challenge China's economic dominance in Africa. The US's nonchalance is either a function of indifference or ignorance of the toll that China's economic behavior will eventually take on US companies in Africa.

Case in point is Gabon. The West African nation is an oil power. According to business sources in Gabon, President Ali Bongo Ondimba is a pro-Western Muslim. He is interested in expanded trade ties to the US.

Ondimba's electoral opponent, Jean Ping, a former senior UN official and former foreign minister, is oriented towards China. Yet, the US is allegedly supporting Ping over Ondimba due to dissatisfaction with the latter's human rights record. If Ping is elected in August, US oil companies in Gabon are liable to see their contracts challenged.

Human rights and democracy promotion are major themes of US policy in Africa. Since the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, counterterrorism has also been a major concern. During his presidency, George W. Bush established the US military's Africa Command to run US operations in Africa.

However, as part of Obama's policy of winding down the US's war against terrorism, and following the US's contribution to the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the US has constrained its operations. Its minimalistic approach to fighting Boko Haram in West Africa and al Qaeda offshoots in East Africa makes clear that the US's strategic disarray, after 7 and a half years of the Obama presidency, has not left Africa unaffected.

World powers are not the only players in Africa. Regional powers are also on the scene. Iran, for instance, views Africa as a theater for expanding its influence over the Middle East. Last month the Wall Street Journal reported on Iran's growing missionary presence in in West Africa.

Iran and Hezbollah are running Islamic centers in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Cameroon, and they're getting results. Whereas in 1980, a Pew Survey showed no adherents to Shiite Islam in Africa, today, 12 percent of Nigeria's 90 million Muslims are Shiites. So are 21 percent of Muslims in Chad, 20 percent in Tanzania, and eight percent in Ghana.

Much of the missionary work is being handled by Lebanese expatriates in West Africa. Many of these former Lebanese are suspected of having close ties with Hezbollah. Indeed, earlier this year, the US Treasury Department named three Lebanese nationals living in Nigeria as Hezbollah operatives.

During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tenure as Iranian president, Teheran expended enormous resources expanding and deepening its presence in Africa. Among the fruits of his efforts was the Eritrean regime's agreement to allow Iran to operate a naval base in the Horn of Africa. Iran's cooperation with Sudan, and its use of Sudanese territory to ship advanced weapons to Gaza reached new heights.

Iran's Africa strategy took a major hit earlier this year, however. Owing to massive Saudi pressure, and, in all likelihood, massive payoffs, Sudan, Comoros, Somalia and Djibouti cut their diplomatic ties with Iran in January. Sudan even joined Saudi Arabia in its campaign against Iran in Yemen. Eritrea reportedly permitted the Saudis to launch operations in Yemen from its territory.

This then brings us back to Israel, and Netanyahu's visit to Africa.

In recent years, Israel has also been expanding its relations with African nations. Even South Africa, Israel's greatest antagonist in Africa indicated earlier this year that its hostility isn't all-consuming. In March, Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold had a prolonged visit to South Africa where he was the guest of his South African counterpart.

South Africa aside, African nations from all over the continent view Israel as a rich source of technology and security expertise they are keen to tap. They also view Israel as a rising economic power. With an average economic growth rate of 6 percent, Africa is also an attractive market for Israeli companies across a swathe of industries.

The most practical lesson from power politics in Africa is that for Africans, nothing is a done deal. African states can cooperate simultaneously with competing outside powers and everyone benefits. For instance, according to reports, Eritrea allows Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia to operate on its territory simultaneously. In other words, there is no reason to ever consider anyone in anyone's pocket, and no reason not to ask for what we want. We may get it.

In recent years, Israel has done this to our advantage in the diplomatic realm, long thought to be a lost cause.

Last September, a draft resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency calling for Israel to open its nuclear sites to UN inspectors came up for a vote. It was defeated due to opposition from African states.

So too, in late 2000, a draft UN Security Council resolution recognizing "Palestine" was defeated because Nigeria and Rwanda chose to abstain from voting. The African representatives' action caught supporters of the resolution by surprise.

The Israeli leader most responsible for those successes was then foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. During his tenure at the Foreign Ministry, Liberman conducted two prolonged visits to Africa during which he visited seven countries, including Nigeria and Rwanda.

There is every reason to expect that during Netanyahu's visit to Africa, Israel will expand and deepen its ties with Africa still further. And at some point, those deepened ties will result in further African support for Israel at the UN.

This returns us to our shattered accepted wisdom about Israel's diplomatic isolation.

The view that Israel's diplomatic fate is directly tied to its willingness to give up Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem is based on the Eurocentric view that the EU is the most important player in the diplomatic arena and that Israel cannot be successful unless Brussels supports us. For Israel's elites, the fact that the EU is hostile to Israel is taken as proof that we are morally compromised and don't deserve their support.

But as Israel's diplomatic rise in Africa, Asia, Russia and beyond makes clear, the Eurocentric view is wrong. Israel needn't waste its time and energy trying to appease the Europeans. Not only is it an exercise in futility, given Europe's boundless and unhinged hostility. It is also unnecessary, given Europe's economic weakness and political decay.

Due to our elite's continued allegiance to the Eurocentric view, scant media attention has been paid to Israel's diplomatic blossoming. Much of the public is unaware that far from being isolated, Israel is enjoying a diplomatic rise unseen since the end of the Cold War.

The time however, has come for us to recognize the change. For the faster we come to terms with our new position, the faster we will maximize its potential.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************




13 July, 2016

A hard way to learn

Tragic schoolgirl Alice Gross wrote an essay in support of free movement within the EU before she is believed to have been killed by a convicted Latvian murder, it has been revealed.

Alice wrote about the benefits of European migration and discussed the push to keep foreign criminals out of Britain, saying such a move could 'reintroduce the idea of racism'.

Just three months later, the 14-year-old is thought to have been killed by Arnis Zalkalns, who was able to 'come and go' across the UK border despite a conviction for stabbing his wife to death in his homeland.

The essay was released by Alice's parents, Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, and seen by the Guardian.

The schoolgirl wrote: 'Personally, I believe that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the EU as it allows our country to be considered a communal and friendly country.

Addressing Ukip's call to have foreign criminals banned from Britain, she wrote: 'I believe that this takes away the concept of equality amongst the community by implying that criminals don’t deserve the same rights everyone else has.

'It also depicts Britain to believe foreign criminals are different and dangerous compared to the British criminals, reintroducing the idea of racism.'

In an interview with the newspaper, the couple said they had decided to share their daughter's words because they had been alarmed at how Alice had been used by anti-immigration groups and Brexiteers to further their arguments. 

An inquest into Alice's death was told how Zalkalns, a father of two, arrived in Britain in 2007.

He had only just been released from prison for murdering his wife Rudite - who he stabbed to death in remote woodlands and buried in a shallow grave - but went unchecked.

During the inquest, the Home Office policy chief for criminal records admitted that it had not been policy to monitor every entrant into the UK at the time Zalkalns arrived.

David Cheesman also admitted that, even if checks were carried out, they would not have been thorough enough to unearth Zalkalns' prison sentence.

The builder also had a string of other convictions, including for firearms offences, sexual assault and spreading a sexual disease.

Mr Cheesman said criminals are only put on a 'watch list' if convictions are reported to Interpol. 

He said: 'If we are not given that information under the current system it isn't until the first time he comes into the custody suite, however minor the offence, that the check will be made.'

Two years after his arrival, he was arrested when a 14-year-old said he indecently assaulted her in Brentford in 2009.

She refused to give evidence and police failed to check his convictions in Latvia. He was released without charge.

But the hearing was told that, had they have performed the Association of Criminal Records Office (ACRO) check, officers would have uncovered his murderous past.

SOURCE





France is 'on the verge of a civil war' which could be sparked by a mass sexual assault on women by migrants, intelligence chief warns

France is on the verge of a 'civil war' which could be sparked by the mass sexual assault of women by migrants similar to the one seen in Cologne on New Year's Eve, the country's head of intelligence has said.

He believes the situation is so tense and fragile that another major Islamist terror attack or mass migrant sexual assault could lead to a huge right-wing backlash.

Patrick Calvar, chief of the Directorate General of Internal Security, told members of the French parliamentary commission: 'We are on the brink of civil war'.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, he said: 'This confrontation I think it will take place.  'Even one or two attacks and it will happen. It therefore behooves us to anticipate and block all these groups.'

The warning from Mr Calvar follows similar concerns expressed by prominent police, army and security experts from across Europe.

In May the former head of MI6, Richard Dearlove, said Europe would face a 'populist uprising' if its governments did not take control of the migrant crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also told by security experts last October that middle class citizens in Germany were becoming 'radicalised' because of her open borders migrant policy. She was warned that it could lead to widespread disorder.

SOURCE






Revealed: 1,200 women were sexually assaulted by 2,000 men in German cities on New Year's Eve

A leaked report has revealed a staggering 1,200 were sexually abused in German cities during New Year's Eve celebrations.

The police document stated detectives believe 2,000 men were involved across various cities but that the bulk of the crimes were committed in Cologne and Hamburg where 600 and 400 sexual assaults on women were reported respectively.

Of the 2,000 perpetrators, only 120 have been identified, and about half of them were foreign nationals who had only recently arrived in Germany.

The report was published by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which revealed a huge upscale in the original estimate of 359 sexual assault victims back in January. By May, that figure had increased to 'up to 1,000', according to the authorities in Germany.

The horrendous scenes more than seven months ago have only resulted in four convictions, although more trials are underway.

One of the most recent were the trials of foreign nationals Hussain A and Hassan T, walked from court cheering and smiling having been gifted suspended sentences despite the judge calling them 'animals'.

Algerian Hassan T was also found guilty of being an accomplice to a sexual assault carried out by a group of around 20 men.

The 26-year-old told a man who was walking with two female victims 'Give me the girls, give me the girls - or you're dead.'

Hussain A, a 21-year-old Iraqi, had kissed a young woman against her will and then licked her face.

'We see that as sexual assault,' said judge Gerd Krämer. 'He forced the victim to accept the kiss and lick.'

Both were given a one-year suspended sentence and their victims openly wept in court.

Dozens of victims have bravely come forward to tell of their horror, including 17-year-old studnet Dilara Zajarskaite, who waived her anonymity to tell MailOnline: 'We were attacked separate five times and no one stopped to help us. These Arab men touched me and hurt me. They tried to kidnap my best friend. It was terrifying.

'I told a policeman what had happened to us that night but he said it was not worth making a complaint because I could not name any of the attackers. 'It is a scandal the police have not captured any of the men who did this.'

Hers is one of 1,200 nightmare stories from December last year, which include crimes ranging from pick pocketing to gang rape.

One woman, known only as Jenny, suffered serious burns when a firework was shoved into the hood she was wearing.

'I heard a sizzling sound in my hood,' said Jenny. 'I somehow tried to get the firecracker out of the hood. Then it fell into my jacket and burned everything.'

She added: 'The scars will be permanent. I was lucky that it didn’t explode.' 

Police say the wave of attacks were perpetrated by groups of 'Arab or North African' men in the city centre, in what they described as a 'new dimension in crime'.

Another distressed victim, who did not want to be identified, told Euronews: ‘We were fondled, I was groped between my legs. My friends were also fondled. My boyfriend tried to pull me away. There was quite a big group of people, maybe thirty or forty,'

One of the first victim's to speak out, an 18-year-old named only as Michelle, described being surrounded by a group of 30 'angry' men who groped her and her friends then stole their belongings as they fled.

Witnesses and police have described men working in 'coordinated' groups to grope women who were unable to escape, while two women reported they were raped.

SOURCE





Muslim savagery in action in Australia

Zandipour is an Iranian surname so the offender is almost certainly Muslim

A SIX second attack has turned into at least 16 years behind bars for killer Kyle Sirious Zandipour.

He was found guilty of murdering Melbourne University student Joshua Hardy in 2014 outside a McDonald’s restaurant on St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

He stomped on Joshua’s head and bashed him to death, in an attack the court heard only lasted six seconds.

Zandipour was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years on Tuesday — with a non-parole period of 16 years — by Victorian Supreme Court Justice Karin Emerton.

Zandipour, 29, was a Melbourne banker when he saw Joshua, 21, at the fast food restaurant.

Joshua was at a 21st in October 2014, and was in the taxi home when he decided to detour for a late night snack at McDonald’s.

He asked to borrow a phone from one of Zandipour’s friends and was pushed away.  Zandipour, who had never met Mr Hardy before, then threw him on the ground and stomped on him. The court was told it was a “truly frightening display of violence”.

Joshua’s father, David Hardy, said moments of madness could have undying consequences.  “Two young lives are shattered. Friends and family of all involved are broken,” he said.

“Everybody loses when it comes to social violence, so please step back and think because actions have consequences. Tragic and devastating consequences for all involved.”

Zandipour pleaded not guilty to murder but was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury in May.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************




12 July, 2016

Boy, eight, who died of SCURVY was ‘denied basic human rights’ by his parents who refused to let him see a doctor

What most readers will find in the story below is an account of fanatical or unbalanced parents trusting their own weird ideas right up until they unintentionally kill their child.  But more context is needed.

The important context is the vicious social services of Britain and the fact that all doctors are obliged to report to them all instances of unexplained harm inflicted on a child.

Resulting from that have been many instances of innocent parents being accused of child abuse.  Just the accusation is devastating enough but a substantial number of cases do result in the child being taken away from its family.  So any family with unconventional beliefs or practices -- even belonging to a minor political party -- will rightly fear what will happen when they present an unwell child to a doctor.  That would almost certainly have been involved below.

What is needed is strict judicial supervision of the social workers with full normal legal safeguards -- presumption of innocence, verdict beyond reasonable doubt, trial open to public scrutiny, and competent legal and medical representation for the parents.  At present very little of that applies and some of it is expressly forbidden.  Taking a child from its family is a most serious decision that should have all possible legal protections

Had such protections been in place already, the child below might have been presented to the doctors earlier -- and still be alive today.  Vicious social workers can kill



An eight-year-old boy who died of scurvy was 'invisible' to the authorities after his parents refused to allow officials to see him from the age of 13 months.

Dylan Seabridge died aged eight at his family's isolated farmhouse in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and had no direct contact with doctors, nurses or teachers for seven years.

His parents Glynn, 47, and Julie, 46, who home-schooled him, initially believed he was suffering from growing pains but the true cause was revealed after he collapsed in December 2011 and later died in hospital.

Scurvy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C and was once common among sailors due to a lack of access to fruits and vegetables, but is almost unheard of now in modern society.

An independent report into his death commissioned by the Welsh Government found that he may have been denied 'basic human rights' by being withheld from mainstream services and was 'not given the right to appropriate health care'.

The report accepts parents have the right to educate their child at home rather than at school - and that home education was not in itself a risk factor for abuse or neglect - but recommended creating a register of home-schooled children to keep tabs on them.

Author Gladys Rhodes White said that the current legislation is in 'stark contrast' to the Welsh Government's commitment to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

In the report, she said: 'He was not routinely having access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities along with friendships and age appropriate socialisation.

'When he encountered health problems he was not given the right to appropriate health care.'

The review said it appeared that the child's emotional and physical well-being had been compromised.

It stated: 'His parents had parental responsibility and a duty to provide appropriate care, including the need to seek medical attention for his health needs. This did not happen.'

Ms Rhodes White added: 'It is particularly poignant that in conducting this review we have no sense whatsoever of this child. Who was he, what did he like, what were his thoughts and aspirations?.

'There is a total lack of information on him other than very limited glimpses gleaned from the information presented by the family. 'It is tragic that there are many references that the child was 'invisible'.'  

Mr and Mrs Seabridge were charged with neglect after Dylan's death but the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case in 2014, and not guilty verdicts were entered.

The parents also disputed an inquest ruling that their son died from scurvy, a rare condition caused by lack of vitamin C. 

It emerged earlier this year that concerns were raised about Dylan more than a year before he died. Education officials visited the Seabridges but they were not allowed access to the home, and they had no power to see Dylan.

Welsh Government officials said the findings would be carefully considered. 'This is a very sad case and it is vital everyone working with children and adults learn lessons from the review,' a spokesman said.

'This will include us looking at our guidance across the public services and the third sector to see if there are areas we can change and improve.' 

A previous inquest in Milford Haven heard how Mr Seabridge called 999 after his son collapsed and paramedics were rushed to the family home. They found Dylan unconscious and not breathing with bruising to his ankle and knee along with swollen legs.

He was rushed to hospital but suffered a heart attack and doctors were unable to save him.

Home Office pathologist Dr Deryck Simon Jones, who carried out the post mortem examination, concluded that Dylan's death was due to a vitamin C deficiency, commonly known as scurvy but the family reject this finding.

Their lawyer Katie Hanson told the inquest: 'The parents don't accept that Dylan died of scurvy.'

A specialist from Belgium, professor Joris Dlanghe, also questioned whether Dylan had scurvy claiming that other deficiencies such as folic acid would have been present too but were not.

SOURCE






When a Culture Unmans Itself

Men need to "be better.” —Michelle Obama in conversation with Oprah.

Western civilization is clearly coming part at the seams. There are so many destructive elements at work, they are almost impossible to list. But one of the most destructive of these elements, incited by a punitive feminist ideology, is the relentless campaign to delegitimize the very idea of manhood. And the most effective way to do that is to impugn male sexuality.

We are told constantly that we live in a virtual rape culture, a culture in which rape is widespread and condoned, victims are blamed, and rapists receive little or no punishment. There are rape cultures in the world. If one wants to see one in action, all one need do is look at the Muslim world or at Muslim enclaves and populations that have burrowed into Western nations, where atrocities and scandals continue to multiply. In the Western world, by contrast, rape and other forms of sexual misconduct—even mere allegations of sexual misconduct—are universally condemned and harshly punished.

No matter. Islamic culture gets a free pass while Western culture is said to be ravaged by gynophobia under the reign of male supremacism. In the new sexual paradigm that has clamped succubus-like upon the culture, the heterosexual male mainstream is under attack for the crime of harboring a normal sexual drive, which must be ruthlessly expunged in an offensive characterized by media propaganda, legislative bias and institutional practices. Respectable-seeming websites promote the total reform of masculinity using terms such as “mascupathy” to define masculine traits such as aggression and competitiveness as forms of disease needing to be cured. Western men are being progressively demasculanized, a deficiency which results, as Andrew Klavan argues, in “tremulous feminists who hysterically fear rape culture on college campuses where it is not, and Western leaders who don’t dare to see the rape culture inherent in invading Islam, where it is.”

What the Feminization of the West Has Wrought

The signs of anti-male bias are everywhere we look. The university, for example, has become a veritable minefield for male students, who may at any time be hauled before an administrative tribunal and their careers put in jeopardy for sexual misconduct, however trivial or ambiguous. A recent memo from my wife’s university mandates a statement against “sexual violence” in all course syllabi—mind you, nothing against harassing and lying about one’s professor for a better grade, shutting down conservative, Zionist, pro-Life or anti-feminist speakers, perpetrating racist hoaxes, denouncing the teaching of good English and male authors as forms of “microagression,” or any of the other violations of civil conduct that we have witnessed on university campuses recently. The only sexist harassment that takes place regularly in academia is feminist harassment of male students and staff—but that is considered not intimidation but enlightened practice.

Is it any wonder, then, that even our military is being insidiously weakened? Responding to a vehement attack on supposed martial dishonor by a former Supreme Court justice, it has turned from its primary task of defending the country to counseling its soldiers against what it regards as sexual delinquency by issuing wallet cards listing “inappropriate behaviors.” These include “sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation, offensive sexual remarks or unacceptable language or jokes, unwelcome requests of a sexual nature or verbal abuse of a sexual nature, voyeurism, indecent acts and publishing intimate images of a person without their consent.” The fact is, most men in the civilized West are not sexual predators or unreconstructed brutes but most men do tend to joke and flirt and make off-color remarks and otherwise show an interest in women, whether sexual or romantic, in virtue of being men. More to the point, if men are no longer permitted to be men, how then can they be soldiers?

When manliness is eliminated from a culture fixated on the supposedly corrupt and vicious nature of masculinity, while armies of apologetic White Knights and self-abnegating feminist allies (aka “manginas”) come to replace a diminishing platoon of alpha males—“We live in a world run by betas and their lady friends,” quips J.R. Dunn in a prescient article for American Thinker—the writing is on the wall. As Michael Ignatieff reminded us in The Lesser Evil, a culture, a nation or a civilization cannot expect to survive if it is defended by herbivores. It needs a Praetorian cohort of carnivores, determined men proud of their masculinity and unafraid to confront the enemies outside the gates as well as the fifth columnists, defeatists and appeasers within—i.e., politicians on both sides of the aisle, spineless university administrators, media abettors, tergiversating liberals, tenured academics who indoctrinate from the left rather than educate from the tradition of reputable scholarship, and the feminist Furies acting out their faux version of Lysistrata—if a culture is not only to survive but to flourish.

The feminist hordes in their anti-male animus, along with their Beta and Delta collaborators, have overrun a once-great and hardy civilization. As Klavan puts it, “The future goes where men go and does what men make it do. If men go down the drain, the future will follow.” The expression of male sexual desire in Western culture is hedged by rules of appropriate conduct and a code of chivalry, occasionally honored in the breach, yet relatively intact. But when male sexuality in its natural manifestations is regarded as an evil that must be controlled, reviled, prosecuted and ultimately bred out of men, societal collapse is inevitable. The irony is palpable. For a culture that targets men can neither defend nor reproduce itself and its days are numbered.

SOURCE





Pastor Says State Law Threatens His Right to Teach the Bible in His Church

An Iowa pastor, saying the government needs to stop “meddling in religious affairs,” is at odds with the state over a law focused on sexual orientation and gender identity that he says hinders his First Amendment right to teach on matters of sexuality.

“The state of Iowa is not the self-appointed pope of all churches,” Cary Gordon, pastor of Cornerstone World Outreach, a nondenominational church with around 900 members in Sioux City, Iowa, told The Daily Signal.

An Iowa Civil Rights Commission brochure on sexual orientation and gender identity says churches are places of public accommodation and generally are not exempt from the law, according to First Liberty Institute, a legal organization that defends religious freedom and represents Gordon’s church.

The brochure says the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code Chapter 216, “was expanded to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes.” The change took effect in July 2007.

“It is now illegal in Iowa to discriminate against a person because of his/her sexual orientation or gender identity,” the brochure says.

Gordon told The Daily Signal:

As it reads, according to their interpretation of the Iowa code, if you discuss anything out of the Scripture that relates to sexuality or marriage … you’re not in compliance with the law and you can be sort of treated like a criminal.

Gordon, senior pastor of his church for over 21 years, said his greatest concern with the issue is the “flagrant disrespect for the First Amendment of the Constitution, where the state retains the power to correct or control what I say and teach out of the Bible.”

“It’s fundamentally wrong and I can’t comply with that,” Gordon added. “I’ve taken an oath to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I obey the Bible above all men. … I have to obey God, and that puts me in a precarious position.”

The state Civil Rights Commission’s brochure “also indicates that the government has the authority to force churches to allow men in women’s restrooms,” First Liberty Institute says in a case summary.

“The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has not made any changes in its interpretation of the law, nor does it intend to ignore the exemption for religious institutions when applicable,” Kristin Johnson, the commission’s executive director, wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. Johnson wrote:

"The Iowa Civil Rights Commission enforces Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code, which in part prohibits discrimination by public accommodations. The code also provides for an exemption for ‘Any bona fide religious institution with respect to any qualifications the institution may impose based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose.’ This law was enacted in 2007 and has been consistently enforced, and the exemption consistently applied, since its enactment"

First Liberty Institute’s letter requests that the civil rights panel publically acknowledge that Gordon’s church will be exempt from enforcement action.

“I would hate to see a day when a pastor for doing his duties is arrested or something and taken to jail,” Gordon said, adding:

"What we’re facing right now is quite literally a pastor being drug into court and having to spend a lot of church money to defend himself for doing something that pastors have been doing faithfully for hundreds of years and that’s teaching orthodox, Christian doctrine"

A federal lawsuit was filed July 4 on behalf of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa, against members of the state Civil Rights Commission over concerns similar to those expressed by Cornerstone World Outreach.

Gordon, the father of three girls and two boys, said the state doesn’t “have any right to tell us what to teach or how to teach it or how to apply our beliefs in real life.” “The state needs to stay out of our business,” he said.

Over the long term, the pastor said, this issue should affect all Christians:

The Bible teaches us to be modest and it teaches us certain roles that are honorable and beautiful about both sexes, male and female. You have to try to survive in a world that seems more and more hostile to what you believe whether you’re at church or at the shopping center.

Chelsey Youman, chief of staff and counsel for First Liberty Institute, told The Daily Signal it is hoping to avoid litigation. “We … wanted to give the state commission a chance to do the right thing here,” Youman said.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has by 10 a.m. Aug. 5 to respond.

“We think it’s an absolute wake-up call to churches across America that we’re now having a state government say what you can and cannot say about your own doctrinal beliefs within the confines of your church, let alone having to open your facilities up in a way that is against your doctrine,” Youman said. 

SOURCE




   

Why Switzerland is one of the hardest countries to gain citizenship in

Once again Switzerland shows the way

LAST week, two young girls had their citizenship applications rejected by the Swiss government.

The girls, aged 12 and 14, were denied a Swiss passport because they refused to participate in school swimming lessons and camps, saying the proximity to men in these contexts was forbidden by their religion.  Swimming lessons are compulsory in the Swiss city of Basel, where the incident took place.

Stefan Wehrle, president of the naturalisation committee, said that young people who wish to become citizens need to prove they’re meeting the requirements of the country’s education system.  “Whoever doesn’t fulfil these conditions violates the law and therefore cannot be naturalised,” he told the Swiss TV station SRF.

It’s the first in a string of cases where individuals and families have seen their citizenship requests denied on the basis of not properly integrating into the country’s society and culture.

In Switzerland, the rules are stringent. Foreigners with no direct blood ties to Switzerland must live in the country for at least 12 years before they can apply for citizenship (although years spent in the country between ages 10 and 20 count for double).

Unlike in Australia or the United States, general knowledge of the country is considered less important than provenly integrating into society.

Authorities can and will do regular check-ups to determine whether or not a migrant is making genuine attempts to assimilate into their local neighbourhood, and adopting the national customs and traditions.

According to the Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, one of the country’s largest newspapers, it is very rare for a naturalisation application to be denied. But a string of recent cases suggest otherwise.

In an incident last month, a Bosnian Muslim father was fined for refusing to allow his daughters to take swimming lessons at school.

He also forbade them from going to camps and other school events, claiming such activities ran counter to his religious beliefs, the AFP reported.

He was ordered to pay 4000 Swiss francs (almost $5,000), and the prosecutor additionally requested he serve four months in jail, saying he had been living in Switzerland since 1990 and had made no attempts to integrate.

The Swiss government is not shy about threatening fines over a lack of integration. A case of this a few months ago sparked national outrage after two Muslim schoolboys refused to shake their female teacher’s hand, saying any physical contact with a non-related female was prohibited by Islam.

The incident largely sparked fury after the school agreed that the boys would no longer have to shake their female teachers’ hands, with the country’s Justice Minister insisting “shaking hands is part of our culture”.

The decision was later overturned, and replaced by a rule that stated a parent or guardian could be fined up to 5000 francs ($6,000) if their child refused to shake hands.

In 2015, a 76-year-old American immigrant abandoned his quest to become a Swiss citizen after living there for 43 years.

Local officials refused his naturalisation application, claiming the man — who lived there with his three children and German wife — had not sufficiently integrated.

They justified this by claiming, based on tests they conducted, that he wasn’t familiar with the local area and didn’t have any local friends.

In a comparatively stricter ruling, a family from Kosovo was denied citizenship because they wore tracksuit pants around town.

Initially, the family’s application process seemed solid: they knew the customs and geography of their region, and they could all speak German (there is a rule that citizens must speak one of the three national languages fluently — German, French or Italian).

But some panel members said the fact that they didn’t wear jeans was a hindrance, as was the fact that they didn’t greet people they passed in the street.   

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************






11 July, 2016

Britain's rogue animal welfare organization forced by a judge to do the right thing

The RSPCA has been dealt a humiliating rebuke by a judge after the charity rehomed a woman’s cats without her permission.

Retired nurse Irene Brown, 68, was rushed to hospital last Christmas with meningitis, and five of her six cats were ‘signed over’ to the charity by her sister, who thought she would not return home.

One of the six cats was put down, and although three others were later returned, Miss Brown, of Wellingborough, Northants, is mounting an unprecedented legal challenge for the return of the remaining two rehomed by the RSPCA, which says it was given ‘authority’ to do so.

But District Judge Adam Taylor said last week the charity had a ‘fundamental problem’ with its defence and referred its solicitor to a legal rule in Latin: Nemo dat quod non habet – or no one gives what he doesn’t have.

An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘The court ordered the RSPCA to provide information about the whereabouts of the two remaining cats. This is being done.’

SOURCE






Obama Administration Refuses to Enforce ‘Right of Conscience,’ Legal Group Says

The Obama administration refuses to enforce federal law that protects Americans’ freedom of conscience, a Christian legal aid group says.

In 2014, California began mandating that employee health plans cover elective abortions. A state agency is refusing to exempt churches from the mandate, said Casey Mattox, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Churches should never be forced to cover elective abortion in their insurance plans, and for 10 years the Weldon Amendment has protected the right to have plans that do not include coverage for abortion on demand,” Mattox said in a statement.

The federal Weldon Amendment prohibits states receiving taxpayer funds under federal law from discriminating against health insurance plans that don’t cover abortion, Mattox has argued.

“The administration’s refusal to enforce [the Weldon Amendment] continues its pattern of enforcing laws it wants to enforce, refusing to enforce others, and inventing new interpretations of others out of whole cloth,” Mattox said in a formal statement.

“California has outlawed the licensing of any health care plan in the state that does not cover elective abortion. It is perfectly clear that California is violating the law and the Obama administration has frequently been refusing to enforce the law,” Mattox told The Daily Signal.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed two lawsuits in California challenging the rule.

Since the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires employers to provide health insurance coverage, California churches have been left without a way to opt out of paying for abortions, Alliance Defending Freedom says.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mattox said, “is obligated to go enforce this law itself, and it has decided that it is not going to enforce the law.”

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services sent a response letter to several formal complaints filed by Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom over the California Department of Managed Health Care’s decision to force all employers to cover elective abortions.

In the letter, the Obama administration dismissed the “right of conscience” complaints after concluding that California’s law does not violate federal law, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Jocelyn Samuels, director of the federal agency’s Office for Civil Rights, wrote in the response letter: “A finding that [California Department of Managed Health Care] has violated the Weldon Amendment might require the government to rescind all funds appropriated under the Appropriations Act to the state of California.”

Rescinding the taxpayer money, Samuels added, “would raise substantial questions about the constitutionality of the Weldon Amendment.”

Addressing that position, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Mattox said:

    "The Obama administration says enforcing the Weldon Amendment against California would violate the Constitution because you would be withholding all of these funds from the state. Which is very interesting because at the exact same time, you have the administration telling North Carolina that it’s going to withhold funds under the exact same appropriations bill"

The Justice Department sent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, a letter in May saying the state’s “bathroom bill” violated federal law. The measure, which McCrory signed in March, made bathrooms in government buildings accessible based on a person’s biological sex, not his or her gender identity.

This is a “blatant contradiction,” Mattox said. “Basically, the administration is speaking out of both sides of its mouth,” he said.

SOURCE






UK: Putting women soldiers like me on the front line is dangerous - blame our biology

KATE MEDINA

To my parents’ dismay, as a young girl I dressed in army fatigues, sported a crew cut, used to line my cuddly toys up at either end of the living toom and send them into battle.

My favourite game was to climb over our neighbours’ fences, cutting through people’s gardens, sneaking through their open back doors and slipping out the front, unnoticed. No wonder my mother and father despaired.

When I went to university, it felt like a natural progression to join the Army Reserve. I spent two years as an officer trainee, won my unit’s award as best woman officer cadet and was selected to go to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

When I came out, I was given command of my own troop in the Royal Engineers and served in the Army Reserve for five years. I look back on those years with a huge sense of achievement, pride and affection.

So I’m in absolutely no doubt as to the value of women in our Armed Forces.

Women currently occupy many roles classified as ‘non-combat’ - like those in the Royal Engineers - and are routinely right in the heart of the action. They have been a huge asset; serving with expertise, valour and distinction and gaining enormous respect from their male colleagues.

But, until now, they have not been able to join combat units – those with the primary aim of killing the enemy. That includes infantry battalions, armoured regiments and the Royal Marines.

And, even as a military woman myself, I have real concerns about the government’s decision to open up these ground combat roles to women.

David Cameron is to announce, this weekend, that he’s removing the ban on women serving in infantry and armour units. His decision comes after service chiefs, last month, unanimously recommended the move – which will see tank units and infantry jobs opened up to women in phases over the next year.

Fighting as an infantryman is the toughest job in the army. Most men are not mentally or physically tough enough for this role - and far fewer women will be. A review by the Ministry of Defence into whether women should serve in infantry and tank regiments estimated that, on current levels of recruitment, only around seven a year would pass through training to qualify for infantry units, about fourteen would qualify for the Royal Armoured Corps and just six for the Royal Marines.

We are physically different from men. It is a biological fact that the average women has a third less upper body strength and when it the comes to hand-to- hand combat - a fight to the death one-on-one; woman against a man - we will be at a physical disadvantage. 

Women are also twice as likely to get injured as men. It stands to reason, then, that women will be put in greater danger than their male colleagues purely because of their biology.

Concerns have also been expressed by senior military figures that male soldiers would feel the need to ‘look after’ their female colleagues, thereby reducing their fighting effectiveness and in turn, putting them more at risk.

Are we really ready to see our daughters gang raped, tortured and decapitated live on the Internet by Isil fighters? Because that is exactly what will happen if a female front line soldier is captured in Syria. For terrorist or extremist organisations, any press is ‘good’ in their warped world view - and the more gruesome, disturbing and inhumane the better. A captured female soldier would be gold dust for their global radicalisation campaign.

I also think a blanket approach to opening up all ground combat roles to women is too ‘cookie-cutter’.

I see no reason why women couldn’t serve in front line armoured regiments that aren't quite as physically demanding as, say, the infantry. These units do see direct combat, but the soldiers are 'mounted' in fighting vehicles, so there is less physical fitness required and they do not engage in hand-to-hand combat unless their vehicle is disabled and over-run by the enemy.

I’d suggest that the Prime Minister and army chiefs take a more measured approach and initially open up such regiments to women, monitoring that for a few years before making any further decisions about the infantry.

There is clearly a political imperative to proceed and a perceived need by the government to be seen to be politically correct in allowing women to serve in ground combat roles.

But the role of the Army isn’t to be PC. It’s to be an effective fighting force and any decision that could compromise that effectiveness in these very challenging global times would be a erroneous one indeed.

SOURCE






Now Controversial: 'God Bless America'

It didn’t used to be — that’s a phrase we use a lot these days, isn’t it? — but the Fourth of July festivities bring out the angriest guff from the left. In 1991 Boston Globe arts critic (and aspiring poet) Patricia Smith decided to refashion the national anthem in the leftist rag The Nation.

“Oh say, we’ve seen too much,” she began. “The Star-Spangled Banner pushes like a cough through America’s mouth and the twilight’s last gleaming is just that, a sickly flash above our heads as we ride unsuspecting in the bellies of sleek trains, plop to our knees in churches, embracing truths that disgust us.”

That stupidity never gained traction. But that doesn’t mean the idiots don’t keep trying.

The folks at the New York Daily News have embraced a mission to become the most provocative jerks in the Big Apple. One day it’s personal attacks on those praying for the victims of terrorism, the next it’s declaring the National Rifle Association to be murderous. In keeping with this stream of insulting behaviors, columnist Gersh Kuntzman has issued a demanded, saying, “Major League Baseball must permanently retire ‘God Bless America,’ a song that offends everyone.”

Everyone? Surely, this man could find a handful of people in midtown Manhattan who aren’t offended by “God Bless America.” That isn’t what he meant, however. By “everyone” he means his circle of friends, professional and personal, which says something more about his circles than his complaint.

Kuntzman began: “It’s time for God to stop blessing America during the seventh-inning stretch. Welcome to the July 4 weekend — when once again, baseball fans will be assaulted by the saccharine-sweet non-anthem ‘God Bless America’ at stadia all over this great land.” The song, he says, “should be sent permanently to the bench.”

This bilge came just days after Kuntzman drew attention for oddly comparing the AR-15 assault weapon to a bazooka: “The recoil bruised my shoulder … The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD.”

Children in kindergarten have stronger dispositions than this guy.

It’s only natural that gun owners have mocked this overwrought routine. One video showed a little girl shooting an AR-15 without getting hurt. One man shot one with the butt of the gun pressed against the tip of his nose to show how harmless the recoil is.

Since he enjoyed all the negative attention this brought, Kuntzman took to Twitter, promising, “First guns, now I take on god: Baseball must permanently retire ‘God Bless America.’” Yes, God is uncapitalized.

You can insult our Lord with impunity at the New York Daily News.

Kuntzman protested the apparent fascism of the whole exercise, the “ponderous Mussolini-esque introduction of the song, when fans are asked to rise, remove their caps and place them over their hearts.” He made wisecracks, saying it’s “as much a symbol of post-war patriotism as the flag, the space program and all the white people moving to the suburbs.” He says the song “still embodies great things about America, but also our worst things: self-righteousness, forced piety, earnest self-reverence, foam.”

He’s not alone in hating a mix of baseball and patriotism. ESPN also has lurched far left in promoting a harsh political agenda. ESPN Magazine columnist Howard Bryant recently bashed the idea of police officers singing the national anthem at baseball games. This is somehow an “authoritarian shift at the ballpark,” he asserted. Baseball-team owners ignored “the smothering effect that staged patriotism and cops singing the national anthem in a time of Ferguson have on player expression.” And “it’s indirectly stifled, while the increasing police pageantry at games sends another clear message: The sentiments of the poor in Ferguson and Cleveland do not matter.”

According to Bryant powerful people in the culture have to choose: Honor the cops, screw the poor. Honoring the poor means dishonoring the police.

Last November, Bryant attacked the Chicago Blackhawks for wearing camouflage jerseys on Veterans Day, which he said clashed with their Native American logo given that the “systematic removal of native tribes occurred at the hands of the U.S. Army.”

ESPN is the same network that fired Curt Schilling for being too political.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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10 July, 2016

Muslim viciousness in Britain


Promising recruits for ISIS

Five teenagers have been sentenced over the 'sickening' hot iron torture of a 16-year-old boy because of a £80 debt.

The victim was lured to a house in Oldham, Greater Manchester, where he was stripped and branded on his stomach, buttocks and back before salt and lemon juice were poured on his burns.

He had also been bound with tape, slashed on his back and continuously punched and kicked, said Greater Manchester Police.

Eventually after several hours the teenager was allowed to leave the house in the Werneth area on October 5 last year having suffered terrible injuries.

Three of his assailants, Shohaib Khan, 17, of Grange Avenue, Oldham; Adam Hussain, 16, of Olivers Court, Oldham, and Sufyan Yakub, 16, of Park Road, Oldham, all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to blackmail, false imprisonment, wounding with intent and assault.

Khan was locked up at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for six years and six months, while Hussain and Yakub received sentences of four years each.

A 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to a section 47 assault and was sentenced to a 12-month supervision programme with a night-time curfew, said police.

Ahsan Khan, 15, of Cornwall Street, Oldham, received a five-year custodial sentence after he was convicted after trial of blackmail, false imprisonment, wounding with intent, assault, theft and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

Following sentencing, Detective Inspector Paul Walker said: 'This was a sickening and prolonged attack on a young boy which left him so shaken and terrified that he didn't even want to tell his parents what had happened.

'The emotional scars from this shocking attack will haunt him for the rest of his life and I could not even begin to imagine the agony and suffering that he endured.

'Thankfully, his attackers have now been sentenced but this can never fully repair the damage that this barbaric incident has done.

'I want to pay tribute to the victim and his family for having the bravery to come forward and give evidence that has helped us catch and convict the people that have inflicted this upon him.'

SOURCE






Interns sacked for ‘flexible dress code’ petition

THIS is it. We finally have it — proof that millennials are the worst generation.  A group of young interns at an unnamed company have been sacked en masse for starting a petition for a “more flexible dress code”.

The intern responsible has been widely panned after their plea for advice on the AskAManager website went viral over the weekend.

“I was able to get a summer internship at a company that does work in the industry I want to work in after I graduate,” the reader wrote. “Even though the division I was hired to work in doesn’t deal with clients or customers, there still was a very strict dress code.

“I felt the dress code was overly strict but I wasn’t going to say anything, until I noticed one of the workers always wore flat shoes that were made from a fabric other than leather, or running shoes, even though both of these things were contrary to the dress code.”

The intern said they spoke with their manager about “being allowed some leeway” under the dress code and was told it was not possible, “despite the other person being allowed to do it”.

Uh oh. The letter went on.  “I soon found out that many of the other interns felt the same way, and the ones who asked their managers about it were told the same thing as me,” they wrote.

“We decided to write a proposal stating why we should be allowed someone leeway under the dress code.  “We accompanied the proposal with a petition, signed by all of the interns (except for one who declined to sign it) and gave it to our managers to consider.

“Our proposal requested that we also be allowed to wear running shoes and non leather flats, as well as sandals (not flip-flops though) and other non-dress shoes that would fit under a more business casual dress code.

“It was mostly about the footwear, but we also incorporated a request that we not have to wear suits and/or blazers in favour of a more casual, but still professional dress code.”

The next day, the hapless intern wrote, “all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed”.

“Instead, we were informed that due to our ‘unprofessional’ behaviour, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP.

“We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.”

The worst part, they said, was that “just before the meeting ended, one of the managers told us that the worker who was allowed to disobey the dress code was a former soldier who lost her leg and was therefore given permission to wear whatever kind of shoes she could walk in”.

“You can’t even tell, and if we had known about this we would have factored it into our argument,” they wrote.

The reader went on to explain that they had “never had a job before” and was “hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year”.

“I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I’m not sure the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

In response, AskAManager’s Alison Green helpfully explained the situation.

“Y’all were pretty out of line,” she wrote. “You were interns there — basically guests for the summer. Their rules are their rules. This is like being a houseguest and presenting your host with a signed petition (!) to change their rules about cleaning up after yourself. You just don’t have the standing to do that.”

While interns shouldn’t have to “suck up any and every condition of an internship”, this “wasn’t something like asking you to do unsafe work or work unreasonable hours”.

“This was asking you to abide by what sounds like a very common and reasonable professional dress code,” she wrote.

“[You] assumed you knew better (despite being in a position where the whole point is that you don’t have experience and are there to learn) and then went about it in a pretty aggressive way.

“A petition is … well, it’s not something you typically see at work. It signals that you think that if you get enough signatures, your company will feel pressured to act, and that’s just not how this stuff works.

“A company is not going to change its dress code because its interns sign a petition.”

The original post has attracted nearly 1400 comments and has been widely shared online.

“Your workplace isn’t a democracy,” wrote one reader. “At best, it’s a benevolent dictatorship. It might be a totalitarian regime. But either way, rounding up supporters and creating a petition is not appropriate.”

Another pointed out that the story was an “excellent example of how many college campus environments these days are not preparing young adults for the real world”.

“Not only are basic office procedures and politics (such as following the dress code) not taught but students are getting the idea that if their voice is the loudest, then change will happen,” they wrote.

Others pointed the blame squarely at the parents.

“If you want to blame any age group, blame the previous generation for raising kids who’ve been taught that when you get a bad grade, you argue with the teacher about it instead of studying harder next time,” wrote one commenter.

“Millennials surely didn’t invent that behaviour but rather learned it from their parents doing it on their behalf.”

SOURCE





Isn't government healthcare just the bees' knees?

UK: Teenager screaming in agony sent home after doctors 'fail to spot' her broken spine. Doctors allegedly failed to spot that this teenage girl had broken her spine - and sent her home.

Chloe Wilson, 16, was screaming in agony with three fractures in her spine after falling from a bannister. But her family claim medics in A&E at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital did not diagnose the injury, which can cause paralysis.

Her parents Jennifer and Scott, both 32, say they were told their daughter was not seriously injured - but needed x-rays. Care assistant Jennifer told the Daily Record: “They sent her for an X-ray but she was really screaming in pain.  "She couldn’t lie down properly and said she had lost all feeling in her bum, leg and foot on the right side.

“When she came back from X-ray, the doctor came in an said, ‘Good news, nothing’s broken’.

“He came in with a pair of crutches but by this time Chloe was really upset because she couldn’t feel anything.

“The doctor said that could be normal after a fall and that she could be bruised inside.

“However, he wanted her to go to the toilet before she left. “I took her but she couldn’t even sit down and wasn’t even aware she had managed to pass urine.

“I had to buzz a nurse for help to get her back into the cubicle and got her back on the bed as best as I could.”

The original doctor had gone off shift by this time and a second doctor said there was “no reason to keep her in”.

Chloe was given a wheelchair to get the car but her dad was so distressed he tried pleading with doctors again. Scott said: “I could see she was in extreme pain and was screaming.

"She couldn’t sit down so I had no idea how I was going to get her into the car.”

The doctor who discharged Chloe told Scott they had examined her and there was nothing wrong with her.

However, when Scott pressed the issue, the doctor said she had broken her coccyx but there was nothing they could do for that.

Scott asked for her to be readmitted because of her pain but doctor said she would have to wait and still be discharged.

Her parents drove her home, but Chloe shouted in pain throughout the journey. Jennifer said: “She kept saying she was going to be sick and the pain was making her feel faint.”  She didn't sleep and cried out in pain all day, her parents said.

Jennifer said: “Scott and I agreed if she was no better by Monday we would take her to another hospital.”

But at 8.30am on Sunday they got a call from the first doctor they had seen saying when he came in for his shift he read her notes and was surprised she had not been admitted when she could not walk.

Jennifer, a care assistant, said: “He said all he could do was apologise and said he was sending an ambulance for her.”

The paramedics gave her gas and air but they had no effect and they had to give her morphine before they could move her.

During the night, her condition in hospital worsened significantly so she was given two emergency MRI scans which showed she had three fractures in her spine – one of which was in such a dangerous place it has been known to cause paralysis.

She has some feeling back in her leg but there are still large areas of numbness.

A spokesman from Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board said: “Patients discharged from any emergency ­department (ED) are given condition specific advice on what to do if their symptoms change.

“In this patient’s case, her symptoms did change and the family followed the advice given and brought her back to ED, where we carried out further tests and admitted her.

“Her care plan has been discussed with both neurosurgery and the spinal injuries unit who have agreed that it is clinically appropriate, and in line with accepted medical practice, for her to be treated in an orthopaedic ward as she has a stable spinal fracture.”

SOURCE






Dear Iowa Christians, Use the Right Pronouns in Church . . . Or Else

I’m old enough to remember when Christians who expressed concern that LGBT activists would attempt to regulate church services were dismissed as paranoid nutjobs. Well, welcome to our new paranoid future.

My friends and colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced today that they were filing suit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission to block enforcement of gender identity guidelines that purport to regulate “a church service open to the public.” News flash — virtually every church service is open to the public.

The guidelines, published in a “public accommodations providers guide to Iowa law” contain the usual nondiscrimination catch-all phrases, noting that a “public accommodation” commits an act of gender identity discrimination when it, to take a few examples, intentionally uses names and pronouns inconsistent with the person’s “presented gender” (whatever that means), refuses access to preferred bathrooms, or even “indirectly” advertises that a transgender person is “unwelcome” or “not acceptable.”

Incredibly, the document contains an FAQ specifically directed at churches. Here it is:

DOES THIS LAW APPLY TO CHURCHES?

Sometimes. Iowa law provides that these protections do not apply to religious institutions with respect to any religion-based qualifications when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public).

It’s unclear to me how a branch of the Iowa state government has determined that a “church service open to the public” does not have a “bona fide religious purpose,” but there it is.

Under current guidance, churches in Iowa must become “members only” to exercise their religious liberty. It’s tough to imagine this guidance surviving even liberal judicial review, but even if struck down it shows where some on the Left want to take the law. Not even the sanctuary is safe.

SOURCE


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

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

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

***************************




8 July, 2016

Christian dating websites forced to cater to homosexuals

Homosexual dating websites are not forced to include heterosexuals, so why should Christian heterosexual dating sites be forced to include homosexuals. Homosexuals seem to enjoy forcing their presence onto others, and leftists like to facilitate them doing that -- and particularly against Christians, whom homosexuals and leftists both hate.  Christian dating sites should refuse co-operation on the grounds homosexuality is against Bible teachings; it may be understood and forgiven, but not encouraged and facilitated

IN A win for LGBT rights, a Californian judge has ordered a group of religious-based dating sites to cater to those in search of a same sex partner.

Among the websites which now have to open their doors to the gay community is a prominent Christian dating service called ChristianMingle.com.

Others include a CatholicMingle.com and LDS singles which advertises itself as “the largest dating site by Mormons for Mormons.”

Despite these websites catering to an audience that seems unanimously opposed to gay marriage, the company which owns the dating services has had to concede there are gay Christians and gay Mormons in the world.

Until now, ChristianSingles.com — which is considered the largest dating site for adherents of the religion — required new users to specify whether they’re a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man.

Two gay men filed class action lawsuits against the owner of the website, Spark Network Inc. back in 2013 saying they were unable to use the service.

The plaintiffs claimed the websites were in violation of a California anti-discrimination law that requires “business establishments” to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Spark decided to settle with the two men and this week a state judge approved the conditions of the settlement.

The websites have now altered the gateway homepage so users can only select if they are a “man” or a “woman”.

The company also agreed to change the search and profile features of the websites within the next two years to give gay and lesbian singles a more tailored experience.

“I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse market places that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation,” a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs said in a statement.

While hailed as a victory for tolerance and LGBT rights by some, angry conservatives have taken to social media to denounce the outcome of the lawsuit calling it an attack on religious freedoms.

SOURCE





   
Fathers Matter: More Evidence on their Importance

Scientists concerned with the increasing incidence of early onset puberty have discovered a disturbing correlation:

Girls who grew up without a biological father are twice as likely to get their period before age 12

This is important because, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “the health consequences of earlier onset of puberty are myriad:” ranging from a higher risk of depression in early adolescence to risk-taking behaviors such as alcohol use, smoking, drug use, and early sexual activity.

Longer term, as adults they’re at a higher risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.

While research points to other contributing factors, including increasing rates of childhood obesity and mothers who are overweight during pregnancy, Dr. Louise Greenspan, co-author of an American Journal of Epidemiology study, says toxic stress, including growing up without a father, is an important factor in girls’ starting puberty early.

While other studies have concentrated on the negative effects of growing up without a father on boys, not surprisingly, girls need a father too. It’s tragic that the trend against two-parent homes is only growing larger.

Politicians habitually deny reality: that’s what gets them elected. But we don’t have to buy what they’re selling, and we need to universally reject policies that undermine the family. We are hurting children—our only future.

SOURCE






British factory which told Polish and Slovakian workers they must speak in English at work is forced to abandon the scheme following complaints it was 'discriminatory'

A factory that ordered Eastern European workers to speak English at work has scrapped the scheme amid complaints of discrimination.

Bosses at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, which makes medical equipment, introduced the measure at the factory in Sheffield in a bid to reduce divisions between English employees and those from Poland and Slovakia, who often spoke to each other in their mother tongues.

Staff complained about the policy, branding it 'unfair and discriminatory', adding it had fueled tensions between different ethnic groups on the factory floor.

Chiefs have now scrapped the policy, apologising for any 'confusion' over the 'well intentioned' scheme.

According to the Sheffield Star, the policy was reportedly introduced after an employee complained after working with a team of Polish colleagues who spoke to each other in their own language.

Employees are also understood to have complained over feeling 'isolated and intimidated' by non-English speaking co-workers.

The policy was introduced as part of the company's updated company rules, called 'Toolbox Talk', which all employees were required to sign.

At the time, the company said the policy was decided to create 'harmony' in the workplace. It added that speaking in another language would not be treated as a disciplinary issue.

However there was reportedly a 'ruckus' in the factory when the document was presented, with one source telling the Sheffield star that Polish workers felt discriminated against.

Staff later complained about the policy, saying it was 'unfair and discriminatory'. 

One employee said instead of reducing division in the factory, the rule change had increased tensions.

The worker, who did not want to be named, said: 'I feel the company has escalated the problem and turned a small situation into a big one rather than assessing the cause of the problem.

'If two Polish guys are conversing it's going to be much quicker for them to get their job done. There's a lot of Polish and Slovakian workers - I find it unfair and discriminatory.'

A spokesman for Orchid said: 'We have rescinded this request with immediate effect and are preparing a new instruction that is intended to make everyone feel welcome at Orchid while accommodating the language needs for effective business communication.

'We apologise for any confusion our well-intentioned policy may have caused.  'Orchid values diversity as it is in the spirit of our core values and demonstrated by the variety of races and ethnicities we employ.'

SOURCE





Enough Is Enough in Baltimore

It’s often said that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.  While that may be true, only a bad prosecutor actually would, and fortunately, we don’t see it happen often.

Last year, in Baltimore, it did. Inflamed by the in-custody death of inveterate criminal Freddie Gray, enraged by riotous mobs who caused millions of dollars in property damage and inflicted injuries on over 100 police officers, Baltimore’s visibly angry chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, took to the podium last spring to announce charges against six seasoned Baltimore police officers.

And she said these words: “While I am committed to transparency, what I have revealed here today is now a matter of public record. However, the evidence we have collected and continue to collect cannot ethically be released to the public and I strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement with access to trial evidence who has leaked information prior resolution of this case. You are only damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process for all parties involved.

“I hope that as we move forward with this case everyone will respect due process and refrain from doing anything that would jeopardize our ability to seek justice.

“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”

While some of those to whom she spoke – potential violent protesters – have kept their end of the bargain so far, Mosby has horribly failed to keep her end.

What she asked and promised was respect for due process, fairness, impartiality, and transparency.  Today, we are again processing the transparency through the eyes of Judge Barry Williams, and what we are learning is that Marilyn Mosby’s view of due process, fairness, and impartiality is hardly what is defined by Websters, or in any law book.

As the third prosecution of the Baltimore Six collapsed in Judge Williams’ court on Thursday, like the two before it, what is transparent is that Mosby did what she was accused of a year ago – rushed to judgment.  Worse, her rush also bore the stamp of grand jury indictments of six Baltimore officers, indictments that have been, for them and their families, life-changing.  And the judge who has heard and processed every bit of testimony and other evidence in the cases reaching trial so far has, brick by crumbling brick, systematically dismantled the hollow cases brought by Mosby’s henchmen.

So resounding has been her defeat that one must ask how and why these charges could ever have been brought.  Yesterday, the prosecution’s “rough ride” theory that would have sent Caesar Goodson to jail for three decades turned into little more than wisps of smoke.  The steely-eyed, hard-charging prosecutor who welcomed a Vogue magazine profile and sat onstage with Prince, turns out to be Baltimore’s Icarus – her soaring ego failing to identify her shortcomings – including her unwillingness to recognize the presence or absence of basic facts.

When prosecutors choose to ignore the facts and bring politically-motivated charges regardless, they risk wrongful convictions or, as in Baltimore, failure.  They also undermine the concepts of due process and the rule of law, rather than advancing them.  The citizens of Baltimore are ill-served when their chief prosecutor casts aside the expectations of her oath of office in order to sacrifice six police officers on the public altar.  They are ill-served when their chief prosecutor raises expectations of the trial, convictions, and speedy, harsh sentencing only to have those expectations crumble.  And they are ill-served when the prosecutors, as seems to have happened here, fail in that impartiality and transparency by withholding or ignoring exculpatory evidence from the defense.

What happens next is important.  Perhaps, today, Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was quoted as allowing last year’s rioters, “space to destroy” will decide that her chief prosecutor should be given no such space herself.  It is overdue.

SOURCE

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

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

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

***************************

 



7 July, 2016

An independent Scotland as a bolthole for Remainers

Anybody who knows anything about the "United" Kingdom will be aware that it is anything but united. And that can be an emotional issue to many Britons.  I once took part in a debate at Cambridge university on the question of whether the kingdom was united.  It was meant to be a light-hearted debate but when I made a few basic points about the Scottish attitude to the English, I clearly stood on toes. There are many silences about certain topics in England and I had breached one such silence. So the debate became quite heated and unhappy. It's an example of why the English often call Australians "brash".

The fact of the matter is that the Scots despise the English and the English treat the Scots as a joke -- with their primitive bagpipes and men in skirts.  Which makes the Scots hate them even more of course.  And the two races really are different. The UK really is a bad marriage.   The Scots are very socialist and England is at heart conservative.  So when Margaret Thatcher swept to power it was on the basis of a big swing to the Conservatives in England only.  Scotland swung away from the Conservatives.

And that divergence has slowly come to a head in recent times.  In 1998, Tony Blair set up a separate parliament for Scotland with certain powers passed to it from the central government.  Similar provisions were made for Wales and Northern Ireland.  But that only stoked the fires.  It gave Scottish opinion a focus and a mouthpiece that they were not slow to use.  And the pressure built up to the point where a referendum was called in late 2014 on total Scottish independence. 

The referendum was narrowly lost. A majority of Scots voted to preserve the UK.  How come?  There were of course various reasons but the central one was money.  The dastardly English made clear that an independent Scotland could no longer use the British Pound as its currency.  That really hit at Scottish hearts.  Legends of Scottish thrift are well matched by Scottish reality.  Scots are very attached to their savings -- which are of course denominated in British pounds.  So Scots saw their savings melting away and that could not be. 

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, is however a determined little bizzem and she has used Brexit as an occasion to revisit independence.  True to form, when the English voted to leave the EU, Scots voted to stay in it.  And Nicola wants Scotland to gain its independence from the English so that it can preserve its dependence on the EU.  That may seem bizarre but it makes sense in Scotland.  What it shows again is the Scottish attitude to the English.

And therein lies a great opportunity for England.  A great heartburn which the English Conservatives put up with through gritted teeth is the presence of Scottish MPs in the Westminster parliament.  Their solid socialist presence is a block on the English getting the government they choose. Most democratic elections are fairly close and that is mostly so in the UK too. So a UK election normally returns a small majority of Conservative MPs from England which is then outvoted by the socialist Scottish bloc.  Without the Scots at Westminster it is possible that England would have a Conservative government more or less forever.  That sounds good to Conservative ears.

So why was the Conservative government at Westminster opposed to Scottish independence?  Why did they campaign vigorously for Scotland to stay in the UK?  Power:  The one thing that politicians like even more than money. Scotland is a nice bit of real estate and the English like to come and go there. And they like to have the ultimate say in Scottish affairs.  To lose Scotland would feel like a defeat.

But Brexit has raised the issue again and this time there is a reason to rethink.  The "Remain" vote in the Brexit referendum was large and they are right now very unhappy chappies.  They have come out with the most astonishing bigotry towards the "Leavers".  The vote did largely polarize between London and the North.  The politically correct Londoners voted to "Remain" and the down-to-earth" Northerners voted to "Leave".  And there was an age divide too.  Older people remembered when Britain did quite well as an independent country so saw nothing to fear in independence.  But for younger people, the EU was all they knew so they voted to "Remain".

Inhabitants of the Home Counties (around London) have always looked down on the Northerners.  For them, civilization stops at Watford, a railway junction at the Northern edge of the Home counties. To their minds there are two Englands:  North of Watford and South of Watford.  And Northerners who move South had better lose their comical Northern accents or they will be treated as outsiders.  They will be anyway but with a "better" accent they will be harder to detect.

So the hatred of the Northerners and the old that has emerged in the Home Counties after the Brexit result has just brought old antagonisms to the surface. But it is a real hatred and does need to be dealt with in some way.  It has even brought out anti-democratic impulses in many.  And I have a proposal for a way to deal with it.

The English should give Nicola her heart's desire and Scotland its independence.  Scotland could then promptly make itself unfree again and join the EU.  So English people who really do see an advantage in EU membership could migrate North without too much disruption to their lives.

Not many would in fact do so because of the old geographic loyalties I have mentioned but it would at least take away the rational argument against Brexit.  The emotional argument would then be left to stand on its own, which would weaken it greatly.

And Edinburgh is a pleasant place.  It is to Scotland as the Home Counties are to England.  It is the traditional home of Scottish intellectuals, who are a distinguished band.  So Home Counties people should find it broadly congenial.  Scottish weather is even worse than English weather but to an Englishman that gives him something to talk about. 

And an English community would probably develop in Edinburgh to ease the transition.  Scots exhibit great reserve towards the English, which is why the English call them "dour".  Scots are in fact quite the opposite of dour, of course.  They are jolly, sentimental people who like a drink or three.  But the English will never see that side of them. 

But Australians can. Australians visiting Scotland also initially get the reserved treatment -- because to Scottish ears we "sound like the TV".  Our accent sounds English to Scottish ears. And it is.  An educated Australian accent is quite close to RP -- closer than most regional English accents.  But we just have to identify ourselves as Australians in Scotland for the mask to be torn  away.  We are seen as fellow sufferers from the English so we are greeted joyously as brothers.  So you see why the English would need their own social and business world in Edinburgh.

How could it all be accomplished?  It just needs a vote at Westminster and a treaty.  England could offer the Scots continued use of the pound as their currency in return for various Scottish concessions and the deed would be done.  England would become a very conservative nation and Scots would have to start blaming themselves for the problems they currently blame on the English. 

And the "Remainers" would have some of their teeth pulled.  Their wishes would be accommodated to some extent.  A great British compromise will have been achieved.

And the EU would presumably welcome Scotland with a gladsome heart.  They would see it as a vindication of their project and a poke in the eye for the pesky English -- JR.






The stifling of dissenting voices in the EU

The British people fed-up with Brussels dictates voted on June 23, to exit the European Union. Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and a leading voice for Brexit, argued (Economist June18-24 issue) that “Napoleon, Hitler, and other various people tried this out (forcefully unifying Europe-JP), and it ended tragically.  The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”  One of those coercive methods has been to limit, if not forbid, anti-immigration speech.

The elitist of the European Union (EU) have seen a rise in nativist protest movements throughout the European continent.  The voiceless people of the states of the European Union have been forced to adopt multiculturalism and political correctness as their new civil religion, and their dissenting voices are now being squashed by a series of measures that amount to the curtailment of free speech.

Earlier this month, the European Commission, a powerful and unelected European Union’s executive branch, announced plans to combat “illegal online hate speech.” The same European Commission unveiled a code of conduct that will ensure that online platforms do not offer opportunities for “illegal online hate speech to spread virally.” Unsurprisingly, it is the European Commission that will determine what constitutes “illegal online hate speech” and not the people’s elected representatives in the individual European countries that make up the European Union (EU).

A press release headline issued by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on May 31, 2016, read “The European Commission and IT companies announce Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech.” The EC explanatory paragraphs read: “In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalizing hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. To be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated.”

These provisions of the EC against hate speech have done little to prevent the rise of anti-Semitism in the EU countries, nor has it criminalized the anti-Semitic nature of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, which singles out the Jewish state.  It does, however, seek to stifle the anti-immigrant movement, which is trying to alert Europeans of the coming Islamization of Europe.  In addition, the EC decision will adversely impact on the civil liberties of over 500 million Europeans. 

The net impact of recent “speech” laws enacted by western governments has been magnified by even greater forms of private censorship on (predominantly Muslim) anti-immigrants.  For example, most news organizations have stopped showing images of Mohammad, although no such self-censorship has been made regarding caricatures of other religious figures.  In September, 2012, French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was fined several times for comments she made about how Muslims are undermining French culture.  In Britain, a 15-year old girl was arrested for “burning a Koran at school and posting footage on Facebook.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on September 14, 2015 that, “Facebook Inc. said that it would work with the German government Justice Ministry to fight xenophobic and racist messages on the social network’s platform, bending to German government pressure to clamp down on hate messages against migrants online.”  While (Muslim) anti-immigrant expression is verboten in Germany, anti-Jewish hate is excused.  A German judge convicted two German-Palestinian men of attempted arson against a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal, along with a juvenile accomplice. In his ruling however, the judge declared that the crime was motivated by the desire to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict” and not by anti-Semitism, which was the obvious case.  For the German judiciary, it seems, protesting against the Islamization of Europe in general, and of Germany in particular, is a hate speech, if not a hate crime.  Yet, arson against a synagogue is not…this perversion of logic has become widespread throughout the EU states.

While Germany is on its way to commit demographic and cultural suicide with the admission of millions of poor and uneducated Middle Eastern and African migrants, Sweden is already lost.  The people of Sweden are allowing its radical leftist governing parties and its equally pandering press to expedite the process.  The Gatestone Institute reported (December 22, 2014) that before the scheduled March, 2015 elections, the current Social-Democrat and Greens party had enacted “a measure far less publicized, and would come into effect that Christmas (2014). The new measure is designed to make it easier to prosecute those who offend immigrants, immigration policies, LGBT people and politicians online.”  According to Gatestone “even immigrants themselves do not seem to be allowed to challenge immigration policy or immigrant culture.  Last year a Somali-born female journalist, critical of immigrant culture, was intimidated to such an extent by the Swedish journalistic establishment that she decided Mogadishu (Somalia) was a safer place for her than Sweden.”

Only in Sweden does the government take out loans to make welfare payments to migrant Muslim gang-rapists.  Also in Sweden “the fear of being labeled ‘politically incorrect’ keeps Sweden’s main political parties from engaging in an honest debate about integration.”  And, while the government and its compliant leftist press blew out of proportion an attack on migrants, it had been silent on the rapes by mainly Arab and African Muslim migrants on Swedish women.  The U.K. Daily Mail reported (March 4th, 2016) that “What is worrying is that if the Stockholm Station story has been blown out of proportion, it could have artificially fueled pro-migrant sentiment and made ordinary Swedes less ready to voice their worries about mass migration.  Fears of a cover-up have been fueled by an investigation published by a flourishing online Swedish news outlet Nyherer Idag, showing that Swedish authorities hid from the public sexual assaults by immigrant gangs on scores of teenage girls at a popular Stockholm music festival booth last year and in 2014.”

Needless to say that in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and in the rest of the EU states, anti-immigrant voices are stifled by archaic laws that are undemocratic to say the least.  The West has traded Christianity and pride in its civilizational accomplishment for the falsehood of multiculturalism.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident, author and Nobel Laureate summed it up as early as 1978, when he was given the Harvard University Laureate Award.  Solzhenitsyn used the occasion to give a politically incorrect speech, which President Carter and the mainstream press criticized.  Nevertheless, Solzhenitsyn spoke truth to the western powers.

Solzhenitsyn didn’t mince words while he told America and the West that they were spiritually bankrupt. The West, he said, abandoned its moral and civil courage.  “The Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive.” Had Solzhenitsyn lived today, he would also witness how freedom of speech is dying in Europe.

SOURCE






Left-wing German politician who was raped by migrants admits she LIED to police about her attackers' nationality because she did not want to encourage racism

Looks like she is hersrelf a Turk

A young left-wing German politician has admitted she lied to police about the racial background of three men who raped her in case it triggered reprisals against refugees in her country.

Selin Gören, the national spokeswoman of the left-wing youth movement Solid, was attacked by three men in January in the city of Mannheim where she works as a refugee activist.

The 24-year-old was ambushed late at night in a playground where she said she was forced to perform a sex act on her attackers.

After the assault she went straight to the police - but she did not tell them the ethnic make-up of the men, that they were speaking Arabic or Farsi.

Selin, aware of the backlash that migrants suffered after the events in Cologne on New Year's Eve - when hundreds of women were sexually assaulted and robbed by marauding gangs of immigrant youths - instead said she was robbed and said her attackers spoke German.

Now she has told Germany's Spiegel magazine why she lied. After her initial interview at the end of January she returned to the police 12 hours later to tell them the real story.

A friend talked her into going back to the police with the real story because another woman had been raped in the area - an accusation later retracted by the alleged victim.

Selin, who has visited refugee camps in Iraq where she was shocked at the squalor people are living in, did not want to stoke 'more hatred against migrants ín Germany.'

To help her cope she wrote an open letter to a fictional refugee and posted it on Facebook. It read in part: 'I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism.

'I'm going to scream... I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem. You're not the problem. You're usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free.

'I will not stand by and watch and let it happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem.'

She now says people must never 'twist the truth' even if it is politically expedient to do so.

A group called Gesa in Kassel - Active Together Against Sexual Violence - says that sexual assaults by many male migrants have increased.

'The perpetrators often come from cultures with a different image of women', said Steffi Burmester of GESA.

'They are alone and looking to banish their humiliation of flight with confirmation of their masculinity. This is neither to apologise nor to accept their actions, it is how it is.'

SOURCE






New York Times Censors Another Best-Selling Conservative Author....Writing on Free Speech

The New York Times appears to be playing games again with conservative authors, trying to keep them off its vaunted (and secretively manipulated) Best Sellers list. This has happened to Ted Cruz, to Dinesh D’Souza, and to David Limbaugh.

This case is more ironic: Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel has a new book out called The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech.

Every week, Nielsen's BookScan produces a ranking of book sales around the country, and is estimated to capture 70 to 80 percent of all retail sales. Most organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, use BookScan as their way of ranking best-sellers.  According to BookScan's list on Wednesday, The Intimidation Game was the sixth bestselling hardcover book in the nation for the past week. It came out on June 21 from Twelve Books.

When The New York Times announced its latest weekend best-seller list on Wednesday evening, The Intimidation Game was nowhere in the the top 15. In fact, it wasn't even on the extended list of the top 20 hardcover bestsellers, despite outselling books that did make the list. It did come up as No. 13 on the New York Times's e-book bestseller list for July 10. So the Times is aware of its sales, but its secret-sauce formula is somehow keeping it at bay....like other conservative best-sellers.

The dust-cover may explain why the Times is acting allergic: "Timed to arrive at the height of the 2016 presidential season, The Intimidation Game will shine a much-needed light on how liberal activists and the Democratic machine bully the political process."

SOURCE

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

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

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

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6 July, 2016

After the Referendum: Sorting through the Rubble

As Libertarian Sean Gabb sees it:

What more to say about the past eight days? They began with a referendum vote that sent a shock across the world. They have now settled into something like business as usual. The shape of the British Constitution will be determined by the internal politics of the Conservative Party. Here, then, are some thoughts on how things might proceed between now and Christmas.

First, we shall most likely leave the European Union. A margin of four per cent is a less than solid mandate for the biggest constitutional change since the Parliament Act. Going in was nothing compared with coming out. As a whole, the ruling class would like us to stay. Membership is a useful veil for hiding the lines of accountability. But leaving suits the Conservative leadership. It will end the longest and most nagging split in party history. Virtually all the party members and most Conservative voters want to leave. The Europhile wing in Parliament will be leaned on to vote as told. The result will be a united Conservative Party facing a fractured Labour Party and a non-existent Liberal Democrat Party. Indeed, more people voted to leave than ever vote Conservative. There is a sectional opportunity in view that probably trumps the overall interest of the ruling class.

The Scotch voted to stay in. But they are a long way off and all in one place, and they are probably not brave enough to vote for independence. Their historic record is to obey the English and spend the next few centuries whining about what a hard deal they got. If they do otherwise now, that will be a problem for next year or the year after, and it will have little impact on English politics.

Yes, we shall most likely come out.

Second, the leaving terms are largely unimportant. I would like a free trade agreement and nothing more. If British companies want to export to the European Union, they will need to obey the various product regulations – just as British cars sent to America drive on the right hand side, and just as British jam sent to Turkey is labelled in Turkish. But there is no reason why these regulations should apply in our own market unless we wish them to. However, it will not be the end of the world even if we agree to the whole of the Acquis Communautaire and continued budget contributions. Inside the European Union, these things have the force of domestic law, and they are difficult to evade and impossible to change. Once we are out, they will be treaty obligations, and treaties can be renegotiated or repudiated as we find convenient. A clean break would be best. A dirty break will make no difference in the long term.

Third, and bearing in mind the above, the choice of next Prime Minister is largely beside the point for how and when we leave the European Union. But here is when those of us who share that inclination must put our libertarian hats on again. Leaving the European Union will be useful. It will allow our ruling class to move to a less compromised form of economic liberalism than has so far been possible. Politically, it will make the source of ultimate power over our lives less ambiguous than it has been since 1973. But it is not the European Union that made us into a chaotic police state. The European Union never forced us to employ armies of feral social workers, or to unleash the police, or to abolish freedom of speech and association, or to tear up the common law safeguards in criminal trials. It did not give us laws against drugs and pornography that would have made David Maxwell Fyfe rub his eyes with astonishment. It did not push us into those unjustified and lost wars. Our own rulers did all that – by themselves or on orders from their American overlords.

I have no doubt that leaving the European Union will eventually give us a set of trade and fiscal and regulatory policies more in keeping with our national interest. It will not in itself make our country free again in the traditional sense. That remains decidedly unfinished business, and is something that will occupy the minds of libertarians and conservatives for a long time to come. If, last Thursday week, a page was turned in our national history, it remains for us to ensure that we have some guidance over the hand that writes it.

I may be wrong in this analysis. Since I was wrong about the result of the Referendum, I have no right to claim any unusual power of seeing into the future. But, just over a week after the votes were counted, some important facts do seem to be drifting out of the mist, and these, rather than the details of when and by whom Article 50 will be invoked, may have the strongest claim on our attention.

SOURCE






When Actors Hate Racist America

There are those boorish moments when a celebrity takes to the stage at an awards show to deliver leftist political drivel. We can't decide which is worse: the predictable America-hating garbage or the journalistic hosannas that inevitably follow.

The other day, "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams launched into a Black Lives Matter-like sermon at the BET Awards when he won an award for his "humanitarian" work. When accepting the honors, Williams broke out the radical-leftist claptrap about this "invention" of abusive whiteness, exploiting all the creative blackness.

"We've been floating this country on credit for centuries," he lamented, "and we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment, like oil, black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit."

How has whiteness abused Williams? Maybe we should ask his mother — who is white.

Williams can also relate to the downtrodden. To think his reported net worth is a mere $8 million.

Imagine for two seconds a white actor standing up at an awards show proclaiming, "This invention called blackness uses and abuses us, burying white people out of sight, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations." The press would metaphorically put a white hood on his head. His career would be kaput.

But ABC hailed it a "powerful speech about race." On CBS they called it "an impassioned call to action," and co-host Gayle King said, "Jesse Williams, I thought, stole the night." NBC quoted other valentines. Sheinelle Jones said, "Twitter reacted instantly, one person writing, 'Jesse Williams. Genius. Polarizing. Political. BLACK. Greatest acceptance speech I ever heard.'" News anchor Tamron Hall proclaimed: "Social media...across the board commenting and celebrating his words...a powerful speech. You should follow him on social media. He's always just a very engaged person."

Williams isn't the only leftist America-hater to draw media adulation. Comedian Aziz Ansari was granted space in The New York Times to explain "Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family." He began by recalling when he told his mother: "DON'T go anywhere near a mosque. Do all your prayer at home, O.K.?" She replied, "We're not going." He then announced: "I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Fla., I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshiped."

He protested Trump's remark that Muslims aren't doing enough to notify authorities about potential terrorists and claimed, "By Mr. Trump's logic, after the huge financial crisis of 2007-08, the best way to protect the American economy would have been to ban white males."

This man would be better served not using the word "logic" in his commentary.

Media company Upworthy called the piece "a must-read for every American," proclaiming that "It's filled with heart, common sense, and cold, hard facts." CNN, Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly all raptly quoted the piece. At Mediaite, Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah hailed how Ansari isn't religious at all, yet "Trump has brought the Muslim out of Ansari."

It doesn't matter that no one can recall a Muslim being violently assaulted or shot inside a mosque in the years since 9/11. Wait, we stand corrected. It made The New York Times when a mosque in Tucson was apparently "assaulted" by nearby college students on party nights. "A shower of crushed peanuts rained down on the mosque."

America is apparently such a horrendously racist place for black and brown people that you are celebrated by all when you announce how horrendously racist it is, especially when you're free and very rich.

SOURCE






The Left's Different Approach to Rights That It Opposes

I have an idea. The federal government needs to compile a list of women who shouldn’t be allowed to get abortions. The criteria for getting on the list must be flexible. If an official at, say, the NIH or FBI think that a woman should be a mother for some reason or other, he or she can block an abortion. Maybe the woman has great genes or a high IQ or the sorts of financial resources we need in parents. Let’s leave that decision where it belongs: in the hands of the government.

Heck, there’s really no reason even to tell women if they’re on the “no abort” list. Let them find out at the clinic. And if they go in for an abortion only to discover they are among the million or more people on the list, there will be no clear process for getting off it, even if it was a bureaucratic error or case of mistaken identity.

Sound like a good idea?

You probably don’t think so, particularly if you took part in the celebratory riot of good feeling in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down Texas abortion regulations. In the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the court ruled that Texas could not raise the required health and safety standards of abortion clinics to match those of other “ambulatory surgical centers.” The reforms were implemented in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell scandal in which the Philadelphia abortionist’s abattoir was revealed to be more like the setting for a “Saw” movie than a decent medical clinic.

The court held that abortion is such a fundamental constitutional right that minimal health standards are an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion, even if they might save women’s lives.

There’s a deep and perplexing contradiction here. If abortion is just another aspect of “women’s health” — currently the preferred euphemism for the procedure — why have higher health and safety regulations for dentists than abortionists?

But that’s just the first of many contradictions. The court allowed Whole Women’s Health to sue in the first place, even though the company has no right to an abortion, and third parties aren’t supposed to have standing to sue for someone else’s constitutional rights. The left loves to say “corporations aren’t people” — unless they’re suing for abortion rights. Then the new mantra is: “Corporations are people, but human fetuses aren’t.”

The contradiction I find most glaring and galling is that the euphoric hysteria from the left over the court’s decision occurred right in the middle of a conversation about guns and terrorist watch lists.

In that conversation, many of the same voices on the left argued that the federal government can — nay, must! — have the unilateral power to put American citizens on a secret list barring them from exercising two constitutional rights: the right to bear arms and the right to due process when the government denies you a right. (Both, unlike abortion, are rights spelled out in the Constitution). Congressional Democrats even staged a tawdry tantrum on the House floor about it.

Never mind that the Orlando slaughter — the event that set off the House sit-in — would not have been prevented if the Democrats had their way.

Writing for the majority in the Hellerstedt case, Justice Stephen Breyer argued that the Texas statute was unnecessary because “determined wrongdoers” like Gosnell wouldn’t be deterred by new laws given that he was willing to violate existing laws.

Maybe so. But isn’t that exactly the NRA’s position on gun laws? Murderers, never mind terrorists, by definition don’t care about the law.

It gets even crazier. President Obama, who hailed the court’s decision, desperately craves the unilateral power to keep a list of people to whom he wants to deny guns without due process. But he also insists that known terrorists, particularly those held at Guantanamo Bay, have a constitutional right to due process (though presumably not to buy a gun).

Yes, there’s a lot of deviltry in the details, but the basic truth is undeniable: Those on the left — in all three branches of the federal government, along with their cheerleaders in the media — believe that the rights they like are sacred and the rights they dislike are negligible inconveniences at best and outrageous cancers on the body politic at worst. As Justice Clarence Thomas put it in his Hellerstedt dissent: “The Court employs a different approach to rights that it favors.”

In this, the court is not alone.

SOURCE






Tony Blair may be impeached

A dramatic attempt to impeach Tony Blair for misleading Parliament over the Iraq war could be launched in the wake of the long-awaited Chilcot report into the conflict.

MPs have begun to build support for an attempted prosecution of the former Labour Prime Minister after the 2.6million-word report is published on Wednesday.

A cross-party group is considering using an ancient Parliamentary mechanism to bring him to trial in Westminster.

They say Mr Blair should be forced to answer claims he duped the Commons over the war, which cost the lives of 179 British troops.

The MPs believe they can argue that the ex-Labour leader should be impeached over allegations he breached his constitutional duties as Premier.

The power has not been used since 1806 when Lord Melville, a Tory minister, was charged with misappropriating official funds by the Commons. He was acquitted.

Mr Blair, who made claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that were contradicted by his own intelligence assessments, is expected to be heavily criticised in the Chilcot Inquiry report.

One Westminster source said: ‘Impeachment is on our minds but we will need to digest the report. There is definitely a feeling that Blair must be properly held to account for his actions in the run-up to what was a disastrous war.’

One MP can trigger the process by proposing a motion. He or she would need to present evidence to support their case and this would form the basis of a document called the Article of Impeachment, drawn up by a committee of MPs.

If the impeachment attempt is approved by MPs, the defendant is delivered to Black Rod ahead of a trial. A simple majority is required to convict, at which point a sentence can be passed, which could, in theory, involve Mr Blair being sent to prison.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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5 July, 2016

UK: Multicultural teenager who kidnapped a boy and threatened to stab him unless his family paid ransom was caught after he ate a chocolate bar at the scene

A teenager who kidnapped a boy and threatened to kill him unless his family paid a ransom was caught after he left a half-eaten chocolate bar at the scene.

Mohammed Islam, 19, lured a boy to his flat in Druids Heath, Birmingham by using a girl he knew as a ruse to entice him over.

When he arrived, he held a knife to his throat, pulled his jumper over his head and dragged him into his bedroom where he forced him to sit on the floor.

He warned his 18-year-old victim he would stab him unless friends and family members transferred money into his bank account.

Islam casually scoffed a Cadbury's Wispa bar during the three-hour ordeal on March 25, and left traces of his DNA on the packet.

The 18-year-old was slapped around the head and threatened during the terrifying ordeal, and walked out of the flat with a plastic bag over his head.

As Islam led him out of the flat towards a lift, the victim was able to grab the half-eaten Wispa and, after a few minutes, he removed the bag before running to the nearest house for help.

Police arrested Islam on 3 April, after he was bitten by a police dog as he tried to make his escape. He then made an audacious attempt to run away from hospital, but was later recaptured.

Traces of DNA from the half-eaten Wispa, which was cunningly seized by the victim, were directly matched to Islam. He was later picked out in an identification parade.

Islam was sentenced to eight years in prison, with an extended three-year licence, after pleading guilty to robbery, false imprisonment and blackmail.

Jailing him at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, Judge Simon Drew QC said: 'This was an horrific series of offences committed against a victim seriously traumatised by what took place.

'It is difficult to imagine what it must be like for someone to find themselves in a vulnerable and intimidating situation.  'Threats and violence of this sort are particularly serious. 'This was a horrific, terrifying series of events.

'Text messages recovered from your phone revealed the true nature of the planning that had taken place, you deliberately identified a vulnerable victim.  'It is the sort of case where there needs to be an extended sentence to reflect the threat you face to society as a whole.'

Gareth Walters, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court the victim was contacted on Facebook by a woman he went to school with on March 25.

Text messages found later revealed Islam and the woman, who has not been traced, deliberately targeted the 19-year-old who they thought would be easy pickings. They lured him to a nearby block of flats where he was quickly confronted by Islam.

Mr Walters said: 'The defendant pulled a jumper over the victim's face and led him down some stairs into a flat.

'The defendant began waving a knife in the face of the victim, humiliating him, telling him he was worthless, a waste of space and pathetic.'

After searching the terrified teen's bag and only finding £10 and some tobacco, Islam demanded the teen call friends and family to get more cash. Islam forced the victim to phone his dad to tell him he was being held hostage and ask for cash.

But when he only agreed to send £150, Islam saw red and snatched the phone from him. He threatened the unsuspecting father, telling him that unless he transferred a further £150, he would stab his son.

Islam then headed out with the boy's bank card and PIN to withdraw the money he had just extorted.

The victim - frozen with fear - obeyed the demands to stay sat on the floor of Islam's walk-in wardrobe, as his hands were bound behind his back with a leather belt.

But when Islam got back, he demanded even more money. He made a second call to the father and falsely told him he had actually carried out the threat and stabbed his son.

Reduced to tears, the dad transferred yet another £150, which Islam then went out to withdraw.

Mr Walters added: '(Islam) told his victim he would stab him and put him in a body bag.

'After getting £150, he told his victim to phone his employer or friends to get another £150 but they didn't really believe what was going on.'

In a victim personal statement, the father said the fear he felt while speaking with his kidnapped son would live with him forever. He added: 'I hope that no father ever has to go through what I went through.'

Andrew Jackson, defending, said Islam had been all but abandoned by his family as a youngster and spent his childhood in several children's homes.

He said there had been 'glimmers of hope' the teenager, who had a string of previous offences, was turning away from offending.

DC Darran Ford, from Bournville CID, said, 'This was a callous, planned attack that had great impact on the victim and his family, who I hope have now been offered some closure.

'I would like to pay tribute to the victim and his incredible presence of mind to grab the Wispa bar immediately before escaping. This played a crucial role in bringing  Mohammed Islam to justice.

'I hope the eight-year prison term gives him some time out to think about the effects of his actions on the family, as well as serving a stark warning to anyone wishing to carry a knife on the streets.'

SOURCE






Britain has not become racist overnight

The post-Brexit ‘hate-crime spike’ is not all that it seems.

Following the Brexit vote there has been a panic about an apparent ‘spike’ in hate crime. An increase of 57 per cent was widely reported, and, on Twitter, a new hashtag, #PostRefRacism, started trending, with tweeters listing incidents from around Britain. It seems many people, both online and offline, have had personal experience of post-Brexit, racist Britain.

Any incident of racism or xenophobia is abhorrent and should be challenged. But the speed with which Remainers have exploited this apparent surge – in what is, at this point, largely anecdotal reports – has been shameful. Acting like the propaganda wing of the EU establishment, they have rushed to confirm the prejudices of the elites by arguing that these vague statistics and endless tweet allegations show just how racist the working-class, Leave-voting public is.

The media have been all over it. One BBC reporter asked if the vote had opened a ‘tidal wave of hatred’. Numerous articles in the Guardian have claimed that Brexit has ‘unleashed’ racist sentiment across the country. One commentator seriously claimed that ‘every Leave voter’ had encouraged racism – which was ironic, given that the same commentator voted to remain in an institution responsible for the deaths of thousands of non-European migrants in the Mediterranean every year. The onset of panic has revealed how the very publications and commentators who once claimed to stand up for the working class in fact view working-class people as a violent, racist horde.

This is unjustifiable. While many of the accounts of hate crime that have emerged online and in the media have been disturbing, others are not what they seem. Take the widely circulated image of a group of protesters from Newcastle carrying a sign that reads ‘Stop immigration, start repatriation’. Many Remainers jumped on the photo as an example of the racism unleashed by Brexit.

However, the photographer took to Twitter to distance herself from the backlash, pointing out that the far-right had a longstanding minority presence in Newcastle (an area that narrowly voted to Remain) and that the demo was not a direct response to the referendum. Northumbria Police, who cover the Newcastle area, have indicated that there has been ‘no spike’ in racist incidents reported to them over the weekend.

Another much-retweeted picture, from an EDL rally in Sheldon, Birmingham, showed around 30 EDL protesters chanting at passers-by. Again, the protest was held up as an example of ‘post-Brexit Britain’. But reports made clear that the event – involving 30 saddos – had been planned for months, and passed, according to the police, ‘without incident’. Not only was the demonstration a damp squib (which is hardly surprising considering the EDL has haemorrhaged support in recent years); it would also have taken place even if Remain had won the referendum. In other words, two of the most prominent examples of post-referendum racism have nothing to do with the referendum at all.

The broad definition of what constitutes a hate crime also makes it difficult to judge whether there has indeed been an increase in racism. Hate crimes can include anything from an off-colour remark to a racist assault. The 57 per cent increase amounted to 85 reports between Thursday and Sunday last week, which were submitted to a police-funded website that had been established to report hate crime. This was up from 54 reports during the same four-day period four weeks ago. The policeman who reported the statistic made clear that it did not ‘represent an increase in tensions’ and that similar spikes had occurred in response to other events. In any case, we don’t even know the content of what has been alleged.

We should investigate each incident and prosecute where necessary. We should offer genuine solidarity with victims of any racist incident that occurs – and feel bold enough to intervene when they happen, rather than just tweet about them afterwards. But we must also approach these hate-crime claims critically, given that there are plenty of Remainers who are willing to exploit any perceived spike. Talking up a rise in hate crime is dangerous – it can give deluded, isolated individuals the impression that the country agrees with them. Worse, this fearmongering about post-Brexit Britain, fuelled by snobby prejudices, could do real damage to solidarity between communities by sowing distrust, resentment and fear.

Britain has not become a racist country overnight. Remainers who suggest otherwise reveal their own prejudices.

SOURCE






UK: How the elite weaponised immigration

Using migrants to push multiculturalism has been a disaster.

Freedom of movement ought to be one of the cornerstones of an open, liberal society. The freedom, that is, not just to seek refuge, but to search for a better life elsewhere, to pursue one’s dreams and ambitions in territories far from one’s birthplace.

Yet if the commitment to free movement is to be more than a shallow, feelgood posture, we need to recognise, in the here and now of a 21st-century Britain, that immigration troubles and discomfits people. Indeed, it appears as a socially disorienting force, overturning the everyday rituals, customs and other unspoken components that make up a community’s way of life. ‘I feel we are losing our country’, ran the pre-referendum refrain.

So why does immigration appear as a profound threat to the way of life of so many? The answer is to be found not in immigration itself, but in the context in which immigration has assumed, almost inadvertently, a quasi-missionary role – the context, that is, of a Britain that no longer knows what it is, or what it is for.

This is not the cry of the everyman, who feels he is losing his cultural moorings; it is principally the angst of Britain’s ruling elite, which feels it has already lost its cultural moorings. The historical sources of British national identity – Empire, Unionism and, latterly, the Second World War and the Cold War – and the moral confidence that flowed from them, have long since dried up. National traditions, canons, values are now experienced by Britain’s elite not as the substance of Britishness, but as dead weights around modern Britain’s neck – to be cast off, dumped. And the political elite’s wilful estrangement from its own traditions has transformed the role of immigration, and, crucially, diminished the significance and meaning of national borders.

Consider the idea of the border at its most abstract. As Frank Furedi has explained, the creation of a border is born in the act of judgement, the desire and need not just to demarcate, but also to discriminate, be it between good and evil, or between humans and animals. In territorial terms, therefore, the border is the means by which a community discriminates between us and them, the means by which it judges what it is, and what it is not. The border is not just a line on a map; it is an expression of a community’s sense of itself, of what – and where – it is.

But what if a community’s sense of itself is fragmenting? What if its rulers no longer have a clear sense of what their nation means, or what it stands for? What then? A nation’s borders really do start to appear, not as the outlines of a community’s self-expression, the domain of its sovereignty, but as little more than lines on a map, arbitrary boundaries demarcating long obsolete cultural differences. For a nation whose rulers lack a sense of what that nation stands for, borders really do appear meaningless.

And here’s why immigration has become a problem. Our post-traditional, postmodern rulers, have simultaneously devalued borders and valorised immigration. And, in doing so, they have weaponised it. They have turned immigration into the means by which they transform society, bring it into line with their borderless, vacuously cosmopolitan vision. The immigrant here is not an autonomous individual, an end in himself. He is a means to an end, a political tool to create a multicultural, margin-less society.

This was the semi-conscious purpose of New Labour’s immigration policy between 1997 and 2010, a period during which annual net migration quadrupled from 48,000 people in 1997 to 198,000 by 2009. As Labour speechwriter Andrew Neather infamously put it in 2009, ‘mass immigration was the way that the government was going to make the UK truly multicultural’. In 2012, UN migration chief Peter Sutherland went so far as to pay tribute to the UK’s immigration policy, on the grounds it furthered ‘the development of multicultural states’, and undermined the ‘homogeneity… of the people who inhabit them’.

There is a twofold problem here. First, diversity itself is a fact, not a value. People are different. Big deal. To try to turn it into a societal value is really an after-the-fact rationalisation of a society that can no longer generate a coherent sense of what it values, a society that lacks the ability to integrate incomers because there is nothing to be integrated into.

And second, the attempt to turn diversity into a value, and, in the process, turn migrants into the agents of the brave, new multicultural world, is experienced by Britain’s indigenous population, especially the white working class, as a cultural assault, an attack on their very identities. That’s why those who claim Britain’s working class voted to leave the EU because they blame immigrants for taking their jobs miss the point.

Immigration is experienced not just as an economic threat; it is also experienced as a threat to people’s very way of life.

The political elite is not blind. Its members know that we don’t actually live in a borderless world. They know, as one Labour MP noted, that the working class ‘feel their cultural identity is under threat’; and they recognise, therefore, that a sense of what the nation is, a sense of what binds us together, remains important. But whether it’s a Britain Day, or a call to teach British values, policymakers’ proposals to that end are weak and platitudinous. They dress up diversity as a value, multiculturalism as a virtue.

And, unsurprisingly, it is to no avail. A community’s often unspoken self-identity, its deep sense of moral consensus, can’t be invented in Downing Street or Whitehall. If it is to have any resonance, it has to come from the bottom up, not the top down.

And that’s why immigration is experienced by so many as a problem: it has become a top-down means to engineer a new post-traditional, post-national, postmodern society. But it’s still possible to defend free movement. To do so, we need to de-weaponise it. We need to present the migrant not as an elite project, a means to a multicultural utopia, but as someone pursuing his own ends, an autonomous individual with ambitions and aspirations just like ours.

SOURCE






How is abortion protected by the Constitution but gun rights not?

As liberals around the country celebrate Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a decisively pro-choice Supreme Court ruling on abortion, they may want to consider how the precedent set would apply to gun rights.

Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt was a 5-3 decision ruling on the concept of the "undue burden" originally established in Roe v. Wade. Roe stated, "a state has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient… a statute which has the effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice cannot be considered a permissible means of serving its legitimate ends."

In the most recent decision, the Court ruled that Texas’ law placed too much of an obstacle to getting an abortion, reaffirming that no obstacle, such as requiring clinics to meet ambulance surgery center standards, may be used to limit this right.

But abortion is not an explicit right under the Constitution. Still, the Supreme Court refuses to allow any burden to prevent it from being exercised. The Justices continue to treat the right to abortion as a right equal in strength to the right to due process, trial by jury or free speech.

By this logic, then, federal courts should equally treat the right to keep and bear arms, a fundamental right actually included in the Constitution’s Second Amendment, with the same level of respect.

When Judge Myron Thompson wrote his decision in Planned Parenthood Southeast v. Luther Strange in the Middle District of Alabama, he explained this correlation. Writing "at its core, each protected right is held by the individual: the right to decide to have an abortion and the right to have and use firearms for self-defense. In the context of both rights, the Supreme Court recognizes that some regulation of the protected activity is appropriate, but that other regulation may tread too heavily on the right."

He explains that since both inherently involve other individuals or potential individuals, there is a level of supervision but, in his view, any effort to deliberately prevent an abortion is as unjust as preventing gun ownership.

Now to be consistent the Supreme Court must use the logic they used in Hellerstedt once again, this time in the 9th Circuit Appeals case Peruta v. San Diego, which denies individuals the ability to carry concealed weapons without adhering to strict criteria which changes from county to county.

Arbitrary guidelines like "good moral character," and demonstrating "good cause" outside of simply self-defense or self-interest are vague burdens governments against gun rights impose to prevent ownership. In abortion cases the Supreme Court ruled burdens just like these which are used to limit abortion rights are unconstitutional, the rulings dealing with the right of gun ownership must be viewed by the same standard.

The next Supreme Court docket will likely include the Peruta case, making it more important than ever that the Justice replacing the late Justice Scalia be one to vote in consistency with the fundamental right of being pro-choice on gun ownership.

In the last major gun rights case, D.C. v. Heller it was Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito all voting in favor of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. However, with Scalia’s passing it is more feasible than ever that if, for example, Hillary Clinton the presumed Democratic nominee, is elected president all of these established precedents protecting gun rights will be thrown away with a 5-4 decision against the second amendment.

Our next president will not just have power over the executive office but the fundamental rights of the Second Amendment to be practiced without undue burden.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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4 July, 2016

Multicultural immigrant shot British Olympic diver and his wife in the head at their home in Spain

Morocco is a Muslim country



A Moroccan man who murdered former British Olympic diver David Tarsey and his wife Jean at their expat home in Spain, has been sentenced to 31 years in jail.

Painter Driss Drizi, 63, was jailed after striking a deal with prosecutors by confessing to his crimes during a pre-trial court hearing. He was facing a 42-year prison sentence if convicted killing the couple after a trial.

Judge Jose Daniel Mira Perceval ended up jailing him for 15 years for each murder plus another year for illegal possession of a firearm after his plea bargain deal.

The British couple, both 77, were found in each other's arms on their sofa in March last year at their home in Xalo near Benidorm. Both were killed by a single bullet to the head.

Mother-of-two Mrs Tarsey was shot first before her husband, a former engineer who competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as well as the 1954 and 1958 Commonwealth Games, was murdered.

Drizi was arrested last September after an exhaustive police investigation.

Reports at the time said the immigrant, an acquaintance of David's, had confessed during questioning to killing the couple, originally from west London, after a row.

The horrific nature of the shootings was laid bare in an indictment released by local state prosecutors in May when they revealed they were seeking a 42-year-prison sentence for Drizi.

They said he stormed back to the caravan where he lived after an argument with David to fetch an ORTGIES 7.65mm Browning pistol he kept hidden there before returning to the Tarseys' home 'with the intention of ending the couple's lives.'

Revealing Mrs Tarsey was shot first in the face, local state prosecutors said in the indictment: 'She was sat on the sofa and taking no part in the argument and had no way of reacting. It resulted in her husband Peter David immediately turning towards her to try to protect her.

'Whilst deprived of any possibility of defence, the accused shot him in the neck, causing the instantaneous deaths of both.'

Their bodies were discovered three days later when friends they were due to have Sunday lunch with raised the alarm. It was never made clear why the killer had argued with Mr Tarsey.

SOURCE






Brexit: this was a vote against bigotry, not for it

The people have rebelled against the bigotry of the elites

What is a bigot? That term is now so overused — to describe everyone from foreigner-hating skinheads to feminist academics who question transgenderism — that we have lost sight of its meaning. It’s now basically a stand-in for ‘unpleasant’, deployed against people we simply don’t like or understand.

But bigot has a very specific meaning. It doesn’t mean gruff or un-PC or even ‘worried about immigration’. It means, as the Oxford English Dictionary spells out, ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions to oneself’. A bigot is someone who is so ‘obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion’ that he comes to loathe those of a different church, party, belief or opinion. Which raises a pressing and intriguing question: in Britain’s EU referendum debate, who, really, are the bigots?

The narrative pumped out by most of the media and political set, before the referendum and even more intensively after it, says that Brexiteers are the bigots. They voted for hate and xenophobia, apparently. Brexit was ‘fuelled’ by bigotry, says one observer, specifically ‘bigotry on the basis of national origin’. It was a ‘vote for hate’, pro-EU protesters claim. The victory for Brexit means ‘prejudice [and] xenophobia’ have ‘won out over common sense’, says one columnist.

All the talk among the well-connected of how out of sync they now feel with Britain, and how scared they are of the bigotry now finding public expression, is meant to give an impression of them as progressive and the others — the 17.5million people who voted Leave — as backward, hateful, possibly dangerous. Remainers are against bigotry, Leavers are for it — right?

This is an almost perfect inversion of reality. If we are talking about blind and obstinate devotion to a certain outlook, and a corresponding intolerance for those who hold different outlooks, then it is the Remain campaign and its media and political backers who have behaved as bigots. Their intolerance of the opposite side, of the masses who voted Leave, has been alarming. They have written them off as ‘low information’, racist, overemotional, lacking the expertise required to make big political decisions. ‘The chavs have won’, as one Glastonbury attendee told The Sunday Times. These people are ‘mindlessly angry’, says one observer. They are ‘ignorant’. They are so lacking in basic nous and intelligence that they are ‘ripe for canny right-wing operators to manipulate’. The leaders of Leave ‘lifted several stones’ to let these kind of views out, said one columnist, as if Leavers are insects. ‘It is as if the sewers have burst’, said another, as if they are shit. Newspaper cartoons have depicted Leave advocates as rats vomiting into the sewer of public opinion, and as dogs salivating at their computers.

You want to see bigotry? Look at all of that. It has been explicit and relentless and extremely ugly. After the referendum in particular, the media set has engaged in a great, long sneer at the hoodwinked idiotic public, looking with contempt, or even worse, pity, at the knuckle-draggers who have apparently destroyed our nation. Such is their intolerance that many are now demanding either that a second referendum be held or that the result simply be overturned.

At a pro-EU — but really just anti-democratic — gathering in Trafalgar Square, where people held placards slamming white people and old people, a lawyer said from the platform that there is too much ‘mass confusion’ for decisions like this to be made by the public; instead they must be made by politicians.

That is bigotry. This intolerance for people who are different, the smearing of them as morally ill-equipped for political life, the depiction of them as animals, the attempt to override their political desires — that is the living, breathing definition of bigotry, of ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions to oneself’.

Observers have casually asserted that Leavers are bigots, who hate immigrants, but the facts do not bear this out: a post-referendum ComRes poll found only 34 per cent of Leave voters gave immigration as their main concern, where 53 per cent said Britain’s ability to write its own laws was their big issue.

And yet even as the media elites make their unconvincing assertion about a vast swathe of British society being bigoted, they openly express bigoted views of their own, against the poor, the old, the white working class, chavs, the mindless mass of society. It takes a special kind of chutzpah to denounce your opponents as bigots even as you partake in bigotry.

Indeed, it has become clear in recent days that the worst bigotry in Britain right now is the ‘anti-bigotry’ of the liberal elite. It is through posturing against the alleged bigotry of the little people that the political and media classes express their own bigotry. Their obstinate devotion not simply to the EU but to the idea that their way of life is superior to poorer people’s way of life, that their political and cultural outlook is better than yours, has made them alarmingly intolerant of political and moral difference. It has made them bigots.

This explains why so many leading Remainers have responded with such anger and shrillness to the referendum result: because their starting point is moral obstinacy, not openness to debate or democratic change. One of the most rewarding things about this whole process is that it has exposed the hollowness of the political and media elites’ PC platitudes. The veil has been torn aside, and we can now see the utter emptiness of their claims to care for ordinary people, to consider all views equally valid, to want to listen to us and empower us. In truth, they are bigoted towards us; they wish we would not speak.

And it is precisely this bigotry of the elites that many poorer and working-class people will have decided to strike against in the referendum. They seized an opportunity to protest against an establishment which for too long has treated them and their way of life with contempt, which has sneered at them for being too fat, unhealthy, bad at parenting, overly obsessed with flags and football, and basically unpleasant people in need of correction from on high. People kicked back against that. They protested against elitist intolerance and disdain for their way of life. Here’s the thing: their vote against the EU was far more a vote against bigotry than for it.

SOURCE





Pentagon’s Transgender Policy Defies Common Sense

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the U.S. military is dropping its policy of treating male and female troops according to their biology—to be replaced by a policy based on a radical new gender ideology.

This change was not precipitated by military needs but by political correctness. After all, the military is not stretched so thin that it must make special accommodations to help attract the estimated 0.6 percent of Americans who self-identify as transgender in order to effectively fight and win our wars.

Moreover, people with gender dysphoria are allowed to serve, and many have served honorably, so long as their condition or treatments do not interfere with combat readiness.

What the military did not allow before today was the disruption to morale, privacy, and readiness that results from a male serviceman demanding the “right” to dress as a female, have others address him as a female, and be granted unfettered access to showers, lockers, bathrooms, and barracks designated for females. That commonsense policy, which has served our country well, was jettisoned today.

In grappling with this issue it helps to ask why the military has separate shower facilities and barracks for women and men in the first place. As with the question of women in combat, if the answer has something to do with biological realities, privacy, and interactions between the sexes, then the implications for morale and readiness are fairly evident.

But the new gender ideology ignores these facts and replaces them with subjective self-identification, so that a person’s sex is merely an arbitrary designation “assigned at birth” and one can actually be “male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female,” at least according to new mandates from the Obama administration.

Some obvious questions arise from the new policy. Will biological males who identify as female be subject to physical fitness requirements for men or women? Will they be required to do 35 pushups or 13 pushups to pass basic training? Will American taxpayers be required to pay for expensive “sex reassignment” surgeries, including breast implants in men and shaving down Adam’s apples when that money can be spent on better weapons or more training?

Will service members who have addressed an officer as “sir” for years be booted out of the military if they refuse to address him as “ma’am?” Wouldn’t the loss and impact on recruiting offset any supposed gains of allowing a relatively few transgender troops the ability to dress according to their chosen identity? These are but a few questions Carter neglected to address in his announcement.

Instead, Carter said that:

Embedded within our Constitution is th[e] very principle that all Americans are free and equal. And we as an Army are sworn to protect and defend that very principle. And we are sworn to even die for that principle. So if we in uniform are willing to die for that principle then we in uniform should be willing to live by that principle.

This is too much.

First, it doesn’t violate equality to recognize relevant biological realities and there is nothing in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution that elevates transgender people to a protected class akin to race.

Second, whatever one thinks of the latest Supreme Court redefinition of marriage, it did not redefine what it means to be a man and a woman for all Americans, especially in the military context.

There are painstakingly detailed regulations concerning uniforms, grooming, and even tattoo placement because troops must be trained to put the mission above self-expression, as lives depend upon it. Regulations that recognize relevant biological realities help, not hinder, the mission, and as admitted by Carter in his statement, thousands of people with gender dysphoria were already allowed to serve over the years because they respected the old policies.

Finally, there are hundreds of thousands of veterans and current troops who were traumatized, wounded, or died fighting against Nazis, Communist aggressors, and terrorists, yet, believe that biological men should not be allowed into the same barracks and showers as women.

Carter dishonors their sacrifices by suggesting that these Americans who actually died for the Constitution failed to live by the Constitution themselves. This decision has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with politics and a gender ideology run amok.

SOURCE






Vatican ecumenism leaves Egyptian Christians in the lurch

Pope Francis, who is "building bridges to build peace" around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims. Last month, for the first time after years of Vatican silence, Pope Francis summoned to his private library in Rome grand imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Cairo's Al-Ahzar Mosque Institute. Absent a press release before this event, the Pope was quoted as saying, "this meeting is the message" - leading all to dwell on the meaning and purpose of their 25 minutes together.

Christians, especially Egyptian Coptic Christians, have observed the Catholic pope give the "sign of peace" to the grand imam who has yet been unwilling to denounce ISIS. Unity existed between the two religious branches previous to former Pope Benedict XVI condemning Islam's inclination to violence.

This message of reconciliation comes during the Al-Sisi  government which has stood opposed to the favored and protected status of an organization entwined with Al-Ahzar -- the Muslim Brotherhood - and against the ascendency of this terror network and others beginning before his presidential campaign.

Two days before their historic meeting, headlines around the world reported the violent and humiliating act committed by a Muslim mob in Upper Egypt against a Christian woman in a Christian-majority village. Homes where razed and a grandmother was stripped naked, dragged from her house and beaten in the street.

Egypt's courts are not officially Sharia but street justice involving private matters is strictly Islamic doctrine (coercion of non-Muslims), and violence has no real consequences in the courts.

No words came from either of the leaders in the "Jubilee of Mercy" meeting (its official title) to address this incident, which by the nature of this attack holds deeper, more serious implications in Egyptian culture. An elderly woman in Egypt is considered sacrosanct, and practically speaking, this means across sectarian lines she is universally respected for her tenderness and kindheartedness toward others. Even codified barbarity had had this limit before now.

Evidence of Al-Sisi's attempt at reform of Islamic doctrine met by Al-Ahzar reluctance is seen recently in the Institute's insignificant changes to public school textbooks and mosque preaching. Presently, President Al-Sisi is stifled in his efforts to expunge religious supremacy from Egypt without cooperation from Al-Ahzar and apparently even with its assistance. As these particulars are the cultural foundation used for oppressing Christians, it is now hopeful that Francis will focus on such issues.

Although Francis has not been terribly outspoken on Coptic Church destruction, he has grieved with the Orthodox of Egypt and offered his prayers over the spilled blood of Christians in Libya recognizing the Coptic Christian martyrs.

Solidarity (a hug and kisses) shown in this re-connection of Cairo's Sunni grand imam with the Catholic Pope followed by silence (no official statements) helps to bolster and propel the position of the Institute's goals for Egypt, which are far from optimal in the cause for freedom of religion and speech and the subject of human rights.

It is not likely that Francis will meet with President Al-Sisi, if he hasn't first already done so, even though by contrast Al-Sisi projects real hope for Egypt's future in his committed struggle for freedom and equality.

This we see in regard to Egypt's deep state (the tentacles of Al-Ahzar religious brainwashing), from which Al-Sisi seeks to disentangle and de-program out of the administrations of the state. He rose to office on that claim and until now has produced evidence of genuineness along with impossible odds.

It is logical to assume by Francis' exclusion of Al-Sisi and, for that matter, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who represents 20 million Christians, that building bridges was not foremost on the mind of Pope Francis. The absence of these key figures in the room does in itself shed light onto the meaning of the meeting; in effect, by this oversight, Francis acknowledges only the deep state.

For Pope Francis, ecumenical zeal is more his quest than a real concern for solutions to the rise of jihad. However, the Vatican's ecumenism comes at the expense of Egypt's human rights. This encounter may symbolize for many an affirmation of peace attained through submission. After all, Francis now reached out to El-Tayeb in an apologetic mode for the public "insult" in denouncing Islam's violence some years back. But Francis intends his appeasement to speak for the entire Christian world.

Last year, remarking upon the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians by Sunni Muslim jihadists in Libya, Francis told leaders of the Church of Scotland that, "I ask that we encourage each other to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood." In that emotional moment Francis capitalized on martyrdom to bind together Christian protestant denominations under the Roman Catholic umbrella which in turn extends a hand to Islam.

 The pope's ecumenical fanaticism is blurring the lines of theological differences for the sake of one spiritual conglomerate without much thought to religious minorities preferring to remain divided from certain doctrine and the indoctrinators linked to the throat-slashers of Libya.

In the end, we are left with questions and speculation of what to expect in the aftermath of this meeting. Will the world see less vengeful opposition to the Roman pope's 12th century crusade? Will we see a new edict declaring that jihad is inappropriate for today's civilized world or Al-Ahzar denounce ISIS? Will we see a public statement by the two heads condemning the use of religion to commit violence?

And finally, might all this potential good we await be based on a designation called "heavenly," which the pope may have bestowed upon the Sunni sect during this meeting? For many decades, Cairo's Muslim authorities have sought this label to prove religious equality with the faiths of Christianity and Judaism and have looked to the Roman Catholic pope for this ultimate seal of approval.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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3 July, 2016

Mrs. Obama as a style queen?

The article excerpted below ran under the heading:  "But who's the style queen? Michelle Obama and Queen Letizia of Spain show off their impeccable fashion sense AND toned arms".  The implication was that Mrs Obama looked as good as the Queen of Spain.  I guess that political correctness demanded that claim. I feel able to say, however, that Mrs. Obama looked like a cow in a bag.  De gustibus non disputasndum est, of course but I think my response is what you would get from an unbiased observer.

The sycophantic media have been going goo gaa about Mrs Obama's attire ever since Mr Obama was elected.  What a contrast with the way the conventional clothing of the children of Chief Justice John Roberts was despised after Bush II nominated him.  The Leftist media really are foul




It was a fashion face-off of epic proportions when Michelle Obama met with Queen Letizia in Madrid today.

America's first lady was joined by the glamorous royal in the Spanish capital, on what was the last leg of a trip to promote girls' education in poorer countries and raise awareness of gender inequalities.

The ever-chic Letizia, 43, stunned in a sleeveless scarlet dress from Nina Ricci that showcased her toned arms, adding a pair of pointed nude courts and turquoise earrings.

Michelle Obama and Queen Letizia of Spain are two of our favourite style icons, so we expected great things when they met. And we definitely weren't disappointed!

Letizia looked very ladylike in a red dress by Nina Ricci, whilst Michelle took a style risk in a white midi dress with a cape back. FLOTUS has really been mixing things up recently, wearing labels like Proenza Schouler, Peter Pilotto and Altuzarra, but Spanish label Delpozo was the perfect choice.

SOURCE





We’re at ‘Point of Using the Force of Government to Punish Religious Organizations’

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), spoke with CNSNews.com on Saturday and said the view that marriage is between one man and one woman is increasingly silenced as hate speech.

“We’re now at the point of using the force of government to punish religious organizations,” said Brown at the march in Washington, D.C. “This is not just undermining religious liberty this is the opposite of religious liberty.”

Brown spoke at NOM’s fourth annual March for Marriage against same-sex marriage and the first march following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized homosexual marriage  last June.

CNSNews.com asked Brown about his continued commitment to the issue following the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Well, you know, just like the life movement, Roe v. Wade didn’t stop the life movement,” he said.  “There were a couple of tough years, but out of the wreckage of Roe arose a vibrant, winning coalition.”

“It’s going to take years, maybe decades, but we need a movement that has this march to be a living symbol year in and year out that we’re here, we’re not going away, and we’re growing,” he continued.

Brown said there are two observable detrimental consequences of the ruling: “the religious liberty effects” and “what’s happening with transgender issues and especially bathroom bills.”

“We’re seeing bakers, florists, videographers, anyone who’s involved in the wedding service industry who’s a Christian, persecuted, put out of business,” he said of the religious liberty consequences of the ruling.

“What’s happening with transgender issues and especially bathroom bills -- I think that is a direct consequence,” he added. “Once you say that there’s no distinction between mothers and fathers, husbands and wives in the law, then there’s no distinction between male and female. So, we’re headed in a direction where a lot of things we’ve taken for granted are now up for grabs.”

“If male and female are interchangeable, the whole notion of men showering in men’s showers, women showering in women’s showers, I mean everything’s turned upside down,” said Brown, “and that’s because you get to these ridiculous ends because the place you start with, the place you start from is wrong.”

“The first principles are wrong,” he said. “Men and women are different and that’s just a fundamental reality, and when you undermine that reality it has secondary consequences that are profound.”

CNSNews.com also asked Brown if he has seen a move to characterize any sort of position for man-woman marriage as hate speech and silence it.
      
“Yeah definitely,” he said. “We’re now at the point of using the force of government to punish religious organizations. This is not just undermining religious liberty. This is the opposite of religious liberty. This is exactly what our founders fled from and feared. This is persecution.”

“The consequences have been profound and I think they’re only going to get worse unless Christians band together and stand up,” Brown said.

The March for Marriage is an annual rally organized by the National Organization for Marriage. A small crowd gathered Saturday for speeches and the march to the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

SOURCE






'Pro-Life Feminist' Patricia Heaton Blasts Supreme Court on Abortion, Quotes Thomas Jefferson

Patricia Heaton, a popular actress and star of the show "The Middle," is critical of the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion.

On Monday the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that required abortion clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery and for the doctors who practice in the clinics to have visiting privileges at nearby hospitals.

After the news broke Heaton, who is pro-life and Catholic, tweeted:  Hey SCOTUS: "The care of human life & happiness, and not their destruction, is the first & only object of good government." T. Jefferson

Heaton also tweeted links to pieces by "pro-life feminists" Kristen Hatten and Kira Davis.

In her op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, Hatten wrote the following: "    As a pro-life feminist, I not only believe that women deserve equal human rights, but that women are strong and capable. The abortion industry tells women they can't make anything of their lives without abortion. That is the opposite of empowerment. Women were once considered property and denied basic human rights. How dare we treat our children the same way? Our liberation cannot come at their expense"

SOURCE





More Leftist racism

The Left are obsessed by racial quotas

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said on Tuesday at an event focused on Hispanic-American Entrepreneurship that the national monuments in the nation’s capital need to be more diverse.

“If you drive around Washington, D.C., in every circle and every square you generally see a bronze white guy – sometimes on a horse, sometimes not - you have to work really hard – like in front of the Indian embassy you’ll find Mahatma Gandhi,” Jewell said.

“A handful of women – maybe – if you look really hard – sprinkled around the city, but there are very few places and memorials that tell the story of the rich diversity that has made this country great,”  Jewell said.

The panel discussion Jewell took part in was entitled “Strong Communities: Empowering the Growing Hispanic Population,” described as “an open dialogue between federal principals and invited guests to explore policies instituted under the Obama administration that have helped advance the Hispanic community and create a steady path forward.”

Jewell spoke about the role of the Interior Department and the Obama administration’s efforts to make public lands under the department’s jurisdiction more diverse.

“The other thing that President Obama recognizes and began to manifest itself with Ken Salazar’s leadership as secretary of Interior and as continuing throughout the Obama administration, is that we are, through the National Park Service, largely America’s storyteller.

“And yet if you drive around Washington, D.C., in every circle and every square, you generally see a bronze white guy – sometimes on a horse, sometimes not – you have to work really hard – like in front of the Indian embassy you’ll find Mahatma Gandhi,” Jewell said.

“There’s a handful of women – maybe – if you look really hard – sprinkled around the city,” Jewell said. “But there are very few places and memorials that tell the story of the rich diversity that has made this country great, and that is something that we have been working very diligently to do.”

On Friday, Obama designated the Stonewall Inn in New York City a national monument. The inn was a homosexual bar where riots took place in 1969 after a police raid.

The announcement of the designation was made to coincide with the gay pride parade in the city on Saturday that included a video played on billboards in Times Square that featured Obama and footage from the riot, including one image featuring a sign that read “Homo is healthy.”

Obama said the bar is the “newest addition to America’s national park system.”

“Stonewall will be the first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” Obama said.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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1 July, 2016

'Merkel's open door policy caused Britain to leave EU'

Her actions definitely were the last straw

As Germans demand their own opportunity to free themselves from 'EU slavery', fingers are being pointed at Chancellor Angela Merkel for sparking the potential dissolution of the European Union.

Critics have branded Ms Merkel's open-door immigration policy as being to blame for a tidal wave of demands for Brexit-style referendums across several countries in the bloc.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) has openly branded Ms Merkel as being responsible, amid calls for a 'Dexit' - Deutschland exit.

'I think Ms Merkel with her open borders caused Britain to leave the EU,' said AfD's vice chairman Alexander Gauland on Friday in Berlin.  He added: 'I think the British have opted for direct democracy. I believe that it is good that they have done that.'

It came as party chairman Bjorn Hocke warned that the Eurosceptic AfD would be launching a campaign for a German exit.

'With the exit from the EU, the British have left the path of collective madness and opted for democracy and popular sovereignty. 'I know the majority of German people want to get out of EU slavery.'

Meanwhile Franz Wiese, European policy spokesman for the populist party and an MP in the regional parliament in Brandenburg, near Berlin, said: 'Next year the AfD will enter the German parliament and Dexit will be top on our agenda.'

The AfD is reportedly the only German political party so far to openly declare that it will be demanding a 'Dexit' vote.

German media has been awash with criticism of Ms Merkel's immigration policy, after she allegedly sparked Europe's 2015 migration crisis by announcing that refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria would be welcome in Germany.

By opening Germany's borders to refugees, critics have long blamed Ms Merkel for encouraging the flow of both refugees and economic migrants into European countries.

The German chancellor was also among EU leaders who 'blocked British demands before the referendum for an "emergency brake" on migrant numbers'.  

At his final dinner with leaders of EU countries in Brussels on Tuesday night, Prime Minister David Cameron highlighted public fears over immigration as having cost him both the referendum and his job.

Mr Cameron, who resigned following the referendum result last week, warned fellow leaders that intransigence over freedom of movement could damage any chance of a UK-EU trade deal.

He said that, while he thought British people had recognised the 'strength of the economic case for staying', he believed it was primarily concern about immigration that forced the final victory for the Leave campaign.

He added: 'I think that is coupled with a concern about the issues of sovereignty and the absence of control there has been.' 

This fear was heightened by the Leave campaign's use of poster images showing crowds of refugees and migrants entering the Bavarian countries.

Nigel Farage and the Leave campaign was branded 'fundamentally racist' following the release of the poster, which showed the Ukip leader standing in front of a crowd of refugees and migrants.

The poster uses a picture of Syrian refugees being escorted along the Slovenian border during the migrant crisis last October and tells voters the EU is at 'breaking point', adding: 'The EU has failed us all. We must break free of the EU and take control of our borders.'

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the poster was 'disgusting' while Tory Treasury minister Harriet Baldwin hit out at the Ukip leader for 'vile xenophobia'. MPs from all main Westminster parties hit out at the advert minutes after it was unveiled by Mr Farage in Westminster on June 16.

The Brexit vote has pushed freedom of movement to the top of the agenda across Europe. 

SOURCE






Political Correctness Puts Americans in Grave Danger

If Americans were shocked by the recent terrorist massacre in Orlando committed by Omar Mateen in the name of ISIS and other Islamist jihadis, they should be even more alarmed by the Obama administration’s response, which once again sought to obfuscate the role of Islamist ideology in motivating that terrorist attack — the largest on U.S. soil since 9/11.

In spite of Islamists having established an unparalleled record of terrorism — some 20,000 assaults globally in the name of Islam since 9/11 — U.S. law enforcement, intelligence and national armed forces have for many years been operating partially blindfolded with one hand tied behind their backs under the heel of the politically correct posture of protecting Islam and Muslims.

The tentacles of the Muslim Brotherhood, with its myriad front groups, was established in the U.S. long before 9/11. We know this from the successful trial of the Holy Land Foundation in 2008. Uncovered in the discovery treasure-trove for the HLF trial was a 1991 strategy plan of the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow the U.S. Constitution via stealth “civilization jihad” and to “destroy the Western civilization from within,” the precondition to establishing a Sharia-ruled Caliphate.

The extent of penetration of Muslim influence in the Bush administration can be understood by way of a cursory comparative analysis. The lexicon found in the 2004 9/11 Commission Report, which contained hundreds of instances of the use of words like “Jihad,” “Muslim,” and “Islam,” was basically eliminated by the end of the Bush administration. In 2008, when the FBI published its unclassified Counterterrorism Lexicon, those words are entirely missing. It marked a major step in the post 9/11 world of disconnecting radical Islamist ideology from terrorism and limiting the U.S. in its investigative tools, intelligence collection, law enforcement, and war-fighting capabilities.

The process of separating terrorism from its radical Islamist roots took on new momentum in the first year of the Obama administration, simultaneous with the president’s Middle East apology tour in the spring of 2009. According to Philip Haney — a founder of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, established in response to 9/11 — DHS superiors brought in by the Obama administration ordered him in November 2009 to scrub and delete hundreds of records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Hamas, from the Treasury Enforcement Communications System database.

These records are of course the basis for Immigration Control and Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Terrorist Screening Center to “connect the dots” and identify individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations who should be denied entry to the U.S., be put on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list.

When self-described “soldier of Allah” Nidal Hassan killed 13 in the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting spree, many were dumbfounded that the Defense Department recorded and has since maintained this incident as “workplace violence.” What most don’t know is that the DOD bureaucracy had no other choice as it was then in the midst of a politically correct purge at West Point and the Naval War College of all “vital references to Islamist ideology driving terrorism or conflating terrorism with Islam.”

The 2013 Islamist Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had a high-risk profile due to six months of travel to a known Islamist terrorist training center in the Dagestan-Chechnya area in Islamic Russia. But the FBI suspended its investigation of Tsarnaev in 2011 because of insufficient evidence of terrorist activity, at the same time Bureau leadership was complying with final stages of a mandatory purge of some 900 pages of FBI counterterrorism training manuals that were considered offensive to Muslims. So Tsarnaev could take his time and pick his spot to strike.

The December 2, 2015, ISIS-inspired San Bernardino killing spree, committed by the Islamist terrorist couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, might also have been prevented. Former DHS official Haney points out that the San Bernardino terror attack might never have happened if Farook’s ties to the terror group Tablighi Jamaat had been known. Unfortunately, those records were among the 67 deleted from the key federal database — the Treasury Enforcement Communications System — in the politically correct purge of 2009. Farook would not have been able to travel to Saudi Arabia because he would have been put on the “no-fly list,” nor would his pending fiancée, Malik, been given a visa, thus fundamentally changing the circumstances that preceded their coordinated attack.

Then there was also the neighbor of Farook and Malik, who disclosed that in the weeks before the terrorist couple’s killings there had been a flurry of activity at their home — with a multitude of package deliveries and Middle Eastern individuals coming and going at all hours. Yet that neighbor chose not to alert the police for fear of being labeled racist or Islamophobic.

There can be no doubt now, in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, that political correctness puts the United States in grave danger, and it is a wonder that PC has been accepted for as long as it has.

After the orchestrated deception of blaming the September 11, 2012, torturous killing of Ambassador Stevens and three others in Benghazi on a video rather than the pre-planned terrorist attack that it was, it was contemptible that the Obama Justice Department would initially attempt a deception replay with regard to the Orlando nightclub massacre. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s initial censorship of the record of Omar Mateen’s many statements of solidarity with ISIS and the cause of radical Islam was so offensive that Obama tactically reversed course within 24 hours and was forced to release a good portion of Mateen’s transcripts uncensored.

However, the strategy that involves the hegemony of political correctness is bound to continue through the balance of the Obama administration. And the black flags will surely keep coming under a Hillary Clinton presidency. Having learned nothing from the spate of Islamist terrorist attacks, Clinton has recently stated she plans to massively increase immigration from the Middle East even without a screening plan, including a 500% increase in Syrian refugees.

It may be an irony of history, perhaps a blessing in disguise, that an unconventional presidential candidate has been raised up to break the shackles of political correctness and shock the American people into facing reality. Donald Trump’s candidacy for president raises uncertainties of various kinds in the minds of many voters. But there should be considerable certainty that Mr. Trump won’t be easily snookered on many of the key challenges facing the United States, nor will his resolve to win in the cause of patriotism be easily shaken.

SOURCE






Multiculturalism: A Failed Concept

Walter E. Williams

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that multiculturalism has "utterly failed," adding that it was an illusion to think Germans and foreign workers could "live happily side by side." The failure of multiculturalism is also seen in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and other European countries. Immigrants coming from Africa and the Middle East refuse to assimilate and instead seek to import the failed cultures they fled.

Leftist diversity advocates and multiculturalists are right to argue that people of all races, religions and cultures should be equal in the eyes of the law. But their argument borders on idiocy when they argue that one set of cultural values cannot be judged superior to another and that to do so is Eurocentrism.

That's unbridled nonsense. Ask a diversity/multiculturalism advocate: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in northern Sudan. In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves are punished by having their hand severed. In some African and Middle Eastern countries, homosexuality is a crime, in some cases punishable by death. Are all these cultural values morally equivalent to those of the West?

The vital achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights, which saw its birth with the Magna Carta in 1215. The idea emerged that individuals have certain inalienable rights. Individuals do not exist to serve government; governments exist to protect their rights. But it was not until the 19th century that ideas of liberty received broad recognition. In the West, it was mostly through the works of British philosophers, such as John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.

Personal liberty implies toleration of differences among people, whether those differences are racial, sexual, ideological or political. Liberty also implies a willingness to permit others who disagree with you to go their separate ways. This is not the vision of the new immigrants. In some parts of Britain, Christians are threatened with violence for merely handing out Bibles. Trying to convert Muslims to Christianity is seen as a hate crime. Women are accosted by Muslim men for "improper" dress. Many women are sexually assaulted. In many European countries, "no-go zones" -- where civil authorities will not enter -- in which Shariah is practiced have been established. According to the Express, "London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin are among the major European cities that feature on a bombshell list of 900 lawless zones with large immigrant populations."

Both in Europe and in the U.S., multiculturalism is a leftist elitist vision with its roots in academia. The intellectual elite, courts and government agencies push an agenda that is anything but a defense of individual rights, freedom from conformity and a live-and-let-live philosophy. Instead, multiculturalism/diversity is an agenda for all kinds of conformity -- conformity in ideas, actions and speech. It calls for re-education programs where diversity managers indoctrinate students, faculty members, employees, managers and executives on what's politically correct thinking. Part of that lesson is nonjudgmentalism, where one is taught that one lifestyle is just as worthy as another and all cultures and their values are morally equivalent.

Western values are superior to all others. But one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values. By the way, it is no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person. There's an indisputable positive relationship between liberty and standards of living. There is also indisputable evidence that we in the West are unwilling to defend ourselves from barbarians. Just look at our response to the recent Orlando massacre, in which we've focused our energies on guns rather than on terrorists.

SOURCE






More Multicultural scum

A man was arrested after allegedly 'molesting' an air hostess and taking a selfie without her permission. 

Mohammed Abubakar from Gujarat reportedly violated aircraft rules on board a Jet Airways flight from Damam to Mumbai shortly after take-off.

According to local media the 29-year-old was discovered smoking in the toilet of the aircraft.

An air hostess allegedly wrote a complaint in which she claimed Abubakar grabbed her hand as she walked past him shortly into the flight.

She also said that the man said 'C'mon man, take a selfie' to her, and repeatedly misbehaved throughout the trip.

According to The Times of India, the anonymous cabin crew member told police she felt she was being followed during the flight - and when she turned around Abubakar was standing behind her.

She claims she repeatedly told him she would not take a selfie, and he allegedly stood behind her at all times, even when she had taken her seat.

She said: 'He crossed the limit by grabbing me by the shoulder and forcefully taking a selfie.'

Four flight attendants reportedly soon came over when the woman screamed - however the 29-year-old allegedly went in to the toilet and lit a cigarette.

Speaking to the Times of India sub-inspector VS Pawar said: 'He came out after smoking in there. The crew warned him and asked him to hand over his cigarette packet and lighter.

'A probe is on to know how he cleared the security check with an inflammable item like a cigarette lighter. By smoking on board, he endangered several lives. His mobile phone has been seized and will be sent to the forensic sciences laboratory.'

Abubakar has allegedly been charged for outraging the modesty of women and endangering life or personal safety of others, as well as breaking safety violations. He is reportedly in judicial custody.

SOURCE

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

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

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

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Background


HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray






(Isaiah 62:1)


A 19th century Democrat political poster below:








Leftist tolerance



Bloomberg



JFK knew Leftist dogmatism



The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog



A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?


Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair



Enough said



There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though


What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so


Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners


Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.


The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole


Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males


Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations


Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.


I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.


I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass


Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies


The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"


Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"


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


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


So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”


Children are the best thing in life. See also here.


Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."


Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".


One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.


It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.


A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."





Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).


The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin


"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


RELIGION:

Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian


Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil


The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties


Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion


"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)


I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!


No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"


Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae


On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.


I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!


Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds


Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans





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